May 102016

5 Ways to Beat Disney World Exhaustion

Making it through a day at Disney World is almost a feat of human strength, but yet, people manage to do it every day and some folks do it several days in a row. Disney World exhaustion is a real thing, and it plagues so many guests that push their limits and try to get as much in at the parks as possible without giving themselves a break. Knowing how to avoid becoming exhausted while at the parks can mean the difference between really enjoying yourself and not ever wanting to return to Walt Disney World.

Use these 5 tips to beat Disney World exhaustion and really tackle all that the parks have to offer without falling over each night.

Start Taking Naps

We love it when the kids willingly nap, and believe me when I tell you that everyone in the family will learn to love naps at Walt Disney World. No matter how many or little days you have at the parks, you should leave a couple hours midday for relaxing, going back to your hotel room or rental and just relax, nap, snack and recharge. Doing this gives you the energy to get through the rest of the day, and really, midday is the worst time to be in the parks, with crowds thinning out later in the afternoon when you are ready to come back for more fun.

Ride Everything

Besides amusement rides, there are a lot of ride options around the Disney World parks, and you should take advantage of all of them in order to minimize the amount of time that you are on your feet and running around. No matter how well you plan it out, nor the shape you are in, the average guest can walk anywhere from four to eight miles worth of park a day. Even at a slow pace this is a lot when you are doing as much as you are for several days in a row. Take advantage of in park transportation, park to park transportation and even go out of your way to add a slow paced ride option to your itinerary that will give you a new view of the parks. Continue reading »

Apr 192016

Disney's Best Hidden Bars and Restaurants

For some Disney diners, finding hidden bars and restaurants is all about finding a place to enjoy a meal that isn’t packed to the gills and for others it’s all about being in the know. If either is what you’re after, or if you just want to find another Disney World dining option that isn’t all everyone is talking about, these hidden restaurants and bars are all great options. From sit down to fast food to bars that have complete menus too, there is always something new to discover in your favorite park.

Boatwright’s, Port Orleans Riverside

Resort restaurants tend to go unnoticed if they don’t make it on any of the many top places to dine while at Disney World lists. and Boatwright’s is one of them. This restaurant dining hall can be found at the Riverside option of the resort, and is a great place for southern cooking with plenty of Cajun options that really pack in the flavor. One of the biggest complaints at Disney is that much of the food is bland in order to appeal to the masses, but you won’t find that a problem here. Decor-wise, the restaurant is unique, with a riverside, boat repair shack theme that makes it really feel like you are in the Deep South. Continue reading »

Feb 012016

Best Spots in Disney to Grab Coffee

To the joy of so many parents, the coffee situation at Walt Disney World has improved by leaps and bounds. For a place that does so many things right, it’s hard to believe that once upon a time it was hard to find a good cup of coffee, and even harder to find a calm place to sit and enjoy that coffee. Now though, you actually have a few places to grab a cup of coffee at Disney, and it is even possible to choose from among the best options.

These are among the best spots in Disney World for grabbing a coffee to help you get through a busy day.


There are now several Starbucks restaurants in the parks, as the chain was recently added to the lineup of recognizable brands to join Disney. The new location at Main Street Bakery is by far the most popular and most used, with lines forming at the start of the day and never really getting short until closing time. The Epcot location, right under Spaceship Earth is another fan favorite and has a futuristic feel to match the theme of the park and nearby rides. You can expect to find all of your Starbucks favorites here, from drinks to snacks to sandwiches. Continue reading »

Jan 052016

The Best Burger Joints at Disney World

Burgers are one of the most popular and most common menu items at Disney World, but there are a few places that are worth going if you are looking to find the best burgers in the park. When it comes to finding the best burgers anywhere it can be more about the burger joint, which often makes all the difference and adds to the entire experience. At Disney, the atmosphere and decor in the restaurants really enhances your experiences, so this list is all about the best burgers and burger joints that can be found in Disney World.
These are the best burger joints at Disney World to frequent when it’s a burger kind of day.

Beaches and Cream

Beaches and Cream makes the list for its great burgers, nostalgic beachside diner atmosphere and delicious milkshakes to have with your meal. Fans love this place and everything is perfectly greasy and right off the grill, just the way a great fast food burger should be. At Beaches and Cream it’s all about the cheeseburger and onion rings, which are less expensive than other sit down restaurants. Continue reading »

Aug 202015

Keeping Cool at Disney World

Staying cool at Disney World during a hot Florida summer isn’t so easy when you are surrounded by hundreds of acres of pavement. Trust me, I know from experience.   Four out of the last six of my family’s Disney trips were during the month of August, so I can definitely attest to how hot & humid it can be down there in the summer. Still, there are plenty of ways to stay cool, cool down and get wet during the park’s hottest summer days. The best part is that keeping cool takes what could be an almost ruined day and turns it into one of the best days you and the kids can have at the parks. There are tons of indoor options, water rides and even a pair of really exciting water parks that can easily take an entire day to enjoy.

If you end up at Disney World during one of Florida’s notoriously hot days, try one of these great ideas to keep everyone cool and happy.

disney world1

Carry Beverage Bottles Continue reading »

May 142015

11 Hidden Disney Secrets

Are you a self-proclaimed Disney nut? There are so many secrets and tips to learn that you could never know them all. Before your trip to Disney Land in California or Disney World in Orlando, brush up on your Disney knowledge.

1. There are two lanterns in the window of the Hall of Presidents. These lanterns reference Paul Revere’s Ride, a poem about how the revolutionaries lit two lanterns if the British came by sea.

2. Want a behind-the-scenes peek of the park? There are underground and backstage tours that you can book. You can even check out Epcot Gardens, where hybrid fruits and veggies are grown, some in the shape of Mickey Mouse.

3. Wonder how staff members and the Disney cast get around the park without being spotted? There are underground tunnels that they use to move between different areas of the park. Otherwise, characters from Tomorrowland would have to pass through Frontier Land!

4. There are Smellitizers throughout Disney, which are machines that emit smells that are perfect for the specific area. For example, Main Street always smells like vanilla and baked cookies. The Pirates of the Caribbean line always smells salty, like water. Continue reading »

Dec 232014

disney on ice

**Disclosure:  My family received a 4 pack of tickets at no charge in order to write about our experience at the show.  All opinions are strictly my own and were not influenced in any way**

Experience a magical Disney fantasy live on ice! Rev up for non-stop fun with four of your favorite Disney stories at Disney On Ice presents Worlds of Fantasy Presented by YoKids Organic Yogurt. Thrill to high-speed stunts as Lightning McQueen and Mater race across the ice like you’ve never seen before! Dive into The Little Mermaid’s enchanting undersea kingdom and enter the mystical world of Pixie Hollow with Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies! Join the Toy Story gang who are back in town to take on their most daring adventure ever! From wheels to waves, playtime to pixie dust, your family’s favorite Disney moments come to life at Disney On Ice!

Last Friday night, my family and I headed into Boston to see Disney On Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy at The Agganis Arena at Boston University.  It’s been a few years since we had been to a Disney on Ice production, so we were excited to see the show.

Disney On Ice Worlds of Fantasy Boys

During the show, we had a chance to go through four “worlds” and we got to see the high speed version of four classic Disney stories.

I have to apologize for the photo quality in advance.  The arena wasn’t well lit because of the show. Continue reading »

Aug 262014

If you are new to Disney World, you may not have heard of Dole Whips before. Or maybe you have heard of a Dole Whip, but you’re not quite sure what one is and you’re wondering what all the buzz is about.

Well, let me clear this cult dessert up for you.

What is a Dole Whip at Disney World

What is a Dole Whip?

A Dole Whip is a non-dairy (lactose free) soft serve frozen dessert.  It is made from puree, which is then reconstituted with tap water and frozen before serving. The infamous frozen treat is available in three flavors: pineapple, orange and vanilla – and yes you can get orange or pineapple swirled with vanilla.  Pineapple is original flavor and definitley my personal favorite! A Dole Whip can also be combined with pineapple juice to create a float and word on the street is that they are awesome, but I have never personally tried one.

Where you can find a Dole Whip at Walt Disney World: Continue reading »

Aug 132014

Dining at Disney World - Fun Without Characters

Disney World is a magnificent place to visit with your family. There are many things for the entire family to enjoy, including exhilarating rides and delicious dining. Many visitors choose to make Disney a family tradition year after year (like my family does), and even then, it can be hard to explore all of the wonderful options Disney has to offer. If you’re going to visit Disney this year, you should take some time to appreciate many of the unique experiences offered, especially when it comes to dining options. For a unique experience, try dining at these fun Disney restaurants that don’t include the traditional Disney characters.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Looking for an interesting and unique dining experience? You’ll need to head to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant if you’re spending some time over at Hollywood Studios. This fun restaurant has memorable booths shaped like classic ‘50s cars. This décor gives you the feeling that you’re actually experiencing a drive-in theater. The dining experience is made complete with tasty food and fun movie clips. If you have boys, they are going to love this part of Disney, I promise! Continue reading »

Aug 122014

Disney World Character Meals

At Disney World one of the most coveted things to do is to eat with the characters.  My family travels to Disney World every year and we have dined at most of these restaurants – some more than once!   If you want to eat amongst the characters, fear not,  they happen all over the Disney Kingdom! Advanced reservations are highly recommended and can be made at some restaurants up to 180 days in advance. The meals are either served buffet-style, family-style, or plated. Just sit back, relax and enjoy your meal as the characters will make their way around to each table. If you chase them, they might run away! Enjoy a variety of meal options and have fun checking out Disney World’s Character Meals.


The Garden Grill

If you love Chip and Dale’s, you have to come to the Chip and Dale’s Harvest Feast. It is located in the Land Pavilion of Future World. This restaurant features dinner with Mickey’s gang including Chip and Dale, and of course, Pluto. They are all dressed in their farmer’s best too. The kid’s menu has chicken tenders and mac and cheese on it. Reservations are recommended here.

Princess StoryBook Dining Continue reading »

Feb 162014

My family are regulars at Roger Williams Zoo in Providence.  We have had a membership there since my oldest was two years old (that’s seven years for those of you who are keeping track). Sometimes, depending on the day, there are docents (volunteers) around the zoo that help to teach guests about the animals there.

On our last visit, which was about two weeks ago, we ran into a docent over by the elephant exhibit that was holding something that looked quite interesting.  Sure enough it was elephant poop.

The docent asked the gruesome twosome if they wanted to touch or hold it – don’t freak out, it was shellacked, so it was safe to touch. The boys weren’t sure about it at first:


My little man ran away and wanted no part of it at all, but my nine year old was a little bit braver.  He was leery, but he touched it. Continue reading »

Dec 172013

Remember last month when I told you all about the Magical Express?  The Magical Express is complimentary round-trip airport transportation and luggage delivery for guests who are staying at Disney resorts.   The day before your flight, you’ll get an envelope on your door with the time your bus leaves the resort for the airport.  It’s usually two to three hours before the flight.

Let me start by saying that the Magical Express isn’t so magical on the return trip back to the airport.

Continue reading »

Dec 162013

One of the things that we like to do when we go to Disney World is pin trading.  What is pin trading?  Disney Pin Trading is a fun, interactive experience where guests can trade collectible Disney pins with Disney Cast Members and other guests (although I don’t think many people trade with other guests – at least not that I’ve seen).

All you have to do is locate a Cast Member wearing a lanyard with Disney pins and find a pin you’d like. Then present them with one of your Disney pins to trade.


Continue reading »

Dec 152013

Hidden Mickeys started out as inside jokes among the Walt Disney Imagineers. A Hidden Mickey is an image of Mickey Mouse concealed in the design of a Disney attraction (ride, resort, etc…). Originally, it took the shape of a head and ears silhouette, i.e. one large circle with two smaller circled on top in the appropriate place.

In designing, constructing or adding the final touches to an attraction, Imagineers subtly “hide” Mickey Mouse silhouettes in plain sight. Soon, it became a tradition, and as the word spread, Disney fans everywhere went on the search for Hidden Mickeys in Disney movies and theme parks.

I ordered a book off of Amazon a few years back that listed many of the Hidden Mickey’s scattered throughout the parks & resorts at Disney World (there is a separate book for Disneyland) and the boys and I always love searching for them every year.

Here is one that’s hidden inside the Spaceship Earth ride at Epcot.  There are at least three on that ride (that I know of), but this is the only one I was able to snap a good picture of.


Do you search for Hidden Mickey’s when you go to Disney?

Dec 142013

On our last night at Disney, we decided to head back to the resort and let the boys play at the arcade for a little while.  We walked past it every day and they kept asking & asking to play, so we let them.  Chris got them each an arcade card with $10 loaded on to it and they played until their money was gone (which didn’t take long).  They each got to play about about a dozen or so games.


Continue reading »

Dec 122013

About a month before my family was scheduled to go to Disney World recently, I got an email from Disney with this as the subject line:

“You’re invited to participate in a special test during your upcoming trip!”

It was a Sunday and I was at the playground with Chris and the boys when I got it.  I was giddy when I saw the email that day because I knew exactly what it was in reference to thanks to a friend of mine who had gone to Disney a few weeks prior.

It was an offer to test out their new MagicBands.


MagicBands are wristbands that are an all-in-one device and they effortlessly connect you to all the vacation choices you made.

Once I got that email, I signed up for our Magic Bands on  I was already registered on the site because that’s how I booked my dining reservations, but if you’re not registered – you will need to do so before you go any further.  I was able to customize all of our bands, which basically meant that we could pick our colors and have our names printed on the inside of the bands.  If I didn’t customize them, they would have just given us grey ones when we checked in.  Plus, while I was on the site, I linked our reservation and all our plans to the MagicBand, so it was all loaded on to the band for me. Continue reading »

Dec 102013

One of the things I truly love about staying at the Caribbean Beach resort in Disney World is that they show “Movies Under the Stars” every night (weather depending, of course).   Each night, they blow up a big inflatable movie screen and show a “G” or “PG” rated, family friendly Disney movie.  The movies are played at Old Port Royale, which is the hub of the resort and the movies are shown right next to the main pool, so you can literally hop out of the pool and catch the movie.

The cast members set up chairs in front of the screen, but there are also tables in case you want to grab a meal or snack while you watch – which is exactly what we did.

Continue reading »

Dec 082013

Every time we go to Disney, Chris tries hard to convince the gruesome twosome to go on Splash Mountain with him.  Usually, he can bribe them somehow and get them both to go on with him, but this year was different.  The oldest wanted nothing to do with it no matter what Chris offered him, so Chris and the little man went on by themselves.

Here’s a copy of the photo they snap as they fall down the big drop on the ride (they are in the front).


You’re welcome.

Dec 072013

During our past three trips to Disney World, we have stayed at the Caribbean Beach resort.  It’s very family friendly and we really like the atmosphere there.  At Caribbean Beach, the rooms are divided into six brightly colored villages representing different areas of the Caribbean. Trinidad, Martinique, Barbados, Aruba and Jamaica. The villages are all centered around a lake and each village has its own small man-made beach.

There are signs posted that no swimming is allowed in the lake, but the kids are more than welcome to play in the sand.  The quick service meals at the food court there are actually served in little plastic buckets that come with shovels, so it ends up working out perfectly if the kids want to spend some time at the beach.

We usually don’t spend a lot of time at the beach area -just because there is never enough time. This year, we spent about an hour at the beach in our village of Jamaica and here are some of the pictures:

Continue reading »

Dec 062013

On our last night at Disney World, we made reservations at our favorite restaurant.  Teppan Edo.  It’s located in the Japan Pavillion in the World Showcase at Epcot.

Celebrate authentic Japanese cuisine during an exciting dining experience that’s part meal, part show. In the communal ritual of Teppan-yaki-style cooking, skillful chefs chop and stir-fry dishes on grills at your table.


Select from steak, chicken, seafood and vegetable entrées, which are served with Udon noodles and steamed rice. You can also enjoy such favorites as teriyaki chicken, potato-vegetable croquettes, tempura and edamame. Continue reading »