I asked my boys what their 3 favorite things were at Disneyland and somehow it mostly led to California Adventure. I admit we spend more time there than Disneyland park now that they are older (ages 6-13). We had annual passes last year and used it for 4 trips, so these are the things that really stand out in their minds.
California Screamin’, the older two have done this one (it’s required when you are tall enough) and although they were super scared it’s now a favorite for both of them.
Goofy’s Sky School- When my now 8 year old was 4, his big brothers went on this ride and he wasn’t tall enough. He was super bummed. But the cast member gave him a perpetual FastPass for the ride for when he was tall enough! This helped him feel better about being left behind. Now it’s one of his favorites and I think I need to send Disney the chiropractor bill.
Jumpin’ Jellyfish- luckily there’s a ride nearby the littler ones could do, this is a favorite of my youngest since he isn’t tall enough for Goofy’s Sky School, he and I would do this one together while waiting for dad and the brothers.
These can be found anywhere, but my kids love the big giant lollipops, cotton candy and other treats, especially the 10 year old. He’s all about the sweets.
The only one not in this park that someone listed was “Tigger tails”, but that’s a treat he gets after we do the Winnie the Pooh ride at Pooh’s Corner. It’s just tradition.
Storyteller’s Café for dinner, the 13 year old says the food there is his favorite. It’s buffet style if you choose that option, so we all know how much boys love to eat and having so many options in one meal is like heaven.
Goofy’s Kitchen was the other favorite, we usually hit breakfast there because who doesn’t love pizza and ice cream and everything else for breakfast!
We haven’t been since the 60th Anniversary started, so those weren’t listed but they are dying to see them in person (mommy went without the kids though).
Mickey and the Magical Map near Fantasyland is a great show, my 8 year old also voted for this.
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One comment that I’ve heard over the years is “we are going to wait until our kids are older to take them to Disney”. While a part of me understands this, another part of me wants to ask “why?” I don’t know if there is one right age that they will love every aspect, that it will all work out perfectly or that everything will be easy. However, some of my, personal favorite memories are of me just watching my kids have so much fun waving at characters during the parade, mispronouncing their names as they wave fiercely, seeing my husband watch our daughter be transformed into a princess at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, my youngest crying smack dab in the middle of Main Street USA, because we had had all the fun we could have or the boys go all out for the highest score on Toy Story Mania.
Life is so busy from birthday parties, sports, school, naptime, dinner and just everyday life. It seems that every second of our daily lives are planned. There is something so sweet about turning everything off, disconnecting from daily chores/schedules and just seeing the “magic” through their eyes. I remember, when Jace my oldest was four years old we were in Disney Springs shopping, he looked at me and asked, “so, someone’s job is to build Legos”? “YES!!” I said. He builds Legos, we go to exhibits, have challenges and are constantly building Legos. It has been so fun to watch him over the years create and build. We could hardly wait to see the Hulk and Pirates of the Caribbean creations!
So, when you are considering what age is appropriate to travel with your kids, not just to Disney, but anywhere consider your whole family, including yourself. Intentionally plan to enjoy your kids in a setting where you aren’t overwhelmed or can need to reschedule, spend time (quantity and quality). Make plans to share life with them for their whole life!
My family recently sailed on the Disney Fantasy on a Western Caribbean itinerary that included stops in Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. While we were in port in Cozumel we went on the Atlantis Submarine Expedition. We really loved this excursion and would definitely recommend it to everyone!!
After leaving the ship we met with the representative from Atlantis who took our group to the taxi stand area. There, we were divided up into smaller groups and loaded into cabs. A short 5 to 10 minute cab ride later and we were at the Atlantis store front. After everyone was given a chance to use the bathroom we were taken to the boat that would ultimately transport us to the sub. On the way out to the boat every family had their picture taken in front of a photo backdrop of the submarine. This photo was available for purchase at the end of the trip for $12.
The boat ride out the sub lasted about 10-15 minutes and was a nice start to the trip. On the way to the submarine the crew went over the safety equipment and procedures for the sub. It was a similar safety presentation to the one that passengers experience on airplanes. After arriving at the sub, we transferred from the boat to the sub and we were then directed into the sub and seated inside. This whole process was very organized and went smoothly and relatively quickly. Once everyone was inside the hatches were closed and, after some safety checks, we were on the way down toward the ocean floor.
During the submerged portion of the trip we reached a maximum depth of 110 feet and got to see all sorts of marine life and coral reefs. Toward the end of the trip we were even able to see a ship wreck up close. The crew was great at pointing out and naming the different marine life that we were seeing and answering questions that anyone asked.
After we surfaced we transferred back to the boat that returned us to the Atlantis pier. On the way back we were served a glass of orange juice and offered some tequila to go in the OJ, and we were given the opportunity to purchase the photo that was taken at the beginning of the trip.
This was a great excursion that I would definitely do again on my next cruise! The only complaint I had is that it felt too short. That’s not to say that the trip was too short, it just seemed to end so quickly because I was enjoying it so much. I included a few pictures of some of what we saw while underwater. If you have the chance to sail a Western Caribbean itinerary, I would definitely suggest that you check out the Atlantis Submarine Expedition!
One of my favorite free things to do at Walt Disney World is to watch the Electrical Water Pageant. My son loves all the lights traveling on the water! We make sure to do this at least once during each stay. Many times, depending on which resort we are staying at, we can watch right from our balcony. You can also see from outside Magic Kingdom or any of the deluxe monorail resorts, Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness.
The Electrical Water Pageant last about 15 minutes and occurs nightly on the Seven Seas Lagoon and Bay Lake. My son’s favorite is the big green sea monster that leads the way and mine is the stars and stripes at the end. You will hear many Disney and patriotic tunes during the performance. I have to warn you, they are catchy and may stay in your head the rest of the evening!
The schedule is as follows:
Grand Floridian 9:15pm
Wilderness Lodge 9:30pm
Fort Wilderness 9:45pm
Contemporary 10:10pm (unless Wishes is at 10, then it will start right after)
TIP: If you will be dining at Narcoossee’s (highly recommended) you can book your dining reservation around 8:45 and you can see the Electrical Water Pageant from your table if seated by the window or walk outside to see. Depending on what time Wishes is that evening, you should be able to see at the beginning or end of your dinner!
WOW! EXCLUSIVE OFFER!
Mickey's Dream Vacations is running an exclusive promotion at Disney's Art of Animation Resort in September.
Get up to an extra $225 off your reservation on top of the sale prices Disney is offering!!
Contact your Mickey's Dream Vacations Dream Maker or fill out the quote request form here.
Must arrive between September 13th and 23rd
4 night min stay
Vacation Package must include at least a 4 day park hopper and the plus or deluxe dining plan.
Mininum package price $3500 not including air
Valid on new bookings only
“No One Has More Fun Than Us!”
If you’re lucky enough to be staying at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort during your next Walt Disney World vacation, make sure to check out YeHaa Bob at the River Roost Lounge!
YeHaa Bob (aka Bob Jackson) has been preforming at Walt Disney World for 19 years now! During one of our stays at Riverside, we were able to take part in his hysterically funny, family friendly show. With a combination of hilarious audience participation, classic slap-stick humor and remarkable “boogie woogie” music talent, Bob Jackson’s show is a must see! He had us performing with him… Hands, Shoulders, Knees & Toes, kick lines, the Hokey Pokey, you name it! He performs different genres of song, from” Don’t Worry Be Happy” to “She Loves You” (The Beatles), and the audience is there with him every step of the way! He’s amazing performer and is wonderful with the audience, even remembering names and where you hail from!
You can catch YeHaa Bob’s performances every Wednesday – Saturday night at the River Roost Lounge, located at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort. There are 2 show times, 8:30pm and 10:30pm. Make sure to arrive early, as tables fill up fast! Enjoy an appetizer, along with a drink or 2 while waiting for the show to start… you may even get to mingle with YeHaa Bob, himself!
So, if you have some downtime from the parks, make sure to visit YeHaa Bob! He’ll have you up on your feet, clapping and singing along! After all, as Bob says, “You’ll Never See These People Again!”
Want to experience YeHaa Bob’s show for yourself? I’d love to help you plan your Disney next vacation! I do all the work ~ You have all the fun! My travel services are free!
In Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, there is a game called Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. I myself play the game. When you first start, you have to go to the firehouse on Main Street USA. When you arrive, Merlin uses a magic mirror and tells you that a magic crystal ball has been broken and the pieces are scattered throughout Magic Kingdom. You will talk to one of the people behind the desk and the will either scan your magic band, if you have one, or give you a key to unlock the other magic mirrors placed around Magic Kingdom. You will also be given spell cards with different Disney characters on them. There are seventy total cards. You will have a map of where the mirrors are.
After you complete one mirror, it will tell you which one to go to next. In the different parts of Magic Kingdom (Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Main Street USA) you will face villains like Cruella DeVille, Scar, and Maleficent. Disney characters will also help you along the way like Pongo, Rafiki, and the three fairies from Sleeping Beauty.
When you walk up to one of the mirrors and tap your key or magic band, the portal will open. When the portal opens, Merlin will tell you who the villain your facing is and what Disney character is going to help you. You will then have a series of mirrors to go to. At each mirror you will be required to cast a spell or use the sorcerers crest which is the symbol on the back of your cards. There will be one mirror will you fail every once in a while so don’t be upset if you lose, it just means you’re one step closer to winning.
At the end of each series you will have to use two spell cards in a row to defeat the villain. After that you will have to touch your key/band again and it will tell you where to go to defeat the next villain. After you beat the final villain, which will always be the same villain, you can go back to the firehouse or you can now go to a station by the Christmas shop in Liberty Square, Frontierland, to get new cards. You can also get more cards everyday as long as you do one portal before you visit. There are also cast members around Magic Kingdom that you can trade cards with. In the emporium you can get the same book the cast members have to hold your cards. If you are interested, can you get all the spell cards? Can you defeat the villains and save Magic Kingdom? Good luck.
To learn more about Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom or to book your next Disney vacation contact my mom!
~Justin, son of Dream Maker Lisa Liptak
The Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple is for children ages 4-12 who want to use the force!
This special show takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and is a fun experience for kids to make their Star War loving dreams come true. The new training just opened this spring and has been updated in many ways!
People (including myself and in flip flops none the less) used to have to arrive to the park at least an hour early and mad dash at gate opening (as security encouraged us to walk) to sign our young Padwans up to be in a very limited show at various times during the day. All sign ups took place first thing in the morning, and many kids didn’t make it in. Disney saw the sad faces, the need for more space, and in true Disney fashion decided to update to allow for more children.
There is now a cast member off to the left side of the gates where those with early morning dining reservations meet, holding a sign that says Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. There are 2 rows to line up in and they open the gates for parents to sign their children up even before the park opens. This helps with the mad dash that used to take place from rope drop. You will go to the Indiana Jones Outpost to sign your child/children up. You still must have the participating child/children with you at sign up and can choose from various show times throughout the day. You are given a ticket with a return time for your particular show. It is still a first come and first serve basis, but there are several more openings compared to before. After sign up, if the park isn’t yet open, you wait along sectioned off areas until opening with cast members there to block paths for fairness.
Once it is time for your child to return for their turn, you meet back in front of the Indiana Jones Outpost and there will be designated circles on the ground for each child to stand on. You will then give your ticket to the cast member who will instruct and practice with your child/children prior to the show. Arrival time is about 30 minutes before your designated show time. Your child/children will then go with a Cast Member and a parent over to the stage area and wait until it is their turn to be in the show. The shows seem to run pretty close to back to back throughout the day.
There are now two stages for the show. There is a top stage and a bottom stage on the ground below. They are each marked with the same blue circles used on the ground to show children where to stand. Children are each given a cloak and when the time is right, a lightsaber. There is also a new villain (the Seventh Sister Inquisitor) from Disney XD’s Star Wars Rebels. Even Kylo Ren makes an appearance! Our experience was that the top stage fought Darth Vader and the bottom stage fought the Seventh Sister Inquisitor. Everyone gets to use the force and have a one on one battle with his or her villain. Once the battle is won and the show is over, children return their cloaks and lightsabers, and are given a special badge of honor, a button that shows participation in the show.
I was really impressed that there is now more availability in the show and many more children are able to participate. I did notice as the morning went on, more children not at rope drop were still able to sign up, but of course there is never a guarantee when it is first come and first served. I am including some tips to help maximize your child/children’s chances of being in the show.
*Arrive to the park 30min-hour before opening and go straight to the line up for the show (look for the cast member with the sign). Early arrival will help for the best and most convenient time slots.
* Know what time your fast passes/dining reservations are for that day so you can pick a show time that doesn’t interfere! You don’t want to have to choose between Toy Story’s Midway Mania and Jedi Training later!
* Don’t lose your ticket! You will need it to have your child in the show.
* Return back on time. Your child will need to practice before the show.
* Have fun and enjoy watching your child/children’s special moment!
I would love to help you plan your next adventure!
MICKEY’S NOT-SO-SCARY HALLOWEEN PARTY 2016
September 29, 30 – $79.00 plus tax age 10+, $74.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $88/$83.00 same-day
October 2, 6 – $86.00 plus tax age 10+, $81.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $95.00/$90 same-day
October 4, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 20, 23, 25, 27 – $91.00 plus tax age 10+, $86.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $95.00/$90 same-day
September 23 – $85.00 plus tax age 10+, $80.00 plus tax age 3-9
October 7, 14, 21, 28, 30 – $95.00 plus tax age 10+, $90.00 plus tax age 3-9
October 31– $105.00 plus tax age 10+, $100.00 plus tax age 3-9
Passholder Rates available 9/2, 8, 11, 13, 16, 18, 23, 25, 29, 30; 10/2, 6 – Rates are $67-80 (depends on night) plus tax. Disney Vacation Club members also have discounts on additional nights (including all dates APs already get) 10/4, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, & 20 ranging between $62-83.
MICKEY’S VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS PARTY 2016
November 18, 27, 29, December 2, 4, 6, 8, 11, 13 – $92.00 plus tax age 10+, $87.00 plus tax age 3-9 in advance, $96/$91.00 same-day
November 7, 8, 11, 15, December 1 – $91.00 plus tax age 10+, $86.00 plus tax age 3-9
December 9, 15 – $96.00 plus tax age 10+, $91.00 plus tax age 3-9
December 16, 18, 22 – $99.00 plus tax age 10+, $94.00 plus tax age 3-9
Passholder Rates available 11/7, 8, 11, 15; 12/1, 11, & 13 – Rates are $74-$84 plus tax depending on night. DVC members also have discounts on additional nights (including all dates APs are entitled to) 11/10, 13, 18, 27, 29, & 12/6 ranging between $74-89 plus tax.
Did you know Disney has some amazing things to do that not many people know about? Here is a list of some of the "must do's"....
Magic Kingdom -
If you need a quote, have questions, or need to book your Disney vacation package please feel free to contact me.
Mickey's Dream Vacations