The Parent Swap

If your traveling with young children, or even older children, then you will definitely want to use the Parent Swap option at one point or another.

When your child either doesn’t want to ride, or is too short to ride an attraction, ask a cast member at the entrance to the ride for a Parent Swap. One adult can wait with the child, while the rest of the party rides. When they come off, the adult that waited with the child and two other people can ride again without waiting in line.

You don’t have to pay for the Parent Swap and you don’t have to reserve it ahead of time. It’s an excellent perk, especially for families with infants.

I don’t think I’ve met anyone that enjoys every ride at Disney. I don’t. So don’t force a child to go on a ride they’re scared of. Use the Parent Swap!

The Big Ball: aka Spaceship Earth

I’m sure, even if you’ve never been to Disney, you have seen pictures of the big ball that is the icon for Epcot. Even though it is known to me and my family as “the big ball”, it’s proper name is Spaceship Earth.  Inside there is a ride, no, a time machine, that will allow you to “sail through a universe of time”, and explore the past, from the discovery of fire, to the dawn of computers.


Yes, I know, it’s an educational ride..To think you might actually learn something on vacation! (But that happens at EPCOT!) Seriously though, every time I go on it, I learn something I missed last time. It really is a fun way of learning some history! So parents, do your kids a favor and make them go on it! They will most likely enjoy it, even if they won’t admit it.

At the end of the ride, you get to take a mini quiz about yourself and your preferences. Then, the computer will calculate what your future might be like. It always brings a smile to my face!

*Tip: If you’ve been on this ride more than once, mix up your answers to the test for a change in your future. My brother and I did this for the first time earlier this year, and we laughed so hard!*

Don’t forget to smile for the camera at the beginning! Hold up little kids so the camera can see them, as the seats in the vehicle are pretty low.

The time machines seat 2 rows of 2 in a car. They go backwards once, but their incredibly slow and smooth. It is not at all scary, and the whole ride is inside the ball.  

First thing in the morning, the line is rather long since it’s the first thing everyone sees when they go in. So, go back a little later in the day for a shorter line

“Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time. But where are we going? And what kind of future will we discover there? Surprisingly, the answers lie in our past.” -Spaceship Earth

Discover the past, and dream of the future, with Spaceship Earth.

Toy Story Midway Mania

With the recent anouncment of a Toy Story Land coming to Hollywood Studios and Toy Story 4, it seems fitting to do a post on the popular Toy Story Midway Mania attraction in Hollywood Studios.

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Toy Story Mania opened seven years ago in Pixar Place. This attraction is a bit difficult to explain. It’s 3D, it’s a video game, and it’s a ride. There is some spinning but it’s not bad at all. It’s very smooth. When you get in your vehicle,there is a pop gun in front of you. To shoot, you pull the string on the back of the gun. Though the gun technically doesn’t shoot anything, as the whole attraction is virtual. You aim it at the targets on the screen and shoot. Some targets are worth more points than others. The gun shoots something different every game. Sometimes it’s pies, sometimes darts, and sometimes you shoot rings around the little green aliens!  It’s a lot like Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin in Magic Kingdom, except this ones targets and lasers are virtual and 3D.

 

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This ride probably has one of the longest lines in all of  Disney World, so definitely Fastpass this one!

Toy Story Mania is a great ride and a definite must do!

 

 

Blogging Awards with a Bit About Myself

I have been nominated for three blogging awards: the Beautiful Blogger, the Inspirational Blogger, and the Dragon Loyalty Award. Since they all have the same requirements, I have decided to combine them and just do it once. A big thanks to Natalie of  The Disney Freak with a Bit of Mascara for nominating me for the three awards.  Here are the rules:

1. Thank and link the blogger that nominated you.

2. List 7 facts about yourself.

3. Nominate 7 other bloggers to do the same thing.

Okay, so here are the 7 facts:

1. I’m homeschooled! I’m going into grade 9 this fall and have been homeschooled since grade 1!

2. I’m a competitive highland dancer.

3. We are planning a trip to Disneyland Paris in November for the Scottish Highland Gathering! I’m SUPER excited!

4. I’m from New Brunswick, Canada! (No, I don’t live in an igloo, and I don’t finish every sentence with ‘eh’.)   🙂

5.  I live on a hobby farm.

6. I am going to be a vet like my mom when I finish school.

7.  I am the oldest child of 3: I have a 12 year old brother and a 9 year old sister.

I have decided to nominate the following blogs under the title Inspirational Blogging Award.

Rantings of a Disney Freak

Disney Rants and Raves

It’s a Small Blog After All

Disney Matters

Destination: Disney

EmilyForDisneyPrincess2015

So, it’s not my average Disney post, but it was still fun! Thanks again, Natalie!

Disney World Line Busters

Tired of waiting in long lines in the Florida heat? Well here are some rides to help you beat the heat and the crowds!

1. It’s a Small World. Take a relaxing ride on “the happiest cruise that ever sailed”, and listen to the little dolls sing. (Caution: Catchy tune may get caught in your head for the rest of the day!)The only time I’ve seen the ride over 10 minutes is on March Break, and if it’s raining.  Location: Magic Kingdom, Fantasyland.

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2. The Three Caballeros.  Another relaxing boat ride follows the adventures of Donald Duck as he tours Mexico. I’ve always been able to walk right on this ride. Location: Epcot, World Showcase, Mexican Pavilion.

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3. The Country Bear Jamboree. Singing bears in an air-conditioned theatre. Need I say more?

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This is one of my favourite Disney shows! I often catch myself singing the songs,(Again, Caution: Catchy tunes ahead!) and I laugh every time I see it! There are shows every 12 minutes, and I’ve never seen the theatre full. Location: Magic Kingdom, Frontierland.

4. Muppet Vision 3D. Dr Honeydew and Beaker’s latest creation, Waldo, gets into all sorts of 3D mischief in this Muppet adventure. This is a great 13 minute show that rarely ever has a wait. Location: Hollywood Studios, not far from Star Tours.

5. The Carousel of Progress. Another one of my personal favourites, this revolving theatre takes you on a journey through time, as it follows an American family through the changes of the 1900s. From the dawn of electric lights to the invention of flat screen TVs, it really sheds light on how much progress has been made in the past century. I guarantee you will never have to wait more than 10 minutes for this attraction! Location: Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland.

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These are the best line busters, but there are plenty more! All the rides I listed are good for those unexpected Florida rains, too, as they are all indoors.

Hope this helps, and enjoy your Disney vacation!

 

 

 

The Garden Grill

The Garden Grill is one of my favourite restaurants! It’s at Epcot inside the Land pavilion.  It’s a different kind of restaurant, that’s probably why I like it so much! One thing that makes this grill different then the others is that it’s a rotating restaurant. The floor moves in a circle. Don’t worry, your not going to be whipped around like a tilta-whirl or something. It takes an hour for the floor to do a complete 360, so you can barely feel it move.

The second thing is you don’t really order. The server just brings you little samples of everything, including sweet potato fries, fish, turkey, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, garden salads and a skillet dessert. You can get more of anything you want! (Except the dessert, unfortunately!) I personally favour  the mashed potatoes and the mac n cheese, and their homemade rolls with homemade butter are the best! Actually, all the food at the Garden Grill is grown right in Epcot. Just downstairs from the Grill, next to Soarin’, is the boat ride Living with the Land. It will take you through green houses where all the vegetables and fruits are grown. Even the fish are raised there. I don’t see how food could get any fresher than that!

image              The Cupcake Cone dessert is offered for kids. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

So as if fresh food and a rotating floor aren’t enough, the Garden Grill is a character meal! Chip & Dale, Pluto, and Farmer  Mickey will all come to your table as you eat. I think this is the best place to get pictures and autograph’s with Mickey Mouse!

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This is a great restaurant, so make sure you make reservations for it on your next Disney vacation!

Crowd Control at Disney

Avoiding crowds at Walt Disney World is a very difficult task, especially for first timers. So here are a few tips to help with crowd control:

1. Time of year. Disney is going to be less crowded in January-February than June-July. (January is usually pretty cold, even for Florida. I’d go more toward February.) May is a lovely time to go! You might get to see the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, which is just stunning! The only time when Disney gets really crowded in May is during Star Wars Weekends at Hollywood Studios. That can work in your favor too, because there’s less people at the other parks during that time.

March Break is wicked crowded! March is probably Disney’s busiest month! I’ve been to Disney twice during that time, and it was horrible! I remember being at Epcot by the Norway pavilion. The rest of my family was in the washroom, so me and my mom were going to find a bench to sit and look at the map. There wasn’t even a place to lean on a wall!! So let your kids skip school for a few days and take them some time when the parks are less crowded, it’s more enjoyable for everyone!

2. Extra Magic Hours. This works well for anyone staying on Disney property. Park is closing and all the locals or people staying off site have to leave, but Disney resort guests get to stay longer on select nights (or on site guests can go to the park in the morning before it opens to the rest of the public)! It’s way less crowded since there’s about 2/3 less people there. (The only exception to this is the Epcot World Showcase, which opens to everyone at the same time.) Another perk of staying at a Disney Resort!

3. Schedule. This is very important! The night before, sit down with a map of the park your going to spend the next day at, and plan how things are going to go. Lay out everything. This also helps make sure everyone does everything they want to do, without running around the park looking for something to do next.

4. Character Dining. Character meet and greets make for long lines and lots of people. Most characters can be found at character dining, where you can sit down, enjoy a Disney meal, and the characters come to you! You can get all the pictures and autographs that you could get at a meet and greet without the line! Except you can do it with four characters instead of one! Make reservations ahead of time.

5. Main Street USA. Moms, I know your excited  to hit the gift shops on Main Street, but there will be time for that later. As soon as the park opens, most people are going to be heading straight for the gift shops first. Get a head start on the rides. You will have time to shop later! 

Hopefully these tips will help lessen the crowds on your Disney vacation!

Star Wars Weekends

At the end of May, Hollywood Studios dedicates the park to Star Wars for Star Wars Weekends. It’s absolutely spectacular and any SW lover’s dream!

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Just about any Star Wars character you can name will be there. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, R2-D2, Bobba & Jenga Fett, Anakin Skywalker, Chewbacca, Padmaè Amadala, and Obi-Wan Kenobi are only a few a could name! Even the parade is turned to a Star Wars theme!

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Just this past May I went for the second time, and we got this package called The Force Awakens. It was brand new and I’m not sure if they’ll do it again, but I highly recommend it if they do! It was great! It offered reserved seating for the parade (by that I mean they roped off a large section of the street and only people who had the boughten the package could sit there, so I still recommend going an hour before hand to save your seats), free snacks during the parade, reserved seating for one of the special SW Weekend shows, a dessert party before the fireworks, and reserved seating at the fireworks. I’d definitely recommend it next time you go!

image                     Dessert Party- Darth Vader Cupcakes

I’d have to say that the only bad thing about SW Weekends are the crowds. The park is full of Star Wars fanatics! The lines for the rides and characters are super long, so you’ll definitely want to have your day planned before you go. My recommendation would be to get Fastpasses for Star Tours, Toy Story Mania, and Rockin Roller Coaster. Make lunch and dinner reservations before hand. Some of my favs are the 50’s Prime Time Cafè (sit down) and the ABC Comissionary (quick service), but there are plenty of choices. When you first get to the park, get in line for a SW character, because those lines are the longest! The lines get really long, really fast. But for the die hard Star Wars fans (including myself) it’s worth it!

It really isn’t that bad if your used to Disney on March break or on a Saturday in the summer. Preperation is always the key!

Have a great week- and may the force be with you!

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Snacks at Disney

Food is one of the many great things about Disney. It’s all so good! There are so many snacks, it would be impossible to eat them all on one vacation. I definatley haven’t tried all of them. (Though I’ve eaten more than I can keep track of!) Here are a few of my favourites:

Mickey Bars are my favourite snack of all time! You can get them at any of the Disney Parks. Vanilla Ice cream on a stick coated in chocolate and shaped like Mickey…who couldn’t love that?

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Churros are a delicious sugar covered pastry. My favourite place to get them is right outside the Mexican Pavilion in Epcot, but you can get them at multiple places. They come as pack of six little ones, or just one big one!

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I’m not entirely sure what the proper name for this is, as I just tried it for the first time when I went to Disney a few weeks ago. It’s like a Mickey Mouse cake pop! (A cake pop is a small chunk of cake on a stick with icing.) They come in different flavours. (I got a Red Velvet one!) It was the best cake pop I’ve ever had!!! My mom got it for me in the bake shop on Main Street. I’m not sure if you can get them anywhere else.

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*Tip: The best time to eat a snack is during a parade or show. That way you don’t spend a lot of time eating when you could be going on rides!*  

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So there are some of my favourite snacks! What is your favourite?

 

The Main Street Electrical Parade

The Main Street Electrical Parade is a Magic Kingdom night time parade. Everything has lights from Cinderella’s glass slipper, to Captain Hook’s hat!

There are characters and floats that you can not find anywhere’s else. For instance, Cinderella rides in her pumpkin coach, Pete and Elliot are there from the movie ‘Pete’s Dragon’ , and the caterpillar from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is there too!

You must start to line up at least an hour before hand. Main Street is the best place to sit because then you can just stand up and watch the Wishes fireworks spectacular when the parade is over.

If you haven’t had supper, send Dad over to Casey Jr’s. I highly recommend the little battered hot dogs!

The parade is definitely weather permitting, (wouldn’t want Mickey Mouse to get electrocuted!) and it is only on select nights. Check out Disney’s website ahead of time for a schedule.

The Main Street Electrical parade is so cool!!!  A definite must do!

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