Spring Day Trip?

Maybe a mental-health day trip?

Consider Liberty State Park in Jersey City!

We visited Liberty State Park over Spring Break and had an amazing time!

Spring is just a beautiful time for traveling, hiking, day-tripping and anything outdoors really! The weather can be so pleasant and everything is started to bloom.

ALL TRAILS APP

If you have the All Trails App and you search up Liberty State Park which will give you directions on how to get to Liberty State Park and the New York Bay. FREE and easy parking!

NOTE: the only bathrooms we could find that were open were port-a-johns / porta-potties which weren’t the greatest – so bring wipes and your own sanitizing agents.

GIANT AREA

This 3 mile loop has stunning picturesque views of our number one lady, the Statue of Liberty. Provided is a gorgeous paved trail that wraps around the waterline. This path makes for easy physical distancing for safety and to enjoy the sun and air. Great for walking, biking, and photography! Wear your sneakers and be prepared to walk. The park is free to enter, free to park and free to explore! Only the ferries and anything over on Ellis Island / Statue of Liberty have fees.

Liberty State Park was pristine (aside from the Porta-Potties). When I say something is immaculate I mean “Disney clean”. If you are a Disney addict, you will know what I am talking about. There are no other parks in this country as clean and spotless as Disney World and Disneyland. You know how sometimes when you’re at an amazing zoo you might have Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park come to your mind. The water here and being on the boat reminded me of Seven Seas Lagoon – only wishing we were cruising over to Magic Kingdom for the day but perfectly satisfied to have the actual real view we had.

NOTE: we did not come across any food vendors so definitely bring your own food, snacks and drinks as of April 6, 2021.

Continue reading “Spring Day Trip?”

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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EXERCISE TIME for the kids during the quarantine 2020!

Outside Play

We seem to have a good homeschool routine down. As soon as my kids get up in the morning, they are logged into google classrooms and doing their work. They are motivated to get it done early so they can have the rest of the day, to do whatever they like. They aren’t allowed on any screens until all their work is completed for the day. Sometimes they just need some moral support to get the work done.

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In addition to the schoolwork, one of the most important things I do every day, now that we are home – is making sure my kids get a few hours of exercise play time – which can be challenging living in the Norteast where some days are 65 and other days are still 40.

We were walking the park track but we haven’t been back there in a few weeks as the cases of the COVID19 became more rampant. So we are fortunate enough to have an extremely long driveway and property to venture around. I try to have the kids to 10 laps of the long driveway every day.

Basketball has been tons of fun – some games of horse – and also my youngest is a pretty good player so my husband will play some 1-1 with him.

One important factor the kids really need right now is family security, don’t just let them sit on screens for hours on end. Show your children that you enjoying having fun with them. They need to know their family is happy to be with them and it really is a great time for bonding. Don’t make it seem like it is a chore to spend time with your kids! You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have fun either!

Here are a few ideas of family bonding time:

A simple deck of cards laying around makes for a fun game of Go Fish. Color & draw together! Read together, even if its just the comics in the newspaper. Play catch. Challenge your kids to a race. As I have been brainstorming for some activities that we can do together as a family, I have put an order in for some Pickle Ball, tennis rackets and balls, magnetic darts. A table top foosball game, as well as a table top billards – thinking we can move to the deck on nice days. Im excited for a speedball turnball set and trying to figure out where a good spot will be. We set up a ping pong table in the basement where the exercise bike and elliptical are located. Ask some friends to borrow any puzzles they aren’t using. Find some Legos laying around and create something new.

Earlier last week some pretty bad weather blew through, which prevented us from completely going outside for a day – so I had my youngest (who suffers from POTS and we believe Ehlers Danlos Syndrome – so it is imperative he gets enough exercise every single day! ) do exercises from a list that I found on Pinterest which was pretty funny. Here’s the link to the video:

Indoor Exercise Time

I am enjoying creating silly videos of the kids playing outside, doing all sorts of things like hide-n-seek, rolling down the hill and they tried to come up with a thowing the ball at each other type game – we will need to retry that one. The videos are a good way for our family members & friends to reconnect with us and feel as if they are playing with us.

My kids have had a lot of positivity come out of this. In addition to being relieved of the stress and social anxiety of having to go out to school each day, they have also rekindled themselves with some toys they haven’t played with in years and reconnected with each other. They are only 2 years apart so my husband and I have taught them to grow up playing together and caring for each other. Now that my oldest is in middle school that changed things a bit. But being home has rekindled our connections.

We just started a new Disney World Puzzle that I just ordered off shopdisney.com for Easter – so I will definitely have pictures of that when its all finished. It is going to take a while because its 1000 peices. Browsing the shop disney website is givng me a feeling of peace but I really have to be careful and stop ordering things for now.

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How are you and your family spending time together during the quaratine? Let me know in the comments below.

When are you planning your next Disney World Vacation?

Self Care: Easter Sunday I decided to get glammed up for the day – click here to read about it.