Jamie’s Magical Disney World! Part 2

After having spent four days at Disney, I have come up with a bit of a ‘must do’ list plus some observations on staying onsite and using the Disney dining plan.

Must do:
Cinderellas Royal Table. The bill would have been $153.00 for three of us, or you can use two dining credits per person, which we did. Well worth it. There were five princesses who came to each table and spoke to each child. They signed autographs and took pictures. They made each kid feel special and Sydney was squealing in delight the whole time.

A Pirate’s League – by Pirates of the Caribbean – for about $35.00, your child can dress up as a pirate or mermaid and take place in a pirate parade. The cast members were great and the kids loved it.

A Pirate Adventure – leaves from the Port Orleans Riverside dock Thursday mornings, kids only… Read between the lines; This means mommy time! :-). Cast members take your kids on a two hour riverboat ride looking for treasure and even feed them lunch. A great deal for $35.00.

For adults, the Hollywood studios tower of terror is still my favorite ride.

For families, the Animal Kingdom safari is a must and fun for everyone. We saw tons of animals up close.

Fastpass, this is new since I was last here. I’m showing my age, but I love it. It has saved us hours of standing in line!

Tips:
Go early as soon as the parks open as it’s a lot quieter and wait times are next to nothing. By lunch it’s a zoo and a great time to start cashing in some fastpasses.

It’s quite expensive to eat out all the time at Disney. For the cost of a dining plan, you get great value. If you get the timing right, they often have free dining in the off season. We were lucky enough to have this and I bet it’s saved us $1000.00 easily this week on food.

If you have the deluxe dining plan, you should make reservations ahead of time if you want to get into the sit down restaurants.

Character dining experiences are great. Most only count as one dining credit and you don’t have to wait in line to meet the characters.

Stay for the fireworks shows. Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios are all different and all fantastic!

The wait times on rides during and just after the fireworks is next to nothing. A great time to go on rides if you have already seen the show.

If you plan on only doing Disney, stay onsite at a Disney hotel. The transportation system is awesome and it’s so easy to go back if you need something (including a nap!) The staff is awesome and everything is “Disney” and well done. No car rentals and parking fees etc.

Jamie’s Magical Disney World! Part 1

If you want to know why Disney is the most magical place on earth, you just have to look at a four year old’s face the first time she sees Cinderella’s castle. What a day!

I have been to Disney before but it’s the first time I have stayed at a Disney hotel and it’s the first time I have used the meal plan. There are twelve of us all together staying at the Port Orleans Riverside. Staff is great and check in is smooth. We are in building 18 near the restaurants and lobby. They put us in four rooms side by side, which is great and makes planning easier.

The first night when we arrived the food court at the hotel was very busy and figuring out the meal plan was a little chaotic, but we managed. We received the meal plan free as part of a Disney promo. A great deal since food is fairly pricey here. We each get two meals and a snack free daily and each meal has an entree side dessert and drink included. Portions are good and they have healthy options and sides for kids. The kids meals come with apples and grapes unless you specifically ask for fries.

The transportation to and from the parks is quick and seamless. We spent the day at the Magic Kingdom and were lucky it wasn’t too busy. We walked right on to our favourite rides all morning and by afternoon the wait times were only 10-20 minutes.

The kids were pre-booked into the Pirate League this afternoon. For $39 they got their faces painted, pirate sashes and swords, a bandana, earring and a gold coin or mermaid makeup, nail polish, necklace, hairdo¬†and clip and sash plus take home makeup and nailpolish. The Disney Playmakers were fantastic and the kids loved it. It’s located right beside Pirates of the Caribbean.

After 6 hours at the park the kids were tired so we came back for a swim in the pool. It’s a nice pool and hot tub at the Riverside. We also checked out the arcade beside the lobby but it’s geared more for older kids.

Now off to bed. Tomorrow we attempt Animal Kingdom, plus a mini makeover and dinner at Cinderella’s Royal table. I have one excited princess on my hands!