Put on your Walt Disney World Vacation Pants, Family Edition, Part 4 of 6

It all started with this guy!  Checking out the One Man’s Dream Exhibit at Disney Studios – 2015

Part 4 of 6 will discuss a visit to Disney Studios.  This park is undergoing many renovations and additions right now, but it is still worth stopping at for a day.  Read on to find out what you need to do to get the most out of your visit to Disney Studios.  Click other posts in this series about Walt Disney World below.

Disney Studios was put in to Walt Disney World in 1989, a year before Universal Studios-Orlando.  It was originally called DIsney’s MGM Studios and it was very much like a working studio.  They shot the rebooted Mickey Mouse Club there, had a studio tour, and studio shows.  Since then, the park has dropped the studio tour and the MGM name and added some of the best thrill rides you will ever experience.  It will also be home to the new Star Wars Land and Toy Story Land, which is quite exciting.  While these major renovations are taking place, there will still be plenty to see and do, so make sure you make a stop to play and eat at this park while you are visiting.  

Disney Studios -Tips and Tricks
  • Fast Pass + – Make sure you have reserved your fastpasses for the day on your Walt Disney World account.  See my tips on Fast Pass + in part 1 of this series.  Attractions worth getting fast passes for, if possible:  
    • Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror
    • Aerosmith’s Rockin’ Roller Coaster
    • Toy Story
    • Star Tours
    • Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular               
      Used our first fastpass on Toy Story on night 1

      My little Star Wars fans out in front of Star Tours

      The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, pretty much the greatest thrill ever.

      Don’t let the cheese factor full you, this is a thrilling roller coaster with multiple loops.


    • Remember: If you get three attractions reserved early in the day, you can go back and order more fastpasses on the My Disney Experience App once you have used them all.  That is the only way to get more than three fastpasses in a day. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours at this park.  
    MVP (My Vacation Pants) Tip:  Fantasmic is a combination water show, pyrotechnic, and theatrical show that if you have not seen, you will want to see during your visit.  The show is located in a large stadium by Tower of Terror.  I don’t get fastpasses to large shows like this because there is usually plenty of seating for it.  Especially at the later showing.  Don’t waste your fastpass on this high capacity show.  Also, if you have seen the one in Callifornia, this show is very similar, but not as intimate, and it uses less impressive set design, so if you have seen the California one, you can skip it for something else.
    • Educational Guide – This park gives you a backstage pass to old Hollywood and although it may seem hard to find things that our educational at a park dedicated to Hollywood, there is still plenty to learn about.  Make sure you check out the One Man’s Dream film and exhibit.  There is so much history about Walt Disney and the making of his empire.  My young children loved learning the history of Disneyland and they made us sit in the front row for the movie.  They have cool pieces displayed in the exhibit hall as well.  You can talk about how things were different in the 1930s, and how animation was drawn by hand.  The Great Movie Ride is a tribute to many great movie classics your children may have never heard of.  One small note, there is one super scary scene from the movie Alien, keep your kids close and cover their eyes for that part if they get scared about things like that.  A lot of children have never seen an old black and white movie and they have a great montage at the end.  Talk about the history of movie making with them.  Lastly, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular is a really fun way to show your kids how movies are made.  Plus, adults get a chance to be a part of the show.  I was picked to be in half the show, so my kids paid attention.  
      Me as an extra in the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular.

    • Vintage Cool Attractions – The whole park is themed like vintage Hollywood.  All the glamour and sophistication of the 1930s.  It is a great piece of cinematic history, and is fun to see in a Disney way.  Make sure you take in the architecture and the music that this park has to offer.  We enjoyed checking out the front of the Great Movie Ride which has celebrity hand prints and autographs just like is does in the real Hollywood.  Inside the queue for the Great Movie Ride, there are some Hollywood collectibles from favorite movies.  Always fun to see. Do not miss the Muppet 3D Show.  It is an original that was in the park when it opened, and it is the last thing that Jim Henson worked on before he passed away.  It is hilarious and cute.  This attraction is extinct at other Disney parks, so this may be your last chance to see this beloved show.   Plus, see below for some places you have to eat at to fully experience the vintageness of this park.  
      Classic Hollywood in Florida
      Like I said…vintage cool.

    • Pacing – This park is small right now.  It will grow much bigger with the editions, but you can probably spend part of the day here and hit another park if you want.  My family can never manage to do that, but we are the type of family that has to try every little thing.  If you just want to try the highlights and move on, you can spend more time in the larger parks.  
    My son loved The Great Movie Ride so much, he made Daddy take him twice.

      What To Eat
      50’s Prime Time Cafe – This place is such a blast.  The premise is you are stepping into an old 1950s television show.  Everything in the restaurant is themed like a suburban 1950s household.  It’s so cute.  Your waiter/waitress plays your Mom or Dad.  They are hilarious, loving, and a little bit grumpy, but it’s all part of the show.  Make sure you keep your elbows off the table, and don’t talk with your mouth full.  Above all, eat your veggies.  The fried chicken is a fantastic choice at this place.  They have some homestyle favorites.  Make sure you check it out while you are there.  

      Had to get the vintage black and white shot at the 50s Prime Time Cafe.

      This is the waiting area. So cute.

      When you see the sign, enter.

      Sci Fi Dine In Theater – Okay, this has to be our favorite experience place to eat because it is so unique.  You walk in to a building that looks normal on the outside.  The host whisks you around the corner and you enter an old fashioned drive in theater.  The cars have tables facing a huge drive in movie screen.  You get to watch kitchy cool old sci fi movies and old 1950s commercials.  It is pretty much a dream come true.  The food is pretty much your typical diner fare, but it is worth the experience to see it.  Again, don’t miss it while you are there. 

      Our amazing car tables at the Sci Fi Dine In Theater

      The Sci Fi Dine In Theater. Yeah!

      The Hollywood Brown Derby – The Original Brown Derby in California is famous for inventing the Cobb Salad and well, you can’t really find someone who loves Cobb Salad like this lady right here.  I am a blue cheese fanatic.  So I guess I was the one who was most excited to come here because even though I live near Hollywood I have never been to the original Brown Derby. Everyone else in my party enjoyed the experience, but weren’t huge fans of the intense flavors in the Cobb, so this is definitely something you have to crave.  If your mouth watered when I talked about Cobb Salad, you have to go.  The ambiance is fun too and I imagine it is similar to how the original Brown Derby looks and feels.  It is very art deco and visually stunning. 

      Feeling smirky to be at the Hollywood Brown Derby.

      Cobb Salad. Yum.

      Grandma sneaking my daughter soda. 🙂

      My husband got this egg burger thing.  Yum again. 

      Follow My Vacation Pants on Social Media:

      Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myvacationpants/
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myvacationpants/
      Twitter: https://twitter.com/myvacationpants
      YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/myvacationpants
      Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vecchio100/my-vacation-pants/
      Inquiries: myvactionpants@gmail.com

      Trip Links
      Walt Disney World Webpage – https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/
      Theme Park Tourist – http://www.themeparktourist.com/
      Part 1 of this Post – http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-disney-world-vacation-pants.html
      Part 2 of this Post: http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-walt-disney-world-vacation.html
      Part 3 of this Post: http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-you-walt-disney-world-vacation.html

      Also click on headings in the post above.  I linked the important information you need. 

      Put on your Walt Disney World Vacation Pants, Family Edition, Part 3 of 6

      In Part 3 of my Walt Disney World – Family Edition post, I will talk about the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow, or what everyone knows as EPCOT.  This park is so educational and fun and full of Disney amazingness.  Read on to find out more about this fantastic park.  If you missed part 1 or 2 of my post, click below. 

      EPCOT, or the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow, was originally designed by Walt Disney to be a functioning city with people living and working there.  Although that dream never came to fruition, it does resemble a futuristic community.  There is so much to see and do there.  Our family enjoys how educational it is as well.  The park is split into two very distinct and different areas.  Future World, at the front of the park, is definitely the future city that Walt envisioned.  It focuses on technology, farming, communication, biology, oceanography, engineering, space travel, and even imagination and innovation.  The World Showcase is at the back of the park and showcases some countries from around the world (mostly Europe and North America) in a Disney way, of course.  It is very fun to take a quick tour around the world, and it makes you want to plan that future vacation.  Keep reading to find out my tips to explore this wonderful park.  You won’t want to miss it.  

       EPCOT -Tips and Tricks
      • Fast Pass + – Make sure you have reserved your fastpasses for the day on your Walt Disney World account.  See my tips on Fast Pass + in part 1 of this series.  Attractions worth getting fast passes for, if possible:  
        • Fast Track
        • Soarin’
        • Mission Space
        • Finding Nemo
        • Frozen Ride (schedule to open in May 2016)                                                                            
      • Remember: If you get three attractions reserved early in the day, you can go back and order more fastpasses on the My Disney Experience App once you have used them all.  That is the only way to get more than three fastpasses in a day. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours at this park.  
      MVP (My Vacation Pants) Tip:  EPCOT has two entrances.  The main entrance is quite busy in the morning.  The security check point creates a lot of traffic and the monorail, parking lot, and hotel guests all arrive and walk into the same crazy line.  If you plan on going in the morning, try taking the back entrance.  It’s called the International Gateway and it is an often overlooked entry point that brings you right in to the World Showcase.  It leaves from some of the hotels, but it also leaves from Disney Studios, so don’t forget to use it.  You’ll get into the park way fast. 
      • Educational Guide – As I have said before, I’m a teacher, so the educator part of me wishes she could whisk her students off to this most educational park.  The problem is I live and teach 3,000 miles away, so I have to make the most of educating my own children while we visit.  First of all, Future World has so much to learn about.  Make sure you check out the Innoventions areas in the park.  Think of a science type museum rolled up in your theme park visit.  Also, check out the different pavilions of Future World, each one has a lot to learn about subjects such as oceanography, agriculture, etc.  We especially love the Universe of Energy.  First, marvel at the amazing structure that it sits in.  It has these amazing solar panels that are used to run the massive attraction.  Then go inside and have fun taking this combo film and ride in one.  Plus, it stars Ellen and Bill Nye the Science Guy.  Hilarious!   The Test Track goes into the science of car design.  You have to calculate correctly for your car design to win the competition.  
        Designing our winning car before we boarded the attraction. 

        Of course there is also a very realistic space themed adventure as well.  Mission Space is modeled after space simulators that real astronauts use to train for space.  The ride is pretty intense for littles, but there is a less intense version you can do with your kids.  I always have to do the intense version at least once while I am there because I am that HUGE of a Disney nerd.  I always feel a little nauseated afterward, but it eventually passes.  You can talk about the physics of that attraction because they show you how it works in the line.  As for the World Showcase, be sure to visit each country and talk about the geography, culture, language, etc.  Plus, all the cast members there are from the the countries they work in.  Oh, and a bonus educational treat:  each pavilion features food from its respective country, so you can learn as you eat some yummy authentic cuisine!

      • Vintage Cool Attractions – I guess it depends on what you consider vintage.  I grew up in the 1980s and this park is like stepping back into that era.  Probably because it opened in 1982.  From the architecture to the exhibits to the background music, it feels 80s, and I love that.  Make sure you check out the Journey through Imagination with Figment.  There is a super cool backstory to this attraction that you can read from Theme Park Tourist here.  I guess the attraction has undergone some major changes through the years.  I have only seen it in today’s form, but it still feels very vintage to me.  It also stars Eric Idle of Monty Python fame, and who doesn’t love that?  The World Showcase area has two Circle Vision shows you have to see.  Circle Vision is a 360 degree theater experience where you stand in the center of the theater and can spin around and see a different angle of the scene the entire movie.  These types of shows used to be quite prevalent at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but these two are the last of their kind, so make sure you check it out.  There is a show in the China Pavilion and the Canada Pavilion.  There are other film type shows in the World Showcase, but these are the only two Circle Visions. Enjoy your 1980s visit to EPCOT! It will be totally awesome.
      • Pacing – This park is HUGE.  It is a 1.2 mile walk just around the World Showcase, so make sure you give yourself enough time to explore this park.  You won’t spend a lot of time waiting in lines at EPCOT because the park has many high capacity rides and shows.  Make sure you get fastpasses for the attractions listed above, and you should be able to get on everything.  The only thing that will slow you down is your ability to cover the entire park.  Everything is spread very far apart and it would be best to spend one day in Future World and the other in the World Showcase.  If you only have one day, then make sure you ride the attractions above and walk the World Showcase at some point during the day.  We like to eat there.  Such good food!  More on that later.  One more pacing note: Some rides, attractions, and pavilions are not open for the entire day, so make sure to check for operating times as you plan your visit.
      A Photo Tour of the World Showcase
      (Traveling Clockwise)
      Mexico Pavilion

      Norway Pavilion

      China Pavilion

      African Outpost
      Germany Pavilion

      Italy Pavilion

      America Pavilion

      Japan Pavilion
      Morocco Pavilion

      France Pavilion
      United Kingdom Pavilion

      Canada Pavilion

      My Vacation Pants Recommendations- There are a lot of fun things to do as an entire family at this park.  You have to go to the Sodas From Around the World exhibit in Future World.  It is called Club Cool, and they have FREE samples of soda.  You stand at the fountain and try all the different flavors.  Some are just plain gross, some are quite refreshing.  

      Get your beverage on for FREE at Club Cool

      You know that big golf ball looking thing at the center of the park?  Well, it’s actually a ride.  It is a slow moving dark ride vehicle that walks you through Communication through the ages.  My recommendation is to skip it at the beginning of the day when everyone is coming in, and go on it after the morning rush.  Then you’ll be able to walk right onto the ride.  

      Inside the EPCOT ball

      If you have never been on Soarin’,  check that out.  It simulates the feeling of hang gliding over, well, California.  It’s called Soarin’ Over California at California Adventure, and it’s the exact same as the one in Florida, but spectacular just the same.  Don’t miss the Chinese acrobats in the China Pavilion.  This has been the same acrobat troop we have been watching over the years.  They started as child performers and now they are adults.  They are such a talented group.  

      Don’t miss the Chinese Acrobats. Amazing show.

      My kids (and husband) loved Agent P’s Phineas and Ferb Scavenger Hunt.  They will check you out a cellular device in several different spots around the World Showcase, and you follow a series of interactive clues to make fun things happen while you walk around the World Showcase.  You even go and talk to cast members who give you secret items and clues.  Check it out while you are there.  Also, make sure you check out my food recommendations below.  This is the park you want to come hungry to. 

      Getting their Agent P Scavenger Hunt on

        What To Eat

        Teppan Edo– This restaurant is located in the Japan pavilion at the World Showcase and it is hands down our favorite restaurant that we have tried in all of WDW.  It is a Teppanyaki style restaurant, meaning they sizzle your food right at the table.  It’s part show, part delicious dinner.  The food is amazing.  I love the dipping sauces.  I love the show.  I love everything.  I have been to a couple different places that make food this way, but this one is top notch.  

        Onion Volcano Time at Teppan Edo

        San Angel Inn – This Mexican restaurant is located inside the pyramid in the Mexico pavilion.  Once you walk inside, you see a night sky and hear festive music, even if it’s daytime.  There is  a boat ride that you can take while you wait for your table to be ready that glides right by the restaurant.  If you have ever been to the Blue Bayou at Disneyland, it is a similar experience, except Mexican themed.  The food was fantastic and seemed authentic.  Apparently all the restaurants in each country are supposed to be very authentic, and staffed from people who are originally from those countries.  Check it out while you are there. 

        Blurry, but artsy shot of the San Angel Inn

        Flavored Popcorn – We had just come out of The Land Pavilion in Future World and smelled some amazing popcorn.  As we approached the cart, we saw they had interesting flavors like buffalo ranch, and sour cream and onion, so we had to try some.  With a wave of my Magic Band we started to enjoy this magnificent treat.  I am telling you that snack hit the spot.  My favorite was the Sour Cream and Onion one while my hubby preferred the Buffalo Ranch.  It was much spicier, if you are into that sort of thing.  Enjoy some while you are there.

        Vanilla Ice Cream Funnel Cakes – Okay, this is a treat that has us coming back multiple times per trip.  Head on back to the America Pavilion in the World Showcase.  Right out front they have this tiny little funnel cake shack.  Order the funnel cake with vanilla ice cream.  They take a rectangular slab of vanilla ice cream and put it on a piping hot funnel cake and voila… you have a decadent treat that will leave you dreaming about coming back and having more.  So amazing!

        Salted Caramels and German Pretzels- Make sure you go to the Germany Pavilion and go to the Werther’s Original candy shop.  I am in love with salted caramels and I get them everywhere I go.  Well, the ones I got here were like the BEST salted caramels I have ever had.  They have all sorts of other amazing chocolates to try too, but this is my number one pick.  Once you have had your fill of caramels, walk across to the beer stand and get one of those HUGE German pretzels with mustard.  They are warm, soft, salty and perfect.  They are big enough to share with the whole family, but I’m pretty sure I ate it all by myself.  Teehee!

        There you have it, my EPCOT whirlwind tour.  Have fun and enjoy your trip to this unique place.  Don’t forget to check out the other parts of my series about Walt Disney World, and please write in with any questions you have about this park.  I can definitely help you plan a great trip.

        Follow My Vacation Pants on Social Media:

        Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myvacationpants/
        Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myvacationpants/
        Twitter: https://twitter.com/myvacationpants
        YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/myvacationpants
        Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vecchio100/my-vacation-pants/
        Inquiries: myvactionpants@gmail.com

        Trip Links
        Walt Disney World Webpage – https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/
        Theme Park Tourist – http://www.themeparktourist.com/
        Part 1 of this Post – http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-disney-world-vacation-pants.html
        Part 2 of this Post: http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-walt-disney-world-vacation.html

        Also click on headings in the post above.  I linked the important information you need. 

        Put on your Walt Disney World Vacation Pants – Family Edition, Part 2 of 6

        Family selfie at Cinderella’s Castle, the focal point of the Magic Kingdom. – 2015
        In Part 2 of my Walt Disney World – Family Edition post, I will talk about the magical Magic Kingdom. Read on to find out how to take a budget friendly trip to this fantastic theme park. If you haven’t seen part ,1 click below.

        Let’s start with the most popular of the BIG 4 parks, Magic Kingdom.  Magic Kingdom is full of fantasy, wonder, and excitement.  If you grew up going to Disneyland in the 1980s, like I did, you will LOVE this park even more.  It will bring back so much nostalgia.  It really is a fantastic place for everyone.  Check out the tips below to get the most out of your day here. 

         Magic Kingdom -Tips and Tricks
        • Fast Pass + – Make sure you have reserved your fastpasses for the day on your Walt Disney World account.  See my tips on Fast Pass + in part 1 of this series.  Attractions worth getting fast passes for, if possible:  
          • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
          • Peter Pan’s Flight
          • Space Mountain
          • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
          • Splash Mountain                                                                               
        • Remember: If you get three attractions reserved early in the day, you can go back and order more fastpasses on the My Disney Experience App once you have used them all.  That is the only way to get more than three fastpasses in a day. Also, don’t forget to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours at this park.  If you go to the park during the nighttime extended hours for WDW Resort guests, the park is open until 2:00 AM , and you will pretty much have the park to yourself.  Hard for young kiddos, but we just toted the stroller around while they slept, and the hubbs and I took turns walking on rides.  It was fantastic.  
          My daughter and I got to walk on all the Fantasyland rides during the nighttime Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom. 

          Here is our gang at the Extra Magic Hours at night.  Taken at 1:50 A.M.

        • Vintage Cool Attractions – As I mentioned above, the Magic Kingdom has tons of vintage cool attractions that will take you back in time.
          Don’t miss these attractions that used to be at Disneyland in California, but are no longer there:  Country Bear Jamboree, Carousel of Progress, Swiss Family Tree House, Tom Sawyer’s Island (with the fort and Injun Joe’s Cave open still), Tomorrowland Transit Authority (Walt Disney World’s version of the Peoplemover), and the Rockets on top of the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (like it should be).
          Also, they still have The Main Street Electrical Parade.  This used to be at Disneyland, but has been gone for several years.  It was so fun seeing it again. 
          This way to the People Mover.  Nice!

        • Pacing – Magic Kingdom is a larger park, not as large as EPCOT, but it has a lot to do.  If possible, make sure you spend a couple days here.  If you are only spending one day here, be sure you make use of those fastpasses, so you get the most bang for your buck.        
        MVP Tip:  A lot of people who have been to Walt Disney’s original Disneyland Park in California decide to skip this park.  They think it is just a replica placed in Florida.  Nope, not the case.  Even the attractions they have at both are way different.  For example, on Splash Mountain you are seated side by side in the log rather than in a row.  It also goes through different scenes from Song of the South as well.  The whole park is like that, but it also has completely different attractions too, like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  Bottom line: don’t skip it while your there. 

        • Educational Guide – I’m a teacher, so I try to find teachable moments everywhere we go, and believe it or not Disney World is no exception.  Make sure you check out the Hall of Presidents.  Talk to your kids about presidency and how important our founding fathers were.  Liberty Tree Square is a great way to show your kids what Colonial Times were like.  They even have stocks to take your picture in.  Talk about that kind of history with them.  It’s important for kids to know how the world has changed.  The Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom is great show that demonstrates how technology has changed through the years.  You also get to ride around in a circle theater, so that’s fantastic as well.  Tom Sawyer’s Island has a lot of history about the Southern United States and how things were back then.  Also, my husband taught my kids how to play checkers while we were there.  Make history come alive and teach your kids something while you are having all sorts of fun.  Never miss an opportunity to help their brains grow. 
          Checker time on Tom Sawyer’s Island.

        • My Vacation Pants Recommendations- We loved the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  It has very cool technology and is a thrilling ride, but still tame enough for younger children.  If you have never been to a Disney Park, you have to go on the classics like Pirates of the Carribean, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Enchanted Tiki Room, Small World, etc.  We also loved The Hall of Presidents, maybe because of the The Bill and Ted reference, but it’s educational none the less.   One more thing that is exclusive to the Magic Kingdom, you have to check out the Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor at the Magic Kingdom.  It was an interactive show and it was so hilarious we went back twice.  
          It was spooktacular at the Haunted Mansion.

          Jungle Cruise is classic. 
          Space Mountain mimics the Matterhorn track from Disneyland in California.  No side by side seating here. 
          Big Thunder Mountain Railroad as seen from TomSawyer’s Island.

        What To Eat

        Cinderella’s Royal Table – Yep, it’s just like it sounds, you get to eat inside Cinderella’s Castle.  How cool is that?  On this particular trip Cinderella was doing some remodeling, so we weren’t able to eat here, but we have eaten there on past visits.  Make sure you make your reservations early because they do fill up fast.  It’s a small intimate venue and you will feel like you’re royalty eating there.  This is also one of those splurge places.  Maybe bring some sandwiches for the rest of the day because this place is quite spendy.  Our favorite thing is the pretzel bread.  Not sure if they still serve it, but if they do, you’re in for a treat.  

        • Liberty Tree Tavern – Take a step back in colonial times and enjoy a meal.  This restaurant is located in the Liberty Square section of the park.  We had some good ole comfort food while we were there.  I liked that when you checked in to the restaurant they asked where you were from, and then when they called your family name to seat you they would yell where you hailed from.  It went something like this, “The Vecchio Family from the California Territory, your table is ready.”  It was cute, real cute, and fun to explain to the kids about colonies verses territories and stuff.  
          Out front of the yummy Liberty Tree Tavern.

          It looks like a cute little colonial tavern inside.

        • Dole Whips at the Sunshine Plaza – If you have never had a Dole Whip, you must try this tasty treat during your visit.  It’s basically pineapple ice cream, and it’s so magical.  They have a whole plaza dedicated to this treat at the Magic Kingdom.  You can get it at a couple different places (by the Enchanted Tiki Room and across from the Swiss Family Tree House).  They had an orange pineapple one that we tried that was okay, but for the real deal get the pineapple flavored one, or splurge for the pineapple float.  Yum.  
          Yes, it tastes as good as it looks.  

        So there you have it.  My Vacation Pants guide to the Magic Kingdom.  Please comment or e-mail me with any questions you have about this place.  I do know my way around a Disney Park.  Thanks for reading.  Don’t forget to check the links below to help you plan, and follow me on social media for updates about posts and to get even more travel tips. 

        Follow My Vacation Pants on Social Media:

        Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myvacationpants/
        Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myvacationpants/
        YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/myvacationpants
        Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vecchio100/my-vacation-pants/
        Inquiries: myvactionpants@gmail.com

        Trip Links
        Walt Disney World Webpage – https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/
        Theme Park Tourist – http://www.themeparktourist.com/
        Part 1 of this Post – http://myvacationpants.blogspot.com/2016/04/put-on-your-disney-world-vacation-pants.html

        Also click on headings in the post above.  I linked the important information you need. 

        Put on your Disney World Vacation Pants – Family Edition, Part 1 of 6

        Packing for our trip to Walt Disney World – 2015

        My Vacation Pants will teach you how to take the most budget efficient trip to Walt Disney World with your family. Continue reading to find out how you too can plan the vacation of a lifetime without breaking the bank. This is part 1 in a series of 6.  This first post will give you the tips you need to book a Walt Disney World vacation.

        Trip Overview
        Imagine this:  My hubbs and I secretly booked a Disney World vacation for our kiddos.  We didn’t tell them anything.  They knew all about this fantastic place because we told them all about it.
        (Being a past Disneyland Resort cast member, I had gone a few times before.  In my younger adulthood the only way I could afford to go was to take people on my Main Gate Pass, which worked for both the California Resorts and the Florida Resorts.  I will cover taking a cast member trip in another post.)
        Back to the story: our flight to Florida left super early one morning.  The kids were asleep as we loaded them into the car.  We woke them up at the airport parking lot and told them the news.  They were so excited!  We felt like the BEST PARENTS EVER! It was hard to keep the trip a secret from them, but the reaction was so worth it.  It’s been one year since the day we took off on this fantastic trip, and I am ready to blog the pants off of this thing.  I can’t wait to give you all the tips I learned on my 7th time visiting this wonderful place.  This is part 1 of a series of 6 posts about Disney World.  This first post will prepare you on how to plan for a trip for Walt Disney World.  

        Check out the video below to see our kids reactions to the BIG news.

        Trip Itinerary

        Overall this was an 8 night, 9 day trip.  I know you may be thinking, “Do I really want to spend 9 days at a theme park?”  Yes, yes you do.  If you want to immerse yourself in the full Disney World experience, you have to realize that you could stay a whole year here and NOT see all it has to offer.  The longer you stay, the more you will get to see and do.  Also, this ain’t a trip for the faint of heart.  You will NOT be relaxing much on this vacation if you want to get your money’s worth, so maybe plan a little down time after your trip to recover.  This was the longest Disney World trip we had ever taken, and it still went by in the flash of an eye.  

        Day 1: Flew from Los Angeles, CA to Orlando, FL.  We took the complimentary airport shuttle, (Disney’s Magical Express) which is free if you stay in a Disney Property Hotel, straight to the resort. Plus we went into Disney Studios and the Magic Kingdom once we arrived.

        Day 2:  Animal Kingdom
        Day 3:  Disney Studios
        Day 4:  EPCOT
        Day 5:  Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Downtown Disney (now called Disney Springs)
        Day 6:  Magic Kingdom
        Day 7: Changed hotels: We went from All-Star Music Resort to the Contemporary Resort and went to EPCOT
        Day 8: Disney Studios and Magic Kingdom
        Day 9: Magic Kingdom and then we flew back from Orlando, FL to Los Angeles, CA

        MVP (My Vacations Pants) Trip Tip: Frontier Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Virgin America, and Jet Blue are some budget airlines that fly from major airports to Orlando for dirt cheap.  Check out those airlines.  Sometimes it is worth driving a couple hours to an airport if you are going to save hundreds of dollars on airfare.  

        Trip Budget

        My mother in-law was actually graduating from an online university during the time we took this trip.  Lo and behold, her school decided to hold the graduation at Walt Disney World Resort Hotel.  A cool part about Disney World is that many athletic competitions and conferences take place there.  This may be a time to combine work and pleasure to get a discount.  Discounts on tickets and hotel rooms extend to friends and family, so make sure you take advantage of this opportunity if it ever comes up.  We certainly did.  

        • Roundtrip Airfare to Orlando, FL from Los Angeles, CA- $456 a person- Eek!  You can definitely get the price of this down by using Google Flights.  Our problem was that we all had a very specific range of time we could go to Disney World, so we had to fly back on a very expensive day.  In the past I have flown to Orlando for under $200 a person.  You just have to have flexible dates.  The cool part of this was my mother and father in-law paid for our whole family to come out and see her graduate, so we didn’t have this cost out of our own pockets when we went, which was another reason we really wanted to go when we did.  
        • Airport Transfers – FREE  Mickey’s Magical Express is a free shuttle service from the Orlando Airport to the Walt Disney World Resort if you stay at any of the on resort properties, so take advantage of that.  
        • Tickets to the Parks – We bought 8 day park hoppers at the convention discount.  The ticket also included an extra ticket to Typhoon Lagoon, so that’s 9 days of fun for only $377 a person.  That works out to only $41 a day.  That’s some 1990s prices.  So find a conference at Disney World and get those discount tickets.  You know there has to be some kind of conference you want to go to.  
        • Hotels – We paid $81 a night for the All-Star Music Resort which is a Disney Value Resort.  You don’t spend much time in your room, so you might as well go cheap.  The resort was also offering discounted rooms at the Contemporary Resort for $169 a night for people who attended the graduation, so we changed hotel rooms at the end of our trip to take advantage of a deluxe resort deal for a HUGE discount (they are usually $400 a night). Our grand total for lodging was $824 for 8 nights of on property lodging.
        MVP Trip Tip: I upgraded my Disneyland Premium Annual Pass to a Premier Pass.  The Premier Pass gives you admission to both the California and Florida resort properties (including the water parks).  It also included free parking.  If you plan on going for as long as we did or if you are taking two trips in a year, this is a fantastic deal.  You also get some discounts on merchandise and some restaurants in the park.  Just upgrade one person in your party and get discounts for the whole group. 
          Trip Grand Total – $4156 for a 9 day/8 night Walt Disney World Vacation!!!  This total is based on a family of four.  Two adults and two children (age 6 and 4 at time of our travels).  

          MVP Trip Tip:  We packed a suitcase of food for our trip.  There is no grocery store on site, and the food at the park and the hotels are expensive.  To cut down our food costs we pre-bought a bunch of snacks that would have cost us a fortune at the resort.  Don’t worry, we still got our eat on!!!  I will explain that more in a later post.  

          Trip Lodging

          • All-Star Music Resort – located on the WDW property.  This hotel is considered a value resort.  But come on, do you think Disney does anything half way?  This hotel is great! It is basically Disney’s rendition of a Best Western or Holiday Inn Express, complete with Mickey shaped toiletries and day and night Disney programming.  What makes it special:  The fact that you are just a short shuttle from all the parks is so convenient and fun.  We loved the pools and the outside decor.  
            Towel animals every night.

            Exterior jazz section of the All-Star Music

            The front of the hotel by the shuttle stops.

          • Contemporary Resort – located on the WDW property in walking distance to the Magic Kingdom Park.  This place is considered a deluxe resort.  Weirdly, after all is said and done, we preferred the value resort to the deluxe resort.  Don’t get me wrong, the murals and architecture were fantastic, but the shuttle system to the parks here was so disorganized and slow, and it was much more convenient and efficient at the All-Star resort.  At the budget resorts, there is a shuttle for each park and the shuttles come consistently, at the Contemporary resort, there was just one pick up location and no queue, so everyone just cut in front of everyone else.  The shuttles were far and few between.  The monorail was broken down every time we tried to use it and it almost made my mom in-law miss her graduation, so that was stressful.  Also, the monorail didn’t even run as late as the park was open, so we had to walk back late at night from the Magic Kingdom with two sleeping kiddos.  What makes it special:  It’s the closest park to the Magic Kingdom, so that was fun.  The monorail runs right through the hotel lobby.  That was cool when it was working.  They had a very fancy pool with pool activities and a water slide.  It definitely was a nice room as well.  Think of a Hilton or Sheraton, Disney style.  
            Bigger towel animals at the contemporary.

            The beds were more comfy. 

            It had a nice little sitting area. 

          Our view from the Monorail.  

          The Mary Blair murals were top notch. 

          So I may have been insanely excited that the monorail was finally working to take us back to our hotel.

          MVP Trip Tip:  Think about how much time you are actually going to be staying in a hotel room.  Do you really need somewhere fancy, or do you just need somewhere to rest your head?  I would opt for the value resorts if you want to save some moola.  


          If you want to get the most out of your Walt Disney World trip, you don’t want to wait until you get there to make decisions.  You need to plan, plan, plan to get the most bang for your buck.  This particular trip was relatively last minute.  We had less them a month to plan, and it did cost us some experiences.  Overall, we came out pretty good, but make sure you use the tips outlined below to really make things go smoother.  

          • My Magic + – As soon as you buy your tickets, sign up for a Walt Disney World account and start planning your experiences.  You can book your fastpasses and plan your dining reservations up to 30 days in advance if you are just going to the parks, or 60 days in advance if you are also staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel.  
          • Fastpass + – Once you make a Disney World account, go ahead and enter your ticket reservation code under the My Disney Experience tab and start booking those fastpasses.  These are FREE, so make sure you take advantage of them.  You can pre-book three fastpasses per person, per day at a park.  Choose the date and the park you are going to for that date, and it will list three tiers of rides.  One tier includes the big attractions (Space Mountain), the second tier is the medium attractions (Pirates of the Carribean), and the third tier is the attractions that usually have a very small wait time (Philharmagic Show).  Pick one in each of the categories and the hour window you want to go.  My tip would be to book the fastpasses earlier in the day because once you have used them all, you can download the Walt Disney World app and book more fastpasses for the same day, but you have to have used or let your first three reservations expire before you can do this.  These fastpass reservations will then be connected to your park ticket or Magic Band, and you will be on your way. Again, the Fastpass + is included with your theme park tickets or annual passes and is no extra cost to you, so make sure you take advantage.
          • Disney Dining – I will go into detail about where you need to eat later in this blog, but I beg you to make your dining reservations as soon as you possibly can.  The table service restaurants are so popular, and they fill up fast.  I did the math, and buying a dining plan is NOT worth it.  Do your own planning and you will save money and have the flexibility of eating where you want and when you want.  We did 1-2 table service restaurants a day.  The food is amazing and worth it, and the counter service restaurants cost almost as much as the counter service restaurants anyway.  
          • Magic Bands – It is worth ordering the Magic Bands rather then standard ticket cards.  The Magic Bands are waterproof electronic bracelets that work as your park ticket, hotel room key, fastpass reservation, and payment (if you choose to connect a credit card).  No more trying to dig around and find those park tickets or room keys, they are on your arm. This option is free with your park ticket purchase. 

            It was fun having the annual passholder Magic Band.

            Team Magic Band ready to get our WDW on!

          • Make sure you pack: 
            • Comfortable walking shoes – break them in before you come
            •  Mole skin – to cover blisters
            • Ziploc bags to put phones and electronic devices in on water rides, or when it rains
            • Ponchos – it rains a lot in Florida, and out of absolutely nowhere. (You know those old movies where it’s all sunny, and then suddenly there is a total down pour?  Well, that’s what it’s like in Florida.)
            •  A double stroller if you have young children – my kids were old enough to be out of a stroller when we went, but you walk A LOT for multiple days in a row, and I was sooooooooooooooo thankful my hubby made us bring the double
            • Dry snacks – there is no grocery store on resort property, and the snacks at the hotel are outrageously priced, so we bought a suitcase full of chips, granola bars, fruit snacks etc. and we were so thankful we did
            •  A portable charger – I recommend the lipstick sized one that Anker makes, it fully charged my phone from 0% each day, so I could keep snapping those pics, checking wait times, and making new fastpass reservations on the Walt Disney World App. Also, the resort has free wifi, so make sure you connect to that when you get to the resort property.
          • Mickey’s Magical Express – This is the name of the hotel shuttle that you take to the Walt Disney Resort property.  It is free to resort property hotel guests, but if fills up fast, so make sure you make your reservations a couple weeks in advance.  If you do, you get to take the shuttle fastpass line like we did.  We just waved our magic bands and presto, we were on the shuttle.  See how easy it was to use in the video below.  
          • Download the Walt Disney World App – It’s a great way to check wait times, show times, maps of the parks, and of course to make/change/modify  your fastpass + reservations.  Download it from home before you go, so you don’t have to use your cell phone data to do it.  The parks do have FREE wifi, but it does get spotty to use, and has a hard time downloading apps.  

          So that about does it for Part 1 of my Walt Disney World, Family Edition blog posts.  Check back later for more posts about this uh-mazing trip!!! 

          Follow My Vacation Pants on Social Media:

          Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myvacationpants/
          Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/myvacationpants/
          YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/myvacationpants
          Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/vecchio100/my-vacation-pants/

          Trip Links
          Walt Disney World Webpage – https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/
          Also click on headings in the post above.  I linked the important information you need above.