When visiting Walt Disney World or Disneyland, it is important to dress comfortably. After all, odds are that you will be on your feet for several hours during the day, often carrying purchases or other items. Also, during the summer, the heat can be overwhelming. It is important to dress comfortably and practically. Although it can be tempting to wear a cute outfit that looks good in pictures, I can guarantee that you will regret that choice after a few hours in the parks.
The are many opportunities to see your favorite characters in the parks. There are meet and greets and character dining experiences for all guests. Another great way to see your favorite characters is in the many shows and musicals that the parks offer.
1) Mickey’s PhilharMagic – This movie is a great choice for the whole family especially if you want to cool off for while. This 3-D film features Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse and takes you on a fun-filled trip through some of your favorite Disney films such as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. This film, located in Fantasyland, is about 12 minutes long and runs throughout the day.
2) Dream-Along with Mickey – This show runs throughout the day in front of Cinderella’s Castle. The show celebrates the magic of dreams and is great for younger children. This show also features many characters like Mickey, Minnie, Cinderella, Snow White, Peter Pan, and Captain Hook. Make sure to check your Times Guide to see what times this show will be playing.
3) Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial – Learn how to be a pirate from the one and only Captain Jack Sparrow. This show invites children to take the stage with Captain Jack as he teaches them how to be a pirate. The show runs throughout the day and can be a very memorable experience for young kids. This show is located in Adventureland and runs at numerous times throughout the day.
4) Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor – This interactive show located in Tomorrowland invites you to help Mike Wazowski power the city of Monstropolis with your laughter. This is a great show for both kids and adults and is sure to make you laugh. The show is about 15 minutes and runs continuously throughout the day.
5) Country Bear Jamboree – This 20 minute show located in Frontierland is a great show if you need to relax for a few minutes. This show features the Country Bears singing some your favorite classic country songs.
1) Turtle Talk with Crush – This is show is located in the Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion and invites children to have a fun-filled discussion with Crush from Finding Nemo. Because the show revolves around your questions every show is different. Even if you’re traveling without kids this is a great show to sit in on as it is very cute and entertaining. The show is about 15 minutes long and runs throughout the day.
2) Circle of Life – This show features Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa, from The Lion King and teaches children and adults alike about human impacts on the environment. This attraction is located in the The Land Pavilion and is about 20 minutes long, running continuously throughout the day.
1) Fantasmic – Fantasmic is a great way to see many of your favorite characters. This 25-minute fireworks and water show takes you into the imagination of Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. This show is only performed on select nights so check your Times Guide to see when it will be playing. Furthermore this show is extremely popular so I recommend getting to the theater, located on Sunset Boulevard, early if you want to find a good seat.
2) Lights, Motor, Action! Extreme Stunt Show – This show is about 30 minutes long and shows you how Hollywood creates its amazing car stunts. This is a fun action packed show that is great for the whole family. Be sure to be on the lookout for Lightening McQueen who likes to make an appearance during this show. This show runs a few times each day at the Backlot so be sure to check your Times Guide to see when it will be playing while you are there.
3) Beauty and the Beast – This Broadway-style show tells the story of the beloved Disney Classic, Beauty and the Beast. This live show is about 20 minutes long and features your favorite songs from this beloved Disney movie. It usually runs a few times each day so check your Times Guide to see which performance time works best for you. The theater is located on Sunset Boulevard near the Tower of Terror.
4) Disney Junior – Located in the Animation Courtyard, this show is great for young children. The show invites children to jump, dance, and sing along with some of their favorite characters from Disney Junior television shows like Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Little Einsteins, and the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Showtimes for this attraction can vary so be sure to check your Times Guide if this is something you want to see.
5) Voyage of the Little Mermaid – One of my favorite shows, the Voyage of the Little Mermaid allows you to relive the Disney Classic through colorful puppets, live performers, special effects and movie clips. The show is about 15 minutes long and runs continuously throughout the day.
6) Star Wars: Jedi Training Academy – Kids ages 4-12 are invited to learn how to use the Force from a Jedi Master. As they train to become Jedi Knights, children will pledge the sacred Jedi-Oath and learn how to use a lightsaber. At the end of this 30 minute show the participating children get to battle Darth Vader. This show runs at various times throughout the day so check your Times Guide to see when it will be running when you are in the park. The show only allows about 15 children to participate during each show, so if you have a child who wants to participate you must get their early and your child will have to wait in line. Cast members entertain children with games while they wait.
7) Muppet Vision 3-D – Muppet-Vision 3-D is fun-filled comedy featuring your favorite Muppets including Kermit the Frog and Ms. piggy. This movie is located in the Backlot and has continuous 20 minute showings throughout the day.
1) Festival of the Lion King – The Festival of the Lion King is one my favorite shows in the parks. The show is a high-energy live show featuring your favorite characters from The Lion King. This is a show for the whole family and great show to watch if you need to sit down and cool off. The show is located in an indoor theater in Camp Minnie Mickey and is approximately 30 minutes long. Check your Times Guide to see what times this show will playing at.
2) Finding Nemo the Musical – Take a trip under the sea and visit Nemo and all of his friends. This performance is approximately 30 minutes long and uses large puppets and catchy songs to help tell the story Finding Nemo. The play is performed in an indoor theater located in Dinoland USA. Check your Times Guide to see what times this musical is showing.
3) It’s Tough to be a Bug – This 3-D movie is located in the Tree of Life and runs continuously throughout the day. The show is approximately 10 minutes long and invites guests to become honorary bugs as Flick and his friends from A Bugs Life show you what its like to be a bug.
Have a Magical Day!
xoxo – Michaela
One of the reasons I love Epcot is because of the World Showcase. The World Showcase is a showcase of 11 of the various cultures, cuisine, and histories of some of the globe’s many nations. Walking through the different pavilions is a great way for families young and old to experience and learn about the many nations and cultures of the world. Each pavilion has different options for dining and shopping as well as attractions that are both entertaining and informative.
Mexico – The Mexico Pavilion offers two different dining experiences. The San Angel Inn is located inside the pavilion’s Aztec temple and offers traditional Mexican cuisine for both lunch and dinner. La Hacienda de San Angel is located across from the Aztec temple and offers zesty Mexican meals. The restaurant is open for dinner and offers great views of the World Showcase Lagoon. If Mexican food is not your favorite the Mexico Pavilion itself is not to be missed. Step inside the Aztec temple a discover authentic Mexican goods such as pottery, baskets, jewelry, and more. Don’t forget to visit Donald and his friends on the Gran Fiesta Tour. This relaxing boat ride attraction takes you on a trip with Donald as he explores the different parts of Mexico. Art enthusiasts should check out the Mexican Folk Art Gallery to view beautiful Mexican woodcarvings and bright artwork.
Norway – The Norway Pavilion is one of my favorites. Make sure to take a ride Maelstrom, a boat ride into the history and legends of Norway. Norway is also home to Akershus, a royal banquet hall that features character dining with some of the Disney princesses. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and offers a taste of Norway with dishes that are sure to satisfy the whole family. This is a very popular restaurant so I recommend getting and advanced dining reservation if you want to eat here. If all you need is a quick snack stop by the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe which serves coffee and a variety of pastries. Visit the Stave Church to view collection of authentic Norse weapons and artifacts. The Norway pavilion also features an array of shops that highlight Norway’s unique culture.
China – The China Pavilion offers a glimpse into one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Reflections of China is a short film presented in circle-vision 360 that takes you on a journey to some of China’s most notable landmarks such as the Great Wall. Visit the pavilions art gallery where some of China’s great artistic achievements are available for viewing. The Nine Dragons Restaurant offers a variety of Chinese dishes including noodles and specialty seafood meals for both lunch and dinner. The Lotus Blossom Cafe is a quick service meal option that focuses on Asian dishes. Like all of the nations represented in the World Showcase, China has numerous shops selling authentic Chinese goods.
Germany – The Germany Pavilion is home to one of my favorite restaurants: the Biergarten. At the Biergarten you will dine on traditional German dishes such as different sausages and spaetzle while musicians provide traditional Oktoberfest entertainment throughout lunch and dinner. Sommerfest is a quick service option in the pavilion that offers well-known German dishes like bratwurst. Don’t forget to look through some of the shops in the pavilion. For a quick treat I recommend getting some caramel from Werther’s Karamell Küche!
Italy – The Italy Pavilion is a beautiful pavilion with architecture reminiscent of the city of Venice. The Italy Pavilion offers two sit-down restaurants. Via Napoli celebrates the fine dining of Southern Italy, serving authentic Neapolitan pizzas and delicious pastas. Tutto Italia Ristorante offers traditional Italian meals featuring handmade mozzarella and pasta. Take a walk around the pavilion and indulge yourself in some Italian candies! Throughout the day musicians, clowns, and acting troupes perform in the Piazza.
America – The American pavilion allows you to take a glimpse into our nation’s rich history as it immerses you into a colonial-like environment. The American Adventure takes you on a trip through the history of America using patriotic music and audio-animatronics. Be sure to see to the Voices of Liberty or the Fife and Drum Corps to listen to classic American tunes. The Liberty Inn Restaurant is a quick service dining restaurant that serves American favorites such as hamburgers and hot dogs. The America Garden Theater features different live shows and musical performances throughout the year so be sure to check your times guide to see if anything is playing while you are there.
Japan – In the Japan Pavilion you can take a stroll through a traditional Japanese garden featuring a beautiful array of ponds, trees, and shrubbery. The Japan Pavilion is also home to Teppan Edo, a restaurant in which Japanese chefs cook your meal right in front of you! Tokyo Dining is another dining option that serves traditional Japanese dishes. Both of these restaurants are open for lunch and dinner. Throughout the day Miyuki, a Japanese candy maker, entertains those young and old as she makes traditional Japanese candy in front of you. Art lovers should check out the Bijutsu-kan Gallery for a glimpse into Japanese art.
Morocco – In Morocco Pavilion you can eat at Restaurant Marrakesh, which offers some delicious traditional meals from North Africa for lunch and dinner. Throughout the day Mo’Rockin, a six person musical group, blends music from across the globe for a fun-filled show that will delight the whole family. Be sure to check out the shops of this pavilion for authentic goods such as woven belts and brass pots.
France – My favorite pavilion in World Showcase places you on the streets of Paris, with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance. There are two sit down restaurants in the pavilion. The first Les Chefs de France, open for lunch and dinner is a casual brasserie featuring French favorites. The second restaurant Bistro de Paris is slightly more upscale and is open for dinner only. It features traditional French meals and wines. This restaurant tends to be very popular so it is recommended that you try to get an advanced dining reservation. One of my favorite things to do in the France pavilion is stop by the bakery and pick up some bread and cheese for a quick lunch. Don’t forget to check out the French market for goods such as wine, soaps, and cosmetics.
United Kingdom – In the United Kingdom you can dine on English favorites at The Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room. There is also a quick service dining place across the street that serves typical English food such as fish and chips. Also be sure to check out the World Showcase Players, a hilarious improv group who perform throughout the day. Check your times guide to find out when they will be performing. There are also quite a few shops that sell merchandise ranging from British teas to athletic gear.
Canada – In the Canada Pavilion take a journey into this country in O Canada!, a film presented in circle-vision 360. Le Cellier Steakhouse is a popular dining option for many. Open for lunch and dinner the restaurant focuses on the cuisine of the different provinces of Canada. This restaurant is extremely popular so I highly recommend getting and advanced dining reservation if you wish to eat here.
Tips for Navigating the World Showcase:
1) Be aware that the World Showcase tends to open later than the rest of the park. So check out the other great parts of EPCOT before heading over to the Showcase.
2) If you have young children and are thinking of skipping the showcase for fear that they will not appreciate it, fear not. In each nation there is a Kidcot Fun Stop. These areas target young children allowing them to interact with cast members from other countries and do crafts that represent the culture of each country.
3)Another great option for kids is the Kim Possible Spy Game, which is soon going to be converted to feature Agent P (Perry), from Phineas and Ferb, instead of Kim Possible. This interactive game gives kids which allows them to travel to each pavilion and help solve a mystery.
4) If this is your first time visiting Disney and you have young children, Epcot and the World Showcase is a great park to start at because the park is pretty laid back. Furthermore some young children might feel that Epcot is a step down after experiencing the Magic Kingdom. However this is just a suggestion.
5) The World Showcase is a great way to meet Disney characters. Check your times guide to see which characters will be making appearances in each country.
6) Don’t rush through the nations! Stop and take a look around you. Each nation has beautiful buildings that represent the architecture found in each country. Try and appreciate the little things that Disney does to make you feel like you are really walking through the streets of Paris or strolling through a Japanese Garden.
Hope this has helped you become more aware of the different and exciting things to do in Epcot’s World Showcase
Have a magical day!
xoxo – Michaela
This famous landmark, home to the Spaceship Earth attraction, is the focal point of Epcot.
As with everything involving Disney World, the parades are magical experiences not to be missed! Even if you’re not a parade person, if it definitely worth your time to see the Disney World parades, even if it is just in passing. This guide will include a complete list of the parades in all the Disney Parks and how to navigate them.
Navigating the Parades
- Be willing to wait. If you want to be able to sit while viewing the parade, I recommend staking out a spot 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time depending on the crowd level. However, if you are comfortable standing in the back, you will only have to wait around 15 minutes. I highly recommend finding a spot to sit if you have small children or want to take pictures without other people blocking your view. Even though an hour sounds like a long time, I usually use this time effectively by buying food from a street vendor and sitting on a curb, resting my feet. You have to take breaks sometime! Note: Please do not push to the front 10 minutes before the parade begins. That is very frustrating for guests who have been waiting an hour for that same spot!
- Know your start times. Near the entrance of most parks, you can find a complete schedule of events for the day. Make sure to check this so you don’t miss your favorite parade!
- Pick your location. Know where you want to be when you are viewing the parade. In Animal Kingdom, all parades go around the Tree of Life, beginning at Camp Minnie-Mickey. In the Magic Kingdom, parades either run from Frontierland to the Town Square, or vice versa, depending on the time of day and parade. In Hollywood Studios, parades begin at the front of the park and move towards the giant hat. If you choose a spot near the end of the parade route, you will have to wait longer. However, if you choose a spot at the beginning of the parade route, it will be difficult to move in the same direction of the parade due to the slow moving parade floats and crowds of spectators. Think of the surroundings you want when viewing the parade, especially in the Magic Kingdom. I personally find parades more magical with the Town Square or Liberty Square as the background in comparison to rustic, country feel of Frontierland. There are also special sections set aside during the parades for guests with disabilities. Ample space for wheelchairs is available and translators are provided to interpret the music lyrics into sign language.
Magic Kingdom Parades
- Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade is my favorite parade in Disney World. Featuring all of your favorite characters, including the princesses on a giant crystal castle, this is the most magical Disney parade! The catchy music for this parade adds to the magical atmosphere.
- The Main Street Electrical Parade takes place at night immediately before The Magic, The Memories, and You! and Wishes Fireworks Spectacular. If you plan to stay for either of the two following experiences, I recommend you stake out a spot where you have a good view of the castle before this parade starts. This parade will be easily visible as it involves floats and characters completely covered with lights! This is a classic parade from my childhood that was brought back a few years ago.
- Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party takes place in front of the castle. Some of your favorite characters including Sebastian from The Little Mermaid and Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast travel on large ‘party boxes’ encouraging guests to dance! The music for this parade makes you want to move!
Hollywood Studios Parades
- Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun is a great parade that includes all your favorite Pixar characters from movies including A Bug’s Life, Toy Story, and The Incredibles! The music is very catchy, repeating the saying “5, 4, 3, 2, Fun!” Young children will love this!
Animal Kingdom Parades
- Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade is a great parade that keeps with the rustic and tribal themes of the park. This parade includes favorite characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy) riding in safari style vehicles! In addition, this parade includes amazing animal puppets, tribal drummers, and stiltwalkers! This interactive parade will delight all lovers of the Animal Kingdom!
I hope that you find this post helpful! Note that Disney World parades change periodically and I will edit this article to accommodate for that. Also, there are several seasonal parades which will be covered during the upcoming posts about spending the holidays in Disney World! Have a magical day! ❤ Jessica
As I have been a vegetarian for 8 years, whenever I visit an area which I am unfamiliar with I have trouble finding great places that offer vegetarian friendly cuisine! While many places in Disney do offer a wide variety of options, there are several places which do not offer anything except meat. When I am tired and hungry, I do not want to wander around trying to find a place that sells something other than turkey legs! I hope this post helps the few vegetarian Disney fans who need help finding food!
These restaurants either have no or limited options for vegetarians: Casey’s Corner (MK), Golden Oak Outpost (MK), The Lunching Pad (MK), Electric Umbrella Restaurant (Epcot), Sommerfest (Epcot), Liberty Inn (Epcot), Backlot Express (HS), Starring Rolls Café (HS), Fairfax Fare (HS), Flame Tree Barbeque (AK), Restaurantosaurus (AK), Tamu Tamu Refreshments – Harambe (AK), Yak & Yeti Local Foods Café (AK), Pollo Capero (DD), Fresh A-Peel (DD)
MK = Magic Kingdom, HS = Hollywood Studios, AK = Animal Kingdom, DD = Downtown Disney
1. La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion (Epcot) offers delicious cheese empanadas with guacamole, corn tortilla chips, and salsa verde. This delectable option is filled with carbs and protein to give you extra energy to explore the park!
2. Tony’s Town Square in the Magic Kingdom offers a great variety of salads and meatless pasta dishes.
3.Restaurant Marrakesh in Morocco (Epcot) offers delicious vegetarian dishes including cous cous with seven vegetables and Moroccan jasmina salad!
4. The 50’s Prime Time Café has a delicious caesar salad option that is on the larger side to keep you full until your next meal! You also have the option to top this with salmon for extra protein. Also, they offer multigrain spaghetti with vegetarian meatballs.
Many of the menus for Disney restaurants can be found on the official Walt Disney World website: http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/
Of course, these are just a few of the great variety of options that are available to vegetarians in the Disney Parks. Let me know if you have any favorite vegetarian spots or have any questions! Have a magical day! ❤ Jessica
When visiting Disney World, you have be prepared for hot days, tired feet, hungry kids, and other minor issues. While you want to bring everything you might need into the park with you, you don’t want to have to carry a heavy bag around with you all day. The small drawstring bags that you can find in any store (Walmart has them for under $5) are perfect to bring to the parks as they fit a surprisingly large about of things and the straps go over both shoulders, distributing the weight and making sure you don’t get as tired. Here are a few things you should always have with you in Disney World:
1. Comfortable shoes. This seems like an obvious rule, but I have seen so many teenagers tripping in heels and men limping in oxford-style shoes. On an average day in Disney, you could easily walk several miles. Don’t dress for fashion: wear tennis shoes or comfortable flip-flops. I usually buy some sort of shoe cushioning before my trip otherwise I can’t walk by the end of the day! If you choose to wear flip flops, make sure the thong of the shoe is wide and made of a soft material. I made the mistake of wearing a pair of Old Navy flip flops during a day in Epcot and had flip-flop shaped cuts in the top of my foot to prove it! Also, always keep a few bandaids and a tube of Neosporin in your bag in case of a blister.
2. Always keep a small tube of sun screen in your bag at all times. Of course, you should lotion up before you even leave for the parks, but it is nice to have a mini-sized tube as a back up. Sun burn can be very uncomfortable and your skin may not be used to the hot Florida sun, making it more susceptible to damage. On the same note, keep a pair of sunglasses in your bag as the bright sun can restrict your sight and damage your eyes. On my last trip to Disney World, I forgot my pair of sunglasses and was forced to buy an overpriced pair from the resort.
3. In Disney, you will be creating moments with family and friends that you will remember forever! Always have a camera with you to capture them. Don’t bother bringing a fancy professional camera with you…that will only weigh you down. I always bring a small digital camera, or even a disposable camera to take pictures of my vacation!
4. In Disney World, there are so many things to do, including riding your favorite attractions, seeing great shows and parades, and meeting your favorite characters! Being so busy, you can sometimes lose track of time and eat infrequently or unhealthily. As I mentioned earlier, you do a lot of walking in Disney World! When you exert so much energy, you have to eat fairly regularly to keep your blood sugar from dropping. The food sold at the stands around the parks is extremely overpriced and there are often long lines. I always try to keep a protein bar and a water bottle with me at all times. On one of my past trips, I was having so much fun that I forget to eat and ended up passing out in the park! Luckily, my friend found a Cast Member and the Disney paramedics got a wheel chair and help me get back to my hotel. This experience ruined a whole day in the parks for both me and my party and could have been easily avoided by bringing a few choice snacks along!
5. Always have cash with you. While I don’t recommend having large quantities of it with you at a time for safety reasons, it is always good to have $20 in case of an emergency. When I visit Disney, my bank always shuts down my card. All Disney World transactions run through Disney headquarters in California, which is a very common state for credit card fraud. My bank automatically shuts down the card if there is any transaction shown in California. Needless to say, the first time this happened, it put me in an awkward position. Thankfully, my friend paid for me until I was able to get in touch with my bank, but without her help, I would not have been able to pay for food all day! If your credit card gets shut down, stolen, or lost, it is absolutely necessary to have a back up form of payment, especially in a place like Disney where you have to pay for a lot of different items.
I hope you find these tips helpful! Have you had any Disney disaster stories like the ones I shared in the post? What are your essentials on your Disney vacation? Have a magical day! ❤ Jessica