Sure I’m a homechool, education, recipes, and kids activities blog, but my passion is living life intentionally! A big part of that is creating priceless memories with my family….. and because we are such HUGE Disney fans [and have been there more than I care to admit] I have lots of fantastic tips to share! So if you are heading to Disneyland, a Disney Cruise, or ready to plan your next Disney World vacation – let me give you some tips so you can have more fun time on the rides and laughing with your family instead of fighting crowds, standing in line, and missing all your the best dining spots!
First of all, is a Disney vacation right for you? Disney vacations have risen in expense for quite some time and have driven some fans away. There is no doubt that politics and price are a factor if a Disney trip is on your horizon. You can certainly have a cheaper vacation camping at a National Park and visit a destination with rides for less. But if you are a grown-up who loves feeling like a kid again, want to play WITH your kids, or want to enjoy famed shows and attractions then a Disney family vacation is in your future. There are several different Disney experiences you can choose from:
Disney World – the biggest theme park in the world which is the size of the entire state of San Francisco can be found near Orlando, Florida. Disneyworld has over 50 million visitors a year and boasts 4 parks, 2 waterparks, 22 resorts, over 170 rides, character interactions, and many amazing shows, fireworks, and parades. At Disney World you can go on a safari at Animal Kingdom, then visit Pandora and ride Avatar Flight of Passage and watch the Festival of the Lion King. Journey around the world showcase at Epcot where you can go Soarin around breathtaking vistas, design your own car on Test Track, try Mission Space, visit Arendale on Frozen ride, head to the kitchen to try the Remy’s Ratatoille Adventure, or join the Guardians of the Galax on the brand new Cosmic Rewind coaster. Immerse yourself in the world Disney has created at Hollywood Studios as you venture to Star Wars Land to try the popular Rise of the Resistance, become a toy to join in Toy Story Mania or Slinky Dog Coaster, scream on the thrilling Hollywood Tower of Terror, or join in with Mickey and the Gang in Mickey’s Runaway Railway ride. Take a splash at one of the two waterparks – Typhone Lagoon or Blizzard Beach. Last, but certainly not least marvel of Cinderella’s Castle in the Magic Kingdom where you can go on Space Mountain, Tron, Splash Mountain, Pirats of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight, Big Thunder Mountain, Seven Dwarf Mine Train, catch Festival of Fantasy parade, and more! It’s BIG so you will need some tips and tricks to make the most of your time there, see below!
Disneyland is Walt Disney’s original theme park which was fist opened in 1955 in Annaheim (just south of Los Angeles) California. This more manageable experience has 2 parks – Disneyland and California Adventure Park which are walking distance from each other. Here you will find Marvel Web Slingers, Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, Space Mountain, IncrediCoaster, Soarin, Pirates of the Carribean, classic rides like Mr Toad’s Wild Ride, Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones Adventure, and the amazing Carsland featuring Radiator Racers. See our review below for what is very different between the two rides.
Disney Cruise becan sailing on July 30, 1998. Since then Disneycruise line consists of 5 beautiful ships: Magic, Wonder, Dream, Fantasy, and Magic. Each of these midsize ships feature amazing broadway style productions, disney’s revolutionary rotating dining through different themed restaurants, pirates in the caribean party with the only cruise ship the does fireworks at seas, a visit to their hugely popular private island Castaway Cays, a mind blowing kids club, and innovative game shows and scavenger hunts. See our reviews and helpful tips below!
Disney has other parks in Paris, France, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Tokyo – but if you are reading you are probably more interested in visiting the locations that at least begin in the US so that is what I am going to focus on. But if you want to travel, the Haunted Mansion ride at Hong Kong – Mystic Manor – is really unique and fun. The Shanghai Disney’s Pirate of the Carribean blends technology for a truly immersive ride like we have never experienced before. And Disneyland Paris features the only Indiana Jones roller coaster which I loved riding again and again growing up.
Disney World Planning
Let’s start with information for planning the perfect trip to Disney World. Disney World is a fun family vacation, but is also frequented by couples on their honeymoon, or school groups performing in Disney’s programs. There is so much to see and do it really could take you a long time to explore it all, and we don’t ususally have unlimited time much less unlimited resources. So I am going to help you figure out how to plan a trip to disney world including how long to stay, what hotel to stay at, what time of year to visit, and more.
How to Plan a trip to Disney World in 6 Simple Steps – let’s not over complicate it here is what you MUST do to make sure you are ready for your Disney vacation!
How Much Does Disney World Cost – wondering how much does it cost to go to disney world? We will help you figure out what hotels and tickets are in your budget – there are lots of choices and we will help you break it down
BEST time to got to Disney World – should you visit Disney in the fall, winter, spring or summer? What are the low crowd times to visit the Magic Kingdom? We have some advice that may surpirse you
Disney World Hotels
8 Reasons to Stay at Disney World Hotels – wondering if it is worth it to stay in the middle of the magic? We will help you way the advantages like extra park time, getting to pick Fastpass first, and others agains the cost of staying on site.
Disney Moderate Hotels: Which One is Best? – If you are looking to stay at a mid level Disney World Hotel with a pool with as slide and onsite restaurant we will help you pick the one with the best transportation, coolest waterslide, and most engaging decorations.
Disney World Hotels for Families of 5+ – are you a larger family? Our family of 8 has figured out the best and most economic way to stay at Disney World without breaking the bank! Come se our top hotel picks for large families.
Art of Animation Hotel Review – Do the theme suites live up to the hype, are they worth the extra money? We have lots of tips and pictures to help you decide!
Disney World Dining
Unlike a “regular” vacation, the more you plan in advance for a Disney vacation the more fun you will have! Why is that? Well if you don’t plan ahead you wont get to eat with Mickey and Minne, get a fastpass to Star Wars Galxy’s Edge, or know which park to visit on which day. So dive in to all our Disney travel planning so you can get to Orlando, Florida with a plan in hand and ready to not thing—- just have fun with your family! Here are some must read tips on disney dining.
Disney World Character Dining – one of our favorite ways to use dining credits is to eat with the disney characters. Not only is it a fun, memorable meal, but it is also a way to see characters without taking a lot of part time. You can see Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, Daisey, Goofy, Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet, Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Cinderella, Mulan, Ariel, Belle, Beast, Prince Charming, Snow White, Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty), Prince Eric, Alice, The Mad Hatter, and more!
Best Quick Service Restaurants – not all disney food is the same – some is delicious and a great value… and then there are places with few choices and apre packaged cookie for your desert choice. You will want to see what we’ve uncovered as the best meals and deserts (since you get free desert with your meal on the disney meal plan!)
Best Table Service Restaurants – Disney has some truly fantastic sit down restaurants – from eating with the fish, in outer space, with a show, in a drive in movie theatre car, watching a belly dancer, or in a garden in “germany” Here are the restaurants you dont want to miss!
Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show – delicious food with tons of flavor, flame throwing, and hoola dancers make this easy to get to dinner experience a must see
Best Snacks at the Magic Kingdom – sure there are mickey pretzels, mickey ice cream bars, churros, carmel apples, pineapple floats, and cinnmon rolls…. but there are so many other don’t miss snacks
Plus, check out our park specific information with the best disney rides, disney entertainment, where to see disney characters, free printable disney touring plans, park specific tips, tricks and more:
Disney Vacation Planning
Disney Vacation Tips
Disney Vacation Packing List – don’t forget anything with our free printable disney packing list with suggestions for items to bring that you may have forgotten!