Emma Kate: Four Years Old

We have a four-year-old! Emma Kate had been asking and asking when her birthday was for the past three or four months, so you can imagine how pumped she was when it finally happened. Not to mention, she looks five and most people think she is five so it was nice for her to finally be four as to not confuse so many people!

We had a low key day since it was a Monday and I had to work, but we went to dinner that night with my parents to Applebees and then had cake, ice cream, and gifts at home. My mom made the cake and I decorated it, which is a feat considering I have terrible handwriting. She has been into Shimmer and Shine lately so that was our “theme.”

Let’s take a look at how our girl has changed since my last update 6 months ago. She is 43 inches tall and weighs 41 pounds. (85% weight and 96% height).

Our girl is super silly and I think is going to be a class clown. She has a very strong will but is also very sensitive especially when it comes to injustice.

She says the funniest things and it’s hilarious and frightening to never know what is going to come out of her mouth.

Eating: She is a pretty good eater, but it takes her FOREVER to eat a meal which drives me crazy. I’m constantly saying “please eat another bite” or starting a timer telling her she only has five minutes left. She gets so distracted! She still loves to eat things like yogurt, fruit (grapes, apples, bananas), cheese, and of course candy. For meals, she will usually always try something one time even if she hasn’t had it before which I’m thankful for. She still drinks a ton of water and loves milk.

Sleeping: Emma Kate has done great in her big girl bed but started getting up a lot so we had to start trying different tactics to get her to stay in bed. I bought an ok to wake clock (this one, we love it!) and she knows she has to stay in bed until the light turns green. At night she was getting up a lot before she fell asleep, so we started telling her she could have 4 M&M’s in the morning if she didn’t get out of bed, but every time she did we would take one away, and for the most part, it has worked well. Naps don’t really happen a whole lot anymore, maybe twice a week. She isn’t tired until after 2:00 despite waking up at 6:15 most mornings, and if we let her sleep too late in the afternoon she won’t go to bed at night so that means she is super cranky in the evenings a lot of times.

Clothing: She is in 5T and 6, and wears a size 11 shoe. I have been buying things a size big so she can wear it longer (the outfit above is a shirt and short set but I bought it big so it’s like a dress) and this tactic has been working well for us. She still loves wearing bows and likes me to do her hair in an “Elsa braid” or “Anna braids” most days.

Potty: EK hasn’t had an accident at naptime in over a year, but still wears pull ups at night as she occasionally has a wet one and I’m not really to let go of it yet and have middle of the night bed changes haha.

She still loves to watch movies and the iPad, and she will watch one movie then want to watch it 100 times before she gets hooked on another one. Right now she is loving Land Before Time, Aladdin, and the Toy Story movies. 

She loves to go swimming and recently started swimming under water by herself. She got to go to the ebach a couple of times this summer and loved jumping in the waves and building sand castles.

She thankfully loves Disney like her parents and dressed up as Belle for Mickey’s not so scary Halloween party. She loves riding Dumbo, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Alien Swirlinig Saucers, Toy Story Manina, and the Peoplemover. She loves meeting characters and and getting ehr picture taken with them. 

Emma Kate loves babies and puppies, and playing at the palyground.

She is the cutest little Saints and LSU fan, and will say “Go Tigers” and “Who Dat” on command (I’m so proud.)

She is really into watching other kids open toys on YouTube kids and was super happy to get her own blind bags for her birthday this year.

Some days we fight and struggle, but at the end of the day I love her tenacious spirit and know it will serve her well later in life. She is strong, brave, and independent. We love our sweet four year old and know this will be an awesome year!

You can see her other updates on this page.

PS: Emma Kate has her own Instagram account! Follow her here.

Disney’s Art of Animation: Cars Family Suite

Disclosure: I attended a #DisneyKids media event at Disney’s Art of Animation resort in a Cars family suite with most expenses paid, however, all opinions are my own.

Walt Disney World is all about kids and families, so it was no surprise to me a few years ago when the building of the family suites at Art of Animation was announced. Sleeping six, it was to be a more affordable way for larger families to all stay in one room, (or for smaller families like ours to just have some more space and privacy.)

Cars family suite at Disney's Art of Animation resort

The larger than life iconic characters situated throughout the resort, plus fun names like the “big blue (Nemo) pool” and a bar aptly named “The Drop Off,” all make for an adorable family-friendly resort option for those visiting the land of the mouse.

There are four distinct areas at the resort: The Little Mermaid standard rooms, and then three sets of family suites modeled after Finding Nemo, the Lion King, and Cars. We were given a Cars family suite in building one on the third floor, and I have to say, for someone who admittedly loves the deluxe resorts at Disney, I fell in love with this resort. All it took was seeing my daughter’s face light up as she recognized character after character for me to be sold.

cars family suite

We took photos with all the vehicles of cars fame, just like we were standing in line for characters at the theme parks. She ran down the streets of Radiator Springs, and took a dip in the Big Blue Pool. (Note: there is a pool at the Cars section but it wasn’t as ‘hoppin as the main/Nemo pool.)

We had our car, so we were able to park directly behind our building which was nice. We took the elevator up to the 3rd floor and immediately noticed so many fun themed touches such as colorful carpets and traffic cones as lights outside the doors.

We used our Magic Bands to open the door, and were greeted with a very spacious suite with so many fun Disney touches. There are two full bathrooms in the suite, one in the living/dining area, and then one in the master which makes getting ready in the morning a breeze.

The sofa in the living room folds out into a bed for two, and there is a TV as well as a kitchenette complete with refrigerator, coffee pot, and microwave. They even had paper bowls and plates stocked and ready for us.

The coolest part of the suite is the table. It has four chairs around it, and at night, you can pull it down and it turns into a bed that can sleep two. This is where Emma Kate slept and she loved having her own little space.

We admittedly pack way too much when we travel, so it was nice having wall space to put our stuff without constantly tripping over it. Also, Emma Kate goes to bed pretty early, so being able to put her to bed then go into the master and shut the door to give her more time to sleep was awesome. At nap time, we put her in our bed and we hung out in the living room, so everyone was able to get the rest they needed in the Cars family suite.

Our floor was very quiet, and it was just a quick walk over to the lobby to eat, grab a bus, or go to the pool and shops. We loved the location of the resort as well, as it was super close to Disney Springs and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

I never thought I would say this, but when traveling with my four-year-old, I think I would prefer staying in an Art of Animation family suite over a regular room at a deluxe resort simply for the space and the fact that it seems the most “Disney” themed through the eyes of a child. When I’m in Disney World with my daughter, it’s all about her, and they are only little for so long, yall. I want to watch her fall in love with what I grew up with, over and over and over again. The thought and imagination put into the Art of Animation resort gives me just that, and I’m so grateful. We loved our stay in a Cars family suite and will definitely be back!

Check out this video room tour from our Cars family suite:

 

Related: 5 Reasons to Stay at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

5 Things Friday XXXIV

Hello my lovely friends! It’s September, fall is in the air…wait, no. I live in Florida. Fall is most definitely not in the air, but hurricanes are. More on that later. I wanted to play catch up with another 5 things Friday post for you all before we head into this weekend. I’m traveling all day today but I wanted to make sure I was able to say hello! You can still catch me over on IG stories and Twitter (@HeathersLG)

So here are 5 things for this Friday:

1.) Another cruise post: I’m still enjoying reminiscing about my time onboard the Carnival Horizon earlier in the summer. Bobby and I loved the new ship and had an amazing time in Bermuda. one thing I loved about the Horizon was all the places to sit and relax. This post talks about some of my favorites!

2.) Toy Story Land FAM: Coming up this time next week is a preschooler Toy Story Land media FAM, (as long as there are no hurricanes) and I was pumped to find out we will be staying at Art of Animation! I have toured this resort twice before on other media trips, but never have I actually called it home for a night, so we are pumped to test drive a family suite for two nights!

3.) MNSSHP: As part of the media trip mentioned above, we will be taking Emma Kate to the Halloween party! If there is anything, in particular, you want pictures of videos of, let me know!

4.) EK’s birthday month: September also means Emma Kate’s birthday month! I can’t believe in less than three weeks I will have a 4-year-old. She is SO ready and has been asking when her birthday is for months now. Poor baby just can’t wait to grow up, no matter how many times I tell her adulting is not fun. Wasn’t I just pregnant? Wasn’t she just learning to crawl? All the feels.

5.) Hurricane watch: As previously alluded to, it’s that special time of year (late August/September) when all the hurricanes come out to play. Almost to the date, we were evacuating hurricane Irma last year, and the tropics are getting all fired up once more. Praying we are able to dodge a bullet once again because after the stress of evacuating last year, I highly doubt we would do it again. Say a prayer these bad boys just stay out at sea and dissipate!

Sunset Inn & Cottages for Families of all Sizes

I recently wrote a post about our fabulous stay at Sunset Inn and Cottages in Treasure Island, Florida. We stayed in the Sunkissed cottage which was the perfect size for us. However, I wanted to make sure to also highlight other sizes of accommodations available at this property that may fit your family a little better. First off, The Inn. This is actually attached to the office and all of the rooms are in the same building. This is great if you are more on a budget or only need space for two people and want a more traditional hotel room set up. However, several of the rooms have connecting doors, so you could always rent side by side rooms to sleep more people.

These two rooms are inn rooms but are also connecting. They each have a queen bed as well as fridge and coffee maker. There is storage space in the little back hallway and a TV.

There is also a bathroom in each room, stocked with towels for your stay.

Another option for those with a bit of a larger family would be a cottage such as the MacDill. This cottage has a similar set up to the one we stayed in, except it has an extra bedroom, and sleeps six people. I am also in love with its cute little front porch!

The sofa folds out to a bed just like in our cottage.

The difference is off the master is the second bedroom, with two twin beds.

Just enough space to sleep, and then spend the day enjoying the beach!

How adorable is this little table? This cottage also has a full kitchen just like ours did. Side note, while the sofa bed technically sleeps two, I wouldn’t put two adults on it, as it would be a tight fit, but two kids would do just fine!

I’m so glad we had the opportunity to check out the other accommodations at Sunset Inn and Cottages. Great for families of all sizes and literally just steps from the beautiful beach. Check out the website for availability and pricing.

Relax on the Carnival Horizon

Disclosure: We sailed on a media cruise with Carnival, however, all opinions are my own.

When I think about vacation and cruising, in particular, I think about doing a lot of relaxing. Relaxing to me usually means sitting down, chatting with friends and family, and enjoying each others company. One of my favorite things that I noticed about the Carnival Horizon is that there are so many places to sit and relax throughout the ship. There are of course restaurants and bars, but then there are fun little nooks and places to hang out and enjoy a drink or two…or more. Below are 10 of my favorite places onboard:

  1. Guy’s Pig and Anchor Smokehouse and Brewhouse bar: I love these adorable bar stools and the drinks here are super popular.

2. The Piano Bar: This space is open to the steakhouse until late at night then it gets a little more lively!

3. Alchemy Bar: Best drinks on the ship hands down. Also, a great spot to people watch.

4. Bonsai: Sushi lovers rejoice! This is another great people watching spot and has some awesome views out the windows as well.

5. Lobby atrium: This is where a lot of the action is happening! There are several places to sit amongst the shops and this area is also where you will find guest services as well as computers and printers.

6. Guy’s Pig and Anchor: Only open sometimes, this quick service place has sweeping ocean views and a fun atmosphere (and great food!) Feel free to hang out and take a seat even when they aren’t open for meals.

7. Guy’s Pig and Anchor Smokehouse and Brewhouse seating area. This is next to the bar area and is a fun addition to the ship.

8. Havana pool area: During the day this area is only accessed by those staying in the Havana rooms, but after 7:00 anyone can come back and soak in a gorgeous sunset or a drink at the bar.

9. Havana bar area: This area is super fun and colorful with great music. So many cute little places to sit as well. Very popular spot at night!

10. Serenity adults-only area: This was my favorite. Grabbing one of these shaded couches with a good book and ocean views is where you could find me on sea days. Fair warning, they fill up in the morning so don’t miss out!

There are so many more fun spots not mentioned here, but this is just to show that there are way more places to sit and relax than your stateroom or directly by the pool. I think it’s really fun to find new hidden places on the ship as the cruise goes on. There is so much to explore on the Horizon! 

ESPN WWOS Media FAM Day 4

Disclosure: I was invited to a 3-night media event by Walt Disney World, however, all opinions are my own.

(Check out day 123 and 3 part 2 before reading this one!)

On day 4 of our trip, the media FAM was over, but Disney was kind enough to give us park tickets so we could have one more day of fun before heading home. We decided to go to Toy Story Land for the very first time and I’m so glad we did!

We checked out of the Boardwalk and drove over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to make our way to the brand new area. It is SO adorable and has so many fun details. We were able to ride Slinky Dog Dash, Alien Swirling Saucers (three times) and Toy Story Mania. We were not able to eat at Woody’s Lunchbox, but that just means we have to go back.

Related: The Walls of Toy Story Land

Emma Kate did NOT want to do Slinky Dog Dash, so Bobby and I took turns riding it and taking her on AlienSwillingg Saucers which she loved.

 

 

She screamed (happy scream) the whole time.

 

I adored all the little hidden nooks and areas with cute theming. Be sure to look for Andy’s footprint on the ground and the backyard fence off in the distance. The exit que of Toy Story Mania is really cute too, so even if you aren’t riding the ride be sure to go check it out (near the giant Pixar ball).

Slinky Dog Dash was a lot of fun and just the right amount of thrill for me. The que was really cute as well, but it was really warm as there isn’t much shade in the longer parts of the line.

A must for photo opps is the giant sign as you enter. There was a photopass photographer hanging around when we went by.

Also, the restroom was really cute, it’s in the back to the left of the land.

We ate lunch at Sci-Fi but I don’t have any pictures since it’s pretty dark in there. It was nice to sit in the air conditioning for a while before going back out again. Before we left we got pictures with Donald which was a great way to cap off the trip. Little miss slept the whole way back to Tampa, so I would say the trip was a success. Thanks so much, Disney!

 

Staycation at Sunset Inn and Cottages

Disclosure: We were provided with a 3 nights stay at Sunset Inn and Cottages, however, all opinions are my own.

One of the great things about living in Florida is being able to vacation in our own backyard. The Tampa Bay area is huge, so even though we only live less than an hour away, we had yet to venture to the Treasure Island area since we have lived here. Now I’m kicking myself for waiting so long! We had an amazing staycation at a hidden gem of a property called Sunset Inn and Cottages.

Sunset Inn and Cottages

Sunset Inn and Cottages is located in a quiet residential area of Treasure Island, FL. There were hardly any cars, and we were just a couple hundred yards from the ocean which was amazing! Right across from the cottages and Inn at the beach access is a pavilion, bathrooms, and a playground (which we visited many times). It’s partially covered which was awesome considering it’s August! I knew I was immediately going to love this place when we walked up to check in and I saw this little free library. How fun and perfect for the beach.

Our home for the next few days was the Sunkissed cottage. It had a queen bedroom, pull out sofa sleeper, one bathroom, and a full kitchen. It was the perfect size for our little family! This particular cottage is also pet-friendly. Another huge bonus is that we had our own covered parking space next to our cottage. Beach parking can be dicey so knowing we always had a place was so nice.

Sunset Inn and Cottages

Our cottage had cozy wood floors, a full refrigerator and freezer, and plenty of lighting.

There were even books and games in the cottage! There was cable TV and free wifi as well.

The kitchen was fully stocked with plates, cups, utensils, and more.

The bathroom wasn’t huge and there was no sink space, but it was just fine for a few days. There was a counter right outside the bathroom in the hall that we used to put our toiletries on instead.

The bedroom had a place to hang and store clothing (not pictured) as well as a little chair.

There was also a dining table and four chairs which was great for lunches in the afternoons. You can see in the left corned of the photo below, the cottage will rent you out beach chairs and an umbrella so you don’t have to bring your own!

Below you can see the extra linens they left for Emma Kate’s pull out sofa sleeper.

We were also provided with towels and washcloths (in the green bin below) to use during our stay.

There are also two adorable courtyards on the property with chairs and tables for your enjoyment. 

Below is the second courtyard. You can see our little orange Sunkissed cottage in the background.

Related: Ultimate Beach packing List

Below you can see just how close we were to the beach. There is a stop sign in the photo, and the beach is just right on the other side of the road. It’s not a busy road at all, and we hardly saw any cars.

The Inn portion is connected to the office and has a courtyard in front of it as you can see below.

 

We had such a fabulous time, and the beach was VERY quiet. Sunday there were a few more people out since the weather wasn’t great on Saturday, but Monday was practically empty. I went for a run on the beach in the morning and it was so serene and just what I needed to start the day.

 

 

We did a lot of sand castle building and shell collecting as well.

 

 

One more thing, Sunset Inn and Cottages is very aptly named, as I was blown away by the amazing evening sunsets. We would take a quick 30-second stroll to the beach from our cottage around 8:15 and were treated to the most gorgeous sky. Emma Kate loved playing in the waves in the evening, and it was a spectacular way to end the day each night.

 

For availability and pricing, be sure to check out the Sunset Inn and Cottages website. There are several cottages to choose from as well as regular Inn rooms (more on those later). You can also host a wedding or event at this property. A huge thanks to them for hosting us and for the hospitality. We will be back!

What’s New at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018

Disclosure: I was invited to Disney’s media night for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018, however, all opinions are my own.

What a night! The first night of Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party did not disappoint. There were characters and rides and desserts and candy and new ride overlays, and fireworks and did I say candy?

This is my favorite event at Walt Disney World, so while I knew I would have fun, I didn’t know there would be so many new amazing additions this year. The “new stuff” can be broken down into three main categories: food, entertainment, and merchandise. I will go through each but be warned, reading this post will make you want to buy a ticket ASAP.

what's new at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018

Food:

(Please note, while most of these desserts are new, a couple of them are repeats from last year.) We were treated (haha) to a special cooking demo where we saw exactly how the not so poison apples are constructed, and then we got to eat our own. I can attest that they are very delicious but VERY rich and sweet. No way I could have eaten a whole one by myself.

No-So-Poison Apple Cupcake – Main Street Bakery

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018

Maleficent Dessert – Storybook Treats

Madame Leota Dessert – Liberty Square Market

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018

Hitchhiking Ghost Dessert – Aloha Isle

Worms & Dirt – Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café

Jack Skellington Cake Push Pop – Sleepy Hollow

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018

Oogie Boogie Meringue – Gaston’s Tavern

Pumpkin chesecake – Main Street Bakery

Candy corn milkshake with cotton candy and Mickey marshmallow:

There are other offerings like a burger with tater tots and special nachos, the above were just things we were able to take photos of.

Related: Tips for taking your toddler or preschooler to Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween Party

Merchandise: 

This year just so happens to be the 25th anniversary of one of my ALL TIME favorite movies, Hocus Pocus. I was super pumped a few years about when the Sanderson sisters were added to the stage show line up at the party, so you can imagine my excitement when I got to see all the special 25th-anniversary merchandise.

I purchased the black cauldron mug, it was just so adorable and I had to get something to commemorate the 25th anniversary.

It’s all so cute! I may or may not also have my eye on the amuck amuck amuck spirit jersey.

There are ornaments, shirts, pins, a mug, bag, and so much more all for Hocus Pocus.

There are also special annual passholder options available for purchase.

I also was smitten over this adorable glow in the dark magic band. The box glows, too!

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018

In addition to the Hocus Pocus amazing-ness, there was regular Halloween merchandise. I snagged a few photos for you:

Merchandise can be found during the event at the Emporium on Main Street, and at Big Top Souvenirs in the Storybook Circus area of New Fantasyland. Frontier Trading Post will also offer the event pins.

Entertainment: 

New this year on the entertainment front, three rides have had special elements added to them:

Pirates of the Caribbean: Live action pirates have been added to the ride, as you search for “Gunpowder Pete” on your journey. We had the privilege of hearing all about it and more from a cast member and his pirate friend.

Space Mountain: Hurdle through space completely in the dark with a new soundtrack and special effects.

Mad Tea Party: As you spin faster and faster there are new lights and a cool new spooky soundtrack.

Also new for this year is a Disney Junior dance party in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland. Here you can party with a DJ and friend like Doc MuStuffins and Timon from the Lion Guard.

Whether it is your first or fifteenth time at the party, there is something for everyone. We watched the parade, fireworks, and got tons of candy. The decorations are on point, the vibe is amazing, and it’s the most fun you will have this Halloween season.

What is your favorite part of the party? Any new food you are excited to try or merchandise you are ready to buy? Stay tuned later this week for a video recap of our night at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018!

Visit MickeyHalloween.com for ticket info, and start planning your visit for these party nights: August 24, 28, 31; September 3, 7, 9, 11, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23, 25, 28, 30; October 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 25, 26, 28, 30, and 31. Prices start at $75 for adults.

Check out this video I took at the party!

*If you want to check out all my Instagram stories from the night of the party, go to my profile and click the highlight titled “Mickey’s NSSHP”

Tradewinds Beach Day

Recently my family and I had the opportunity to visit Tradewinds Resort on St. Pete Beach for a fun day of play. I had no idea there was so much to do here, or that you could purchase a day pass to enjoy the amenities even if you aren’t staying at the resort! <—-Biggest takeaway of the day for this girl! Below are a few highlights from our day:

We spent most of the day at the beach, although we also had access to the many pools, as well as the giant inflatable water slide, beach cabanas, and much more.

We also were able to snag a front row beach cabana to shade us from the bright sun. Towels and cushions were also provided, score! It was so nice to have a shady spot located so close to the water.

Emma Kate was a little too scared to do the water slide, but everyone who went down looked like theyw ere having so much fun!

The water was the perfect temperature and it wasn’t too crowded at the beach.

I don’t have photos because we were in the water, but Bobby also tried his hand at stand up paddle boarding! It was tough with the waves and current but he did a great job.

Emma Kate played in the water, built sand castles, and looked for seashells.

At lunchtime, we were treated to a beautiful spread in the shade where we chatted with other bloggers.

Emma Kate may or may not have had multiple cookies…

There were also multiple spots to get drinks, and I had this delicious fruity concoction which I enjoyed from my cabana looking out at the water.

I wish we had more time to explore, this resort is huge and there are tons of restaurants, activities, and fun little spots to explore. We will have to go back for a staycation and stay overnight! They often have great deals going on, especially for Florida residents.

Don’t forget locals, you can go get a day pass/wristband and just enjoy a fun day at the beach with your family. I know we will be doing it again!

Disclosure: we were provided with day passes and lunch from Tradewinds, however, all opinions are my own.

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.