This was THE trip that we weren't going to bring our stroller! Little man was going to walk the WHOLE thing! But, little man is also now a covid longhauler, and fatigues deeply. We wanted to enjoy our trip, so stroller it was. But...we weren't sure we'd need it every day, and to be honest, we'd gotten rid of ours a long time ago. We could have bought a cheapy umbrella stroller, but they are a pretty low weight limit.
So, we ended up renting a Disney stroller. I was sure we'd need to do the double, but he squeezed in nicely to a single and let me tell you parents... I wish we'd always rented instead of bringing ours.
While I've talked before about strollers to share what (I think) the perfect Disney stroller is, and later I talked about renting a Disney stroller it's great to see these new strollers out!
The new stroller you can rent for your child to cruise the parks in is a totally different color. Right now, they are all new, which means smooth rides and no wobbly wheels, which was a pretty common complaint in the past.
While the seats aren't the comfiest, and the stroller hood isn't retractable, it's a very sturdy stroller that can handle a substantial sized kid. Yes, he'd have had more room has we gotten the double, but this was just fine, and not used every moment of the day. A nice feature of the stroller is the pouch to put drinks. Of course, there's also an under stroller basket to drop your stuff and a parking brake so they don't roll away.
But the best feature? Other than the smooth ride? It's the handle height! This might have been the first stroller ever that Mr. Disney Magic didn't have to hunch much to push.
If you are in a pinch, your child is about to outgrow their stroller, or you don't want to pack one, a Disney stroller might be a good alternative. Yes...you do have to pay (alot) but there is a discounted price if you rent for multiple days. Be warned that you cannot use a Disney stroller at Disney Springs unless you also put down a $100 deposit. I nearly fell over when I realized that.
You can, however:
It is very important though to remember one other thing. While your stroller rental payment never expires, you MUST have the receipt. You cannot have a photo, you must have the actual receipt. And it's a long one. So don't toss it in a shopping bag or throw it out with your lunch at Flame Tree. Make sure you keep that with you at all times or you will be out of luck if you need a stroller.
Recently I was sent a copy of this AMAZING book to look at. It instantly made me think of the places we'd seen over the summer at Disney. I mean, Animal Kingdom and EPCOT are just filled with incredible foods from many countries.
This book is no different. Inside, you'll not only find maps (It IS an atlas after all!) but you'll find it's crammed with so many fascinating facts, beautiful pictures, games, and tasty looking food. What's fun is it's also split up by type of food. For example, grains, legumes, fruits, roots.
It's always fun to learn about someplace new. This book has just that for both children and adults.
Would you like a chance to win your own copy? Keep reading!
As you read through, you are also going to find inspiration for your meals. I'm curious now about irio, from Kenya. It's one of their comfort foods (page 94) that's made up of potatoes, peas, beans, corn, and onion mashed together. I might need to adjust that a bit for food allergies, but that sounds really good! Maybe even topped with a bit of cheese or sour cream?
There's a dessert from Iran called faloodeh that also sounds fascinating! (Page 80) This was originally invented by the ancient Persians, but is still popular today, and consists of cooked noodles frozen in a sugar and rosewater syrup with a wedge of lime, and sometimes topped with cherries, berries, or mint. Doesn't that just sound so unusual? I wonder how it is.
Near the back, there are also some really eye catching games!
Just like all National Geographic books, you are going to learn while being entertained. One thing I really loved about this book in particular was not only the introduction to food from around the world, but that it talked about the crisis faced in getting this food too, like with water, natural disasters, food safety, and more. It was sobering. I'm sure you, like us, have had higher prices, less to choose from, and some absolute scarcity when it comes to finding food. These pages are a great reminder about the larger picture of our food supply.
Here's a preview of two pages. The others are just as interesting!
I can honestly say, I've never met a National Geographic book I didn't like. From picture books to adult books, they are truly one of the few that any age can enjoy. This one is no different and now, something exciting!
You could win your own copy!
These generous people have also agreed to give a copy of this book to one of my readers. Now, the boring stuff! The prize will ship from the PR place for National Geographic. I'm not responsible if something happens and you don't get it. US Entries only, please. The giveaway ends after one week. When it's over, Rafflecoper will randomly select ONE winner and I will email the winner. You have 72 hours to send me your name and address so I can pass it along. If you don't get in touch with me, I'll have to select a different winner.
Contest ends Aug 9, 2022.
Keeping a Cool HeaD At Disney
This isn’t a post about hats! It’s about tempers. It seems that no matter the weather in Orlando, tempers have been hot, hot, hot this year. Have you ever seen so many news articles about people fighting at Disney?
Last month, we saw first hand multiple altercations. One group, in front of Cinderella's castle. Another, right on Main Street. There was another that nearly had my youngest and I in tears we felt so horrible for the kids, as the dad was outside of Space Mountain and absolutely using every word in the adult vocabulary to berate them for: 1. Being scared to go on the ride and 2. Too small to go on said ride. He repeatedly told them he didn't come all this way just to ride baby rides. Yikes.
It seems the happiest place on Earth isn't as happy anymore. What's to blame? Sure, it's hot, but these reports are happening almost daily, and have been even in the cooler months. Is it the fact that the new Lightening Lane is a little tricky and also expensive, making park goers have to pay for something they used to get for free?
Maybe it's that there still isn't quite everything open. Cast members are stretched thin, and shortages in staff, merchandise, and food are stressing out families, while prices are going up, up, up! A souvenir I bought in 2020, and was looking to get a second of, (That cute, small Pixar bouncy ball) went from $6.99 (still had the price on the bottom) to $14.99. OUCH!
I'm not sure what's making people so upset, possibly a combination of everything, but it seemed no matter where we were, we were surrounded by angry people. The worst, was in the Skyliner line during a storm when my youngest and I had been waiting for over an hour, as busses were to be called in. The good news is, the following day we talked to the engineer at the station, and she showed us just how in an emergency they help riders! Coming soon!
Regardless of what frustration is happening at the park, resort, or transportation line, it's important to stay calm. Just like young children can feel your emotions and it sets off theirs, I think the same is true for tired, hot, spent-too-much, hungry crowds.
This absolute anger going on right now is really spreading, and it's growing more and more frequent, both in people seeing it, and in the news reporting.
So how can you stay calm when others around you are getting upset? Or how can you keep cool when something is making you embrace your inner Donald Duck and get steamed up?
Here are three things that I do myself.
1. Ignore it.
Someone's got the crankies in your party? Ignore it. Smile, point out interesting things to the not cranky members, and accept that we should all be allowed to feel irritated at some point on vacation, even at Disney.
2. Be forgiving.
Yeah, no one likes when someone cuts the line on purpose or when a group joins the single person in line just in front of you. It's rude. You're going to get my stink yet, oh yes you will. But I'm not going to say anything, why? This Mama has been the one to do the mad dash to get the kid to the bathroom in time, or run back to get the forgotten MagicBand, the thing in the stroller, or get the needed thing from the stroller that couldn't wait, like Epipens that got left, the camera, or someone's money. I'm sure I'm not the only one! At least...I hope so. Maybe those people had to do something too? Maybe they didn't, but when you think of it that way, it puts a little cooling on that heat rising.
3. Accept it.
Let's face it...the world is full of imperfect humans, excluding us, right? So, let's just accept they aren't as awesome as we are, and give them a little grace. By doing so, embracing our inner Elsa, and moving on, we get to enjoy our day, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dahing down the way, while they are losing precious part time getting mad.
Now, it's been suggested these are just avoidance methods. Maybe. Call them that if you want, but I'm calling them no-one-has-time-for-that strategies, and gets-us-trough-the-day-without-killing-each-other tactics.
You might have different tactics, other than the usual ones mention, like breathing! What are yours?
If you drive I4 to Disney World, it's likely the building above is a familiar sight. Gold stars if you've ever thought to yourself Doofenshmirtz is in there building an inator, with Perry the Platypus about to barge in.
Just the sight of this building, so unusual and unlike anything else around it has always made me wonder...what is this place? We've driven past it for years. The first times, it was open and you could see inside. Later, the windows were added. Yet...even though it looks complete, this building is completely empty! Perfect for a mad scientist!
It's hard to believe, but for over 20 years, this building has been partially built, sold, sat exposed, and finally had windows added...just to still sit empty.
Affectionately known to the locals as the I4 Eyesore, the history of this building is pretty interesting. It's actually called the Majesty Building and it's 18 stories tall. Originally, this was meant to be an office building and construction was started in 2021. Over 40 million has been spent on it, and it's still not complete.
Evidently there are Facebook pages devoted to it, a ton of memes, and whenever I asked about it, there were a lot of eyerolls.
One thing's for sure...you can't convince me otherwise that there's NOT an inator being built inside it. Maybe it's the chicken inator? Maybe Doofenshmirtz has given up on the Tri-State area, and moved here. I'm not sure. I do know, it makes for several interesting moments of ponder as we travel along!
Water Rides at Disney World
If you like to cool off in the summer heat with a little splash of water, Disney World's parks have you covered! I'm not going to state the obvious, that there are two Disney owned and operated water parks. That's just too easy. But, between the other parks, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, where can you or the kiddos get a tad wet?
Here are the places! Now you'll know where to go, or where to avoid, if you are like me, and don't want soggy shoes. While not every ride is a drencher, some are.
I'm not including rides like Small World, where you are in a boat, but there's no chance of getting misted or splashed. These are just a lost of rides to help on those hot days, or to avoid if you aren't keen on the water splashing you.
Magic Kingdom has a few fun places to get wet!
Splash Mountain: While this ride will likely be getting a makeover soon, it's a safe bet that the water aspect will stay the same. This is your best chance at getting pretty wet at Magic Kingdom.
Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station: Okay, so this isn't really a ride, but it's a fun little play area for kids (and a few adults) to get wet! It's a splash pad, so you can choose how wet or not you want to get.
Magic Carpets of Aladdin: Luckily, you can avoid getting more than a few drops if you are the one controlling the magic carpet. My kids love to try and get me wet on this one! Luckily, the camel spit usually misses me!
Jungle Cruise: This ride, we've only gotten misted on, which is my kind of ride! It cools you briefly, but doesn't leave you soaked!
Pirates of the Caribbean: While you aren't really supposed to get wet on this ride, there is a spot or two where those in the front of the boat tend to get some splashes.
Big Thunder Mountain: This ride only mists a little here and there, but honestly, you'll be dry before it's over!
Epcot only has two places where you'll get a little wet.
Frozen Ever After: This ride is more likely to get you a little wet (water coming from the small drops along the side) if you are in the front two rows. Nothing too much, and it really didn't go more than knee high, but it was enough to make us have damp shoes when we were in in the front row.
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure: Another mister! Watch out for the Champagne bottle! You'll likely be dry by the time the ride is over.
Without the behind the scenes tours, right now, there's only one attraction where you might get misted.
Muppet Vision 3D: Since this is a 3D attraction, you might get a little mist on you from one of the things that pops out.
Animal Kingdom has a few misty spots, but we're only going to mention two rides with the possibility of water.
Kali River Rapids: Depending on where you sit, you'll either get a little wet, pretty wet, or soaked. The thing about this ride, is you don't really know. Each time is different, as each ride is a little different.
Flight of Passage: Disney does immersive well, so when you fly over water, and see a wave, you are going to get a few sprinkles on you. Nothing major, but it does add to the realism of this ride.
Did I miss anything? I might have! Do you have a favorite way to cool down at Disney? I love the random misters we run across! Enough to cool you for a moment, make your hair frizz up, but not damage any electronics you have out!
If you head to Disney this summer, stay cool!
Need more tips on how to beat the heat at Disney? Check out this blog article.
Need a few more tips? Check this one out too!