Monday, September 30, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia


Welcome back for more fantastic Disney Trivia!  Thanks again to Jodi from +Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi from +Heidi's Head, and +Mike Ellis for co-hosting!

Did you know:


Disney artist, John Hench, designed the Olympic Torch for the 1960 Squaw Valley Winter Olympics, which Walt Disney helped with.  The torch that Hench designed has served as the model for future torches.



Friday, September 27, 2013

Avoiding Tantrums and Time Outs in Disney

Please welcome my good friend (and coworker!) Beth from Pursuing the Magic!  She's sharing an oldie but goodie, originally posted in Making Magical Memories Column 
WDW Daily News, January, 2011



Here's Hayley loving Pluto - I figured since it is her
tantrum I discuss, I would post a pic that shows
how sweet she really is!


Just because Walt Disney World is the happiest place on Earth, it doesn’t mean it makes things magically disappear, meaning certain behaviors like tantrums. They happen, even to the best of children. Sometimes it is in the middle of Fantasyland, where you just may get a lot of sympathetic looks from people who know what it feels like, or it may be in the middle of World Showcase where there seem to be far fewer strollers and even fewer of those sympathetic looks. I would like to keep the talk of tantrums to just children, but let’s face it, we’ve all seen the adult tantrums too. They may not include the stomping of the feet or screaming at the top of the lungs, but they happen.

When traveling to Disney, it can be overwhelming to the best of us. You know your children better than anyone and you know when they are running out of steam. As soon as my children start to fade, we know it is time to make our way back to the resort for a nap or to find a comfortable bench and have a snack. Sometimes just a little break is all we need to regroup. I know if I push my children beyond their limits, I will definitely have some cranky kids on my hands. Now my kids in general are really well behaved. We can take them anywhere without issue. But, on our last trip to Disney, my three year old had the tantrum of all tantrums. I literally have never seen her like this in my life!  I was completely embarrassed and really shocked. I kept with our normal routine at home, which is to give a time out.

Now we were in Mickey’s Toontown Fair, which was packed with parents, strollers, and of course children. I found a spot close to the train station and was able to get her in a spot to sit. Luckily there was some Disney magic at work, and though she was still screaming at the top of her lungs (my face bright red and I think possibly sweating at this point from the embarrassment), she sat for her three minutes.

When it was all done, we had a little chat and she said, “Mommy, I am too tired to play anymore.” We were several days into our vacation and we knew she needed a break. We took the next day to play in the sands along the beach at the Caribbean Beach resort and just relax. The next day, she was back to her normal self and ready to go ride Cinderella’s Royal Carousel, which we were able to do three times in a row.

My advice would be to watch for signs from your children and react before it gets to a teary-eyed, screaming tantrum.   Even though you are on vacation, you still need those clear expectations and consequences for behaviors. I had never witnessed this behavior from Hayley before and haven’t since. But I was glad we already had the timeout routine in place and she knew what it meant. It made it very easy to put it to work in the parks.

My husband and brother just before meeting the distressed father mentioned!

Now, you need to also keep an eye on the adults in your group for those warning signs of when they have had enough. We would think that they would know better and speak up, but sometimes they are just too far in. I’ve witnessed several of these in the parks and I see them, or some version of them, every trip. There is always the parent desperately gripping the park map yelling at their kids about how much the vacation cost and they’re going to like it. I have also witnessed a woman battering her husband with her purse in the Splash Mountain log at the bottom of the hill because he tricked her into riding (not sure how she missed the large mountain on her way to the queue area).

My most memorable moment is of a man with his wife and three teenage daughters. As we stood in World Showcase, my husband and brother were each holding one of those tall beers from the beer cart outside of the Rose and Crown pub. This father came running up to us, points to the beer and says, “I need to know where you got that or I just may not survive this vacation!” The mother and three daughters all stood with scowls on their faces and their arms crossed.  I am not sure who was pushing who to their limits, but clearly this family had reached theirs.

So when vacationing at WDW, remember to keep an eye on your group. Watch for the signs of overdoing it. Take a break, have a snack or get a drink, and enjoy the time in the parks with your friends or your family. Keep those tantrums to a minimum but have routines in place should they happen to make an appearance.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

3 Way to Play with Music

As a musician, I felt compelled to share this article when up and coming writer, Jessica Socheski, asked for a guest spot!  I absolutely think kids and music go together - here are some great ways to get your kids involved!  *All pictures/captions are mine, not Jessica's*


The benefits of music for both children and adults have long been celebrated. And as recent research reinforces, incorporating music into the everyday may be a way to boost the learning, development and overall joy in your family.
 
I introduced my son to Mozart by 4 months of age
“Listening to music during playtime makes children happier, sillier, more excited and engages them in play for longer periods of time; music also makes parents feel more relaxed,” reported researchers in a LEGO Systems Survey conducted in 2011. 

So how can you incorporate the benefits of music exposure into your child’s upbringing? You may want to search here to find private music instructors for you and your kids. Or you can to try these 3 easy ways to bring music into playtime.

Make Musical Crafts
A great way to add music to creative playtime is by recycling household materials and transforming them into homemade instruments. You can make everything from pinto bean and paper plate maracas to a shoebox and rubber band guitar. Save PVC pipes, coffee cans and other tins to form the base of a drum set. After decorating these crafts, kids can have fun beating out their own music. As an added bonus, children will learn about sustainability in the process.

Make your own instruments, like the Jammitors at EPCOT's Future World!
Living Room Jam Session
It is probably something that already takes place in your house, but an impromptu dance party in the living room is a great way to let kids enjoy music. Create a Disney playlist on Pandora so that kids can work on developing language skills as they sing along.

You can add extra musical education to these playtime activities by sitting down with your kids and showing them how to clap out a rhythm and count out the beat. And don’t feel limited to your kids’ favorite songs. Pull out your own records and give children a taste of other genres of music.

Find Live Music
Children are often enthralled when watching and hearing live music performances. The hammering of a piano and the strumming of a guitar can captivate their little minds. Take your kids out for a playtime adventure and find local music.
Even Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom has live music!
Many communities have symphonies that perform free or discounted children’s concerts during the season. Check out the local library which might have afternoon children’s programs where local musicians stop by for visits. These are all wonderful ways to inspire children towards a love of music at an early age.
 
I play in FREE concerts in the DC area all the time - many very child friendly!
“Music can increase optimism, stimulate brain cells and help you relax and have fun,” writes a columnist for NJ.com. So now is the perfect time to add to your family’s playtime activities by incorporating the benefits of music exposure.



Yummi Pouch and Friends #Giveaway!

Enter to win this collection of great gear every child needs for on-the-go!

Prize Package Includes:

  • Yummi Pouch Brights - 2 sets of reusable food pouches ($30 value)
  • Diono RadianR100 car seat ($259.99 value)
  • Tivoli Couture Luxury Memory Foam Stroller Liner in Emerald. ($49.99 value)
  • Imagine Baby The Shade ($39.95 value)
  • yoomi - 8oz Feeding System ($37.50 value)
  • líllébaby COMPLETE Organic Carrier ($135 value)
  • Buttons Diapers 3 cloth covers and 6 daytime inserts ($54 value)

Total Value = $600+

Yummi Pouch - Reusable Food Pouches

yummi pouch reusable food pouches
Yummi Pouch Brights - 2 sets - Retail Price: $30
Yummi Pouch Brights (Set of 4) combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and enjoyed by drinking from the side spout, Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches are great for kids taking healthy snacks on the go. Includes set of 4 assorted patterns. For more information visit yummipouch.com.
  • Set of 4 Yummi Pouch Brights reusable food pouches
  • Dishwasher and freezer safe
  • BPA and phthalate free
  • Great for on the go snacks!
  • Hold up to 6 ounces each

Diono

diono carseat giveaway
Radian®R100 Car Seat - Retail Price: $259.99
The Radian®R100 Car Seat offers the adaptability you need to keep your child's car rides safe and comfortable for years. From birth to booster car seat, the RadianR100 fits children in the rear-facing position weighing from 5 to 40 pounds and children in the forward-facing position weighing from 20 to 65 pounds. With longevity in mind, this model converts to a booster seat for kids up to 100 pounds.
Dedicated to giving families safe and enjoyable travel experiences, Diono has more than a decade of experience producing award-winning products. Diono car seats, stroller and travel accessories continue to gain high ratings from industry experts, media and families worldwide for their unique functionality, safety innovations and thoughtful designs. For more information visit us.diono.com.

Tivoli Couture

tivoli couture
Luxury Memory Foam Stroller Liner in Emerald - Retail Price: $49.99
Tivoli CoutureT specializes in Practical LuxuryT solutions for strollers, car seats and baby carriers.
Tivoli Couture stroller liners are unlike any other stroller liner on the market today. Tivoli Couture is the original inventor of the luxury memory foam stroller liner! Our memory foam stroller liners have been evaluated and recommended by a Chiropractor to help with proper spinal alignment and support. We chose memory foam padding because of its orthopedic qualities. Memory foam is known to relieve pressure points and help promote circulation - an important feature for children sitting in their stroller for prolonged periods of time. Tivoli Couture stroller liners also help cushion the ride and help absorb stroller shock; they double as tummy time mats and changing pads - just perfect for busy parents on the go!

Our stroller liners are super trendy and are available in a number of modern designs, colors and prints. They are reversible for style, versatility and year-round comfort. For more information visit TivoliCouture.com.

Imagine Baby

imagine baby the shade
The Shade - Retail Price: $39.95 (car seat not included)
The Shade by Imagine Baby is an award winning infant car seat canopy that protects baby from outside elements and germs. It also provides baby with a shaded place for napping when on the go. Made from a soft, stretchy micropoly/Lycra material The Shade provides baby with UPF 50+ protection from the sun's harmful rays and fits easily on most infant car seats. For more information visit imaginebaby.com.
  • UPF 50 + sun protection
  • Water resistant
  • Year round use
  • Breathable
  • Flexible fit on most infant car seats
  • Easy care - machine wash cold, line dry
  • Fits into any size diaper bag

yoomi

yoomi feeding system
8oz Feeding System - Retail Price: $37.50
Yoomi was created by Farah and Jim. A mom and dad whose experiences of stumbling around the kitchen in the early hours and begging waiters for hot water when out and about inspired them to look for a better solution. The combination of Farah's inspiration and Jim's engineering skills, together with expert advice and help from friends and family, has resulted in yoomi, the bottle that warms baby feed in just 60 seconds. For more information visit yoomi.com.

lillébaby

lille baby carrier
líllébaby® COMPLETET Organic Carrier - Retail Price: $135
The future in babywearing is here! Compare the líllébaby® COMPLETET with any baby carrier and you will see why it deserves its name. COMPLETET in function, comfort, and style, this carrier grows with your family. It includes every carrying position and ensures your baby is positioned ergonomically correct in every setting. It's all about options - it's COMPLETET!
Resonating the Scandinavian values of quality of life, honesty, and a love for nature's beauty, líllébaby strives to make baby products that bring this functional style to parents, anywhere. We wish parents to attain the simple luxury of keeping their baby close while building a natural bond, in perfect comfort and style. Soft, luxurious organic fabrics for treasured moments. Made with 100% soft-brushed organic cotton and lined with luxurious, 100% organic sateen cotton.

Designed with the unsurpassed functionality and comfort of the líllébaby® COMPLETET baby carrier line. The perfect baby carrier For more information visit lillebaby.com.

Buttons Cloth Diapers

buttons cloth diapers
3 cloth covers and 6 daytime inserts - Retail Price: $54
Tangerine, Lavender, & Apple

Buttons Cloth Diapers were born at home. As a husband and wife team, we designed our diapers to be easy to use and affordable for everyone - the way it should be. We believe in keeping our lives simple, even when it comes to diapering.

Buttons Diapers feature soft, leak-proof, and durable diaper covers. The double-gussets around the legs keeps the mess in, so your little one can run, jump, climb, and sleep while your mind is at ease. Elastic at the back and tummy makes a custom fit. The durable snaps allow the covers to adjust to fit any baby (approximately 9-35 lbs.). And, they come in many adorable colors! For more information visit buttonsdiapers.com.

Enter to Win this Fabulous Set of Prizes!

One Winner will be selected October 3rd. Have fun and good luck!
On The Go Giveaway prizes
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Book Review: Daughter of Oreveille

A few weeks back, fellow Magical Blogorail member, Tricia Ballad, announced to us that her first novel had finally been published.  I jumped on the chance to read it and even got to interview Tricia about her exciting journey - and the journey she leads us all on in Daughter of Oreveille.

You may know Tricia from Return to Disney or her own website, TriciaBallad.com.  Either way - Tricia is a go-getter and definitely got my attention in her new book!  I read the whole thing in 2 days!

AND it is a FREE Kindle download in the Amazon Prime Lending Library (if you have a Kindle and Amazon Prime) or only $3.99 if you're like me and read kindle books on a phone/non-Kindle device.  It should be out in paperback soon, but for now, purchase it thru Amazon or TriciaBallad.com.

For a quick overview - The Daughter of Oreveille is about a Fae (Fairy) who falls in love with a half-human half-fae and defies the laws of her mother (think evil-queen) and follows her heart.  It is a great story that will engage you immediately!  To learn more about Tricia, the book, and future books, check out the interview we did!  For sample chapters of Daughter, click here.

*This was the first ever interview of this type I've done - so please, no need to hate!!*

Monday, September 23, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia


Welcome back for more fantastic Disney Trivia!  Thanks again to Jodi from +Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi from +Heidi's Head, and +Mike Ellis for co-hosting!

Did you know:

Walt tried to enlist in the U.S. Army to head to Europe for WWI, but he wasn't old enough.  In fact, he was 1 year shy of age to enlist in the Red Cross.  So, he had his mother sign an affidavit of his age and than changed his date so he could go to Europe!
It originally said 1901

While in Europe, he drove an ambulance


And even had the special detail of driving General Pershing's The 10 year old son!


Book Review: PassPorter's Walt Disney World

I recently received my very first copy of a PassPorter's Walt Disney World travel guide. 


For my February Princess Half Marathon Weekend trip, I pre-ordered one  but it was delayed and not out in time for my trip.  Without another 2013 trip planned, I held off, but now with a November trip in the works, I'm excited to use this and experience the buzz about these fabulous books!

To start, these guides are a wealth of knowledge, but also a great source to organize information and get into the nitty-gritty of trip planning!  There are charts for budgets, driving, flying - instead of spreadsheets (which I have plenty of), I can write down all of the great information in the charts!  There's even a place to write down what souvenirs people need!

This book even helped me actually break down how we would work driving.  Yes, driving.  We always fly, but now with the 4 of us (3 plane tickets) and the dog (which we normally board, but.....), we've realized how much we can save traveling during a holiday week!  Even at Walt Disney World, boarding is about $60/day less expensive than boarding near us!  So, I got to the 2nd section in the book "Getting There" and started to break down budget, hotel costs, gas fees, and realized how much we will save by driving.  Plus, it breaks down how many miles you should reasonably cover per day (500) which helped me figure out where to stay - and of course, I wrote all of that down in the travel section!

Next, the section Staying in Style has detailed maps, room layouts, price, descriptions, food, ratings, etc - I highlighted where we will be staying!
okay, so my photo skills aren't always as keen as PassPorter's!
These books are fantastic for new travelers - they will definitely be top 2 "must haves" books for planning - and I love that they can be personalized (it's recommended!)


  Then, last but definitely not least, these books have places for you to record your memories - with pockets to keep your momentos!

I love that I now have a place to actually record what I'm doing - yes, I blog about it frequently, but usually not until after!  Now, I can do it while we're there to remember the details for the posts later!

Complete with colorful park maps, pictures, and even guest/readers pictures, these books are fabulous.  With all of the extra details for personalizing, these books are an outstanding addition to any travelers planning!  

Have you used a Passporter?  What is your favorite aspect of these fantastic books?

**I was provided a PassPorter's Walt Disney World 2013 for reviewing purposes, but all thoughts and opinions are my own**

Friday, September 20, 2013

Adult Only Disney

I absolutely love visiting Walt Disney World with my two little boys.  Watching babies/toddlers/little guys experience the magic is absolutely amazing.  But, there are definitely thinks that I can't do with them in tow.  Even with the occasional night out, these experiences probably won't happen until I do an adult-only trip... maybe a trip for "work."


  1. Behind the Scenes Tours
    • From tours to the resorts, through the Land Pavilion (Behind the Seeds), a tour of the Steam Trains, and Keys to the Kingdom - there are tours for almost everyone.  The big ones that I really want to do are not recommended for preschoolers.  In fact, some have an minimum age requirement!
  2. Visit All Four Parks in One Day
    • Talk about a no-brainer.  This is obviously possible with little ones, but definitely not recommended!  
  3. Drink Around the World
    • This is an obvious one... but, it's not a probable one with my family trips!  We don't often drink, so this would definitely have to be with other friends... again, maybe on a "work" trip!
  4. Enjoy a Spa Day!
    • I love the idea of a spa day - I don't even make time for myself to have these at home (even though I have a gift card burning a whole in my wallet).  With all of the world class spas at Disney Resorts (Senses), I would love to mix two of my favorite things!
  5. Meander
    • Okay, this may seem silly - but there is a limited amount of time I can spend chatting with the Characters of Main Street before the boys get antsy.
    • I love all of my photos of the Windows of Main Street, but even those are taken quickly and in passing!
  6. Animation Academy
    • Hollywood Studios has a free academy in which a true artist teaches you how to draw a character!  I see this being possible a few years down the road, but with a 1 and 3 year old, it's not on the schedule for our upcoming trips!
Again, I absolutely love visiting with my children and don't recommend waiting "until they can remember" - again, they are FREE UNDER 3!!  I love to fully take advantage of that deal!
No one likes Small World like little ones!!






Wednesday, September 18, 2013

2013 "Minnie Walk" Event Recap


The 2013 “Minnie Walk” on Thursday, September 12, continued a decades long tradition at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange. Disney star Minnie Mouse, assisted by Disney VoluntEARS, led a group of young patients on a special parade through the second floor of the hospital’s new Bill Holmes Tower, which includes an inviting lobby space sponsored by Disneyland Resort.  This walk is inside the hospital, as many of these young patients can't leave the hospital to walk at Disneyland.

Featuring the participation of over 200 kids, Minnie and her entourage of young admirers were cheered on by CHOC staff and sponsors of the CHOC “Walk in the Park” event, presented by Disneyland Resort. In the hospital’s on-going efforts to help kids be kids the event offered the children who are inpatient and unable to walk in the upcoming CHOC “Walk in the Park” event (Oct. 13 at Disneyland Resort) the opportunity to walk in their very own “Minnie Walk.”

The Minnie Walk brings the magic of the CHOC Walk, held inside and before the parks open at Disneyland Resort, to the patients at CHOC—many of whom directly benefit from the monies raised at the CHOC “Walk in the Park” each year since its launch 23 years ago (1990). To date the event has raised $21 million and attracts over 15,000 walkers each year. It is CHOC Children’s biggest fundraiser of the year and is the largest and most unique pediatric fundraiser in the United States.

“Last year, we had 800 teams, and over 15,000 participants who raised $2 million dollars for CHOC “Walt in the Park” event, presented by Disneyland Resort, it’s the largest pediatric walk in the Nation. People come in from all over the world to be a part of this experience because of what it means to the children.”
Graig Eastin, Vice President CHOC Children’s Foundation 

Want to join in on the official Choc Walk at Disneyland??  Head over to their official website now!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia


Welcome back for more fantastic Disney Trivia!  Thanks again to Jodi from +Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi from +Heidi's Head, and +Mike Ellis for co-hosting!

You probably know that Walt Disney had a small working (1/8th scale) steam train in his back yard, right?  But...

Did you know:

That very train, named the Carolwood Pacific Railroad, is now at home at the Walt Disney Family Museum in the Presidio in San Francisco!


Can you imagine riding on that?!  Walt named the locomotive after his wife, Lillian!

 The Lilly Belle!


Coast to Coast Giveaway

I am SO excited to be part of an amazing giveaway!!  We're calling it our Coast to Coast Giveaway!



The winners will be verified for this giveaway and each winner will receive either the Disneyland or Disney World themed Dooney and Bourke Wristlet, pin trading set, and toiletries!

Giveaway begins September 16th and runs through September 26th at 11:59pm US Eastern time. It is open to residents of the US only, 18+. Icky Boo-Boo's will not be chosen!


Use the PromoSimple form below to enter, and be sure to take advantage of the many entries you can gain. Come back daily for even more chances to win. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Rides That Make You Scream!

Welcome to those of you joining me from Magik Mouse and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Walt Disney World is filled with all types of attractions - most of them are good for all ages and sizes, but there are plenty that people generally scream on.


Most of the standards, I am smiling, laughing, making silly noises - but not screaming.  
How can you NOT love Expedition Everest?
But, there is one attraction that made me scream like a little baby:


The Hollywood Tower Hotel - or the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  

I have only been on it once.  Yup.  One time.  Because my friend, Melissa, made me.  Or, she's the only one I travel with that likes it.  And the entire ride, I held onto Melissa's hand and screamed.  Okay, maybe not the entire ride.  There is a pretty good pre-scare show with some great Pepper's Ghost illusion going on.  But, the "ride" part of the attraction?  

This picture I took while looking down a 50 floor atrium in Shanghai?  Almost encompasses the feeling I got while riding on the ToT!

What makes you scream?

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Blue this month. We will be back on October 11th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney news, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

1st Stop ~ I Am a Disney Nerd
2nd Stop ~ Ideally Disney
3rd Stop ~ Magik Mouse
Final Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On or Off Property - The Disney Difference

I have to say-  it is sometimes difficult to put into words why I prefer to stay on Disney property.  I have to admit, I don't always stay on site.  I prefer stay on property, but logistics don't always line up and affording that amazing two bedroom villa at Old Key West might not always be possible.  Though, I sure hope it is!

The Disney Difference

When you walk into a Walt Disney World Resort hotel - heck, when you arrive at a WDW hotel, you are transported from reality into whatever resort you choose.  Whether it be the craziness of Pop Century or the African Safari of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, the resorts transport you into a different world.
I'm in Radiator Springs and I don't want to think otherwise

A non-Disney themed resort may be great.  Or very possibly less expensive.  But, most likely, that same hotel could be in Orlando, Dallas, or Pittsburgh.  It's less special.

And for me, that feeling of special is part of the Magic of a WDW vacation.  I want to feel like I am somewhere special - not just a decent hotel down the road.

Don't believe me?  Spend a day checking out the different resorts - not only are there all different styles, prices, and feels, but you'll feel like you've done much more traveling than you really have!

What do you think about the Disney Resort Difference?  Is it worth it?



Monday, September 9, 2013

Tiggerific Tuesday Trivia

Welcome back for more fantastic Disney Trivia!  Thanks again to Jodi from +Magical Mouse Schoolhouse, Heidi from +Heidi's Head, and +Mike Ellis for co-hosting!

With the 2014 Moms Panel Search well under way, I wanted to do a little Moms Panel history!

Did you know:
The now named "Disney Parks Moms Panel" was created in January 2008 as the Walt Disney World Moms Panel and consisted of 12 parents ready to share their knowledge and Disney expertise in an online forum!

Each year, 10,000+ people apply and it's narrowed down to the panel, now including Disneyland, runDisney, and so much more!  Good luck to all who apply!

Thanks for joining me!  Check out all of the other great trivia being offered this week!

Different Rooms - What's the Deal?


If you've looked into Disney Resorts and pricing, you may have noticed a ton of different options when it comes to booking a room:
  • Location
  • View
  • Suite
  • Special Theme/Decor
It can be very confusing!

At Disney's Boardwalk Inn, you may find the following room types:
  • Standard View
  • Water View
  • Standard Room - Club Level
  • Deluxe Room - Club Level
  • Garden Suite - Club Level

That's actually a minimal amount of options!

If you're looking at resorts like Caribbean Beach or Port Orleans Riverside, you will also find special themse (Pirates/Princess).  Choosing can be very difficult, so let me break it down!

It is important to:

Know Your Location

What are Preferred Rooms?

If you are staying at the Caribbean Beach Resort and want to be close to the main building/restaurants/pool, you will be paying for a preferred room - whether it be a "water view" or a "king bed" room, you're paying more to have the convenience of walking to Old Port Royale Centertown - good to know if you are using a refillable mug and want to get your soda!  Taking the internal CBR bus is an option, but do you really want to do that before going to the parks?

What About Club Level?

Do you plan to spend a lot of time at the resort, or more time at the parks?  If you're like me and spend most of your day in the parks, head out of the resort well before park opening, and often have breakfast in my room, Club Level may not be the best bet.  Read this great overview from @RMZFarrell.

Is a View Worth It?

A view can cost you a good amount of money, depending on what resort you are at.  For example, if you are staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, a Savannah View costs around $100 more per night.  Worth it?  For me, absolutely!  If/when we stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, I want to wake up in the morning and see the animals!

But, maybe you're okay having the ambiance and don't mind walking a few steps to see the animals from the viewing areas!  Whether or not you are paying for the view, you still have access to night vision goggles to watch the animals meander in the dark!

What about the Special Themes?

Well, Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is a very large and spread out resort.  Rumor has it that a few of the buildings weren't very popular because they were so far from Old Port Royale.  So, they upgraded them to Pirate Themed Rooms - Pirates are huge and apparently they sell out pretty quickly now!  

Another themed location is Disney's Port Orleans Riverside - they have Royal rooms - perfect for your little Prince or Princess (or me!).

Multi-Rooms

Depending on the resort, Disney offers 
  • Suites: 2 conjoined rooms - basically a very small 1 bedroom with an attached living area that converts a sofa to a bed.  Expect 2 bathrooms and probably a full kitchenette!
  • 1 bedrooms - a larger version of the suite, with a master bedroom.  Many of these are considered villas and have in-room washer/dryer
  • 2 bedrooms - you guessed it - 2 separate bedrooms on top of the living area and kitchen!  Again - most have the washer/dryer in the unit!
  • Grand Villa - These massive rooms sleep up to 12 and are apparently amazing.  I would love to have a first hand experience at the Saratoga Springs Treehouses, but they're not in our future plans just yet!
Happy planning!