Walt Disney was a huge train enthusiast, which is why you can find unique railroads for all ages at every Disney Park around the world. There’s something about riding a train that seems to fascinate young children and as the parent of little ones, I appreciate the relaxing downtime a train around the park provides.
It all starts with the Monorail! When staying at some Walt Disney World Resort hotels, you can just pop outside to the Monorail to get to Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot. It’s just a convenient form of transportation, it feels like an attraction in itself.
The iconic Walt Disney World Railroad is a favorite of my family because the 20-minute, 1.5-mile trip aboard an authentic steam-powered train allows you to take in the scenery throughout Magic Kingdom Park. Trains arrive every few minutes so kids won’t need to wait long, and there are convenient nearby stroller parking areas at each stop. Check out this video with one of our preschool-aged guests as he takes his first train ride – his enthusiasm is contagious!
Also at Magic Kingdom Park, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a breezy, 10-minute tour through Tomorrowland. My kids love the birds-eye view they get from the elevated track.
Over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, the Wildlife Express Train combines two things kids love – trains and animals. Board the rustic locomotive for a 1.2-mile trip to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, where kids can learn more about wild animals, conservation efforts and even meet a few furry friends.
Traveling to Disney Parks with multiple generations is a magical experience for everyone in the family. One of our resident grandparents on the Disney Parks Moms Panel regularly visits with her large family including her children, grandchild and her mother, so we asked for her recommendations on how to make the most of a trip with extended family. She offers some great tips like booking bigger resort villas and suites that allow everyone to sleep in the same room, memorable experiences like character dining that everyone can enjoy as a group, and even taking some time to split up into smaller groups (hello, date night for mom and dad)! Check out Anne’s video below for all six tips for having a grand adventure at Walt Disney World Resort.
With a huge variety of activities available during a Disney Parks vacation, deciding what to pack for your entire family can be a little overwhelming. Luckily, the knowledgeable members of the Disney Parks Moms Panel are here to provide some advice from real moms and dads! In this installment of Moms Panel Monday, seven of our panelists share their must-haves that range from everything from extra towels to sit on during parades, to two pairs of shoes in case one gets wet from fun water attractions like Splash Mountain. For more tips, check out all of the responses here. Still want more? Ask the Moms Panel your own Disney Parks question!
Independence Day is a wonderful holiday for families to spend time together and celebrate our nation’s birthday. Fireworks are almost synonymous with July 4, and if you’re planning to bring your kids to the parks for the holiday, you can see some amazing fireworks displays in addition to lots of other patriotic entertainment that will have your little ones saying, “oooh ahhh!”
Magic Kingdom Park: Young and old will marvel at the specially-themed fireworks spectacular over Cinderella Castle “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky,” which will be presented two nights in a row at 9 p.m. on July 3 and 4.
Epcot: Snap a family photo with Chip and Dale in their patriotic attire outside of The American Adventure. Then be sure to check out the Voices of Liberty performing a special set list of great American songs at the America Gardens Theater at 12:30 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 3 p.m. Schedule nap time during the day so that the littles ones can end the day with “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” at 10 p.m., which features an addition of a heart-pounding, all-American grand finale.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: It’s a family-friendly party over at the “Coolest Summer Ever” Dance Party, which leads up to a “Rockin’ 4th of July Celebration.” The DJ kicks the soiree off at 5:45 p.m., followed by an exciting pyrotechnic, rock ‘n’ roll road trip across America in the sky over Hollywood Studios at 10:15 p.m.
Tip: For long days in the parks, be sure to pack snacks and sunscreen to keep little ones happy and comfy during the day, and pj’s for the evening so they can fall asleep when the fireworks end. Don’t worry if you forget something — the Baby Care Centers at every park are fully stocked. Have fun!
Yo ho, let’s go! The sense of adventure of a pirate’s life can entertain little ones of all ages and we’ve got lots of exciting ways for kids to get in on the action. We rounded up some of the top ways at Walt Disney World Resort for kids to feel like a real pirate for the day in this handy graphic.
In addition to these great experiences, there is even more swashbuckling fun to be had across the theme parks and resorts. For fans of Disney Jr., don’t miss character dining and meet & greet opportunities with Jake and the Neverland Pirates at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! The adventure continues at our resorts with special Pirates Adventure Cruises, where little scallywags can set sail to find hidden treasure. There are even pirate-themed rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
For even more pirates (and princesses), check out this page!
Click on the graphic above to see all our recommendations for pirate fun!
Celebrating a birthday at Walt Disney World Resort is an unforgettable experience, and there are so many great options on how to personalize for the guest(s) of honor. So much so, that it can be tough to decide what’s the best fit for your group! The real parents who make up the Disney Parks Moms Panel can give tips and advice on how to make special arrangements, and in this edition of Moms Panel Monday several panelists help a guest who wants to plan a birthday celebration for teens who happen to have a strict diet. From private surfing lessons at Typhoon Lagoon to a vegan-friendly meal at Sanaa, they provide ideas that will make the special day even more memorable!
Pool season is in full swing at Walt Disney World Resort, and now there’s something to make a day by the water even more fun for little ones. Earlier this month, Disney Jr. Pool Parties began daily at all of our hotels across property.
The interactive 22-minute Disney Jr. Pool Parties feature music and activities from some of kids’ favorite shows like “Sofia the First,” “Doc McStuffins,” “Jake and the Neverland Pirates,” “Miles from Tomorrowland” and of course, “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” Sing-a-longs and games like “Sofia Says” are tailored to our youngest guests so they can stay excited and engaged.
Also at our resorts, be sure to check out other services and amenities that are perfect for parents of young kids:
- Children’s Activity Centers – located at Deluxe Resorts, but open to all Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests
- In-room babysitting services
- Extra Magic Hours – Perfect for little ones who get up really early!
- Complimentary transportation across Walt Disney World Resort property
The weather is heating up, but things have never been cooler at Walt Disney World thanks to family-friendly events like “Frozen Summer Fun” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Starting June 17, you’ll have the opportunity to see favorite royal sisters Anna and Elsa and their pals up close. We rounded up some of our favorite “Frozen” themed activities that you and your little ones won’t want to miss!
Parent tip: Use FastPass+ to reserve tickets for the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, so you can plan the rest of your day around the showtime. And pack snacks and pajamas to keep kids comfy while they watch the amazing “Frozen” fireworks at the end of the night!
Click the graphic below to see all six activities!
Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is an annual event that features activities for all ages, so even the youngest family members can join in on the fun. All three of my little girls are huge fans of the characters from both the original films and the new Star Wars Rebels series on Disney XD, so it is a huge treat for them to meet their favorites in person. Parents of Padawans won’t want to miss these incredibly themed hands-on experiences, taking place weekends May 15 – June 14, 2015.
- Jedi Training Academy – Kids from 4 to 12 can sign up to train to be a Jedi and battle an evil Sith from the dark side
- Lightsaber building – Little ones can build the lightsaber of their imaginations in Tatooine Traders
- Character Meet & Greets –Get up-close with icons from both Star Wars heroes and villains at meet & greet locations throughout the park. Don’t forget your autograph book!
- LEGO interactive build station – Little ones can spend endless amounts of time building their own Star Wars creations at this unique hands-on station
- Star Wars Droid Factory – Kids can build their own astromech droid action figure, just like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars
- Padawan Mind Challenge – Designed for kids ages 4 to 11, this interactive trivia event will test your little ones’ Star Wars knowledge
- “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks – Kids may actually want to take a nap just so they can stay up for this finale celebration that features popular Star Wars characters
Food can be a big and very fun part of the Walt Disney World Resort experience, and for this issue of Moms Panel Monday our panelists offer dining suggestions to a guest who is visiting this summer.
Each panelist provides personal insight — such as favorites of their kids’ like 50s Prime Time Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to signature dining establishments like California Grill and Flying Fish Cafe, and even not-to-be-missed indulgences like waffle-based sandwiches at Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom Park or the addictive Zebra Domes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Does your family have any favorite places to grab a bite at Walt Disney World Resort?