Which Walt Disney World Resort I recommend for Summer 2021

Thinking of heading to Walt Disney World in the next few months? This is the hotel I recommend for Summer 2021.

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for anything that could happen or go wrong on your vacation; these are just my opinions after years and years of vacationing at Walt Disney World.

While we are still coming out of the pandemic and Disney World is still slowly opening up resorts, attractions and dining locations, I would suggest the best possible hotel to stay at currently would be (assuming you’re a party of no bigger than 4):

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

EVERYTHING IS CONDENSED INTO ONE BUILDING

Florida can be terribly hot and humid and there is nothing like getting off a Disney bus, all hot and sweaty from a super fantastic day at the parks and walking into ONE wonderfully airconditioned building providing not just your cool room, but gift shop, quick service and restaurants all inside. It is so super convenient to have all of this inside the same building for extra AC and to avoid the constant rain showers that Summer 2021 is bringing us! Not to mention the lobby is stunning and the rooms are gorgeous!

BOAT TO MAGIC KINGDOM

Having the easy 10 minute boat ride to and from Magic Kingdom really does make your vacation feel extra magical!

FIREWORKS VIEWS FROM SOME LOCATIONS AT THE RESORT

Summer 2019 was the first time we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and we were surprised with a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom Castle as well as fireworks from our balcony! Now that the fireworks are back you are sure to enjoy!

WITH MANY DINING LOCATIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED, MORE DINING OPTIONS AVAILABLE

Whispering Canyon Café has been open which is a delicious table-service restaurant if you need a change from quick service. Wilderness Lodge also has Geyser Point Bar and Grill which is an outdoor, water-view restaurant which is another great option to have. You can’t go wrong at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

AS A DISNEY WORLD DELUXE HOTEL ACCOMODATION, THE RATES AREN’T AWFUL AND WORTH IT

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge falls into the deluxe hotel categories because of it’s many amenities and for being one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts, but it isn’t nearly priced as high as the Contemporary, Grand Floridian or especially right now the Polynesian – if you ask for a standard view room. It is one of more affordable deluxe accommodations with many comforting habituations. Also this deluxe resort offers a slide at the main pool and there is a splash pad for the younger kids which gives you a little more to do at the resort.

Planning a summer vacation? Where are you headed this summer?! I would love to hear your plans and thoughts!

Need assistance convincing a loved one to try Disney World?! CLICK HERE!

5 Pros and Cons of Staying in a Cabin at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Camprground

PROS

CABINS SLEEP 6 PEOPLE

Would I stay in a Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabin with 6 adults, no but a family of 4 – 5 absolutely! There is a bedroom with 1 queen size bed and a bunk bed that sleeps 2. Then the living room has a pull out couch that sleeps 2. The bathroom is big and spacious, with an eat-in kitchen and eating area directly outside. The kitchen is just about a full-kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, a stove top, convection oven, sink, cabinets stocked with dinnerware, a dishwasher and lots of counter space. The air conditioning in the cabin was amazing – best AC out of all the resorts we have stayed in!!!! Lots of options at the resort like hiking, horseback riding, archery etc.

NO HOTEL HALLWAYS OR ELEVATORS DURING PANDEMIC TIMES

In the cabin you are much more secluded and there is less interaction between you and strangers staying at this resort. The mobile ordering is a breeze and I sure hope it is here to stay since it makes it so easy to order and run down to P&J’s to pick up your food.

YOU GET TO DRIVE AROUND A GOLF CART!

Who doesn’t love driving around a golf cart in a campground?! This resort is so gigantic that if you do not have a golf cart to drive to Disney Transportation to the parks or even to the pool or to P&J’s, you will need to use the internal busing to get there. Golf carts are an extra fee and book up fast but you are allowed to bring your own or rent from elsewhere!

PARKING SPACE AVAILABLE AT THE CABIN

For those who prefer to drive to Disney, how fabulous is it to park your car directly outside of your room for easy unloading and packing back up!

YOU GET TO TAKE THE BOAT TO MAGIC KINGDOM

One of my favorite perks about staying at the Magic Kingdom Resorts is taking the boat as method of transportation for back and forth to Magic Kingdom. We love taking the boat – it is a fun ride in itself and makes it all the more magical!

CONS

NO MORNING WALK FOR COFFEE

If you’re like me and you love your morning walk with your refillable mug to grab some coffee before you hit the parks – you can forget the walk here. It took us about 10 min each way via golf cart.

QUICK SERVICE, GIFT SHOPS SPREAD TOO FAR APART

Usually in a Disney Resort the restaurants, gift shops and quick service are located centrally together in one building, or normally super close – for the most part but not at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. Everything is spread pretty far apart and you will need to drive the golf cart to get to each of these.

NOT TROPICAL / OR OVER-THE-TOP-DISNEY-THEMED

Typically Disney Resorts are very themed – from Tropical, to Polynesian, Victorian style, to Orleans’ style – you name it, you got it. Disney’s Fort Wilderness is a campground so if you want some wild theming you really won’t find it here. We come from North Jersey so it reminded us all of home, instead of being on vacation! LOL The cabin felt a little dark and dreary at times. It was also disappointing that the gift shop hours were shortened due to the pandemic and the restaurant was closed along with the dinner shows that weren’t running during our June 2021 stay.

IT GETS OLD HAVING TO DRIVE THE GOLF CART EVERYWHERE PLUS YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT

Our family has been to Disney World 10 plus times, staying a different resort each time and this unfortunately has made the bottom of the list. This was the first vacation where we had a LOT of rainy weather – where it was thunder storming night after night and we would return to a soaking wet golf cart which was not fun. We started leaving a bathroom towel in there to dry it off when we would return – I’m not sure what other people do – some people have covers. But when we came back wet, cold and tired we just wanted to walk into our building and up to our room. Even at Pop Century you have a minimal 5 minute walk to your room, even if it is outside.

THE COST OF A CABIN IS SIMILAR TO A MODERATE RESORT

All magic comes at a price! The cabin is fantastic but it is not cheap by any means… it is comparable to the cost of a moderate resort and the pricing of the golf cart around $67 per night makes the price go up to like staying at a deluxe resort! We were also not thrilled with having the bunk either – our children are a little older now and as tall as we are so the bunk bed was not really feasible for us – we would have preferred another queen sized bed (aside from the pullout couch).

NEVER BEEN TO DISNEY WORLD?! CLICK HERE TO READ WHY VACATIONING IN DW IS NOT LIKE YOUR TYPICAL THEME PARK EXPERIENCES…. NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!

Things To Do With Your Kids This Summer That Won’t Break The Bank

After a year of a world pandemic everyone seems to be hurting financially but this doesn’t mean you can’t do anything with your family! The summer is a great time for the kids to experience nature – being in the great outdoors is so good for the growing brain, not to mention for great mental health.

Inexpensive Family Fun Ideas:

Are you vaccinated or partially vaccinated? If you live in the state of NJ you can get into all state parks in NJ for FREE. Here is the link: https://www.nj.gov/dep/vaxandvisit/ Just make sure you travel with your vaccination card and drivers license.

  • Pack lunches and explore the state parks in your area – especially if you have any near the beach! Some have lakes and some have the ocean! My favorite State Park in NJ is Island Beach by Seaside!
  • High Point State Park has plenty of picnic tables as well as a fantastic lake with beach.

DOWNLOAD THE ALL TRAILS APP

  • Research a “Waterfront Park” in your area for a beautiful water view for a family picnic and walk
  • Hiking
  • Geocaching

REASEARCH YOUR LOCAL ARBORETUMS AND BOTANICALS GARDEN

  • Some have a picnic table for enjoying the weather while enjoying an inexpensive lunch with your family.
  • Right now the Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne, NJ has sculptures along the path!

ONCE A WEEK, TRAVEL TO AN ICE CREAM PALOR/ DAIRY CREAMERY THAT YOU HAVE NEVER VISITED BEFORE!

  • Because who doesn’t like ice cream???!

RESEARCH AND TRAVEL TO DIFFERENT BOOK SHOPS AND COMIC BOOK SHOPS

How are you spending time with your family this summer? I would love to hear your ideas!

OGA’S CANTINA: HOT TIP

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU VISIT OGA’S CANTINA AT HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS IN WALT DISNEY WORLD!

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO!

We learned the hard way that when you make a reservation for Oga’s Cantina at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Galaxy’s Edge located in Orlando, Florida you might just have to STAND for your drink! YEP – YOU MIGHT JUST HAVE TO STAND. When you make your reservations try calling Disney to let them know you would prefer a table, but you still might not get a table. It is very much a bar.

When you’re legs are sore and tired after walking so many steps while having a fabulous day at the park you might really be looking forward to sitting at this fully-immersive Star Wars Attraction.

While this is super neat to experience also know that you will need to pay for your drinks, they prefer you to keep your visit to 45 minutes and there is not much for kids. My husband and I really enjoyed our drinks but our kids were slightly underwhelmed and annoyed we didn’t have a table to sit and relax with not much available on the menu for them.

DISCLAIMER: I am not in any way responsible for anything negative that may happen on your vacation – you may not even get a table! I am just informing everyone that you may just have to stand.

HOWEVER, we do recommend this experience to any Star Wars fans out there. DJ R3X plays fantastic music, the bar is hopping and we made fantastic memories!

Need to convince a loved one to visit Walt Disney World?! Click here to read on for help!

Which Walt Disney World Resort I recommend for Summer 2021

Thinking of heading to Walt Disney World in the next few months? This is the hotel I recommend for Summer 2021.

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for anything that could happen or go wrong on your vacation; these are just my opinions after years and years of vacationing at Walt Disney World.

While we are still coming out of the pandemic and Disney World is still slowly opening up resorts, attractions and dining locations, I would suggest the best possible hotel to stay at currently would be (assuming you’re a party of no bigger than 4):

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

EVERYTHING IS CONDENSED INTO ONE BUILDING

Florida can be terribly hot and humid and there is nothing like getting off a Disney bus, all hot and sweaty from a super fantastic day at the parks and walking into ONE wonderfully airconditioned building providing not just your cool room, but gift shop, quick service and restaurants all inside. It is so super convenient to have all of this inside the same building for extra AC and to avoid the constant rain showers that Summer 2021 is bringing us! Not to mention the lobby is stunning and the rooms are gorgeous!

BOAT TO MAGIC KINGDOM

Having the easy 10 minute boat ride to and from Magic Kingdom really does make your vacation feel extra magical!

FIREWORKS VIEWS FROM SOME LOCATIONS AT THE RESORT

Summer 2019 was the first time we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and we were surprised with a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom Castle as well as fireworks from our balcony! Now that the fireworks are back you are sure to enjoy!

WITH MANY DINING LOCATIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED, MORE DINING OPTIONS AVAILABLE

Whispering Canyon Café has been open which is a delicious table-service restaurant if you need a change from quick service. Wilderness Lodge also has Geyser Point Bar and Grill which is an outdoor, water-view restaurant which is another great option to have. You can’t go wrong at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

AS A DISNEY WORLD DELUXE HOTEL ACCOMODATION, THE RATES AREN’T AWFUL AND WORTH IT

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge falls into the deluxe hotel categories because of it’s many amenities and for being one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts, but it isn’t nearly priced as high as the Contemporary, Grand Floridian or especially right now the Polynesian – if you ask for a standard view room. It is one of more affordable deluxe accommodations with many comforting habituations. Also this deluxe resort offers a slide at the main pool and there is a splash pad for the younger kids which gives you a little more to do at the resort.

Planning a summer vacation? Where are you headed this summer?! I would love to hear your plans and thoughts!

Need assistance convincing a loved one to try Disney World?! CLICK HERE!

Ice Cream Hopping Tri-State Area

Summer can be so amazing with your kids off from school but aren’t we always looking for ideas to keep them busy!? (and off of video games)

Riverside Creamery 5 Water St. Port Jervis, New York

We have decided to try out as many ice cream shops in the tri-state area that we can, and we will let you know how they are!

The first hit of our journey is the Riverside Creamery in Port Jervis New York. Not only do they have quite the extensive ice cream menu, but they have a delicious lunch/dinner menu as well. Our kids ranging from ages 6 – 13 all loved the pretzel bites appetizer. The menu options for ice cream are endless and so delicious as well.

Not only do you get great food in this old fashioned, 50’s style ice cream parlor, you get a view of the Delaware River. You might see some visitors kayaking down the Delaware as you delight in some tasty treats. Nearby the Riverside Creamery are swimming beaches in Milford PA – as well as a very touristy area with lots of shops, horseback riding and dining. You also are close to some beautiful hikes in Dingman’s Ferry with breath-taking waterfalls and spectacular views. You have the option to go rafting on the Delaware as well! Many adventures available!

Here are some pictures of their intense menu of countless ice cream options:

5 Pros and Cons of Staying in a Cabin at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Camprground

PROS

CABINS SLEEP 6 PEOPLE

Would I stay in a Disney’s Fort Wilderness Cabin with 6 adults, no but a family of 4 – 5 absolutely! There is a bedroom with 1 queen size bed and a bunk bed that sleeps 2. Then the living room has a pull out couch that sleeps 2. The bathroom is big and spacious, with an eat-in kitchen and eating area directly outside. The kitchen is just about a full-kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, a stove top, convection oven, sink, cabinets stocked with dinnerware, a dishwasher and lots of counter space. The air conditioning in the cabin was amazing – best AC out of all the resorts we have stayed in!!!! Lots of options at the resort like hiking, horseback riding, archery etc.

NO HOTEL HALLWAYS OR ELEVATORS DURING PANDEMIC TIMES

In the cabin you are much more secluded and there is less interaction between you and strangers staying at this resort. The mobile ordering is a breeze and I sure hope it is here to stay since it makes it so easy to order and run down to P&J’s to pick up your food.

YOU GET TO DRIVE AROUND A GOLF CART!

Who doesn’t love driving around a golf cart in a campground?! This resort is so gigantic that if you do not have a golf cart to drive to Disney Transportation to the parks or even to the pool or to P&J’s, you will need to use the internal busing to get there. Golf carts are an extra fee and book up fast but you are allowed to bring your own or rent from elsewhere!

PARKING SPACE AVAILABLE AT THE CABIN

For those who prefer to drive to Disney, how fabulous is it to park your car directly outside of your room for easy unloading and packing back up!

YOU GET TO TAKE THE BOAT TO MAGIC KINGDOM

One of my favorite perks about staying at the Magic Kingdom Resorts is taking the boat as method of transportation for back and forth to Magic Kingdom. We love taking the boat – it is a fun ride in itself and makes it all the more magical!

CONS

NO MORNING WALK FOR COFFEE

If you’re like me and you love your morning walk with your refillable mug to grab some coffee before you hit the parks – you can forget the walk here. It took us about 10 min each way via golf cart.

QUICK SERVICE, GIFT SHOPS SPREAD TOO FAR APART

Usually in a Disney Resort the restaurants, gift shops and quick service are located centrally together in one building, or normally super close – for the most part but not at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. Everything is spread pretty far apart and you will need to drive the golf cart to get to each of these.

NOT TROPICAL / OR OVER-THE-TOP-DISNEY-THEMED

Typically Disney Resorts are very themed – from Tropical, to Polynesian, Victorian style, to Orleans’ style – you name it, you got it. Disney’s Fort Wilderness is a campground so if you want some wild theming you really won’t find it here. We come from North Jersey so it reminded us all of home, instead of being on vacation! LOL The cabin felt a little dark and dreary at times. It was also disappointing that the gift shop hours were shortened due to the pandemic and the restaurant was closed along with the dinner shows that weren’t running during our June 2021 stay.

IT GETS OLD HAVING TO DRIVE THE GOLF CART EVERYWHERE PLUS YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT

Our family has been to Disney World 10 plus times, staying a different resort each time and this unfortunately has made the bottom of the list. This was the first vacation where we had a LOT of rainy weather – where it was thunder storming night after night and we would return to a soaking wet golf cart which was not fun. We started leaving a bathroom towel in there to dry it off when we would return – I’m not sure what other people do – some people have covers. But when we came back wet, cold and tired we just wanted to walk into our building and up to our room. Even at Pop Century you have a minimal 5 minute walk to your room, even if it is outside.

THE COST OF A CABIN IS SIMILAR TO A MODERATE RESORT

All magic comes at a price! The cabin is fantastic but it is not cheap by any means… it is comparable to the cost of a moderate resort and the pricing of the golf cart around $67 per night makes the price go up to like staying at a deluxe resort! We were also not thrilled with having the bunk either – our children are a little older now and as tall as we are so the bunk bed was not really feasible for us – we would have preferred another queen sized bed (aside from the pullout couch).

NEVER BEEN TO DISNEY WORLD?! CLICK HERE TO READ WHY VACATIONING IN DW IS NOT LIKE YOUR TYPICAL THEME PARK EXPERIENCES…. NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!

New Lego Harry Potter Fawke’s, Dumbledore’s Phoenix

Mikey completed this 597 piece Lego in 1.5 hours

Thinking of going to Legoland NY? Click here for some hot tips!

Legoland NY June 2021 HOT TIP

Legoland NY is now open to everyone but by reservations only which you can access online through their website. Legoland NY officially opens to the public I believe June 4th or June 5th.

All but 2 rides are open at Legoland NY!

It is absolutely amazing – *but be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, a sun umbrella, neck fans. spray bottle and lots of drinking water because there is no shade to be seen and it is hot! Even waiting online for the very popular Ninjago Ride was outside in the blazing sun for about 30 min. Needless to say we were all sunburned and very overheated (since I forgot to pack sunscreen).

Hopefully the long lines will calm down as they iron out their kinks but until they do definitely prepare!

For some pictures and video previews check my Instagram account at FamilyPixieDust429 and check back regularly on my YouTube Channel for a tour at Family Pixie Dust https://youtu.be/N_QAFau-jKw

https://www.youtube.com/user/vbraga429/videos

Disney Igloo Backpack – New Packing Item For Theme Parks

Trying Out a New Disney Igloo Backpack

This year I found a new bag to try – an insulated Disney Igloo “Leftover bag” backpack. It has a front compartment for smaller items which I like. I always wear a Disney Fanny-pack anyway, to my keep my phone and wallet for easy use. I like this bag because it is completely insulated – so I am figuring we will keep our waters and cooling towels in there, instead of a regular backpack. It even has pockets on both sides to hold 2 drinks! I am going to give it a try this coming weekend at Legoland NY!

I decided to add some Disney magic to it and I glued some Disney patches to it – with e6000 glue. E6000 glue seems to be the popular glue everyone is using but the fact that it says it causes cancer made me nervous. So I wore gloves and glued outside. **I took wax paper to place over them and I used full baby wipes to weigh them down while they dried.

  • e6000 glue
  • gloves
  • glue outside
  • put wax paper on top of patches
  • add weight
  • let dry overnight

Link for Disney Igloo from Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3hWqrGr

I do have a lot of Disney backpacks that I use for all trips – even road trips / hiking etc. The backpacks I purchased from Disney World back in 2017 have come in great use – they have several comparments for separating and organizing with outside pockets to hold your drinks. They have been quite sturdy.

I also have a Disney Loungefly as well as a cheaper small backpack purchased at Animal Kingdom – both are small and we cannot fit very much inside. But now that my kids are getting older we do not need to carry quite as much anymore.

What are your favorite bags to travel with??? I love to hear about bags that work well.

Here is my video on how I pack for a night out on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore!

Clothing Essentials for Summer Vacation Travel

Are You Backing Up Your Smart Phone Photos?

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for anything that may happen to your photos, your iPhone or anything associated. These are my opinions and my suggestions on ways to help.

So with the news of being able to reserve a park pass for passholders only for the soft opening of Legoland NY I became really excited this morning! With thoughts of this and summer approaching, it has been a while since I backed up the photos on my iPhone and decided now is the time to save them and clear up my phone’s capacity for even more photos! I am so excited for all the photos to come this summer!! We all know how many photos we can capture while visiting WDW and I automatically get Memory Maker being an Annual Passholder! Follow me on Instagram – familypixiedust429 for our upcoming Legoland and Disney World Adventures and Content! https://www.instagram.com/familypixiedust429/?hl=en

I decided to attack this project this morning in the midst of my daily chores. I need to vacuum every day since getting a black lab/boxer puppy mix. I love her to pieces but the amount of hair is just overwhelming. I try to brush her every day – but it is just ALL over all the time – plus it is so fine it blows around so easily. Not to mention working on the laundry, folding towels, dishes, breakfast for my kids, drop off / pick-up for my younger son who went back to in-person school and his lunch etc – being at home is much harder than being at work! I should be going back to work this fall….

A few years ago I learned a hard lesson not to just save my iPhone photos to my WD External Hard Drive because I was also using it to work inside of Photoshop and I blew its brains out – losing all of my photos along with the work I created. Luckily I had some photos saved to the computer we were using at the time but I knew from then on I needed multiple places for storing my precious photos.

Google Photos

Google Photos easily automatically backs up all of your iPhone photos just by opening the app. I believe the phone needs to stay on and the app opened to save all. I just go into the phone’s settings to Display & Brightness, then change “Auto-Lock” to NEVER. Then you can create albums to organize the photos. It also lets you share as well. Don’t forget to go back in and change the auto-lock back after you are finished. You can also upload any photos saved from your computer to Google Photos as well.

Shutterfly

Although this app is a touch more difficult because it takes much longer to upload the photos – I like to have them in more than one place. To upload to Shutterfly I recommend doing this one night when going to bed. Make sure you are fully connected to the wi-fi. I would again change my iPhone’s Auto-Lock in the settings to never and then proceed into Shutterfly keeping it open. Here you can also create albums as well. This app seems to take several hours, so face your iPhone face down for the evening and let it upload from there. I also like having my pictures printed and mailed through Shutterfly as well.

WD External Hard Drive

This would be where you connect your iPhone and WD Drive to your computer. You would create files inside your WD Drive through your computer, and then access your iPhone photos (also through your computer). You highlight which photos you want to save and drag/drop to the file of your choice. I usually name the files by month and year. The problem I have been having with this method lately is that my computer loses my iPhone, or isn’t reading it correctly or does not obtain all of the photos. If anyone has any suggestions for this by all means please let me know!

Here is a link to a WD Drive on amazon – https://amzn.to/3f3tuLa

Uploading to Facebook is nice because your memories pop up – and you can make your albums viewable to you only, or specified people if you prefer. Instagram is also nice for saving photos as well.

With the thousands of pictures we are taking daily we have to make sure to keep up on saving them! I often wonder what will happen to all of the digital pictures when we are gone! AHH What a thought!

What are some ways you save your photos???

Legoland NY June 2021 HOT TIP

Legoland NY is now open to everyone but by reservations only which you can access online through their website. Legoland NY officially opens to the public I believe June 4th or June 5th.

All but 2 rides are open at Legoland NY!

It is absolutely amazing – *but be sure to pack sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, a sun umbrella, neck fans. spray bottle and lots of drinking water because there is no shade to be seen and it is hot! Even waiting online for the very popular Ninjago Ride was outside in the blazing sun for about 30 min. Needless to say we were all sunburned and very overheated (since I forgot to pack sunscreen).

Hopefully the long lines will calm down as they iron out their kinks but until they do definitely prepare!

For some pictures and video previews check my Instagram account at FamilyPixieDust429 and check back regularly on my YouTube Channel for a tour at Family Pixie Dust https://youtu.be/N_QAFau-jKw

https://www.youtube.com/user/vbraga429/videos

Disney Igloo Backpack – New Packing Item For Theme Parks

Trying Out a New Disney Igloo Backpack

This year I found a new bag to try – an insulated Disney Igloo “Leftover bag” backpack. It has a front compartment for smaller items which I like. I always wear a Disney Fanny-pack anyway, to my keep my phone and wallet for easy use. I like this bag because it is completely insulated – so I am figuring we will keep our waters and cooling towels in there, instead of a regular backpack. It even has pockets on both sides to hold 2 drinks! I am going to give it a try this coming weekend at Legoland NY!

I decided to add some Disney magic to it and I glued some Disney patches to it – with e6000 glue. E6000 glue seems to be the popular glue everyone is using but the fact that it says it causes cancer made me nervous. So I wore gloves and glued outside. **I took wax paper to place over them and I used full baby wipes to weigh them down while they dried.

  • e6000 glue
  • gloves
  • glue outside
  • put wax paper on top of patches
  • add weight
  • let dry overnight

Link for Disney Igloo from Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3hWqrGr

I do have a lot of Disney backpacks that I use for all trips – even road trips / hiking etc. The backpacks I purchased from Disney World back in 2017 have come in great use – they have several comparments for separating and organizing with outside pockets to hold your drinks. They have been quite sturdy.

I also have a Disney Loungefly as well as a cheaper small backpack purchased at Animal Kingdom – both are small and we cannot fit very much inside. But now that my kids are getting older we do not need to carry quite as much anymore.

What are your favorite bags to travel with??? I love to hear about bags that work well.

Here is my video on how I pack for a night out on the boardwalk at the Jersey Shore!

Clothing Essentials for Summer Vacation Travel

Which Walt Disney World Resort I recommend for Summer 2021

Thinking of heading to Walt Disney World in the next few months? This is the hotel I recommend for Summer 2021.

DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for anything that could happen or go wrong on your vacation; these are just my opinions after years and years of vacationing at Walt Disney World.

While we are still coming out of the pandemic and Disney World is still slowly opening up resorts, attractions and dining locations, I would suggest the best possible hotel to stay at currently would be (assuming you’re a party of no bigger than 4):

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort

EVERYTHING IS CONDENSED INTO ONE BUILDING

Florida can be terribly hot and humid and there is nothing like getting off a Disney bus, all hot and sweaty from a super fantastic day at the parks and walking into ONE wonderfully airconditioned building providing not just your cool room, but gift shop, quick service and restaurants all inside. It is so super convenient to have all of this inside the same building for extra AC and to avoid the constant rain showers that Summer 2021 is bringing us! Not to mention the lobby is stunning and the rooms are gorgeous!

BOAT TO MAGIC KINGDOM

Having the easy 10 minute boat ride to and from Magic Kingdom really does make your vacation feel extra magical!

FIREWORKS VIEWS FROM SOME LOCATIONS AT THE RESORT

Summer 2019 was the first time we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and we were surprised with a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom Castle as well as fireworks from our balcony! Now that the fireworks are back you are sure to enjoy!

WITH MANY DINING LOCATIONS CURRENTLY CLOSED, MORE DINING OPTIONS AVAILABLE

Whispering Canyon Café has been open which is a delicious table-service restaurant if you need a change from quick service. Wilderness Lodge also has Geyser Point Bar and Grill which is an outdoor, water-view restaurant which is another great option to have. You can’t go wrong at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge!

AS A DISNEY WORLD DELUXE HOTEL ACCOMODATION, THE RATES AREN’T AWFUL AND WORTH IT

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge falls into the deluxe hotel categories because of it’s many amenities and for being one of the Magic Kingdom Resorts, but it isn’t nearly priced as high as the Contemporary, Grand Floridian or especially right now the Polynesian – if you ask for a standard view room. It is one of more affordable deluxe accommodations with many comforting habituations. Also this deluxe resort offers a slide at the main pool and there is a splash pad for the younger kids which gives you a little more to do at the resort.

Planning a summer vacation? Where are you headed this summer?! I would love to hear your plans and thoughts!

Need assistance convincing a loved one to try Disney World?! CLICK HERE!

Let’s Book A Resort! (Part 1)

Let Me Help You Choose Your Next Walt Disney World Resort. Each week I will pick and write about MY recommended resort for the upcoming Summer months.

Depending on what time of the year you plan on vacation, what resort you pick can make a big difference on the comfort level of your trip.

Disclaimer: these are my personal thoughts and opinions, I am not in any way affiliated with Disney or paid by Disney – I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or could go wrong on your vacation. I have had 9 Disney World Vacations since 2006, and eat, breath and live Disney. I LOVE talking Disney.

YOU’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!

Heading to Disney World anytime soon or trying to decide for the following year?

Planning out your next Disney World Vacation but trying to decide which resort to stay with? I can help. It all pretty much depends on you, your traveling companions, budget and the travel party’s health.

Budgeting for a Value Resort?

Disney World has 3, well 4 “Value Resorts” to offer. There is Pop Century (most popular), The All Star Resorts and Art of Animation. The All Star Resorts are comprised of The All Star Movies, The All Star Music and the All Stars Sports. All of the resorts mentioned are very Disney themed and super fun! However they are the smallest of rooms on Disney property but the most affordable. Each has their own quick service food court and super fun themed pools. Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. The Lion King section and Nemo section have family suites which sleep 6 people and have 2 bedrooms, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations.

Traveling During Summer Months? Summer in Florida starts in May and ends around November.

Summer is approaching!

Something to keep in mind:

The Value Resorts are amazingly themed and so incredibly fun but they are not well shaded, and if you do not have a preferred room there is a possibility of having a long walk to your room. So if you are planning a vacation during anytime between the months of June through the end of October keep in mind it is going to be HOT. ALL of these resorts do not have much shade or trees so they are HOT. My family has found that when we travel to Disney during the summer months we try to avoid these resorts. With that being said, if you are traveling anytime between November through April these resorts are absolutely lovely and lively to meet your budget. If you can only travel between these summer months and are only able to stay at one of the value resorts (Excluding Art of Animation) I recommend spending a little more for a preferred room – it will definitely be worth it!

Art of Animation is considered “Value” because it is geared for larger families and the 2 double bed rooms in the Little Mermaid Section are the cheapest of rooms but the hardest to get, since there aren’t many. *NOTE* If you book a Little Mermaid Room, you will have about a *10-15 minute walk *OUTSIDE* from your room to the food/busing* and this extra walking can be tough when you are already putting in a lot of walking inside the parks and it is hot. During the Winter months, this walk may not feel as tough. At Art of Animation at The Lion King section and Nemo section, both have family suites which sleep 6 people (1 master bedroom, 1 murphy bed and 1 pull-out sofa) and have 2 bathrooms which is closer to the food and busing, but do not be fooled – you will be paying closer to the cost of a deluxe resort for these accommodations. We stayed in the Cars section in August of 2016 and while my children loved the resort it was a lot of hot extra walking in the sun and my kids ended up getting heat rash during that trip – it wasn’t the worst thing in the world but it was definitely easier the following year when we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2017.

This week’s Hotel of Choice for Summer Travel:

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge

We all know how quickly those summer Florida rainstorms fly in out of nowhere, it is nice to being lodging at a resort where all the rooms are condensed into 1 main building for convenience, ease and comfort.

It is easier to walk through air conditioned buildings than in the hot Florida summer sun.*

Join Chip and Dale at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge themed to the Pacific North West.

It is very rare to find characters at a Value Resort! You are more likely to have interactions at mainly Deluxe and sometimes Moderate Resorts.

Once again Disney has outdone themselves with another massive and gorgeous lobby with impressive details in all of it’s architecture at the Wilderness Lodge, a Deluxe Resort. ***Avoid heat rash*** by staying here where inside the main building you will find your lobby, restaurants, gift shop and rooms – all while being inside the A/C. A small walk to the boat to get to Magic Kingdom and a quick and easy walk to Disney’s transportation bus stop. Having the boat as an alternate method of transportation makes it all the more magical. Boat rides tend to make it feel a little more like vacation getaway for me anyway! Wilderness Lodge is set to open fully in just a few months, June 2021!

This deluxe resort is the cheapest among the Magic Kingdom Resorts and is well liked by guests. Compared to value resorts: along with your quick service you have 2 additional restaurants plus a lounge. Furthermore, you have Geyser Point Bar and Grill offered as an outdoor dining option which offers breakfast, lunch and dinner with a beautiful view of the lake and your typical pool bar with snacks and refreshments.

At the Wilderness Lodge we dined at Whispering Canyon Café where you definitely need to ask for ketchup! Inside joke here! The Whispering Canyon Café is an interactive western-themed experience with fun games and delicious food. Since I had booked this trip last minute we were not able to get a reservation at Artist Point which is Story Book Dining with Snow White and other characters.

Value resorts only offer 1 quick service dining location and pool bars (but no indoor lounge) per each value resort. At the Wilderness Lodge you also have boat rental access, and a lake beach area (no swimming) which again are not offered at a Value. All Moderate and Deluxe pools have a slide in their main pool. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge also gains EASY ACCESS to the surrounding resorts for dining options with the boat. You can actually take the boat to the Contemporary and walk through the Grand Floridian to the Polynesian if you wanted to!

When we vacationed at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge in August of 2019 our room had a beautiful view of the Magic Kingdom Castle and we were able to view the fireworks from our room! At any of the Magic Kingdom Resorts there are areas usually on the beaches where you can view the fireworks. It was a terrific surprise and an added bonus!

More than a resort… More than a vacation….

Each time we vacation at Disney we always choose a NEW sabbatical and that always gives us the feeling of a different trip. Each resort has a different vibe and theme creating a new exciting adventure! We NEVER have the feeling of “Oh we’re doing this again” or “its the same thing again” – its a new and exciting feeling of being in that Disney bubble, escaping reality and being pampered along the way.

For Future Post-Covid Times Stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge when it is fully open.

Become Whisked Away Into the Savanna by staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in the Jambo House.

On a budget? No problem, do not book a room with a view of the Savanna to save hundreds. There are viewing areas all over this intricately designed immersive resort. Basically dropped at the door of the resort from Disney’s transportation buses, you enter into the lobby of the lodge you instantly view the breathtaking cathedral window and you are instantly immersed in the atmosphere, and blown away by the integrated thematic African decorative details and conveniently located award winning restaurants. In addition to everything being inside, the resort is a very shaded resort; even while waiting for the busing, no matter what time of the day you are NEVER in the sun! Considered a deluxe resort but when choosing a room with no views, it is more of a moderate resort pricing. Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo house offers an attractive dimly-lit ambiance with the smells of delicious food that radiates the hotel. What could be more magical then staring off into the savanna watching giraffes and zebra play right from inside your resort? Read my full review here of the Animal Kingdom Lodge! At this current time (March 2021) Animal Kingdom Lodge is not fully opened and operating to capacity – but hoping within the next year it will be! Keep checking for updates.

It is possible to stay in one of the DVC Villas at Jambo House or Kidani Village currently, but the resort itself is not fully open.

Disney Deluxe Resorts can be pretty pricey – you can always stay for LESS at a Disney World Deluxe Resort by renting DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points through an accredited DVC rental like http://www.dvcrentalstore.com and https://dvcrequest.com/ with David’s DVC Vacation Rentals.

ALWAYS CALL AHEAD TO CHECK TO SEE WHAT IS OPEN AND WHAT IS CLOSED AT YOUR RESORT OF CHOICE!

With current Covid regulations there is a lot more that is involved into going into planning your next Disney World Vacation and you need to have things planned out well in advanced.

Look out for my next recommendation coming next week!

Check out my latest post on how to pack for this coming summer travel by clicking here!

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The Smells of Disney World

How You Can Bring the Smells of Disney World to Your Home

It has been much too long since we have smelled the smells of Disney World, so I decided for my husband’s birthday I would bring some home! In the midst of the pandemic we have found ourselves unable to get back to our favorite escape, so what is better than bringing those cherished smells home? If you can’t get there, bring it home. It is amazing how just a simple smell can bring back so many memories and lift your spirits.

Disney Resort’s H20 Line’s is the pure aroma of “vacation”. The fragrance recovers your previous Disney World vacations, bringing you back to the Happiest Place On Earth. One whiff and you are reliving earlier trips of pure magic and happiness.

Read here about the different types of smells around the Disney World Theme Parks and Resorts!

https://familypixiedust.com/2021/05/19/why-disney-world-is-not-your-typical-theme-park-experience/

If you’re totally in love with the Sea Salt lotion and body wash that the Disney Resorts leave in your resort bathroom, you have the ability to buy some for your home. Shop Disney has several different options for purchasing Disney’s H20 Line of Sea Salt body wash, lotion, shampoo and conditioner.

For my husband’s birthday gift I picked the Sea Salt Body Wash, Body Butter and Body Lotion Set by H2O+ set since we really enjoy the lotion and body wash the most. This set costs just about $55 for the set.

I personally like to shop online through a website called Rakuten – it is the former “ebates” website. If you watch closely, sometimes Rakuten offers some significant cash back on Shop Disney purchases – especially at times like around the holidays or certain times of the year. Simply copy and paste the link below into your web browser:

https://www.rakuten.com/r/VBRAGA?eeid=28187

Then create an account. Log in and search for stores that you would like to shop in. Click on the store of your choice and earn cash back while shopping.

Thanks to my online Christmas shopping I have a check of $101 coming to me in February! Rakuten sends out checks quarterly. It is so fun to get paid for shopping!

We do hope to start planning our next Disney World Vacation sometime soon. I am a little fearful of learning mask fatigue but we will try to go when its cooler out, in hopes that helps. I am in the midst of researching and stocking up on masks.

What are your most breathable favorite masks that you like to wear?

What types of planning tips would you like to hear about?

What things are you doing to keep your memories of Disney Vacations going while we hang out patiently and safely?!

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My Seasonal Disney World Wardrobe

If you have a Disney World Trip coming up this summer then you’re going to want to check this out!

We have visited Disney World several times now in 3 different seasons. We have been a few times in May, a few times in the heat of August and once for Easter and once for New Year Eve!! You’re going to want to pay close attention to what type of clothing you need to bring depending on when your time of travel will be.

If you plan on traveling to Disney World this summer keep in mind it is going to be HOT! It’s going to be hot and humid from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed so just prepare. So your packing itinerary will need to include things like Neck Fans, Spray Fans, Sunscreen, Sun Shades, Sunglasses, Cooling Towels – and be prepared to do laundry because you will be changing your clothes at least once a day! You will need lightweight clothing options.

August 2019 Magic Kingdom

For traveling to WDW during the summer – for someone like me that is in my late 30’s with 2 beautiful boys, I like to wear SKORTS instead of shorts – especially since I have chubby annoying thighs no matter how much I workout. Shorts love to bunch up on me! I like to purchase my skorts from Macy’s but I would like to check out Athletica in the future. Also light long skirts and maxi dresses are also be perfect.

Vacationing during the summer, your tops will also need to be light and airy – I normally like to wear a lot of tank tops with skorts – this way I am the most comfortable. You also need to be prepared with umbrellas and ponchos because it can rain once a day in Florida during the summer! **Definitely bring more than 1 pair of shoes – no one wants to be walking around in soaked shoes the entire trip.** Sandals that have a strap are great if you get caught in a downpour, without a strap they can slide off – and that is not fun! I do NOT recommend flip flops because when you are in Disney you are walking several miles a day and flip flops just do not have enough support.

Even with the Florida summer heat, I find myself feeling chilly in restaurants so I always like to make sure I have a sweatshirt or sweater when dining.

Hollywood Studios August 2019. Felt like 105 degrees and 100% humidity.

When we visited WDW this past January, we had quite a different experience. First of all, we stayed at the Grand Floridain for the first time which was stunningly elegant and beautiful. (Vlog and blog to come). I was sorry I didn’t bring a light jacket! I was freezing in my sandals! We only had two 85 degree days and the rest were in the 50’s – so you’re going to need to bring more of a variety of clothing since the weather changes so often. We actually felt cold! 50 degree weather in Florida is cold. Most days I had on a shirt, a sweater and a sweatshirt on top. But, you never know when you will have a hot day – so you will need a pair of shorts or capris just in case. While there in January I wore my black leggings from Venus almost every day. Check out my vlog on my Disney Wardrobe!

Magic Kingdom Christmas Parade Dec. 30, 201
Check out my Vlog on my Disney World Wardrobe!

Click above for my vlog on my Disney World Wardrobe!

When we went to Disney for our first Easter Trip 2019 I found a lot of the days to be not incredibly warm – I wore a sweatshirt most of the trip. The pool felt chilly even at 77 degrees and heated. Maybe it was just an odd year? That is reason enough to always be prepared with layers. So I really wore my capri jeggings from Uniqlo or Kohls most days and maybe wore shorts and skorts 2 days out of a 9 day trip. I just bought some new capris at New York & Company that I was planning to wear this past Spring (Possibly summer if we make it there)! They feel so comfortable and lightweight! Riding Splash Mountain at night was interesting to say the least – Splash is our kids’ favorite ride and my husband and I knew we would be freezing but we did it anyway. LOL But the weather can vary year to year, so always check the weather before you leave while you are packing!

Our favorite weather time of the year was when we were in Disney World for Mother’s Day. The weather is gorgeous hot during the day and not horribly chilly at night. The Flower and Garden show is going on at Epcot and yes it is also going on during April but the begging of May is signifcantly less crowded than April and I really enjoyed the weather more this week. However, I enjoy hot weather more than cooler weather. Also while we were at Animal Kingdom on Mother’s Day 2015, I was handed a flower upon entering the park and we took some great photos that day as well. Great memories. For the beginning of May I would say you could still bring some capris but be sure to pack those shorts and skorts because there are still some days that may hit 90. I went over a lot of my wardrobe that I wore in the different months we attended Disney in my Vlog – so definitely check it out! Again always check the weather as you are packing prior to departing for your adventure!

No matter when we go, I prefer Birkenstock Arizona’s – they are the soft sandal, not the hard. I suffer with Plantar Faciitis so finding some Sketchers Go Walks, paired with super soft inserts and gel heel cups – all found on Amazon and I am good to go!

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When is your next Disney World Trip?

What month are you traveling to Disney World in?

May the 4th Be With You!

Happy National Star Wars Day Everyone!

I know most of us, including myself & my family are wishing we could be in Disney World on this extraordinary day! Years passed have proven to be so magical spending this day at Hollywood Studios! What a magnificent day it was the weather in Florida during the beginning of May is usually gorgeous and has been known to be usually a more low-crowd time. Plus you get all the beauty of Flower & Garden show.

Here are some ways to celebrate May the Fourth while distracting yourself about what is going on in the outside world, while easily maintaining your safety as well as others’:

Disney Plus is now streaming a new documentary called the Gallery which will show behind the scenes in the making of the new hit series The Mandalorian now streaming on Disney Plus. You can catch the entire Star Wars Saga on Disney Plus as well! You can also find Clone Wars and Rebels on Disney Plus.

Sorcerer Radio – I just heard a string of some Disney Park Star Wars Music! Nothing like hearing park themed music to get you in a better mood. Download the app or listen from the website Sorcerer Radio and you may just hear some cool Star Wars Tunes!

Shop Disney now has some new “The Child” (aka Baby Yoda Merchandise) – shirts for everyone, “The Child” funkpop, character action figures, as well as other Star Wars type merchandise.

Lego Store has a promotion going on where if you spend $75 on select Lego sets or more they will give you a free Death Star 2 Battle set. ENDS TODAY!

Get out your own Star Wars Legos and build something NEW! Put those creative juices together and make something fun and do it OUTSIDE because its another gorgeous day in the North East! Soak up every ounce of the sun you can get! No better way to do it than playing with Star Wars Toys or Legos!

Take any Star Wars toys or Legos you have and go outside and set up your own planet.

My kids recently whipped out their OLD Lego Stars Games on the Wii.

You can purchase a download of Lego Stars Wars Force Awakens for $20 on XBOX made in 2016.

Click here for an important TRAVEL TIP for planning you next Disney World Vacation!

What are you doing to pass the time during the quarantine?

CHECK OUT OUR VLOG on the Rise of The Resistance Ride in Walt Disney World!

Disney World Travel Tip:

TIP OF THE DAY

When planning your next Disney World Vacation you will want to make sure that you check out the PARK HOURS for each day of your trip on the Disney World Website . Each day, the different parks may have extra magic hours and special events that MAY affect your visit. You can do this several months in advance, but definitely check again a few days before you leave for vacation and be open & flexible to any changes you may need to make!!!

Usually special events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Merry Christmas Party will be posted inside the park hours. These events are extra ticketed events that cost addtional money to your vacation, and listed around 6 months in advance. If you do not have tickets to one of these parties, you might not want to attend Magic Kingdom during a day that they are offered since guests without tickets to the party because those guests will be asked to start leaving around 6pm and need to be out of the park by 7pm.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party runs from the middle of August through October and Mickey’s Merry Christmas Party runs from November through Christmas Day and both events are offered sometimes 2 or 3 nights a week – so be sure to check!!!

However, the website doesn’t always specifiy what type of event and may just say “Special Event” and close the park early. While we were vacationing in January I did not realize on the last night of our trip, we were supposed to be in Magic Kingdom, they closed the park early at 8pm for a “Special Event”. It could have been anything – maybe a Disney Villains After Hours?! Who knows – but its something good to keep in mind.

Make note!!!! Visiting Walt Disney World at different times of the year will also affect park hours. We noticed during our August Vacation that some night Magic Kingdom was staying open until midnight where in January it was closing around 9pm or 10pm! In January as beautiful as Christmas is, you are missing a lot of daylight.

Extra Magic Hours will also affect your visit. Last August, while we were in Magic Kingdom during night-time Extra Magic Hours, we found it frustrating that they did not allow you to make any Fast Passes at this time and we found the lines to be sort of long! So depending on how long your stay is, you might be able to avoid that and there might be times where you cannot.

It seems that Disney World is forever changing and now with the world’s pandemic who knows what changes are going to be made going forward?! We are just staying positive and optimistic while being safe.

There might be the case where the special events and parties will not be offered for a year or two.

I’ll be here following and listening to let you know as soon as I do!

Here’s to hoping and praying the world is healed soon.

When are you planning your next Walt Disney World Vacation?

Click here for my info on upgrading to WDW Annual Passes!

Disney Cruise Line Wishables – Limited Release

Unboxing Disney Wishables: Cruise Line & Food Series 2

On Easter Sunday I noticed that the Shop Disney Website had listed some of their Disney Cruise Line Wishables as a pick-me-up during our quarantine. I do not think normally Disney Cruise Line Wishables are available on the site, but do not quote me. This ended up being a super fun surprise!

Usually listed at around $10 per package, Disney Wishables are something my kids have enjoyed collecting since last April 2019. If you have an Annual Pass or are a DVC member, you would recieve a 20% discount off. You can use a Disney Gift Card towards any merchandise you may find inside the parks! The Disney Wishables are a more affordable “mystery type package” where you never know which character you are going to get! This type of Disney merchandise is something fun for kids to get inside the parks, and when you sit down for a break – you have a surprise!

Some other Disney Wishable series we have already collected are Splash Mountain, Park Series, Food Series 1, Pirate Series to name a few. We also have a Toy Soldier that we picked up around New Years Eve that we picked up not inside a package. We also have Magic Kingdom Castle that was also not inside a package. Watch below to see the kids talk about our collection!

We have a video here of the kids unboxing their New Shop Disney Cruise Line Wishables and Food Series 2 Wishables – please like and share!

Disney seems to have some series designed for the current season /current holiday of Wishables located throughout the parks – for instance while we were visiting for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party we noticed some Nightmare Before Christmas Wishables.

I also purchased myself a cute Mickey Tank – who couldn’t use a little pick-me-up right now?! I cannot wait to wear it when we return to the parks!

What are some ways you are “doing Disney” during the quarantine?

When is your next Disney World Vacation?

We Upgraded to Disney Annual Passholders! Discount Secrets Revealed….

This past August 2019, while we were vacationing in the World at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge Resort, for our second trip of the year, we were in a pretty good position and decided to upgrade to Annual Passes for all the perks!

Disney’s Wilderness Lodge August 2019

It was pretty easy to upgrade, while we were in Magic Kingdom on the first morning of our stay we simply went over to City Hall on Main Street. It was so easy and of course the cast members are always so helpful. As soon as you upgrade you are instantly able to recieve merchandise dicsount of 20% in just about all of Disney World’s Retail Locations. The discount varys on the dining locations depending where you eat, but we always get the Deluxe Dining Plan, so we weren’t worried about using our discount there. You can however, get the discount on any snack or type of food at your Disney World Resort Hotel that is Disney OWNED and almost all the locations (if not all) throughout the parks, so if you are buying a soda or snack or even a meal out of pocket you will get a discount!

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So if you are thinking about upgrading during your stay, I do not recommend waiting until the end of your trip because it actually will be activated on the first day of your trip and why miss out on that merchandise discount?!

The next best perk about being an Annual Passholder was the amazing discount that popped up when we were looking to go and arrive on New Year’s Eve and stay for a week. We got a huge discount at the Grand Floridian – it was bigger than what was being offered at Polynesian and Contemporary – and almost all of the resorts were booked up as well. We couldn’t pass up how much cheaper it was to stay at the Grand Floridian than at Polynesian which was our first hotel choice.

I wanted to make sure we arrived before New Year’s Eve so we wouldn’t miss the last Christmas Parade in Magic Kingdom which is on December 31.

So we flew down Monday night, December 30 after my husband worked half a day. We checked in for 2 nights at a Lagoon View and then checked out and checked into the discounted room from Wednesday January 1 and checked out Tuesday January 7. We definitely saved a few thousand dollars. So when booking with an annual pass discount definitely check on the different dates around your time of travel as well as what the different hotels are offering – hopefully you can be flexible!

We had family meet us one night in Disney Springs during our January trip for dinner, and we were even able to apply our APD to our family member’s dinner bill, which was fantastic. *Note, this might not always be the case but you never know where the Disney Magic may arise!* (They were able to park at our hotel and spend some time with us at the resort before we took the bus to Disney Springs – just let the hotel know in advance they are coming. Your company will need to povide some ID and they need your room number.)

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A Disney World Annual Pass also gives you discounts at various hotel spas and salons as well as some entertainment inside of Disney World such as AMC, fishing, the Amphicar Tour at Disney Springs, Miniature Golf, Marina Boat Rentals, Bowling, Horse & Carriage Rides at the Resorts andmore. You can also receive a discount on some of the tours provided inside the parks! There is also a discount for purchasing Tables in Wonderland. I believe that provide a discount when you renew your AP around the time it expires (they might give you a 2 week window after).

Being a Disney World Annual Passholder also gives you a discount on most extra ticketed events like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! Do your research.

Let’s not forget about Memory Maker! The Memory Maker is included in your Annual Pass purchase. *Even if only 1 member of your family purchases the Annual Pass, you still recieve all the benefits! Memory Maker includes all the photopass photos provided by Disney and the professional photographer photos (located throughout the parks,) those photos are added into your My Disney Experience App. You have access to all your Memory Maker Photos until your Annual Pass expires so you have time to download and store them. So unlike how each time you book a vacation you have to pay an extra fee to purchase Memory Maker, and Annual Pass includes it for every single visit.

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We were hoping to go this July or August but sadly with the current world crisis, we aren’t sure if it will be safe enough to travel with our children and my diabetic husband. So if you were considering a Walt Disney World Annual Passes it might be a great time to save for 2021. I always believe good things are ahead! I hope you’re staying safe and healthy at this time!

When is your next Disney World Vacation?

If you have any questions please feel free to ask!

Check out last year’s Easter Vacation at Port Orleans by click here!

Check out our Disney World’s Art of Animation Discussion with the Kids here:

Earth Day 2020

Last year during Earth Day 2019 we happened to be in Walt Disney World. My youngest Nicky found this amazing Earth Day Pin inside of Animal Kingdom, which happens to be exclusive.

Mark me if I am wrong but I thought the proceeds went to help the Disney Conservation Fund. For those of you that do not know, Disney’s Conservation Fund is comitted to saving wildlife and nature. Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has given $100 million to support nonprofit organizations working with communities to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet. They are pretty amazing!

Nick purchased this pin in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom, outside at a stand – not too far from Tuskar House ( We love the breakfast Buffet at Tuskar House – and it is a character dining buffet, all day, for all 3 meals).

Tuskar House April 2019

The cast member was thrilled with Nick’s purchase and talked about her collection of Earth Day pins.

They were promoting the live-action Lion King movie all the way back in April 2019!

To celebrate Earth Day 2020, we are headed outside this afternoon to draw pictures of our beloved Earth with sidewalk chalk and observe the birds around our yard.

This year, on Earth Day, we are praying extra hard to heal the Earth and heal the people inside it.

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?

When is your next Disney World Vacation?

Click here to watch us playing outside