Sunday, September 29, 2013

5 Must Have Items For Spending A Day At Disney With A Baby

Traveling with a baby can be a lot of work! Many parents don't even consider traveling with a baby. I am here to help you prepare for your Disney vacation with your baby. If you prepare ahead of time and pack the must have's then both you and baby should have a great vacation.

There are 5 key must have's when traveling with a baby. If you have these 5 key items then your baby should be happy and you and baby should be able to truly enjoy your Disney vacation.

# 1 The stroller

Don't make the mistake of expecting your baby to sit in an umbrella stroller majority of the day. Would you want to be in an uncomfortable umbrella stroller all day? I recommend either renting a comfortable stroller from Kingdom Strollers. Baby will be so comfortable and able to nap and be protected from the sun. Plus the storage is so nice and your baby will be much happier.
My kids loved the double stroller we rented from Kingdom Strollers


# 2 Snacks

Be prepared. Make a list ahead of time of the many snacks your baby enjoys. It is better to over pack than to forget something. Pack these snacks and bring them with you to the park each day. Bring more than 1 snack. Snacks are key to keeping baby happy in the long lines for Dumbo, Magic Carpets, etc. etc.

#3 Sippy Cup

Pack 2 sippy cups each day for the theme parks. Fill 1 sippy cup (or bottle) with milk and keep in the cooler for baby. I recommend bringing a clean 2nd sippy cup that is empty. You can fill this throughout the day with orange juice, apple juice or water. You need to be sure to keep your children hydrated when out in the sun.

#4 Travel Stroller Fan

You can purchase ahead of time a stroller fan that will attach to your stroller. This is such a great way to keep baby cooled off. Florida can get extremely hot, even in the spring. Disney sells an adorable mickey mouse travel fan that can be purchased in most of the theme parks. Bring extra batteries too. You will need two double AA batteries.



#5 Blanket

The temperatures can drop at night and baby might get cold. Bring a blanket and sweatshirt for baby. Remember, the key to keeping baby happy is to keep baby as comfortable as possible.

When baby is happy Mommy and Daddy are able to enjoy themselves. So be prepared ahead of time for your Disney vacation with baby. Make sure you bring a stocked diaper bag full of all the things baby may need. Include a change of clothes for accidents, diapers, wipes and hand sanitizer. Don't forget sunscreen and a hat for baby too!




Friday, September 27, 2013

Favorite Food Friday

 
Welcome to favorite food Friday! Woohoo it is Friday! Now if only I were at Disney World today would be a perfect day! One of my favorite sandwiches at Magic Kingdom is the anchor's aweigh sandwich which can be purchased at the Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square. This sandwich is huge and can easily be split by two adults!! Such a delicious and light treat in the heat of the summer. Don't forget to save room for the amazing apple crisps that they serve at Columbia Harbour House.


Anchors Aweigh Sandwich
 
You can find this delicious white tuna sandwich in Magic Kingdom at Columbia Harbour House. The sandwich is pretty big and includes homemade chips for $9.99.
 
 


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On The Go Giveaway

 Enter to win this collection of great gear every child needs for on-the-go!

Prize Package Includes:

  • Yummi Pouch Brights - 2 sets of reusable food pouches ($30 value)
  • Diono RadianR100 car seat ($259.99 value)
  • Tivoli Couture Luxury Memory Foam Stroller Liner in Emerald. ($49.99 value)
  • Imagine Baby The Shade ($39.95 value)
  • yoomi - 8oz Feeding System ($37.50 value)
  • líllébaby COMPLETE Organic Carrier ($135 value)
  • Buttons Diapers 3 cloth covers and 6 daytime inserts ($54 value)

Total Value = $600+


Yummi Pouch - Reusable Food Pouches

  yummi pouch reusable food pouches
Yummi Pouch Brights - 2 sets - Retail Price: $30
Yummi Pouch Brights (Set of 4) combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and enjoyed by drinking from the side spout, Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches are great for kids taking healthy snacks on the go. Includes set of 4 assorted patterns. For more information visit yummipouch.com.
  • Set of 4 Yummi Pouch Brights reusable food pouches
  • Dishwasher and freezer safe
  • BPA and phthalate free
  • Great for on the go snacks!
  • Hold up to 6 ounces each

Diono

  diono carseat giveaway
Radian®R100 Car Seat - Retail Price: $259.99
The Radian®R100 Car Seat offers the adaptability you need to keep your child's car rides safe and comfortable for years. From birth to booster car seat, the RadianR100 fits children in the rear-facing position weighing from 5 to 40 pounds and children in the forward-facing position weighing from 20 to 65 pounds. With longevity in mind, this model converts to a booster seat for kids up to 100 pounds.
Dedicated to giving families safe and enjoyable travel experiences, Diono has more than a decade of experience producing award-winning products. Diono car seats, stroller and travel accessories continue to gain high ratings from industry experts, media and families worldwide for their unique functionality, safety innovations and thoughtful designs. For more information visit us.diono.com.

Tivoli Couture

  tivoli couture
Luxury Memory Foam Stroller Liner in Emerald - Retail Price: $49.99
Tivoli Couture™ specializes in Practical Luxury™ solutions for strollers, car seats and baby carriers.
Tivoli Couture stroller liners are unlike any other stroller liner on the market today. Tivoli Couture is the original inventor of the luxury memory foam stroller liner! Our memory foam stroller liners have been evaluated and recommended by a Chiropractor to help with proper spinal alignment and support. We chose memory foam padding because of its orthopedic qualities. Memory foam is known to relieve pressure points and help promote circulation – an important feature for children sitting in their stroller for prolonged periods of time. Tivoli Couture stroller liners also help cushion the ride and help absorb stroller shock; they double as tummy time mats and changing pads - just perfect for busy parents on the go!

Our stroller liners are super trendy and are available in a number of modern designs, colors and prints. They are reversible for style, versatility and year-round comfort. For more information visit TivoliCouture.com.

Imagine Baby

  imagine baby the shade
The Shade - Retail Price: $39.95 (car seat not included)
The Shade by Imagine Baby is an award winning infant car seat canopy that protects baby from outside elements and germs.  It also provides baby with a shaded place for napping when on the go. Made from a soft, stretchy micropoly/Lycra material The Shade provides baby with UPF 50+ protection from the sun’s harmful rays and fits easily on most infant car seats. For more information visit imaginebaby.com.
  • UPF 50 + sun protection
  • Water resistant
  • Year round use
  • Breathable
  • Flexible fit on most infant car seats
  • Easy care – machine wash cold, line dry
  • Fits into any size diaper bag

yoomi

  yoomi feeding system
8oz Feeding System - Retail Price: $37.50
Yoomi was created by Farah and Jim. A mom and dad whose experiences of stumbling around the kitchen in the early hours and begging waiters for hot water when out and about inspired them to look for a better solution. The combination of Farah’s inspiration and Jim’s engineering skills, together with expert advice and help from friends and family, has resulted in yoomi, the bottle that warms baby feed in just 60 seconds. For more information visit yoomi.com.

lillébaby

  lille baby carrier
líllébaby® COMPLETE™ Organic Carrier - Retail Price: $135
The future in babywearing is here! Compare the líllébaby® COMPLETE™ with any baby carrier and you will see why it deserves its name. COMPLETE™ in function, comfort, and style, this carrier grows with your family. It includes every carrying position and ensures your baby is positioned ergonomically correct in every setting. It’s all about options - it's COMPLETE™!
Resonating the Scandinavian values of quality of life, honesty, and a love for nature's beauty, líllébaby strives to make baby products that bring this functional style to parents, anywhere. We wish parents to attain the simple luxury of keeping their baby close while building a natural bond, in perfect comfort and style. Soft, luxurious organic fabrics for treasured moments. Made with 100% soft-brushed organic cotton and lined with luxurious, 100% organic sateen cotton.

Designed with the unsurpassed functionality and comfort of the líllébaby® COMPLETE™ baby carrier line. The perfect baby carrier For more information visit lillebaby.com.
 

Buttons Cloth Diapers

  buttons cloth diapers
3 cloth covers and 6 daytime inserts - Retail Price: $54
Tangerine, Lavender, & Apple

Buttons Cloth Diapers were born at home. As a husband and wife team, we designed our diapers to be easy to use and affordable for everyone - the way it should be. We believe in keeping our lives simple, even when it comes to diapering.

Buttons Diapers feature soft, leak-proof, and durable diaper covers. The double-gussets around the legs keeps the mess in, so your little one can run, jump, climb, and sleep while your mind is at ease. Elastic at the back and tummy makes a custom fit. The durable snaps allow the covers to adjust to fit any baby (approximately 9-35 lbs.). And, they come in many adorable colors! For more information visit buttonsdiapers.com.
 
 

Enter to Win this Fabulous Set of Prizes!

One Winner will be selected October 3rd. Have fun and good luck!
 On The Go Giveaway prizes a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Choosing A Disney Themed Halloween Costume



Welcome to those of you joining me from Disney Lovin' Spectrum Mom's blog and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Every year Halloween tends to sneak up on us and after paying for all of the back to school supplies, clothes, school PTA memberships, etc. I never have a lot of money. I decided a few years ago that we would try to recycle as many Halloween costumes as possible to save money. My kids are six, three and two years old so they really aren't that picky (yet). My oldest daughter has several princess dress up outfits complete with shoes and tiara so she simply picks a dress and bibbity bobbity boo she is ready to trick or treat! If it is cold out she puts on a long sleeve shirt under the dress and tights too. My son has a few dress up clothes too and he simply picks one and we are good to go. The youngest wears old Halloween costumes that have been handed down by her older sister. Luckily, we have quite the selection.

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2012


Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is The Disney Kids.

1st Stop ~ Disney Lovin Spectrum Mom
2nd Stop ~  Disney with Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers
3rd Stop ~ The Disney Kids
4th Stop ~ Capturing Magical Memories
Final Stop ~  Your First Visit

Monday, September 23, 2013

Pro's and Con's To Staying Off Property At Disney World

There are so many choices of where to stay when traveling to Disney World. Orlando, Florida is a huge city with tons of wonderful hotels, motels, resorts and condo's. Disney World has many amazing resorts to choose from too! So what is one to do?!

If you are not sure if staying off property is the best for your family then consider these pro's and con's.

Pro's of staying off property:
  • More space for your family and more privacy than a 1 room hotel
  • Typically more affordable. Many two bedroom condo's are cheaper than a 1 room hotel
  • Full kitchen's are offered in many condo's so you can save money by cooking in
  • Ideal for families with young children who need to nap or go to bed early
  • Great for families with a tight budget

Con's of staying off property:
  • Location is not as close typically as staying on property
  • Need your own transportation to the parks (rental car if you fly)
  • Must pay for parking at the Disney theme parks ($14 per day)
  • Lack of the 'magical Disney feel'
Conclusion:

Staying off property is a great way to save money and gain more space. For a larger family this would be ideal. For a smaller family who wants to be as close to the theme parks as possible then I would recommend staying on property. The monorail resorts-Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts are all amazing but there is a huge price to pay for that amazing location. Rooms start at $400 per night. You can rent a two bedroom condo for as little as $500 per week in Orlando. If you are not on a tight budget then yes staying on property is the way to go. If you are on a tight budget then consider saving money and staying off property.

There are many off property homes, townhomes and condo's that rent nightly and weekly. To find a great rental visit www.vacationcentralflorida.com or simply visit www.vrbo.com and type in a search for Orlando, Florida.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Favorite Food Friday

 

Spaghetti and Meatballs Cupcake
 
This is such an awesome cupcake, one of my favorites! The spaghetti and meatballs cupcake can be found in Hollywood Studio's at Mama Melrose's. It is one of the dessert options for the kids meals. The cupcake is chocolate with a chocolate meatball and strawberry icing for the 'sauce' and white chocolate for the 'cheese'. So creative and so delicious! Tip-If you are not ordering from the kids menu but wish to try the cupcake simply ask your server for it. The cupcake is sold ala cart for $3.49.

 

 

Favorite Food Friday

Welcome to Favorite Food Friday!  We all are foodies, loving food is what we do.   So now it's time to share, we want to hear about your favorite food of the week Disney or non-Disney related.  Have a favorite recipe, share that too.   
How can I join the fun?   First write up your post on your favorite food.  Second copy our FFF button so people know you are in the FFF hop.  Third, copy the linky to your page so everyone can link up.   Lastly, add your link.  
It's easy and fun.  Thanks for linking up!

 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Magical Blogorail Coast To Coast Giveaway



 
There will be 2 randomly drawn and verified winners of this giveaway. Each winner will will receive a Disneyland or Disney World themed Dooney and Bourke Wristlet, trading pin set, and resort toiletries. Giveaway begins September 16th and runs through September 26th at 11:59pm US Eastern time. It is open to residents of the US only, 18+.

Use the PromoSimple form below to enter, and be sure to take advantage of the many entries you can gain. Come back daily for even more chances to win


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Which Disney Resort Is Best For Your Family?

It can be really hard for many families to decide which Disney resort is best for their family. There are many factors to consider when choosing a on property resort.

Factors to consider:

  • How many people will be staying in the room?
  • Do you plan to use Disney transportation (Monorail, Magical Buses, Water taxi)
  • Do you want a room with a view of Magic Kingdom?
  • How much money do you want to spend?
  • Do you want a resort with a really awesome swimming pool?
  • Do you plan to eat most of your meals out or in your room?
If you are a larger family then you should consider booking a family suite at the Art of Animation Resort. These are wonderful sized rooms complete with a separate bedroom for Mom & Dad, couch bed and a pull down wall bed for the children. There are two bathrooms in the family suites providing plenty of space for everyone to get ready in the mornings. There is a kitchenette with a microwave, refrigerator and a coffee maker. Chose from an adorably decorated Cars themed suite, Finding Nemo suite and Lion King suite. Prices start at $300 per night. Tip-The Finding Nemo family suites are the most centrally located and closest to the pool.



If you want to be able to prepare meals in your room be sure to book a room with a kitchenette or a Villa which will provide a full sized kitchen. Animal Kingdom Lodge has amazing Villas but they are pricey. If you are traveling with grandparents this is the way to go. Grandparents get one private bedroom and bathroom and Mom and Dad get the 2nd private bedroom. The kids can have the couch bed and a chair that converts to a single bed.

If you are a smaller family traveling with just one or two children on a budget I would recommend booking a room at one of the Value Resorts. There are many great value resorts to chose from-All Star Music Resort, All Star Movies Resort, All Star Sports Resort and the most popular Pop Century Resort. Prices start at just $90 per night! Each resort has a food court and swimming pool plus the complimentary Disney transportation will save you money on parking at the theme parks. Tip-Pop Century resort has a wonderful playground for children. All Star Music Resort offers family suites that will accommodate 5+ people.

If you want to be as close as possible to the theme parks and you are not on a tight budget then I highly recommend staying at one of the three beautiful resorts located on the monorail. The Grand Floridian, Polynesian and Contemporary Resorts are the one's for you.



I have stayed at both the Grand Floridian and The Polynesian and in my opinion the Polynesian has more to offer for families. The amazing volcano pool and beach front location is ideal for families with small children. The restaurant options at the Polynesian are more kid friendly in my opinion. O'hana is a very loud restaurant and perfect for kids of all ages. The Spirit of Aloha Luau is so much fun and very entertaining for children. A great website with tons of helpful information focused on the Polynesian Resort is: Tiki Man Pages.

If price is no object then consider booking a club level suite at the Grand Floridian with a magical view of the Magic Kingdom. Prices start at $2,500 per night for a two bedroom suite club level at the Grand Floridian. The Polynesian Resort is my #1 favorite on property resort. I highly recommend staying beach front at the Hawaii Longhouses on the club level. This is the way to go, you will have beach and lake views plus a view of the Magic Kingdom and the nightly fireworks! Prices start at $800 per night.

There are many wonderful on property resorts that are truly amazing and you won't be disappointed. Many of the moderate priced resorts such as Coronado Springs Resort and Port Orleans Resort offer many fun activities and themed rooms too.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Disney Cruising 101: Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay is Disney's own private island located in the Bahamas. Disney purchased a 99 year land lease on Castaway Cay in 1997 from the Bahamian government. Castaway Cay features many activities both on land and in the water for all ages! There is snorkeling equipment available for rent, bikes available for rent and an adult only beach (Serenity Bay) for those looking for some peace and quiet. There are two restaurants on Castaway Cay and a bar and gift shop. There is even a post office on the island featuring special "Castaway Cay" postmarks. Be sure to bring cash because they do not accept anything else and you must purchase Bahamian stamps.
 
Disney provides trams on the island to transport guests all around the island. The two restaurants are free to guests however you must pay for your own drinks from the bar. Pelican Plunge is free but for those looking for a little more adventure there are other options too but unfortunately they're not free. Jet ski rentals are available but they are not cheap. You can swim with stingrays or snorkel too.
 
Tips: Bring your kids a few small sand toys from home, they are available to purchase but they're pricey. Bring sunscreen and a book to read. Check your children into the kids club and relax-this is your vacation too! Spend a few hours playing with your kids on the beach and then let them have fun at the kids club while Mom and Dad relax at Serenity Bay having a cocktail and relaxing!
 
Did you know that you can have a surprise gift basket for your kids delivered to your stateroom? Check out The Perfect Gift to see the different options available. They have some really cute personalized sand buckets that can be delivered filled with juice boxes, snacks and items for your kids. They can also create a custom basket.
 
 
Castaway Cay's Pelican Plunge is a playground in the water

splash park for children of all ages

let's sail away

Monday, September 9, 2013

Money Saving Tips For Your Next Disney Vacation

 
  • Pack your own food and drinks in a soft sided cooler to avoid costly meals at the theme parks (no glass items are allowed into the parks and no straws are allowed at Animal Kingdom)
 
  • Plan to eat breakfast in your hotel room before heading to the parks--if your hotel offers free breakfast this is something you should definitely take advantage of!
 
  • If you are staying off property pack your children a breakfast to go-include easy to eat items that are mess free (cereal bar, pop tart, dry cereal, juice box, milk box, etc) This will save both money and time. Let them eat in the car or monorail on the way to the parks.
 
  • Make a food budget prior to your vacation and do not go over the budget! It is hard to do at Disney because there are so many awesome restaurants.
 
  • Limit yourself to one special sit down restaurant and then eat quick service for the rest of your dinners.
 
 
  • Let your children each chose one fun snack per day as a reward for good behavior. Try the three strikes and you're out method. Once they've had 3 "warnings" they have lost their snack.
 
  • Spend at least one day relaxing at the pool. This is a great free activity that children of all ages love!
 
  • Bring your own stroller to avoid having to rent one. If you must rent a stroller then I highly recommend renting from Kingdom Strollers. It will cost less than $70 for a week long stroller rental.
 
  • Visit Downtown Disney and let your children play in the water fountain. Enjoy the live music and grab lunch at Earl of Sandwich. The whole family can probably eat for less than $30.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 


Friday, September 6, 2013

Favorite Food Friday

 

Welcome to Favorite Food Friday! Who doesn't love a delicious Smores Cupcake?! The Smores cupcake is made of graham cracker cake and chocolate. Iced with marshmallow icing and a chocolate topper. This cupcake can be found at the Roaring Fork at the Wilderness Lodge.


 
Smores Cupcake
 
 


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Top 5 Affordable Adult Activities On A Disney Cruise

Top 5 Affordable Adult Activities On A Disney Cruise
 
 
 
  • Date Night at Palo Palo is an adult only restaurant with amazing ocean views serving Northern Italian food. I highly recommend making reservations early. For first time cruises you can make reservations online 75 days prior to your cruise. Castaway Club members can make online reservations 90-120 days prior depending on which level you are. Brunch is also available. Palo is only $20 per person and what a great deal it is for the most amazing food and romantic atmosphere. Dress code is enforced.
 
  • Quiet Cove Pool Bring your Nook, Kindle or favorite magazine and relax with a frozen cocktail by the adult only pool. This really is the best way to relax on vacation!
 
  • Rainforest Pass The best $15 you will spend all week! For a one day pass you should pre order online because they have been known to sell out. The Rainforest includes an experience like no other, step into special showers (with your swim suit on) and enjoy the pulses, varying temperatures and relaxing jets.
 
  • Go Clubbin-Visit a night club or lounge for a cocktail and dance the night away. I am looking forward to Skyline, a cocktail bar that has changing "windows" showcasing different cities amazing skylines. They also have nightly drink specials to coordinate with each skyline.
 
  • Visit Cove Café Relax and sip on your favorite specialty coffee and enjoy delicious complimentary snacks such as brownies, eclairs, cookies, etc. Cove Café is located beside the adult only pool and provides both indoor and outdoors comfy seating. There is also wireless Internet at Cove Cafe'.
While the children play and enjoy the Disney oceaneers club Mom and Dad can play too! There are so many things for adults to do on a Disney cruise! I had no idea there was SO much fun to be had for adults too.