Show Disney.com Hide Disney.com
Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland Park

Cruising with Little Ones: Q&A with a Mom

posted on July 29th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared information about taking a Disney cruise with young kids. A lot of that information has come from chatting with parents who have sailed with children under the age of five. One of my conversations was with Debbie, an avid Disney cruiser from Minneapolis.

DCLFF7597671

Debbie and her husband have three kids who all experienced their first Disney cruise as toddlers. She has cruised three times with kids and three times without, which definitely makes her an expert on all things Disney Cruise Line! Here are her answers to some of my questions about cruising with little ones …

DCLFF7597672

What stood out about the amenities for young children?

Debbie: Everything was catered to the kids. The wait staff and housekeeping staff made my kids feel like royalty every day by adding many extra special touches to their service. My three-year-old twins especially loved the splash pad, and it satisfied their need for water activities, while putting my mind at ease in that it was enclosed. Plus, I didn’t have to worry about their swim abilities. The accessibility to the characters is phenomenal. Some of the characters even recognized my kids by mid-week, which made them feel extra special. Evening activities in the kids’ club (i.e. “pajama party”) allowed for some adult time. I felt the kids were very safe in the Oceaneer Club; check in and check out was efficient, yet thorough, and safety was a priority. Also, you can borrow amazing all-terrain strollers (for free!) so you don’t have to bring your own when you disembark at ports of call.

What are some of the ways Disney Cruise Line made it easy for you to enjoy time for yourself onboard?

Debbie: Bringing our kids to the Oceaneer Club during dinner allowed us to relax and enjoy our meal. We were able to enjoy an evening at Remy while the kids were at the Oceaneer Club. The counselors knew of our plans and promised to only call us if it was an emergency. When we did bring our kids with us to other dining rooms, the wait staff catered to them. Servers could sense if the kids were over tired or amped up and would find ways to entertain and amuse them. It was incredible. Also, you can request kids’ food right away during dinner. This way, when they are done, they can leave with a youth counselor and go to the Oceaneer Club. It allows for a much more pleasant dining experience for parents of children who get bored quickly!

How about in port?

Debbie: There are awesome activities for families and kids at Castaway Cay. We never once heard “I’m bored,” which rarely happens when we’re on a beach with the kids. We even went out on a limb and left the kids on the ship when we went to San Juan. We decided to do an adult excursion (kayaking/hiking/ziplining). Early on I was very nervous about leaving the kids on the ship, but it was INCREDIBLE. We had the most amazing time (I HIGHLY recommend that excursion!!) and the kids had a great time on the ship.

What impressed you most about the youth counselors?

Debbie: They are genuinely excited to be with your kids, seem to really enjoy their role, and are fully engaged and highly interactive with the children (they are kids at heart!) They get to know your kids during the week and cater to their needs. I felt like the counselors truly cared about my children. It was like leaving my children with a room full of magical nannies!

What is your response to parents who question if their children are old enough to truly enjoy and appreciate a Disney cruise?

Debbie: First and foremost – it’s Disney. No matter the age, there’s something for everyone. The service on the cruise is second to none. One of the many benefits of the cruise is that you don’t have to think about a thing and you can leave your worries behind. Kids hungry? There’s always food available. Kids bored? Not possible. There’s always something to do.

A big “thank you” to Debbie for her insights. For more on cruising with little ones, check out these past posts:

  • Share: 

Tagged:

Filed: Disney Cruise Line, Top Stories

Top 5 Picks for Lunch on the Walt Disney World Monorail

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Pam Brandon, Disney Parks Food Writer


A lunchtime getaway on the monorail is one of our favorite tips for Magic Kingdom Park guests – take a leisurely mid-day break, then return energized to the park for more fun and fireworks.

Here are our five favorite stops, where you should be able to grab a seat without a reservation (though it’s nice to plan in advance).

konkon83769922

  1. Kona Cafe, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. Just steps from the resort’s monorail station, this casual spot is the quickest getaway for a table-service lunch. This might be the biggest challenge without a reservation, so best to call ahead (sometimes early or late lunches work best without a reservation). The dish to taste: fish tacos with seared tilapia, tomato salsa and mango mayonnaise, also a great selection of hand-crafted sushi made to order. And, yes, the legendary Kilauea Torte is still on the menu.
  2. The Wave… of American Flavors, Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Jog downstairs to the first floor from the monorail station to this casual table-service restaurant. Again, reservations are nice, but not always necessary. Dish to taste: the build-your-own burger with Florida-raised and grass-fed beef. Add a little candied bacon, caramelized onions, guacamole – lots of delicious toppings. Organic draft beer too.
  3. Grand Floridian Cafe, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. The monorail stops on the second floor, so make your way to the lobby to this airy, pleasant cafe where you reservations are preferred but not necessary. Dish to taste: the tuna Niçoise salad with a medium-rare tuna steak with greens, eggs, fingerling potatoes, green beans, Kalamata olive and tomatoes, served with fresh black olive bread. You can always add a glass of wine.

concon8376991

  1. Contempo Cafe, Disney’s Contemporary Resort. No reservations necessary, and it’s just steps from the monorail station of the resort’s fourth floor. Contempo Cafe is quick service, and a fun diversion from Magic Kingdom Park. The specialty cupcakes and desserts are not to be missed. Dish to taste: the hot smoked turkey sandwich with Brie, arugula, green apple slices, apple butter and honey mustard on challah bread. Fries on the side.

corcor7639933

  1. Epcot. So it’s impossible to choose just one restaurant, and this requires a much longer departure from Magic Kingdom Park, but it’s doable, and reservations are best. While it’s a hike from the monorail stop to the World Showcase restaurants, a quicker stroll is Coral Reef Restaurant in The Seas with Nemo & Friends – and you get a dazzling live show from the fish, sharks, turtles and rays in the giant aquarium. Dish to taste: the divine lobster bisque with tarragon and brandy has been on the menu since Day 1, but the grilled New York strip steak is a crowd pleaser.

Tell us your favorite! For reservations visit DisneyWorld.com/dine or call 407-WDW-DINE.

  • Share: 

Tagged: , , ,

Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

First Look: Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters Rolling into Disney California Adventure Park

posted on July 27th, 2015 by Erin Glover, Social Media Director, Disneyland Resort


As we first told you back in February, Luigi – the most famous tire salesman in Cars Land – has temporarily closed his Casa della Tires to visit family in Italy. Today, I’m excited to tell you that he is returning with some special guests!

Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters Rolling into Disney California Adventure Park, Image Courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering

Luigi has invited all of his cugini (cousins) from his hometown of Carsoli, Italy, to visit his Casa della Tires. To help celebrate Race Day in Radiator Springs, they will demonstrate the dances of their village with Cars Land guests when the all-new Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters opens early next year.

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more updates as our special guests continue to settle in at Disney California Adventure park!

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort, Top Stories