Best Disney World Restaurants for Kids Other than Character Dining

So, you’ve booked your Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Now what? You may start thinking about where you’d like to eat! Dining reservations are currently available up to 60 days in advance. Today, we are sharing with you the best Disney World restaurants for kids, outside of character dining experiences.

Best Disney World Restaurants for Kids Other than Character Dining

Theme Parks

Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom: My kids love Be Our Guest! There’s something special about dining inside of the Beast’s castle and exploring the West Wing, Ballroom, or Rose Gallery. Plus, your kids will receive a white chocolate “Chip” that they can paint with edible paint! It’s always a hit and great way to end your special meal.

Coral Reef at EPCOT: Did you know that you can dine in front of one of the largest aquariums in the United States? Epcot is home to one of the largest aquariums in the country and part of it is surrounded by a restaurant! You may even be able to get a guide to the variety of fish you’ll see in the tanks in front of you.

Sci Fi Dine In Theater at Hollywood Studios: You’ll take a step back in time to a 1950’s drive in movie theater at Sci Fi. Your kids will have the chance to eat inside of a car while they watch short scenes from old sci-fi movies. Your kids will probably also love their classic American menu featuring macaroni and cheese, a cheeseburger, chicken strips and more.

50’s Primetime Cafe at Hollywood Studios: This is another Hollywood Studios restaurant that will take you back in time to the 1950’s. Your kids will have a chance to see what kitchens and even black and white TV’s looked like in the 1950’s during their meal. This menu is full of comfort foods like macaroni and cheese, chicken strips and more. Just be sure to remember your manners and keep your elbows off the table!

Rainforest Cafe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Your kids will love feeling like they are venturing into the jungle at Rainforest Cafe. They can watch animatronic elephants, gorillas, birds and more while they eat dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, quesadillas, mini hot dogs and more. Rainforest Cafe does have two locations at Disney World, one inside of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and another at Disney Springs.

Best Disney World Restaurants for Kids Other than Character Dining

Disney Springs

The Boathouse: You can enjoy both indoor and outdoor dining at The Boathouse with beautiful views all around. If you’re seated outside or along the windows, your kids may even spot an amphicar driving across Lake Buena Vista. If you choose to dine inside, you may even be lucky enough to eat inside of a boat!

T-Rex Cafe: If you have a dinosaur loving child, you can’t miss T-Rex Cafe. They can be surrounded by animatronic dinosaurs, including a fifteen foot T-Rex! You’ll even get to experience a meteor shower every 20 minutes. in the gift shop, your kids can dig for hidden dinosaur fossils or build their own stuffed dinosaur. If you’re looking for a sweet way to end your meal, don’t miss the Chocolate Extinction dessert.

Planet Hollywood: You can dine among the stars at Planet Hollywood. During your meal, your kids can watch music videos and even enjoy a sing along every now and then. Some of the tables even have TV’s inside of them. You can also check out a variety of movie memorabilia throughout four floors of the restaurant.

Walt Disney World Resort Hotels

Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge: Whispering Canyon has all you care to enjoy skillets for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The servers are rather witty and interactive. You never know what might happen when you ask for a drink refill or ketchup with your meal. Although Whispering Canyon has toned down the antics they’ve always been known for, this is still a fun and interactive meal for kids of all ages.

Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village: What could be a better view than watching giraffe, zebras or gazelle walk across the savanna during your dinner? You will enjoy some spectacular views of the sunset savanna at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge during your meal here. Plus, if you’re looking for an educational experience, you may even be able to dine with an animal specialist.

Best Disney World Restaurants for Kids Other than Character Dining

What are your kids’ favorite Disney restaurants? Do you agree with our recommendations for the best Disney World restaurants for kids? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

4 Reasons Your Family Will Love a Royal Caribbean Cruise

4 reasons your family will love a Royal Caribbean cruise

Looking for the perfect family vacation? Look no further than a Royal Caribbean cruise! Royal Caribbean cruise vacations offer spacious accommodations, delicious dining options, activities for the whole family, and so much more to make this the ultimate family vacation. Plus, with deals like kids sail free or discounts on the second guest, it’s probably more affordable than you ever imagined!

Perfect Day at CocoCay

Royal Caribbean has elevated the private island experience with Perfect Day at CocoCay. Located in the Bahamas, CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s private island paradise. And it’s probably unlike anything you’ve ever had the opportunity to experience.

During Perfect Day at CocoCay, you can conquer the tallest waterslide in North America in Thrill Waterpark; fly up to 450 feet high in a helium balloon on Up, Up, and Away; grab a drink at the swim-up bar at Oasis Lagoon, or soak up the sun in the largest freshwater pool in the Bahamas! You can even get a taste of Bora Bora in your own floating cabana at Coco Beach Club.

You can even read about 10 reasons why you need to experience Perfect Day at CocoCay. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your Perfect Day at CocoCay today!

Spacious Accommodations

Many families enjoy extra space on their vacation and are unsure about the size of a cruise cabin. Royal Caribbean offers a variety of accommodations for families. From budget friendly inside rooms to connecting rooms or even the Ultimate Family Suite, we can help you find the perfect accommodations for your family.

The Ultimate Family suite offers two full stories in your stateroom so you can elevate the wya that you stay and play! Your kids will love their own in-suite slide and video games in their private game room while mom and dad will love the private balcony jacuzzi!

4 reasons your family needs to book a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation

Delicious and Flexible Dining Options

You can enjoy the main dining room or Windjammer Marketplace at no additional cost or indulge in specialty dining offerings like Chef Jamie Oliver’s acclaimed eatery, Jaime’s Italian; Far East flavors and sushi at Izumi; elaborate entrees at Wonderland Imaginative Cuisine; or sweets and scoops at Sugar Beach. The whole family is sure to find something they love with selections available for both the foodie and the finicky.

Royal Caribbean offers exclusive My Time Dining onboard all of their ships. My Time Dining allow you to eat in the Main Dining Room anytime you’d like each night during normal dinner hours, according to availability. You don’t have to eat at the same time each night so you have the best flexibility to schedule each day how you’d like.

For families, you can even take advantage of My Family Time Dining. My Family Time Dining is offered for the first seating time in the main dining room, for children ages three to eleven. Children can enjoy their meal within 40 minutes of seating, before heading to the evening’s Adventure Ocean activities. The program starts the second evening of your sailing. After that, you can use it each evening or whenever you wish.

Kids Clubs

If you’re planning a family vacation, there’s a good chance that you want to make sure there’s something your kids will enjoy, too. Royal Caribbean has an award-winning Adventure Ocean youth program onboard all of their ships so your kids will love your Royal Caribbean cruise just as much as you do! With games, events, and activities throughout the day and even into the evening, your kids will never be bored!

Children as young as six months are welcome to cruise with Royal Caribbean. The Royal Babies program (ages 6-18 months) offers the tiniest guests and their parents interactive classes filled with enriching activities developed by early childhood experts. The Royal Tots program (ages 18-36 months) offers 45-minute interactive playground sessions filled with age-appropriate activities and toys.

Children ages 3 and up are separated by age since the activities are designed to engage their unique interests and abilities. Aquanauts (ages 3-5 years) will have fun conducting cool experiments and becoming Certified Jr. Adventure Scientists. The Explorers program (ages 6-8 years) is packed with exciting cruise activities for kids, which includes themed parties. Voyagers (ages 9-12 years) will explore a range of activities that puts the “cool” back into learning.

Traveling with teens? No problem! Royal Caribbean also offers teen spaces designed just for teenagers aged 13 through 17 years. Behind a secret speakeasy entrance, your teens will find a gaming lounge, music, movies, and space to kick back with new friends. There’s even an outdoor patio where they can lounge beneath the sun or stars.

4 Reasons You'll Love a Royal Caribbean Cruise

From spacious accommodations to around the clock entertainment, your whole family will love a Royal Caribbean cruise vacation!

Has your family ever experienced a Royal Caribbean cruise? What was your favorite part?

8 Tips for Using Disney Mobile Order in the My Disney Experience App

Disney is offering guests the ability to mobile order both quick service meals and even to-go meals from select table service restaurants at the Walt Disney World Resort. We highly recommend using the Disney mobile order feature in your My Disney Experience app for a number of reasons. Below, you will find eight tips for using the Disney mobile order service in your My Disney Experience app during your Walt Disney World Resort vacation.

8 Tips for Using Disney Mobile Order

  1. Download the My Disney Experience App: First and foremost, you’ll need to have the My Disney Experience app downloaded to your smartphone or device to take advantage of Disney mobile order. We recommend that you download the app to begin to familiarize yourself with it before you even leave home.

2. Order at least 30 minute In Advance: I recommend selecting your order at least thirty minutes before you are ready to actually eat. There are times when the restaurant is so busy that your immediate timeframe may not be available. You’ll also want to allow time for the restaurant to prepare your order. You can also order early in the day for a later time, if you have a preferred dining time.

3. Use Mobile Order When Possible: Disney mobile order is available at many quick service locations, select table service restaurants offering to-go meals and now even some “snack” locations like Aloha Isle. You can enjoy a number of foods and beverages with this option. It will save you so much time from the locations with a long line of guests not taking advantage of Disney mobile order.

4. Watch for Exclusive and/or Limited Time Offerings: Across the top of your screen, the menu will be divided into sections like entrees, kids meals, beverages, etc. Keep an eye out for any limited time offerings like seasonal items or even exclusive menu items only available through the Disney mobile order service.

5. Know Where to Use the Disney Mobile Order Service: We have included the full list of participating locations below. Not all quick service locations are participating in the Disney mobile order feature in your My Disney Experience app so please familiarize yourself with participating locations in advance. There are also some (new) locations that only service snacks (like Aloha Isle) though!

6. Turn On Notifications: Your app will notify you of a couple important times that you won’t want to miss. If you choose to order for a later time, you will receive a notification when your window opens to arrive at the restaurant. You will also receive a notification when your order is ready and you can enter the restaurant to pick up your order.

7. Customization and Allergies: You can customize select items in the app like removing a sauce or item. Many locations also include allergy friendly menus for the most common allergies. If you have additional dietary needs, please speak to a cast member at the restaurant though.

8. Store Your Preferred Method of Payment: You can store your credit or debit card in the app in addition to a Disney gift card or even Disney Rewards card for a faster and easier checkout process.

Complete List of Participating Locations for Disney Mobile Order Service

Magic Kingdom

  • Aloha Isle
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
  • The Friar’s Nook
  • The Lunching Pad
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Sunshine Tree Terrace
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant

EPCOT

  • Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue
  • Sunshine Seasons

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

  • ABC Commissary
  • Backlot Express
  • Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
  • Milk Stand
  • PizzeRizzo
  • Ronto Roasters
  • Rosie’s All-American Cafe
  • Woody’s Lunch Box

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

  • Flame Tree Barbecue
  • Harambe Market
  • Restaurantosaurus
  • Satu’li Canteen

Disney Springs

  • D-Luxe Burger

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

  • Avalunch
  • Lottawatta Lodge

Disney’s Boardwalk

  • BoardWalk Bakery
  • Pizza Window
  • Trattoria al Forno To Go

Disney’s All Star Movies Resort

  • World Premiere Food Court

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

  • The Mara

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village

  • Sanaa To Go

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

  • Landscape of Flavors

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

  • Beach Club Marketplace

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

  • Centertown Market

Disney’s Contemporary Resort

  • Contempo Cafe
  • The Wave… of American Flavors To Go

Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort

  • Three Bridges Bar and Grill at Villa del Lago To Go

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

  • Gasparilla Island Grill

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

  • Olivia’s Cafe To Go

Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort

  • Capt. Cook’s
  • Kona Cafe To Go

Disney’s Pop Century Resort

  • Everything POP Shopping & Dining

Disney’s Riviera Resort

  • Primo Piatto

Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa

  • The Artist’s Palette

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

  • Geyser Point Bar & Grill To Go
  • Roaring Fork

Disney’s Yacht Club Resort

  • Ale & Compass Restaurant To Go
  • The Market at Ale & Compass

The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

  • P & J’s Southern Takeout

Have you tried the Disney mobile order service yet?

20 of the Most Unique Experiences at Universal Orlando Resort

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

When planning for a vacation, I love to find the lesser-known things you can’t miss at that destination. It’s no different when it comes to theme parks. You probably know the highlights about Universal Orlando Resort: fun rides, hotels to stay at, delicious restaurants and entertainment, and — of course — The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This list offers twenty unique experiences at Universal Orlando Resort that you can do during your vacation.

There’s so much more you can do at Universal that you may not even be aware of. Like, did you know you can adopt a Pygmy Puff? Do you even know what a Pygmy Puff is!? Well, you’re about to find out. Whether it’s your first visit you’re planning or your 100th, I hope these spark some inspiration.

1. Try a Can of Whoville’s Who Hash

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

One of my new favorite foodie finds is over at Green Eggs and Ham Cafe in Seuss Landing with the can of Whoville’s Who Hash. Munching on your can of Who Hash while strolling through the land will make you feel as if you’re right in the middle of a Dr. Seuss book. You can also get Green Eggs & Ham Tots, Buffalo Chicken Tots, and more.

2. Have a Chat with a Volcano Spirit

If you venture inside the volcano Krakatau at Universal’s Volcano Bay, you will come across Vol, the spirit of the volcano! This trickster fire spirit is great to chat with and can be a bit playful with water when they want to be.

3. Tour the MEN IN BLACK Headquarters

Did you know that there is an immigration tour offered at MEN IN BLACK Alien Attack? This exclusive tour will allow you to explore the downstairs level of MIB headquarters. If you ask one of the agents nicely, they may have availability to take you down and meet a few of the aliens. *Note: This experience is not always available. Saving the galaxy can be quite time-consuming.*

4. Meet Characters From Your Favorite Movies

Did you know you can occasionally run into Men In Black agents, trade in your cash for bank notes with a Gringotts Goblin, or even practice your kung fu moves with Po from Kung Fu Panda? There are a ton of characters to meet that you may not even be aware of! Keep an eye out as you explore the parks to see who you can find.

5. Adopt a Pygmy Puff

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

And this, my friends, is a Pygmy Puff. They are one of the cutest creature companions in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and, when you adopt one, the shopkeepers will do a fun naming ceremony for you. You can find them at Magical Menagerie and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, and you can adopt them in three sizes!

6. Bowl a Strike in Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort

Even if you can’t bowl a strike (like me), it’s pretty sweet having a bowling alley in your hotelGalaxy Bowl at Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort is small and intimate with only 10 lanes, which is part of its charm, but it does fill up fast. Don’t forget to make a reservation ahead of time and to bring your lucky bowling socks.

7. Snap a Pic with Your Favorite Shark

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Our JAWs attraction will live on in our memories, but there is still one place you can get a taste of it. Quite literally — you can enjoy a Shark Attack drink at Chez Alcatraz. This little bar pays homage to the attraction and even has our favorite shark right next to it for pictures.

8. Brave a 125-Foot Drop Slide Called Ko’okiri Body Plunge

Your vacation is the perfect time to face your fears, right? Conquer the tallest drop slide in Orlando at Universal’s Volcano Bay. It also happens to have an awesome view… that is if you can keep your eyes open.

9. Try All Six Kinds of Butterbeer Treats

Yes, you read that right. There are six kinds of Butterbeer treats you can try in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including fudge, ice cream, potted cream and — of course — the three types of drink. *Certain Butterbeer treats are offered seasonally.*

10. Dance with a Panda

Sometimes you just need an impromptu dance party with a panda. Have no fear, Hashtag the Panda is here to help! You can meet and dance with Hashtag before racing through New York with Jimmy Fallon. You can also see a performance by the Ragtime Gals.

11. Embark on a Rum-Tasting Journey

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Take a break from the parks and unwind with a rum-tasting journey led by a Rum Captain at Strong Water Tavern at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. They also happen to have amazing empanadas. *Operations are temporarily suspended for Loews Sapphire Falls Resort. Click here for updates.*

12. Get Your Putt-Putt On

As a self-proclaimed mini golf extraordinaire, one of my favorite things to do is play a round at the Hollywood Drive-In Golf in Universal CityWalk. It’s the perfect low-key activity to end the day. Plus, the haunted and sci-fi themes of each course speak to my geeky heart.

13. See Your Favorite Movies On… Water Screens?

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

End your day at the parks with a front-row view of the nighttime show Universal Orlando’s Cinematic Celebration in Universal Studios Florida. There’s something really epic about seeing a gigantic T. Rex from Jurassic World roaring in your face on MASSIVE water screens. *This show is available on select nights. Make sure to check the park map or Universal Orlando Mobile App for updates.*

14. Enjoy a Lunch Inspired by Dishes from Across the Globe

Right at the front of Universal’s Islands of Adventure is one of my favorite restaurants, Confisco Grille. This hidden gem (that just so happens to be in plain sight) features an eclectic menu with a mixture of global cuisines like Asian, Turkish, Mediterranean, Greek, Russian, Polish, and more. You can also find mysterious confiscated goods inside that you may recognize from the park.

15. Escape to Waterfall Cove

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

This is my kind of hidden gem when it comes to water parks. Waterfall Cove is a secluded area tucked away at the base of Krakatau (the volcano) in Volcano Bay. It makes for a peaceful escape from the crowds and has some gorgeous waterfalls that will make you feel as if you’ve been transported to an exotic location.

16. Explore Lost Continent

An enchanted talking fountain, exotic cuisine, a bazaar filled with trinkets and treasures, psychic readings, and more. Lost Continent is one of the most richly-themed areas of Islands of Adventure with stunning backdrops for photos, and the perfect place to relax and grab a bite to eat. I highly recommend having lunch at Mythos and enjoying the excellent views of the park from the outside seating.

17. Eat Burgushi – Where the Cow and the Fish Become One

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Take the fixings of both a burger and sushi, put them together, and bam! Burgushi. Chow down on this land and sea fusion at The Cowfish in Universal CityWalk. A guest favorite is The High-Class Hillbilly-Southern Style Bar-B-Q-Shi (pictured).

18. Live Your Best Rockstar Life

I love music, which makes Hard Rock Hotel one of my favorite places to stay. One of the fun things to do is the memorabilia tour. You can see priceless items from some of your singers and bands. Feel inspired? You can rent a guitar or record player to play in your room after! *Some hotel amenities may be temporarily unavailable during your visit.*

19. Cast Your Own Spells in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Create your own magic in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with an interactive wand. You have to try your hand at the Meteolojinx in Diagon Alley (pictured). My personal favorite spell is Incendio at Flimflams Lanterns in Diagon Alley. It’s so cool at night! You may even discover some hidden spells as you progress in your practice.

20. Sing Karaoke on the Big Stage

Even if you’re afraid of being in the spotlight, singing karaoke at Rising Star in Universal CityWalk is so much fun! You get backup singers and even a hype man to help make you the star of the show. Plus, the lights are bright enough on stage so you can barely see the crowd — just in case you need a courage booster. *Check the Universal Orlando Mobile App for when Rising Star and other CityWalk venues are open.*

What are your favorite unique experiences at Universal Orlando Resort? Add to the list in the comments below if you’re an experienced veteran of the parks!

Must be 21 years of age or older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages at Universal Orlando Resort.

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!

Top 10 Things to Do at Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort

Top 10 Things to Do at Volcano Bay at Universal Orlando Resort
Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

As you’re planning your vacation to Universal Orlando Resort, be sure to add in a day to spend at Universal’s water theme park, Volcano Bay. This lush, tropical oasis has four themed areas inspired by the Pacific Isles, each with a mixture of both relaxing and thrilling experiences. For those looking for adventure, the 200-foot-tall volcano, Krakatau, towers at the heart of the theme park with water slides that twist and turn throughout it like the Krakatua Aqua Coaster. If you’re looking to unwind, enjoy a slow tube ride through the Kopiko Wai Winding River. And that’s just the tip of the volcano. There are so many things to do in this island paradise, so where do you start? We’ll help get you going with the top 10 things to do at Volcano Bay.

1. Soak in the Sun on Waturi Beach

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

First things first, grab the perfect spot on Waturi Beach and enjoy a relaxing swim in the sparkling lagoon at the base of the mighty Krakatau volcano.

2. Float the Day Away in the Kopiko Wai Winding River

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Take your relaxation up a few notches with a slow float throughout Volcano Bay on the Kopiko Wai Winding River.

3. Get Drenched on the Krakatau Aqua Coaster

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Part water slide, part coaster, the Krakatau Aqua Coaster is THE must-do ride. Board a four-person canoe and cruise upwards and downwards within the volcano before taking the plunge!

TIP: Plan ahead with these Volcano Bay insider tips like how to reserve a Virtual Line experience for the slides and more.

4. Race Along the Churning Rapids of TeAwa The Fearless River

A whitewater adventure in the middle of Florida? Yes, please! You’ll need to don a life vest to take on the roaring onslaught of intense waves and choppy rapids in this river.

5. Enjoy Two Unique Raft Rides on Honuika Moana

Grab the family and get ready to go with the flow on these two twisting and turning multi-person raft slides.

6. Brave the Volcano on Ko’okiri Body Plunge

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Calling all thrill seekers! Put your courage to the test with this 70-degree drop door slide, featuring a descent of 125 feet from the top of the volcano.

TIP: If you need to try a couple of slides lower on the intensity level first, check out the Kala & Tai Nui Serpentine Body Slides before you conquer the Ko’okiri Body Plunge.

7. Visit the Volcano Spirit, Vol, Inside Krakatau

Venture into Krakatau and you may get the chance to chat with the fire spirit, Vol. But watch out! This trickster is known to be playful with water.

TIP: Discover all the ways you can play while waiting virtually in line for the slides.

8. Make a Splash on the Ohyah and Ohno Drop Slides

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

The question is which one do you do first? These two serpentine drop slides will have you yelling “Ohyah!” or “Ohno!” as you plummet several feet into swirling water pools.

9. Have Fun with TapTu Play Experiences Throughout the Theme Park

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Keep an eye out for this symbol and activate fun surprises like splashes of water and light with a simple tap of your TapuTapu wearable.

TIP: Find out more ways your TapuTapu wearable makes a visit to Volcano Bay a breeze by clicking here.

10. Refuel with Island-Inspired Dishes, Signature Drinks, and Cool Treats

Volcano Bay has changed the game when it comes to food in a water park with dishes jam-packed with flavors inspired by the South Pacific. A couple of favorites are the Waturi Fusion Ice Cream and the Quinoa Edamame Burger.

TIP: Check out this guide to discover more food and drinks that await you in this tropical paradise.

What are your favorite things to do at Volcano Bay? Tell us in the comments below!

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!

What You Need to Pack in Your Disney World Park Bag

Disney World park bag

What will you need for a day at Disney World? What kinds of things should you pack for in your Disney World park bag for an enjoyable day? If you’ve never been to Disney World or maybe it’s been a while, you may be unsure what you’d like to carry with you. We have some suggestions as to what we recommend that you pack in your Disney World park bag for a magical day in the parks.

For Everyone

We think the following items are useful whether you are traveling alone, as a couple, or with a family.

Hand Sanitizer: Even before the pandemic, it has always been important to have a way to clean your hands on the go. There are a lot of people touching the same rides, queues, and more so you’ll want to keep your hands clean throughout the day and before meals. We recommend bringing some travel size hand sanitizer. We especially love these alcohol free hand sanitizer wipes for kids.

Sunscreen: It’s sunny almost year round in Florida! Even if you are traveling in the winter, there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy some sunny days and will still want to have some sunscreen to apply throughout the day. It’s MUCH cheaper to bring with you than to have to purchase it from a gift shop in the parks.

Portable Phone Charger: Between taking pictures and videos of your magical memories and checking and making dining reservations and FastPass+ selections in your My Disney Experience account, there’s a good chance that your phone battery won’t last all day in the parks. We recommend a portable phone charger to keep your phone charged throughout your day. I’ve heard great things about this Anker portable charger.

Sunglasses:

Water Bottle: You can always ask for a free cup of ice water at any quick service dining location, but in the heat, it can be nice to have your own water bottle to carry with you and refill throughout the parks. If you’re sensitive to the taste of Florida tap water, you may want to bring a drink flavoring. We love collapsible water bottles to save space in your bag when not in use.

Gum: Did you know that you cannot purchase gum at Disney World? It’s true! If you want to enjoy a piece of gum during your visit, you’ll have to bring some with you! We recommend ordering a multipack from Amazon so you won’t run out.

First Aid Kit: From blisters from uncomfortable shoes to scrapes, you never know when you may need a band-aid or even some Neosporin. These Johnson & Johnson Mini First Aid Kits are the perfect size to toss in your bag and go!

Mickey (or Minnie) Ears: Is any park outfit complete without “ears?” There are SO many to choose from! You can show off your style, favorite characters, and more designs. We love these navy blue ears with pink polka dots or you’ll never go wrong with the classic Mickey ears hat. You can even order an inexpensive 3-pack of Minnie ears.

Ziploc Bags: Ziploc bags can prove useful in the parks for a number of reasons! If you have a quick rain shower and end up with wet clothes, have leftover snacks without a resealable container, or a little one with an accident, you may be thankful for carrying a few Ziploc bags in your Disney World park bag.

Lanyards: If you’re staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you’ll receive a complimentary magic band with your reservation so you don’t have to worry about carrying a hard card ticket, but you may want to try pin trading. How cute is this Mickey Mouse lanyard or this Star Wars lanyard?

Disney World park bag

Additional Items When Traveling with Kids

We think the following items are helpful to have in your park bag when you’re traveling with kids.

Mickey Mouse Stroller Hook: Regardless of the size of your stroller, it can be helpful to have an extra place to hang things. We love this Mickey Mouse stroller hook from Petunia Pickle Bottom for hanging jackets, bags, and even the resort refillable drink mugs.

Stroller Tag: If you’ve been to the parks before, then you probably know how many strollers are in the stroller parking areas. With all those strollers so close together, it can be difficult to quickly and easily find yours (especially since cast members often move them so there aren’t open spaces). A fun activity before you go would be to make a sign to hang on your stroller. If you aren’t very crafty or are short on time, these rainbow pom poms can be great to hang on the handle.

Autograph Book (and Sharpie or pen): If you’re planning to meet any characters during your visit, you may want an autograph book for them to sign, especially during character meals. Some guests even like the Disney Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters so each character can sign their corresponding page. Don’t forget to bring a Sharpie or pen for the characters to use as many handlers don’t carry any for you.

Light Up Toys: Light up toys are SO popular in the parks! Kids love playing with these light up toys while they wait for nighttime spectaculars like Happily Ever After. This two pack of Mickey Mouse flashing wands are perfect to keep the Disney magic going. We also love this six pack of flashing Mickey Mouse necklaces or two pack of snowflake wands for any Frozen fan!

Bubble Wand: Bubble toys are another popular souvenir in the parks! These toys can set you back about $25 though so we always try to bring one with us. We love this coloring changing LED bubble wand for less than $15!

Glow Sticks: Glow sticks are a fun and inexpensive treat for the kids while you enjoy the parks at night. You can order a multi-pack of glow sticks so the kids can wear some (or even share with other kids) every night of your stay.

Reusable Straws: Disney Parks have removed plastic straws from the theme parks and resorts. They do offer paper straws at most locations, but these can be difficult for kids to use or even anyone enjoying a frozen beverage. You can bring these stainless steel straws or these collapsible silicone straws that come with a carrying case.

Additional Items When Traveling in the Summer

We think these items are extra useful when traveling in the summer or for our guests who are sensitive to the heat.

Cooling Towels: Cooling towels don’t take up a lot of space in your bag, but can really help keep you cool! These cooling towels use moisture from the towel to draw the sweat away from your skin and stay cool for up to 3 hours! You can order a four pack here.

Handheld Fan or Misting Spray Fan: A handheld fan or misting spray fan can come in handy while waiting for the Festival of Fantasy Parade in Magic Kingdom or just walking throughout the parks. Most of the spray fans are battery operated while many of the handheld fans can be charged with a USB port so you can even use your portable charger for your fan! You can order a misting fan here or a handheld fan here.

Print your own Disney Park Bag checklist here:

Disney World park bag checklist

We also have a list of ten things to make traveling with a toddler easier.

What do you bring in your Disney World park bag?

7 Reasons to Spend a Day at Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

Do you love lazy rivers, water slides, or swimming? If so, then you’ll want to add a day at one of the Disney World water parks, Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon, to your next Disney World vacation! With the warm temperatures in Florida almost year round, you can enjoy Disney World’s water parks during almost any vacation. 

Here are seven reasons to spend a day at Disney’s Blizzard Beach water park:

1.Blizzard Beach has a special story all its own 

Photo: Disney

A ski resort in Florida? You heard that right! As the story goes, a legendary snowstorm in Florida prompted local opportunists to build a ski resort. When Florida’s climate returned to normal temperatures and the snow began to melt, Blizzard Beach was born.

 2. Blizzard Beach is home to one of the fastest waterslides in the world

Photo: Disney

The ultimate water park thrill ride, Summit Plummet, is a 120-foot-tall waterslide with a near-vertical drop. Guests accelerate up to 65 mph on the slide, making it one of the fastest attractions at Walt Disney World.

3. There’s no shortage of tasty treats

Photo: Disney

From churros to Mickey ice cream bars, you can discover many of your favorite snacks at the Disney Water Parks. There are plenty of menu options to choose from, including these loaded nachos from Frostbite Freddy’s Frozen Freshments.

4. The first chairlift in Florida was built at Blizzard Beach

Photo: Disney

Want to know a Disney secret? This colorful chairlift, built to ferry guests to the top of Mount Gushmore, was the first of its kind in the state of Florida. The chairlift offers a scenic bird’s-eye view of Blizzard Beach and easy access to Summit Plummet, Slush Gusher and Teamboat Springs.

5. There’s a full-service beach bar serving Blizzard Beach-inspired cocktails

Photo: Disney

Piña CoLAVA anyone? How about a Blue Blizzard Margarita? The Polar Pub serves as Blizzard Beach’s own full-service beach bar and offers specialty cocktails inspired by the park’s stories.

6. Cross Country Creek is one of the longest lazy rivers in the U.S.A.

Photo: Disney

At 3,000 feet, Cross Country Creek ranks among the longest lazy rivers in the country. It takes between 20 and 30 minutes to complete one journey around the waterway – depending, of course, on how lazy you want to be!

7. Teamboat Springs is one of the world’s longest family whitewater raft ride

Photo: Disney

One of the world’s longest family whitewater raft ride is none other than Teamboat Springs at Blizzard Beach. Along the winding rapids of Teamboat Springs, guests encounter remnants of the fabled snowstorm in the form of snowshoes, snow shovels, melting icicles and a snow mobile.

Have you ever visited Disney World’s water parks? Which Disney World water park do you prefer?

Don’t miss these 14 tips for visiting one of the Disney World water parks or our list of the best Orlando water parks!

Thanks Disney Parks Blog!

Top 5 Tips for a Rainy Day at Disneyland Resort in California

Top 5 Tips for a Rainy Day at Disneyland Resort in California

From the Disney Parks Blog:

Rainy Day at Disneyland
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

While the sun is often shining upon the Disneyland Resort, there is a rainy day now and then. If you think damp weather puts a damper on a day at Disneyland, think again! Here are five tips for enjoying a rainy day at Disneyland Resort.

Pack that Poncho…
…or grab one when you get here! Many Disneyland Resort merchandise locations offer ponchos and umbrellas. If you don’t see them on the shelves, just ask a cast member.

Rainy Day at Disneyland
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Take it Inside
Whether you’re learning to draw at the Disney Animation Building in Disney California Adventurepark or exploring a galaxy far, far away at Star Wars Launch Bay in Disneyland park, there are many indoor attractions that will keep the fun going while keeping you dry. Check out the list of indoor attractions on Disneyland.com.

One More Time!
Rainy days can mean more opportunities to ride your favorite attractions!

Unique Photo Opportunities
Rainy days are the perfect time to catch a unique photo of icons like Sleeping Beauty Castle, framed by dramatic clouds or even reflected in a puddle. For inspiration, check out these rainy day reflection photos from former Disneyland Resort Chief Photographer Paul Hiffmeyer.

Rainy Day at Disneyland
Photo: Disney Parks Blog

Catch a Show
The climate is always nice when you’re enjoying an amazing show inside a comfortable theater. Cozy up for “Frozen – Live at the Hyperion” or settle in for the classic Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln!

What are your best tips for enjoying a day at Disneyland Resort? Tell us in the comments!

Enjoy an Enchanting Vacation on the Disney Wish Beginning June 9, 2022

Disney’s newest ship, the Disney Wish, will sail her maiden voyage on June 9, 2022 from Port Canaveral, Florida!

Photo: Disney

When the Disney Wish sets sail in summer 2022, you’ll be immersed in Disney’s rich legacy of enchanting storytelling. The Disney Wish will bring to life the stories and characters of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars adventures like never before.

To “Swim”-finity and Beyond

Photo: Disney

We’re taking fun in the sun to the next level on board the Disney Wish with a brand-new family water attraction and three themed districts that offer dedicated space for families, children and adults alike.

You’ll be immersed in “The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse” animated shorts aboard the first-ever Disney attraction at sea, AquaMouse. Complete with show scenes, lighting and special effects, and splashtacular surprises, this wild water ride is sure to delight everyone in the family as they zig, zag and zoom through 760 feet of winding tubes suspended high above the upper decks.

Families will have more pools, more deck space and more dining than ever before in an expansive district themed to Mickey and friends. In addition to AquaMouse, the area will feature six pools — spaciously staggered among tiered decks and surrounded by lounge chairs — and a fresh take on quick and casual fare with a festive character twist. 

Little ones will delight in an all-new Toy Story-themed district designed especially for families with toddlers and young children. This whimsical water wonderland will include a splash zone, wading pool, family waterslide and smoothie bar. 

Adults will indulge in sun-drenched serenity at Quiet Cove, a peaceful refuge dedicated to lounging, sipping and soaking. Set away from the bustle of family activities, this secluded adults-only district will feature a luxurious infinity pool, poolside bar and chic cafe. 

Prepared and Served with Flair – A Culinary Cabaret

Photo: Disney

With the debut of three brand-new family dining concepts ranging from theatrical entertainment to cinematic adventure to sophisticated elegance, dinner on board the Disney Wish will be so much more than a meal – it will be a chance to interact with favorite Disney stories in exciting new ways. 

Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is Disney’s first “Frozen”-themed theatrical dining experience that will bring the world of Arendelle to life through immersive live entertainment — featuring favorite characters like Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf — and world-class cuisine infused with Nordic influences.

Worlds of Marvel is the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining adventure, where you’ll play an interactive role in an action-packed Avengers mission that unfolds around you, complete with a worldly menu inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

1923, named for the year The Walt Disney Company was founded, is an elegant celebration of the company’s legacy, paying homage to the golden age of animation and offering a tasteful tribute to its Californian heritage with dishes inspired by the state’s unique fusion of cultural flavors. 

A Whole New World of Family Entertainment

Photo: Disney

We’re combining innovative design, technology and storytelling to create immersive entertainment environments that will surround guests in Disney stories in new and unexpected ways on board the Disney Wish.

The Grand Hall will evolve from a fairytale gathering space into an environmental theater through the magic of built-in special effects and the first-ever atrium stage on a Disney ship. Dedicated shows and interactive entertainment will come to life all around the hall, putting you front and center as you play a special role in the magic. 

Luna is a brand-new entertainment hub that will transition from a daytime setting for family fun into an elegant evening venue for adult-exclusive entertainment, offering a variety of live shows and interactive programming throughout the day.

Hero Zone is a futuristic sports arena where physical activity will blend with imagination during action-packed challenges and game show-style competitions for families to take on together.

The Walt Disney Theatre is an opulent show palace that will come alive with original Broadway-style stage productions developed exclusively for Disney Cruise Line. 

The Wonderland and Never Land Cinemas are intimate screening rooms that will provide you more options than ever to watch classic and first-run films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and more. 

In true Disney Cruise Line fashion, the Disney Wish will offer a robust menu of world-class entertainment throughout every voyage, including spectacular stage shows, exhilarating deck parties, one-of-a-kind character experiences, fun family activities, contemporary cabarets and more.

Imaginations, Assemble! Cool Clubs for Kids of All Ages

Photo: Disney

Children ages 3 to 12 will enter the captivating worlds of favorite Disney stories in the reimagined Disney’s Oceaneer Club, a real-life wonderland featuring more spaces and stories than ever before. 

  • Marvel Super Hero Academy is a high-tech Avengers headquarters where young “recruits” will train to be the next generation of Super Heroes with the help of their own heroes, like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp.
  • Fairytale Hall is a royal trio of activity rooms where princesses and princes will let their creativity shine at Rapunzel’s Art Studio, read and act out stories at Belle’s Library, and test newfound icy powers at Anna and Elsa’s Sommerhus. 
  • Walt Disney Imagineering Lab is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for kids to discover the secrets of Disney Imagineers with hands-on activities and inventive experiments.

For the littlest cruisers ages 6 months to 3 years, It’s a Small World Nursery will offer babysitting services in a whimsical environment inspired by the beloved Disney attraction of the same name.

Edge (ages 11 to 14) and Vibe (ages 14 to 17) are trendy hangouts where tweens and teens will chill and play in their own way, with dedicated programming designed to engage the unique interests of these age groups.

A Trove of Untold Treasures Exclusively for Adults

Photo: Disney

For the first time on a Disney ship, you will embark on a space-jumping tour of the Star Wars galaxy at Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, a high-end bar styled as a luxurious yacht-class spaceship. This richly themed, immersive experience will be reserved for adults every evening, offering interactive tasting experiences and signature beverages inspired by destinations such as Batuu, Tatooine and Mustafar.

You’ll savor gourmet meals and exceptional beverages at an upscale suite of epicurean excellence exclusively for adults, inspired by the elegant icons of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Beauty and the Beast.”

  • Palo Steakhouse is an evolution of the Palo restaurant that Disney cruisers know and love, now combining the relaxed sophistication of authentic Italian dining with the classic refinement of a modern steakhouse in a genteel setting inspired by Cogsworth, the tale’s majordomo-turned-enchanted-clock.
  • Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement will offer the most luxurious dining experience on board, featuring a gourmet menu crafted by the three-Michelin-starred chef. This romantic and intimate venue evokes the dazzling spirit of the film’s candelabra maitre d’, Lumiere.  
  • The Rose is a chic lounge at the entrance of Palo Steakhouse and Enchanté. Inspired by the fateful flower at the heart of the story, The Rose will be an idyllic setting for a pre-dinner aperitif or after-dinner cocktail. 

Senses Spa is a tranquil oasis offering indulgent spa and beauty treatments, drawing on the serenity of natural elements to promote pampering and relaxation. The spa will feature private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas, and steam and aromatherapy rooms, while the reimagined Senses Fitness will offer state-of-the-art exercise and wellness facilities.  

Other adult-exclusive spaces on board the Disney Wish will include the Quiet Cove pool district; a variety of gourmet cafes, relaxed bars and upscale lounges; and more. 

Artful Accommodations Where Dreams Do Come True

Photo: Disney

With an all-new look and feel steeped in enchantment and inspired by dreamy Disney stories, every stateroom on board the Disney Wish will be a luxurious, peaceful retreat designed with ample room for families, plenty of storage and upscale amenities. Most will feature Disney Cruise Line’s signature split-bathroom concept for utmost comfort and function. 

Most of the ship’s 1,254 staterooms will offer an ocean view — including 877 (70%) with a spacious verandah — and there will be 451 connecting doors that adjoin rooms to accommodate larger families. 

The Disney Wish will elevate the concierge experience with more than double the number of premium concierge staterooms and suites, including Disney’s first-ever staterooms located above the bridge, boasting floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal breathtaking ocean views overlooking the bow of the ship. An exclusive lounge with private sun deck will be the perfect place for concierge guests to relax, sip a cocktail, and enjoy a premium level of dedicated service throughout the voyage.

The Disney Wish will also debut four royal suites – richly adorned, lavishly appointed suites that accommodate up to six guests and feature extravagant details and first-class amenities. These include a pair of two-story suites, the first of their kind within the Disney fleet, which will feature stunning statement pieces like an elegant spiral staircase and a spectacular two-deck-high stained-glass frieze.

Setting Sail Summer 2022

Photo: Disney

The Disney Wish will sail its maiden voyage — a five-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay — on June 9, 2022, followed by an inaugural season of three- and four-night cruises to the same destinations from Port Canaveral, Fla. Bookings open to the general public on May 27, 2021. Castaway Club members and select other guests may be eligible for early booking.

Disney unveiled never-before-released details of the Disney Wish the the video below, Once Upon a Disney Wish. This special 30-minute virtual presentation provides a sneak peek at all of the magic that awaits, including a look behind-the-scenes with Walt Disney Imagineers and the creative team bringing the Disney Wish to life. Plus, this enchanting reveal includes special character appearances and surprise performances you won’t want to miss!

Have you ever taken a Disney cruise? Are you planning to sail on the Disney Wish?

Thanks Disney Parks Blog!

15 Tips for Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

You’ve booked your vacation to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Now what? If you’re planning to experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the very first time, you may need some tips for visiting the Wizarding World!

I remember the first time I knew I was going to be able to go to Hogwarts and try a Butterbeer just like Harry Potter. I was overflowing with excitement, which only increased ten-fold when I found myself finally walking under the arches into Hogsmeade village. I’m pretty sure I stood there for a good chunk of time staring and taking it all in before finally making a mad dash to get everything done in a matter of hours.

Planning on how best to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the first time can be daunting. With two lands that span across two theme parks — Hogsmeade in Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley in Universal Studios Florida — and tons of things to do, eat, drink, and see in each, you can easily find yourself missing out on some of the incredible details and experiences.

Here’s a list of planning tips and can’t-miss experiences you’ll want to check out before your upcoming visit to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort.

15 Tips for Visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Don’t Try Doing It All in One Day

If you have one day to spend in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you can get the majority of things done, while enjoying the rest of the theme park attractions. But, if you truly want to get the full wizarding world experience without feeling rushed, I recommend dedicating a day in Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure) and a day in Diagon Alley (Universal Studios).

Remember to Pack Your Robe and Wand

It’s not every day you can wander the streets of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley like a real witch or wizard. Make sure to add your robe, wand, and any other Harry Potter apparel or accessories to your packing list for some real epic pics. If you want to get your gear during your visit, there are many shops to check out throughout the wizarding world.

Arrive Early and Stay Late

Try to get there first thing in the morning for fewer crowds. (If you’re staying at a Universal hotel, definitely take advantage of the Early Park Admission perk!) On the flipside, if the theme parks are open later, try to stay until nighttime. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is absolutely breath-taking at night.

Ride the Hogwarts Express Both Ways

Hop aboard the Hogwarts Express and travel back and forth between Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. Make sure to take it both ways as each way has a different experience(You’ll need a park-to-park ticket in order to ride the Hogwarts Express.)

Don’t Miss Diagon Alley

The entrance to Diagon Alley is cleverly disguised as a brick wall in the London area, just like it’s described as in the films and books. Believe it or not, some people (like my brother’s friends) walk right by it!

Try All Six Types of Butterbeer Treats

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

You’re probably familiar with Butterbeer, the frothy drink from the films and books that is reminiscent of butterscotch and shortbread. But, did you know there are six different Butterbeer treats you can try in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, like soft-serve ice cream and fudge? (Certain Butterbeer treats are offered seasonally.)

Don’t Skip the Queues

Typically, I’m all for getting through queues quickly, but the ride queues in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter are ones you don’t want to miss. You get to see the iconic rooms and details inside Hogwarts castle and Gringotts bank, and even pass through Platform 9 ¾ on your way to ride the Hogwarts Express.

See All the Shows

A choir of singing frogs AND a theater troupe who performs with puppets? What more could you want. There are five live shows —  two in Hogsmeade and three in Diagon Alley —  you can see perform daily. (Check the Universal Orlando Resort App for show times.)

Ride Both the Sidecar and Motorbike

There are two ways to ride on Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, and each seat gives you a unique experience. I’ll take it one step further and say I’ve heard riding at night is, and I quote, “life-changing.”

Don’t Miss Out on Magical Experiences

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

Make time for some of the more lesser-known experiences like sending a letter with a Hogsmeade stamp, mixing your own elixirschatting with a goblin, or creating your very own moving pictures at Shutterbutton’s.

Check Out Knockturn Alley

You may be too distracted by the fire-breathing dragon atop Gringotts bank when you first enter Diagon Alley and walk right by Knockturn Alley. Put your brave face on and wander into this shadowy alleyway, which gives you a taste of Dark Magic in the wizarding world.

Treat Yourself to More Than One Wizarding Treat

Chocolate Frogs, Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans, Sugar Quills, Pumpkin Pasties, and more. Nab a few of your favorite wizarding world sweets before you leave and enjoy them while reminiscing about your trip after you get back home.

Don’t Forget Your Interactive Wand Map

Photo: Universal Orlando Resort

If you treat yourself to an interactive wand, don’t forget about the map! Each wand comes with a map that shows where you can cast spells throughout Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley. Don’t be like me wandering around aimlessly searching the ground for bronze spell markers because you forgot it.

Explore the Shop Windows

Your attention may be pulled toward the rides or getting a Butterbeer, but make sure to take some time to do some “window” shopping. There are incredible details in each shop window that bring the magic to life right before your eyes.

Don’t Miss Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter any time of the year is quite magical, but coming during the holidays… it’s a whole ‘nother experience you won’t want to miss. Need more convincing? Two words: hot Butterbeer.

What are your favorite tips for visiting the Wizarding World of Harry Potter?

Thanks Universal Orlando Resort Blog!