Good Morning! Flo's V8 Cafe has a great breakfast menu! You can order on the app while standing in line to get your Radiator Springs FAS...

Good Morning!

Flo's V8 Cafe has a great breakfast menu! You can order on the app while standing in line to get your Radiator Springs FASTPASSES!

Many of us are getting ready for the Holiday season around our homes, and many are heading to Disneyland to experience Christmas time at the resort! I have never been for Christmas, but it is on my bucket list! While there, you might be looking for ways to avoid the crowds, and one way is to take advantage of the mobile ordering service available at many restaurants around the resort! 

Disneyland implemented mobile ordering back in late 2018, so if you haven't been this year, this system may be new to you! We tried this out for the first time back in May, and it really made for a smooth dining experience. Last week we talked about how the Disneyland app turns your phone into your FASTPASS, PhotoPass, and park ticket. This week we will talk about how the app also turns your phone into your restaurant menu!

The Disneyland mobile ordering works like a good majority of other online/mobile ordering apps out there (Subway, McDonald's, etc.), and it all works through the Disneyland app! To get to mobile ordering, push the + button at the bottom of the screen and select "Order Food". You first find a restaurant (such as the Pacific Wharf Cafe, one of my favorite places to eat in California Adventure), and then select the time you plan to arrive. 

You can also order food by selecting the restaurant on the map and clicking "Order Food". This is a quick and simple way if you know exactly what restaurant you want to eat at! 

Once you select your arrival time, the menu for your chosen restaurant will pop up! I chose my the Broccoli and Cheese Soup in a Bread Bowl, which is my favorite item at the Pacific Wharf Cafe! One thing I really like about the mobile ordering at Disneyland is that you don't have to worry about your food sitting on a counter getting cold if you get stuck on a ride when your pick-up time hits. Once you are ready to pick up your food, press the "I'm Here, Prepare My Order" button, and they will start preparing your food so it is nice and fresh once you show up! (This is a lot like Chick-Fil-A's system, if you have ever ordered through their app.)

Brycen ordered a Beef Rice Bowl from the Lucky Fortune Cookery! Ordering was super easy. No waiting in lines for us! 

Now here is a tip that we picked up from the Window to the Magic Podcast: instead of pushing the "I'm Here" button when you actually show up, press it when you start heading towards the restaurant. If you do this, you will be able to pick up your food closer to when you arrive, rather than waiting for them to finish preparing it after you show up. Ordering on the app was awesome at the Pacific Wharf because instead of standing in line, we had some time to find a table while we waited for our food, which can be quite a challenge during the lunch rush!

Once your food is ready, you'll get a notification from the app! You also pay from the app, so all I had to do was go in and grab my food once it was ready. It was so simple. We will definitely be using this system again! 

This is what you see on your order screen once you hit the "I'm Here, Prepare My Order" button. This system really makes getting food super easy. 

You can also make dining reservations through the app as well. Just select "Reserve Dining" from the + menu at the bottom of the app. You will then put in the amount of people in your party and select the date. You can then search restaurants by the time you want to eat. You can also reserve dining by clicking on the restaurant on the map and selecting "Reserve Dining" from that page. Once you book your reservation, you will receive a confirmation email and the reservation time will be added to your schedule in the app, which you can find by pressing the menu button on the bottom right of the screen and clicking on "My Plans".

We loved this ordering system because it meant that we didn't end up standing around in long lines for food - as if we didn't do that enough all day for rides! Instead, we could just park it at a table somewhere and wait to be notified that we could go pick up our food. Now not every restaurant has mobile ordering, but many of the quick service restaurants are currently using the system. All restaurants that take reservations are available on the app. 

We have really loved that everything is moving over to the digital world. Gone are the days of trying to organize all of the FASTPASSES, park tickets, reservation times, food orders, maps, wait times, etc. Utilizing Disneyland's app to its full extent is the perfect way of combining Disneyland's grab-it-as-you-go paper system & Disney World's everything-is-planned-out Magic Band system. The only thing I would add is the ability to scan a phone at ride photo locations (rather than type the photo code in the PhotoPass section of the app) or have the option for location tracking, the way Disney World does with their Magic Band for ride photos & videos! That was extremely cool. (If you missed my Disney World Trip Review, you can read that here.)

What has your experience been with mobile ordering at the resort, or using the Disneyland app in general? Let us know in a comment below!

As always, if you have any tips, tricks or questions you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at! And don't forget to follow us by hitting "Subscribe" at the top of the page!

Be sure to follow us over at Facebook & Instagram: @enchantedpumpkintravel

-Lindsay Prout

Good Morning! This week our blog returns to the Happiest Place on Earth! In May, we visited DISNEYLAND right before the opening of Galaxy...

Good Morning!

This week our blog returns to the Happiest Place on Earth!

In May, we visited DISNEYLAND right before the opening of Galaxy's Edge! We were hoping to enjoy the last little bit of off-season crowd levels before the expected heavy crowds hit, but when we got there we found that everyone else was thinking the same thing! The parks were a bit more crowded than we had expected for late-April/early-May, and once Galaxy's Edge opened up, the crowds were reportedly non-existent! The crowd levels prior to Galaxy's Edge actually surprised me given the fact that the weather was quite chilly. This was also the first time we had been to the parks since MaxPass was released, so we took this opportunity to give it a try! Without further ado, here are our thoughts on using MaxPass at the Disneyland Resort, and hopefully this will help you determine if MaxPass is right for you!

When MaxPass was first rolled out, it cost $10 per person, per day. This year, they upped the price to $15 a person. That doesn't sound like a lot, but when you're buying for a family of 5 for three days, it really adds up.  For Brycen and I, it cost $90 for the three days in the park. That is the first thing to consider when determining whether or not to invest in MaxPass!

The second thing to consider is what you are getting out of it. In addition to acting as a digital FASTPASS system, MaxPass comes with unlimited PhotoPass downloads, which includes ride photos! If you utilize PhotoPass, this pass pays for itself pretty quickly. We didn't use this feature as much as I would have liked, but we did get some really cute pictures from it. If you do MaxPass, I would totally recommend stopping at every single PhotoPass stop that you can. And ask for Magic Shots!! You won't be disappointed!

So other than unlimited PhotoPass, what is the difference between MaxPass and a regular FASTPASS? Several things actually! Here are the 5 main differences:

1. It's Digital.
Everything for MaxPass works straight through your mobile device! Your phone becomes your FASTPASSES, Park Tickets, and PhotoPass card. This makes it super convenient - no accidentally dropping FASTPASSES on the ground in your rush to get to the next ride, no having to rummage through a purse or pocket to find them when you get in line. It's just right there on your app. It also reduces paper waste, which is cool!

2. Immediate Access to all FASTPASS options.
Second, since it works through the Disneyland App on your phone, you don't actually have to go to the kiosks like you do for the paper FASTPASSES. This means that while standing in line for Pirates of the Caribbean, you can be downloading FASTPASSES for Space Mountain - without having to hike all the way across the park to do so! Before, there were times when we would skip FASTPASSES out of convenience, because standing in line was easier than running back and forth all day. With MaxPass, if you have a Park Hopper ticket linked to your account, you also have the ability to get FASTPASSES in both parks right away. We all used to have to line up for either Radiator Springs Racers or Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! really early in the morning to snag FASTPASSES, and depending on how far back we were in line, we were sometimes getting a ride time of 7:00 that night. That required a lot of park hopping throughout the day. With MaxPass + Park Hopper tickets, my parents were able to look at times for Radiator Springs Racers during breakfast over at Disneyland, and then they only had to Park Hop once. Brycen and I didn't do Park Hoppers this time, but we liked that we didn't have to go stand in line to get FASTPASSES. We just walked into California Adventure and pulled up the passes for Radiator Springs Racers on my phone immediately. Do be warned though, FASTPASSES for the Racers and Mission Breakout run out faster than ever before, so you need to make sure you are in the park bright and early to download them!

It was so nice to have all our options right there in front of us. This is what the FASTPASS looks like on your phone once it is time to redeem them. Just get close to a ride and open the app and the FASTPASS will pop right up! You scan the bar code on your way in instead of handing in your passes to a Cast Member. Super easy!

3. Replacement FASTPASS in exchange for ride break-downs!
If you show up for your FASTPASS time with your traditional paper FASTPASSES, and the ride is temporarily down for the count, you are told that your FASTPASSES will be honored all day long, once the ride is back up and running. Which is great! Even better: when a ride goes down for the MaxPass users, your FASTPASS is auto-magically transformed into a multi-use Replacement FASTPASS! You can use this FASTPASS for the original attraction later on in the day, or you can just go ahead and use it on another FASTPASS ride in the park, at any time that day! Note: As of July, we have heard that the Multi-Use FASTPASS is now tiered. (You can read more about that from the Undercover Tourist blog here.) If you have a FASTPASS for one of the bigger E-Ticket attractions, then you can use the Replacement ticket at any ride in the park that accepts FASTPASS . If you have one for a non-E-Ticket attraction (those in "Tier 2"), then you can only use the FASTPASS  at another "Tier 2" FASTPASS location. All available FASTPASS options that can be used for your Replacement FASTPASS will show in the app.

This is the Replacement FASTPASS we received when one of our planned FASTPASSED rides broke down. These can be used on other FASTPASS-able rides throughout the park at any time throughout the day!

4. Faster access to your next FASTPASS!
When you get a regular paper FASTPASS, you can either get a new FASTPASS either after you have redeemed your previous FASTPASS, or two hours later - whichever occurs first. With the new MaxPass system, it is either after the last one is redeemed or 1.5 hours later. That 30 minutes makes a HUGE difference, as does the ability to snag the next pass while standing in the FASTPASS line of the current ride, seconds after scanning them in. Being able to utilize this feature, along with not having to run around the park to get the FASTPASSES we wanted, meant that instead of enjoying 4-5 FASTPASSES a day, we were actually able to use closer to 8-10 a day - one day capping at 13! This was definitely worth the money for that alone!

5. Flexibility
Finally, with the traditional paper FASTPASSES, if you choose to not use them, you just miss out on the FASTPASS, and still can't get a different one until the designated time. With MaxPass, however, if you decide not to ride Haunted Mansion in three hours, but instead decide you want to head over to California Adventure, you can actually put back the FASTPASSES and your pass then becomes available to other guests, and you can go ahead and make a different selection immediately! (This also means that if another guest decides last minute to put back that last FASTPASS of the day for a popular ride like Guardians of the Galaxy, you could get lucky and snag it!) 

    Have you tried MaxPass? Do you think it is worth what you pay? Leave us a comment below!

    As always, if you have any tips, tricks or questions you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at!

    Don't forget to follow us by hitting "Subscribe" at the top of the page! You can also follow us over at Facebook & Instagram @enchantedpumpkintravel

    -Lindsay Prout

    Good Morning & Happy First Post of 2019! (Yikes, is it April?) 2018 brought a lot of wonderful experiences and also added a lot to my pl...

    Good Morning & Happy First Post of 2019! (Yikes, is it April?)

    2018 brought a lot of wonderful experiences and also added a lot to my plate! Unfortunately that meant that my Etsy shop and this blog had to be sidelined for a bit. However, today I am back to bring you a huge post I have been working to get out, which will be the first of many posts I have lined up for you guys! Thank you for your patience & support! 

    (Also just as a quick announcement: We will be making a trip to the one and only DISNEYLAND here in a few weeks!! I will be posting a trip review of that trip as well - and you won't have to wait as long as you did for this one! Also be sure to follow us over at Facebook, because we will be posting live periodically from the park!)

    We had such a fun time with this big group!

    So just as a re-cap, we returned in October of 2018 from a wonderful 9-day vacation to the Disney World Resort in Florida! We spent two days each at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom and part of our last day at Disney Springs! It was an absolute blast, and I can't wait to share this Disney World Trip Review with you! 

    First off - Magic Bands. 

    Jack sporting his Darth Vader Magic Band

    This was something extremely new to me, as it is not offered in Disneyland. I LOVED it! I actually have no complaints about the bands at all! I loved being able to use them for just about everything, including paying for items, PhotoPass stops, opening our hotel room, snagging pictures from rides, park entry, and FastPasses! It was a really smooth process for the most part. We did have a couple of issues with photos from a few rides and one or two PhotoPass stops not going through onto our accounts, but it did work for us 99% of the time! I even thought that it was nifty that when a ride shut down, they were able to scan the entire line on the way out and give us automatic FastPasses to be used on any Tier 2 ride in the park, anytime that day. I think the Magic Bands are such a cool piece of technology - I wasn't even creeped out that Disney knew exactly where I was at every moment of the day and was able to automatically send me ride pictures of myself after I got off. (Honestly, if anyone were to look up the spending report on my card, they would have my location pin-pointed anyways!)

    Speaking of spending, shopping was also a breeze. I bought four Disney-themed board games (we love games in our house), but of course I didn't want to cart them around all day, so we were able to have them hand-delivered right to our hotel room! Now Disneyland does offer this service to guests staying on property, but with cheaper hotels right across the street, we rarely stay on property. (However, for you Disneyland goers reading this, you can have your items checked at Guest Relations right up front and you can pick it up on your way out before they close!) It was awesome being able to buy something and not having to worry about it for the rest of the day. Something that I wish we would have learned before our second to last day is that they will ship it home from the register for a lot cheaper than you pay shipping through UPS or FedEx, so you don't have to worry about checking an extra bag at the airport. We didn't know that, so after two hours of trying figure out how to cram it all in our carry on, we ending up having to check that extra bag. Save yourself the stress and ship it home! (Or bring a bigger bag to begin with...)

    As for our hotel, we stayed at Port Orleans - Riverside in the Royal Rooms. They were pretty amazing! I thought the resort was really pretty, and we stayed right in front of the river, so we could see that from our windows. Our room was decked out in all things Disney Princess - mostly Princess and the Frog. I loved all the "Easter Eggs" from the different movies - our rug was the Magic Carpet, our bench was the footstool from Beauty and the Beast, and our faucets were Genie's Lamp! We even had a firework show built into our headboards. The room was absolutely magical. I loved the atmosphere at this resort, but I thought that our neighbors over at Port Orleans - French Quarter had a much prettier exterior. Overall though, I would totally stay here again! I thought the offerings were really nice, food service was really delicious, and the restaurant at the resort was fantastic! I also loved getting to use my wristband as the hotel key because it meant less fumbling around in my bag to find the key card at the end of the day like I end up doing at most other hotels! 

    A letter from Princess Tiana was on our table when we arrived! The letter is actually part of the table itself, and it really adds to the storytelling aspect of the room. 
    "Welcome All, 
    We are so excited to have you stay with us. My friends and I have shared so many wonderful moments here that this has become a very special place in our hearts. As you make yourself at home, you'll discover some treasured mementos my friends have given me over the years. Enjoy making magical memories with your friends and family in m Royal Guest Room. 
    Your Friend, Princess Tiana"

    Magic Carpet Rug!

    Our bench was the footstool from Beauty and the Beast.

    Genie's Lamp Faucets! This was seriously the coolest thing!

    This was the beautiful painting in each of the headboards. When you pushed a button, fireworks would go off in the picture!

    This was probably my favorite part of the whole room.
    I love the Snow White frame around this picture. It was a subtle touch, though I think it would have been a more fitting movie reference if it was framing a mirror...

    The resort was beautiful, but I felt like the French Quarter had so much more personality. Still, this was a great place to stay!

    The river was beautiful, and I loved waking up to this view every morning!

    Now for the FastPass System

    I gave a review about the pre-trip FastPass process several months ago (you can read that here), and after going, I can confirm that that there are definitely strong pros, and strong cons to having most of it done before the trip. 

    The Pros - You have guaranteed access to the big ticket rides if you plan well enough ahead of time. You never have to worry about those tickets being gone by the time you get to the parks, and you never have to show up an hour early to grab them (like you do for several California Adventure rides!) That makes life a LOT easier. 

    The Cons - I scheduled all of our FastPasses for as early in the day as possible. The whole point of doing that was so we could still schedule FastPasses later on each day. That didn't work so well as there were rarely decent FastPasses for later in the day once your three FastPasses were up! While I do think it is nice to have three guaranteed rides, we seem to be able to FastPass a lot more rides throughout the day using Disneyland's good old system of getting one ride at a time, the day of. It just leaves everything fair game. 

    (Disclaimer: We did have 12-13 of us most days, so that definitely made it more difficult. However, even when two or three of us broke away to do our own thing, we still couldn't get on much. We did give it a fair shot!)

    All right - now for the entertainment and food! 

    I'm sure you are wondering: what were our favorite rides in each park? Have no fear, we have a comprehensive list here just for you curious cats. 

    Magic Kingdom - Mine Train

    The Photo Pass pictures from this ride were amazing. Pictures from two different photo spots and a movie of your ride are linked to your magic bands! I think this was my favorite out of all the ride photos we received.

    We rode this more than just about everything else in Magic Kingdom. The rocking carts, the interactive queue, the fact that it isn't just your average Dark Room Ride...It was amazing. I would love to see this ride come to Disneyland! I actually would love to see more interactive queues in general come to Disneyland. I think that was my favorite thing about most lines in Disney World was the fact that many of them had fun things to DO in line rather than just standing there. But more on this subject later. 

    Animal Kingdom - Expedition Everest

    This ride was so much fun!

    We rode this a good 7-10 times during the two days we spent at this park. Expedition Everest definitely has the thrill factor, and it was probably our over-all favorite ride of the entire vacation. I do love the Matterhorn, but it would be awesome if we could find room for both the Matterhorn and Expedition Everest in Anaheim! (Maybe call it Expedition Hoth and find a way to put this in Galaxy's Edge? Come on Imagineers, I'm full of great ideas here!)

    Epcot - Frozen Ever After
    I wasn't even half expecting this ride to be as good as it was! I was imagining something like the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros - just a little water ride featuring Anna and Elsa. It was so much better! There were small drops similar to those in Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, and towards the end there was this *spoiler alert* dead end room and it spun you around to the left. I totally expected a door to open to let us go forward but the next thing I knew we were propelling backwards (quickly I might add) down a slope. It was so much fun, I wish we could have ridden it again! 

    Hollywood Studios - Tower of Terror 

    I will forever be heartbroken that this is not in Disneyland anymore. I will say Florida did this ride better though. The ride sequence is more random (kind of like how Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout is right now), and you get to move through the building which is really neat.

    The Tower of Terror will always hold a special place in my heart. I dearly miss the Tower of Terror in Disneyland, and so this was by far my favorite ride in Hollywood Studios - especially knowing that it was my last time to ride the Tower of Terror in what will probably be several years. I am very nostalgic! 

    Our least favorite rides? 
    (This list doesn't include sit-down show-like attractions. I don't like those types of attractions in general, so that would be a major bias.)

    Magic Kingdom - Pirates of the Caribbean
    Okay guys. If you know anything about me you know Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland is - in my opinion - the heart and soul of Disneyland. There is nothing more to be said other than Disney World BOTCHED Pirates of the Caribbean. It isn't even close to the wonder that is Pirates at Disneyland. That is all. 

    Animal Kingdom - Na'vi River Passage

    This ride was just an Avatar dark ride. It wasn't nearly as exciting as I wanted it to be. Really, it wasn't a bad ride at all, it was cool to see and the scenery was really beautiful, but I just don't feel like it was worth all the hype it received. Kind of like another Small World, but instead of singing dolls it was Avatar characters and animals. It was all right. 

    Epcot - Journey into Imagination with Figment

    Figment Socks can be purchased at many stores in Disney World

    While Epcot does have it's share of exciting rides, a lot of them are slower, and several are more "educational" than rides at other parks. However, out of all the less exciting rides they have there, Figment took the cake. It was weird. Not much more I can really say, but we never did it again, so that about sums up how we all felt about it. 

    Epcot in general wasn't my favorite (unpopular opinion, I know.) That's not to say I didn't like it, it was extremely neat to see everything, but after one day filled mostly with shopping, I was pretty Epcot-ed out. My mom, who could shop all day long and never get bored, LOVED this park, especially since every store in every country had something different, so it wasn't just the same souvenirs every three shops - which was pretty awesome, I'll admit. Personally, I loved seeing everything day one - it was a beautiful park, and as a geography major I could really appreciate getting to "travel the world" for a bit - but after that there really just wasn't much left to do. My husband and I spent a lot of our group's "Epcot Day 2" at Magic Kingdom.

    Hollywood Studios - ...Star Tours?
    Actually, I don't know on this one. Hollywood Studios doesn't have many rides to begin with. I guess I'll just give you the least favorite of my favorites: Star Tours. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with Star Tours, it's just the least exciting of the rides in Hollywood Studios. That's pretty much it. 

    Favorite Restaurants*

    Magic Kingdom - Gaston's Tavern
    We really only stopped here for a snack one day and breakfast the next, but it is my favorite restaurant because of how well it was themed. We ate in a little round nook in the back with a large antler chandelier, at a big round wooden table. The atmosphere was truly like we had stepped into the movie! All of the decor was spot on, and the area around the restaurant is just so neat (including the Gaston and LaFou Statue). I also really liked Gaston's Brew (a really sweet apple flavored drink), though it was too sweet for most of my family. 

    Animal Kingdom - Rainforest Cafe


    This one has been one of my favorite restaurants for years. This one used to be located in Downtown Disney at Disneyland until just recently! Nothing beats dining in a low-light rainforest with a starry sky overhead, animatronic animals moving nearby, and the occasional thunderstorm with flashes of lightning occurring every few minutes! Be sure to look up, you may spot a shooting star!! Our favorite menu item here? The Volcano!! You know the Volcano is coming when you hear shouts echoing throughout the entire restaurant calling "VOOLLLCANOOOOOO!" Placed right before your eyes is a tower of ice cream surrounded by warm brownies, "fudge" lava running down the sides, topped with a mountain of whipped cream and a silver streamer! Feeds the whole table. Could anything be better? No. The answer is no. 

    Epcot - Biergarten 
    This is the place where I discovered my love for German food. YUMMY. This buffet, located in the Germany Pavilion, is heavenly. There is live music, the theming and atmosphere are positively enchanting, and the food is delicious. I don't think there was really anything I tried that I didn't like (except for the red cabbage - which I did NOT try, thank you very much - though it is a favorite of my cousin's, so I guess maybe it's good if you're not Little Miss Picky...) I think this is probably one of my favorite restaurants of all time - definitely worth it!! 

    Hollywood Studios - SciFi Dine-in! 

    I love the old-time feel of this restaurant. And the shakes are DELICIOUS!

    I love eating in the cars and watching old cartoons. They left nothing out to make this experience realistic and unique.

    Now Playing at the SciFi Dine-in...

    Holy Cow this restaurant is amazing. You want to talk about theming? I don't think it gets better than this. At the SciFi Dine-in you are seated in old cars all facing a huge movie screen projecting old cartoons, movie trailers, and commercials from way back when. All around you is a starry night sky, the large fence around the "out-door" theater, and a concession stand in the back (not real, but cool looking.) The food is fantastic as well! I think this place has some of my favorite burgers and shakes! If you get the chance, order the cookies and cream shake - it is absolutely delicious! 

    I should also mention our close second favorite restaurant at Hollywood Studios - 50's Prime Time Cafe. In this restaurant, you are stepping into Mama's Kitchen circa 1950 - and Mama doesn't like it when you don't finish everything on your plate! You are waited on by your "cousins" who keep a close eye on your plates and your manners. Are your hands washed? Keep those elbows off the table! Did you eat all your veggies? Well, you're not getting up from your seat until you do! The cast members here were hilarious, and they even remembered us when we came back. It was like being part of the family. The food was delicious as well! 

    Cousins Chimene and Jenn were so sweet, and so funny.

    Cousin Jenn got tired of refilling Dad's drink every time she came around, so she finally just gave him the entire pitcher with a GIANT straw. 

    After Cousin Chimene saw Dad with the pitcher, she made sure to supply him with the "Bed Wetter's Guide", highlighting the location of every bathroom in Hollywood Studios!

    Cousin Mark joined us for dinner the second night, and made sure to text Cousin Jenn a selfie with our family to let her know that he was the new favorite Cousin. We loved Cousin Mark!

    Least Favorite Restaurants?*
    I'm not gonna lie, I actually don't have any! I found something I liked pretty much everywhere we went, and I don't feel like we ate at enough places for me to put a decent list here. We did our research and pretty much only ate at places that were guaranteed to be good!! :D

    *Restaurants based solely on those we tried. As much as I would have loved to do it, there was no comprehensive examination of all restaurants.
    Alrighty, you've made it this far, and you're almost done!!

    The last thing I wanted to PRAISE about Disney World is actually something I think they do WAY better than Disneyland (which is saying something, I'm pretty biased towards Disneyland). 


    A lot of Disney World's attraction lines are covered or indoors due to the almost-daily rain they get there. Because a lot of it is indoors or covered they are able to do a lot more with interactive queues. They are also busier, so lines are generally longer, meaning they need something there to keep people entertained. I have never enjoyed lines more. There was always something to read, look at, play with, etc. I think my favorite interactive queue was Big Thunder Mountain followed closely by Winnie the Pooh and The Mine Train. Big Thunder Mountain was LOADED with posters and blueprints to read, fun little videos of miners to watch, little canary cages, and my favorite - large windows that overlooked the ride with dynamite detonators that would set off special effects & explosions near the ride! It was like the queue was becoming part of the ride. Mine Train had things like a musical water station and barrels of gems that each show a different dwarf on the ceiling when you spin them (try to get all barrels spinning at the same time and Snow White will appear in the center!!) Winnie the Pooh had these really cool walls that followed your "shadow" so you could wave your hand in front and "draw" in the honey to find characters. They also had a little kid play area so the kids could play while the parents waited in line. It was so fun to have standing in line become part of the attraction.  Maybe Disneyland can use some of it's Star Wars Land profits for some interactive queues? Just a thought...

    Each barrel you spin shows a different dwarf dancing on the ceiling. If you get all of the barrels going at once, you can get Snow White to show up in the center! There are a lot of barrels though, so you have to get the whole line involved. It made this section of the line a blast!

    Tyler and Jack sitting in Eeyore's House in line for Winnie the Pooh!

    Want to see more trip reviews in the future? Leave us a comment below!

    As always, if you have any tips, tricks or questions you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at! And don't forget to follow us by hitting "Subscribe" at the top of the page!

    -Lindsay Prout

    Good Morning! Our Magic Bands arrived! Unfortunately, these stick-on covers didn't stay on long, but we thought they were super cool loo...

    Good Morning!

    Our Magic Bands arrived! Unfortunately, these stick-on covers didn't stay on long, but we thought they were super cool looking anyways (:

    Yes, I am still here! I have been so busy the last few weeks that I haven't had a chance to post, but I am back this week to bring you some planning tips I discovered through my experiences in planning our upcoming Disney World vacation using My Disney Experience! (ONLY 7 DAYS - not that I'm counting or anything...) 
    This is the first time my family has been in about 10 years, so we're basically newbies at this point!

    All righty, so the last few things we did for planning included picking out our Magic Band colors (which showed up at our house two weeks ago!!!), and scheduling all of our FastPasses! We were so excited to get our Magic Band box, which included our two personalized Magic Bands, cute luggage tags, and a Magical Extras card with a bunch of coupons to get some fun things like free mini golfing games, one-day entry to ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, discounts at restaurants, etc. We had bought some Magic Band covers from a really good vendor, but unfortunately, the adhesive froze in transit so they didn't stick well. The vendor was really easy to work with, and they quickly offered replacements, but unfortunately those didn't work either. They sent us a refund, and though our stick-on covers won't work out, we were still really pleased with the customer service. :)

    I really haven't loved the new animation style of the recent Mickey Mouse cartoons, but these luggage tags actually turned out really cute!!

    Now, a quick tip for the FastPass+ system: it doesn't say it explicitly anywhere, (unless I am just blind), but you can't start scheduling at midnight on your assigned day. It actually starts at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Time. I, not knowing this, stayed up until midnight, and was very confused when I was still denied access. I searched around the site until I finally found the time that the help center opened up, put two and two together, and realized that it actually started at 7. Fast-forward to 5:00 a.m. my time, I was able to hop on the site and finally start reserving FastPasses!!!

    I will say - do your research first before your scheduled day. I spent a lot of time beforehand looking around on various planning websites to see what the most popular FastPasses are (the ones that go the quickest), so I had an idea of what would be worth it to grab, and what I would need to get first. I also did a lot of reading about the tier system in place at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, which I am really glad I did because I was able to change around some of our plans ahead of time without having to stop during scheduling to re-configure everything. (FastPass+ scheduling is tiered for all parks except for Magic Kingdom, meaning you can only get one FastPass for the most popular rides a day, and then you pick your other two FastPasses for less popular rides. This makes it so more people can get at least one of the popular FastPasses at the parks!) Two sites that I found very helpful in my searches were Undercover Tourist and Touring Plans. Once I got my three rides per day scheduled out, the process was extremely easy!

    We did run into a snag a few minutes in, when I realized that we didn't have all of the tickets linked that I thought we had. We have three families going with us, and at 5:00 in the morning, not many of them were awake! So I did the best I could, and grabbed as many tickets as I could for the time being, hoping for close FastPass times for the rest of the group later in the day. As soon as we got those other tickets linked, I was able to hop on and grab the rest of them! One thing I LOVE about the My Disney Experience app is that I am totally able to schedule and change FastPasses right there from my phone. This meant that throughout the day while I was out and about I was able to get on and check to see if anyone was putting back the FastPass times I wanted for the rest of the group. This made things super easy, and we were able to get everyone FastPasses within 5 minutes of us. 

    Scheduling FastPasses on the phones is so simple, and made it easy to keep an eye on FastPass times while on the go!

    Now, of course, not everything was seamless - there was a glitch on the app that wouldn't let me pull up all of the my scheduled FastPasses, meaning I had to constantly refresh the page, and it gave me several heart attacks thinking that the FastPasses had all been deleted. I also don't like that when I go into the app, it only gives me three times for FastPasses right up front, but when you click on "view more times" it doesn't give you those three times anymore. I also had to refresh the page to see extra times pop up, so it took several tries to get all of the options right in front of me on the app. Online, the FastPass system has an easier interface, but the pro of the app is that it is so much more convenient because you can update it on the go. 

    I will say right now, I LOVE the My Disney Experience for Disney World. I love that it keeps all of my reservations, hotel information, friends and family, and FastPasses in one place. It has made the planning for this vacation go SO smooth! Not only does it keep me organized, but it keeps me on top of things by notifying me of upcoming To-Do's, keeping a trip countdown, etc. It made it easy to quickly hop on last minute and get the whole group's wristbands nicknamed and colors picked - and I was actually really grateful that it still let us get on and customize the bands a few days late for a couple of people in our party so that we could get everything just perfect! For someone new to the whole Disney World thing, it is very user friendly.

    I love that the app keeps everything together in one schedule, it makes it so easy to keep track of everything!

    The last thing we had to do was link our flights to the Magical Express that will bus us from the airport to the hotels! One thing that was kind of a bummer is that they only take and deliver your luggage to your room during the day if you arrive between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. We arrive at the airport at 4:30 in the morning, so we just missed the cut-off! We were also able to pre-check in to our hotel rooms, and get our bands linked to our credit cards, rooms, tickets, etc. We are so excited to get packed and take off! (If you are looking for tips on what to pack for Disney - you can read our last blog post from a few weeks back here!)

    What do you think of Disney World's "My Disney Experience"? Have any additional pointers you'd like to share? Leave us a comment below!

    As always, if you have any tips, tricks or questions you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at! And don't forget to follow us by hitting "Subscribe" at the top of the page!

    -Lindsay Prout

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    If you are interested in buying a copy of my Disneyland Guide, feel free to contact me at any time at I sell my guide for a one time fee of $10*, or you can request a personalized one for $15 that I will customize entirely to your family’s needs! 

    *Any updated guides will be sent to you absolutely free of charge after your first purchase.

    Good Morning! Packing for vacations can be hard. Especially if you are like me and you feel like you have to pack the kitchen sink *JUST IN ...

    Good Morning!

    Packing for vacations can be hard. Especially if you are like me and you feel like you have to pack the kitchen sink *JUST IN CASE*! Trying to pin down some of those essential items for the parks before you over-do the weight limit on your bags? Don't worry, we've got you covered! Here are 5 essential items that we always take with us to Disney! (Lots of links provided so you can see some of our favorite products!)

    1. SMALL Backpack or Cross-Body Bag
    The trick with finding the right bag is going as small as you can and still comfortably get what you need into the park! We pack pretty light when walking around Disneyland. My purse usually contains a wallet, my phone, snacks, a couple of park maps and times guides, my waterproof digital camera, and my phone charger. I carry around either a small cross-body bag that I don't mind getting a little beat up (especially when shoving it into and pulling it out of the little mesh bags on rides), or I take one of my Loungefly mini backpacks. (I really like the size of the mini backpacks because they fit so well in the little mesh bags on most rides!) I suggest those kinds of bags because they are the most convenient and comfortable to carry around the parks all day. If you are taking little kids and will have a stroller, you can usually get away with more stuff because the stroller will carry a little more, but always take into consideration how much you are willing to carry around all day! 

    These are my super cute Disney Loungefly mini backpacks! They are the perfect size for carrying around the parks.  

    2. Snacks and Water
    I have mentioned bringing in your own snacks before as a good way to save some money in Disneyland, and this is seriously one of the best "essentials" to bring along! I will sometimes take pre-packaged snacks and stick them in my carry-on bags, but usually we make a pit-stop at the Target down the street from Disneyland and load up! We also like to grab a gallon or so of drinking water for the hotel and a bunch of water bottles because my mom and my husband don't like the taste of the water at the hotel or at Disneyland! My mom actually just got a really neat collapsible water bottle that she is able to take to the park with her and when she finishes it off she can either re-fill it or roll it up and stick it right in her bag and not worry about it for the rest of the day! (You can find several varieties on Amazon, my mom has a really nice one with a filter in it that is a little more expensive. I found these ones for only $10 a piece!) We like to pack enough snacks for everyone in our backpacks or bags to munch on throughout the day. Not only does this keep everyone from getting "hangry" during long lines, but it also helps to save a ton on food in the parks. We don't buy snacks as often, and when we eat meals, we typically don't need as big of meals! Definitely worth it to bring in your own snacks and water! 

    This is my mom's collapsible water bottle (and her super cute small backpack that she takes to Disneyland!) This water bottle folds up nice and small and is super easy to roll up and stick in your bag as you go!

    3. Comfortable Walking Shoes (That can get wet!)
    It's no secret - you do a LOT of walking in Disneyland! Trust me, I know from experience, if you have shoes that are not comfortable on your feet, you will be absolutely miserable. My dad and I have terrible arches so the shoe that we finally found that doesn't kill our feet is Sketcher's Go-Walks. My mom and Jack can get away with flip-flops and sandals, and Scott and Brycen's go-to's are sneakers! Find shoes that work for you and make sure they are well broken in. Unless you have no plans to ride any thing that involves any kind of water, you will also want to make sure that the shoes are not only still comfortable to walk around in wet (something quick-drying is best, but you can really get away with anything) but also a shoe that is not going to get ruined if they get wet. Remember - my shoes get wet even on rides like Matterhorn and Pirates of the Caribbean, so you REALLY have to watch it if your shoes will get ruined when wet.

    4. short sleeves and a light jacket
    For the most part, Disneyland is cool in the morning, gets pretty hot throughout the day, and then cools off again quite a bit once the sun goes down. We always pack shorts or capris and short sleeved shirts for the daytime, and I typically carry around a light jacket for the evening because I get cold easily. I like really the light jackets because they aren't bulky and are just warm enough to keep the edge off! If you plan to ride any water rides at night (the best time to ride Splash Mountain if you want to avoid long lines), then you will definitely want to bring along a lighter jacket, because the cool night air hitting you when you are wet is NO FUN! (TIP: Right before you get on Splash Mountain, go into one of the stores and ask for a couple of large plastic shopping bag. Stick all of your electronics, bags, jackets, etc. in these bags and tie off the top before you get on the ride. This will keep your belongings dry - especially those jackets! Trust me, it is 1000x better to put on a warm, dry jacket than it is to wear the jacket on the ride and have it be wet too.)

    Jack sporting his little jacket on a cool California morning!

    5. Body Glide
    Alright, let's be honest here - you are walking around a TON, it is humid, and you are potentially riding water rides. All of those factors can make you chafe in really uncomfortable places, and make walking around miserable. We found this Body Glide several years ago, and it has made SUCH a difference! This product helps soothe chafing, but I suggest putting it on every morning - even before you start chafing - because it actually helps prevent it from happening in the first place. You'll never want to go to Disneyland without a bottle of this again! 

    BONUS: Travel Pillows! 
    Whether you are driving or flying to California, travel pillows make the experience so much better for your neck. I fall asleep in the car or on the plane every single time, and my neck always ends up in an awkward position and then I end up with a cramp and it's miserable. So I decided it was time to get some travel pillows. The story goes: I had some really cute Mickey Mouse material that was really soft, and a TON of denim jeans. So, I decided instead of buying a couple of travel pillows for my husband and I, I would just make some of my own - a Mickey Mouse one for me and a Denim one for him. We LOVED them. I posted them on Facebook when I was done because I was so proud of them, and so many people liked them that I decided to start making and selling them. (And, yes, I am totally putting a shameless plug here - I posted these custom travel pillows on Etsy! I've made a few Disney ones too, so for you Disney lovers out there, these may be for you!)

    Find these cute travel pillows on my Etsy Shop!

    What are your travel essentials? Let us know in a comment below!

    As always, if you have any tips, tricks or questions you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at! And don't forget to follow us by hitting "Subscribe" at the top of the page!

    -Lindsay Prout

    -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

    If you are interested in buying a copy of my Disneyland Guide, feel free to contact me at any time at I sell my guide for a one time fee of $10*, or you can request a personalized one for $15 that I will customize entirely to your family’s needs!

    *Any updated guides will be sent to you absolutely free of charge after your first purchase.