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As a lover of Epcot, having my children enjoy World Showcase has always been important to me. Appreciating how other countries influence our world is easily forgotten. How wonderful it is that Disney hires cast members from the countries that are placed all around World Showcase. I want to encourage my children to talk with the people and learn something about them but my children are by nature very shy. This prompted my search into finding out what Disney offers for kids to learn and have fun while exploring World Showcase.

For young children, simple and straight forward interaction is usually best. For purchase at Epcot, is an Epcot Passport package containing a passport booklet, multiple stickers for each country, and a button. If you have the initiative before you go for your vacation, you can also craft a passport at home with supplies purchased at a local craft store. Walking around to each country, kids can go to each Kidcot station with their passport in hand. The cast members at each station stamp their passport, and write in their passport about their country. The facts written always relate to kids and are often in their native language in addition to English. It is a great conversation starter for children to ask questions and learn something new.

Another great activity for children to enjoy World Showcase is the Agent P World Showcase Adventure. Kids can work individually or in groups of up to four, to stop villains from carrying out a dastardly crime within a country. Kids sign up for the adventure at one of three recruitment centers located in Innoventions East, Innoventions West, and the plaza between Future World and World Showcase.  Just look for the cast members with the aqua blue shirts to get started.  There they pick up a cell-phone like communication device (F.O.N.E.) and follow the clues to solve the interactive mystery. Each mission takes place approximately 30 to 45 minutes to complete one country and takes the children throughout the country having them gather various information and sometimes interact with the cast members to complete the mission. Don’t be surprised if they ask to work on another mission in a different foreign land once they complete the first one!

If you have done both of the above activities or have older children, you may wish to create your own scavenger hunts throughout World Showcase to engage your children for as long or as short a time as you wish. Each country is filled with architecture, food, merchandise, and occasional characters that the hunts can be tailored to suit the personalities of those with you. For a simple search, have them go through each country looking for an item that starts with consecutive letters of the alphabet.

World Showcase is filled with experiences that can capture your child’s imagination and open their eyes to the wonderful WORLD we live in. Take the time to encourage your child while you explore the countries and watch how a love of our beautiful world takes hold in their hearts!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

Disney TV 1971 

 

My first visit to Walt Disney World took place in 1976 at the age of three.   My family went on other vacations, but it was our Walt Disney World vacations that included some of my favorite childhood memories.  

When I got married, there was only one honeymoon destination for my husband and I… Walt Disney World.   And as we started a family, we couldn’t wait to take our son to get his first pair of Mouse Ears!

 As a child I began composing my wish list of “To Do’s” at Walt Disney World.   The list has continued to grow as I became a wife, a mother and as a travel specialist.  With countless number of vacations to Walt Disney World, I have been able to check off some of my Disney Wish List items while adding some as Walt Disney World continues to expand and re-imagine the parks.  

With this blog in mind, I began typing my list and have created My Disney 71, a bucket list of experiences and activities that I hope to check off as I visit, while making more memories with my family and friends.  

 As I continue to “check-off” items on my list, I will blog my experiences.  In the meantime, read over My Disney 71, you might get some ideas for your next trip to Walt Disney World.  Experiences in red have been completed.  All others are still on my list of “To Do’s”.  I look forward to updating this blog as well as hearing from you about your “must do’s” at Walt Disney World.

 

                                               Tressa’s Disney 71

(Why 71?  To honor Walt Disney World’s Grand Opening in 1971 of course)

 1.  Enjoy “Snow White’s Scary Adventures” one last time.

 2.  Eat an entire KITCHEN SINK with family and friends at Beaches and Cream.

 3.  Eat at Chef Mickey’s.

 4.  Take a Pirate’s and Pals Cruise to watch the fireworks from the Seven Seas Lagoon.

 5.  Ride Cinderella’s horse on Prince Charming Regal Carrousel.

 6.  Buy a Mickey balloon on Main Street U.S.A.

 7.  Take my boys to the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street.

 8.  Make a wish at Cinderella’s Wishing Well.

 9.  Taste a Doofenslurper.

 10.  Go to Gaston’s Tavern in the New Fantasyland.

 11.  Visit the Magic Kingdom with my siblings and their families.

 12.  Ride the Tea Cups with Alice and the White Rabbit.

 13.  Ride in the front row of the log on Splash Mountain.

 14.  Visit every Disney resort property.

 15.  Get my picture taken with Jiminy Cricket.

 16.  Eat a Dole Whip.

 17.  Attend Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.

Stay tuned for the remaining 54.

 Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

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On our most recent visit to Disney World our family wanted to explore some of the fun outside the parks without spending much for the experience.  I had heard about Winter Summerland, the mini golf courses outside Blizzard Beach.  Since we really enjoy mini golfing we decided that it sounded like fun and boy, were we right!
The story behind this activity is that Santa was flying over one year and decided to make a vacation spot for his elves when they were off-duty.  Since some of the elves enjoyed the warm Florida weather and others missed the comforts of the North Pole they divided the course into two “camps”.  Each course has 18 holes with most of them having “magic” interactive fun.
The ultimate goal is to see Santa’s message on the last hole and have lots of fun and surprises along the way.
Another location for mini golf is Fantasia Gardens and Fairways Miniature Golf courses. This also offers two courses and a fantastic backdrop with Tower of Terror right next door.  Fantasia gardens includes 5 scenes from Fantasia.  Be sure to watch out for those mischievous broomsticks… You may just be surprised by what they can do. The Fairways Miniature Golf Course offers a course just like the grown-ups use only smaller in size. Complete with sand traps,  water hazards, bunkers and sloping greens this course will challenge and entertain even the youngest golf-enthusiast.  Located  between Hollywood Studios and The Swan Resort this is sure to be a family favorite for your next visit to Disney World.
All of these courses are open most days from 10:00 am – 11:00 pm.  What a great way to unwind and make some great memories!

Pressed Pennies

Disney souvenirs are a “must” for any Disney vacation, but you don’t have to spend a fortune bringing home keepsakes from your Disney World vacation.  For 51 cents, you can have a treasured keepsake in your pocket!

One of our favorite activities and souvenirs is collecting pressed pennies throughout Walt Disney World.   Children of all ages will find this to be an entertaining quest as they tour the parks, visit the shops and explore the various resort properties.   Pressed  pennies (and quarters) can be found throughout all four theme parks, Downtown Disney and all Walt Disney World resorts.

We recommend bringing a roll of pennies and a couple of rolls of quarters with you so you have plenty of coins to press.  Children will love searching for penny presses while you tour the parks, visit the gift shops or explore the resorts.    If you want to spend a little extra money for a keepsake to collect their pennies in, most resort gift shops and theme park shops have  Pressed Penny Books for sale for about $8.00.

Pressed penny souvenirs are just another hidden treasure among all the magic at the Disney parks.  Press a penny to remember meeting Mickey Mouse for the very first time.   Gather another penny to show that you defeated Zurg on Buzz Lighyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  Collect a pressed penny to remember your first ride on Space Mountain.   Pressed pennies are a great way to share the memories and remember the moments for 51 cents at time!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist