With Covid rules and regulations a lot of people might be skipping out on visiting the Easter Bunny this year but that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on Easter 🐣 Pics 📸 of your kids!
Gather up your kids and head up to your nearest State Park. If you are working they are staying open later now, and it is better to go towards the late afternoon anyway – so the sun won’t be shining in their eyes!
The state park idea is fun because the kids can go exploring around the area while you’re doing it or even have a picnic. Throw some quick dresses 👗 on your girls and cute shirts on your boys and let nature do the rest. Try out Portrait Mode on your iPhone!
It was very windy when we went up last week!
Take whatever Easter decorations and props you have and head into your own yard for some pretty pics.
*Have a tripod?! Set up your iPhone to take 10 seconds for an automatic pic of you with your family!
Have an early Easter Egg hunt and take ACTION pics of your kiddos hunting for eggs – in their nicest attire.
Also if you have Easter Pics from the year prior that never got sent to anyone? We were in Disney World for Easter 2019 and had pics with Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny that never went to anyone only because they were taken on Easter while there 🤷♀️
Mikey and I ran to Home Goods yesterday afternoon… we were surprised to find LEGO storage boxes that are actual LEGO themselves!
We also spotted 2 MICKEY Mouse plushies!
We spotted 2 Baby Yoda / The Child / Grogu Banks in the children’s section
For some other last minute gifts I am adding to my kids Easter Baskets I am waiting on a few LEGO to come and also waiting on some LED lights for Nicky’s bedroom. Plus they still love to play with Star Wars Light Sabers – so waiting on that as well!
I just need to finish a basket for my parents and my inlaws as well as my nephews!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
How to ride Disney’s Star Wars Rise of the Resistance Ride in Walt Disney World
How to JOIN the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance:
Recently before all the closures due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Disney’s Hollywood Studios opened their newest, highly anticipated ride of the century –Rise of the Resistance, back in December of 2019. Attempting to get on the ride is not the easiest thing to do, but completely worth it.
I think moving forward we will be seeing a lot more about Virtual Queues and how to use them as Disney World begins to re-open.
If you are a huge Star Wars fan then this is something not to be missed!
Here is your plan of action to get on the VIRTUAL QUEUE for this ride when Disney World reopends its parks (this information is subject to change via Disney World):
So ultimately you will need to have at least this part of your vacation planned out – if not for the rest of it. (We all know going to Disney World takes some planning) You need to know what day of your trip you will be going to Hollywood Studios and have other fast passes and dining reservations planned out with the ability to be open for flexiblity and changes.
For this morning of your trip, depending on how big your party is, and how quickly you can get ready you’re going to need to be at your bus stop by 5:30am depending on park opening. Set your alarms accordingly, and have food packed the night before – whatever you need to bring into the park for that day, have ready the night prior. We had stayed at the Grand Floridian so when I walked to the Gasparilla Island Grill, I was lucky to find one carafe of coffee hot and ready!
Things to have ready for the day: Your Smart Phone, Smart Phone Charger, Drinks & Snacks, Other Fast Passes, & Dining Reservations.
Make Note: For the new Skyliner Resorts, the Skyliner is not a good method of transportation that early in the morning because it only opens 30 minutes before park opening so this is not a good transportation method when you want to get on ROR. ****You might want to schedule an alternate route of transportation – either your own car, Uber, Lyft, or Disney’s alternate transportation of the Minnie Van (which starts at a flat rate of $20 but then costs more per mile – speak with the front desk) The bus stop was completely packed when we arrived and almost did not make it on the first bus. In this instance it is always good to be early than late!
Security lines are HUGE and LONG! Do not freak out – deep breaths. You will get through it. Just cooperate. From the stress and anxiety we witnessed other guests yelling and swearing at security for no good reason, other than stress – so keep yourself together. They will get you through as soon as possible and its for good reasons. Have a snack while you wait, talk about what rides you would like to go on for the day or snacks you might like to try.
While we were there in January park opened at 7:00am and even if the park isn’t opening until 9:00 I still recommending on arriving at Hollywood Studios by 6:30am to get through security and scanned into the park before the opening time. It is CRUCIAL you are scanned into Hollywood Studios and INSIDE the park before the park hour stikes opening time. Typically security opens an hour before park opening.
Keeping your My Disney Experience App closed, and checking the time for park opening, make sure as soon as the clock strikes whatever hour park opening is – let’s just say at 7:00am – you will open the app instantly at 7:00am ( your MDE app) and here you will see “Join a Boarding Group” (as soon as the app opens up) it was a picture of the AT-AT Walkers – uness that changes – and you will click on that and follow through with the directions as it leads you, step-by-step, on how many in your party etc. After that it will give you a boarding number. This is where it is crucial that your phone does not die and you are able to access the app on your other family members phones. I personally like a small charger. The app will eventually alert you when to return to the ride. So go about your day until you have the alert from the app. There is a possiblity it could be late at night or early – just keep an eye.
Now that you have your boarding number you will be WAITING patiently until you get the notifcation from the app for your boarding time. Once the app alerts you and it gives you a boarding time you will have a 2 hour window to get to the Rise of the Resistance Ride located in Galaxy’s Edge of Hollywood Studios. So do NOT panic if you are headed onto a Fast pass or you are currently eating. You do have 2 hours to get on! It will tell you please get here by whatever time is at the end of the 2 hours. It appeared right on my homescreen! We were boarding group number 54 so it gave us some ample time for a breakfast reservation at 8:20am and also we had a lunch reservation at 12:30.
Since you are inside the park so early it is the perfect opportunity to hop on those rides with normal long waits. We had a fast pass for Slinky so we hopped on Toy Story Mania with no wait. Some people run to Smugglers Run (Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run) which at the time had no Fast Pass but just before the closures started offering a FP. Aerosmith’s Rockin Roller Coaster is another good one to head to, or even Tower of Terror. Then don’t forget if you have a breakfast reservation! After breakfast we did Slinky, and headed to Star Tours, got on the ROR around 11:00, and we hopped on Smugglers Run and went to lunch. Then we did some pics with Darth Vader and Chewbacca.
Keep in mind, there are instances where people are not able to board Rise of Resistance until the evening and sometimes disappointly not able to get on the ride that day – but I think they promise you the following day? Mark me if I am wrong. Your best bet is to plan your vacation during a lower crowd time…
It’s was definitely exhausting but worth it! We will do it again and won’t even think twice about it. We can’t wait!
If you don’t mind spoilers here is our video footage and vlog of Rise of the Resistance from this past January 2020.
When are you planning your next Disney World Trip?
Have you ridden Rise of the Resistance Yet? What was your experience?
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.
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?
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).
The cast member was thrilled with Nick’s purchase and talked about her collection of Earth Day pins.
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.