Where to Stay

One of the first questions we ask ourselves when planning a trip is, “Where are we going to stay?

A question I frequently get asked is, “Do you recommend we stay on property?”  My opinion?

Yes! Yes! and Yes!

There are so many options and different ways to do Disney-- which is one of the things that makes vacationing there so fabulous!  There is NO ONE WAY.  When planning, you have to realize that your family is one-of-a-kind and that your way to do things is not going to look exactly like someone else.  I've known lots of people who rent a house and drive into the parks and have a grand time.  So weigh out what fits for your family.

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My first trip to Disney World was when I was 12 and my parents and I stayed off property.  It was definitely a magically memorable experience.  But in 2002, my husband and I went for our first trip together and both our first on-property experiences.  Oh my goodness.  We used Disney transportation- the buses, boats and monorail.  You are dropped off right outside the gate-- no taking a tram to your parking lot and no parking fees.  You meet lots of other fabulous Disney vacationers on the commutes AND (perhaps my most favorite), when you call the front desk or visit Guest Services they say, "Have a Magical Day!"  Walt had Cast Members, not employees, and they create the magic for all their Guests.

Disney Resorts We've Stayed

·      Caribbean Beach

·      French Quarter

·      Old Key West

·      Saratoga Springs

·      Boardwalk

·      Vero Beach

·      Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House

·      Grand Californian A Disneyland Resort in Disney's California Adventure *for more,visit our Disneyland page

·      Aulani on Oahu, Hawaii *for more, visit our Aulani Page

·      Disney Dream *for more, visit our Disney Cruise Page

·      Animal Kingdom Kidani Village

·      The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian 





If the first question in vacation planning is, “Where are we going to stay?” the next question is “Where are we going to eat?

Another question I frequently get asked is, “Do you recommend we get the Disney Dining Plan?”  My opinion?


All inclusive is AMAZING!!!  We have traveled to Disney, and other places, and have paid for the "package deal" so-to-speak.  But before joining the Disney Vacation Club in 2005, we calculated what we actually wanted out of our dining experience versus what we got for the money.  We found that we really didn't want as much food as was available to us in our dining plan.  

Our suggestion is to price the dining plan and then budget that amount into your trip.  It's an extra step to keep track of, but after over a decade of Disney vacationing as club members (visit our Vacation Club page for more info on membership), we've yet to actually spend the entire amount.

Keep your eyes open for promotions on FREE DINING if staying at a WDW Resort.  Check to see if this is still offered in September.  Of course, if they were offering FREE DINING then SIGN UP!

If you are a Disney Vacation Club member, be sure to ask if you get a DVC Member Discount and have your member card.

Either way-- enjoy as many Mickey waffles as you can!

Our Favorites for Dining by Park

Typically we try to book one character breakfast and one nice normal dinner OR we may do a character experience for lunch and just grab something light for lunch and dinner-- all depending on availability.  One thing that's for sure: we utilize character dining.  Gone are the hassles of standing in line with camera and signature book.  Character dining provides the opportunity for memorable encounters as the characters come to each table to "visit," take pics, and sign autographs.

Don't let young diners deter you from experiencing the finer Disney dining experiences.  When you call to make your reservation, you'll give them the ages of the children in your party; therefore you can rest assured if the kiddos are welcome or not.  We have noticed there seems to be different dining areas for those tables with children, so no worries if your little one squeals with delight or tosses a French fry off the table.  With that being said, we felt it was the perfect opportunity to teach and train, because so many others are there with their kids too.  And, they offer a kids menu options, if you have a selective eater in your group.

*indicates our most favorite restaurants.  

Cinderella's Royal Buffet, Chef Mickey's and Be Our Guest restaurant book up fast.  Dining reservations can be made 180 days before the date of your arrival.  If you want to eat at the most popular restaurants, be sure to call on that 180-day mark.  Remember that Disney World Dining is on the east coast, so you may need to make accommodations for the difference in the time zone.  The goal?  Be on the line when they open!  (407) 939-3463 (7am EST) 

As a side note, dining can be arranged so conveniently on the My Disney Experience App, but don't leave these popular ones to the App-- talk to a cast member.


Magic Kingdom 


*Crystal Palace-- Winnie the Pooh Characters and one of our favorite buffets; OR ask if they are serving lunch the time of year you will be there-- it's so good too!

*Cinderella's Royal Buffet-- Cinderella and other Princesses-- they've really improved the food here, but regardless of the food, we continue to return because... it's IN the castle-- what can get more magical than that?

Work It In

grab hot dogs at Casey's Corner and munch on those in your spot as you wait on the 3 o’clock parade, or check your park guide to see what times the pianist is playing and you can listen while you eat


Tony's Town Square

*Be Our Guest- this is also a breakfast option too.  Seating is available in three different rooms; The Ballroom, The Rose Gallery or The West Wing.  We’ve eaten in all three areas and while each of them are fabulous, The West Wing is our family’s favorite.  When you check in at the podium on the day of your reservation, just ask if it’d be possible to sit in one of the particular areas.  The Cast Member may not be able to make it happen, but you’ll never know unless you ask.  If you like French Onion Soup, this is the place!  It’s so good!  The Beast makes an appearance during dinner then retires to the library for photos after dinner if you choose.

Animal Kingdom

Tusker HouseDonald Duck and friends like Mickey, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie are some of the characters you can meet here at this spot good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s buffet style, so typically for us, we eat something light or not at all for breakfast and fill-up for a lunch around 11am.

Satu’li Canteen this restaurant is in Animal Kingdom’s new Pandora- The World of Avatar has had a lot of buzz. My friend’s brother works at this restaurant.  Our last trip to Disney, Pandora had just opened and quite crowded, but we plan to visit on a future trip maybe after some of the newness has passed. It’s made our list of recommendations because from what we’ve heard about it from other Disney travelers, it’s a place to check out.  Their dishes look interesting to say the least. 

Hollywood Studios


Hollywood & Vine- Doc McStuffins, Jake from Jake and the Neverland Piratesand Princess Sofia, to name a few.  Buffet style to fill your tummy for a day walking the park.


*Hollywood Brown Derby it may sound crazy, but this place had Brooklyn and my favorite Cobb Salad.  The pork tenderloin is delicious too.  

Mama Melrose's



Akershus- Princess Storybook -- princesses, princesses, princesses-- good food too!  Served family style.  


The "Hibatchi" Experience- Tepan Edo

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*Le Cellier – Our favorite steak place in all of Walt Disney World.

Disney Springs

*Paddlefish this paddleboat became one our favorite dining spots when it was Fulton’s back when Disney Springs was Downtown Disney.  The restaurant has changed, having a more modern flare and a new menu, but still a place we recommend.  

T Rex Just like the popular Build-a-Bear, this place, from the same parent company as Rainforest Café, offers the Build-a-Dino experience.  Our family hasn’t walked out with a souvenir but there’s many to choose from.  We enjoy the food and the dining experience with a meteor shower every 20 minutes.

Grand Floridian

*1900 Park Fare Breakfast they serve a character dinner too-- we first went for breakfast in 2015 and it became one of our favorites!  The Mad Hatter is hysterical, Mary Poppins of course, is practically perfect in every way, and Alice, and Tigger were there too.  I enjoy getting the made-to-order omelet portion of the buffet.  Caden and Gavin love all the donuts, and gummy bears.  Yes, they have gummy bears for breakfast, but be certain if Mary Poppins sees it she will call them out on how substandard such items are for breakfast.

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Victoria and Albert’s Perhaps the finest dining experience Brandon and I have ever encountered.  We considered making reservations on several occasions, but we didn’t feel like packing dress attire for this dress code dining establishment. Plus, in years before, our kiddos were too little to stay alone (although Disney does offer in-room babysitting for those interested).  But note: should you want to include your kids in this experience, it is open to children 10 and older. However for us, when we planned to be in Disney for our 18th anniversary we felt it was an occasion worthy of dinner, for just the two of us, at Victoria and Albert’s.  And what an experience it was.  We enjoyed a ten-course meal, learning much about the preparation and pairings, in the most sophisticated, and yet warm, ambiance. We were contacted by phone before our dinner inquiring as to how we preferred to be addressed. No Mr. and Mrs. for us, we’re simply, Brandon and Heather.  And our names, along with our special celebration, were printed on our customized menu for keepsake.  We ended the four-hour dining event with chocolates and a pretty red rose.  This definitely ranked up on the “special” occasion list, “forking” out what some spend for a monthly payment on a luxury vehicle, but worth it for these rare moments.  Also, no need to feel intimidated by the atmosphere.  Some diners were obviously a little uncomfortable, others seemed stiff and starchy, but the Meadows Couple were simply ourselves, and our servers, Danny and James, brought not only delicacy, but every ounce of enjoyment, fun and laughter to our meal. 

Contemporary Resort


*Chef Mickey's - who's the leader of the club that's made for you and me?  You'll enjoy a wonderful breakfast with Mickey and his pals and have fun while you munch!  

Polynesian Resort


O'HanaLilo and Stitch make this a fun breakfast for your O'Hana.


Luau we did the Luau at The Polynesian once.  It was fun, but not a repeat we work in annually.  The entertainment is great and if you’ve never been to a Luau this is a fun experience.  

Boardwalk Resort


Flying Fish Café it’s been several years since we’ve dined in this establishment, but if you’re staying at the Boardwalk, or just want to go, this is a place we’d recommend.  And yes, the Boardwalk is definitely worth checking out.  There is live music, shopping and entertainment.  A very lively place.  This is a Signature Dining restaurant and guests are asked to adhere to a dress code.  Not as fancy as Victoria and Albert’s, and your kiddos don’t have to meet an age requirement, but just check out the website when packing to make sure you throw something in for this reservation.


Must Do's

First of all, KNOW that you can’t see EVERYTHING— although most of us give it our best shot.  Nothing is worse than being in Disney and seeing families stressed to the max trying to get it all in and no one really enjoying each other.  Remember, this is about FAMILY and HAPPINESS.  Whatever you get to see- let it be magical, let it be fun.  As you walk past things try to say a prayer, “Lord, I’m enjoying the here-and-now, and I pray I get the opportunity to come back and see the rest.”  Because you have to remember– Walt never wanted his parks to be “finished”– he always wanted it to be changing and progressing. So no matter if you stretch yourself to see it all– it will one day be different and you’ll still want to go back.  BTW—allow your kids at least one meltdown per day.  Fun is exhausting and they’re just little.

Magic Kingdom

First of all, we try to avoid Magic Kingdom on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  It doesn’t always work out that way, but if possible, we aim to map out our itinerary with that in mind.  Remember that locals with little ones will pour in for magical weekend family time too.


Parade routes normally start in Frontierland and end exiting by the Fire Station in The Town Square.  The hot spot is, of course, Main Street USA, but if you want to watch it from here plan to line up a good 45 minutes before the parade.  If you don’t want such a wait, you can check the parade route location and head back to Frontierland where it will be less crowded meaning you won’t have to lineup for quite so long ahead of time.

·      Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade—the daily 3 o’clock parade.  Be sure to watch Maleficent.  She’s a dragon in this parade and breathes fire!

·      Main Street Electrical Parade– the nighttime parade where floats are decorated in colors of lights.  Our favorite is Elliott, Pete’s Dragon.  But there are numerous characters and floats you, and your kids, will love to see.  This parade is on select nights so be sure to check the schedule.


  • Dream Along with Mickey- a show performed several times a day on the castle stage.  Includes a variety of your favorite characters.



  • *Happily Ever After



  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Monster’s Laugh Floor
  • Space Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • Stitch’s Great Escape



  • The Barnstormer
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • It’s A Small World
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train



  • Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain


Liberty Square

  • The Haunted Mansion



  • The Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean


Animal Kingdom


·      *Festival of the Lion King– my overall favorite in Animal Kingdom



·      Flight of Passage

·      Kali River Rapids

·      Expedition Everest

·      Dinosaur—might be scary for little ones

·      It’s Tough to Be a Bug

Hollywood Studios

There are big changes coming to Hollywood Studios.  It was quite evident during our 2017 trip that this park is in transition, but the new attractions coming, from Star Wars to Toy Story, will be totally worth the wait!  For the time being, there’s still some classical favorites we can’t ever miss.



·      *Fantasmic– MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING OF ALL!!! If you pick one– I highly recommend making time for this.

·      Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

·      Indiana Jones

·      A Frozen Sing-Along—don’t let the fact that this is a Frozen attraction make you think this isn’t something boys would like too.  This show was super funny and one we’ve seen on repeat trips.

·      Jedi Training- this is an experience younger ones in the group will love as they become participants in the show learning the ways of the Force. For kids between the ages of 4 to 12 and must preregister.  Registration begins when the park opens and fills up fast.  Remember, the kids your registering must be present at the time of registration and availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. Our advice is to get there early to register.  



·      Toy Story Midway Mania

·      Aerosmith Rock n’ Rollercoaster

·      Star Tours

·      Tower of Terror (the girls in our group have only ever done this ride once, but it seems to be something all the guys find fun)




·      Soarin’

·      The Seas with Nemo and Friends

·      Test Track

·      Turtle Talk with Crush

·      Frozen Ever After

·      Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival—this is a 4D experience.  Yes.  4D.  And an attraction we were glad we randomly hit.

·      Mission Space– NOT for everyone (like me– but some in the family love it)



·      IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth



Magic Bands & My Disney Experience

The best implementation for the Disney traveler was the Magic Bands and My Disney Experience App!

Your magic band is a bracelet you wear.  It will have all your information stored on it.  Your theme park admission, access to your room, your Fast Pass reservations, and your credit card information to pay for dining and merchandise will all be on your band. It is so easy breezy.  And if you feel like it’s not secure, well be at ease.  Disney has you assign a pin number, so no one can pick up your lost bracelet and have a night out on the town.

Before your trip, you will get dates as to when to book dining, reserve your Fast Pass reservations, and pick out what color Magic Bands you want.  If every person in your family chooses blue, no worries about mix-ups, because Disney will have each guest’s name printed on the inside of the bracelet on the backside of the Mickey.  Also, there are many ways to customize your Magic Bands to make it even more personalized.   And you can always keep it for return trips.  It just needs to be linked to your new reservation.  Here is a great link on how to link it all together.

After making your reservation be sure to create a My Disney Experience login and link your reservation to your My Disney Experience account.  Then download the My Disney Experience App on your smartphone.  You can at any time, from your smartphone or computer, view your resort room reservations, your Fast Pass reservations, and Dining reservations.  You can also reserve reservations from the app.  And cancel reservations too.  To add even more, if you have purchased the Memory Maker photo package, you’ll be able to see pictures taken by Disney’s Photo Pass right on your device after your special character meet-and-greets.  

There is just so much the Magic Bands and My Disney Experience has brought to making Disney traveling more manageable and easier.  One of my personal favorites is bypassing the resort check-in.  Now we get a text to our phone when our room is ready and we don’t even stop in to talk to anyone.  We just proceed straight to our room.  Now THAT is magical!

Please note: be prepared for the sad faces when it’s time to say goodbye, knowing that Magic Bands won’t be so magical at home.


Park Hopper

Here’s another question I’m frequently asked, “Should we add on the park hopper option or no park hopper?

The Park Hopper option allows you to….well, as it implies, park hop.  You can visit as many parks in one day as desired.

We used to get the park hopper option but then felt we were eating up time traveling between parks.  Then for several years we just got the basic Magic-Your-Way ticket, going to one park and staying in that one park for the day.  You can always leave and come back with this ticket option, you just can’t go to another park in the same day.  However, when we traveled to Disney in the summer, we added on the park hopper option and it seemed to be beneficial in fitting in our dining options. Just know that right there—there are options.  And consider the way you’re mapping out your trip.  I wouldn’t say that you should always get a park-hopper or never get a park-hopper.  Just that it’s best to consider if you really need it before adding it on. 

For those, perhaps with little one and lugging bags and strollers maybe not wanting to park hop, here’s how we aimed to stay in one park per day during that season of our family.

The first thing we book is our dining, so that determines which park to stay in each day.  Start with a list of where you want to eat, call on the first available day to book dining, and plan from there.  For instance, if you want to eat at the Crystal Palace and Cinderella’s Royal Table, aim to get in for breakfast at Crystal Palace and dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table, or vice versa. That way you are in Magic Kingdom for the day, getting to do everything you were hoping without eating up time traveling back and forth, AND without spending the extra money.  With far-advanced-detailed planning, you can create a fantastic trip without hopping!


Water Parks

For many, many years we did Disney without visiting the water parks. Our kids were always so impressed with the resort pools that we really didn’t need to include them.  Also, if you’re staying on property, you can pool hop to most of the other resort’s pools (ask a Cast Member). And Disney keeps their pools heated (although at cooler times of the year, it still hasn’t been quite warm enough for me to get in).  If you’re toting around little ones, I’d say just enjoy the resort pools.

If you have older kids in the group then working in a water park, or both water parks, can be a lot of fun.  And there are places for little ones to frolic in the water at both parks too.

So, back to ticket options for a brief moment.  You can add on the water parks to your ticket.  Our most recent trip was during the summer and we had park hopper and waterpark added.  It was a great decision for the length of our time and the time of year we were in Disney.  Again, mapping out your trip will determine how you want to build your park ticket options.

Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon have both been experienced and loved by The Meadows Family.

We worked in one water park on one trip, and another water park on a different trip.

Blizzard Beach looks freezing, hence the “blizzard.”  And the slides.  Oh my word.  Gavin was a little too young, meaning too short, when we went to this water park to go on all the slides, so that was a bit of a bummer for him.  But honestly, I wouldn’t have even wanted to go on some of them myself.  So glad I had him for a reason not to.  Talk about a swimsuit wedgie!  Gracious.  But the other three and the Dad had much fun on them.  Our favorite was the massive family raft we were all able to ride together!  Teamboat Springs is the only one out of both water parks that accommodates up to six riders in one raft.  So perfect!  

Typhoon Lagoon has by far the best wave pool we have ever been in.  There will be a chalkboard near the edge of the beach for the day’s wave schedule.  Or you can just ask a Life Guard.  When we were there the tidal wave came in for ninety seconds every ninety minutes.  Just know that when you hear the “sonic boom” the waves will rise with incredible force.  I recommend only strong swimmers head out to ride the waves in and the smaller ones catch them in the more shallow waters.  Also, there is an array of water slides, from single rider rafts to rafts for groups up to four; you will be sure to find a variety of water fun at Typhoon Lagoon.


When to Visit

We have visited in:

January ~ April ~ June ~ September ~ October ~ December

Now… what is our FAVORITE time of year to be there?  

Well, that depends on what we’re wanting to do.  Every trip is different– even if we stay at a resort we’ve already been to and eat at the same restaurants.

Our kids are getting older, so the times to travel are becoming more limited.  The kids themselves are easier to travel with for sure, but they have their own schedules now with school and sports commitments, so it makes it a little less flexible than it used to be. For that reason, June seems to work best for our family’s schedule now.  But wouldn’t be our preference if we weren’t in this season of life.

Mid to late September is really our favorite time to be there.  It’s still warm if you want to make a long trip and visit the beach.  You could definitely still visit the water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach.  The crowds are a bit less, although the last time we were there in September we decided the secret was out, because it felt more crowded than times before; of course, Disney was offering the free dining plan.  Rates are lower than the peak summer months– even for the DVC Members.

October is really great too.  It’s a bit cooler and sometimes even a light jacket is needed in the evenings.  Nevertheless, it typically still feels warm during the day, but not blazing heat.  The weather does seem to be pretty perfect in the fall.  Plus we love to catch Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, which runs late September through October.  (see Seasonal Fun Below for more info on this event). Also, October is Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival.  It’s a big hit and lots of guests like to return specifically at this time of year for that– in other words, more people means more competition for dining reservations.  Keep that in mind.


Getting Around

Magical Express

First things first.  You get off the airplane.  You take the monorail to baggage claim.  BUT if you’re staying on property— YOU DON’T GET YOUR BAGS!  Why?  Because the Disney Cast Members will gather your luggage for you and deliver them straight to….wait for it… YOUR ROOM!  Not only will they get it and transfer it to your resort, they will bring it right to your room. Oh and by the way, this service is complimentary.  However, remember that it’s nice to give your driver and bellman a little tip.

What do you do in the meantime?  You pass baggage claim and check in at the MAGICAL EXPRESS counter.  They will direct you from there.  Hop in your line as directed, get on your bus and enjoy the show (yes, there are videos played for the commute).

Now.  There are PRE-ARRIVAL, ARRIVAL and DEPARTURE reservations that must be made, so check it all out, but know that the service is available and yes, I’m gonna say it again, “it’s magical.” Even your luggage will reflect it with the magical express tags Disney mails to you.

Because you may arrive before your luggage does, be sure to have your MAGIC BANDS, a few clothes, maybe some toiletries in your bag, and depending on the time of year you are there, your swimsuit. If there is a delay in your luggage, you don’t want it to postpone your time in the parks, so as in the words of Scar, “be prepared!”  Just in case

Disney Transport

Now on to the Disney Transport Buses you’ll use getting around Walt Disney World.  The buses run approximately every 20 minutes. Keep in mind, at some places it can take up to 30 minutes travel time (I believe the longest distance is from Animal Kingdom to Magic Kingdom).  A safe rule of thumb is: allow an hour.  For example, if you have reservations for breakfast in Epcot at 9:30am, be at your bus stop at 8:30am.  It’s always better to arrive a bit early and avoid the stress.


And remember, if you are eating at one of the RESORT RESTAURANTS, you’ll need to take your Disney Transport Bus to the resort’s nearest park, and then catch transportation from there.  For example, if you are eating at Chef Mickey’s and staying at Saratoga Springs; you’ll need to catch the bus to Magic Kingdom and then take the monorail to the Contemporary (where Chef Mickey’s is)– don’t let it scare you, it’s super easy, and if you are ever in doubt, ask a Cast Member.


When staying at Boardwalk we used the boat to travel between the resort and Epcot.  And then staying at Grand Floridian we used the boat to travel back to the resort from Magic Kingdom.  It may seem like it would take longer, but the first stop for the boats from Magic Kingdom is Grand Floridian (as opposed to the last being the last stop on the monorail), so if it’s there we take it.  But even if it’s not, we all enjoy the serene feeling from this mode of transportation.  Disney has boats that cover multiple areas.  Even if you aren’t staying in one of these resorts, I bet a boat option is available.  Check the link below for a full list.


Monorail commutes between Magic Kingdom, Epcot and the Transportation and Ticket Center and services The Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resorts.  After taking the monorail you wish there was one to service all Disney World.  So efficient and wonderful way to get from here to there.

New and Upcoming

Some new modes of transportation to be anticipating is the Minnie Van Service where guests can use their smartphone to order personal transportation within WDW and the Disney Skyliner, an elevated gondola system that will travel between Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Art of Animation Resort, the upcoming Riviera Resort and Caribbean Beach Resort.  Don’t know expense, but as cute as the vans look, I’m thinking we may have to budget in at least one trip in the Minnie Vans.

Up-to-Date Details

The main take-away is that you don’t need to rent a car for your Disney Vacation. Whether it be arriving or returning to the airport, to park hopping, Disney has you covered.  Let them do the driving, by bus, boat or monorail.  Plus those Cast Members may have some fun Disney knowledge, or a song, tucked up their sleeve to share on the ride. 

For a complete list of transportation options, visit Disney’s Resort Transportation page.


Fishing Excursions

Our oldest son has many passions.  Soccer.  Basketball.  Cross Country.  And Fishing.  And since fishing is the one activity that doesn’t require running, it seemed like the perfect pairing for a relaxing Disney excursion.  

Brandon and Jaron have made this part of our Disney tradition, making some precious memories from the experience—like the first time when Jaron fell overboard.  The guide and the Dad did contain their laughter enough to pull him back in the boat.

The boys get up super early for this affair, being at the dock around dark thirty, I mean six thirty A.M.  But I believe there are other options if you don’t want to rise quite so early.  However, it seems typical that true fisherman get out there on or before the sun comes up.  As you can see, Jaron was quite pleased with his catch.

Call 407-WDW-BASS to make reservations.  While no snacks are provided, water is.  You can visit Disney’s website to view options and get more information.


Seasonal Fun

This has been one of our favorites for over a decade.  I have so many precious moments of my kids dressed up trick-or-treating through the park.  You’ll get a bag and bracelet when entering the park.  Get candy at the character meet-and-greets, ride rides with less wait time (since this is a ticketed event), watch a special Halloween Party parade (which has two times—remember the later one is less crowded), and an incredible special fireworks show.

If you’re getting a base ticket (no park hopper option), use your Halloween Party ticket for your day’s entrance to Magic Kingdom.  You can get in for this event starting at 4pm (but not a moment before– unless you’re already in the park using your park ticket).  We either make this a late start day, hang out at the resort pool during the day, or visit Disney Springs; therefore, not buying a park ticket for this day.  It’s not gonna save you a lot, but those pennies add up (especially when you’re buying for six– as we do).

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party

We’ve only visited Disney World during the Christmas season one time.  And it was extra magical.  Of course, because Christmas time brings an element of magic and wonder all on it’s own.  So Christmas IN Disney is like Ka-chow

The castle is gorgeous!  It is covered in lights and is more majestic than normal.  If you can imagine.

If you choose to purchase the ticket for the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, you can anticipate all the Disney flare one would wonder—character meet-and-greets dressed in their holiday best, shows, and of course a parade.  I seem to remember how incredible it was that Disney provided snow too!

This particular trip we were awed by all the holiday touches throughout the parks, not only in Magic Kingdom, but Animal Kingdom, Epcot and we even got to catch the Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights in Hollywood Studios before it ended.

While I am super thankful we had the opportunity to experience Christmastime in Disney, I have to tell you, contrary to it being the most wonderful time of the year, it wasn’t my most favorite time of year to visit.  If you’ve never been for Christmas I say put it on your list.  And I hope maybe when Brandon and I have more resources in the way of time and money, maybe we can go back again.  But being budgeted on both, we prefer to visit when the weather is a little more steady.  We had to pack for both seasons—summer and winter.  We were bundled up one day and in swimsuits the next.  Maybe because we were still in our family’s phase of traveling to Disney with a baby, the double-season wardrobe increased our packing significantly.

It’s still something the older kids remember and loved.  They were at such sweet ages and we were gifted to see this season in Disney through their eyes.  Plus, we were able to experience it with my mom and Aunt Donna.  It’s debatable whether or not they, or the little ones, had more fun.  I think we’ll count it a tie—and a joy to have the memories.