Top 5 Reasons To Go To Disney Without Kids

In November I was really excited to take an adults only trip with my favorite Dole Whippies to Walt Disney World.  You would not believe the amount of people who were incredulous about the idea of going to Disney without my child, with other adults!  But let me tell you, it was an amazing choice!  Here are some great reasons why you should take a kid free trip to Walt Disney World.

5. No sharing! Unless you want to!  You know how your child will order ice cream that is  blue just because it is blue, and you order a delicious mint chocolate chip scoop?  Except yours always looks more appealing once it shows up.  Well no sharing required, you get that Dole Whip to your self!

4. Explore the World Showcase!  This is one place it is hard to appreciate with kids who are just looking for their next snack or attraction.  You can really soak in the atmosphere of the different pavilions and experience all there is to do at your own pace!

3.You don’t have to get the light up toy.  You know, the kind on the cart that comes out at dusk and they are so bright and flashy and your kid MUST have it and you have to figure out how to get it home.  Not this time! You can stroll smugly by and keep your wallet in your purse or pocket.

2. Sleep in and stay out late.  Both of these things can be very hard to accomplish with kids of any ages, they get tired or grumpy or both.  Well this happens with adults too, but it is generally a little easier to handle.  You can take advantage of nighttime extra magic hours and enjoy really low crowds.  No reason to get up early with the little ones, just close the curtain and hit snooze!

1. Freedom, sweet freedom.  You get to choose which attraction you want to do, which character to meet.  You can push lunch back by and hour and not have too many melt downs.  Or maybe you decide to linger over a drink or dessert.  Or you can try on all the tiaras in the shop in Germany and accomplish nothing else that day.  But that is ok because you do what you want.photopass_visiting_mk_393054706674

I can’t recommend enough how much fun it is to feel like a kid at Walt Disney World by going without kids. It is good for the soul and trust me, you will be a better parent for it when you return home!


5 Things You Didn’t Know You Were Missing At Hollywood Studios

5 Things You Didn't Know You Were Missing at Hollywood Studios

In the last installment of this series, we’re going to cover Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  This park is in a bit of a transitional phase right now with the construction of the new “lands”, but there are still some things that you might not notice.

Character Palooza – It doesn’t happen often, but once in a while, lots of characters from “Fantasmic” get together and mingle for 20-30 minutes with no lines.  They just sort of walk around and interact with everyone.  This is great for seeing some hard to find characters.

Citizens of Hollywood – These folks make up an improv group that sort of mingles with the crowd and interacts with them as well as doing some skits.  Find them on Sunset or Hollywood Boulevards.  They’re usually dressed like workers, police officers, directors, aspiring actors.  They’re a lot of fun so don’t miss them!

MuppetVision 3D – Now, I know this attraction has been around for a long, long time, and hasn’t changed much but don’t discount it. There are tons of little jokes throughout.  In the queue, right underneath the sign that says “Back in 5 minutes” you can see a welcome mat.  Lift it and find a key underneath.  Inside the waiting area, hanging from the ceiling is a net filled with Jello cubes.  It’s a play on words for Annette Funicello – a net fulla jello…get it?  A lot of these you will probably have to explain to your kids but even though this attraction is old, it’s still really fun!

PB& J milkshake – Even if you don’t have reservations at 50’s Prime Time, you can go into the bar and order one to go.  This is a favorite of Dole Whipped!

Carrot Cake Cookie – Used to be at Writer’s Stop, now at Beverly Sunset.  They are delicious, try one!


Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know You Were Missing At Animal Kingdom

Five Things You Didn't Know You Were Missing At Animal KingdomContinuing on with this series, we’re stopping at Animal Kingdom next! There are lots of overlooked attractions at this park purely because people come for the Kilimanjaro Safari and Expedition Everest and then leave the park.  Let’s change that!

Rafiki’s Planet Watch – There’s a whole area here that you can explore.  There’s a train ride, you can learn about animal conservation, watch some veterinary procedures, and there is even a petting zoo kids will love.

Tree of Life – You can’t miss the Tree of Life, situated right in the front of the park, but have you really examined it closely? If you can take some time to really look at the Tree, you can appreciate the artistry that it holds.  There are lots of walking trails and nooks and crannies to explore.  Since you’re up close there are plenty of great photo opportunities as well.  It’s good to take some time and really check it out.  The carvings are absolutely beautiful!

DiVine – She is a performance artist dressed in green vines that typically hangs out around the pathways surrounding the Tree of Life.  She blends in really well so sometimes she’s hard to find but when you do, she is not to be missed!

Flights of Wonder – This is a 25 minute show all about exotic birds.  It’s shaded and there’s seating so it’s a good way to get out of the sun and learn about some really beautiful birds. They do some tricks and stunts so it’s very entertaining as well as being educational.

Wilderness Explorer Program – Children can be like Russell from “Up” and earn Wilderness Explorer badges as well as learning about animals and animal conservation.


Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know You Were Missing At Epcot

Epcot ThingsWe love Epcot and there are lots of things to do there, especially for kids.  Here are some things you probably didn’t know you were missing at Epcot!

1.  Glowing pathways – At night, part of the sidewalk in Future World glows.  You can look down and see it right there under your feet!

2.  Lots of water fun – There are splash zones for kids in three places throughout Future World: outside Test Track, on the main drag from Future World to the World Showcase, and one on the way to Mission Space.  Be sure to bring dry clothes!  Also, you can check out the jumping water fountains.

3.  Club Cool – We talk about this a lot but lots of people don’t think to stop there.  It’s a great way to quench your thirst for free and soak up a bit of a/c.  They have different flavors of Coca Cola sodas right there on tap from many countries around the world, and it’s all free!  You can have as much as you like!  

4.  Gran Fiesta Tour – There is a boat ride with Donald Duck inside the Mexico pavilion and there’s hardly ever a wait for it.  It’s one of our favorites. Try it out!

5.  Refreshment Port – Boring name, awesome food!  This is where you can find the Cronut, winner of our March Madness of Food challenge!  We love the Cronut!

Top 5 Things You Didn’t Know You Were Missing At Magic Kingdom

We all know that Disney are masters at the hidden details so here are 5 things you didn’t know you were missing at Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.

1. Cinderella’s Crown – If you look around the back side of Cinderella’s  Castle, there’s a statue of Cinderella with a painting behind her.  As you bow down to take a sip from the water fountain, look up and see Cinderella with a crown.

2. The Kiss Goodnight: About 30 minutes after all the attractions have closed for the night, the castle starts to sparkle and there’s music right around the hub. You can hear the dedication speech made by Roy Disney when Magic Kingdom was opened and it’s very moving.  It’s a great way to end a fabulous day at Disney.

3. The Walt Disney World Railroad – Taking the train is a great way to get from the back of the park to the front and vice versa if you don’t feel like walking.  There are also lots of little things that you can’t see unless you take the train, like little vignettes and scenes.

4. PeopleMover – It’s not a thrill ride by any means, but it’s a great way to get off your feet.  It’s about a 15 min ride and if you can time it right you can get a great view of Wishes.  You get a nice breeze and you can even take a look inside Space Mountain as the train runs right through it!

5. Harmony Barber Shop – Baby’s First Haircut package.  For $19 plus tax you get a child’s haircut, a certificate, a set of mouse ears, and a lock of your child’s hair to keep.  It’s a great bargain!

Top 5 Tips For A Girls Trip To Disney

So you and your buddies want to plan a girls trip to Disney!  Awesome, however this vacation will be a little different than the ones you’ve planned with the family.  I’ve got some good ideas that will make your girls trip a raging success!

1. Choose your resort carefully.

You and your gal pals are splurging for a trip just for yourselves so you might as well start things off right with a great resort.  For this, I’d choose a Deluxe resort like Disney’s Polynesian Village or maybe Grand Floridian.  You want to be close to the action and feel a bit pampered at the same time.  Grand Floridian even has a Senses Spa on site so it would be a great choice.

2.  Decorations!

If you have space in your luggage, you might consider picking up a few things to decorate your resort room.  If it’s a bachelorette party, say, you can pick up some cute decorations at a party store in your hometown, or have them shipped to the resort via Amazon.  And if you don’t want to do the work yourself, check out Disney Floral & Gifts.  They can deliver right to your room!

3.  Special meals and drinks.

Because it’s a special vacation with your friends, see if you can get reservations to some of the nicer restaurants on property.  Maybe check out California Grill or Narcoosee’s.  If you and your girls want to get something fun to drink, try Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at The Polynesian, or Jock Lindsay’s Hanger Bar at Disney Springs.

4.  Get VIP treatment.

You and your ladies are staying at the best resort, so why not get the VIP treatment and upgrade to Club Level?  There’s complimentary food and drinks all day, plus a cocktail hour every evening.  It’s a great way to take your resort experience to the next level.

5.  Get those buttons!

Let everyone know you and your girls are here for some very special girl time and be sure to get those celebration buttons from your resort check in desk or Guest Relations at the parks.  Maybe you’ll even get a little extra pixie dust!  How fun!

Enjoy this time with your best friends and make the most of your kid-free, spouse-free vacation!




Top 5 Cupcakes at Disney World (at least today!)

The cupcake is a special thing and has it’s own life at Disney. One of the zillion of reasons that Disney is a very special place is their prioritizing of snack foods, like the Dole Whip, but also the cupcake. They do not make one cupcake they make lots of different cupcakes and there is one for every person…keep trying if you have not found it because I believe there is a cupcake soulmate out there for you. Disney also celebrates special events and seasons with special cupcakes and when you find your favorite it will have you coming back and running back into the park for one more (believe me this is my life). This list is subject to change on a daily basis.

  1. Pina Colada Cupcake – Gasparilla’s Grill at the Grand Floridian. This is a new 01882901cad87115f7a1e4ed08131d143985df13dcfavorite because it is a NEW cupcake (at least for me)! Gasparilla’s is the remote quick service at Grand Floridian that let’s face it with all the other great food options at GF why would anyone go there just to try the quick service? Well, we did and then we went back because of the cupcake. It was delightful and not to heavy. It is similar to a coconut cupcake with the added fun of the pina colada flavor and pineapple. YUMMMY!
  2. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake –  Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort This little delight is the perfect mix of peanut butter (my favorite) and chocolate (the World’s favorite). The odd thing is I am not a huge fan of chocolate but this cupcake is above all that. Coincidence that it is at another quick service that you have no business at unless you are a guest at Contemporary (which I was not)? Clearly, I go to all the resorts trying out their quick service cupcakes or something?
  3. Dulche de Leche – Contempo Cafe at the Contemporary Resort. If the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcake did not get you there then this one should. It is so gooey and moist just like the best dulche de leche. It is worth every bite and being at Disney has no calories so…monorail over there daily.
  4. ff35a09acde8a7c00d825f6f1e0e824cSmores Cupcake – Roaring Fork at Wilderness Lodge Resort (yes ANOTHER quick service all the beating path). This does not maybe sound appealing or just too plain but it is a great messy wonderful bit of fun. The perfect balance of moist and cakey is one to compare with all of their counterparts and will come out on top. For you chocolate lovers it is topped with a Hersey piece.
  5. Oreo Bon Bon Cupcake – Boardwalk Bakery (for one place and NOT a quick service) at Boardwalk Inn. This yellow cake with vanilla frosting but do not despair chocolate lovers it has Oreo crumbles on top. It is such a great cupcake and everyone loves it from kids to adults alike.

So today these are my top 5 but I will be most likely changing this list next week as I visit the World and have different experiences. All of these cupcakes are available all the time and are not special or seasonal (well they are special but you know what I mean…). What is your favorite cupcake?



New Disney Movies for 2016 and Beyond!


Disney has always a great movie line-up on the horizon and 2016 and 2017 are already shaping up to be perhaps the best two year’s ever. Some people are going to disagree because Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in 2015 but let’s put that aside, for now, and look to the future (as only Star Wars would want you too!) In addition, there is more Star Wars to come so that helps all your Star Wars fans to look forward in anticipation.

  • The Finest Hours (Walt Disney Pictures) – Jan. 29, 2016
  • Zootopia (Walt Disney Animation Studios) – March 4, 2016
  • The Jungle Book (Walt Disney Pictures) – April 15, 2016
  • Captain America: Civil War (Marvel) – May 6, 2016
  • Alice: Through the Looking Glass (Walt Disney Pictures) – May 27, 2016
  • Finding Dory (Pixar) – June 17, 2016
  • The BFG (Walt Disney Pictures) – July 1, 2016
  • Pete’s Dragon (Walt Disney Pictures) – Aug. 12, 2016
  • Doctor Strange (Marvel) – Nov. 4, 2016
  • Moana (Walt Disney Animation Studios) – Nov. 23, 2016
  • Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One (Lucasfilm) – Dec. 16, 2016
  • Beauty and the Beast (Walt Disney Pictures) – March 17, 2017
  • Ghost in the Shell (DreamWorks) – April 14, 2017
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (Marvel) – May 5, 2017
  • Star Wars: Episode VIII (Lucasfilm) – May 26, 2017
  • Toy Story 4 (Pixar) – June 16, 2017
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (Walt Disney Pictures) – July 17, 2017

Here is my top 5 list of Disney films I personally am looking forward to in 2016 and 2017:

1. Finding Dory I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for this movie and I am so

©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

©2013 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

happy they have finally made it happen. I am ready to laugh and be happy with Nemo and Dory again. Want to check out the trailer? Click Here.

2. Beauty and the Beast – This is a live action fantasy, musical film that stars Emma Watson (who does not love Hermione) as Belle and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. This is done in a similar manner as Cinderella which was released in 2015.

3. Moana – Another princess movie! There can never be enough Disney princesses and Moana is joining the ranks. Want to see the voice of Moana being told she got the part? Cute youtube video Click here!

4. The Jungle Book – Another live action coming out in Spring of 2016 and has quite _1439777280the cast list including Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o, Bill Murray, Christopher Walken and Ben Kingsley to name a few. Neel Sethi who plays Mowgli and is a cutey! Want to see more info and a teaser then Click Here.

5. Alice: Through the Looking Glass – The sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in
Wonderland is coming soon. My favorite Mad Hatter is back and Johnny Depp I know will do the part justice. This is another live action movie and if anything the cinematography will be amazing.


So this is my Top 5 list and I would love to hear your thoughts and what you are looking forward to seeing?


Top 5 Best Disney Souvenirs Under $20

Looking for that perfect souvenir at Disney but you don’t want to break the bank?  We’re giving you the top 5 souvenirs for under $20!

1. Silhouettes – You can find these kiosks in Magic Kingdom and Epcot.  They cut the silhouette right there and it’s done in just a few minutes.  It costs $8 per person plus tax.  A frame is an additional $7.95 plus tax.

2. Pick A Pearl – Found in the Japan pavilion of the World Showcase, this is almost a show as well as a souvenir.  You pick your oyster out of a tank and a cast member opens it up to show you the prize inside.  Hint: choose the ugliest, hairiest oyster in the tank for the prettiest pearl.  The cost is about $17 to choose an oyster.  Settings for your pearl are an additional cost.

3. Autograph books – Pick up one of these at any practically gift shop on property so you can collect signatures from all your favorite characters.  My kids love to look back through their autograph books from previous trips so they can remember which characters they met and had a blast with.  Books start at $7.95 plus tax.

4. First Haircut Package at Harmony Barber Shop – Commemorate your baby’s first haircut in Disney style!  You can get their hair cut and styled at the barber shop right there on Main Street.  The package includes a certificate, a bag to keep the lock of hair if you want, plus a set of Mickey ears embroidered with “My First Haircut”.  The cost is $19 plus tax and an appointment is necessary.

5. Pressed Pennies – Looking for a small but super cool souvenir?  Try making pressed pennies!  These machines are everywhere around WDW and each machine has a unique design.  Most of the coins cost $.51 to make: two quarters and a penny.  There are some machines that press different coins and those vary in price due to the denomination being pressed.

What’s your favorite inexpensive souvenir?  Leave it in the comments!

5 Disney Vacation Tips For Those With Larger Families

As I’ve mentioned, I have a family of five so sometimes we have to do things different than other families who have fewer people.  But that’s the beauty of Disney vacation, they’re so easy to customize!  Here are my top 5 tips for touring Disney parks with a larger family.

1. Choose the right resort.

There are several resorts on property that accommodate more than 4 people.  There are even villas that sleep up to 9, in case you have a really big family!  Check out my past post here to help you decide which resort is right for you.

2.  Pro/con the dining plan.

The dining plan is not always the best fit for every family.  Do you have a family with toddlers who eat like birds?  Maybe pass on the dining plan.  Do you have teenagers with hollow legs?  The dining plan might just save you a ton of money.  Check with your travel agent who can help you decide.

3. Use Fast Pass+/Rider Swap/Single Rider when possible.

We all know that the Fast Pass+ system is very important but it’s especially important when you have a larger family.  If you’ve got a wide range of ages in your family than the Rider Swap system will really help to ensure that everyone gets to ride what they want.  Rider Swap allows one adult to use a Fast Pass+ reservation (or from standby) to ride while another adult waits behind with the little ones.  When the first adult is finished, the second adult (plus 2 others) can then enter the attraction through the Fast Pass queue.  Be sure to ask the Cast Member at the front of the attraction for the Rider Swap pass.  Also, some attractions have a Single Rider queue so you can definitely make use of that as well if you have just one person in your party who wants to do an attraction.

4.  Be prepared to split up when possible.

Sometimes splitting up your group is the best way to make people happy.  We do that a lot when one adult and one of our kids wants to do an attraction but the others don’t.  We will split up into two groups and some will ride and some will go get a snack or look through a gift shop.  We either set a rendezvous point or text each other our location to meet later.  It works well for us.  If you have older (responsible) teenagers, you might want to let them tour a park on their own.

5.  Get the Memory Maker package.

They can set up the shot so that you get everyone in the picture as well as the fun landmarks!  It can be hard to get a good shot of everyone in the parks when it’s crowded and people are elbowing you and trying to get around you.  The Disney photographers have staked out the best spots and they can make sure the whole family gets in the shot.  You’re making these memories together so you definitely want to remember them!

We’d love to hear your best tips on touring with a large family.  Leave them in the comments below!