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Happy Fourth of July from Disney Parks

Cruising with Little Ones: Tips from the Disney Parks Moms Panel

posted on July 1st, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


If you’re considering taking your little one on their first Disney cruise, chances are you have several questions about what to expect. What activities are onboard for young children? What supplies do I need to bring with me? Will there be opportunities for “me time”?

DISNEY'S OCEANEER CLUB ON THE DISNEY DREAM

I’ve been chatting with parents who have already cruised with little ones to get their insights. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be giving you answers to these questions, plus many more. If there are specific things you want to know, tell me in the comments and I’ll do my best to find the answer for you.

For now, I’ll leave you with some great tips from one of our Disney Parks Moms Panelists, Tracy. Along with the other Disney Cruise Line specialists on the panel, she is always happy to answer your questions on DisneyParksMomsPanel.com. Stay tuned next week to find out the top activities for little ones aboard a Disney cruise.

Cinderella Meets a Little Princess

1. Take advantage of the many opportunities to meet characters.
“Have your little one pose with ANY character you encounter! And be sure to pack your child’s princess gown for the Princess Gathering. The photos will be precious!”

2. Take your own baby supplies.
“Bring a small umbrella stroller or a baby carrier, as those hallways are especially long for little legs! Also, pack more diapers than you need, and after you empty them out of your suitcase, you will have plenty of room for souvenirs!”

3. Take naps.
“You are never very far from your room. Do NOT hesitate to go there and have your little ones (or yourself) take a nap. Before Pirate Night, have your little ones nap in the afternoon so that they can make it to the Pirates IN the Caribbean deck party, complete with fireworks.”

Palo

4. Take time out for yourself.
“Be sure to schedule nursery time so that you can enjoy “me time” in the adult-exclusive spaces. My favorite is brunch at Palo, followed by an afternoon at the spa!”

5.Take lots of photos.
“Always have your camera handy, as you’ll want to capture your child’s excitement all throughout the cruise! Pirate Night is my favorite night, and it usually is for little ones, too. Be sure to pack your best pirate-y outfits and take LOTS of pictures.”

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Moms Panel Monday: Planning for a Birthday at Walt Disney World Resort

posted on June 22nd, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


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!

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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World Resort

Planning for a Disney Cruise: Tips from the Disney Parks Moms Panel

posted on June 18th, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


When planning for a Disney cruise, the Disney Parks Moms Panel is an excellent resource. Each of the Disney Cruise Line specialists have sailed with us numerous times and have so much knowledge to share. Here are their answers to some of the most asked questions to the panel.

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Q1: How do you pre-book excursions once your cruise is paid for?

A1: Marcy G: If this is your first cruise, book all those fun extras at 75 days prior to sailing when your online check-in begins. For guests who have cruised with Disney before, book at 90 or more days prior to sail date.

Q2: What documents do we need to bring with us to board the ship/check-in at the port?

A2: Diane W: When you check in at the cruise terminal, you’ll need to bring along:

  • Completed and signed cruise documents from the Disney Cruise Line Guest Ticket Booklet or a printed and signed Online Cruise Contract
  • Signed Payment Authorization Form
  • Passport/proof of citizenship

The Disney Magic at Castaway Cay

Q3: What is the most affordable time of the year to cruise?

A3: Diane W.: Disney offers cruises at significantly reduced rates during the off-season. If you’re looking to save some money, fall and early spring are your best bets.

Q4: We found out on our first cruise that you can bring liquor with you. Is it one carry on per person per family?

A4: Marcy G: Guests may bring their own drinks onboard, including alcohol. However, it must be placed in carry-on bags as you board the ship, and may not be placed in checked luggage. Disney allows one carry-on bag per person.

Downtown Skagway

Q5: When in port for souvenirs, is it better to take cash or traveler’s checks?

A5: Dolly M.: Souvenir shops and merchants are pretty accustomed to accepting credit cards. It’s the most convenient and widely accepted (next to cash) method of payment for goods & services.

Q6: Should I pre-order a photo package or do I just get it on board?

A6: Diane W.: You can now order photo packages and prints before you sail at a discounted price. If you choose not to pre-order, you can always stop by Shutters, the Onboard Photography Shop, to view and purchase your photos.

Pirate Mickey Mouse with Guest
Q7: Are there places on the ship to buy pirate attire or should we bring with us?

A7: Marcy G.: Many guests bring their own pirate costumes from home, but you may purchase new Pirate attire and accessories at Mickey’s Mainsail gift shop onboard.

Q8: Is Wi-Fi service available and how much does it cost?

A8: Marcy G.: Disney Cruise Line offers Wi-Fi service for an additional fee. If you’d like to purchase a package, just stop by Guest Services and they’ll set you up.

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A Mom’s Take on the Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows

posted on June 10th, 2015 by Amanda Adler, Public Relations Manager


Disney Vacation Club accommodations offer special features perfect for families of all sizes. The Deluxe Studios at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows, the newest Disney Vacation Club Resort, are the largest at the Walt Disney World Resort. They sleep up to five guests each, and offer lots of other cool features that are perfect for families.

In this video, Disney Parks Moms Panelist Juliette shows off some of her favorite features of these new accommodations, and offers insights from a mom’s point of view. Take a look!

What’s your favorite part of the new Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows?

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Dressing for a Disney Cruise: Tips from the Disney Parks Moms Panel

posted on June 2nd, 2015 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


What to wear on a Disney cruise is one of the biggest topics addressed on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. For tropical destinations, we all know that swimwear is a must for daytime fun. But what is appropriate for nighttime?

I reached out to the Disney Cruise Line specialists on the Disney Parks Moms Panel to find out what their family wears on nights designated as cruise casual, formal and semi-formal, and here’s what they had to say …

Cruise Casual

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“For cruise casual nights, our family dresses in clothing that would be appropriate for a nice dinner out at a casual dining restaurant. That usually consists of khakis and a golf shirt for my husband and capris and a cute top for me. Since our kids are older, we choose the late seating for dinner. Our girls go directly to the Youth Clubs after the meal, so they prefer to wear something comfy and casual that they can wear straight to Edge and Vibe. You’ll probably find them in a cute tunic, leggings and sandals, or capri pants and a fun top.” –Diane W.

“For my husband and teenage son, collared shirts are always easy to pack and go well with his khaki pants or jeans. Boat shoes are a staple in my boys’ closets, since it pairs nicely for evenings out and practically goes with everything. My daughter will usually be comfortable wearing a sundress for cruise casual evenings, paired with dressy ballet flat shoes. I’m usually comfortable with my capri pants and a nice bright colored blouse. Comfy wedge heels are a must for me in the evenings, since we like to stroll along the deck after dinner before heading over to one of the lounges for a cocktail or a nightcap.” –Dolly M.

Formal and Semi-Formal

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“On formal and semi-formal nights, you’ll see everything from tuxedos and formal gowns to sundresses. We like to find a happy medium. My husband will wear a jacket and dress shirt (sometimes a tie), and I will wear a nice (but not formal) dress. I do enjoy seeing those who bring ball gowns and tuxedos, and that makes for a precious photo op with the Disney characters in their formal best.” –Diane W.

“For formal night or an evening at Remy or Palo, I like to wear a dress with heels, and my teenage daughter wears a nicer sundress with the same ballet flat she wears on the cruise casual nights. We both bring a shawl or a light sweater to drape over just in case it gets breezy. My husband always packs a pair of dress pants and a jacket if we know we are dining at Palo or Remy, and he’ll bring an extra shirt and tie for formal or semi-formal night. My teenage son packs his Oxford shoes to match his dress pants and long-sleeved shirt. We never run out of collared shirts, since it’s our go-to outfits for the boys in the family.” –Dolly M.


For other tips on what to pack for your Disney cruise, check out my previous posts:

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The Ultimate Land and Sea Family Vacation with Disney Cruise Line

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


Sailing with us to a tropical destination before or after a stay at Walt Disney World Resort is the ultimate family vacation. I could spend all day telling you why you should add a Disney cruise to your next parks and resort trip, but I’ll keep it short with these top five reasons . . .

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  1. It’s a hassle-free vacation with the thrills and frills of Disney. You’ll quickly discover the convenience of cruising, especially as you only unpack once during your journey to multiple exotic destinations. What’s more, you’ll stay in world-class accommodations, eat food prepared by first-rate chefs and be entertained morning until night like only Disney can do.
  2. It’s the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. One day you can zip line from tree top to tree top on a Port Adventure in the rainforest, and the next day you can stay put in a hammock on Castaway Cay. There’s no shortage of fun onboard or in port, but with so many options to recharge, you won’t need a vacation from your vacation when you return home.
  3. A 3- or 4-night cruise is a great way to test the waters. For those of you who are new to cruising, our shorter sailings allow you to see if cruising is the right fit for your family. And since most onboard activities, entertainment and dining options are included in the price of your cruise, you’ll know just what to budget.
  4. You’ll have magical experiences you can’t get anywhere else. From regal gatherings with princesses to dance parties with Mickey and the gang on our private island, Castaway Cay, a Disney cruise gives you the chance to interact with characters in a whole new way. And speaking of Castaway Cay, most of our cruises from Florida stop at this tropical paradise reserved exclusively for Disney Cruise Line guests.
  5. With two Disney Cruise Line homeports in Florida, it’s never been easier to make both a cruise and resort stay part of your Disney vacation. Port Canaveral and Miami are within driving distance of Walt Disney World, making it convenient to stay at one of our resorts and enjoy all four theme parks before or after visiting tropical destinations on a cruise to the Bahamas or Caribbean.

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If you have questions about planning a Disney getaway that includes both a Disney Cruise Line voyage and a Walt Disney World Resort stay, head on over to DisneyParksMomsPanel.com. The knowledgeable panelists will help make it your family’s most magical vacation yet.

Those of you who’ve already enjoyed a Disney land and sea vacation, tell us, what are your best tips?

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Moms Panel Monday: Need Recommendations on Dining at Walt Disney World Resort?

posted on May 18th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


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.

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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?

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Moms Panel Monday: Visiting Walt Disney World Resort with Kids of All Ages

posted on May 4th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Today, we’re kicking off a new weekly series “Moms Panel Monday” with one of our most popular questions – what are some great things to do at the Walt Disney World Resort when visiting with children?

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As many of you know, the Disney Parks Moms Panel is an online forum where you can find tips and insights for a Disney vacation from real moms, dads and grandparents who have mastered the art of planning Disney vacations. And on the site, you can ask questions to the panelists in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese, as well as gain access to other vacation-planning tools for booking a Disney vacation.

For our first question, the panelists are offering their own take on what will keep children of all ages entertained:

Check back next week for our next Moms Panel Monday story. And if you have a question, feel free to ask the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

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#DisneyKids – Baby Care Centers Aren’t Just for Babies

posted on December 30th, 2014 by Jamie Langdon, Social Media Manager


Traveling with young children comes with specific needs, and the Baby Care Centers located within all four Walt Disney World Resort theme parks help give parents of little ones peace of mind. Whether a family has a nursing infant, a potty training preschooler, or both, the centers provide a respite just for them. As a mom of three, I love that there are toys, books and movies to entertain my preschoolers while I change and feed the little one.

Check out this video for a Disney Parks Moms Panelist’s point of view on how the Baby Care Centers have been a go-to resource during her family’s visits.

Does your family use the Baby Care Centers when you come to Walt Disney World Resort?

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Sailing with Teens and Tweens with Disney Cruise Line

posted on October 30th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


How old was your “baby” when you first heard, “Mom, I’m not a kid anymore!” Chances are, if you have a teen or tween, this line is one you’ve heard a time or two. We know that your “little ones” may not be so little anymore, which is why we’re focused on making a Disney cruise a super cool experience for everyone in your family – even for those who may seem harder to impress these days!

Dolly from the Disney Parks Moms Panel has both a teen and tween, so she can certainly relate to parents of 11- to 17-year-olds. In the video I’m sharing today, host Danielle Bellini chats with Dolly and her kids about sailing with teens and tweens. Want a glimpse at what cruising with us will be like for your family’s Mr. or Miss Independent? Check it out!

What do your teens and tweens say about their last Disney cruise vacation?

For more about cruising with Disney from a mom’s point of view, visit these posts:

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