Real Life Tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach

Disclosure: Disney provided me with park tickets and meal cards for the day, however, all opinions and tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach are my own.

I see a lot of Disney tips posts floating around that have great information, but it’s either things that everyone already knows, or it’s not practical tips to help you make the best of your day at the water park. As a real-life mom with a very real life diva three-year-old, I need the “good stuff” when it comes to tips. With that being said, let’s get down to business:

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park

1.) Wear water shoes: Florida is hot (and water is wet, I know I know). While Disney does an amazing (seriously, amazing) job of having water sprayers spraying down the sidewalks in a lot of places at the water park, it’s impractical for every square inch of the sidewalk to be wet. This creates very hot pavement for a large portion of the year. Solution: water shoes. Not only will you be thankful for them when you see others frantically running from wet spot to wet spot, but they really come in handy if you or your kids prefer to “walk” in the lazy river.

For instance, my darling three-year-old did not want an intertube in the giant river MADE FOR INTERTUBES, no no, she just wanted to wear her puddle jumper and run along the bottom. Even when her smart mommy told her that she was going to make her feet raw, darling daughter paid no mind and well, you can guess who was crying on the way home (ok, so maybe that was both of us, because her screaming plus traffic on I-4 tends to make me a bit teary.)

Real Life Tip: When you have a 3-year-old, the lazy river isn’t super relaxing, so set the bar low. It IS a ton of fun though, but relaxing…not so much.

2.) Tikes Peak for small kids = a parents dream: When you come into the main area of the park, be sure to hang a right and head into Tike’s Peak if you have a toddler or preschool-aged child. You will thank me later. This adorable area is a scaled-down version of Mt. Gushmore, and not only is this space mostly contained (re: once they go up the top of the “mountain” the only way down is the way they just came walking up, or to go down a slide), but it’s also super adorably themed and has PLENTY for the little Mouseketeers to do. We honestly could have stayed in this area the entire day and never gone to any other parts of the park and my child would have been happy.

Real life tip #2: Keep an eye out for photopass photographers in this area. They tend to hang out in the wading pool area and will snap pics of your kids for you. They can link to your magic band or give you a card to link later. There are usually a lot people vying for these action shot pics, so you may have to wait a minute to grab the photographers attention, but it’s well worth it!

3.) Check all the food options: It’s tempting to think that Blizzard Beach will have standard water park fare on the menu, and while you will find your favorite comfort foods, there is also plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. I had the hot dog with bacon and mac and cheese, and check out some of these other options in my photos below. Doesn’t exactly look like your typical quick service meal, right?

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Real Life Tip #3: There are several food locations scattered through the park so be sure to check out all the menus beforehand. The lines can get a little long at high noon so eat a little earlier or a later to avoid the rush.

4.) Refillable drinks: If you are familiar with Disney resorts, you may know about rapid refillable mugs. Blizzard Beach has their own version that is good for the entire day for $11.99 on sodas and the like. (Sadly no alcohol.) You can also hang on to it and bring it back another day for a discounted price on your next day of refills. If you plan to stay all day I think this is a great deal. Best to stay hydrated in the sun!

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Real life tip #4: For those that like adult beverages, there are plenty of places to get them. My favorite is the bar right in front of Melt Away Bay (the wave pool) because it’s a great spot for people watching and has a nice view.

Related: Beyond the Parks Part 1

5.) Arrive before park opening or mid-afternoon: I know I know, this sounds contradictory. Allow me to explain. If you plan to stay all day or prefer the morning hours like we do, arrive early. Every time we have gone we have been allowed in the gates before the advertised opening. While there are PLENTY of chairs at the park, some of the more coveted areas and areas in the shade go more quickly, especially areas along the wave pool and in Tike’s Peak.

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Real Life Tip #5: Tike’s Peak chairs go super quickly because all the parents want to lounge in them and sit fruity drinks while they “watch” their children play. Or maybe that’s just me? Either way, head there first to put down your stuff if you are wanting to have a seat.

A lot of people leave after lunch or in the early afternoon after there wee ones have had enough (hand raise) so this opens up chairs and spots in line for those willing to come in the afternoon after the initial crowd has gone home.

Tips for Disney's Blizzard Beach

Tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach

Blizzard Beach is an amazing place to visit while at the Walt Disney World resort. The lines are usually never super long, it boasts an almost mile long lazy river, and most of the slides are family friendly. In fact, only 3 slides have height requirements! Whether you are a local coming in for the day or in the middle of a week-long vacation, be sure not to skip out on this fun opportunity to make some “real life” memories with your family. Be sure to check out my recap video below of our fun-filled day in our happy place and thanks for reading my tips for Disney’s Blizzard Beach.

ESPN WWOS Media FAM Day 2

On Sunday morning we hung out at the hotel for a little bit and then drove over to Disney Springs for our welcome brunch at Splitsville. It also just so happened to be the day of the World Cup soccer final! We were able to bowl, eat, and watch the game after hearing a few words from Faron Kelley and Darrell Fry about the media event, the ESPN WWOS Complex, and more.

Emma Kate had never bowled before and she had a blast!

I had plenty of delicious food and plenty of mimosas. It was also a lot of fun to be there for the game because lots of other soccer teams were at Splitsville and they were all so into the game. What a cool experience to be in Walt Disney World for a soccer tournament AND getting to watch the World Cup while there.

After brunch we headed to EPCOT for a couple of hours and Emma Kate rode Soarin’ for the first time (she was not a fan haha). It was so incredibly warm so we walked back (so nice to not have to take a bus or car!) to the room because I had another event to attend.

Bobby and EK went to dinner and the pool, and I headed to the Sports Complex to watch the opening ceremonies of the two soccer tournaments I talked about in this post. Thankfully we watched from an air conditioned suite, but it was so cool to see the dedication and love the parents and family members showed to the youth athletes by being at the ceremonies.

Each team had the opportunity to march across the field and sit in the stands with everyone else. Some of these teams came from FAR AWAY. I’m talking Bermuda, Kenya, Europe. What a cool experience. Minnie and Mickey even made an appearance in their adorable soccer outfits.

Meanwhile these two were having their own fun!

After the ceremonies we went back to the resort to change for dinner. We ate at Flying Fish Cafe, which is on the Boardwalk. Again, another perk of staying here is there are so many places to walk. Dinner was amazing and we had a nice private room so we could all get to know each other. I was even surprised with a special birthday treat and song, which was totally unexpected!

It was a late night, so I headed to bed because the next day we would be at the Sports Complex all day, and I couldn’t wait to see some of the new additions and see the soccer tournaments in action.

ESPN WWOS Media FAM Day 1

Disclosure: In case you missed my post about youth sports and ESPN Wide World of Sports, you can check it out here. I was provided with a free trip to WDW for this FAM, however all opinions are my own.

Recently my family and I attended a media FAM at Walt Disney World, and we arrived on Saturday although the FAM trip didn’t start until Sunday. We checked into our hotel, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, mid morning, and were pumped that our room was ready! We went ahead and unloaded the car and then headed to Magic Kingdom.

The refurbished (I think last year?) rooms are so nice and clean looking. Two thumbs up.

Thanks to our fastpasses from the event, we were able to do attractions like Peter Pan, Enchanted Tales with Bell, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Aladdin’s Magic Carpets. We also may have done the People Mover–twice. We also ate lunch at Peco’s Bills and watched the show in front of the castle (which EK lloovveesss).

Emma Kate got to be in the show as Belle’s horse and had a great time.

We even managed to get a family picture at the purple wall! Check out that hand on her hip. She truly is a blogger’s child.

We stayed all day and even watched the parade. In the late afternoon (it was so hot yall) we hopped on a boat and headed to Ft. Wilderness. My birthday was the day before, and I wanted to have a Disney birthday dinner at Trail’s End, our favorite Disney buffet. Dinner was delicious, and our server sang a special happy birthday to me (yee haw!) in true southern style.

After dinner we let Emma Kate play on the playground where she managed to walk behind a swing and get smashed into the ground and covered with dirt. After a long walk in hysterics to the bathroom getting her cleaned up, we decided it was time to call it a night, and got on the boat back to the Magic Kingdom…so we could take the monorail back to the TTC, then the tram to our car and our car to the resort. WHEW. When we got back we decided to walk around the Boardwalk for a few minutes. I LOVE the Boardwalk at night, and we people watched, got ice cream samples, and watched a magic show.

It was so nice to just be able to walk right back up to our room and get ready for bed. We had a big day the next day and needed to get some sleep. Stay tuned for day two and the media FAM!

Youth Sports Events to Remember at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Disclosure: For this media trip I was hosted by Disney and visited the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, however all opinions are my own.

When I was growing up, I played on several different youth sports teams. I played recreational soccer in my town, and I played basketball, volleyball, and ran track at my school. I still remember how excited I became when it was time to “travel” to tournaments. I’m fairly certain the farthest we ever traveled was a couple of hours away, but to me it was a very special experience.

That being said, after learning about all of the amazing youth sports opportunities at the “Florida Picturesque” designed Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, I know that grade school Heather would have been jumping  out of her skin with excitement. Let me help you understand what I’m talking about.

Let’s say your youth baseball team is coming to play in a tournament at the complex. Just a few of the options available to you and your team/family include:

-Team meals: You can place orders in advance for fast and healthy meals, snacks, and beverages. The meals are delivered right to your competition venue so parents and coaches don’t have to stress.

-Equipment drop: For certain events, teams are able to drop their equipment off at a special drop zone to be transported to their field instead of lugging it all around the large complex. So fancy!

-Gameday photography: I love this one. For teams and parents who would like professional photos of their child playing in their game, you can schedule a photographer to take hi-resolution pictures for you so that you can sit back and enjoy watching. There are many packages available, as well as posed photos in front of a green screen. Then you can have your child’s picture put on a blanket, ball, or many other fun options. (Great Christmas gifts for grandparents!)

 

-Print-on-Demand Custom Tees: You can have a shirt printed on the spot to commemorate your game, tournament, first place win, and more. Customize with your name, team name, number, and sport. We had the privilege of having shirts made and they are so fun!

-Welcome Center: Here you can find cast members to help you find your way around the complex, help with theme park information, reservations assistance, and more.

Also, while I was visiting the complex, two huge soccer tournaments were just starting for the week, and we had the privilege of attending the opening ceremonies. These young athletes were treated like olympians with their own “parade of nations” of sorts.

As each country was announced, the teams marched onto the field singing, waving flags, and grinning from ear to ear as their fans and parents cheered from the stands. There was also a closing ceremony at the conclusion of the tournament to honor and acknowledge the players one last time. Talk about the royal treatment! Of course, Minnie and Mickey were on hand to celebrate.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Some of the events that happen at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex include:

-International Championships Cup Futures Tournament

-Jr. NBA World Championship

-runDisney race weekend expos

-Disney Cup international

-AAU National Basketball Championships

-NFL Pro Bowl Week

-National High School Cheerleading Championship

-Atlanta Braves Spring Training

-AAU Junior National Volleyball Championships

-Pop Warner Super Bowl

 

Now for a little information about the complex itself, because y’all, it’s massive.

There’s Champion Stadium, The Arena, HP Field House, Visa Athletic Center, Track and field Complex, Production center, as well as baseball, softball, and tennis areas and more. The parking lot has over 5,000 spaces, and there is even a grill so you can sit down and eat after a long and fun day out on the fields or courts. (They were using 30 fields for the soccer tournaments!) Also the fields are totally versatile and can be flipped to a different sport in as little as 24 hours if need be.

The production center is pretty spectacular. It’s a 3,200 square foot facility with two control rooms including three jumbo screens. They are now using 8k camera systems and have 24 channels of replay. They save and store so much footage, over 1,100 hours so far in 2018 to be exact.

ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Of course while heading to Walt Disney World for your child’s sporting event, if only makes sense to stay for a few extra days and hang out at the parks right? There is so much to explore including the all new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, as well as Avatar, the World of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Make it a trip for the whole extended family and I’m sure your little athlete will never forget any of it.

Did you know all of this existed right on Disney property? Have your kids participated in an event at ESPN WWOS? Stay tuned for more of a play by play post of what I did during the Disney sports FAM.

20 Questions 2018 Edition

Hey guys! I am super slammed this week so thought I would keep it a little lighthearted and fun with a survey blog post. (Who remembers back in the day getting these via email and forwarding them to all your friends? Ah, memories!) So here is a little way to get to know more about me. Copy and do your own on your blog or social media for fun!

1. Do you have any nicknames? Not really anymore. Growing up I was bird legs, and little Bridges (my last name).

2. Are you named after anyone? My parents just really liked the name Heather, and I share a middle name (Lynn) with my cousin.

3. Do you have any siblings? Yes I have one older sister, and she lives in Texas.

4. Where did you grow up? I was born in Metairie (right outside of NOLA) and when I was about 2 we moved to Georgia where we lived till I was 8. Then we moved back to Louisiana where I finished my “growing up.”

5. What activities did you do in high school? What didn’t I do? haha. I played volleyball, basketball, and ran track. I was president of the National Honor Society, and I led a before school Bible study. I’m sure I’m forgetting things but those were my main activities.

6. Where did you go to college? Mississippi College (NOT to be confused with Mississippi State or Ole Miss)

7. What activities did you do in college? I played intramural flag football, basketball, and volleyball. I was also in a “tribe” which was our version of a sorority. (Baptist college, yall).

8. What did you study in college? My degree is in psychology with a minor in business administration.

9. What was your first job out of college? I was a secretary for an engineering company while I coached volleyball and took graduate classes at night to become a teacher.

10. What kind of music do you like? Country and Christian (Carrie Underwood is my spirit animal).

11. What’s one hobby that you’d like to take up? That’s a tough one. The thought of taking up another hobby is exhausting. Can napping be a hobby?

12. What did you think you wanted to be when you grew up? Everything from a teach to a ballet dancer. (HAHAHA).

13. What’s the biggest project on your to-do list right now? I cannot share but it’s big. Pray for me.

14. Do you have any irrational fears? Oh yes. Sharks, snakes, heights, water I can’t see the bottom of, and clowns.

15. Have you ever traveled outside the country? If so, where? Just on cruises. I have been to Mexico a bunch and the caribbean and Bermuda.

16. When’s your next vacation and where are you going? I don’t have one planned but guessing Disney. Heh.

17. Do you speak any other languages? So after taking 2 years of Spanish in high school, I’m proud to say I can say two words in said language.

18. What’s one talent that you wish you had? Singing. For sure. (Carrie Underwood, remember?) I can “blend” ok but do not have a soloist voice.

19. What’s something that you wish you could do one more time? Play high school sports. I miss it so much.

20. If you weren’t in your current job, what would you want to be doing? Oh Lawd with the tough questions. Traveling more. Spending more time with my family. Relaxing more. What job allows me to do that? 🙂

The Walls of Toy Story Land

This past week my family had the opportunity to check out the all new Toy Story Land thanks to a media event with Disney. It was our first time getting to explore the area and ride the rides. (It’s amazing by the way! So adorable and detailed!) However, in true Instagrammer and blogger style, I was really excited about something that had nothing to do with the rides or characters or food…I wanted to see the walls of Toy Story Land. (heh).

The Walls of Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios and where to find them. #disney #toystoryland #disneywalls

Recently, the walls of Disney have become very popular photo spots for Instagrammers. There are walls like the Purple Wall in the Magic Kingdom and the Bubble Gum Wall in Epcot as well as others. Disney has capitalized on this (finally!) and locations like the Purple Wall now have photopass photographers at them. There are four “main walls” at Toy Story Land, however there are tons of other adorable spots to capture photos as well. This post contains just the main ones you will most likely see discussed or see photos of on social media. Below I will explain each and tell you where you can find them.

Checkerboard Wall: This wall is sneaky and was hard to find at first. There are two ways to get to it. First, you can ride Toy Story Mania, and you will see if on your right when you walk outside in the exit que. If you aren’t riding, just go in the exit of the ride and keep walking until you see it on your left. Where is the exit? Find the Giant Pixar Ball in Toy Story Land, the exit is right in front of it. (By the way the Pixar ball is another cute photo op!)

Popsicle Stick Wall: Once you find the Checkerboard Wall, the Popsicle Stick wall is easy to spot…because its directly across from it! (I mean, Lawd help you if you can’t find it from here.) The only tough part about this one is shadows. Depending on how sunny it is and the time of day, it can be harder to get a good shot. There is a small piece that faces another direction, but it can be hard to get a good angle on it. This wall brings me back to summers of my childhood and all the popsicles I consumed. Or maybe that was yesterday…

walls of toy story land

Block Wall: You will find this wall as soon as you hit up the restrooms. Which if you have a three year old like me, will be many, many times. It is literally the wall where you go in to them! The problem with this one was it was very crowded with people waiting for others outside the building, so I had to squeeze in to get a quick selfie. There are a couple of different parts to this wall so you can get different “blocks” depending on where you stand.

Andy’s Wall: Andy’s Wall is in the back near the restrooms and the entrance to the Alien Swirling Saucers. If you are looking at the restrooms, look directly to your right and you will see it. This was another spot that was crowded and I had to wait for folks to move away before we could get a good shot. I love his cute handwriting and cloud drawing on this one. It’s pretty much better drawing skills than I have as an adult.

As I mentioned before, there are so many fun details and spaces to take photos while in Toy Story Land, these are just my favorite walls so far. Which once do you like the best? Have you joined in the Disney wall craze or the walls of Toy Story Land fun?

What is SummerBlast at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Disclosure: I was provided with a stay at HBC plus some meals and the Mermaid Academy. However, all opinions are my own.

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably noticed the amazing weekend my family had at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. It went by so fast but we had the best time enjoying the resort and just hanging out together. Thankfully there is so. much. to. do. during SummerBlast, we literally only left for a couple of hours the whole weekend!

SummerBlast is going on now through September 2nd, so I wanted to share with you the different elements of SummerBlast, and the top 5 reasons why you should stay here this summer. There are many more reasons to stay at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek not listed like Disney transportation, deluxe accommodations, golf and the spa at neighboring Waldorf Astoria, awesome restaurants and a caring staff, but that would be a REALLY long blog post, so I stuck to my favorite five, which you can check out below.

1.) Free ice cream: In the lobby on Friday afternoons upon check in (around 4:30) you can get free ice cream with tons of toppings! Think of it as a warm welcome to your weekend. Emma Kate loved picking out her toppings (sprinkles and oreos) and it was the perfect snack for satisfying our sweet tooth after the drive over from Tampa.

2.) Pool party fun: Every day at the pool, the resort team is ready and waiting for you, and hosts fun activities like hula hoop contests, pool relay games, line dancing, and marco polo. The activities start around lunch time so don’t miss it! There may even be some prizes involved. Did I mention Emma Kate is obsessed with the pool at HBC? There is a zero entry, a great waterslide (must be 40 inches, and between 40″ and 48″ must wear a life jacket) and a HUGE lazy river that we must have gone around 100 times. The kid was in heaven.

SummerBlast

3.) Mermaid Academy: The Mermaid Academy is an extra charge for boys and girls of all ages. It is hosted on Wednesdays and Saturdays weather permitting, and there are different packages available for purchase. (Boys can also wear a shark fin instead of a mermaid tail!) Kids learn “tricks” like swimming through hula hoops and landing properly in the water like a true mermaid. You can also buy a package that includes underwater photos of your little fish. (Note: While any age can participate, it’s more “immersive” if your child can swim. EK can (barely) swim so while she had a blast, I would probably wait one more summer if we were paying for it ourselves.)

4.) Dive-in Movie nights: Pull up a lounge chair or an inner tube for floating in the water and enjoy a family movie at the pool on Friday and Saturday nights. What a great way to end a perfect summer day. Moana was playing while we were staying at the hotel.

5.) Special FL resident rates: Obviously this only applies to my FL readers, but HBC has some great summer rates and deals going on through Sept. 2nd. This hotel is perfect for a staycation with it’s awesome amenities and proximity to Disney springs…and it’s a great chance to go check out the all new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

  • Up to 12% off Best Available Rate for Honors members and 10% off Best Available Rate for non-
    Honors members.
  • Complimentary luxury motor coach transportation to Disney them
    e parks
  • Deluxe accommodations
  • Kids Meal Deals* – Kids eat dinner free; 50% discount on breakfast buffet (as part of daily resort charge)

If you have any additional questions about SummerBlast or Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek itself, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email.

 

5 Things Friday XXXIII

Another Friday, and we are officially a week out from my birthday, which happens to be Friday the 13th. Thank goodness I’m not superstitious right? I would be hiding in my house and that’s not a fun thing to do on your birthday. I have a lot of fun things coming up to share with you, so let’s kick off another 5 Things Friday:

1.) Another cruise post: This time, I’m recapping my favorite 5 food and drink spots on the Carnival Horizon. Trust me, it was hard to narrow down! There are so many delicious spots on the ship, but click here to see which made my personal final cut.

2.) Poshmark: Did you know I am on Poshmark? I have several things for sale, kids and adult clothing, so check it out if you are looking for some new duds. I am currently obsessed with how easy it is to buy and sell on there, and I don’t even have to go to the post office!

3.) Best pre workout: I have been experimenting with pre workout, so tell me your favorite that doesn’t cost eleventy billion dollars and doesn’t make you so amped up you can see sounds, mmmkk? I’m looking for some suggestions!

(This is an old photo I am not injured!)

4.) Disney Sports FAM: As I mentioned last week, I am headed to Disney next weekend for a sports FAM specifically dealing with the ESPN WWOS complex. I just found out we will be staying at the Boardwalk, so I’m super pumped about that! EK has never stayed on the Boardwalk and it’s my favorite place to run in the early mornings (or swim as we like to do in the humid summers). We leave next Saturday and I will of course be documenting everything in true blogger style.

5.) Early birthday bash: Tomorrow we leave with EK and my parents for a fun filled weekend at Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek! I have never stayed in the summer, so I can’t wait to check out all of their summer blast activities. It may involve swimming with mermaids and ice cream and more, so don’t miss it! I will again (duh) be posting on IG stories and Twitter throughout the weekend.

Have a great one everyone! Stay cool!

5 Things Friday XXXII

Happy Friday once again! It’s pure insanity that it’s the last Friday of June. How did that happen? We are 6 months to Christmas (omggggg) and July is my birthday month, so that’s super exciting! Today I have 5 things for you, and am going to try to do better about doing these more often. So here goes!

1.) Cruise and post: If you follow me on social, you probably saw me bombard Instagram Stories and Twitter over the past few days with posts from our hosted press trip cruise with Carnival. We had a blast and my first recap post is up on the blog. You can also watch all of my IG stories on their own highlight button in my profile. It’s labeled “Carnival Horizon” Bermuda is my new favorite. More on that later.

2.) Birthday month: It’s almost July, which means my birthday month! Let me know if you need my address. KIDDING! July around here is ssooo stinkin hot and miserable it’s nice to have something fun to look forward to.

3.) IGTV questions: I started my IGTV channel the other day, and have played around with it a little bit. I want to do a Q and A, so if you have any questions for me, comment here or email them to me, or send me a DM on Twitter or IG.

4.) Sunny Day: Emma Kate has a new obsession in the form of the Nick Jr. TV show Sunny Day. She LOVES “hairstyles” so this show has been right up her alley. It’s suited perfectly for preschoolers, and Mattel has a line of toys to go along with the show. What I like about it is that the pieces are larger than Barbie pieces, which she sometimes has a hard time holding and using, so they are good for her age group. Mattel was kind enough to send Emma Kate some of the toys, and she has LOVED playing hair salon with Sunny and Rox. Also, the theme song for the show is SUPER catchy and I guarantee you will be singing it all day long. (Along with the Baby Shark song which has been haunting my dreams for the past few days.)

5.) Disney Sports: Disney invited me to check out all things Disney sports and the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in July! It actually starts the day after my birthday so we are going to be doing some celebrating! I will share more details once it gets closer but I can’t wait. I went to a similar event 5 years ago (omg that makes me feel old) and I’m pumped to see what’s new.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Catch ya on social media.

PPPSSTTT: I’m hosting a SPIbelt giveaway on Insta right now!

 

Top 10 Vacation Tips To Save Money in Walt Disney World

If you have been hanging around here more than one second, you know that I love all things Disney, and this of course includes vacationing in Walt Disney World. However, it can be very expensive to vacation there especially if you have kids. Over the years I have learned a thing or two to help cut costs while still having a ton of fun. Some things just don’t matter as much if it means you get to still go to your happy place, right? Check out my top 10 10 vacation tips to save money in Walt Disney World:

Save Money in Walt Disney World

1.) Bring food from home or order groceries: All WDW hotels have mini fridges, and all DVC (disney vacation club) rooms have microwaves, and 1, 2, and 3 bedroom DVC villas have full kitchens. If you are driving to WDW, bring food with you or stop when you get to Orlando for groceries. If you are flying, take advantage of grocery delivery services like Garden Grocer. One of my favorite Disney memories is staying at a DVC resort and grilling burgers and eating outside with the family at picnic tables. (Yes all villa resorts have grills!) We aren’t big breakfast eaters so have brought milk, cereal, and protein bars for breakfast, and even made sandwiches for lunch. It saves a ton of money because let’s face it, Disney food is pricey.

2.) Purchase base tickets: Choose a base ticket instead of a park hopper to save money. Remember, with a base ticket you can only go into one park per day, but you can go in and out of that park as many times as you want. If you have little ones, consider going to a park in the morning, then going back to your resort for a nap and swim, then head back to the park in the early evening.

Save Money in Walt Disney World

3.) Target gift cards: If you have a Target red card, you already (hopefully) know you save 5% on all purchases. Did you know this includes Disney gift cards? Pick up a couple everytime you shop at Target then save them for your trip. You can even pay off your hotel or package balance with them.

 

4.) Souvenirs from home: Disney shirts, toys, and the like are SO expensive. Like it’s painful. Thankfully, I have a Disney Store outlet near my house with great prices. I have bought toys and clothes for Emma Kate there and then given them to her when we are at Disney. We have even surprised her in the morning and said “Mickey or Tinkerbell left her a present overnight”. This way we can stay out of the stores and save some money. You can literally find a lot of the same toys from the parks at the outlet (there is even one in Orlando near Disney!) or online when the Disney Stores has sales.

5.) Bring your own water:  We always bring out own water from home by the case, but you can also bring a refillable water bottle, or ask for free ice water in a cup at any counter service location. A bottle of water at WDW is $3+, and I can get a whole case for that much. Save your money for other things!

6.) Choose where you stay wisely: There are tons of on site WDW hotels, and if you go at certain times of the year and are flexible with your dates, you can go when prices are lowest and snag a resort of package discount, maybe even free dining. However, don’t be afraid to look outside Disney property. There are several great hotels near Disney Springs as well that can save you a lot of money. Remember, holidays and summer are the most expensive and most crowded.

Save Money in Walt Disney World

 7.) Chase Disney Visa: We have a Chase Disney Visa credit card that we use for everyday purchases (please note, we pay it off in full every month!) and we earn points that translate into Disney dollars. (holla!) We use the cards for everything from gas to daycare bills to groceries and money adds up fast! I have a friend who paid for 3/4 of a Disney cruise with her points, so it is like getting free money! They also offer merchandise discounts as well around the parks.

8.) Share meals: At the sit down restaurants (not the fancy ones) we have found that portion sizes are quite large, and Emma Kate and I can easily split a meal. You can always get a mickey bar or popsicle later if you are still hungry, which is actually what I prefer anyway. 🙂

9.) Have an “off” day: Disney Springs has been revamped over the past couple of years and now it’s a destination in and of itself. The best thing? It’s free! (well, unless you have a shopping problem.) Free parking, free wifi, free live music, and chocolate samples. You can also play with Legos and there is a splash pad area that has kept Emma Kate entertained many times while we eat outside at Earl of Sandwich. Take a day “off” from the parks in the middle of your trip and hit up Disney Springs for a half day, then spend a half day at the pool, or ride the monorail around and look at some of the gorgeous hotel lobbies.

10.) Bring your own stroller: Lastly, if you have small kids, bring your own stroller. This will save you from renting from an outside company or renting one of the uncomfortable hard plastic ones from the parks, which by the way you cannot take back to your hotel. It may not be a huge savings but every little bit counts when you want to have the vacation of your dreams!

Save Money in Walt Disney World

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