Attention Swashbucklers!

 
Aye Matey!  Welcome to the Pirates League!!!  If you have a little Swashbuckler in your crew, then there is extra magic in store for them at the Pirate’s League at Magic Kingdom Park.  
 
Boys will beam while transforming into their favorite pirate from Captain “Jack Sparrow” to “Jake and the Neverland Pirates”.  Girls will delight in becoming “Empress” or a chance to transform into a mermaid while visiting the Pirates League.   Even parents can be recruited into the Pirate League!!
 
Aspiring pirates wanting to join the league, must be 3 years of age and accompanied by an adult.  Swashbucklers must bring their own comb or brush and have their nails bare (if they are getting polish).  Plan on spending an hour at the Pirates League with your child being recreated into their pirate alter-ego.  Packages start at $34.95 doubloons and up, with Deluxe packages at $79.95.
 
Ye pirate transformation begins when you receive your Official Pirate name and recorded in the leather-bound captain’s log.  Next, your swashbuckler moves to the Muster Station where the Pirate Masters create a marauder’s makeover.  As yer buccaneer beard, earrings, scars and eye patches are applied, the scurvy sea dogs will tell you tales of buried treasure and sunken ships.
 
Once fully transformed,  your buccaneer will take the pirate’s oath and then enter the secret room where hidden treasure will be revealed to them.  In addition, their official portrait is taken by a PhotoPass photographer.  (Guests are welcome to take photos during the transformation, but cameras are not allowed in the secret room)
 
Now as an official member of the Pirates League, your new swashbuckler can join the daily Adventureland Pirate Parade (weather permitting), meet Pirate Goofy nearby or learn how to sword fight at Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial.
 
Yo-ho-ho!  The entire family can enjoy the jolly good fun of a pirate’s life at the Pirates League experience at Magic Kingdom Park.

 

Tressa Krippel 

Travel Specialist 

Lost at Disney World Compressed

It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. You’re on the vacation of a lifetime and the next thing you know, you can’t find your child. My family has been there. But rest assured, at Disney World, a cherished reunion is just around the corner!

Our story revolves around my then 7-year-old nephew. He’s a child that follows all the rules but when we paused a moment at the end of our Magic Kingdom day, he kept walking, not knowing that the rest of our group had stopped. The next thing we knew, he was gone!

If you lose your child at Disney, the first thing you need to do is find the nearest cast member. While you can identify your child the quickest, having eyes all around will find your child even faster. Lost children are their first priority and they will pass the word around immediately. Have a picture of your child from that day handy on your camera so that they can be identified not only by their name, but by how they are dressed. It took the cast members about 5 minutes to locate my nephew farther down the path. During those 5 minutes, we continued with our next attempt at finding him.

If possible, have adults split up and have one go to the last spot where you were with your child. A child’s instincts are to go back to where they last felt safe with you. Call out their name loudly while you are walking and once you get there. From a child’s perspective, they can’t see the tall faces in the crowds, but they can hear your voice calling their name.

Have a plan of action before you leave for Disney World. Have your contact information on your child. You can have it on a bracelet, around their neck, on a temporary tattoo, or write it on a piece of paper inside their shoes. While many others recommend a sticker inside a child’s clothing, know that Disney cast members will not look for stickers beneath clothing so use another method of keeping your information on them.

Having your children all wear the same color also helps when you are scanning the crowd looking for them.

Make sure your child can identify a cast member by looking for a name tag. Point them out to your child when you first get to the parks. Make your child comfortable talking to a cast member should they lose sight of you and have that as their first action.  Trading pins with cast members also helps children to feel familiar when talking to a cast member.   

Younger children need to be in a stroller, holding a hand or carried in the heaviest of crowds. For older children, have them memorize your cell phone number, but also agree on a specific meeting place. I recommend designating a statue, or an exit of a specific ride to meet.

Disney cast members are terrific at calming down scared, lost children and scared parents. They have an official room where lost children can stay and be entertained until they can be reunited with their parents.

Once you are reunited with your child, give them the biggest hug you can, and assure them of your love!

Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

   

lamp in Royal Guest room
lamp in Royal Guest room

When visiting Disney you may notice some special surprises peeking out around every corner. This is no secret and often times what many guests look forward to while they’re there. Occasionally you may even notice a familiar “face”.  If you think you see the outline of Mickey or some other characters you may just be right.There’s a fantastic “character hunt” style game that you can play just about everywhere. Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, Theme Parks and Resorts all get in on the fun.  And the best part… IT’S FREE.  Hidden Mickey’s can be found in the most interesting places. Sometimes the best part of the game is searching for that last elusive one on the list. If you need help you can usually find a Cast Member that will know where to guide you to find some of the tougher ones.

This game can be a great activity when waiting in line for a ride, sitting at a restaurant or just winding down after a busy day. There’s even a book that can give you tips and hints to guide you in the right direction. As well as a point system you can use to tally up your finds.  The Hidden Mickeys Field Guide by Steven M. Barrett is available for each location. There’s also an app available for iPhone so you can take the fun wherever you go.

Having played this game ourselves I can tell you it can be a blast for kids and adults alike. It’s one of our favorite free extras to do while visiting our “second home”. Be sure to try it out the next time you visit!

Do you have any Hidden Mickey pictures that you would like to share?

Royal Guest Room Shower Curtain
Royal Guest Room Shower Curtain
"flamingo island" on the Kilimanjaro Safari Tour in AK
“flamingo island” on the Kilimanjaro Safari Tour in AK

 

 

 

balloon inside a balloon

Hearing this uttered from the mouth of a fellow mom really surprised me…..and then I heard it again from another mom. What age is “too old?”

There seems to be a misconception about what the “appropriate” age is to enjoy Disney. These parents didn’t take their children on a Disney vacation when they were toddlers, so now they feel they’ve lost their window of opportunity. What they don’t understand is that Walt Disney imagined a place where the entire family, young and old, could be submersed in a magical world where amazing memories would be created.

Taking a trip to Walt Disney World or the Disneyland Resort?

Your toddler will love the parades, the music, the characters (perhaps only from afar) and the rides. Disney makes sure to devote entire areas to smaller children and to children at heart, but as our children grow, so does the Disney experience.

At age 5, your daughter will step out of her vehicle at Autopia believing she truly is the best 6-year-old driver … ever!

At 7, your son may bravely experience his first thrill ride without Mom or Dad.

At 10, you may watch your daughter and her friends spin themselves dizzy in the Tea Cups, heads thrown back and giggling the whole time.

At 12, they are eyeing the Tower of Terror wondering …”Am I ready?”

I challenge you to find a boatload of junior high and high school kids who are NOT Yo-Ho’ing all the way through Pirates of the Caribbean and loving every minute of it!

And it’s not just for our kids!

My grandmother loved going to Disneyland with me when I was growing up. She enjoyed the more leisurely things – riding on Mark Twain’s Riverboat, sitting back in a rocking chair on Main Street U.S.A. and watching the parade go by, and talking with the arborists about how they trim their topiaries and keep the gardens so lovely.

As a mother, I have relived all my favorite Disney moments through the eyes of my children. I watch their expressions closely, excited to see what excites them. I spin the Tea Cup as fast as I possibly can as they shriek with delight. We stop for our obligatory Tigger Tail, taking it home if the day’s other nibbles have left us too full for our favorite treat, and we always, always get that Mickey balloon-within-a-balloon that was my own favorite way to end a day at Disney when I was their age.

I will never grow tired of Disney, and I hope my kids never do, either. I will continue to enjoy my Disney vacations with my family until I can no longer physically get there, and even then it would be pretty hard to keep me away!

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist

compressed casey jr

With summer upon us, the heat and humidity of Florida can send even the most southern of families screaming for a cool relief. We know you’ve been eagerly anticipating your Disney World vacation for months and we don’t want you to miss out on any of the fun that Disney has to offer because of the heat. Here are some tips to help you survive the hottest and most humid of Disney days:

  1. Take advantage of Disney’s Extra Magic Hours. By staying on property at Disney, you qualify to go early or stay late at Disney’s parks. The extra magic hours are the coolest of times to visit the parks not to mention the least busy times. Not a morning or a late person? Go back to your hotel during the hottest part of the day to take a nap so that you’ll have the energy to use those times to your advantage.
  2. Plan the order of your attractions to visit the outdoor activities in the morning and evening and the indoor activities during the midday. Many of Disney’s rides and shows are located in air-conditioned comfort with even their waiting lines inside.
  3. Be sure to bring along extra water. Keeping hydrated will do a lot to improve your temperament while waiting in the hot sun and will help distract the younger ones with something to drink.  If you pack your own reusable water bottles, be sure to load them with ice before you head to the parks each day and refill them at the fountains in the parks.
  4. Bring along a water misting fan. Purchase them before you leave for your vacation and you can save your souvenir dollars for other fun trinkets.
  5. Put a wet washcloth in the freezer overnight and then bring it along in a ziplock bag during the day. Each room at Disney World comes with an in-room refrigerator where you can cool items at night and have them ready to go when you leave for the parks. Have a second washcloth waiting for you in the freezer if you plan to head back midday.
  6. Take advantage of the splash areas at the parks. In Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland you’ll find the Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station, in Epcot’s Future World there is a splash pad near Mission Space and Test Track and another located at Innoventions, and at Hollywood Studios there is a 52 foot leaking water hose at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure.
  7. Go for an afternoon swim. Going back to your hotel and taking a nap and some time at the pool will help pass the hours when the Florida sun is at its hottest.
  8. Purchase a Water Parks Fun and More pass to enjoy both of Disney’s amazing water parks.  With this option, you can also go to DisneyQuest at Downtown Disney and enjoy the all indoor interactive theme park attractions offered there.

Being prepared for the heat will allow your family to enjoy the most of your Disney World vacation during the summer. You won’t miss a beat and will be so proud that you successfully conquered the Florida heat!

 Michelle Browne

Travel Specialist

 

Disney TV 1971

And now the time has come for the conclusion of my Memories In The Making list.  I hope this has given you ideas for your own list and also helped you to realize all of the amazing and magical activities that are available to do/see/experience while at Walt Disney World.  

58.  Ride the Maelstrom in Norway.

 59.  Eat at Cinderella’s Castle.

 60.  Ride Rock’n Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios.

 61.  Stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort.

 62.  Play Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom.

 63.  Ride in the front row on Splash Mountain.

 64.  Get picture taken with Wreck-It Ralph.

 65.  Ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

 66.  Dine at Tony’s Town Square on Main Street U.S.A.

 67.  Visit Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

 68.  Enjoy a Mickey Mouse shaped pretzel.

 69.  Ride the new Star Tours:  The Adventure Continues.

 70.  Eat dinner at Le Cellier Steakhouse in Epcot’s Canada.

 71.  Ride Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom.

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist