Aydin’s Top 5 Walt Disney World Resorts For Non Park Days

Walt Disney World Resorts for non park days

When planning a Walt Disney World vacation, it’s important to include some downtime in your itinerary. Most first-time guests don’t realize just how much walking there will be, and how taking a day off from the parks will lead to everyone having a better time overall. Or maybe you’re arriving early or departing late due to your travel arrangements and are looking for something fun to do, without using a park ticket. Did you know that you’re welcome to visit and explore different Walt Disney World resort hotels during your vacation, even if you’re not staying there? Whether you’re looking to take a break in the middle of your trip, or for some fun activities during your arrival and/or departure days, here are my Top 5 Resorts For Non-Park Days.

Stormalong Bay Walt Disney World

One of the best pools on Disney Property. Only resort guests are permitted to use the pool.

Disney’s Yacht Club & Beach Club Resorts

Spend some time relaxing by Stormalong Bay, the largest, and in my opinion, the BEST pool on Disney property. Explore the EPCOT Resort Area, including the BoardWalk and taking a ride on the Skyliner gondolas. So much to eat here! Wonderful casual dining options like the ever-popular Beaches & Cream Soda Shop, character breakfast or seafood dinner at Cape May Café, or an upscale Signature Dining experience at Yachtsman Steakhouse. After dinner, walk to the International Gateway entrance to EPCOT, where you can see the nightly fireworks show – the view isn’t as good as from inside the park, but it’s a great, ticket-free way to end your day.  

Here’s 5 reasons to stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort and why Disney’s Beach Club Resort is awesome.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Resort at Walt Disney World

This resort offers a huge amount on onsite activities throughout the day, including resort tours, scavenger hunts, poolside games, nighttime storytelling by the fire and even nocturnal animal viewing with night vision goggles. Meet and get to know the friendly cast members, many of whom are on exchange programs from Africa! One of the best resorts for dining, with tons of options, including wonderful quick-service options, casual table-service such as fan-favourite Sanaa and the buffet at Boma, or an unforgettable Signature Dining experience at Jiko.

Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts

Port Orleans French Quarter

My favourite Disney Moderate Resorts for a day off! The Riverside location has an enormous pool, tons of activities and a great arcade. The French Quarter property is quiet and relaxing, and very well themed. You’re encouraged to explore both resorts, and they’re located just a few minutes apart. The food here is excellent – I especially love the Cajun and Creole options served in the food courts, such as the Shrimp & Grits, Jambalaya, Gumbo and Beignets. And you’re just a short boat ride away from Disney Springs, which would be a great way to end your day.


Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

Polynesian Village Resort

Even if you’re not eating at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, it’s a great place for an evening stroll

One of the original Walt Disney World resort hotels, “The Poly” is one of the most immersively themed resorts to this day! It really captures the retro tiki culture vibe in the colours they use, the background music and other design elements. Grab a Dole Whip at Pineapple Lanai and head over to the lovely pool area for some rest. In the evening, don’t miss the nightly torch lighting ceremony. Have a wonderful meal at ‘Ohana (reservations highly recommended) or Kona Café, a real hidden gem. You can even attend a Hawaiian Luau in the evening. If you’re willing to wait, Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto is a real MUST-DO here – an enchanted tiki bar, where magical things happen depending on what you order. At night, watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Considered by many to be Walt Disney World’s flagship resort, this beautiful Victorian-style property is a great place to spend the day! Lots of lovely grounds to explore, including a massive main building and an amazing pool. A huge variety of dining options here, including quick-service, character dining, casual table-service and several Signature Dining locations, including Victoria & Alberts, recipient of the illustrious AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Awards. In the evening you can listen to the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra perform live. Take a ride around the monorail at night, which allows you to explore two other Disney Deluxe Resorts. Cap off your day by watching the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the beach.

Those are my 5 favourites, but there are so many different, wonderful Disney resort hotels for you to explore. Which resorts are your favourites for spending days off from the parks?  Please share your recommendations in the comments.

If you’re looking for date night ideas – you can find my recommendations here

This article was written by Aydin Turgay

What I learned travelling to Walt Disney World with 2 children under 5

Traveling with small children can be no easy feat, but the memories you make will be worth it in the end. I took my kids to Walt Disney World for their first trip when my daughter was 5 and my son was 2.5. They were, in my eyes, the perfect age to enjoy the magic but I got some valuable insight from the experience of traveling with 2 children under 5!

I have listed my top 5 tips based on the experience with my kids.

1.  Choose Your Commute Carefully!

Depending on where you’re traveling from, getting there can be a big decision. Are you going to drive or fly? It really comes down to what you think is best for your family, considering the cost and practicality of it. We chose to fly for the kids first trip so they could experience a plane and Disney’s Magical Express for the first time. If you’re flying make sure you pick good flight times, sometimes the cheapest, isn’t always the best. We had a 6am flight out of Toronto which meant having to leave our house at 2am! This was really hard on their little bodies (so much that my daughter was sick before we even left home). They ended up sleeping on the plane, which was great but if I had to do that again, that would be the one thing I’d change! If you choose to drive (which we have done since), make sure your kids are well entertained with books, movies, colouring books, etc. Maybe try doing a long day drive to test for motion sickness ahead of time.

Stuffed Animal On The Plane to Disney

All buckled up and ready to go!


2.  Bring Comforts From Home

When we were getting ready to go on our vacation, we wanted to make sure we packed comforts from home to not only help them feel safe and comfortable but also in case of any meltdowns that may happen (and they do happen). This could be a stuffed animal or toy, or even their favourite book. These small things will make a world of difference when your little one is feeling tired or overwhelmed with the busy days. My daughter had fun buckling in her stuffed sheep on the plane and one evening we came back to our room to find her barbies set up on the bed from the Mousekeeping Cast Members!

Barbies In A Pirate Bed At Disney Caribbean Beach Resort

3.  Bring Your Own Snacks

We made the decision to bring our own snacks and juice boxes from home. Yes, this added to the weight of our suitcases but it was a great idea that helped get through the days, and let’s face it, it’ll offset the weight of souvenirs coming home. We made our own trail mix and put it in Ziploc containers so that we could grab a cup a day for the kids to snack on. This is huge for parents with picky eaters! Then you know for sure they are going to eat something they like. The juice boxes we wrapped in a garbage bag for the way down, just in case a few decided to leak in our suitcases, and then the garbage bag doubled as a dirty laundry bag for the way home! We also put granola bars in containers so they didn’t get squished which helps give everyone, not just the kids, a little energy boost through the day.

4.  Bring A Stroller

If you have kids 5 and under, I strongly recommend bringing a stroller from home or renting one. We chose not to bring our double stroller so that we didn’t have to worry about it on the plane, but we made sure to put the rental in our budget when planning. We rented a double-stroller from Kingdom Strollers that could seat 100lbs on each side, came with a rain cover, shades that pulled all the way forward and the backs of the stroller laid down completely! It was a life (and back) saver! Not only was it great for giving the kids little legs a break, but it gave them a shady spot to sit and enjoy and snack. It also provided my son a great nap area because the back laid down completely. Even my daughter who was 5 used it to rest even though she wanted to go, go, go! Which brings me to my final point…

5.  Know Their Limits

If your little one is tired and needs a nap, let them! Don’t be worried about them missing out on things because everyone will feel better after they’ve napped. My son slept through the Festival of Fantasy parade in Magic Kingdom and Finding Nemo: The Musical in Animal Kingdom. They make for pretty cute pictures! You can also find shady areas to relax, like the Rapunzel rest area, or do a quiet, indoor attraction, like The Enchanted Tiki Room or Tomorrowland Transit Authority’s PeopleMover. There’s also no harm in going back to your resort for a rest and continuing with the day once everyone is freshened up! This reduces the risk of those unmagical meltdowns happening.

Matthew at Disney

Traveling with my kids when they were so young was such a rewarding and memorable experience. If I had to go back, I would take them again but even younger! I absolutely love the memories we made and the pictures we have from that trip, it’s still one of my favourite trips to Walt Disney World that I’ve ever taken!

Kids at Chef Mickey at Walt Disney World



About Ashley

About Ashley

Ashley’s love of Disney started at a very young age, watching Disney movies and sing-alongs.  Her family was fortunate enough to travel while she was growing up so she caught the travel bug quite early.

Ashley was only 10 years old on her first trip to Walt Disney World and she still loves it just as much as she did then.  In fact, she loves it so much that she honeymooned at Walt Disney World when she got married.  Now Ashley enjoys her Disney vacations with her family and when she’s not there – she’s helping other families plan their magical adventures.

Follow Ashley on Facebook Here

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa 1 Bedroom Villa

If you are looking for a luxurious stay at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, you must check out the villa accommodations at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

GCV 1 Bedroom kitchen dining

The 1-bedroom villa is a stunning 865 square feet (bigger than my first apartment!). Inside you will find accommodations to sleep up to five people: a king size bed in the master bedroom, a queen size pullout sofa & a single pull down murphy bed both in the living room. The room also comes with a pack & play for a child under age 2.

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa master bedroom 2

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa Living Room

Living Room

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa murphy bed

Murphy bed

The rooms are themed as the hotel is in a rustic craftsman style with rich wood colours & fabrics, along with unique glass lamp accents and of course a hidden Mickey or two!

Grand Californian Lamp

Grand Californian hidden Mickey

Grand Californian Details

It truly is a home away from home. The full kitchen comes complete with a fridge, stove, microwave, toaster and dishwasher. Full sets of dishes/glassware/cutlery are also included along with an assortment of pots & pans and cooking utensils. There is a dining area with a large table, or you can sit at the raised breakfast bar. The open concept includes the living room with a large window and a walkout to the balcony (some that overlook California Adventure Park).

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa kitchen

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa kitchen

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa dining area

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa kitchen area

Grand Californian theme park view

Theme Park View

There are 2 full bathrooms in this unit so everyone can get ready at their own pace! One is a 3-piece with a tile & glass shower while the 4-piece master ensuite boasts a both a tile & glass shower & sumptuous jet tub. The master bedroom is very spacious with a sliding door walkout to the balcony.

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa bathroom

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa full master bathroom

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa full master bathroom

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa full master bath

GCV master bedroom

Master Bedroom

There is plenty of storage in the unit with large closets both in the master bedroom and foyer. And feel free to pack light there is a stacked washer/dryer in the room as well.

Grand Californian 1 bedroom villa laundry

The best part about staying at this spectacular resort: guests get their own dedicated entrance into Disney California Adventure Park & the Downtown Disney District!

Carsland Sign

The magic of Disney came to Michelle later in life, having done her first trip to Walt Disney World as an adult in 2000. The next visit was with her then 4-year-old daughter and experiencing it through her eyes had her hooked!

Find Michelle on Facebook

Happily Ever After – How I Brought Disney In To My Wedding Day

Disney has always been a part of my life and truly became a part of my own fairytale when my (now) husband proposed at Cinderella’s wishing well at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. It was our second trip to Walt Disney World together and I was about to embark on the biggest physical challenge I’d ever done to collect some rundisney “bling”, but he surprised me with some extra special bling! Fast forward to wedding planning, we knew we’d get married in Calgary with all our family and friends by our side, but I wanted to incorporate a little Disney magic into our special day. It was something I love and had become a part of our history together. I am thrilled to share some photos of how we snuck in some extra magic to our special day!

wedding bouquet glass slipper

My bouquet, ‘glass slipper’ dancing shoes for later, and rose gold ears for a little extra sparkle

I spent the morning feeling like I was in that princess scene of Wreck It Ralph 2: surrounded by some amazing women in our comfy rompers, drinking coffee and mimosas and listening to Disney music while we got our hair and makeup done.

Starbucks Disney mug collection

My Starbucks Disney mug collection getting some good use


feeling like Cinderella

Feeling like Cinderella… the shoes fit perfectly. Can you spot the subtle Mickey jewelry?

We decided to do a first look and photos with our wedding party before the ceremony. We knew we’d feel better if we could see each other before the ceremony. It was really chilly that day, hovering around -2 degrees Celsius which is not our typical September temperature.

If you’ve listened to the Pixie Dust Fan podcast, you may have heard mention of the patch jacket I wore for the first time to the D23 Expo in 2019. This jacket really represents who I am as a Disney and Marvel fan so it made perfect sense to wear it to keep me warm while we took some pictures outside!

Disney and Marvel Jean Jacket

Despite the weather, we had an outdoor ceremony and it was perfect. I walked down the isle to an instrumental version of “I See the Light” from Disney’s Tangled and, in my vows, promised my husband that he could choose every other vacation destination, knowing that mine will almost always include the word Disney. The song that played during the recessional was “Happily Ever After” from the fireworks at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. We saw this fireworks together for the first time on our engagement trip!

As soon as I got this idea into my head, it seemed to be the one Disney thing I just had to have in our wedding. I wanted our seating chart to be a ‘Fastpass Distribution’ with guests collecting a paper fastpass and then heading to their table that was labelled with the name of the Disney ‘land’ associated with that attraction. I carefully chose each attraction and land so we’d have a collection of our favorite Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure attractions. The head table was the only one that differed, as we had the head table reflected as Sleeping Beauty Castle for both the table name and fastpass. I DIY’d the seating chart and the table numbers, but was fortunate to find an amazing seller on Etsy who designed the fastpass name cards for our guests. It turned out so perfect and looked great at our venue. I was so proud of it!

Wedding Fastpass Seating Chart

Fastpass Distribution seating chart

Sleeping Beauty Wedding Table Name

The table names were themed too!

Adventureland Wedding Table

Guests found their specific seat with their name on a little castle with a can of La Croix because we love sparking water. Another DIY addition to our wedding!

Disney Wedding Tables

As a surprise to my husband, I got an artist to create an image of us, and our dog Theo, as animated characters. We used this image as our welcome sign and on our wedding favors (a deck of cards!)

Notice the Ears??

So many people told me how fast the day would go, and I didn’t realize how true that was. It was an incredible day full of big and small moments – from sharing our vows and love in front of our friends and family, to singing and dancing to “How Far I’ll Go” on the dance floor with my bridesmaids and taking an extra couple twirls in my dress throughout the day.



Thank you for letting my share my happily ever after with you! I hope it inspires you to incorporate a little more Disney into your special events or even your daily life!


Would you put this much Disney in your wedding day?  Have you?

Leave a comment – I would love to hear about it!

Jamie is a Disney fan who has a real soft spot for Disneyland in California.  When she’s not running Disney, making a fantastic patchwork jacket or visiting Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Jamie is at home in Alberta, Canada.

Find Jamie on Facebook and Instagram

Magical Honeymoon Memories

Disney Honeymoon Memories Kate

Wedding season is upon us, which means that honeymoon season is upon us as well.

According to tripsavvy.com, couples spend an average of $4,466 (USD) on their honeymoon, with eight days being the average length of trip.

And while many people think of far-off destinations when they picture the perfect honeymoon, the majority of North American couples have stayed in North America for their honeymoons over the last five years. In fact, Florida is the second most popular US honeymoon destination in the United States (after Hawaii). 

Disney without the kids?

Even though Walt Disney World is known for creating magical moments with families and children, it can be the most magical place on earth for couples, too. 

Gorgeously themed resorts, world class shopping, and signature dining experiences. What’s not to love?

We caught up with one Pixie Dust Fan, Kate Seftel, who honeymooned at Walt Disney World in 2007. Kate, an elementary school teacher, and her husband Chris, a personal trainer and wellness coordinator, reside an hour west of Toronto.

PMV Natalie:  Why did you choose Walt Disney World for your honeymoon?

Kate: Chris and I decided on Walt Disney World because we are both active people who enjoy a “Go Go Go” vacation so that we can see and do everything! We also love rides!

PMV Natalie:  Give us the details! What resort did you stay at?

Kate: For our honeymoon, we decided to do a six day/7 night vacation and we stayed at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. We did all four parks over the six days, and doubled up on Epcot and Magic Kingdom.

We also spent time at Downtown Disney and the West Side (now Disney Springs). We even spent a morning at Typhoon Lagoon.

Disney Honeymoon Memories

PMV Natalie:  What are some of the “magical” moments you remember?

Kate: One of the things that made our honeymoon super special was that we wore “Just Married” buttons (provided by Walt Disney World Resorts) wherever we went. Every cast member that saw us wished us “Congratulations” and some chatted with us about our special day while we waited in line. It made every day extra special! Some restaurants wrote “Congratulations” on our dessert plates, too!

PMV Natalie:  Was going to Walt Disney World for your honeymoon something you had to talk Chris into, or was Chris equally on board?

Kate: This was definitely an easy choice for both of us. We had both been to Walt Disney World as kids in the ‘90s and we both really wanted to go back!. 

PMV Natalie:  Would you recommend a Walt Disney World vacation for couples? Not just for a honeymoon, but for any couple looking to get away?

Kate: For people that know us, we are a Walt Disney-obsessed couple. Our first trip was our honeymoon in 2007 and we returned in 2008, 2010 and 2012. We stayed off site once, and then at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter twice.

Disney is a place that is magical for so many reasons and you can make the trip whatever you want to be! If you want some days off by the pool, you can do that. If you want first class shopping, Disney Springs provides that. You don’t need to rent a car….or you can, and go to surrounding attractions like Universal Studios.

It really is a flexible as you want it to be.

Disney Memories After The Honeymoon

PMV Natalie:  Have you been back since 2012?

Kate: As I said before, we traveled to Walt Disney World four times as a couple. We had our fifth trip together in July 2016, but not just as a couple – that time we brought our 3.5-year-old son for his first trip. We had an amazing time as a family, staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and seeing it all again through his eyes!

We have taken our son a few times now, and have another family trip coming up this summer!


Natalie Thomas

Natalie Thomas

Natalie’s favourite park at Walt Disney World is Magic Kingdom. She finds nothing more magical than walking up Main Street USA and taking in the sights, sounds and smells. Natalie has a deep appreciation for how organized and efficient the Disney experience is each time she is there, and how nice and accommodating Cast Members can be!
A “grown ups only” Disney trip with her husband is currently just a dream, as her trips currently revolve around her two young daughters. Natalie’s oldest daughter is now transitioning from princesses to thrill rides – so every trip to Walt Disney World is a brand new experience.

Disney Themed Movie Nights At Home

Alice In Wonderland themed night at home in Nova ScotiaHow do you keep some Disney fun in your days when you’re at home?  When you’re not in the parks, it can take some pretty creative ideas to feel the Disney magic and some Pixie Dust in your house.  One of our Pixie Dust Fans in our Facebook group was sharing how she brings some Disney fun home to Nova Scotia and I thought this was so awesome, I asked her to share it with all of you!  Here’s how Erin brings a little Disney to Nove Scotia.  

Pixie Dust Fan Amazon Store

Click Here To Shop From My Favourite Disney Stuff From Amazon!

Ever since our family first visited Walt Disney World back in 2016, we have been captivated by Disney magic. We have gone back twice since then and are currently planning our fourth family vacation there in as many years. It is safe to say we are hooked on pixie dust! While we found that planning our Disney vacations was a favorite pastime, so was our desire to keep that Disney magic alive.  So, we created a way to do just that.

Coco themed family night with churros and salsa

Coco themed night with churros and salsa

We started to have “Disney Dinner & Movie” nights. We picked a Disney movie that we wanted to watch and then chose recipes to match the theme. For our Beauty & the Beast night, we chose French onion soup (a la Be Our Guest), as well as steak au jus and pomme frites (we may have added cheese curds and gravy – a nod to our Canadian roots!) We used simple décor to add a little extra, like a vase turned upside down with a rose in it.

Dumbo themed family night

Dumbo themed family night

Snow White Family Night

Snow White Night

Our Dumbo night was complete with a circus tent and included circus foods like popcorn, peanuts, and corn dogs. For Coco, we made homemade churros and salsa. When it was time for Peter Pan, we all wore our pjs and had brunch that included that delicious hash brown casserole from Akershus! Our Lady & the Tramp night was (obviously) spaghetti and meatballs! Most recently, we had an Alice in Wonderland tea party inspired by the Grand Floridian’s tea menu. We have had so much fun researching Disney inspired recipes, creating simple décor, and sometimes even dressing the part!

Lady and the Tramp Family Night

Lady and the Tramp Family Night

Next up for us? We are aiming to recreate some of the spring rolls from the Adventureland Spring Roll Cart (buffalo chicken and cheeseburger spring rolls? Yes please!), as well as a Polynesian night for Moana. We have yet to attempt Dole Whip…but it is going to happen!

Rapunzel Themed Family Night

Rapunzel Themed Night

Rapunzel hair coming from the tower

Even had her hair coming down from the tower!

This is a fun way for us to cook up some Disney magic to go along with our family movie nights, and one of our favorite ways to sprinkle some pixie dust into our daily lives!

Erin Mosher

Erin Mosher

Erin lives in Eastern Passage, NS with her husband Andrew and 8 year old son, Caleb.  She works as a teacher in her community, but dreams of someday being Winnie the Pooh at Walt Disney World 😉
When she’s not planning her next family vacation to Walt Disney World, she enjoys spending time with her extended family.  Erin also enjoys volunteering with Dreams Take Flight, an organization that takes deserving children to Walt Disney World.

Travelling With A Family With More Than 4 People

Comfort Suites Bridgeport - Clarksburg

Comfort Suites Bridgeport – Clarksburg. Photo c/o the Comfort Inn

As someone who spends her days planning vacations for people, I have found that many places are designed for families up to 4 people. Hotels are generally 2 beds, Cruise state rooms fit up to 4 people, you get the idea! Given that my family is 5 (my husband, our 3 boys and myself), I thought I would take some time to consider how a family of 5 or 6 or possibly more could travel together in the most efficient way.

Back when we would drive south with my parents, I can remember 2 out of the 4 of us were delegated to a sleeping bag on an air mattress or a line of pillows in the 2 bed hotel rooms.  Hey, we were kids on an adventure, we didn’t care!  Now a days I have to research our destinations and the plans to get to our destination more thoroughly to see how we can be accommodated.  While I have lots of different trips to share, I thought I would focus on a recent trip that we did. We chose to drive from the Niagara Region in Ontario Canada to Orlando.  We would be staying over at 2 hotels on the way, a night at a Disney Resort and then on to a cruise with Royal Caribbean.

We chose to get a head start in our driving and left on a Friday night and made 2 overnight stops so that when we arrived at our Disney Resort, we could spend some time there. The first evening we spent at the Comfort Suites Bridgeport – Clarksburg.  It’s a place we had stayed before when driving to South Carolina, and thought it was a perfect place to check out again. What we like as a family is that it is quick off the highway, has an indoor pool (hard to find once you cross a certain point) and decent hot breakfast. The room we booked offered 2 Queen beds and a pull-out couch bed. Guess which bed the boys fought for!  This room allowed us all to have our own space and beds to lay our heads on. This hotel was clean and located in a quiet area.  We will absolutely stay here again if ever our travels lead us to that area.

SpringHIll Suites Jacksonville Airport

SpringHIll Suites Jacksonville Airport

Our second night stay was at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Jacksonville Airport. Spring Hill Suites falls under the Marriot brand, and I’m quickly noticing how well this brand could work for a larger family’s needs. This room also had 2 Queen beds, and a couch/bed, that also offered a trundle under it. 6 people could sleep in that room fairly comfortably. The breakfast was great, lots of fresh fruit, and the staff there even packed us up a little to go bag of water, apples and a few other snacks! What a nice touch!

Disney's Contemporary Resort Garden Wing

Contemporary Resort Garden Wing Room

The next day we had a quick 3-hour drive to the Walt Disney World Resort.  This time around we chose to splurge at a deluxe property, and Disney’s ContemporaryResort was the way to go!  We wanted to be close to Magic Kingdom that evening as we were attending Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. We reserved a Garden Wing – Standard View room that was in a separate wing behind the main building.  Let me tell you…BEAUTIFUL views!  We watched the boats run behind us yet it was a quick easy walk to the pool.  The room itself was very spacious and we were thankful to be not tripping over each other!  Like most of the deluxe resorts, it offered luxurious, soft Queen-sized beds (so nice to fall into after a busy night), and also had a great day bed/couch perfect for our tall pre-teen.  The bathroom area was also very large, with double sinks (yeah for lots of people brushing teeth at once) and even a separate water closet (toilet). Lots of closet storage that we didn’t have to use on our one-night stay, and a lovely little coffee center built in as well. We felt spoiled and would stay here again in heartbeat!

Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the seas stateroom

Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the seas stateroom

Lastly, we arrived in Port Canaveral to take a short 4-night cruise with Royal Caribbean on the Enchantment of the Seas. Originally, we had booked on the Majesty of the Seas and we registered one of our children in a friend’s stateroom so we could choose rooms of 4 next to each other. When our ship was re positioned we were assigned to the Enchantment, and when I called into choose our stateroom, a category 1B Spacious Ocean View Balcony, we found out that it could fit 5!  We had one larger King bed (the twins pushed together), a Sofa bed for 2 and then Pullman for the last kiddo. Was it as spacious as our hotel rooms? Not quite.  Since we only slept there (and the oldest boy crept into the Pullman at night on his own after Teen Club Curfew hit) we didn’t mind a bit and I would say having a balcony gave us some extra sitting space too. Royal Caribbean often offers a Kids Sail Free promotion, being able to all be in a room together saved us quite a bit (almost ½ off the original price).

Pixie Dust Fan Amazon Store

Shop my wish list of products!

I hope this write up gives hope for you larger families to be able to travel together without always having to go a double room route! 


Carolyn de Blieck

Carolyn de Blieck

Carolyn was born and raised in the Niagara area in Ontario and worked in many hospitality venues over the years.  She is a former Disney Cast Member and lifelong Disney fan.  Her life revolves around her family, her husband Maurice and their 3 sons Ethan, Aaron and Gavin.  

Pizzafari Family Style Dining Review

Disney Animal Kingdom Pizzafari

I always want to try something new to introduce to my clients. This last trip I tried Pizzafari Family Style Dining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and I was pleasantly surprised.

Table at Pizzafari

Dining Table

 This location is a quick service dining location but when you arrive you head over to the podium at the far check out. You will check-in in here. After you are checked-in you go to the register to pay for your meal which requires 1 quick service dining credit for each guest or if you are not on the dining plan the cost is $19.99 per adult, $11.99 per child – plus tax (gratuity not included or required). This price was as of April 2019.

Pizzafari Pepperoni Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza

They will take your drink order and ask you how you would like your pizza. You have a choice of full pepperoni or just cheese and you also have the option of half pepperoni and half cheese. Your beverages include fountain beverages, coffee, hot tea, hot cocoa, bottled water or mandarin orange lemonade. Alcoholic beverages are also included: Bud Light, Safari Amber, Wine (Chardonnay or Merlot) or Mandarin Orange Lemonade with Vodka.

You are then given your drinks and your salads and a cast member will bring you to your seat. 

You are seated in a separate section of the restaurant which is nice. You don’t have to go searching for a table. Your table has your plate and “real” utensils and cloth napkins. You will need to pick up your salt, pepper and any extras you like at the condiment bar before you sit down. The amount of food you are given depends on your party size. This meal it was just my mother and I. You will receive Capresse Salad and Caesar Salad.

Pizzafari Pizza and Cannolis

There is Baked Ziti, Fettuccini alfredo with Chicken and Pizza, for dessert there is miniature cannolis.

The food will come out quick, not a long wait to eat. We didn’t have our salads finished and our food was there. They bring your meal to you on a little cart. There is Baked Ziti, Fettuccini alfredo with Chicken and Pizza, for dessert there is miniature cannolis.

Pizzafari Fettuccini


So, if you are hungrier than a hippo this is the place to be!! This family style dinner is served from 5:00pm – 7:00pm.  You can make advance dining reservations and they also accommodate walk-ins. I can tell you I will be back!!!

What other locations would you recommend for dining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?  Let us know!

This was written by Anna Scott, you can find her on Facebook

Top 5 Date Night Activities at Walt Disney World

Donald and Daisy Date Night

Did you know that Walt Disney World is the world’s #1 honeymoon destination? I had my honeymoon at Walt Disney World in 2010, and we had so much fun, we’ve returned every year since! And because we don’t have kids, I’ve become a bit of an expert in planning adults-only trips.

One of my favourite things to do is to help my clients plan special Date Nights together, whether they’re going on a romantic adults-only vacation, or leaving the kids with the grandparents or onsite babysitting services for the night. There are an almost-endless number of options for your special evening out with your sweetheart, but these are my five favourite Date Night activities.

 1  An Evening On The BoardWalk

Disney’s BoardWalk is one of my favourite places to spend an evening with my sweetheart! Just like with Disney Springs, you don’t need a park ticket to visit the BoardWalk. There are tons of great bars and lounges, romantic ambiance, live entertainment, carnival-style games, and a huge area to explore together.

Disney’s Boardwalk is one of my favourite places at night!

Before your meal, stop for a pre-dinner cocktail at Abracadabar, a magic-themed cocktail bar, full of fun little details.

Boardwalk Abracadabar Inside

The AbracadaBAR is a fun place to stop in for a drink!

My favourite dining location is Flying Fish. We have been here several times, and we’ve always had incredible meals! The menu is modern, inventive and exciting, with an emphasis on seafood, although they have lots of non-seafood options as well. The appetizers here are especially delicious, and if you’d like to share them, the kitchen is great at splitting them up between two plates! Dessert here is also great, but consider going a few doors down to Ample Hills Creamery instead, for some incredible, homemade ice cream. Split the Ice Cream Flight, where you get to choose 6 flavours to taste – I highly recommend the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.

Disney's Yacht Club Resort

The Yacht Club Resort is a short walk from the Boardwalk

Alternate dining recommendation: Yachtsman Steakhouse at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, just a few steps from the BoardWalk.

 2  The Monorail Tour

This is one of my favourite Date Night activities! Head over to the Magic Kingdom and hop on the monorail – you can visit all three of the incredible Disney Deluxe Resorts on the monorail loop. Get off at each resort and do some exploring.

A must-do is visiting Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto. There will likely be a bit of a wait to get a seat inside, but it’s worth it! Take a pager and they’ll call you when your table is ready. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say that when you order certain drinks, magical stuff happens in the bar.

California Grill

The view from California Grill can’t be beat!

For dinner, the ultimate Date Night dining experience is going to California Grill. The food, service and atmosphere are among the very best that Disney has to offer. The restaurant is located at the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and offers incredible views of the fireworks at Magic Kingdom, both from your seat, as well as from their own private viewing platforms. Try to book your reservation so you’re there during the fireworks, but if you can’t, hold on to your receipt, and you’re welcome return, to watch them from the viewing platforms! Another option is to watch the fireworks from a number of locations throughout the monorail resorts, such as on the beach in front of the Polynesian Village and the Grand Floridian Resorts, or the bridge linking the Contemporary Resort’s main tower to Bay Lake Tower.

Alternate dining recommendation: ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

Polynesian Village Resort

Even if you’re not eating at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, it’s a great place for an evening stroll

3  Epcot After Dark

Without question, Epcot is the best park for table-service dining in general, but even more so when you’re planning Date Night! Arrive in the evening and spend plenty of time wandering through the World Showcase pavilions. I especially love Morocco, the UK, China and France at night.

Pixie Dust Fan Amazon Store

Shop my wish list of products!

Head over to Mexico’s La Cava del Tequila, for an authentic cocktail made with imported, top-shelf tequila. This is a very small, intimate spot, and it may be difficult to get a seat. If you don’t want to wait, you can get your drink “to go” from the bar!

Canada Pavillion

Canada is home to Le Cellier, it’s delicious!

For dinner, there are SO many options to choose from but for Date Night, my personal favourite is Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion. The dining room is quiet, with romantic lighting, and the food is delicious! Unlike at many other steakhouses, your steak comes with a side dish, which you are allowed to swap with any other side dish on the menu. There are excellent non-steak options on the menu as well. Try to book your table at around 7pm, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy your meal and find a spot for the fireworks, which usually begin at 9.

After the park closes, if you’re not ready to head back yet, exit through the International Gateway entrance, and you’re just a 5-minute walk from the BoardWalk, where you can have more fun before returning to your hotel.

Alternate dining recommendation: Monsieur Paul in France or San Angel Inn in Mexico.

4  Exploring Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge is a bit off the beaten path, but there is SO much to do once you get there! There are two resorts to explore – Jambo House and Kidani Village, and they each have their own animal savannah. For this itinerary, I would consider getting there a bit earlier. Look up the sunset time during your travel dates, and aim to arrive at least an hour before then.

Animal Kingdom Lodge

You could spend hours exploring this resort and all it’s details

Begin by walking around the resort, spotting the animals, appreciating the incredible architecture, viewing the authentic African art, and finding all of the hidden nooks and crannies. Have a drink at Victoria Falls Lounge.

Then, have dinner at Jiko – The Cooking Place. This is one of my favourite Disney Signature Dining locations! The menu is adventurous – you can find wild game meats, fresh-baked flatbreads, and authentic African offerings, as well as many non-intimidating dishes. The dining room is beautiful, and your server will do a great job of explaining any menu items that are unfamiliar to you. They have one of the largest South African wine lists outside of Africa!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Relax

Some very comfortable spots to relax and enjoy the resort atmosphere

After dinner, step outside and sit by the gigantic fire pit, or borrow a pair of night vision goggles to see the animals at night.

Alternate dining recommendation: Sanaa in the Kidani Village wing of Animal Kingdom Lodge.

5  Under The Stars At Disney Springs

In the past few years, Disney Springs has become a must-do location for many guests. When it comes to Date Night, there is no lack of wonderful options! Begin by taking some time to walk around the stores – spend time in The Art of Disney, the Christmas shop, the Marketplace Co-Op, and other adult-friendly shopping locations. Stop for a drink at Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar, the Indiana Jones-themed lounge – taste the incredibly inventive offerings, and appreciate the little details that surround you. You can also have a great drink at the top of the Coca-Cola Store, or sit and have a drink or a snack at the bars of Paddlefish or The Boathouse, two of my favourite restaurants.

Paddlefish and Boathouse

Both Paddlefish and Boathouse are exceptional choices at Disney Springs

For dinner, you have so many restaurants to choose from, but my favourite is Frontera Cocina. This restaurant is from celebrity chef Rick Bayless, whom many consider to be the Julia Child of Mexican food – he travels throughout Mexico, to learn the most authentic, regional dishes, and introduces them to Americans. This is not your typical Mexican restaurant! There are often special, limited-time menus, showcasing specific Mexican regions like Oaxaca or Mexico City.

After dinner, go for a walk around the newer section of Disney Springs, populated with mostly non-Disney stores. For dessert, stop into Amorette’s Patisserie for a fancy cake for two, or go to Ghirardelli Soda Fountain for one of the best ice cream sundaes you’ve ever had!


If you have a sweet tooth, Amorette’s has exactly what you’re looking for!

Disney Springs’s shops and eateries are open later than most other places on Disney property, so if you’re a night owl, this is the Date Night location for you.

Alternate dining recommendation: Homecomin’ from chef Art Smith

Want a few more recommendations?

I asked a few friends for their favourite Date Night restaurants, and here are the top picks:

  1. California Grill
  2. Sanaa
  3. Le Cellier
  4. Yachtsman Steakhouse
  5. The Boathouse
  6. Morimoto Asia
  7. Flying Fish
  8. Jiko
  9. Beaches and Cream
  10. Citricos
  11. ‘Ohana

Disney Springs From Saratoga Springs

The view of Disney Springs from Saratoga Springs Resort

Date Night Tips

  • Book early. If you want to catch the sunset or dine during a popular time, you’ll want to book your table as early as possible.
  • If you’re celebrating something like an anniversary, engagement or birthday, let the restaurant know in advance. Phone Disney’s main dining number (407-WDW-DINE), and have them note your celebration on your reservation.
  • Consider making your Date Night even MORE special with Disney Floral & Gifts, who can deliver a beautiful bouquet or cake to the restaurant, or even better, have a special surprise waiting for your sweetie when you return to your hotel room at night!
  • Choose your clothing wisely. Many of the fancier dining location have dress codes, but if you visit during the hotter months, it can be difficult to choose what to wear. For ladies, it’s easy to pack a comfortable, flowy skirt or dress, or Capri pants. For gentlemen, consider bringing a dressier pair of shorts (such as golf shorts – skip the cargo shorts) and a short-sleeve button-down or polo shirt.
  • Don’t waste too much time on transportation. To get from your own resort to another Disney resort hotel, it can take a long time on Disney transportation. Consider using Uber, Lyft or a Minnie Van instead. These options are quite inexpensive, and when you factor in the value of your time, it’s a very reasonable option.
  • Be careful with the drinks! The bartenders make delicious cocktails, and when you’re in a very hot climate, you’re sometimes a bit dehydrated to begin with. Drink lots of water before, during and after your Date Night.

What Do You Think?

Do any of these Date Night ideas appeal to you? Do you have any favourite Date Night activities that you would like to share?  Leave us a comment below!

This article was written by Aydin Turgay – find him on Facebook here

Experiencing The Magic, Not The Meltdown: Visiting Walt Disney World With A Child On The Autism Spectrum

Disney DAS Mum and Son
Anyone with a child or family member on the Autism Spectrum knows that routine and controlling outside stimulation is important.  Stepping out of what is familiar can be scary and lead to meltdowns which can be uncomfortable for everyone involved.  That’s why a family vacation can be both exciting and stressful.  I hoped that visiting the parks would be a great experience for us and I used all the resources I had to plan our days to fit closely to our regular routine. 

I arranged everything important for the early morning so that after lunch, we could decompress and just go back to the resort for some pool time.  I knew we were missing out on some attractions and precious park time, but I also knew my son had a limit for waiting in lines and having to behave amongst all of the different sights and sounds that can become too overwhelming. 

Disney DAS Pool Time

Pool time was always important for us to decompress

This worked well for us, but as he got older and became more of a thrill seeker, those wait times increased and I needed another plan.  I learned about DAS (Disability Access Service).  It is a game changer for us.

Here are 5 tips you should know before visiting

1 Setting Up DAS

To set up DAS is actually quite a simple process.  Disney tries accommodate guests who could find long waits uncomfortable and difficult to handle.  I was nervous to ask for it.  Looking at my son you cannot tell there is anything different about him.

He loves to have fun!

What if they wanted proof?  As soon as I explained our situation, the cast member nodded and turned to my son.   She explained to him that he was the leader.  His band was a magic key that would get his family onto attractions through a VIP line.  This was all he needed to hear to perk right up!

2 How DAS Works

Once DAS is loaded to your family member’s Magic Band, you are eligible to use the system.  You simply visit the attraction that you would like to see and explain you will need a DAS return time.  They will program it to your family member’s band and let you know when to come back.  It’s that easy.  Sort of like an instant FastPass.  Return times vary depending on the actual wait times, so head for those with longer wait first if you didn’t get a regular FastPass (yes, you still get to prebook your original 3). 

Disney DAS Tower Of Terror

The Tower Of Terror is one of his faves!

You can only have one DAS return programmed at a time.  When it’s time, you simply walk in through the FastPass entrance.  I love that at no point do we feel centered out or the need to explain our situation again.  (We had a terrible experience with a local amusement park’s version of this).  The important thing to note is your VIP has to be riding and they have to scan their band first to activate the DAS pass for the rest of your family members.  

3 Take Breaks In The Park

If there’s a longer wait between return times with DAS, use that opportunity to grab a snack somewhere nearby or find a play area and let the kiddos cut loose.  We love the play areas inside the Flying Dumbos tent and near Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom,  the Boneyard in Animal Kingdom. 

I never really understood them before I had kids.  Who needs to play on a little slide and some climbers when they are in Walt Disney World?  NOW I GET IT!  In Epcot, a lot of the attractions in Future World have hands on games and play structures that are a great to pass some time.  Most of them are after you exit the attraction, but you can simply walk in through the exit and head right for them.  They are also great  places to cool off in the air conditioning if it’s a hotter day.  The aquariums in the Seas with Nemo and Friends are also great, open spaces.

4 Plan For Triggers And Things To Avoid

Planning for possible triggers and knowing some things to avoid also helps us have better experience in the parks.  Disney provides resources that goes through many of the attractions and indicates some of the more sensory aspects that might be experienced (darkness, loud noises, restraints, surprise, etc.  Some of these might have an easy fix like wearing ear defenders to lessen the noises, but for those who cannot handle ride restraints or extended periods of darkness, it’s great to be aware of what you might encounter.  We also check out YouTube videos to get a better idea of what to expect if we are concerned about an attraction.  Being able to talk about what might happen in advance helps with some of the anxiety of experiencing something new. 

5 Know The Limits

Even with the FastPasses and DAS to help keep wait times down, our son can still hit a wall.  As much as we’d love to stay a little longer and do one more attraction or show – we know that sometimes it’s time to head back to the resort.  We try to stay Deluxe as often as possible since we do spend a large amount of time at the resort.  Many of the Deluxe resorts have some great, low key activities for kids so even our down time still has some Disney flare.  And the POOLS!  They have some great feature pools with slides and activities planned throughout the afternoon.

Hopefully if you are considering visiting the Walt Disney World Resort and you will be travelling with someone on the Autism Spectrum, this helps you prepare so that you can spend more time experiencing the magic and not the meltdown!   

Listen to Jenn discuss it all on the Pixie Dust Fan Podcast

Three Must-Try Treats at the Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

Roaring Fork CupcakeMy family and I spent Christmas of 2017 at Walt Disney World Resort, staying at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. We had such an amazing time together on that vacation, we’d do it again in a heartbeat. We rode attractions together, wandered around the properties admiring all of the festive decorations and swam in the resort pool. My husband and I even got to have a couple of Disney date nights while our son enjoyed time at one of the kids’ clubs.

In addition to all of this family fun, one of the great pleasures of our visit to Walt Disney World Resort was indulging in the many snacks and treats. While it was never a problem finding something delicious to eat, deciding where to take our meal breaks was sometimes a challenge!

On our last evening at Walt Disney World Resort, we decided to hop on a water taxi from Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park over to Disney’s Wilderness Lodge to check out the grounds and have our quick service meal there.

The counter service restaurant at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is called The Roaring Fork, and there we found more than just dinner. We found a whole bunch of amazing snacks and treats to try! With extra snack credits left to burn, we each chose a few special treats to try.

Here are just a few of our favourite goodies from Roaring Fork at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort. The Roaring Fork menu calls these “assorted pastries” or “house-made desserts.”

Roaring Fork_Maple_Bacon

My husband Graham picked his maple bacon donut. Yes, this donut has actual crispy bacon “sprinkles” on top of a glazed maple-flavoured donut! When my husband saw this, he said “I’ve got to try it!” We all shared.

Roaring Fork_Classic Donut

Our son Nate chose this classic donut with icing and Mickey sprinkles. Yummy!

Roaring Fork_Campfire_Cupcake

My pick was this super cute chocolate campfire cupcake. With its flames made of icing and a mini-marshmallow to roast, I couldn’t resist! Yes, we ate the whole thing!

What is your favourite place to try new Disney snacks and desserts?


Amy Urquhart

Amy Urquhart

Amy is a former Disney Cruise Line Cast Member who lives and works from home in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada with her handsome hubby Graham and her son Nate. The three of them love to travel to Walt Disney World together every chance they get!  Find Amy on Facebook here

Pixar Fest Classic Afternoon Tea Celebration at the Disneyland Hotel

I was travelling to Disneyland with my mom and aunt, and since I was away for Mother’s day I thought I’d schedule a belated mother’s day date with afternoon tea at Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel.  After I made the reservation, it was announced that the afternoon tea was going to be re-themed to a Pixar Fest tea for the duration of the summer.

When we arrived for our 12:25 pm reservation, only a few tables were seated so we were able to take a good look around the restaurant.

They have pictures of Walt Disney as you walk down the hallway to the restaurant and the booths around the restaurant all have large photos hanging above them of classic movie and music stars.

Disneyland Hotel Afternoon Tea Classic Pics

They had a subtle nod to Pixar Fest on each table to not take away from the beautiful décor.  Our table had a tiny Cars arrangement with succulents. Other tables had Finding Nemo, Up! and Toy Story centerpieces with flowers.

Disneyland Hotel Afternoon Tea Cars Table Setting

There are two types of tea:  The Classic Tea Party ($52 per adult) and the Premium Tea Party ($65 per adult).  We opted for the Premium Tea Party, which in addition to the classic tea fare include sparkling wine, a salad and an irresistible Remy straw to take home!

Disneyland Hotel Afternoon Tea Remy Straw

We didn’t expect such a large list of tea so that took a bit of deciding, but that was the only choice we had to make. I chose the Organic Lychee Green, my aunt picked Tangerine tea, and my mom decided to keep it traditional with an English Breakfast tea. We were each brought a teapot that held quite a bit of tea – about three cups.  We are not big alcoholic beverage drinkers so we sipped our sparkling wine leaving quite a bit left at the end of our tea.  It think we all felt the sparkling wine was quite tasty and we really enjoyed our tea choices too.

Disneyland Hotel Afternoon Tea Salad

After our drinks were delivered our salads arrived. It was a large portion and thought the edible glitter on the berries was a fun touch.

The tea fare is served on a three tiered stand with the scones on the top level, then the savoury  canapes on tier two, followed by the sweet treats at the bottom.

Disneyland Hotel Afternoon Tea Tiers

We really liked the scones, mostly because of the Devonshire cream, raspberry jam and lemon curd  that accompanied them. I had never eaten Devonshire cream before. Wow! The colourful scone was to represent the abstract thoughts from Inside Out. It had chocolate chips so we wondered why they chose such a sweet scone since there were so many desserts to enjoy. But it didn’t stop us from smothering the scones in jam and creams!

Disneyland Hotel Afternoon Tea Scones

I think the three of us all enjoyed the savoury plate the most, with the winner being the Sweet Ginger Avocado Toast. The canapes were also themed to Pixar characters. The avocado toast was to represent the Little Green Men, the roasted vegetables was a ratatouille, the bright blue deviled egg was Dory, but the server noted most felt it looked like the Pixar ball, and the carrot cream cheese was Merida (with the crispy carrot strings as her hair). All were great flavours and combinations. This received two thumbs up from around our table.

Disneyland Hotel Afternoon Tea canapes

For the dessert plate our two favourites were the cheese cake and the dipped strawberry. The cheesecake was made to look like a quarter of a ring of cheese and if you look closely at the strawberry there was an image of Mr. Fredrickson’s house and all the little sprinkles were to be the balloons. The Up! inspired éclair had a jelly filling as did the Sully cupcake. We left a few of the desserts untouched.  They were good, but not a great as the savory plate (well except the cheese cake — it was great)

Disneyland Hotel Afternoon Tea Sweets

This was my first time going for tea so I do not really have any prior experience for comparison. I was glad that I had planned this special reservation to enjoy with my aunt and mom. I think it is great for a special occasion and now that I have been to tea, I may be interested to see how other Afternoon Tea’s fare!

The Pixar Fest tea takes place Fridays thru Sundays until September 2, 2018. Tea reservations can be booked between 12 noon and 3:00 p.m.

This review was written by Carrie Leblanc

Find her on Instagram @MuppetCrazy

What is Adventures by Disney?

With the recent excitement surrounding the 2019 Adventures by Disney itineraries here are the answers to the most common questions I have be asked in the last few weeks.

ABD Great Wall Of China

Adventures by Disney provides group guided family vacations to various domestic and international destinations with the Disney Difference, and is a fantastic way for families to travel throughout the world with ease.  Unlike other tour companies, Adventures by Disney (ABD) specializes in family travel. From the moment your adventure begins all of the logistics of the trip are looked after so that you can be completely immersed in the culture of the destination and will travel in luxury.  An ABD is more than just the places you visit…. there’s magic, friendships, and fun! Everything is so easy when you are on an Adventures by Disney vacation. It’s a true holiday, especially for parents!

Will my kids get bored?

My family has travelled to Australia, China, Italy and parts of Northern Europe with Adventures by Disney and I haven’t seen a bored kid yet!  The Guides are all fabulous – establishing a rapport with the Junior Adventures almost immediately is priority for them.  All the kids feel welcomed and included.  Special Junior Adventurer experiences built into the tour ensure that the Junior Adventurers remain engaged throughout the tour – learning is fun!  When were in Florence last summer touring the Uffizi Gallery, the children were offered the option to become Art Detectives while the adults enjoyed a privately guided tour. All of the kids in the group, even the teens, opted for this choice.  It was a fun way for them to see and learn about the important pieces in the gallery in an interactive way. A year later, my daughters can still identify several of the paintings they learned about that day.

ABD Spear Throwing

Learning how to throw a spear in Queensland, Australia

Learning to throw a spear in at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park in Queensland, Australia.

Family travel is great, but we will have any alone time?

The Junior Adventurer activities give parents some space and on every adventure we’ve been on a Junior Adventurer movie night with a corresponding dinner for the adults was scheduled.  When we were in Australia snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef, our youngest decided she had had enough of it after only 5 minutes. Had we been travelling on our own, either my husband or I would have had to leave the reef to be with her.  Not on this adventure! Glenn, one of our fabulous Guides, helped her out of the water, wrapped her in a blanket and got her an ice cream cone, which she happily ate, while the rest of the family happily continued exploring the reef.   

ABD Italy

Jumping into the Tyrrhenian Sea in Capri, Italy and the Amalfi Coast

Is it worth the money?

Absolutely! Adventures by Disney offers a great value for a unique premium product for families.  From the moment you arrive at your destination, you are truly on holiday.  The experiences are culturally authentic and immersive. The itinerary is meticulously planned. The hotel accommodations are outstanding and centrally located.  The meals are at amazing, culturally representative restaurants (don’t worry, there are always options for picky eaters and those with dietary restrictions).  Privately-guided tours, private events, admission tickets and more are all included in the price. And if that isn’t enough – all the logistics are looked after too! Luggage is magically transported for you. Internal flights, which are often such a hassle when travelling on your own, are a breeze. Everything that could go wrong doesn’t…and even if it does – the Guides have a back-up plan ready to go.

ABD Room In China

Our room at The Peninsula Shanghai, China

Is it just for families?

Not at all. Adventures by Disney offers several Adult Exclusive itineraries in addition to the family focused offerings. However, couples and singles are welcome on every Adventure and we have made some great friendships with couples travelling this way on all our Adventures.  The adult demographics on this tour tend to skew towards middle age, which is a plus for many couples and single travellers who are interested in luxury group travel, but want to travel with people who are closer to their age.

All of the Adventures look amazing, which one should I start with?

All of the Adventures are indeed amazing, but they are not all the same.  Some Adventures are very leisurely, some are very active.  Some have a lot of very early start times or multiple internal flights, while others do not. Which one to choose depends on your travel style and interests.  You can join this Facebook group of serious ABD travellers to help narrow down which one is for you.  However, no matter which one you choose you are sure to have the Adventure of your life.

ABD Helsinki Finland

Hanging out with James, our wonderful Adventure Guide in Helsinki, Finland – 7-Night Magic of Northern Europe Cruise

Hanging out with James, our wonderful Adventure Guide in Helsinki, Finland – 7-Night Magic of Northern Europe Cruise

This review was written by Monica Loberto – you can find Monical on Facebook

Wild Africa Trek At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Review

If you are interested in an in depth look at the wildlife at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you will not be disappointed by this experience! The Wild Africa Trek begins by the main entrance of the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride where you check in, meet your guides and the other guests on this VIP tour. Safety is always a priority with Disney and this tour is no exception.  Bags, backpacks and hats are stored away in a locker and Trekkers are given a vest and harness to wear, along with a complimentary clip on water bottle which is yours to keep after tour. Sunglasses are put on a strap that is worn around your neck.


The first part of the tour starts with a gentle hike into the safari grounds.  Along the way the guides will stop at various look out points and provide some interesting information about different plants and the safari in general.  The hike ends at a rope bridge.  Trekkers walk across the bridge one at a time and have the opportunity to get a very close view of the hippos and crocodiles.

View from the bridge

This is the view from the bridge

Once each family has had the opportunity for a photograph, the entire group loads into a jeep.  The jeep follows the normal Kilimanjaro Safaris road, but you get a much more personal view of the animals and stay for a lot longer at different spots than you would during the normal ride.  This gives you plenty of time to take as many pictures of the various animals as you would like.  Throughout the ride the guides provide interesting commentary on the animals and their personalities.

The trek ends at a lookout station over the savannah.  Here each guest is given a beautifully presented snack and a chance to take a few more pictures.  After about 30-45 minutes here, you are all taken back via jeep and it’s time take off the safety gear and say goodbye to the guides.

Our Snack

Our Snack

Our tour guides were Paola and Karen.  They were both personable, perky and were especially good with children.  They were very knowledgeable about the various animals and kept everyone interested and engaged throughout the trek.  They happily answered questions and were a lot of fun.  Throughout the trek, several trainers joined the group at different times and provided in-depth information about the hippos and crocodiles as well as some of the other animals.


Up close with the Hippos

The guides also took pictures, a lot of pictures – almost 150 of them to be exact.  It was good mix of candid and staged shots.  You are welcome to take your own pictures on the tour (be sure to have a neck strap for your camera) but it’s nice to be able to experience some parts of the tour without worrying about getting a great shot. As the family photographer, I was thrilled to be in the pictures too!  These pictures are included in the cost of the trek and are accessible via an access code that is communicated to you at the end of the experience.

Sleeping Lion

If you are interested in learning more about the safari animals, you will not be disappointed by the Wild Africa Trek.  We paid full price for the tour, no discounts – these are all my opinions and I highly recommend it!  If you have tried this tour – I’d love to hear what you thought!   ~ Monica

This review was written by Monica Loberto