Disney Divas

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You already know that Walt Disney World is the most magical place on Earth.  There’s not much more I can share to make that more believable.  What I will share are some of the tips I have learned both by listening to others and through the experience of going two years in a row.

First, we go for Minime’s birthday (January).  That means the weather can do whatever it likes.  I spoke about this in Seaworld Shenanigans too.  Be prepared.  Bring layers.  It’s hard to wait in line if you are uncomfortable (too hot or too cold).  And you will wait in line (more on that later)!

Second, bring snacks and drinks. You will be doing lots of walking so you will need to keep your energy up.  Bring bottles of water, juice boxes, granola bars and any other types of snacks/food you can fit in your bag or on your carriage.

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Third, bring a stroller.  I like using Minime’s biggest carriage because there’s a lot of storage space to hold bags, souvenirs and coats if it gets warm enough to take them off.  I lso like having a big one so that Minime can recline for her nap.

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Fourth, look for different ways to bring home souvenirs.  It is really easy to spend money at Disney.  There are ways to get around leaving all of your money there.  On Main Street visit the Fire House.  There you can start a really cool challenge.  The challenge also gets you a free pack of trading cards for every paid ticket.  Minime is still young to really play the game but we bring the cards home.  You can also get a free Pirate Map in Adventureland.  We love popcorn so it is one snack we buy at the park.  You can get a souvenir bucket.  We are currently using ours to hold crayons, chalk, markers and colored pencils.  You can also get souvenir mugs.  We bought hot chocolate for $5.25 in a souvenir mug this year and last year I brought home a cup from Gaston’s Tavern.  Last year Minime got autographs on index cards supplied by the characters because I didn’t think to bring a book and didn’t want to spend money on one there.  This year I bought her a Minnie Mouse notebook from our local discount store.

Fifth, it’s going to be busy.  If you do not want to wait in line it might not be the right place for you.  We go from opening to closing and I have noticed that once the sun starts setting the lines tend to be a lot shorter.  We actually were able to go on some of our favorite rides more than once as it got later.  One ride though that we waited for a little longer than an hour and were told that the line rarely goes shorter is the Peter Pan ride.  Minime loves this ride for some reason.  Last year we went during the afternoon and had to wait close to two hours.  So, I suggest if you see a line is really long and you don’t have fastpasses for it then try again later.

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And finally, remember you are there to have fun.  I get it.  You want to plan every moment of the day.  You don’t want to miss anything.  You will miss something.  The park is huge and life happens.  That doesn’t mean your day isn’t a success.  Did you smile more than you scream?  Did you laugh more than you cried?  Congratulations.  You had a good day!

Bonus Tip:  Get a Memory Maker.  I’ve seen this debated on different sites.  It is expensive (unless you really think about how many photos you can get).  In my opinion it is so worth it.  I go to Downtown Disney (or whatever they call it now) and do a mini photo session with Minime at the photo studio in guest relations.  Most people only use this studio if they’ve visited the Bibbidy Boppity Boutique.  I’m still in the air about that place.  The kids look so cute but they all look alike (as they should since they’re dressed up as Disney Princesses).  I would rather Minime stay looking like herself.  Anyway, I digress.  I take her for the mini photoshoot and even get a few photos of us together.  Once we are at Magic Kingdom I ask every Disney photographer to take our photo.  I’m not sure if it was because of the weather but I think I saw less photographers this year than last but we still took a whole heap of photos.  And I take photos on my phone.  This is a great way to be a part of the experience.  I go alone with Minime so the Memory Maker allows me to be in more photos than if I didn’t buy it.  Even if you go with others it’s a great way to capture moments.

 

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Seaworld Shenanigans

I know I’m supposed to be better than supporting Seaworld.  What can I say?  I took a big gulp of the kool-aid and I trust that they do not mistreat the animals.  Plus my kid thinks she’s a mermaid/Octonaut.

Let me start by saying Florida was a lot colder than I expected this year.  Fortunately, I am an overpacker when it comes to Minime. She was layered up and warm for the day.  Sadly though the cool temperatures kept us from sitting in soak zone of most of the shows.  Minime wore me down at the end of the day and we sat front and center for the orca show.

Last year we spent more time walking around but this year we took in most of the shows.  I won’t ruin the shows for you because I know you are planning to visit yourself but here’s a peek at what to expect.

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Sea Lion High

 

Orcas

 

When you visit I highly suggest getting the all day dining pass.  I get one for myself and not for Minime.  I know you’re not supposed to share but that doesn’t really count with a toddler lol.  It cost around $35 but you can eat at most of the restaurants all day long and get a full meal.  Entree, side and drink.  I routinely saw people in front of me paying more than $35 for one meal.

They also have charging stations around the park which I thought was awesome (even though I forgot my wire (the gift store sells them).

I do suggest however packing your own towel in case your children like to sit in soak zones and if you can your own rain poncho.  I packed a hand me down one Minime had from her godbrother which is still big on her but worked perfectly during the orca show.  We didn’t have to change clothes.  Of course Seaworld sells them if you want to purchase them there as souvenirs but I’m all about being frugal.

Sunshine State We are On Our Way (almost)

I decided that every year until she was old enough to ask for something else I would take Minime to Florida for her birthday.  Her birthday is in exactly one week (where did the time go?).  Tomorrow we head out to Orlando and are ready to start the birthday trip she has been talking about since we got back last year lol.

We have had so much fun on our past trips.  I’ve loved traveling since I took my first flight at 21 for a business trip.  I love that at such a young age Minime is already bitten by the travel bug.  She talks about going on holiday and makes me pretend to get on an airplane with her rather regularly.

I can’t wait until she is old enough to enjoy trips to places like Paris, Italy, and Spain.  For now though we will continue to enjoy Florida and the Caribbean.

I recently read a really good Disney tips article.  I wish I would have bookmarked it but just looks like I will have to share my own tips when we get back.  What are some of your favorite Disney or Seaworld hacks?  Let’s compare.

Here are a few photos from our trip last year.

 

Move Over Beyonce!

This week I decided to add something different to my Youtube page. Instead of sharing story time I thought I would share my little super star. I figured I would share it with all of you too 🙂

Here’s Mini me’s first dance recital

I still can’t stop laughing and I must have watched in 1,234,353 times.

She definitely made me a proud mama.  I love how fearless this little girl is.  She is in tuned with who she is and what she wants.  I pray that never changes.

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Thumbs Up to Target Wonderland

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I was really worried.  If I had done this review last night I would have come from a very Grinchy place.  I would have written of long lines and no pleasure.  I would have said that Target Wonderland looked just like it’s name a wonderland but sadly it’s staff was wonderless.

I attempted to do what most New Yorkers know better than to do.  I attempted to visit a holiday experience on the weekend.  Yes, I should have remembered from my Rockefeller Tree incident a few weeks ago to know better.  I tried taking Mini me to this amazing place yesterday afternoon and after spending one hour and twenty seven minutes in line got turned away because of closing time.  I was devastated and defeated.  I was angry that while warned I wouldn’t have much time inside I wasn’t warned I might not make it.

Mini me was sad and asked me if we could go back today.  I wanted to refuse but didn’t want to be the Grinch again.  I even tried to talk her into going somewhere else.  Happy she stood her ground because by the time we left there today she told me that it was the best day ever!  And that she LOVES Target Wonderland.

I know by now many of you already know that this is a WONDERFUL place to take your littles but if you didn’t go you still have one more day to experience it.  The popup shop closes on Tuesday, December 22nd.  Do be warned if you’re going there to do shopping items are sold out.

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Entering Wonderland. 

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Can you spot the Mommy and Mini Me Tsum Tsums?

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Who doesn’t want their picture on a huge etch a sketch?

And you can’t miss Minime’s fun in the ball pit.  Check it out on my Instagram page.

Another Santa Story

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If you’re looking for something to do with your littles this weekend here is a FREE Santa event in the Bronx.  Sadly we will more than likely missit because we have dance at 11a on Saturdays.

If you go please take pictures and tag us on Instagram at @justabxmom.  Please and thank you.

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

This weekend Mini me and I joined some friends and their littles visiting the tree at Rockefeller Center.  Talk about OVERWHELMING!!!!

The company was great but the experience was kind of scary.  There were so many people there.  Some blocks had so many people they were virtually impossible to walk down.  Fortunately, Mini me napped through the experience.

I can’t even begin to think how it would have been with her wake and wanting to walk through the chaos.  The tree was beautiful and the light show on 5th ave was enchanting but I can’t see us doing it again anytime soon.

I would share our photos but this is much more spectacular lol

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Macy’s Santa Review

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go so we might as well see as many Santa’s as possible!  I still go back and forth on if Mini me will believe in Santa but that’s for another time and another post.

Mini me and I had to go into the City this week so we made a family day out of it.  Met up with some friends and traveled to the North Pole (also known as Macy’s Herald Square’s 8th floor).

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I have been visiting this Santa for years.  I’m used to waiting in line and I expect it.  Right in midtown and world famous who doesn’t think they will be in line when visiting Santaland?

Surprise!  We didn’t have to wait!!! Of course there were people ahead of us but there was no line reaching around the depths of freight elevators and the seemingly neverending zigzags that have normally been part of my expedition to the North Pole.  We simply walked up and entered Santaland!

As always it was a beautiful fantasy brought to life.  I don’t care if it’s your first or 40th trip to Santaland you will not help but to smile when you see the place covered in fake snow and singing snowmen.

Yes, that’s Mini me trying to get a peek at the snowman’s songbook.  Thanks Auntie E for the save with going in the snow when it fell down.  And big thanks to the Elf that didn’t make a bog deal about it.  We worried we might make the naughty list behind that one.

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As a parent surrounded by not only the children you are with but the many other children visiting the north pole this was a great sign to see less than 10 minutes into the visit.

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And the Santa and elves we visited were wonderful.  They let us take different poses and combinations.  We didn’t feel rushed and they even supported breastfeeding when Baby E needed a moment.  Who could ask for more?

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I definitely suggest paying this Santa a visit.  If you can go during school hours on a weekday that would probably be best.  The closer it gets to the holiday though it might not make a difference.  The first time I took Mini me it was a weekday and early and we still had about an hour wait.  Bring snacks and something to distract your little people in case you have to wait.

And take tons of photos (even though most might have a red/orange tint based on the lighting).  Please practice patience for those in line in front and behind you.  Some children will want to spend more time looking at one exhibit than another.  There is many things to experience before you get to the man of the hour so allow yourself and littles to do just that, experience the magic of the moment.