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.
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?
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?
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!
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!
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.)
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.
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!
With the rumors that Magic Kingdom will be retiring the “Talking Mickey” that you can meet and greet inside of Town Square Theater, we are so sad! Being able to talk to Mickey and have him answer was such a fun experience! We are so saddened to hear this news but so happy to have had the experience!
If you click below, here is a video of our experience with meeting Talking Mickey Mouse from our August 2016 trip!
My number one item when I am traveling anywhere warm are my wonderful Teva Sandals. Not only are they waterproof and dry within minutes, but they are hiking sandals with shock absorption!!!! When I wear my wonderfulTeva Sandals, my back can never feel better no matter how long I’m standing in line or how much walking I am doing and I suffer with degenerative disc disease. Let me say that they are much more comfortable and supportive than sneakers – even when they aren’t broken in yet!
I use this where the backpack that I carry all day, lays on my arms – so when wearing tank tops, the backpack doesn’t rub and hurt my arms! I also use this when I am wearing short shorts where my thighs touch. (I was never a skinny person, so after having children I am more on the heavier side) This way I don’t have to worry about my thighs chafing each other. I have also used it where I had brought a super old, worn out pair of Teva’s on a super HOT vacation to Hershey park, and there was something that was rubbing my foot, and it instantly stopped any blister from being formed. You can literally use this stuff on anything that may cause discomfort! It’s clear and has no smell, so you don’t even notice you have it on. I even put it on my son’s neck to stop any irritation from a tag.
3) Easy Hair Extensions
Now, when we pay extra money for thatfantastic memory maker we want to make sure we look fabulous in every professional shot taken. I finally came to the realization that as I age, my hair is only getting thinner and it just doesn’t look as nice as it used to. Hair can really make or break how you feel about yourself in a picture. I found a few types of extensions that I brought to Disney and it worked rather well. When going in such extreme heat, it works even better putting my hair up. The first hair extension that I have brought is a clip on – the claw simply clips onto your ponytail – so easy! It gave me long luxurious curls and went totally unnoticeable. (Notice my Teva Sandals in the pictures below.)
This year’s Disney trip 2017 I ordered these clip-in 20″, curly Synthetic 7 piece hair extensions. These are awesome because they come so curly, but the curl does stick strong, even after washing. The only problem I found was in the heat of August, they felt so unbelievably heavy in my hair…. compared to the claw clip-in from the pictures above, where it did feel slightly heavy (not going to lie) but these were definitely heavier.
I also bought this newer product calledSecret Extensions – Hair Extensions by Daisy Fuentesand it is a great product to add a little bit of volume to your hair. However it is not good for putting back when you are hot and sweaty. You basically have to leave it down.
4) Dove Deordorant
Next on the list isDove Deodorant. When you are in Disney World in long lines and perspiring, you really want good protection. I also like to use Dove Deodorant as another chafing & prevention. I usually roll it all over my back to prevent excessive sweating, as well as on my inner thighs before I apply the Monistat Chafing Relief Gel, and on the back of the upper parts of my thighs where I sit and shorts rub the thighs – especially when I’m wearing short shorts. I roll it on the sides of my stomach, and the front of my stomach and under where my bra sits – this way it prevents a lot of extra sweating and I don’t have to worry about any foul smells. Sometimes I purchase a separate Dove Deodorant to use on my feet.
5) Makeup – this is for the gals that love and enjoy makeup. (If you don’t, then don’t bother wasting your time reading this tip!)
Following, I like to dab some Mac Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation over the rest of my face before applying some blush or bronzer. I always use both a non-waterproof mascara mixed with a waterproof mascara and my recent favorite mascara to use ever is Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascaraand you MUST use the waterproof over all, as your last few swipes to ensure that its not coming off – you never know when you will get a splash going down the big hill on Splash Mountain or maybe you try the Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom?!! Freshly, I have found this amazingly easy lash-extender called Divaderm Lash Extender in a bottle – you simply brush it on in between coats of mascara! I personally LOVE the look of false eyelashes but who has time or wants to sit and play with them?! This is just an easy way of getting thick gorgeous lashes. Make sure you start out with a coat or two, and then after you apply finish up with a few coats of waterproof.
After my lashes dry, I use a color stay liquid eyeliner on the lids of my eyes – Mac has a great one called Mac Liquid Last – I have been on water slides and have had buckets of water dumped on my head and this did NOT run one bit LOL!!! Revlon has a great Color Stay liner . I usually like to choose brown when it comes to eyeliners.
6) Wet Brush
What a great discovery! The Wet Brush– good for any hair type to detangle hair after the shower. The Wet Brush makes combing through knots so much quicker when trying to leave the hotel to head to the parks. With all the wear and tear on my poor hair, it sometimes really needs help with those pesky knots.
This Diz Lover’s desired way to clean my face at night is withsimple organic coconut oil this way my face is never dried out. I simply apply coconut oil and take a wet warm cloth and scrub. When I feel like I need a deeper clean, I turn toPonds Cold Cream.
Wow! You have not felt a lightweight backpack until you have felt this! Super light backpack on your back. It only made it through 1 short beach vacation, 1 short Hershey Park Vacation and then a 11 day Disney Vacation before it went in the garbage. I believe it would have lasted longer had I not been carrying around my children’s IPads in my pack.It’s called a Venture Pal Lightweight Packable Durable Travel Hiking Backpack.Its probably the best $15 I have ever spent on a backpack!
11) Neck Fan
One thing we discovered this past 2017 Disney Vacation was that the kids, and my husband and I enjoyedMini Neck Fans,much more than carrying around the big spray fans that you can purchase inside the parks. I originally purchased my mini neck fan in the travel section of Harmon Cosmetics but the highlighted link is to one on Amazon.com. They don’t take up much space at all – unlike the big spray fans. We also enjoyedmini cooling neck towelsas opposed to the normal sized cooling towels. The less you have to lug around – the happier everyone is! Besides, I have learned you can walk up to any quick service station and ask for 2 cups of ice, or ice water when you’re hot!
12) Alarm Clock / Nightlight
I always use my IPhone as an Alarm Clock, but if you need, don’t forget to pack one! When we fly to Disney and luggage is limited, I usually pack a few small flashlights that I use as nightlights. They seem to do the trick. When we drive I can snag some of my kids battery operated candles that we use as nightlights for them.
Lastly, I ALWAYS make sure to pack all sorts of medicines! The last thing you want to do is become ill while at Disney World! Always, always, always make sure you have your allergy meds as well as Benedryl! You never know what sort of itchy bite you may get, or what allergic reaction you could possibly have (even though we hope that never happens).
In my backpack that I always carry inside parks (or wherever we are vacationing) contains:
*Sweatshirts – sometimes you freeze when walking into air conditioning after sweating all day and sometimes it cools off at night – you just never know!
*Lolipops (not just for children but I have a diabetic husband so we have to keep Gluclose Tablets as well)
*Phone Charger – I have had an My Charge from Amazon.com for 5 years now and it still works! Here is the latest version on Amazon.com. I paid $60 back then and incredibly it STILL works great! My only complaint is that its a little heavy but its usable!
We usually start taking extra-strength Probiotics a week to 2 weeks prior to ANY vacation and then make sure we bring extra-strength Probiotics during our vacation. The brand we use isCulturelle Extra Strength Digestive Health.
For EVERY vacation I also make sure we have a lot of WetOnes antibacterial hand wipeson hand, as well as hand sanitizer. I try to sanitize after each ride and wash hands as soon as we enter a restaurant. I also like to use Essential Oils as an immune booster while there too – like Theives and Frankincense by Young Living. Peppermint can help any congestion or motion sickness, and can be used as an anti-viral as well.
Also, don’t forget to pack your typical Motrin / Tylenol – and remember meds for any sort of stomach upset, like Tums, Pepto etc. We usechildren’s Dramamineas we travel to and from our destination.
I like to bring a lot of baby wipes to clean up throughout the day as well.
Lollipops can be a great way to pass the time while waiting on lines for rides! We also love to play Disney Trivia with each other (if you run out of ideas there is an app for that which is easy to use on your phone).
I shouldn’t have to mention this one but….. Sunscreen! Pack your sunscreen and sunglasses. Who wants to get stuck without those essentials?
Memory Maker is Disney’s Way to letting you enjoy unlimited Photo Pass photos that are available to be taken by Disney’s professional photographers and cameras at several Photo Pass Locations located all throughout all of Disney World’s Parks.
Memory Maker – Disney World
Memory Maker – Disney World
You no longer have to purchase photos taken separately when you have Memory Maker. One major plus is any pictures taken while ON RIDES will be added to your Photo Pass stream!!!!
Memory Maker is linked to your account; and which also your Magic Band is scanned whenever you have a picture taken with a Photo Pass Photographer as well as any photos taken on rides that contain Photo Pass shots.
Maker Maker – Disney World
Maker Maker – Disney World
Memory Maker also gives you lots of Disney World extra pictures of just Mickey, scenery, other characters and more! It’s so easy and convenient to be able to take any picture you choose and all are yours to use at your discretion – and you never know when a surprise rare-character shot will pop up along the way!
We purchase Memory Maker on every vacation because when we travel to Disney World, no vacation is ever the same!
**When you return home after your vacation is sadly over, you have 30 days to go online to the My Disney Experience website http://www.mydisneyexperience.com and download ALL of your Memory Maker pictures to save and do with as you please!!!**
We have different pictures taken with every trip. (I am not sure if it was available during my children’s first trip in 2013. So unfortunately I have no Photo Pass pictures from that time and they were only 2 and a very young 5!) It’s capturing my children as they are growing up Disney and we have so many beautiful family portraits, especially since in Disney World is the only place where I do not always have to be the photographer!
Maker Maker – Disney World
Maker Maker – Disney World
There are so many extra touches and surprises like a little photo-video of your family on the Mine Train.
Where else can you get a picture taken on a roller coaster????
Countless beautiful photos with extra touches that you cannot get anywhere else!
Memory Maker – Disney World
Memory Maker – Disney World
How much is Memory Maker?
Currently an advanced purchase of Memory Maker is $169.00, or if you add it on while there it would be $199.00. I HIGHLY recommend the advanced purchase of Memory Maker! You will not regret it! Just add it on to your vacation package.
You can easily find Photo Pass locations on the My Disney Experience Map while inside the parks.
*IF, for some obscure reason you cannot find something on the My Disney Experience App, simply ask a Cast Member – they will be more than happy to guide you. Never fear – there is always someone to ask for help in Disney World.
Disney World Photographers do some pretty magical things!