Monday, July 29, 2013

The Perfect Age For Your First Disney Visit

Is there really a perfect age for your first visit to Disney? I have been asked this question too many times to count. I always tell people, it just depends on what type of experience you want to have. It also depends on how many times you plan to visit Disney World. If you want to visit just once or twice in your child's life then I would recommend waiting until they are at least six years old. At six years old your little princess or prince will remember the special memories later in life and at six years old they are still young enough to believe in magic.

The youngest age that I have taken my children to Disney World was when my youngest was just 11 months old. She had a blast and it was such a fun vacation. We did not however go there just for her, she has older siblings who were 2 and 5 at the time. We were unable to ride Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, etc. but that's ok. We knew ahead of time that we would have to skip those rides. But if you have a grandparent who can stay with the children or you want to ride alone then you can easily make arrangements to ride these rides that have the height restrictions. Surprisingly at just 11 months old my little princess was able to ride many rides and had just as much fun as her older siblings. Would I do it again? Yes. Would I encourage you to visit with an 11 month old? Yes. Would I plan a Disney vacation for just an 11 month old and no older siblings? No. If you absolutely can not wait to experience the magic of a Disney vacation until your little princess or prince is six years old then I would wait at least until he or she is 3. It was a lot of work for me personally to change diapers, nursing the baby and worry if she was getting too hot, etc. The Baby Care Centers are wonderful and I spent a lot of time there. But it was all worth it to see her little face when she met Mickey and all of the other characters. I would never have considered leaving her at home with grandparents and missing out on our family vacation.

11 months old and loving Chef Mickey's!

Meeting Piglet for the 1st time!
She took many naps in the stroller at Disney!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Favorite Food Friday: Pineapple Coconut Bread

The Spirit Of Aloha Luau Dinner Show at the Polynesian is so much fun!! My absolute favorite food is this delicious fresh pineapple coconut bread! The fresh pineapple that is served with it really hits the spot.

The roasted chicken and Polynesian rice is amazing too!

Ready for the Luau!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Favorite Character Experience

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

This month we are sharing our favorite character experiences. I have quite a few favorites, it is so hard to pick just one! One of my most memorable character experiences is from my daughter's 5th birthday. We spent the day at Magic Kingdom and had a very special birthday dinner. My daughter's favorite Disney princess is Cinderella so we chose to have her birthday dinner at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort so that we could meet Cinderella! My daughter was so excited to finally meet Cinderella. After we were seated Cinderella came to our table and spent a few precious minutes speaking to my daughter and posing for pictures. She wished Allie a happy birthday and signed her autograph book also. This was such a great moment and Allie still talks about it to this day. 1900 Park Fare was such a great spot to have a nice dinner. The food was delicious and they even have a children's buffet table with everything a child could possibly want, pizza, macncheese, fresh fruit and a yummy dessert buffet table too!

My daughter and Cinderella

The evil step sisters really played the part

birthday cupcake

Thank you for joining Magical Blogorail Teal this month. Our next loop will be on August 27th with an all new theme. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with our Disney info, photos and stories. If you are looking for more Disney magic, you can make your way over to The Magical Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Loop should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ The Disney Kids
2nd Stop ~ Heidi's Head
3rd Stop ~  Your First
4th Stop ~ Disney Lovin Spectrum Mom
Final Stop ~  Disney with Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Top 5 Date Night Restaurants At Disney World

A vacation isn't a vacation until Mommy and Daddy have a date night! Disney is the perfect vacation for everyone in the family, including Moms and Dads. Just because you left your favorite babysitter or grandparent at home does not mean you should not have a date night while on vacation. There are many wonderful childcare options at Disney should you want to plan a date night.

Be sure to make advanced dining reservations to avoid a long wait. If you are celebrating a special occasion also be sure to let them know when you make the reservations. Why not surprise your spouse with a beautiful flower arrangement or custom made cake from the Disney Florist.

My top 5 date night restaurants at Disney World are:

5. La Hacienda De San Angel-Located at Epcot in the Mexico Pavilion. This is such a romantic spot, waterside seating and authentic Mexican food makes for a wonderful date.

4. Le Cellier Steakhouse-Located at Epcot in Canada. Known for their outstanding steaks and Canadian cheese soups. Be sure to try the lobster macaroni and cheese! Truly a memorable dinner.

3. The Dining Room At Wolfgang Puck Café-Located at Downtown Disney this is a must for anyone who loves good quality food. Who doesn't?! If you're a fan of sushi they also have quite the selection. I recommend trying the Wolfgang Puck Multiple Chef Tour which consists of a California 4 course tour. You can choose your soup, salad, entrée and dessert for only $52.95 per guest (great deal for those on a budget considering the quality is outstanding).

2. Yachtsman Steakhouse-Located at the Yacht Club. This is a very classy steakhouse. The serving sizes are great and you won't leave hungry! The steak is truly worth the price. Be sure to try the truffle mac and cheese.

1. Narcoossee's-Located at the Grand Floridian on the water with magical views of Magic Kingdom. If you love seafood you will not be disappointed. One of the best places in all of Disney to have scallops, swordfish, Maine lobster, etc. Steaks are also available for those that do not love seafood. The creamy lobster-corn bisque is to die for. Be sure to save room for the gelato sampler for dessert. Book a late dinner and request a table by the window so you can enjoy the fireworks at night.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Baby Welcome Package Giveaway!

My friends at Yummi Pouch have teamed up with some awesome businesses for an awesome baby welcome package giveaway! This is the ultimate gift for a new or expecting Mom. You can enter below using the Rafflecopter.
The Giveaway Package includes: ($360 value)
Yummi Pouch little munchkin set
Pair of BabyLegs leg warmers
Set of 6 Buttons Cloth Diaper covers + 12 daytime inserts
2 Red Hens Studio Coop Carry-All Diaper Bag
L'ovedbaby 4-in-1 Nursing Shawl
L'ovedbaby Gl'oved-Sleeve Overall & Cute Cap
Kushies Zolo Linko toy
Toofeze baby teether
líllébaby COMPLETE Original Baby Carrier
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 15, 2013

Giveaway! One Week Stay In Beautiful Windsor Hills Resort, Orlando Florida!

How would you like to win a FREE one week stay in Orlando Florida at a beautiful two bedroom condo with fireworks views located at Windsor Hills Resort just minutes from Disney World gates!

The floor plan

Beautiful Master Bedroom

Family Room
Adorable Bedroom perfect for the kids
Stocked Kitchen with full size fridge

Wonderful amenities at Windsor Hills Resort

Zero Entry Resort Style Pool

Huge Water Slide and Splash Park

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest it is open to those in the US & Canada. Must be at least 25 years old. The unit sleeps 6 people and by law only 6 people or less can occupy the unit.
The contest runs now through Sunday July 28th at 11:59pm. I will pick the winner Monday morning and notify them via email or Facebook that they won. They will have 12 hours to respond or I will pick a new winner. The winner will be able to choose any week in September 2013.

Please note You must LIKE all the pages to enter. I will be double checking the winner to verify they followed the instructions. So please be honest when going down the list of entries.   


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Almost Back To School...

I have noticed many stores advertising their back to school items already! It seems a bit early or maybe I am just in denial that summer is half way over! I jumped on the bandwagon and purchased almost all of my daughter's school supplies today at Target. I have found that purchasing the generic brand school supplies helps save a significant amount of money. Last year I spent over an hour and a half labeling all of my daughter's school supplies by hand with a marker! This year I labeled all of the items and surprisingly I was finished in just ten minutes! Let me fill you in on my secret----I used Mabels Labels to save time and to make things look super cute.

I chose the Multi Color Sticky Labels with the cute little butterfly design
You can customize your labels and choose from over 40 fun and colorful designs. The set includes 45 labels and they are waterproof. This is a great way to keep track of school supplies, lunch containers, etc. There is a great sale going on now until July 31st for those of you who like to plan ahead like me!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top 5 Adult Drinks At Disney World

There are so many great adult drinks available at Walt Disney World. Epcot is my favorite place to score a fun adult cocktail. The top 5 adult drinks at Disney World in my opinion are:

1. Pina Colava-This can be found at most resort bars at Disney World. My favorite frozen drink at Disney! The Pina Colava is made with Bacardi Black Razz rum blended with Pina colada mix and raspberry puree and costs $8.50.

2. Grey Goose Citron Lemonade Slush-This can be found at Epcot near Chefs De France for about $8 per glass. Warning-this drink is a bit tart, if you would prefer a sweeter drink try the Grand Marnier Orange Slush.

3. Frozen Wildberry Margarita-Found at the Mexico Pavillion in Epcot for about $9.50. This is not your average margarita! Absolutely delicious on a hot day. I love visiting La Cantina De San Angel in Mexico for a quick drink and nacho's.

4. Yak Attack-This is such a bright and colorful drink! Be sure to take a picture, it is just that cool! The Yak Attack is found at Animal Kingdom at Upcountry Beverages and will cost you $9. It is a mix of mango daiquiri, Bacardi light rum and wildberry flavors.

5. Lapu Lapu-This is a strong drink but who doesn't love a drink served in a hollowed out pineapple?! The Lapu Lapu is available at the Polynesian Resort at both Kona Café and O'hana along with the Tambu Lounge. The Lapu Lapu consisted of Myers rum, 151 rum and sweet and sour mix. This drink will set you back $12.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Renting A Home In Orlando--Special SALE $299 For Entire Week!

I am really excited to share this amazing deal with my blog readers! Select Two bedroom condo's at Windsor Hills Resorts are on sale for just $299 for the entire week. There are even a few three bedroom condo's on sale at this price! That breaks down to just $43 dollars per night! What an awesome deal! There are only a handful of condo's available so be sure to book quickly. The price is valid for travel to Orlando, Florida for the week of August 31-September 7th and also for the entire month of September. September is such a great time to travel to Disney World because the crowds are not that bad because school is back in session.

To see detailed pictures of each available townhome or condo available visit Vacation Central Florida or call 1-407-877-0777. Windsor Hills is a 24 hour security gated property located just a short five minute drive to Disney World. The resort has a beautiful resort size pool with beach entry for children along with a water slide and hot tub. Guests have access to the spa, lighted basketball courts, lighted volleyball courts, golf putting green, movie theatre and a playground! All rental properties have access to free Wi-Fi and there are no hidden fee's. Best of all the condo's have a fully equipped kitchen so you can save money instead of eating out. There is a nearby super Walmart and Target along with a Publix grocery store nearby. My favorite thing about Windsor Hills is that each unit has complimentary use of a packnplay, high chair and even umbrella strollers! This is such a nice amenity especially for those who may fly to Orlando because it saves on how much stuff you have to pack! Just be sure to select the 'baby equipment' option when booking your reservation.

The beautiful resort pool

Children will love playing here!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Do It Yourself Mickey Mouse Birdhouse

How cute is this adorable Mickey Mouse birdhouse? To create your own birdhouse check your local craft store (Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc.) and be sure to have a coupon to save 40% (to get a coupon for Hobby Lobby visit their website). Children of all ages can help paint this pre assembled birdhouse. Then Mom or Dad can cut the circles from foam or better yet you can find the pre cut wooden circles in the craft isle. Use a hot glue gun and you are almost done! Just attach a screw at the top of the birdhouse to secure it to a chain for hanging. I recommend applying a layer of mod podge to the birdhouse after the paint has dried to prevent weather damage.

Less than $15 of Materials Needed:

Pre assembled bird house
Red paint
Black paint
Yellow paint
Screw for holding the bird house
Paint brush
Mod Podge (optional)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Disney Cruise Planning 101

I am in the beginning phase of planning our next family vacation for spring of 2014. After visiting Disney World the past two April's in a row I am ready to experience my very first Disney Cruise! I have heard nothing but wonderful experiences from friends and seen many pictures of the many different fun attractions and ports that the Disney cruise line offers. Where to start?! Well for starters I recommend that you choose what time of the year you want to cruise, if you are flexible then you could start out by deciding which destination you prefer best. There are many options, ranging from a Bahamas cruise to a Caribbean cruise and even a European cruise. To learn more information you can require a free Disney cruise dvd.

After choosing your destination you can choose which departure port is the most convenient for you. There are many ports available, more than I even knew about! I did not realize that there are Disney cruises departing from San Diego, California; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Galveston, Texas; Miami and Port Canaveral Florida. Here comes the best part, you can choose your room on the ship. The prices range and depend on the number of people traveling in your party. The Disney cruise line offers many different choices ranging from concierge level family suites to interior staterooms for those traveling on a budget.

                    Disney Dream®. Photo courtesy of Disney Destinations® All Rights Reserved.

My family consists of 5 people so ideally we are going to need a Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom. The porthole window has amazing views of the ocean and even has a seat that I know my children are going to love! I was quite surprised at the size of the rooms, the Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom is 241 sq ft and has not one but two bathrooms. There is one bathroom that has a bath tub/shower which is perfect for bathing small children along with a vanity/sink. Then there is a separate half bathroom with a toilet and vanity and sink. I was really curious to learn the sleeping arrangement in the stateroom for a family of 5. The room will have a queen size bed, a wall pull down bed (in most) or a upper berth pull down (in some) and you can request a complimentary pack and play for the littlest guests.

I requested a quote from Cheryl Koren at Off To Neverland Travel. Keep in mind, that ALL food, drinks (except alcohol) and activities on board are included in the price of the Disney Cruise. Childcare is even included (except the nursery for children under 3 years old) in the price. You will simply have to pay for parking at the port, any excursions you choose to do, photo's and alcoholic drinks.