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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, Managing Editor, Digital Marketing


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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Filed: Disney Dining, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Hotels & Resorts, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

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

posted on May 4th, 2015 by Jamie Langdon, Managing Editor, Digital Marketing


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, Managing Editor, Digital Marketing


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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How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise

posted on September 25th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


It may only be September, but I know all of you creative gift-givers are already scheming up some pretty wonderful holiday present ideas for your loved ones. A Disney cruise is always a popular gift, and I’ve heard stories from so many people about the special ways they’ve unwrapped this present for their family.

Whether you’re brainstorming ideas for Christmas morning, or for when you give the gift “just because,” I thought you may be inspired by how some of our current and former Disney Parks Moms Panelists have surprised their families with a Disney cruise …

How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Nancy W. How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Nancy W.

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“Once we surprised our kids with a scavenger hunt on Christmas morning with clues placed all around the house. Each clue was wrapped in a package with items needed for our vacation like bathing suits, sunglasses and even pirate costumes! With every clue found, the kids grew closer to the final package which was waiting for them on the front porch. When they opened it, they found “tickets” for a magical voyage on the high seas with Captain Mickey and a Disney Cruise Line Planning DVD!”

How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Diane W. How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Diane W.

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“One Christmas morning, after we exchanged gifts and ate breakfast, I suddenly “remembered” another present that we’d “forgotten.” I told the girls to look on the back porch, and when they opened the door, there were two suitcases with big Mickeys hand sewn on the front, mouse ears and giant Mickey and Minnie plush to greet them. I think my neighbors two blocks away could hear them screaming. “We’re going to Disney!” What they didn’t know (until they opened the suitcases) was that we were going on a Disney cruise! The suitcases were packed with new swimsuits, outfits and pillowcases monogrammed with our sail dates and the name of the ship.”

How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Marcy G. How to Surprise Your Family with the Gift of a Disney Cruise: Marcy G.

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“We wanted to announce our surprise Disney Cruise Line vacation to the kids in a unique way, so we sent them on a scavenger hunt throughout the house and yard for clues. Each clue they found related to the trip, such as “Do you like warm weather?” and “Did you SEA that your bags are packed?”. The final clues were our itinerary for our Disney Magic cruise and their Magic Bands for our stay at Walt Disney World Resort. They couldn’t stop screaming to know we were leaving right then for a land and sea vacation with Captain Mickey!”

Have you ever given the gift of a Disney cruise? Tell us how you did it in the comments!

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Something for Everyone Including Parents on a Disney Cruise

posted on September 23rd, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Even though you’ve heard there is something for everyone on a Disney cruise, do you still wonder if that truly means for you, too? Of course you know your kids will love it, but as parents, will you enjoy it?

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You know my answer is “absolutely!” But we also caught back up with Disney Parks Moms Panelist Dolly to get her take on this frequently asked question. Hear what she has to say in this video…

What’s your favorite way to recharge on a Disney cruise?

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

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Disney Parks Moms Panel Search Begins September 2

posted on September 4th, 2014 by Leanne O'Regan, Director, Social Media, Disney Parks


UPDATE: We are no longer accepting applications for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. I want to thank everyone who applied and shared their passion for Disney Parks. Be sure to check back right here on the Disney Parks Blog for future updates on the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

In my many years with Disney Parks, I’ve been fortunate to work on many amazing projects. One project near and dear to my heart will always be the creation and launch of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel in 2008.

The panel, made up of everyday moms and dads from around the globe, have answered hundreds of thousands of questions over the years – covering just about every Disney vacation topic imaginable. Their knowledge of Disney Parks and their passion to help our guests shines in their answers. In fact, you’ve met quite a few of them here on the Disney Parks Blog.

The panel became so popular that several years ago it was expanded to include other Disney Parks vacation experiences. The name was officially changed to the Disney Parks Moms Panel.

September has traditionally been a special month for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. It’s when we search for new panelists to join the team for the next calendar year. It’s a rigorous and thorough process, consisting of multiple rounds, that determines who will be selected to represent the panel and answer vacation questions from guests around the globe.

Thousands will apply for a small number of spots on the panel. But please, don’t let that be a deterrent. The most recent panelists to join the team include several who have applied every year, a few who applied for the very first time, and those in between. Dreams really can come true.

This year, applications will open at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, September 2, 2014, and will remain open until noon ET on Friday, September 5, 2014.

If you know a mom, dad or grandparent who is your “go-to” person for advice about a Disney Parks vacation and loves to help others plan their trips, encourage them to apply for the Disney Parks Moms Panel. (Be sure to check the rules and regulations on the application to insure eligibility.)

More information about becoming a panelist can be found here.

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A Different Way to Do Disney

posted on August 26th, 2014 by Jonathan Frontado, Disney Cruise Line


Recently we shared with you a mom’s take on cruising with us, hearing from one of our Disney Parks Moms Panelists, Diane, about her family’s experiences over the years. Today, we’re hearing from another panelist, Dolly, whose family has joined us on voyages all around the world.

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Like many of you, Dolly and her family’s love for vacationing with Disney started with visits to our parks and resorts, and now their love also includes sailing with us – what she calls “a different way to do Disney.” Take a look at this video to discover how a Disney cruise combines what you love most about Disney with the relaxation, comfort and convenience of a cruise vacation …

What makes a Disney vacation at sea so special for your family?

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