When you find me doing the weekly shopping, you might notice my scowl. "Lunchables went up 30 cents?! They want HOW much for these juice boxes? You want to take my left arm, too while you're at it?" Spot me at Disney and you might not recognize me. "Gasp! Only $17.99 for this mug? Take my money! $49.99 for a Minnie wallet? Take it!! TAKE IT ALL!!!!!"
That's the sort of person I turn into at Disney, I'm slightly sheepish to admit. Is it the music? The selection? The happy, happy feeling of Disney? No idea, because I don't buy it all, and there's a lot I don't even want to look at, but when I'm there, money is No Object and I'm not stressing over it at all.
I have a secret about that though, and I'm going to share so that you can also have that feeling! The reason I can let myself relax that much, is because I've been following my own advice, and everything, including my wild splurges, is paid for before we go. The stuff we could have gotten much cheaper ahead of time, like chips and bananas and bottles of water, also are already paid for, and at a fraction of the Disney cost.
Since school is about to be out, and families will be hitting the road, I thought I'd do a round up of some of my most popular blog articles to help you save big NOW, so that when you drive through those glorious gates, you can be splurging too!
7 Ways to Help Your Kids Save for Disney
5 Ways to Save for Disney You Might Not Have Thought Of
Further Ways to Save, AND Free Money
Save BIG Bringing These Snacks Into Disney
Save Hundreds at Disney With This One Trick
Tips to Maximize Your Disney Dining Plan
There are many more blog posts, click the categories over on the right to narrow things down, but these are going to give you a good start if you need it!
The best trips are the ones where you aren't stressing over how you're going to pay for it all when you get home! Follow some of these tricks, and you'll be smiling, not cringing, when you fork over for a new set of Mickey ears!
A Disney Dark Ride is a term you might hear thrown around. Maybe your first instinct is to think of something like the Tower or Terror, or Haunted Mansion, after all, those are dark, sometimes scary or spooky, isn't that what a dark ride is?
You would be half right in your guess! A dark ride is an attraction where guests climb aboard some sort of vehicle that moves along a track, either suspended, or on the ground, where music, special scenes and sometimes even a story is experiences. A few examples of this would be The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, It's a Small World, Peter Pan, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, and even Toy Story Mania. The upcoming Ratatouille ride, and Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway will also be Dark Rides.
While a dark ride isn't necessarily a frightening one, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, a personal favorite, has been known to make young children afraid, with the glowing Heffalump part. The best way to know if a ride is right for you, is to check out Youtube. Put in the name of the ride, or even just somthing like, Magic Kingdom Rides, and start browsing!
Do you have a favorite Dark Ride?
Things change frequently at Disney in regards to food, but luckily the free drink refills at these locations have stayed around. If everyone keeps playing by the rules, hopefully they remains!
The free refills have a few rules. It does not mean that you can bring in your own cups, a cup you bought previously, or ask for a free water then fill the cup with soda. You can get a free refill on a beverage that you bought at that location, for the duration of your meal.
Here are the places you can go and quench your thirst on a hot summer day, without breaking the bank.
Be Our Guest (breakfast and lunch)
Do you have a favorite of these locations with refills? Backlot Express is always a stop for us!!
Maybe you've wondered what the best age is to go to Disney. Maybe you've mentioned wanting to plan a trip to someone and heard one of these:
"What?! You shouldn't take a toddler to Disney! they won't remember it!"
"Teenagers at Disney? They aren't going to have ANY fun! Why waste your money?"
"You're going to Disney? Why? Aren't you to old for that?"
I'm here to settle the debate and tell you the best age, the most perfect age, to go to Disney. Ready? The answer might surprise you.
The best age to go to Disney is....
Yep! Every single age group has an amazing time at Disney, and I'll explain why. Saying there is something there for everyone an sound cliche, so think about this. Ever seen a movie, loved it, and a few years later, watched it again and still loved it but caught so many things you missed the first time around? That's Disney! The same ride can be a different experience, depending on the age of the person riding it. There is even a statue of Cinderella behind Cinderella's Castle, that from an adult's height perspective looks like a beautiful design painted into the background. From a child's height perspective? It's not a fancy design...it's a crown. Pretty cool huh? There are hundreds of hidden treasures like that at Disney!
Still not convinced? Let's dig deeper into each age group!
The Tiny Tots
I think whether or not a child remembers their Disney vacation does in part have to do with their age. Our not quite two year old sure remembered...and for a ear afterwards thumbed through the picture album. While at age six, he can't remember his first visit as well to Mickey, I do. He bypassed Mickey with his outstretched arms, and flung himself at Minnie! He hugged him and squeezed him and he was so happy, that Mr. Disney and I started to tear up.
With a babe in tow, and the stroller that comes along with it, you can go everywhere, and not lug your stuff! Another win! You can even take advantage of skipping lines with a rider switch if you want.
The early years were pure magic for our guy. I'm betting you've heard similar stories! In fact, there are very few rides that the littles CAN'T do! You'll be surprised when you read this list of what they CAN do!
The Tweens and Teens
The eye rolls, the requests to ride solo, the ear buds always stuck in, and the never ending appetite. Yep, Disney is for those kids too!
If you kid is responsible enough, there aren't many places better to split up for an hour or so, or, do a family ride with the kids in one gar and the adults in another. As for rides, between the coasters, and old favorites or shows, there's going to be a full day of fun for them!
That never ending hunger? If your kiddo has their own hard to lose gift card or you are on the Disney Dining Plan, they can even take care of that themselves, and feel grown up while doing it!
Can't stop them from swiping your phone? Maybe that's because they knew you Disney-ed up your phone, and they are playing the in park games or listening to music on it!
Kids or no kids, Disney is for you! You've got the stamina to go all day, and the wisdom to know when to take a break so you don't miss out on the fun! You appreciate both the on the go meals, and those that require patience sitting for your order to be taken and then created by incredible chefs.
Nothing is off limits to you, and you can linger in the Forests of Pandora, or snack or drink your way around the Wold Showcase. Old favorite stories come to life at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios puts you right in the action or favorite movies! You are never too old to snap a photo with Donald, or hop on the carousel, in fact, you might even get a few envious looks when you get back home and show your vacation pics, because the naysayers thought adults couldn't have a good time at Disney.
The Aging Graceful Set
Ahh! Another good age. You can do everything the adults can, but did you know that sometimes your group gets a little extra attention? You might get a little Pixie Dust sprinkled on you at restaurants or the resort, and no one will bat an eyelash if you think, to heck with all the walking! I'm renting a scooter! The scooter gets you first pick ups on the bus, as well as those in your party, too and can even make lines a little shorter.
If you want to sit on a bench and people watch while tossing popcorn to the birds, or enjoy the rides and strike poses with the Princesses, you're going to find something to fill every minute if you wish! Nothing is undo-able, unless you choose not to do it! I'd say that's pretty awesome! Remember that guy who visited Disney 2000 days in a row? Yeah...you could do that too, I'll bet! Not as many obligations and school calendars to worry about!
So now what do you think? Are any of these ages off limits at Disney? No way! Every age is a great age! Disney was made for all to enjoy, and for all to love.
Snow White Copyright Disney
I'll bet you've noticed all the different water features at Disney, and you might have even dropped in a few coins. Ever wonder what happened to those coins after you've made the wish?
Disney donates all of the coins ($20,000 in 2018) to different charities for children. Last year's recipient was Community Based Care of Central Florida.
Can you imagine how many coins equal $20,000? How many pounds that must weigh? I love to use this an example for my kids, how one penny might not seem like a lot, but added to everyone else's pennies, can do something amazing!
Next time you drop your coins in and make a wish, think about this...you are helping make other people's wishes come true, too!