Guide to the Best Gear and Supplies for Disney World

We try to make Disney World planning as simple as possible for our readers and members.  Having the right gear and supplies is absolutely essential to a fun trip, whether or not you have kids in tow.

How to Read this Guide

We have curated all of our favorite gear for Walt Disney World, organized by category and/or age group, and added affiliate shopping links, to make it easier for you to get ready.

Products labeled “Best” were the winners from one of our Disney World specific product review articles.

Products without the label “Best” are useful products that we like, use and endorse for Disney World, but we have not necessarily reviewed their competitors and found them to be the best product in their category.

 

Packing Lists

Check out our age-specific packing lists to round things out.

We only feature products here that we love and endorse for Disney World.  If you have product recommendations, be sure to let us know in the comments.

 

Disney World Park Gear


Best Backpack



The North Face Jester

Read Our Back Pack Review



Best Sling Bag



Under Armor Compel 2.0

Read Our Back Pack Review


Best Poncho



Frogg Toggs Ultra-Lite


Best Mug



Yeti 36 oz Rambler Bottle


Best Cooling Towel



Frogg Togg Chilly Pad


Personal Mister



Arctic Cove

Disney World Baby & Toddler Gear

Best Full Stroller



Uppababy VISTA

Read Our Stroller Review

Stroller Bag & Insurance



Uppababy Travel Bag
Insures your VISTA against damage

Stroller Shade



SnoozeShade Plus

Stroller Fans



Dream Baby

More VISTA Accessories


Snack Tray
Parent Organizer
Ride Along Board
Rain Cover
Mesa Car Seat

Portable High Chair



Cozy Cover Safety Seat

Airplane Harness



CARES Kids Fly Safe

Toddler Leash



PAMBO Wrist Link

Packing List

Disney World packing lists tailored to specific age groups including babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school age kids, tweens, teenagers, and adults

Babies
Packing List

Disney World packing lists tailored to specific age groups including babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school age kids, tweens, teenagers, and adults

Toddlers

Disney World Preschooler & School Age Gear

Best Umbrella Stroller



UPPAbaby G-Lite

Stroller Bag & Insurance



UPPAbaby G series

Mickey Autograph Book



Mickey & Friends

Princess Autograph Book



Six Disney Princesses

Lanyard



Need if not using Magic Bands

Trading Pins



Assorted Bulk Disney Pins

Bubble Gun



Bubbles & batteries included
Sold for more in parks

Vented UV Sun Hat



Home Prefer Kids

Packing List

Disney World packing lists tailored to specific age groups including babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school age kids, tweens, teenagers, and adults

Preschoolers
Packing List

Disney World packing lists tailored to specific age groups including babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school age kids, tweens, teenagers, and adults

School Age Kids

This is only a partial list of some of our favorite gear for Disney World.  Make sure to check out our Disney World packing lists for a comprehensive list of everything you’ll want for Disney World.  The packing lists are broken down by specific age groups, to keep things simple.

If you want more help planning, head over to our Disney World planning process to get started!

If you are trying to figure out the best time to visit Disney World, check out our Disney World Crowd Calendar for the 2018/2019 school year. If you are traveling sooner, we also have one for the 2017/2018 school year.

If you want to suggest some gear that we’ve left out, let us know in the comments!  We update this guide regularly.

About affiliate links:  We provide links to the products above because we like them and think you will too.  If you choose to purchase a product through these links we get a small commission, which does not affect your price.

Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar 2018 2019

Are you planning a trip to Disney World, and need to know:

When is the best time to visit Disney World?

We’ve got a crowd calendar for the 2018-2019 school year with the answer.

We’ll cover:

Which months are the most packed at Disney World,

and which months are the best to visit.

Let’s dive in…

A Word on Disney World Crowds

Disney World crowds are pretty easy to understand.

Or are they?

How exactly do you measure Disney World crowd levels?

Is it the wait times on rides?

Or how booked up the restaurants are? Or the hotels?

Or is it how full the parks feel?

We take the view that it’s all of the above. And that’s how we create and present our 2018 and 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar.

It’s an estimation of overall crowd levels, combining multiple factors, including wait times and resort capacity.

For this reason, we predict crowd levels in categories: light, moderate, heavy and extreme. These are depicted as green, blue, yellow, and red.

We believe that these categories provide all of the information necessary for vacation planning. We also believe that predicting the future any more precisely requires a crystal ball that no one has access to.

If you are traveling during the 2017/2018 school year, please use this Disney World Crowd Calendar.

2018-2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

This calendar is structured around the school year because that is how most families plan their vacations.

2018 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

As you can see, we predict crowd levels for each park. They are as accurate as we can make them, given that we are predicting the future.

Starting in the summer of 2018 and throughout 2019, we expect to see an increased crowd volume in Hollywood Studios. Disney World will be opening Toy Story Land on June 30, 2018 and Star Wars Land in the summer of 2019. For information on the crowd levels during the summer of 2018, please look at our 2017/2018 Disney World Crowd Calendar.

However, we advise against using them to pick individual park days.

That’s because things like park hours and Extra Magic Hours can have a significant effect on individual park crowd levels. That information is not available when the calendar is created, and it frequently changes.

For the most up-to-date information on park hours, check the official Disney World calendar.

A better strategy is to use the crowd level data to pick your week(s). The more green, the lighter the crowds, the shorter the ride wait times, and the more likely you’ll get your hardest-to-get ADRs.

Then, as your vacation nears, and you are planning your itinerary, pick your individual park days based on when you can get Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) for the restaurants you want, Extra Magic Hours, and other events that you are interested in.

We generally recommend avoiding parks on Extra Magic Hours (EMH) days. Park crowd levels are at their lowest the day after EMH. The rest of our Disney World simple planning process is here.

How We Predict Disney World Crowds

We use a number of methods to predict Disney World crowd levels, such as:

  • historical crowd data from Disney
  • historical crowd patterns, especially around holidays
  • upcoming events and festivals
  • upcoming conventions
  • school breaks
  • and the most important, experience.

We combine this data in a way that’s part art and part science to produce what we believe is the most accurate,

and most representative…

Disney World crowd calendar available.

It’s also one of the most comprehensive calendars, as it includes crowd levels at each major park, not just one level for all of Disney World.

Disney World Crowds

When is the Best Time to Visit Disney World?

The best time to visit Disney World depends on your party, whether you want to experience a particular season or event, and whether you have school-related date restrictions:

  • If you have no restrictions on dates, the first half of December, is the best time to visit Disney World.
  • If you have no restrictions on dates, the month of September is the next best time to visit Disney World.
  • If you have kids in school who cannot be taken out, the end of August is the best time to visit Disney World.
  • Other school break periods can have extreme crowd levels.

Otherwise, review the crowd calendar above to determine what works best for you.

When is the Worst Time to Visit Disney World?

The worst time to visit Disney World are during extreme crowds (red on the calendar). This includes:

  • Thanksgiving week
  • Christmas week
  • New Year’s week
  • Spring Break (end of March/beginning of April)
  • Easter week
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Labor Day

Having said that, if one of these breaks are the only time that works for you and your family, you can still go and have a great time. After all, thousands of other families are!

Just start planning earlier, so you can get your ADRs and FastPasses as soon as they become available.

Disney World Crowds Month by Month

September 2018

https://www.disneybyage.com/2018-09-disney-world-crowd-calendar/

September is one of our favorite months to go to Disney World…

As you can see, there’s a fair amount of green on the calendar, indicating low crowd levels.

Crowd levels remain low to moderate throughout most of the month, as kids have just gone back to school. Very few families go on vacation during the first month of school.

Labor Day weekend is the exception to the rule when it comes to September. That is a very busy weekend for families trying to fit some last minute fun into their summers.

September is the first full month of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, our favorite Epcot festival. This festival doesn’t have much effect on overall crowd levels.

It can increase crowd levels in the World Showcase at Epcot on the weekends, as locals come in to sample the international flavors, but not to the point you need to avoid the park altogether. The lines at the sample stands can be a long, but overall it is still a good time to go.

Crowds pick up a little at the end of the month, as some schools have early fall breaks. However, crowd levels only creep up to moderate.

Remember that September is peak hurricane season, so you may want to consider travel insurance.

October 2018

October 2018 Disney World Crowd Calendar

Crowd levels begin to pick up and remain moderate to heavy for the first half of October, as more schools go on fall break.

Crowd levels peak around the Columbus Day long weekend, with many schools on fall break – with extreme crowd levels for three days.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival continues during October, increasing weekend crowd levels at Epcot.

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is in full swing at Magic Kingdom, with that park closing at 6 PM on party nights unless you have a ticket for the event.

Crowds remain mostly in the moderate range through the end of October.

Peak hurricane season continues during October; you may want to consider travel insurance.

November 2018

November 2018 Disney World Crowd Calendar

Crowds begin to pick up more in the month of November between the end of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival and the Wine and Dine half marathon, as well as some families choosing to take vacations before the Thanksgiving and holiday season gets into full swing.

The week of Thanksgiving is a very busy one. We recommend not trying to schedule a trip to Disney World during that week if your goal is low crowd levels, short wait times, and availability of the restaurants you most want.

The following week begins a unique, great time to visit Disney World. The last week of November, and the first part of December tends to have lower crowd levels. The holiday decorations go up throughout the month of November but are completed by the last week of November.

There are some stunning holiday displays to see at all the parks, the resorts, and Disney Springs.

December 2018

December 2018 Disney World Crowd Calendar

The first half of December is our overall favorite time to visit:

You’ll find moderate crowd levels and pleasant, warm-but-not-too-hot, dry weather. You’ll also enjoy festive, magical holiday decorations.

Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom is lit beautifully for the season, and there are giant, beautiful Christmas trees in the parks and resort lobbies, as well as some spectacular gingerbread displays in some resorts. There’s certainly no shortage of festive photo-ops.

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is also running during this time, a hard ticket event at Magic Kingdom.

Crowd levels begin at moderate and pick up to high the week before Christmas.

The week of Christmas and the week of New Years both feature extreme crowds, and we recommend steering clear, unless that is the only time that works for your party.

January 2019

January 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

As January kicks off, crowd levels are at their highest during the week of New Year’s Day. We recommend avoiding this week if at all possible.

Crowd levels are moderate to high for Marathon Weekend, which takes place mostly over the first weekend of January. This contributes to slightly higher park and resort crowd levels, but has minimal impact on ride wait times, as many visitors are there to run or watch the marathon, not ride the attractions.

Crowds decrease to mostly moderate levels during the second and third week of January, with the exception of Martin Luther King Day and weekend.  Crowd levels are high to extreme during this 3 day weekend.

The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is anticipated to begin January 11th. It is not expected to significantly increase crowd levels, which are generally moderate during the week and high on weekends.

Crowd levels stay in the moderate range, with some parks seeing low crowd levels during the last days of the month.

February 2019

February 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

February starts off with a moderate to heavy weekend. The first week is low to moderate, but crowd levels begin to pick up by the second weekend. The second full week has heavy crowd levels, with extreme crowd levels mid-month at the end of the Epcot International Festival of the Arts and over President’s Day Weekend. President’s Day falls on February 18, 2019 and crowd levels are expected to be extreme leading up to the weekend and through the holiday itself. 

The Princess Half Marathon also results in high crowd levels the last weekend in February. The following week, the crowd levels return to moderate, and even low for some parks. 

March 2019

March 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

March starts moderate crowd levels during the first and second weeks, with a few days of high crowds.

Crowds then begin to increase dramatically as Spring Breaks begin.

Crowds continue to increase during the fourth week of March, as more school districts go on Spring Break.

The last week of March is peak Spring Break. Expect extreme crowd levels.

April 2019

April 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

April starts off with a bang. During the first week of April, there are still many schools on Spring Break, and Guests can expect extreme Disney World Crowd levels.

Crowd levels then decrease week by week, up until Easter, which falls on Sunday, April 21st. Extreme crowd levels are expected for several days surrounding that holiday.

Crowd levels drop back to moderate-to-high after the Easter rush until the end of the month.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival continues during April.

May 2019

May 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

The first 3 weeks of May are a great time to visit Disney World, with generally moderate crowd levels. Temperatures are warm to hot, spring has been in full swing for several months, and the wet season is just beginning.

Cinco de Mayo increases crowd levels significantly, but the effect is only for that day.

Crowds then begin to pick up at the end of the month as Memorial Day approaches and summer begins.

The long Memorial Day weekend is a great time to avoid Disney World, as crowds peak into the extreme range.

May finishes out it’s last few days with extreme crowds.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival ends during May.

June 2019

June 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

The wet season is in full swing by June. Guests to Walt Disney World can expect brief but heavy afternoon downpours.

But, if you pack the right gear, you can ride these out and use them to your advantage. Parks tend to be less crowded and cooler immediately following rain.

The beginning of June is the busiest as families are taking full advantage of summer break, with many trying to beat the highest heat months.

Crowd levels remain high to extreme for most of the month, with a few exceptions.

If you have school age kids (which is one of the best ages for Disney World) and need to make your Disney trip in during the summer, consider shooting to travel towards the end of August, but not over Labor Day.

Starting June 30, expect Hollywood Studios to be PACKED as everyone will want to get their eyes on the brand-new Toy Story Land.

July 2019

July 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

Wet season continues during July, so bring your best Disney World gear to deal with afternoon storms. You can ride these out and use them to your advantage. Parks tend to be less crowded and cooler immediately after the rain.

July is our least favorite month for Disney World because of the combination of high to extreme crowds and high temperatures. However, July crowds are not as as consistently extreme as they have traditionally been, possibly due to peak season pricing.

Crowd levels throughout July are mostly in the high and extreme range as almost all school systems are out for summer break.

The week of July 4th is the one of the busiest weeks of the summer at Disney World.

The average high temperature is 92 degrees, so if you do plan a July trip, use these tips for staying cool.

August 2019

August 2019 Disney World Crowd Calendar

August begins with crowds in the high to extreme range, and they taper off to moderate to high at the end of the month. That’s why we consider the of end August to be the best time of the summer to visit.

By the final week in August, crowds are actually in the low range. So if your kids haven’t gone back to school yet, this may be a great way to end the summer. This is true up until the Labor Day weekend, which can attract quite a bit of traffic from those looking to pack one last hurrah into the summer before the school year begins again.

However, while the crowds are better than July, the weather isn’t.

The average high temperature is 92 degrees. Wet season continues with frequent afternoon downpours, and peak hurricane season begins. You may want to consider travel insurance during hurricane season.

2017 – 2018 Disney World Crowd Calendar

If you are planning a trip before September 2018, please use our Disney World Crowd Calendar for the 2017/2018 school year.

Wrapping Up

Well, that is our 2018-2019 Walt Disney World Crowd Calendar!

If you’d like to use our calendar on your site, you are welcome to: just click here.

Please let us know what you think in the comments! And if you visit, let us know how we did with our predictions!

Boo to you! Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is now in full swing at Walt Disney World. There’s plenty to see and do, but you’ll need a game plan to make the most of the festivities. Here are our top tips to help you prep for this ghoulishly fun event.

This article has been featured on bestoforlando.com – you can read it here, too!

1. Pick Your Date and Buy Tickets in Advance

Tickets can sell out. Prices vary from $75-$125/adult to $70-$120/child.

Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members receive discounts on some dates. Be aware that prices and crowds both increase the closer we get to Halloween.

Tuesdays generally have lower attendance levels, but be sure to arrive early anyway so as not to miss any of the festivities. The park closes to regular guests at 6 p.m. and the party starts at 7 p.m., but guests can enter at 4 p.m. Don’t forget to pick up a party guide at the entrance!

2. Consider a costume

This party is the only time adults can wear costumes into a park but make sure to factor in weather and rules in your costume choice.

Remember that September in Florida is usually warm and humid so October is a better choice for bulky costumes.

Nothing objectionable or offensive can be worn, and make sure to ditch any weapons – guns, swords, etc. They won’t make it past security.

3. Get your SUGAR RUSH on

No costume or “Trick or Treat” is needed to fill your free treat bag.

Here are the loot spots:

Main Street USA: Market Street (open until 8 PM)Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Tomorrowland: Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Fantasyland: Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Ariel’s Grotto, Pinocchio Village Haus, Walt Disney World Railroad Station

Liberty Square: Columbia Harbour House

Frontierland: Splash Mountain, the Dock to Tom Sawyer’s Island, and Country Bear Jamboree

Adventureland: Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise

What about allergies? Disney has you covered. Allergy friendly offerings are found in Town Square Theater and the Liberty Square Ticket Office. Pick up special teal treat bags there or at the candy giveaway spots. Teal tokens are given at treat centers and later redeemed for allergy-friendly options.

There are also special party desserts including Jack Skellington’s Cake Push Pop, the Hitchhiking Ghost, Oogie Boogie Merengue, Worms and Dirt, and more. Yum! 

4. Check out the Boo to You Parade

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party 2018 ghosts Disney World Magic Kingdom

Unique to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, this parade has been (not) scaring guests for 15 years. Times are 9:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.

Make sure to stake out a good spot well in advance.

The Headless Horseman leads this entourage, greeting guests with his head in his hand. The parade that follows shortly after features some special characters. The gravediggers and ghosts from the Haunted Mansion are a highlight! Special Boo to You music accompanies this ghostly procession.

5. See some of the special entertainment and characters – and transformed rides!

Parades, Dance Parties, and Shows abound!

Two dance parties run from 7 PM-12 AM. The Monstrous Scream-O-Ween Ball at the Rockettower Plaza Stage is one. The Storybook Circus Disney Junior Jam gives guests a chance to boo-gy down with Disney Junior characters, including Vampirina, a new addition!

The Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular is a show on the castle stage with three showings per party. HalloWishes, the awesome fireworks display, starts at 10:15 p.m.

Some standard attractions are a bit different as well.

Space Mountain is completely dark, the Mad Tea Party has a seasonal overlay and Gunpowder Pete will chat you up at Pirates! On Main Street USA, you may be serenaded by the Cadaver Dans.

6. Meet the Super Cast of Characters

This party is one of the best ways to meet elusive Disney characters. Here’s where they hide:

Main Street U.S.A. – Mickey Mouse and Tinker Bell

Tomorrowland – Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear and Elvis Stitch (in Stitch’s Great Escape)​

Storybook Circus – Minnie Mouse, Donald, Daisy, Pirate Goofy and Cruella De Vil. The Seven Dwarfs are at Pete’s Silly Sideshow at 6:15pm

Fantasyland – Ariel, Prince Eric, Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, Tigger, Cinderella, Anastasia, Drizella, Princess Elena, Tiana and Rapunzel, Alice, the Mad Hatter, Tweedle Dee,  Tweedle Dum, and the Queen of Hearts. Find Belle and Gaston in Gaston’s Tavern

Liberty Square – Jack Skellington and Sally at the Liberty Square Gazebo at 5 PM

Frontierland – Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit

Adventureland – Captain Jack Sparrow, Tarzan, Jane, Aladdin (and Abu!), Princess Jasmine, Jafar, and the Genie. Moana is at the Enchanted Tiki Room at 5:45 PM

7. Have a goal in mind

Is it entertainment? Is it maximizing attractions? Is it collecting free sugar? It may be difficult to do it all. Not all rides are open, but most are. Don’t expect to partake in all the attractions, entertainment, candy and characters that come out under the light of the Not-So-Scary Moon – you might just have to come back for more!

Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party

All photos courtesy of Stephen Swidersky.

 

What’s YOUR favorite part of the party?

alcohol magic kingdom restaurants

Have you ever caught yourself asking, “Where can I get a drink in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World?” There are now eight restaurants serving alcohol in the Magic Kingdom.

Disney is now serving alcohol at every table service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. Disney has expanded their alcohol service in Magic Kingdom, again.

Which Restaurants Serve Alcohol in the Magic Kingdom?

ALL (full) table service restaurants now serve alcohol in the Magic Kingdom.

  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
  • Cinderella’s Royal Table
  • Be Our Guest Restaurant
  • The Crystal Palace
  • The Diamond Horseshoe
  • The Plaza Restaurant

alcohol in the Magic KingdomDrinking in the Magic Kingdom

If you find you would like a drink while visiting the Magic Kingdom, eight restaurants offer drinks that fit the theme of the location.

For example, at Cinderella’s Royal Table, wine, sparkling wine, champagne, a limited beer selection, and few specialty drinks are served.

Advanced Dining Reservations are recommended for all of these restaurants – especially Cinderella’s Royal Table and Be Our Guest Restaurant. Those are some of the hardest Disney Advanced Dining Reservations to get.

The Crystal Palace can be difficult, but it is not quite as difficult as Be Our Guest or dining in the castle itself at Cinderella’s Royal Table.

If you plan ahead, your hard work and planning will be definitely be rewarded by a refreshing adult libation in the park. 😉

Some of the other restaurants are easier to get reservations at, meaning they don’t need to be booked six months in advance. This is good news for those deciding that they would really like to grab a drink at the (almost) last minute.

At a recent trip to Magic Kingdom, I was able to book Jungle Navigation Company Limited Skipper Canteen 45 minutes out.

For last minute plans for drinking in the Magic Kingdom, we recommend searching on the My Disney Experience app or the Disney World website for available dining reservations at:

  • Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
  • Liberty Tree Tavern
  • Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
  • The Plaza Restaurant
  • The Diamond Horseshoe

Locations of Restaurants Serving Alcohol in the Magic Kingdom

alcohol restaurants magic kingdom disney world

If you are interested in seeing menus and an interactive google map of restaurant locations and amenities of every restaurant in Magic Kingdom, check out our Comprehensive Guide to Magic Kingdom Restaurants.

It includes information on every Magic Kingdom restaurant.

Beer, wine, and champagne are the only drinks served in the Magic Kingdom. For other kinds of drinks, such as cocktails with hard liquor, you will need to go outside the park.

Also check out the best Disney World rides for adults!

Other Options

If you cannot get a reservation for a restaurant that allows drinking in the Magic Kingdom, there is always the option of jumping on the monorail and grabbing a drink at the Contemporary, the Polynesian, or the Grand Floridian.

You can take a quick trip out of the park and head back in if you are so inclined.

The Contemporary and the Polynesian are the quickest. Mizner’s Lounge at the Grand Floridian is a nice upscale place to relax and take a break from the park.

Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian is a fan favorite as well.

For speed, we recommend a quick drink at either the Contemporary Resort’s Outer Rim Lounge at the or the Polynesian’s Tambu Lounge (outside O’hana) if you are trying to get back to the park quickly. Both are located very close to the monorail.

Other Information on Drinking at Disney World

Check out out these tips for saving money drinking alcohol at Disney World. These can be great if you are planning an adult Disney trip. We also have tips and tricks for adulting at Disney World.

If you are in Epcot, we recommend trying the Epcot Wine Walk. It is an official Disney Epcot experience, but Disney doesn’t advertise it anywhere! You just have to know about it…

What is your favorite Magic Kingdom drink? Let us know in the comments!

History of Alcohol in the Magic Kingdom

Initially, Walt Disney wanted Magic Kingdom to be a totally dry park. For 41 years, that was the case. Walt himself was a teetotaler, meaning he did not drink alcohol at all.

In 2012, Be Our Guest Restaurant began serving alcohol with dinner. In December 2016, Disney expanded it’s alcohol offering to Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, Liberty Tree Tavern, Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, and Cinderella’s Royal Table .

In 2018, Disney decided to sell alcohol at all of its sit-down (table service) restaurants in the Magic Kingdom. This extended service to The Plaza Restaurant, The Crystal Palace, and the Diamond Horseshoe.

Advanced Dining Reservations are one key to your magical Disney World vacation.

So, have you booked your Disney vacation and you are wondering what the next step is?

Are you considering a Disney vacation and trying to figure out how to make the most of it?

Or maybe you are researching Disney and wondering “what is an ADR?”

Advanced Dining Reservations can be what make or break your magical Walt Disney World vacation.

A well-planned meal strategy can give you a chance to meet your favorite characters, see the inside of Cinderella’s castle, get great seats for a fireworks show, or just get off your feet and out of the sun for a while.

Dining reservations are in high demand and some restaurants fill up six months in advance, so you will need to plan your Advance Dining Reservations carefully.

What is a Disney World Advanced Dining Reservation?

Guide to Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs)
The entrance to Chef Mickey’s on the fourth floor of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. ADRs are a must to get a table.

ADR is Disney speak for an Advanced Dining Reservation. An ADR is simply a reservation at one of Walt Disney World’s many restaurants.

Disney has wonderful dining options in each of its parks as well as all of its uniquely-themed resorts.

But to get in, you will need a reservation well in advance of your visit to secure a table – an ADR

Table Service vs. Quick/Counter Service

Disney’s restaurants fall into two categories – table service and quick (or counter) service. Only table service restaurants require an ADR.

You do not need an Advanced Dining Reservation for quick service restaurants, with the notable exception of Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom. You can make ADRs for breakfast and lunch. You can also order your meal ahead of time.

For quick service restaurants, you just walk in, wait in line at the counter, and order. These are great if you want to spend more time in the parks and less time eating. On the other hand, table service restaurants serve a sit-down meal.

Be Our Guest Restaurant
Be Our Guest Restaurant

The table service restaurants allow you to make reservations 180 days in advance. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, you can make reservations 180 days in advance of the first day of your trip, up to 190 days out.

This can be the advantage you need to get into coveted spots during prime hours, like Cinderella’s Royal Table and Chef Mickeys. Be sure to mark your calendar for when dining opens for your vacation (i.e. 180 days from your check-in date) and be prepared to make your reservations.

How do I make an Advanced Dining Reservation?

Reservations can be made online at disneyworld.disney.go.com, using the My Disney Experience app on your smart phone, or by calling Disney Dining. I recommend using their online reservation service because some restaurants book up before you can complete the call process.

Guide to Disney World Advanced Dining Reservations
Cinderella’s Royal Table is in Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom. It’s one of the hardest-to-get ADRs.

To use the online booking option, you will need to set up a Disney account. Do this well in advance of the time you need to make your reservations.

Be prepared to enter your credit card information. You will only be charged if you cancel the reservation within 24 hours of the time of the reservation, with the exception of a reservation at Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is paid in full upon booking.

There are profiles and menus of every Disney restaurant on disneyworld.disney.go.com, and we have also reviewed many of them here.

I like to peruse the options and plan a few I want to check out well in advance of the date that the dining reservations open for your trip. That way I have a plan, and I can prioritize booking that the most popular spots first.

All of this can be a bit overwhelming, so remember to have fun!

The anticipation can be a huge part of the enjoyment of a Walt Disney World vacation! And, even if you don’t get all of your first choices, you will probably be just as happy wherever you end up.

Now that you know the basics of ADRS, let’s talk about how to get the most in demand ADRs like Be Our Guest Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table in Cinderella’s Castle at Magic Kingdom.  Our maybe you’re ready to book an ADR for the best breakfast at Disney World.  And soon it’ll be time to book FastPasses.

We also have a Comprehensive Guide to all the restaurants in the Magic Kingdom that is available for free, including an interactive map. Now, all the table service restaurants there serve alcohol, which is new in 2018.

Bringing the Magic Home…

Hidden Veggie Mickey Waffles

Mickey Waffles full of Hidden Veggies. That kids love.

What you’ll need:

Mickey Waffle Maker, pancake mix, vegetable purée (baby food), water, oil. Essentially, this is a waffle loaded with vegetable purée.

You can steam and purée your own vegetables, or you can use baby food.

We used baby food. It’s easy and there are a ton of different combinations you can try.

I recognize that to make Mickey waffles, you need a Mickey waffle maker. Using our Mickey waffle maker is one way of Bringing the Magic Home. Here are two great choices…

 

 

Recipe:


1 cup whole wheat pancake mix

*2 4 oz jars of Baby Food with fruits or vegetables of your choice (equals a total of 1 cup of baby food)

1/2 cup water

1 tsp vegetable oil

waffle maker grease of choice (I like Coconut Oil Pam)

Heat up the waffle maker. Mix together pancake mix, purees, water and oil. Whisk together until a smooth consistency. Grease waffle maker. Pour mix into waffle maker and close lid. Cook for recommended time period. I have found three minutes to be a good time, but follow the instructions on your waffle maker.

Bringing the Magic Home - Healthy Vegetable Mickey Waffles*We used Beechnut baby food – one jar of carrot, corn,  and pumpkin and one jar of apple, squash, and zucchini.

They turned out great, but you could do many, many different combinations. These were a huge hit with a 10 month old (ripped into tiny pieces) and my 3 year-old, to whom we gave a dip. Depending on the flavors you choose, the dip could be sweet like syrup or savory like ranch or ketchup. Yes, I just used savory to describe toddler condiments…

She asked for thirds, which never happens.

 

Here are a few baby food flavors and combinations that lend themselves well to this recipe. I made the product images Amazon links if you are interested in trying this out. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do. Have a Magical Day!

 

Get your purées here through Amazon – mix and match and find your favorite combinations!








 

Takin an adult trip to Disney World?  Going with the kids but want to make sure the adults love the resort?  The Best Disney Resort for Adults is one of our most difficult sections to judge.  To make it simpler, we have broken it down by resort categories: deluxe, moderate and value.

best disney world resort for adultsCriteria

Many of the criteria that we use to judge the best Disney resort for kids of various ages doesn’t apply to adults.  Or at least it don’t matter quite as much.  For example, we factor in location on the Monorail track heavily for babies and toddlers, that need to be carted around in a stroller. Adults on the other hand, don’t have any trouble boarding on a bus.  Adults might rather be close to Epcot than Magic Kingdom, where there are more adult oriented attractions.  And quality of food and drinks at the resort are likely more important than character dining.

The criteria we considered to select the best Disney resort for adults are: location, room quality, atmosphere, theme, dining quality, drinking quality.

The Deluxe Disney resorts and villas are: Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas, Beach Club Resort and Villas, Board Walk Inn and Villas, Contemporary Resort and Bay Lake Tower, Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, Polynesian Village Resort, Villas and Bungalows, Wilderness Lodge and Villas, and Yacht Club Resort.

The Moderate Disney resorts are: Cabins at Fort Wilderness, Caribbean Beach Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter, and Port Orleans Resort – Riverside.

The Value Disney resorts are: All-Star Movies Resort, All-Star Music Resort, All-Star Sports Resort, Art of Animation Resort, and Pop Century Resort.

Other resorts include: Swan Resort, Dolphin Resort, Old Key West (DVC), Saratoga Springs (DVC), and Fort Wilderness Campsite (campers only).

Ranking Disney World resorts is inherently controversial and arbitrary.  Remember, these are our choices for best Disney World resorts for adults.  We have different picks for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, school age kids, tweens and teens.

And, if you think we are off the mark, let us know in the comments!

The Best Deluxe Disney Resort For Adults

Beach Club Resort and Villas

beach club - best disney world resort for adultsBeach Club is our hands-down favorite Disney World resort for adults.  The Beach Club is located in the Crescent Lake area or Epcot area.  It shares some amenities with its sister resort, the Yacht Club.

The theming is of the quaint New England seaside cottages of the early 20th century.  This light, bright beach theming is relaxing and energizing at the same time.  This cottage theme breaks down a little inside the rooms, giving a cozy but out-dated feel – just like a real New England seaside cottage.

The atmosphere through out the resort is airy and whimsical, in contrast to its sister resort, which feels almost stuffy by comparison. It feels like the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing, Florida, adult resort.

Besides the theming and atmosphere, there’s a lot to like about Beach Club.  The pool is widely considered to be the best pool in beach club - best disney world resort for adultsDisney World – and we agree.  Called Storm-Along Bay, it is a sandy bottom pool (!!) that includes a lazy river and a great waterslide.  The pool area occupies over 3 acres.

Location is another win for Beach Club.  It’s a 10 minute walk to the less-used International Gateway entrance to Epcot (a.k.a. the “back entrance” to Epcot).  Since Epcot is easily our favorite Disney World park for adults, it’s no surprise that our favorite Disney World resort for adults would be nearby, right?  Hollywood Studios is also easily accessible; it’s a 15 minute walk or a short direct boat trip.

The location is not as good for Magic Kingdom, as it requires bus-service, which is shared with adjacent resorts and inconvenient.  One way to circumvent this, however, is to walk to Epcot and take the monorail to Magic Kingdom.  You’ll also have to bus to Animal Kingdom, but that’s true for pretty much all resorts except Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Last, but not least, is the dining.  Although the Beach Club and Yacht Club technically each have their own restaurants, for practical purposes they are shared.  The Yachtsman is a high-quality steak house, and one of our favorite Disney World restaurants.  Other winning restaurants at Beach Club include Beaches and Cream, Cape May Cafe, and Crew’s Cup Lounge.

Another feature of Beach Club that makes it great for adults: on-site child care!

 

Runner Up: Grand Floridian

grand floridian - best disney world resort for adultsThe Grand Floridian is Disney World’s Flagship resort, and also its most expensive.  Grand Floridian – Grand Flo for short – has some passionate fans, and a lot of positives for adults.  However, many don’t consider the difference in price to be commiserate with a difference in quality, compared to other resorts. We have an in-depth review available for you here.

The theming is elegant, meant to replicate old world Victorian styling.  The decoration and detailing are intricate and ornate.  The hotel was recently renovated, which helped make the theming feel less out-dated even though it mimics a by-gone era.  However, the common areas, especially the main hall end up feeling a little stuffy.grand floridian - best disney world resort for adults

The location of the Grand Flo is somewhat inconvenient to Epcot, but only a monorail stop away from Magic Kingdom.  It’s also a short boat ride to Magic Kingdom.  To get to Epcot, you’ll take the monorail to the TTC and then transfer to Epcot.

The Grand Floridian pools are quiet but fun, but not nearly as fun as Beach Club, in our opinion.  Food at Grand Flo is excellent, and definitely rivals Beach Club.  Victoria and Albert’s is located in Grand Flo, and is considered among the best restaurants in the country, let alone at Disney World.

The Grand Floridian also offers many additional adult friendly amenities including Boutique shopping, a beauty parlor and a full spa.

 

The Best Moderate Disney Resort For Adults

This is a very tough category to rank, as their are only four resorts, and each has pros and cons.  Depending on how you value things like dining, theming, layout, and pool, your first choice may be our last and visa versa.

Having said that, the Best Moderate Disney Resort for adults is:

Port Orleans – Riverside

port orleans riverside - best disney world resort for adults

We rank Port Orleans – Riverside resort as the best Disney World moderate resort for a few specific reasons.  First, the theming is on par with a Deluxe resort.  Riverside is divided into Alligator Bayou, with untamed wilderness,  and Magnolia Bend, featuring mansions with perfectly manicured gardens.  The grounds are beautiful and feel luxurious and intimate.  It’s a fun resort to explore.port orleans riverside gardens - best disney world resort for adults

The food at Port Orleans – Riverside is also excellent, with Boatwright’s restaurant and Riverside Mill food court.  Entertainment is on par, with Yehaa Bob, who performs at the River Roost bar on select nights. Bob has long been considered a hidden gem at Walt Disney World by fans, and River Roost bar is a great place to have a drink and be entertained.

The rooms at Riverside are not quite as nice as recently renovated Caribbean Beach, but you’re not going to spend the day in your room, are you?  Riverside has several pools.  The main pool is large, and very nice, although the theming is bland.

The location of Riverside is somewhat inconvenient.  You’ll have to take a bus to any of the theme parks.  But, since this is a review for adults and you aren’t hauling kids, we didn’t make that a disqualifier.  You can take a free water taxi to Disney Springs, which is a great adult activity.

 

Runner Up: Caribbean Beach Resort

caribbean beach resort - best disney resort for adults

Caribbean Beach was recently overhauled, and has some of the nicest rooms in the moderate resort category.  So if a nice room is important, this a great choice.  The theming of the the resort is lush, bright and tropical.

The pool is large, well themed, and among the best of the moderate resorts.  You will also have to bus to any of the theme parks. We find the Caribbean to be lacking in the quality of dining compared to Port Orleans Riverside.  For these reasons, it came in runner up.

Caribbean Beach also offered child care services.

The Best Value Disney Resort For Adults

This is another tough category because little separates the resorts.  Rooms, layouts and theming are similar.  You’ll have a similar experience at any, and will enjoy a good time.

Pop Century

pop century - best disney world resort for adults

Pop Century offers a more convenient (i.e. less spread out) layout and less gaudy rooms than its runner up resort, Art of Animation.  Both resorts offer dedicated bus service (no stops at other resorts), but you’ll have to take a bus to each theme park.

The theming of Pop Century is admittedly not as good as Art of Animation, which takes the cake in theming for any Disney World Value resort.  The pools are also second to Art of Animation, and there are several, all of them fun.

The food at Pop Century is barely better than Art of Animation.  The food court is arguably the best on Disney property.

Runner up: Art of Animation

For a kids trip, Art of Animation is the clear winner.  But for adults, we give it runner up, mainly because of it’s over the top, brightly colored, gaudy room theming.  However, it boasts dedicated bus service (like our first choice, Pop Century), and it undeniably has the best pools in the Disney value resort category.

Did we miss YOUR favorite resort? Have other recommendations?  Let us know in the comments.

best rides attractions school aged kids epcot disney world

Epcot is a great park for school-aged kids, from all of the country pavilions in the World Showcase to some great thrill rides located Futureland, near the entrance to the park.

Epcot has fewer rides that will appeal to most school-aged kids than Magic Kingdom, but the good ones are REALLY good.

Futureland opens before the World Showcase so hitting those rides first makes logistical sense if you go in the main entrance.

The reverse is true if you use the back entrance between the England and France pavilions. It is somewhat well-kept secret.

We also have recommendations on the best rides for school-aged kids at Magic Kingdom.

1. MISSION: Space

best disney world epcot rides school age kids

It is a centrifugal motion ride meant to simulate what an astronaut might feel traveling to Mars. There are two intensities riders can choose from – green team (no centrifugal motion) and orange team (a wilder ride, with g forces).

The orange ride is intense. Really. Those prone to nausea or with health conditions are urged to ride with the green team. This is one of those rides that you may hear a Cast Member use one of their top secret codes on.

Riders receive flight training from Gina Torres, and then start their mission.

This ride is better for kids on the older elementary school age spectrum. Minimum height requirement is 44 inches.

2. Test Track

best rides for school age kids epcot

Your kids can be official General Motors test drivers!

Riders get to assist with the concept and design phase before  buckling in for a wild ride.

Topping out at a very quick 65 mph, you will traverse uneven terrain, speed around hairpin turns, and take some steeply banked curves.

3. Soarin’ (Epcot)

best rides for school aged kids at epcot disney world Soarin’ takes riders on a simulated open-air flight to California. Riders are taken 40 feet in the air, so those afraid of heights may want to avoid it.

You are flown though beautiful scenery on your trip out to Cali. You can see the feet of those on the ride in the car above you dangling in front of the scenery.

4. Frozen Ever After

Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Christof, and Sven may not exactly be as exciting as flying to California, but I have never seen any elementary-aged kids get off the new(ish) Frozen ride complaining of boredom.

Located in the Norway pavilion in the World Showcase, riders get to go inside Elsa’s ice castle, meet the giant snowman that instills fear in the heart of my precious preschooler, and enjoy songs from what is arguably one of the best Disney movie scores out there…

…any and all disagreements with that bold statement can go in the comments below. 😉

The World Showcase

This may not be a ride per say, but the World Showcase has a TON for school-aged kids to see, do, buy, and eat.

What are your favorite rides or attractions for school-aged kids at Disney World? Tell us in the comments!

So you may be trying to figure out which Disney resort to choose for your magical vacation. If you are considering Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa, read on for all the information you need on the jewel of the Disney World resort collection!

Cinderella carriage Disney World Grand Floridian Resort Spa

The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa at Walt Disney World Resort is a Deluxe resort. With seven restaurants, five gift shops, lovely pools, a fabulous splash pad, a marina, a spa, a salon, workout facilities, tennis courts, and a marina – this resort has it all.

On our last stay it was actually difficult to get motivated to leave the resort for the parks, if that is believable.

Walt Disney World Grand Floridian Resort Spa

The Grand Floridian (or “Grand Flo” as you may hear Cast Members call it) is the flagship resort of Walt Disney World in Florida. Done in the Victorian style, this resort harkens back to a time of resorts long past. Cast members dress in outfits that will transport you back to a time was simpler and service was king.

Pros and Cons

PROSCONS
Getting around is easy – located on the monorail, buses, boats, and Minnie Vans are all availableOne of the more expensive resorts – in the Deluxe Category
Beautiful, elegant, relaxingSome buildings require a longer walk to get to main building and monorail or pool
Fabulous poolsNot as theme-y as some other resorts like the Polynesian or Caribbean Beach. This may also be a pro depending on the experience you are looking for
Quiet relative to other resorts
Fantastic shops
Wonderful restaurants
Great character meals on site
Great amenities

Layout and Getting Around

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa lobby

The Grand Floridian is a sprawling complex of buildings. The Main building is a beautiful Victorian structure that awes most everyone who steps inside.

A glass elevator takes guests between floors, in addition to sweeping staircases with carpets that have hidden Cinderella carriages – something found throughout the resort.

Guests can get rooms inside the Main Building or in the Outer Buildings. Some outer buildings, and the Disney Vacation Club Villas, are a short walk from the Main Building. The Main Building boasts multiple table service restaurants – 1900 Park Fare, Victoria and Albert’s, the Grand Floridian Cafe, and Citrico’s. The quick service restaurant, Gasparilla Grill, is located in the Main Building but is not accessible from the lobby area.

grand Floridian map

Pools

There are two pools – both zero entry. The kid’s pool has a waterslide and is generally louder and more boisterous. There are life guards on premises.

The larger pool is quieter and does not have a lifeguard. Both pools have bars that serve drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and food. Life jackets are available at both pools.

Best Disney Resort for Preschooler

take baby to disney world pool
This is the splash pad at the Grand Floridian, with an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Restaurants

  • 1900 Park Fare Supercalifragilistic Character Breakfast – Character breakfast that can feature Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins, Alice and the Mad Hatter. 
  • 1900 Park Fare “Cinderella’s Happily Ever After” Character Dinner – Buffet featuring Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, Anastasia & Drizella. Reservations highly recommended.
  • Citricos – Dinner only table service restaurant.
  • Garden View Lounge – Afternoon Tea in the lobby of the Main Building.
  • Gasparilla Grill and Games – Grand Floridian’s quick service restaurant. 
  • Grand Floridian Cafe – Table service restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • My Disney Girl’s Perfectly Princess Tea – This is a really special and pricey special tea party for young girls and an adult.
  • Narcoossee’s – Incredible restaurant, available for dinner only. This restaurant is located on the Seven Seas lagoon and is focused on seafood. Get your reservations early if you want to dine here!
  • Victoria & Albert’s – This is a very high-end restaurant that is great for very special occasions. The menu changes daily. No children are allowed.

Room Types

There are number of room types available, and the price will vary widely based on which one you choose. They all have similar theming, with the Victorian turn-of-the-20th century luxury feel.

Regular hotels rooms have mini-refrigerators. Studio units have mini-refrigerators and microwaves.  One-bedroom or larger villas come equipped with a full kitchen and place to eat.

This is a photo of the beds in the standard outer room garden view.

room bed Disney World Grand Floridian Resort Spa

  • Garden View – Outer Building
  • Lagoon View – Outer Building
  • Theme Park View – Outer Building
  • Lodge Tower
  • Outer Lodge, Standard Room / Club level
  • Standard Room / Club Level
  • Deluxe Room
  • Deluxe King Room / Club Level
  • Victorian Suite / Club Level
  • 1 Bedroom Suite / Club Level
  • 2 Bedroom Suite / Club level
  • Disney Suite / Club level
  • Grand Suite / Club Level

Shops

  • Basin White – Bath and beauty products
  • Commander Porter’s – men’s designer clothing, cold beverages & snacks.
  • M. Mouse Mercantile – Wonderful Disney souvenirs, toys, and costumes.

  • Sandy Cove Gift & Sundry Shop – here you can find some food (including beer and wine), drinks, postcards, souvenirs, and personal items.
  • Summer Lace – Women’s Fashions and Grand Floridian logo items. These are very high end. Beautiful boutique items are available here, as well as the most expensive princess dresses found on Walt Disney World property. They are part of the Disney Princess Signature Collection

    Summer Lace Disney World Grand Floridian Resort Princess Dress Signature Collection
    Disney Princess Signature Collection dresses. These were $350.

The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is a spectacular display of nature the Happiest Place on Earth. What does that mean? It means that Epcot overflows with beautiful topiaries and displays of nature’s bounty for all guests to enjoy.

Find out what 2018 had to offer.

Date of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival

Walt Disney World’s Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival ran from February 28 through May 28, 2018.

Check out our Crowd Calendar to see how the Flower and Garden Festival affects crowd levels during the year.

What is the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival?

Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival 2018 is a celebration of all things spring and nature at Walt Disney World. From incredible flower and topiary displays, to concerts and delicious food and drink – it is a magical time to visit Epcot!

Imagine Disney does nature. That’s pretty much what you get. A whole lot of awesome.

There multiple breathtaking garden spaces, wildlife habitats, inspirational exhibits, outdoor kitchens and wonderful tours.

Topiaries

Beauty and the Beast

Belle and the Beast greet guests at the France Pavilion in the World Showcase.

 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Snow White can be found with her entourage in the Germany pavilion with a great view of Spaceship Earth in the background.

The Seven Dwarfs may be some of the toughest characters to find in Walt Disney World, but Doc and friends don’t hide at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival 2018.

Butterfly

Not all the topiaries are characters. This butterfly is a beautiful celebration of nature’s beauty. This beautiful topiary is located near Showcase Plaza. He (or she) has some friends in the display as well.

Lady and the Tramp

Lady the Tramp can be found looking fresh and green. Considering their iconic spaghetti scene, they are fittingly located in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion.

If you are a Lady and the Tramp fan, we recommend trying Tony’s Town Square – one of the restaurants in the Magic Kingdom. It one of only five that serves alcohol in that park. It is themed after the movie.

Daisy, Pluto, and Goofy

Daisy, Pluto, and Goofy frolic in the front of the park.

Anna and Elsa

Take your Frozen fans to the Norway pavilion to check out the sisters looking fresh and green..

Bambi & Friends

Find Flower, Bambi, and Thumper at Showcase Plaza – West Towers.

Bromeliad Dragon

Find this beautiful creature in the China pavilion.

Buzz Lightyear

Looking for this awesome spaceman? He is, of course, near Mission: SPACE.

Daisy Duck, Chip, and Dale

These friendly characters are near Future World West near Imagination.

Donald Duck with Huey, Dewey, and Louie

The nephews and their uncle are located behind Spaceship Earth.

Figment

Find this cute little fellow between Future World and the World Showcase. He is actually pretty big. 😉

Lightning and Cruz

Located at Future World East near Test Track

Pandas

You can find these adorable topiaries in the China Pavilion

Simba and Friends

Lion King fans can find Simba, Mufasa, Sarabi, Timon and Pumbaa at the Outpost Shop.

Stitch

Stitch is stationary and not causing any trouble on the fountain side of MouseGear!

The Three Caballeros

Of course, Jose, Donald, and Panchito are to be found at the Mexico Pavilion. You can check them out outside, then head inside the temple and take a relaxing boat ride if you just can’t get enough of these lovable fellows.

Tinker Bell

Tink is in the United Kingdom Pavilion, considering her London roots. Terrible pun intended.

Troll

There is a troll to be found in the Norway Pavilion. We can’t say whether or not he is a love expert.

Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy

These friends are the considered to be the welcoming committee for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. They are found at the Main Entrance.

Winnie-the-Pooh and Friends

While guests can no longer meet Winnie the Pooh and friends in Christopher Robin’s room at Epcot, their topiaries can be found in the United Kingdom Pavilion.

Woody

Woody can be found in the American Adventure.

Gardens

The gardens may be some of the best parts of the festival. They are intricate and beautiful, as one might expect from any Disney display.

Alpine Container Garden – The Germany Pavilion features a garden of hardy alpine plants that can survive in extreme temperatures.

Bamboo Garden – The China Pavilion has a beautiful bamboo garden for guests to peruse.

Bonsai Collection – The Japan Pavilion has a garden where guests can discover the ancient art of bonsai with sculptures created by bonsai masters.

Discount Disney Tickets

English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London® – The history and art of blending and creating tea are at the heart of the English Tea Garden at the United Kingdom Pavilion. This one is a must for tea lovers.

Festival Blooms – Presented by FTD® – Although flowers are not in short supply at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Future World’s display features thousands of beautiful flowers overlooking Future World’s East and West lakes.

Floating Mini-Gardens – There are 100 little gardens floating on the ponds on the walkway between Future World and the World Showcase.

Florida Fresh Garden – Between Morocco and the France Pavilion, there is a garden play space where little ones can burn off energy. This is one of numerous great places to let little ones burn off energy without a line!

Garden Italiano – You can find everything you need to create an incredible Italian meal at the Italy Pavilion.

Imagination Play Garden – NEW! This incredible garden is a play are for children of all ages. It can be found near Imagination Walkway. There is a net play climber and a musical maze and use your senses. It closes at dusk. THIS PLAY AREA IS NOT TO BE MISSED! Our kids could have spent the entire day there! It can be reached from the entrance to the Honey Bee-stro as well as from the walkway between FutureWorld and the World Showcase.

Purple Martin Garden – Fancy some bird watching? Find purple martins as they fly to and from their nests in Disney’s purple martin bird houses.

Road to the Florida 500 – There is a topiary featuring Mater, Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez that greet you and surround a desert-themed mini-park at the Test Track Walkway. This play area also closes at dusk.

Shakespeare Garden – A rose by any other name, wait, no, by their actual name, is one of many matches between Shakespearean quotes and flowers in the United Kingdom Pavilion.

The Goodness Garden Butterfly House Presented by GoGo squeeZ—Butterflies galore abound here, and guests can observe several species up-close.

The How-To Garden – Hoping to come back from your trip with a greener thumb? This display in Future World West provides guests with great garden-ready ideas. It will be hard not to be inspired after seeing what the festival has to offer.

Tropical Rainforest Garden – NEW! The Mexico Pavilion has an absolutley gorgeous rainforest garden that pays tribute to the Mexican rainforests which are rich with plants and animals.

Urban Spice – In eastern cultures in days of old, spices were used as currency. Many cultures are still strongly identified by signature spices and herbs. In the Morocco Pavilion, learn more about the impact spices had on the ancient world as well as the world today.

 

Outdoor Kitchens

It wouldn’t be an Epcot festival without special culinary offerings. Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival 2018 is no different.

The World Showcase at Epcot hosts over a dozen Outdoor Kitchens, each offering a menu of creative food and drink, including adult libations.

Outdoor kitchens are open daily from 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM. Guests must admission to Epcot to attend.

So…

What’s on the menu?

Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market

Location: Germany Pavilion
Food
  • Potato Pancakes with House-made Apple Sauce (V)
  • Potato Pancake with Caramelized Ham, Onions and Herb Sour Cream
  • Toasted Pretzel Bread topped with Black Forest Ham and Melted Gruyère Cheese
  • Warm Cheese Strudel with Mixed Berries
Beverages
  • Hugo-Charles De Fère “Organic” Brut with Elderflower and Mint
  • Paulaner Original Munich Lager
  • Ayinger Bräu Weisse Hefeweizen, Munich, Germany
  • Köstritzer Schwarzbier Black Lager, Bad Köstritz, Germany
  • Beer Flight

Cider House

Location: UK Pavilion

Food
  • Pear Cider-brined Shredded Corned Beef with Braised Cabbage and Branston Dressing with Pears
  • House-made Potato and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare
  • Freshly Baked Lemon Scone with Crème Fraîche and Mixed Berries (V) (GF)
Beverages
  • McKenzie’s Black Cherry Hard Cider, West Seneca, NY
  • Florida Beer Company Caribé Pineapple Tropical Hard Cider, Cape Canaveral, FL
  • Ciderboys Grand Mimosa Apple Orange Hard Cider, Stevens Point, WI
  • Cider Flight
  • Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider, California (Non-alcoholic)

Fleur de Lys

Location: France Pavilion

Food
  • Tarte à la Tomate Provençale: Provencal Tomato Tart with Sautéed Onions, Fresh Thyme and Rosemary on a Flaky Pastry Crust (V)
  • Canard Confit Aux Gnocchi à la Parisienne: Braised Duck Confit with Parisian Gnocchi
  • Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette: Large Chocolate Macaron Lollipop (GF)
Beverages
  • La Vie en Rose Frozen Slushy: Grey Goose Vodka Orange, St. Germain Liqueur, White and Red Cranberry Juice
  • Kir Pomegranate: Sparkling Wine and Pama Pomegranate Liqueur
  • Cabernet Sauvignon, Village de France
  • Kronenbourg Blanc 1664

Florida Fresh

Location: between the France and Morocco Pavilions.
Food
  • Carne Guisada with Black Bean Cake and Cilantro Lime Sour Cream
  • Spicy Blackened Shrimp and Cheddar Cheese Grits with Brown Gravy and Local Sweet Corn Relish
  • Key Lime Tart with Toasted Meringue

Beverages
  • Florida Orange Groves Winery Key Lime Sparkling Wine, St Petersburg, FL
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Company Quat Seasonal Fruit Ale
  • Big Top Brewing Company Conch Republic Key Lime Wheat, Sarasota, FL
  • First Magnitude Brewing Co. Monarch Milk Stout, Gainesville, FL
  • Watermelon Cucumber Slushy with Tamiami Florida Gin
  • Watermelon Cucumber Slushy (Non-alcoholic)
  • Beer Flight

Hanami

Location: Japan Pavilion
Food
  • Frushi: Fresh Pineapple, Strawberry and Melon rolled with Coconut Rice, sprinkled with Toasted Coconut and Whipped Cream with Raspberry Sauce on the side (V)
  • Ginger Beef Yaki Udon: Thin-sliced Beef, Onions and Noodles tossed on the grill with Soy and Ginger
  • Teriyaki Salmon with Furikake Seasoned Brown Rice (GF)
Beverages
  • Pineapple Momo Sake Cocktail
  • Karatamba “Dry Wave” Sake
  • Sapporo Draft Beer in a Kampai Cup

Jardin de Fiestas

Location: Mexico Pavilion
Food
  • Pork Taco: Slow-braised Pork Taco served with Apple Relish, Goat Cheese and Chile de Árbol Sauce
  • Chilaquiles: Chilaquiles served with Ranchera Sauce, Chorizo, Mexican Cream and Cotija Cheese
  • Capirotada: Bread Pudding served with Rompope
Beverages
  • Tiger Lily Sangria
  • Rose Margarita
  • Violet Cassis Punch
  • Daisy Spicy Beer

La Isla Fresca

  • Jamaican-braised Beef with Pigeon Pea Rice and Micro Cilantro
  • Sugar Cane Shrimp Skewer with Steamed Rice and Coconut Lime Sauce
  • Caribbean Conch Salad with Mango, Papaya and Pickled Red Onions
  • Tropical Mousse Cake: Layers of Passion Fruit Cake, Coconut Mousse and a Tropical Fruit Glaze with Fresh Pineapple
Beverages
  • Golden Road Brewing Tart Mango Cart Wheat Ale, Los Angeles, CA
  • Tropical Freeze with Cruzan Mango Rum
  • Tropical Freeze (Non-alcoholic)

Lotus House

Taste of Marrakesh

Events and Tours

Epcot hosts many special events and tours during the Flower and Garden Festival that do not run in other times during the year. Some of these are paid, hard-ticket events, and all require registration.

Gardens of the World

A hard-ticket event for those 12 and older.

Cost is $85 per person.

Over the course of 3 hours, join a knowledgeable Disney Horticulturist for a fascinating walking tour throughout the World Showcase Pavilions.

Tours take place on select Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM during the Festival.

Please check in at the planter behind Spaceship Earth at least 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour. You’ll meet your guide and tour group at this location.

English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London®

This free tour is a 20 minute guided tour of an elegant English tea garden.

If you are a tea enthusiast, this is for you! Guests will learn some of growing and blending herbs for the art of tea making. According to Disney, “More than a dozen tea-flavoring plants are tucked inside oversized saucers strewn throughout the garden, making for delightful photo opportunities.”

Advance registration is recommended, as each tour is limited to only 20 Guests.

Tours are held Monday through Thursday at 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM, and Friday through Sunday at 1:00 PM, 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM.

Same-day registration is available in The Tea Caddy gift shop.

Royal Tea Garden Tour

The tour is a must for true tea-lovers. Guests will delve into even more in-depth into the artistry of tea-making during a 45 minute tour of an English tea garden, ending with a sampling of tea and scones at the Rose and Crown Pub in the UK Pavilion.

The Royal Garden Tea Tour begins at 9:45 AM in the United Kingdom Pavilion at Epcot—before World Showcase opens to the general public at 11:00 AM.

The price of this tour is $18.00 per person.

Guests should check in at the Rose & Crown Dining Room.

Behind the Seeds

Behind the Seeds is a one hour walking tour of the  fish farm and four greenhouses that make up The Land Pavilion. This is a must for anyone who loves gardening.

Guests will see giant fruits and vegetables and crops from around the world.

We recommend riding Living with the Land before your tour as a preview.

The price is $25 for adults and $20 for children.

Per Disney’s website, “Please check in at the Tour Desk on the lower level of The Land Pavilion near Soarin’ 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour. You will forfeit the entire price of your tour if you no-show or cancel within 2 days of your reservation.”

Merchandise

ShopDisney has some wonderful Epcot Flower and Garden merchandise that you can get before you go – or so that you can be there in spirit!

What is YOUR favorite part of the 2018 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival? Let us know in the comments!

Images are the property of the Walt Disney World Company.

We review Disney World’s For The First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration located in Hollywood Studios.

 

Good for:

Babies
Toddlers
Preschool
frozen sing along review for school age kids
School Age

 

 

 

 

 

Location:
Hyperion Theater, Echo Lake
Hollywood Studios
Disney World

For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration is located in Hollywood Studios. It can be found in Echo Lake, in an air conditioned venue (Hyperion Theater).

It’s good entertainment for toddlers through the younger end of the school age (elementary school) spectrum.  In fact, we think it’s one of the best attractions for toddlers at Hollywood Studios.

Babies probably won’t be very entertained, but they will do well in the venue, as it is cool and comfortable. Older elementary school kids, tweens, and teenagers will be bored with this attraction, unless they are big Frozen fans.  Most adults will enjoy the seats, air conditioning and the witty humor of the Royal Historians of Arendelle.

frozen sing along review

And who doesn’t enjoy belting out a few verses of “Let it Go”?  I know I did.

There are some disappointments.  No one has ever heard of the “Royal Historians of Arendelle” before, but they steal the show.  They are the narrators and main characters of the show.

Although their dialogue is funny – and targeted at the parents…

it’s a little disappointing that we don’t get more time with Anna.

And, Elsa doesn’t appear until the end.

Sven, Anna, Elsa and Olaf all make appearances.  Keep in mind, of course, this is a live show and not a character meet and greet.  

You won’t get a chance to talk to any of them.

For me and my 2 year old, the highlight of the show was when “snow” (bubble foam) rained down on us from the ceiling, during Elsa’s storm.

FastPasses are often not necessary, as the show occurs hourly on the half hour, regardless of when you arrive for your FastPass.  The auditorium usually accommodates the entire standby line.  However, at peak crowd times, some waiting in the standby line won’t get in, and will be given a FastPass to a later show.  The show lasts about 30 minutes.

Overall, we give it 3.5 stars.  If you have a toddler or a big Frozen fan in the group, it’s a don’t miss.  If you are touring with mostly older kids, pass on this one.

Checkout this YouTube video if you want to preview the show:

Let us know in the comments whether you found this Frozen Sing Along review helpful!