Planning for NEW YEAR’S EVE in Disney World

Thinking of spending NYE in Disney World? This is how we did it.

Disclaimer: I am by no means, in any way responsible for any vacation you make take, including but not limited to Disney World. This was our experience and how we enjoyed it. Even if you were to plan it exactly the same it the experience may alter.

First: How-To

  • Plan
  • Know expectations
  • Dining Reservations
  • Prioritize
  • Don’t Over Schedule This Specific Day

⭐️ It is now October- so if you’re planning on going to Disney for NYE or Christmas you’re going to need to start planning NOW⭐️

Plan Ahead For Major Crowds

When I say Major Crowds, I mean Magic Kingdom was packed to capacity by 11am New Years Eve December 31, 2019. Walking inside Magic Kingdom shoulder to shoulder with people filling all empty space. Small World had a 2 hour wait. This was right before Covid plagued the World and things were running normally. Everything was open and we had the Deluxe Dining Plan.

Keep Your Expectations Low

Due to the crowd levels inside of the most magical place on Earth at this time of the year, we knew we had to keep our expectations low. Since we travel to Disney World at least once a year or more, we were not worried about “getting everything in” as we always know we will be back. We did however have all of our dining plans in place, and at the time – Fast Passes. In fact we were out of Magic Kingdom by 4pm this day to head to our dining reservations.

PRIORITIES

My number one priority was to make sure we got to see the Christmas Parade at Magic Kingdom since we only flew in the night before New Year’s Eve and it would only show twice that day and be done until the following November. So I planned our lunch dining plans around the timing of the parade and camped out early for a perfect spot. But keep in mind – people filled up all around us. We did not plan to stay for fireworks and headed out about 4pm to head to Disney Springs for dinner.

We Stayed at a Magic Kingdom Resort

This trip we were so lucky and fortunate to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian. For New Year’s Eve we had a Lagoon View so it was like having our very own personal fireworks display right from our bedroom! We didn’t even need to leave the room!! No matter what room you have, you can view the fireworks from outside the quick service by the boat docks on the hotel.

***You are able to view the Magic Kingdom Fireworks from any surrounding hotel grounds – which includes: The Polynesian, Fort Wilderness, The Wilderness Lodge, The Contemporary and the Grand Floridian. ***

My Regret

Not booking a dining reservation at our resort. Instead we had reservations for the Rainforest Cafe in an extremely crowded Disney Springs… even though we had reservations we had to wait ALMOST an entire HOUR before we were seated!! The stores were shoulder to shoulder… it was a complete waste of time.

Sample Disney Plan New Years Eve (without being in a park for Fireworks)

  • Reservations for preferred park in advance
  • Dining reservations for inside that park
  • Up and at the park early
  • Leave park by 4pm
  • Dinner Reservations at the resort where you are staying or maybe a resort that has a view of a park for fireworks .
  • *Some restaurants have seated viewing of Fireworks – for example: The California Grill at the Contemporary Resort has seating for Magic Kingdom Fireworks.
  • If you want to stay inside a park but don’t want to hold your place for 6 hours, try a restaurant with firework seating. Cinderella’s Royal Table for Magic Kingdom. Restaurants inside Epcot have seating for fireworks as well.
  • Most resorts have great shopping and lounge options – so many things to do!

Are you planning on visiting Disney World this holiday season?

Check out what Disney was like with NO DINING PLAN – click here!

Disney World Planning Worksheet – first to come!

Downloadable Template

Downloadable Canva Template

Interested in a Disney Planning Worksheet for your Christmas Vacation?

Check it out! Click here!

Shrink to fit

Now Selling Customizable Items on Etsy!

Finally putting my photography to good use…..

I am NOW selling some customizable downloadable items created in Canva and sold on Etsy. There will be more to come as time goes by but check out my first product.

CLICK HERE

A downloadable customizable Christmas Card! Once you purchase the card you will receive a PDF with steps on how to download and a link inside the PDF will bring you to the Canva template. However you do need a Canva account.

Let me know what you think!

Sample Disney World Vaca Itinerary 2022

Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation and don’t know where to start? Look no further

After making your resort reservations and deciding on how many days of park tickets and IF they will be hoppers you will need to make PARK RESERVATIONS!

Here is a sample guide from our most recent Disney Vacation from August 2022

When is your next Walt Disney World Vacation?!

TIP for using Genie + Summer 2022

Disney World’s Genie Plus

Summer / Fall 2022 –

We Mastered How to Use It!

After watching countless YouTube Videos we finally figured out how to use Disney’s Genie Plus in the My Disney Experience App during our July/August 2022 Vacation.

DISCLAIMER: Genie + is continuously changing and we cannot be held responsible if it is any different during the time of your vacation. I am not responsible for any upsets or anything that can/will go wrong during your vacation or trip.

Purchase Genie at 12 midnight or 6am during day of your visit

You’re going to want to get up early so you have it purchased in plenty of time before 7am.

Have a plan!

Know what park you’re visiting and have a Top Attractions List idea in mind.

7am Book Your First Ride of the Day

When you open Genie you will find the time selections available located inside the TIP BOARD. You will want to click BOOK EXPERIENCE.

You will have advanced park reservations – so you know what park you will be heading into for the day. Know in advance which attraction your party wants to conquer first! Possibly make a list in your NOTES section in your phone.

*It is best to know which rides are a must-do at every park before you even set out on your adventure! This way you know what you are looking to book at 7am. If you’re not sure you might miss out on a time.

Be already on Genie at 6:45am refreshing until 7am for first choice selections.

During our July/August vacation I was not able to book a second Genie selection until after we scanned in to our first selection of the day – despite what we had been told. I heard you could stack another selection 2 hours after park opening each day – however it would not work for us. If it works for you please let me know in the comments! If I am not mistaken selected experiences need to be 2 hours apart?

Make Another Selection AFTER you SCAN Your 1st Selection of the Day

REFRESH REFRESH REFRESH!

When you open Genie (after you have scanned in to ride your attraction) INSIDE THE TIP BOARD to book another selection, you might not like the times available; but do not despair! ✨🌟Keep pulling down 🌟and refreshing 🌟and the times should change💫 – giving you some better options.

You Can Even Change Parks When Park Hopping!

You won’t be able to book another selection at another park until after 2pm which is when Park Hopping Time Begins (is allowed). Then in MDE inside Genie + you will need to change which park you want to head to.

Is Genie Worth It?

Yes for our family it is – but possibly not for everyone. We also utilize the DAS system which is the Disability Access System. My husband is a type 1 diabetic affected by temperature and not able to stand in long lines. My younger son has POTS and a hypermobility disorder with no temperature regulation; so the temperature can cause him to become ill and he is not able to stand in long lines/ needs quick access to bathrooms. Sitting in a wheelchair could also make my son a faint hazard. My other son has a severe anxiety disorder. We are not that healthy family that is capable of standing in long lines… SO…….we utilize DAS as well as Genie Plus for ease of access to bathrooms, rest and snacks instead of waiting on long lines. We felt that in order for OUR best use of times we almost had to have both – some people choose not to.

YOU HAVE TO DECIDE WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILLY!

Can a trip be great at WDW even without Genie? Sure, but it might be tricky and you will need to put on your Patient Hat.

Do we wish Disney would bring back the FREE Fast Pass System? Absolutely! We cannot give up hope.

Are You Planning a Walt Disney World Vacation? I would love to hear in the comments below.

https://www.instagram.com/familypixiedust429/

What You Need To Know About Genie+ Before You Go!

Our Experience with Genie+

BUY IT PRIOR TO YOUR TRIP OR THE MORNING OF HEADING TO THE PARK BUT BEFORE 6:45AM

When we travel to Disney World we always use Disney’s Disability Access System for our younger son who suffers from POTS and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. Both of these chronic medical conditions can cause him to have blood pooling in the legs, get dizzy/pass out, it messes with his blood pressure and pulse just from standing in one place too long -without moving. They also bring on a lot of IBS – just from extra exercise or warmer temps. We have never had any issues with it UNTIL our December 2021 trip.

Our first park day was at Hollywood Studios and Upon Arrival the Cast Member at Guest Services told us that DAS was now for people with cognitive disabilities and pointed us in the the way of wheelchairs. My son does not need a wheel chair……. he can walk – actually the more exercise is better for him because if he conforms to a wheelchair it will make his already weak muscles weaker. This woman clearer did NOT understand the impact of his condition at all. DAS simply states it is for people that are NOT able to stand in long lines. PERIOD.

Heartache

So trying not to feel too angry and let it destroy our day, we decided to add the Genie+. It came to over an extra $60 for the day for the 4 of us. Since we had not signed up and booked something at 7am Rise of Resistance and Slinky – Hollywood’s 2 most popular rides – were completely sold out for the day. Pure heart ache right here. Rise of the Resistance had 2 hour wait times. Slinky always has about a 90 minute wait. DISNEY WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?

If we had KNOWN prior and signed up for this “amazing” Genie+ before 7am**** we could have booked RIR and then made it to Slinky at rope drop. Rope Drop is a simple term Disney Addicts use for getting inside the park as soon as it opens and you make a beeline to your ride of choice. Typically at rope drop there are minimal to low wait times.

We Only Used Genie+ for 1 maybe 2 Rides.

What a waste.

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Plan to pay $15 per person extra per day for any day you want to utilize Disney+.

Research Disney+ prior to your vacation. Watch YouTube videos on how to use it. We love DFB – Disney Food Blog and All Ears Molly.

I believe you have the option to purchase Disney+ now when booking your vacation but do not quote me on that, I am not 100% sure. Just make sure you plan to purchase it 6:30 the morning of your park day (if you’re a resort guest) and from 6:45 on keep trying to book the most popular rides that you and your family are interested in getting on. Then for the others plan to “rope drop” or hit it at park closing.

Disney World If You Are Reading: PLEASE BRING BACK THE DINING PLAN AND 3 (free) FAST PASSES per day! What are you thinking?!!

Last Minute DIY Easter Pics

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!

IDEA 1:

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!

IDEA 2:

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!

IDEA 3:

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 🤷‍♀️

Check out my last post on What Is Going In My Kids’ Easter Baskets HERE!

Last Minute Easter Shopping

Home Goods!

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!

Happy Easter 🐣🐇🐰 Shopping Everyone!

Continue reading “Last Minute Easter Shopping”

Ditch the typical Easter Basket and try something new!

Easter Basket Hack / Creation

New Easter Basket Creation

Over the weekend I watched a new YouTube Video on where instead of using the typical Easter “Basket”, she was using a new beach towel folded as the base/ basket. When it was finished it looked just like a normal Easter Basket with the cello and all! I decided I was going to try this myself.

I have been saving and reusing the same Easter Baskets since my kids are babies – same cello and all. I just store them in plastic bags but the large baskets do take up a lot of space. I like the new idea of using something that is going to be used instead of a basket that either gets thrown out or takes up too much space.

I attempted the towel idea but after that Kohls haul – I just had too much stuff! So I have this pretty light green plaid wrapping paper left over from my in-law’s’ emerald anniversary and some yellow bows stored in our little craft room that we have. This wrapping paper was not flimsy dollar store paper, but a nice strong paper with brawn to become a basket.

I folded the wrapping paper around the towel as a base/basket taping the sides of the wrapping paper to hold up as a basket.

I did not buy any NEW cello or wrap… I was just trying to use what I had laying around and I realized I did not have enough cello. Oops. I one has cello and the other one is just plain wrapping paper.

I am by no means a perfect crafter… I just try to make things look cute and special. I’m really not artistic, I am only a perfectionist when it comes to makeup. LOL

For the chocolate I reused one of my saved Easter Baskets – old cello and all! lol

I hope I helped give you ideas for different and creative ways of designing Easter Baskets for your loved ones!

Check out my new YOUTUBE video on the Easter Basket Ideas!

What are your ideas?

How are you staying safe for Easter this year?

14 Days of Why We Love You

Simple Valentine Craft Treat Surprise Leading Up To Valentine’s Day

Creating Easy Valentines with a Touch of Disney

A few weeks ago I asked a dear friend of mine, “What can I do to make Valentine’s Day More Special This Year?” With everything being so gloomy and not much going on we all could use a pick-me-up. She told me she does a 14 Day “Reasons Why I Love You” for each of her kids leading up until Valentine’s Day- giving each child their own special thing she loves about them. Well this certainly sparked my interest. Since I am on leave due to Covid and having my children virtually learn at home I FINALLY have the time to do things like this! Normally I am always working.

Keep in mind, I am not a brilliant crafter. I am not that neat and I am certainly not perfect. I am not one of those awesome crafting people that you see make beautiful things on YouTube. (I am way better at makeup LOL) I am full of Disney World Vacation knowledge and planning. I’m just sharing a simple little easy-to-do fun Valentine’s Day idea to pass the time! My kind of crafting is easy enough to do with your children or at school. If only I had a working printer! So please don’t judge me.

Last Friday I went to Walmart and went into their seasonal Valentine isle and stocked up on some goodies to surprise the kiddos with each day – and some sugar-free treats for the hubby. I got some things like: a box of fun-sized Skittles, a box of fun-sized Welch’s fruit snacks, bag of Jolly Ranchers, bag of Dove Chocolates, heart-shaped boxes of Russell Stover Valentines and some Russell Stover Heart Shaped Chocolate Caramels and chocolate covered heart marshmallows for $.50 cents each. I also found these cute Disney gummies… You all know I’m always on the lookout for anything Disney.

  • box of fun sized Skittles
  • box of Welch’s Fruit Snacks
  • bag of Jolly Ranchers
  • bag of Dove Chocolates
  • Russell Stover Heart Shaped Valentine Box of Chocolates
  • Russell Stover Heart Shaped Chocolate Caramel and Heart Shaped Chocolate Caramels
  • Box of prepackaged Disney Gummy Rings

The Valentines started out all cute. But then I realized I needed to add some Disney pizazz into this.

I thought to myself I need to add some Star Wars into this! My family is a major Star Wars fan family. If you are not a Star Wars fan you will probably not understand my next group of Valentine’s.

Supplies for the Valentine’s:

  • Construction Paper
  • Craft Paper from Dollar General
  • Marker
  • Glue
  • Gem Stickers from Walmart
  • Star Wars Stickers from Walmart
  • Disney Store Tissue Packaging Paper
  • Disney Cars Stickers from Dollar Store
  • Valentine’s Day Stickers from Dollar Store

Then I started to forage around the house to see what other supplies I have to see what I could come up with that was Disney related. I’m not the most artistic person so I am just going with what I have to work with.

Does anyone recognize that Disney Paper??? That is Disney tissue paper that comes from Shop Disney orders. I love saving the Shop Disney Tissue Paper for any future gifts or crafts that might pop up!

Anyone recognize that Mickey head? hehe! I save all Disney World Travel Documents because you just never know when you want to reminisce or you might find a use for it.

What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year?

Check out our last video on Disney Wishables from last Spring

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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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!

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.