pregnancy blog

Walt Disney World is an amazing place to visit, no matter your age, gender or background. Some of us are even lucky enough to travel to the most magical place on earth while pregnant. I have traveled to Disney World while pregnant twice, and even though it was a different experience, I still had fun and quality family time. Here are a few quick tips to make sure your vacation (plus one!) goes as smoothly as possible.

 

 

 Consult with your physician:

  • As with most things with your doctor, tell them your vacation plans and see what advice they may give you. Some doctors will restrict travel during certain parts of your pregnancy.
  • Keep hydrated and drink plenty of water:
    When you’re at Disney you tend to walk and move around a lot more than your usual day-to-day. Keep a water bottle handy and keep drinking. Any dining location with a soda fountain will give you tap water for free, making it easy and accessible.
  • Know your limits:
    Read and plan ahead of time to see what you can and cannot do. Go online and view the restrictions for attractions you may have questions about or call your travel agent. Visit https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/#/attractions/ to view advisories for attractions.
  • If you need to take a break, take a break:
    Your body is going through some major changes during pregnancy and sometimes you just need to sit down. Are you worried about missing some of the action? No worries, plan some break times for when the rest of your party maybe participating in an activity not recommended during pregnancy. When everyone is getting ready to blast onto the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, find a cozy place in the shade, partake in a refreshment and people watch. It can be quite entertaining!
  • Take your most comfortable shoes:

Even if you are not pregnant this is good advice, but some women’s feet and ankles really take a beating during pregnancy. When you are taking your breaks, prop your feet up.

  1. Diet needs:
    You may now have diet restrictions brought on with pregnancy. Disney makes every effort to make sure everyone is eating like they should.  When making reservations at any of Disney’s table-service restaurants, make note of your food restrictions with your reservation. You may also contact a Dietary Specialist at (407) 824-5967 or email specialdiets@disneyworld.com about attending to your dietary restrictions. For more information read our blog, “Disney Happens Even With a Food Allergy.”  http://www.meandthemouse.com/disney-magic-happens-even-with-a-food-allergy/
  2. Medical assistance:
    If something should happen and you feel you need medical attention, visit a first aid station. Nurses are available during normal park operating hours to offer over-the-counter medications, bandages and other quick remedies. If you feel your condition is life threatening call 911. View the following link  for first aid locations: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/first-aid/

 Just because you are pregnant does not mean you need to stop living your life or having fun! Walt Disney World can be an amazing place to visit while pregnant. Just follow your doctor’s orders and take it easy on yourself. Relax and remember, you’re on vacation!

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For all of us Disney Star Wars Fans, Star Wars Weekends at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios is a must! It’s like ordering the best pizza in the world and then you find out it comes with extra cheese. Yes, please!

What makes SWW hard for families with small children is that it can have a lot of lines and wait times and it may be a little more crowded than usual. Sometimes the little people in our family don’t understand why we need to be patient during these times. And I will have to admit SWW is a little more for Mommy and Daddy than the kids. One of the reasons our 2014 SWW was so magical with our small children, was the “Feel The Force Premium Package” offered during the event.

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 The Feel the Force Premium Package gives VIP status and viewing areas for two of the day’s biggest events—“Legends of the Force” motorcade and “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks spectacular.

 The “Legends of the Force” motorcade included complimentary ice-cream treats and cool drinks. This was a welcomed treat in the afternoon! The “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks spectacular included a complimentary dessert bar [all Star Wars themed], adult beverages and fun fancy drinks for the kids. The package also included a small gift bag with autographed photos of some of the stars featured during the event. How does this make your SWW better you may ask?

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Star Wars Ice Cream

 Simple, you don’t have to wait in line for these events or go out hours ahead of time to save a spot. Disney saves you SHADED seating to the motorcade and the fireworks. Now mind you, you may not be on the front row, but you will have a fantastic spot with snacks! The pictures below show the views and how close my family was able to get. My family of four paid a little under $200 to participate in this program. However, without it we probably would not have participated in these great events, because with our small children it is nearly impossible to show up super early and wait.

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For you die-hard Star Wars fans with children, the Feel the Force Premium Package is a must and it guarantees you lots of positive memories of your SWW visit.

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Cruise right in for a memorable meal at Hollywood Studios Sci-Fi Dine-In.  This Hollywood sound stage takes you back to the era of drive-ins and sock hops.  Your family will enjoy sitting underneath a sky full of your twinkling stars  in your “automo-booth or table” as classic black and white science fiction clips and commercials play on the big screen.

You will find classic 50’s drive-in foods, such as onion rings, milkshakes (be sure to ask about the milkshake of the day!) and build-your-own burgers, but that’s not all.  The menu hosts other memorable dishes, such as New York Strip Steak, Smoked Turkey sandwiches, and St. Louis-style Pork Ribs.  Your children will find a wide variety of choices on the kid’s menu, such as popcorn chicken, mac-n-cheese, cheeseburgers, and grilled salmon to just name a few.  You’ll want to save room for another milkshake for dessert or perhaps some warm cinnamon sugar donuts.

There are a few tables in the back that are picnic table-style. If you’d prefer one of those to the “car” set-up, be sure to request it. If you know you want a car, request it for good measure when you check in at the podium.  If you arrive early, please note that waiting area is not large and most families have to wait outside with their pagers.  Once inside, be sure to take time to explore the movie props and posters found throughout the restaurant’s “hallways”.

Whether it’s lunch or dinner, it’s always nighttime at the movies in this table-service restaurant built to look like a classic 1950’s drive-in theater.  Your family will be taken back in time when you hop in your car and allow your attentive carhop serve up a tasty meal at the local drive-in.  This is will quickly become a family favorite memory of your trip to Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios.  Advanced dining reservations are encouraged and can be made up to 180 days in advance.  This restaurant is 1 credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

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When my family started planning our recent August vacation to Walt Disney World, there was one place that I knew we would need to book.  While everyone has a favorite restaurant and character meal, The Garden Grill in Epcot’s Land Pavillion is always at the top of their list.  We have enjoyed dinner here on our last three visits to the parks.

What makes this restaurant so special?  EVERYTHING!!!  The Garden Grill is located in Future World of Epcot.  The restaurant slowly rotates as you enjoy your meal and interact with Farmer Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale.  By the time you have finished your meal, you have made one full revolution within the scenes of the Living with The Land attraction.  (**You will want to make sure that you enjoy this attraction that travels through the greenhouses before dinner.  Your kids will be amazed to see how they are growing and producing many of the fruits and vegetable served at the restaurant.)

IMG_0601I am a self-proclaimed “character junkie”, so I enjoy all the character dining that is offered at Walt Disney World.  My husband is not.  However, we all enjoy this restaurant as it is very relaxed and we always get extra attention from the characters.  We can always count on Chip and Dale to be overly excited about my second son’s lanyard full of their pins.  Pluto often gets silly, whether he’s playing peek-a-boo with his ears or a making his ears stand on end.   You just have to love seeing Mickey all dressed up in his overalls and plaid shirt.  We just can’t get enough of The Garden Grill.IMG_0610

The food at the Garden Grill is delicious.  Because the meal is family style, there are no repetitive trips to the buffet bar (I can hear my husband cheering!!!).  Chip and Dale’s Harvest starts with warm bread with maple butter followed by a Farmer’s salad (all grown in Epcot!).  The menu is subject to change, but the adult platter often includes char-grilled filet of beef with red wine butter, mashed potatoes, roasted turkey breast with stuffing and parmesan encrusted tilapia.  The children’s platter includes oven baked drumsticks, sweet potato fries, broccoli and macaroni and cheese.  In the past, desserts have included a warm apple crisp with vanilla bean ice cream, a harvest skillet cake with vanilla bean whipped cream or berry cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream.  There’s no doubt you will leave dinner with wonderful memories of a delicious meal and treasured moments with some of your favorite characters.

If you are heading to Epcot, this is one of my top recommendations. The restaurant counts as one table service meal on the Disney Dining Plan.  I hope you love Chip and Dale’s Garden Harvest as much as we do and while you’re there, be sure to look for those “hidden Mickeys”.

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist

 

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Meeting characters and getting autographs is a fun way to capture the magic to take home with you. Traditional autograph books are sold throughout Disney resorts and on Disney cruise ships. Once you get home, though, that book would likely be filed away with other small momentos from your trip.

Why not have your favorite characters sign something that you can display or wear? Here are some ideas to help keep those memories out where you and your family can continue to enjoy them!

–        Frames or photo mats to display a favorite Disney photo

–        Pillowcases

–        A tote bag or backpack

–        T-shirts. Buy or design a shirt with some of your favorite characters, and have one or several characters sign it! (Do not wear the shirt you want signed as characters may not sign clothing while it is being worn).

–        Quilt squares (also known as “Fat Quarters”). If you like to sew, take a small stack of solid color fabric squares for characters to sign individually. Then, take them home, add Disney fabric for accent blocks, and make a beautiful quilt! You can also incorporate some of your favorite photos by printing them onto fabric! Primary colors work great with the Fabulous Five, or choose purples, pinks, and other gem colors to make a princess quilt.

–        For the scrapbooker in you, take embellished tags that can later be inserted into a scrapbook or displayed together in a frame.

–        Shrinky dink sheets. Shrink the autographs down to make a fun charm bracelet or necklace.

–        Character-specific items. If you love Star Wars and are lucky enough to attend a Star Wars weekend at Walt Disney World, have Darth Goofy or Jedi Mickey sign a plastic light saber! If you love Snow White, take a plastic apple for her to sign. Elsa could sign a decorative snowflake for your daughter’s bedroom wall. Think of your favorite character and choose something that means something to that character.

Some characters may have trouble holding small pens. Chunkier pens will not  only help them, but the autographs will be bolder. Sharpie has tons of beautiful marker sets to help find that perfect color.

When getting autographs on fabric, make sure the ink is specifically made for fabrics and is machine washable.

 

Nancy Wideman 

Travel Specialist

You’ve finally done it. You saved up, booked your trip and now you are ready to travel to Walt Disney World. Here are three technology items that may help save you from a ruined vacation.

1. Portable Cell Phone Charge

With Disney’s new advances in technology you will be using your smart phone more than ever. Taking photos, adjusting Fastpasses, reviewing reservations, you will run out of battery in the parks. Instead of tying yourself to the wall with a traditional cellphone charger, I HIGHLY suggest purchasing a portable cell phone charger.

My family purchased a portable cell phone charger from Amazon for $15.  The charger comes with many different adapters for a variety of phones. It also doubled as a LED flashlight. Every night we would make sure this was plugged in and ready for the next day. We used it EVERY DAY!!! My family just purchased one, but I wish I had purchased one for myself AND for my husband.

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The item may be view at:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H8UDTDA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

2. Waterproof Cell Phone Cover

I am highly protective of my phone. On vacation I do a lot more with my phone, which I wouldn’t usually do, like taking it to the pool, on water rides, walking through a rainstorm. The last thing you want to deal with on vacation is replacing your phone or worrying about water damage. For a relatively low cost you can protect it from water. I purchased one for $12 through Amazon, however, you can buy much higher quality ones for around $100. However, I only wanted this for my week at Disney and it is better than nothing.

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The item may be viewed at:

http://www.amazon.com/DandyCase-Turquoise-Waterproof-iPhone-smartphones/dp/B00DOJWDLS/ref=sr_1_5?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1408377915&sr=1-5&keywords=iphone+5c+waterproof+case

3. Kid Locator

Do you have a kid in your group that is a runner? It’s hard to relax and have a good time when you’re worried about losing a little one. Consider purchasing a Buzz Phone Locator! Attach this to your child’s pin trading lanyard or some other method and use your cell phone to locate your child if you become separated.

Remember,  a child who becomes separated from his or her parents while in the park will be escorted by a Cast Member to the Baby Care Center. Once there, the child will be looked after until the parent comes to claim the child. If you can’t locate your child, alert a Cast Member and then check the Baby Care Center.

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The item may be viewed at:

http://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-Anti-theft-Smartphone-Precious-Belongings/dp/B00H72V70Q/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1408378311&sr=1-3&keywords=kid+locator

Remember when planning for your trip, a little investment before you leave could save your trip from being ruined!

 

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The horns sound.   The music starts.  A gasp is heard through the crowd as guests get their first glimpse of the spectacular floats that make up Disney’s newest parade, The Festival of Fantasy.

 This fantastic parade is held every day (check your Times Guide) at 3 pm inside Magic Kingdom.  The parade route starts in Frontierland, travels up through Liberty Square and makes its way towards Cinderella’s Castle and then finally continues down Main Street USA.   The remarkable sights and sounds of Disney’s newest parade is an opportunity not to be missed and can be worthy of a Fastpass selection for those families who aren’t interested in the thrills of Space Mountain and Splash Mountain.IMG_3700

On my recent trip to Walt Disney World, my family was anxious to see this new addition to the park.  Guests start lining the parade route about an hour before the parade starts.  To ensure a fantastic view, I decide to use one of our 3 prearranged fastpasses for a select parade viewing location.  Preferred viewing for the parade is located at the “PARTNERS” statue in front of Cinderella’s Castle.  While half of the circle area is designated for guests with disabilities, the other half is roped off for guests with Fastpasses for the parade.  You will want to arrive within your scheduled Fastpass time (about 20 minutes before the parade kicks off).  A Cast Member will greet you, scan your MagicBand, and allow you access into the roped off area.  Several cast members stand within this area to make sure that only those with Fastpasses are in the viewing location, so there is no need to worry about someone standing in front of you as you enjoy the parade.IMG_3649

IMG_3669By using our Fastpass, my family enjoyed the explosion of color that adorned each float.  We took home memories of up close encounters with rarely seen characters.  With over fifty Festival of Fantasy Parade photos to enjoy and help relive the memories of our family vacation, the use of one of our prearranged  Fastpasses was well worth it!

Tressa Krippel

Travel Specialist