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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.

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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 …

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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:

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PHOTO GALLERY: Special Images of ‘Alice In Wonderland’ at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Jennifer Fickley-Baker, Social Media Manager


This week in Disney History, “Alice In Wonderland” was released in theaters in 1951. The film, based on the story penned by Lewis Carroll, tells the story of a daring young girl who follows a certain white rabbit down a rabbit hole – and of the adventures that follow.

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Today, you can often meet Alice at Magic Kingdom Park at the Mad Tea Party. Be sure to check the MyDisneyExperience App for her latest schedule.

Thanks to Ryan Wendler for the great portraits. To check out more in our series, see the list below.

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Filed: Magic Kingdom, My Disney Experience, MyMagic+, Walt Disney World Resort

A Home Away From Home at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa: 3-Bedroom Grand Villa

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Tyler Slater, Public Relations Manager, Disney Destinations


With an immediate family of 12, I personally understand what it’s like to vacation with a large ‘ohana. That’s why I like to recommend 3-Bedroom Grand Villas at Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, for family vacations – the perfect retreat for everyone. My nieces and nephew can spend the day at Aunty’s Beach House while the adults relax beside the Wailana Pool. Then we can all convene for dinner in the Grand Villa before heading to the Starlit Hui. Today our “A Home Away From Home” series continues with a look inside these 3-Bedroom Grand Villas at Aulani – so perfect for multi-families or even reunions.

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Imagine your luxurious home away from home equipped with three separate bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full-size kitchen and a living room! Spread across 2,100 square feet, you’ll find four flat-panel televisions and DVD players, a whirlpool tub and an extra large private balcony. And like the 1-Bedroom and 2-Bedroom Villas, don’t worry about packing extra clothes because a full washer and dryer is available inside the Villa.

There is more than enough room to prepare home-cooked meals for 12 inside the furnished kitchen. Not only will you have a full-size refrigerator, but you’ll also find dishware, glassware, flatware, pots and pans!

Curious about the sleeping arrangements? The master bedroom features a king bed, while the other bedrooms are equipped with two queen beds. You’ll also find that the living room sofa folds into a queen bed, and also has one sleeper chair. As you can tell, the Grand Villas were designed to comfortably accommodate all ages of your ‘ohaha.

Who is coming with you on a vacation to Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa? Tell us in the comments below!


For more from the “Home Away from Home” series, visit the posts below:

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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.

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

Fun in the Sun! Summer Merchandise Picks at the Disneyland Resort

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Michelle Harker, Manager, Merchandise Marketing & Communications, Disneyland Resort


Are you planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort this summer? Here’s a look at some of the merchandise picks we found to help you enjoy some fun in the sun!

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Garden Grill Restaurant Breakfast and Lunch Reservations Open Today

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Tucked into the back of the Land pavilion at Epcot, Garden Grill Restaurant is known for family-style food, unique views of the “Living with the Land” attraction, and fun antics and interactions with our favorite chipmunks—Chip ‘n’ Dale.

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Filed: Disney Dining, Epcot, Top Stories, Walt Disney World Resort

Behind the Scenes: Recreating Rapunzel’s World for ‘Tangled: The Musical’ for Disney Cruise Line

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


When “Tangled: The Musical” debuts on stage aboard the Disney Magic this November, audiences can expect to be immersed in a vibrant, Bavarian world featuring the storybook locales we know and love from the film.

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QUIZ: ‘Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade’ at Magic Kingdom Park

posted on July 28th, 2015 by Nate Rasmussen, Archivist, Marketing Resource Center


When was your last trip to Magic Kingdom Park? Have you had a chance to see “Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade” and all of its amazing floats? Test your knowledge of this amazing spectacle.

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Fuel Your Emotions with Recipes Inspired by Disney•Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’

posted on July 27th, 2015 by Rachel Brent, Food & Beverage Marketing Communications Coordinator


Food can change any mood. Nothing can turn a rough day around like a warm bowl of creamy mac and cheese. Or maybe you want to spice up your day with a dish exploding with flavor. Whatever you’re in the mood for, I have a feeling you’ll want to try these recipes inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out” and created by Disney Parks Food and Beverage:

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First Look at Commemorative Products for 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

posted on July 27th, 2015 by Steven Miller, Merchandise Communications Manager


The countdown is on to the start of my favorite event at Walt Disney World Resort – the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The festival opens September 25 and runs through November 16, and will feature more than 30 global marketplaces (including some new experiences in Future World.) This year also marks the 20th time this event has been held at Epcot. Here is a first look at some of the merchandise commemorating this milestone anniversary.

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Filed: Epcot, Special Events, Walt Disney World Resort