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10 Tips for Beating The Heat in Disney

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Since we wanted to take our family to Disney before we moved it meant going in August. The heat was a little intimidating but we planned carefully and discovered a few tips that made it a little more bearable.

In no particular order, here are 10 tips for surviving Disney in the Summer.


1. Baby Care Centers

Each park has a Baby Care Center that is the perfect retreat especially on those exceptionally hot days. Each center is cool and has a private place to nurse or pump. There are also toys for quiet play and in most cases a TV playing Disney movies. In each location there is a store to purchase baby items including food, diapers, and some over-the-counter children’s medications.

The Baby Care Center at the Magic Kingdom is located near the First Aid Station between Casey’s and The Crystal Palace.

The Baby Care Center at Epcot is located in the Odyssey Center between Test Track and the Showcase Plaza.

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios the Baby Care Center is located inside of Guest Relations near the main entrance to the park.

The Baby Care Center at Animal Kingdom is located to the left of the Tree of Life in the building right before you cross the bridge into Africa.

There are no centers at Typhoon Lagoon or Blizzard Beach but the restrooms have changing stations.


2. Character Dining

Character dining is a great time to get out of the heat and enjoy a nice sit-down meal and meet some of Mickey’s friends. Chef Mickey’s, Hollywood & Vine, and Tusker House are a few of our favorites. Some of the meals require early reservations like Be Our Guest but most you can make about 30-35 days out.

Luckily we had lunch sit-down reservations on some of the hottest days and it was such a nice break to sit in the nice cold air conditioning for two hours. Since we made early lunch reservations we were able to go back into the parks and ride a few more rides before we headed back to the hotel for nap time.

3. Magic Hours

Each day there are Magic Hours at the different parks for resort guests. It’s a great opportunity to get into the parks early and use your Fast Passes to knock out a few rides before it gets hot and busy. You can also plan to head back to the parks after dinner for the late night Magic Hours once it cools down a bit. To plan ahead check out a list of the Magic Hours here.


4. Resort Pools

While it may seem like a waste of time and you may think; “I could swim anytime”,  resort pools are a great place to hang out in the middle of the day when the sun is blazing away. Most resorts also have amazing kiddie pools for the young children as well. At Caribbean Beach the life guards were very attentive to the water and won’t even look away when they answer a question. Throughout the day there are fun, cast member led, poolside activities and games for the kids.  This is a great time for the parents to relax under an umbrella sipping on a cold tasty beverage with an umbrella of it’s own.

5. FastPasses, Indoor Queues, Character Meet ‘N Greets, and Shows

As a ticket holder you are able to register for THREE FastPasses per day in ONE park. While we were there, I found out you can actually add on a 4th FastPass once you have used your initial three FastPasses.  This must be added using one of the FastPass kiosks in the park. If you travel to another park during the same day and you have used your FastPasses for the day you may add an additional FastPass fort the new park but this must also be done at the kiosk in the park.

If you feel yourself getting overheated, choose a ride with an indoor queue line. There is an awesome indoor play area for kids in the tent between the two Dumbo rides. You can actually get a pager that will go off when it’s your turn to ride.  The Kilimanjaro Safari queue may not be indoors but it is in the shade with fans and there is plenty for the kids to look at.

Waiting in line to meet a Disney character is a good opportunity to get out of the sun and let the kids sit for a bit to eat a snack and drink some water. A few of the lines I waited in were next to a wall to sit and it was mostly in the shade. Caity was even able to take a cat nap while we waited.

You can also beat the heat by finding an indoor show like American Music Machine (Epcot), Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage (Hollywood Studios), Finding Nemo The Musical (Animal Kingdom) or  Meet Mickey at Town House Square (Magic Kingdom).  You can also FastPass these shows to add a built-in break to your day.


6. Parent Swap

Unlike other amusement parks Disney has an interesting way of facilitating Parent Swap. Lets say you are visiting Disney with a few people. Two people can stand in line OR use a FastPass to ride Haunted Mansion, when they go through the entrance they need to mention to the Disney Cast Member that they would like to do a parent swap.  The rest of the family needs to be near to prove that they are with the riders.  The cast member then hands them a Rider Switch Pass allowing up to 3 people to enter the ride using the Fast Pass line when they are done the initial ride. This is fun because the person(s) waiting with the kids can then go on the ride with other members of your group and not have to ride by themselves.  This time is great for the kids to take a break in the stroller to cool off or even push them around a nearby gift shop for a little extra cool-down time.

We also learned since each person can only get 3 FastPasses per day at ONE park your party can split them up and essentially use the FastPass lane for 6+ rides. Now I am sure that is not what Disney intends you to do BUT unlike the way it works at other amusement parks (waiting at the exit and jumping on right after your party gets off) you do still have to wait in a line.


7. Plan Ahead

I definitely encourage you to download the My Disney Experience App before you arrive. Everyone in your party can link together to see dinning reservations and FastPass selections. It’s also a great app to keep on hand to look at ride wait times, where the Disney Character Meet ‘N’ Greets are, the closest bathroom or first aid stations, and maps of the park.

8. Free H2O

It’s a must to bring along your own water or water bottles but if you find yourself low, you can get a free cup of water at most of the Disney food service locations. Don’t forget you also get a drink with your Dinning Plan, this is a good chance to get some water to keep yourself hydrated.



9. Cool Off Stations

There are tons of locations at each park where you can cool off a little. Near Test Track in Epcot there is a Cool Wash station and in Magic Kingdom there is the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak to name a few. Even if it’s only for a moment you will be amazed how much cooler you will feel.


10. Disney Dinning Plan

In most cases you get a snack per day with your Disney Dinning Plan. There are hundreds of snacks to choose from but find something that will cool you down. Since you are on vacation, feel free to indulge in a tasty ice cream treat in Magic Kingdom or cash it in at one of the many Starbucks locations for a Venti Iced Tea Lemonade (my personal favorite). If you don’t want calories you can also choose a Smart Water or fresh cool fruit, just to name a few options.Surviving Disney In The Summer Collage

11. Gadgets

While these were in no particular order, I did save the best for last, gadgets. Last year I shared our extensive packing list which pretty much stayed the same this time. Most of the additional items I added above are probably no surprise when trying to keep cool in the heat and should be on top of your packing list. Just in case you do forget something many of the shops and resorts have what you need. If you have a vehicle you can also stop by the near by Walmart where they have tons of Disney merchandise and anything else you would need.

Visors are great because they allow the heat to escape out of the top of your head while keeping the sun out of your eyes. Rob and I also raided the Under Armour Outlet before we visited this time. What a difference their clothing made with staying cool. I am pretty much hooked on their yoga pants and Rob loved their boxer briefs.

Sunscreen is very important and while it doesn’t matter what kind just make sure it isn’t expired and that you reapply often especially if you were lucky enough to get the front seat on Splash Mountain.

There were two things we found on Amazon that ended up being perfect in the park. The first were a set of the Frogg Toggs Chilly Pads which cooled us off without getting us wet. They were great to put around the kids necks to lower their body temperature and to keep Caity cool during her naps. The other was a set of Dreambaby Stroller Fans. I like how lightweight and safe they are because of the foam blades. I was pleasantly surprised at how powerful the breeze was.

Our Disney Vacation in Photos

What better opportunity than a Wordless Wednesday to share some of my favorite photos taken of our recent trip to Disney. We had a blast and even though it was extremely hot out we made the most of our trip. We decided to take the Amtrack Auto Train again. It is such a relaxing and fun way to travel with kids. Carribean Beach Resort was so nice we also stayed there again. We knew the pool would be perfect in the middle of the day. Although it was hot we made the most of it and did as much as we could in the parks. Parker absolutely LOVED the roller coasters. He also loved all the character dinning we did where he got to meet all of his favorites from Disney.

Train Collage With Watermark

Hotel Collage With Watermark

Character Meal Collage with Watermark

In The Parks Collage With Watermark

Photo Pass Collage With Watermark

Disney With A Toddler

Rob and I have been to Disney quite a few times but this time it was going to be different with Parker. I wasn’t worried since Sarah and Tim were coming as well, but I wanted to be as prepared as possible. I was able to find loads of information online from other mom bloggers and blogs dedicated entirely to Disney vacations. Some of my favorites are All EarsDisney Drawing Board and Military Disney Trips.

This post has taken me a few months to put together so I apologize for it’s length. I wanted to make sure to cover what I thought would be helpful for other parents planning their magical vacation.


We originally booked two rooms at Pop Century but had an unfortunate experience there with our reservation and even worse customer service, which is very unlike Disney. Long story short after getting the run around for hours, repeatedly being told the issue was solved (when it wasn’t) and speaking with the hospitality manager, we moved to another resort. I had to pack our room, load the car and wake Parker at midnight to move, but it was necessary.

We ended up at Caribbean Beach on the ground floor which was a much nicer resort and easier accessibility. While the process to get there was pretty horrible and wasted an entire day of our vacation, Disney ended up making it right and we had a wonderful time once we were all moved in.

Sadly, we didn’t find this hidden playground or experience the zero entry pool until the last day. Parker had so much fun and it was a nice way to spend our last day. He is obsessed with slides and the water one wasn’t any different. There was no one on the playground so he was able to run around freely. I would definitely recommend scoping out the pools and playgrounds at your resort. It’s a great way to spend down time.
The Old Port Royal Food Court was great for a few of the meals that were not spent in the parks. There are five different counters offering a variety of choices to fit your mood. These include pizza, burgers, deli and the a dinner only option of a more home cooked style. There is also a Grab & Go Market to pick up quick meals, snacks and beverages.
I was a little nervous about riding the bus w/o P properly secured. The first few trips I wore him but he wasn’t a huge fan. After awhile I got a little more comfortable and he started sitting with us on a seat. I definitely recommend packing all of your park gear in bags and packing a fold up one for the end of the day when you may have some extra items. It makes things a little easier when you can stuff everything into a bag and throw it over your should while you wrestle with your toddler(s) and stroller.

We brought our Joovy Zoom 360 and while it was a little chunky on the bus but still manageable and well worth the comfort and storage space in the parks. You can see a more in depth review of the stroller here and more specifically on our Disney trip here.

Check out some great tips on staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort from The Mouse For Less.
Being the foodie that Rob is, planning our meals ahead of time was essential. We also wanted to eat at a few places that book up quickly. Disney strongly recommends advanced reservations and most can be made up to 180 days prior. For some reservations, like the new Be Our Guest, you need to make reservations that early.

The Disney Dining page is a great way to search for options based on experience, price range, cuisine, and what dinning plans are accepted. Making and changing reservations is very easy so you can always switch them around as needed. You can also link reservations right into your My Disney Experience account so you are always up to date on the days schedule.

IMG_5349Overall, I was very pleased with our dining selections. Since we were dining with a toddler this time I knew it was going to be a little bit of a challenge at times. The staff at each location were extremely welcoming and patient. By the end of the trip Rob and I had the routine down pretty well and were able to really enjoy our meals.We did purchase the meal plan that gave us a quick service, sit down and snack each day. It ended up being way to much food and we were purchasing left over snacks on the last day for our trip home. The quick service and sit down come with a meal, drink and dessert. As a kid I would have jumped for joy at getting dessert two times a day. This time, it was way too much and I ended up declining most of the time. There were also times where I would have much preferred an appetizer. While the meal plan is convenient I don’t think we will go that route again unless it is part of a package deal.I definitely think that kids are never too young for the Disney character meals. Parker didn’t know any of the character except for Mickey. He was still amazed when they would come up and interact with him. We got some priceless photos of Parker with different characters who he will know eventually.

Boma & Sanaa – Animal Kingdom

Boma                                                          Sanaa
Price: $36 – $60                                           Price: $15 – $30
Style: Buffet                                                Style: Sit down
Dining Plans Accepted                                Dining Plans Accepted

We were able to enjoy two restaurants at the Animal Kingdom resort. Boma which features vibrant flavors from over 50 African countries and a buffet style was a great way to try a variety of foods. Parker even enjoyed some of the options. Sanaa, a mix of African and Indian cuisine was delish and very unique. Both were on the slight fancy side for Parker’s taste but he ate off our plates and seemed to enjoy himself. It was nice to enjoy a good meal that was still appropriate for Parker.

We loved going outside and watching all of the animals walk around. It was a great way to spend some time before and after dinner.

Price: $36 – $60
Style: Buffet
Dining Plans Accepted

The Cape May Cafe was a decent buffet style restaurant. They take your stroller before entering, which I wasn’t a fan of. The food was typical but had a decent selection that made everyone happy. It was so hard for me not to eat more than the recommended amount of crab legs :/

Price: $15 – $30
Style: Sit down with entertainment
Dining Plans Accepted

Teppan Edo is a favorite of ours and restaurant we visit every time we are in Disney. The food is great, service is amazing, and the entertainment is always a good time. We were celebrating Rob’s birthday so he got a special hat. Definitely appropriate for kids although we brought Parker his own dinner and had bites of ours.

La Hacienda de San Angel – Epcot

Price: $15 – $30
Style: Sit down
Dining Plans Accepted

For our adult night out we decided to try La Hacienda de San Angel in Epcot. The food was amazing and Rob, Sarah and Tim all agreed that the adult beverages were very tasty. Similar to Teppan EdoLa Hacienda de San Angel is located within the World Showcase so you can walk around before and after your meal.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater – Hollywood Studios

Price: $15 – $30
Style: Sit down with entertainment
Dining Plans Accepted

We had an early dinner at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater in Hollywood Studios per my request. I remember it being so much fun when Sarah and I came to Disney when we were little. The set up is like a drive in theater with all tables facing a large movie screen that plays cartoons while you dine. The food was good and the milkshakes were amazing. I will say it’s not the best place to bring a toddler. The room is very dark which Parker was a little freaked out by it. There were also parts of the cartoon that was playing that weren’t really appropriate for toddlers. I do think that this is a great place for older children and will definitely be taking Parker back there in a few years.

Crystal Palace – Magic Kingdom

Price: $15 – $30
Style: Character Buffet
Dining Plans Accepted

I had never been to Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom so we definitely wanted to try it out with Parker. The restaurant was very spacious and open with a high ceiling certainly earning it’s name, Crystal Palace. The food selection was good and had specific items for younger kids. I think we all enjoyed the pigs-in-a-blanket the best. The characters took their turn walking around and we were able to see each of them during our meal. With the bright and open space, Parker was really able to see the characters and responded well to them when they came to the table.

Whispering Canyon Cafe – Wilderness Lodge

Price: $15 – $30
Style: All You Can Eat
Dining Plans Accepted

Rob and I had eaten at the Whispering Canyon Cafe in Wilderness Lodge before and was also a must on our list this time around. The food is amazing and you can eat to your hearts content. The milkshakes are also fantastic. I do recommend getting one at the end of your meal so you don’t fill up before dinner arrives. The wait staff is very involved with their guests and provide periodic entertainment for the kids throughout the meal. 


Price: $15 – $30
Style: All You Can Eat
Dining Plans Accepted

We had breakfast at ‘Ohana for one of their character meals. We were welcomed with fresh fruit, eggs, breakfast meats, and mini Mickey Mouse waffles. Lilo, Stitch, Mickey, and Pluto walked around welcoming guests, signing autographs and taking photos. It was a great way to start the day and we all left extremely satisfied! I was also very impressed with their customer service. They offered a pitcher of a mixed fruit juice. Since we are still unsure of Parker’s allergy to pears we asked if they knew what was in it. The waitress was unsure and we said it was not a big deal, we would just give him apple juice. Next thing I know, the chef was at our table addressing our concern.

I talk about this a little more in depth in my Disney Packing List post but, we decided to bring items for Parker to eat at meal time. Kids meals can get a little pricey and he is still a little to young to eat everything or like what is offered. For the most part he ate off our plates and what we brought for him. We picked up Uncrustables (PB&J), goldfish, grapes and cheese sticks during our trip to Walmart. Most of these items are also available in the resort convenient stores. This was his typical lunch and then dinner he would usually get a Plum pouch, fruit and then a protein and veggie from out plates. We also brought along our Brita water bottle and small bottles of apple juice to drink throughout the day. We bought milk at Walmart which he got for breakfast in the room and at night before bed.


I knew going into our trip that having the right gear was going to be essential. I read tons of mom blogs and compiled a pretty extensive list. One of the benefits of taking the Amtrak Auto Train was that we weren’t limited on what we brought. I quickly realized when I started this section that it really needed to be a separate post. Here are a few snapshots of some of the gear we used. Click here for more photos, a complete packing list, and tons of links.

I can’t say enough about this stroller. Parker was so comfortable in it, we didn’t even need to head back to the hotel for naps! After lunch we just reclined the seat and gave him his pacifier and blanket. He was usually out in about 5 minutes and took a 2-3 hour nap each day. I had every intention of heading back to the room each day but this made things SO much easier. There was also a ton of space below to hold all of our gear so we were prepared for just about any situation. The bright red color also stood out and we were always able to find it in the stroller parking.
Park Adventures
One of the things I was most worried about in Disney was safety. Up until 18 months (December), Parker wasn’t walking so he was always in the stroller or the carrier close to us. I knew that he would not want to spend the long days in the park strapped into a stroller now that he was walking.

To help alleviate my worries, we decided to purchase the Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness. I know many people are against “leashes” for their kids. I am not one of them. This was a great way to keep Parker from wandering off if we got distracted by something because lets face it, parents aren’t perfect. You never know when your childhood idol, Goofy, may come walking by and for a split second you are in la-la land.

We also made it routine to take a photo of Parker each morning while we waited for the bus. On the way to the park I would text the photo to everyone in our party along with his stats and allergies. In an emergency, this is a quick way to get authorities the information they need when you may still be in shock or unable to think straight. You never want to NEED something like this, but I felt a little more comfortable knowing everyone had the information on hand.

I partnered up with Lovable Labels to review their KID Bands!. Parker wore one each day in the parks which helped put my mind at ease. KID Bands! are waster resistant and tear proof one time use bands that can be customized for your specific needs. For $19.95 you get a pack of 34 wristbands available in 10 different patterns. Check out my full Lovable Labels: KID Bands! here.

One of the strangest things about Disney this time was having the stroller. I knew it would be great to hold all of our stuff but it always meant leaving it for meals and to go on rides. Disney certainly plans for this and has tons of designated stroller parking areas. It is really important to park your stroller in the appropriate place so they don’t overflow in high traffic areas causing jams. You’d be surprised how often it happened because folks were “too special” to follow the rules.

We saw an attendant at almost every stroller parking section who was specifically stationed there. Their job was to move strollers around to fill in the gaps as people came to pick theirs up. The first few times I had to search for ours I was a little annoyed. Then I saw areas where they didn’t have an attendant and it was a disaster. The area just kept expanding out into traffic because people would drop theirs off at the closest spot instead of in the gaps.

This little guy was able to eat a full meal by munching off food left uncovered underneath the different strollers. Definitely make sure to bring baggies and coolers with zippers so you don’t have your meal stolen by a real life character!

Our Favorite Attractions

I think this has to be one of my favorite photos from the entire trip. Parker enjoyed The Seas with Nemo & Friends® in Epcot. Once you leave the ride, there is a huge aquarium and a few fun places to take some adorable photos!
I remember the Honey I Shrunk The Kids play area at Hollywood Studios from when I was little. It wasn’t as magical for me this time being older and a little bit taller but watching Parker explore certainly was. He hadn’t really played on slides much before that day but once he discovered them, we couldn’t pry him away. He kept going up and sliding down, more times than I can even count. He has been obsessed with slides ever since.

This is a great place to take toddlers who are in the stroller for awhile during the day. They can run around, stretch their legs and get a little stimulation.

Since there were not many rides Parker (and even I) could go on, we made sure to visit the ones he could and we thought he would like. He wasn’t really use to amusement park rides so we wanted them to be slow and a seating option where he could sit on our laps if needed. This is a shot Rob took from It’s A Small World in Magic Kingdom. While it was a little overwhelming and he went from sitting between Rob and I to on my lap holding my hand, I think he really liked all the singing and lights. This is definitely a great ride to go on with little ones.

Dumbo The Flying Elephant was also a fun one to go on and one I recommend for toddlers. I had never been on it so it was a first for both Parker and I. They let all three of us together so Parker sat in the middle on the ride. He liked going up and down although he was holding our hands the whole time. This photo was taken with one of the seats that is set aside for photo opportunities.
Disney Secret Gems
There were some features of Disney that I read from bloggers that didn’t seem to be widely publicized.

Between the two Dumbo rides is an indoor circus themed play area. It is air conditioned and a perfect place to hide out in the hot weather. Even better, you can “check-in” for the Dumbo ride and get a beeper that will go off when it’s your turn. How cool is that?!?! The wait wasn’t very long so we didn’t need that feature but it was nice to get out of the sun and let Parker run around for a little while.

The Baby Care Centers are perfect for parents and off the beaten path so they are nice and quiet. I didn’t even know they existed until my good friend over at, All For Love, mentioned it.
  • Private nursing room with rocking chairs 
  • Changing room with tables and a unisex bathroom 
  • Feeding area with highchairs 
  • Kitchen with microwave, oven, and sink 
  • Main room with television, table, chairs and sofa 
  • On-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and clothing for purchase
  • Location where where lost children are brought and looked after until their parents can come and pick them up. 
I was unsure if I was going to utilize this last secret gem, Kids Nite Out, until I was there. I was extremely hesitant to leave Parker with a complete stranger. My sister and Rob really pushed it so I decided to give them a call. The customer service rep was extremely friendly and had no trouble answer all of my questions.

If you are not familiar, Kids Nite Out is a Disney approved service that allows adults to enjoy their Disney experience through in-room and in-park services. Staff are 18 years or older, have previous childcare experience, are basic first aid certified and child/infant CPR certified. They are thoroughly interviewed and screened. References are checked and criminal backgrounds are performed.

Our sitter arrived promptly with a bag full of activities and games. She asked a lot of questions about Parker’s evening routine and took detailed notes. She also could tell I was nervous and offered to text me every half hour with updates. Parker started playing with her right away and didn’t even notice we left although I said goodbye to him and gave him a kiss like I always do. Yes, that picture above is my spying before we left.

Even though I was nervous up until I arrived back to the room I will say it was really nice to get out one night and I still had a lot of fun. I would definitely recommend this to anyone going. 

I knew I wanted to take Parker to the Harmony Barber Shop in Magic Kingdom. Although it wasn’t his “first” haircut I thought it would be fun. Our stylist was amazing and really kept Parker entertained. It was clear she knew what she was doing and was comfortable working with children.

Reservations are strongly recommend and I say they are a must. It was very busy inside and the stylists were moving from one appointment right to the next. They do children and adults cuts and styles and even beard/mustache trims. The prices are very reasonable and Parker’s ended up being $15 before the tip.

Using My Disney Experience is a great way to organize and plan for your trip. Prior to the trip we were able to connect all of our accounts together so that we all knew what the game plan was. Starting with the dates of our trip, hotel reservation and dinning plan. Then we started adding in dinning reservations which helped us decided what days we would visit which parks. We purchased the Disney Memory Maker Photo Pass which I talk about more below. We also order our personalized Magic Bands.

Before we left for the trip, we all downloaded the free mobile app so that we we could see all of our dinning and fast pass reservations. The mobile app also lets your see the wait times for attractions, showtimes, locate character greeting locations, and view maps.

Upon arrival, our Magic Bands were activated so we could get into our rooms and visit the dinning facility. We purchased military passes so we activated them in minutes at the first park we went to by scanning the bar code on the pass into the mobile app. Since our Magic Bands were already linked to the mobile app, we were able to use our Magic Bands right away to enter the park and make Fast Pass+ reservations. After that, we made Fast Pass+ reservations the night before so we had more choices.

For the remainder of the trip all we had to do was swipe to get into our rooms, enter the parks, enter the Fast Pass+ line, order food, have our picture taken and even purchase merchandise. No need for cash, credit cards, and park tickets. Parker saw us swipe so many times he started doing it and even now asks for his Magic Band to be put on and swipes at cabinets and doors to open!

Memory Maker
I was very pleased when I learned that Disney was now offering a Memory Maker package for their photo passes. I was always disappointed that the cost of individual photos were so high. They always turned out so well but I wanted them in digital form and couldn’t justify paying $20+ for more than one photo.The Disney Memory Maker Photo Pass is $199 but if you purchase it at least 3 days before your trip you can instantly save $50. All photos taken in the parks which include character photos, rides and any photo stations are included. If you attend any meals where photos are taken those are also included. You can see your photos each night and once your trip is over, download right to your computer and share them with friends and family.

I absolutely loved this service and am so glad we have so many amazing photos to remember our trip by. Although we took a ton of our own photos, sometimes it’s nice to have everyone in the shot.

You can see more photos from our trip in my Disney In Photos post.

Are you still with me? I told you it was gonna be long! I am sure there are many things I missed but hopefully this will give you some ideas of where to start while you plan your magical Disney experience. I think planning ahead makes things go a lot smoother even though it means you won’t be prepared for every little thing. Disney is all about creating a welcoming and fun environment for you and your family. On many occasions I witnessed staff doing everything they could to make that experience magical!

PeaPod Plus Travel Tent {Review}

I mentioned in my Disney With A Toddler Packing List post, we were not sure if we would be able to get a pack n’ play for our room in Disney. While we could have managed with Parker on the bed with us, I knew I wouldn’t sleep well being pregnant. We also wanted to have something for our overnight stay on the Amtrak Auto Train. I searched the internet for ideas and came across the Kid Co Pea Pod Plus.

I was already familiar with Kid Co after purchasing their Go Pod at a local consignment sale. We loved it so much it made our 9 month favorite products list. Definitely something I would consider bringing if you have an infant who isn’t walking yet. It’s a great way to keep them entertained when you need two hands and don’t want then crawling on the hotel floor.

I was thrilled when Kid Co agreed to work with me on a review of their Pea Pod Plus. Since it is rated for children ages 1-5, I knew we would be able to get good use out of it for several years. We decided on the Kiwi color and I was so excited to get it in the mail to try it out.

The Pea Pod Plus is a convenient travel bed that allows children to relax in style. The lightweight mesh surrounding keeps out unwanted bugs while allowing adequate air flow. To help facilitate nap time or to keep wind out, effortless zipper planes cover the mesh on all sides. The shell provides UV protection keeping your child’s sensitive skin safe. The Micro-Lite sleeping pad is secured in a separate compartment under the tent to safely provide cushion while easily accessible for cleaning.

The Pea Pod Plus also comes equipped with anchoring straps for those extra winding days.

My absolute favorite feature of the Pea Pod Plus is it’s compact travel size. Small enough to throw over your shoulder or pack away in your luggage.

The Pea Pod Plus can be purchased on Amazon Prime for $95.95.

We didn’t end up needing to use it on the train or in our room however, Parker really liked taking naps inside with all of his friends. Since we were on vacation, I gladly obliged.

And since this is about Disney, I though a behind the scenes shot would be appropriate. This is what life as a blogger usually looks like. Even on vacation I am staging shots for product reviews and posts. 


Lovable Labels: KID Bands! {Review}

While preparing for Disney the thought of having a toddler in tow made me a little anxious. With so many people around and the constant distractions that could happen I really wanted to have a few products and procedures in place. I know, typical Mom worrying about everything… I just knew I would be able to enjoy myself a little more if I prepared. I mentioned the Skip Hop Zoo Safety Harness and taking a photo of Parker each day in my Disney With A Toddler Post
In addition, I really wanted something that Parker could wear each day that would have his name and our contact information. Since I am a Love Bug Ambassador for Lovable Labels, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to partner together and review their KID Bands!

KID Bands! are perfect when out in large crowds like the pool, zoo or an amusement park. They are single-use, adjustable, water resistant, and tear proof. I keep our pack in the diaper bag so that they are always handy when I feel like he should be wearing one.

A set of KID Bands! comes in a pack of 34 and you can choose from 10 different designs for $19.95. Lovable Labels can even work with a school or daycare to customize the bands with your school color or logo.

Allergy Alert Labels provide a clear warning to others about your child’s allergy or allergies. They are perfect for kids’ lunch boxes, drink bottles, containers, etc. Allergy Alert labels can even be temporarily used on backpacks or clothing when your kids go on field trips, to a friend’s party or when travelling anywhere they may be at risk.
Medical Wristbands are great for children with medical conditions like allergies, asthma, epilepsy and diabetes. Unlike medical bracelets that have only enough room for approximately 30 characters, there is enough space on our card inserts to list your child’s medical condition, any medications they are taking, two emergency contacts, and other information specific to them. This information is accessible immediately when an emergency arises. The outside of our Medical Wristband features the internationally recognized Medical Emblem and the phrase “Vital ID Inside” so that if an emergency arises, medical personnel will know to look there for important information.

Disney With A Toddler: Packing List

Packing for Disney was the most stressful and most time consuming part of the trip. In the end though, every minute spent was WELL worth it. We were very lucky to be able to bring as much gear as we wanted since we took the Auto Train. I know that with traveling via airplane it maybe a little harder to pack this much. In those cases I think it’s important to pack what you can.
Not able to pack everything you want? Here are a few tips that might help!
1. There is a 24 hour Walmart very close to the parks if you have a rental car. It’s also a great place to get inexpensive Disney gear and autograph books!
2. Most resorts have convenient shops where you can pick up toiletries and snacks.
3. You can also order items on Amazon and have them delivered to your resort and waiting for you when you check in. That is great for diapers that can take up quite a bit of room.
Here is a pretty extensive list of what we packed for our trip.

Everything fit very nicely in our Diaper Dude which I picked up at one of our local consignment sales. I also liked that is clipped right onto the stroller or could be worn over the shoulder. Thirty-One also just came out with the Explorista Crossbody, that hooks around the stroller, which is definitely worth checking out.

All of the contents are what we usually have in our diaper bag. Since Parker is almost 2 we don’t let him have his pacifier or blanket except bed time. We decided to bring those along to help him take naps in the stroller which worked out really well. After lunch each day we would recline the stroller, give him both and he would usually fall asleep in minutes. We also packed three spare outfits each day in case an accident happened.

I found bringing snacks and supplements for Parker’s meals was really important. It made mealtimes much easier and saved us a lot of money. On a few occasions we got him a kids meal but he mostly ate off our plates and what we brought for him. The kids meals are great for older ones but he is just young enough that it’s too much or not a good combination for him. Most of the items above are a usual in our diaper bag and certainly needed to make an appearance in Disney. I love each item but can’t say enough about the Tiny Bites Food Shears and the Munchkin Collapsible Bowl that make meal times a lot easier!

I am so glad we brought along these items to help make our days in the park a little easier. Each one ended up being helpful in their own way.
We have had our Joovy Zoom 360 jogging stroller for awhile now. You can check out my initial review of it here. I love using it for walks but it really was perfect for the parks. The seat is spacious so Parker didn’t feel cramped inside even after a long day. As you can see above, the seat reclines which makes it nice for naps. The basket was perfect for the rain cover, Becco Butterfly Baby Carrier, snack bag and additional layers of clothing.
There were times when Parker would want to be out of the stroller but we were on the move and walking around or standing inline wasn’t an option. It was great to pull out our Becco Butterfly Baby Carrier and plop him on our pack. 
I was so excited when Lovable Labels agreed to let me review their KID Bands!. Safety was a huge concern for me in the parks and putting these on Parker everyday was really comforting. It had his name and both of our names and phone numbers. You can check out my full review on the KID Bands! and other safety tips while you are in the parks here.
I know some parents don’t like the leash backpacks but it was nice to put this on when Parker wanted to walk around a little. He didn’t like it much when he wanted to run away, but I felt safer knowing I couldn’t get distracted a lose him. For some of the rides with a little bit of a wait, it was nice to put his sippy cup and pacifier inside and let him do the carrying! The leash is detachable so we can still use it when he gets older.
This was great to have in the room so Parker could eat breakfast at the table while we were getting ready. We usually keep this in the car in case a restaurant doesn’t have a highchair. It secures to the back and bottom of the chair and has a 3-point harness. 
We were a little concerned with what Parker would sleep in on the train and in the room if he didn’t like the P&P that was provided by Disney. The PeaPod Plus folds up nicely so it travels easily and is padded on the bottom for comfort. You can check out my full review of the PeaPod Plus here

We always travel with our Sunpentown SU-1051W Travel-Size Personal Humidifier. It keeps moisture in dry hotel rooms and helps us sleep better. We got this one from Bed Bath & Beyond for Christmas a few years ago from my Mom. It takes up no space in our luggage and we can refill a used water bottle with tap water.

I found this miniature IKEA dish rack at a local thrift store for under $3. I always hate to recommend a product when I can’t provide a place to buy it but after a few hours of searching, I don’t have a link to provide. I do love having this for travel though. It keeps Parker’s dishes off the counter. We used this a lot when Parker was still on bottles and we traveled.

The ArtBin Twisterz Jars are great for medicine, lotion and jewelry. I get mine from Jo Ann Fabrics where you get choose from a few different sizes. They all interlock making it easy to keep together.

The Thirty-One Littles Carry-All Caddy is also a travel favorite for us. It folds pretty flat to store easily in your luggage and can hold most of your toiletries. Rob and I each have one which keeps almost everything off the counters.

The Thirty-One Cinch-It-Up Super Sac was large enough to hold all of our laundry for the week. A carrying strap makes it easy to hull a full bag around and the front zipper pocket to hold detergent and dryer sheets. 
Digital Thermometer  |  Aveeno Baby Eczema Therapy  |  Children’s Benadryl  |  Little Remedies  |  Children’s Advil  |  nail clippers  |  Balmex  |  Baby Ganics Lip Balm  |  Pedialyte powder packets  |  toothbrush and toothpaste  |  nasal aspirator  |  Dapple dish soap  |  Johnson & Johnson’s body wash.
One of the worst experiences as a parent is when you have a sick child and no medicine. The best pieces of advice one of my friends gave me was to always be prepared when traveling. Even if we are gone for a night, these are the items I bring along just in case. The clear bottle is Dapple to wash Parker’s dishes and the blue bottle is shampoo/body wash for bath time. 
Well there you have it. Feeling overwhelmed yet? If you are, don’t be. While it may seem overwhelming now, once you get started it will be much easier. I would do your own research and then make a list of those items you want to bring. Having a list will remind you what you still need to purchase or locate around the house.