Category Archives: Kid Friendly

#MagicalMondayMinute #4 – Campfires at Disney World resorts

Magical Monday Minute is a weekly quick Disney tip to help you enjoy your Disney vacation even more!

If you want to see the video version, I’ll post it on Instagram on Mondays with the hashtag #MagicalMondayMinute.  Follow me there so you don’t miss out on valuable Disney hints!

Today’s tip: If you’re staying at a moderate or deluxe resort, be sure to check out the daily campfires at the resort.  There are plenty of marshmallows for roasting and it’s FREE if you’re staying at the resort!

 

Campfire at Port Orleans Riverside

Campfire at Port Orleans Riverside

Epcot Passport

Epcot is sometimes known as the Disney park that doesn’t have a lot to offer kids, but I couldn’t disagree more! In addition to the popular rides, Future World has Innoventions, which is a fun interactive play area that can keep kids entertained for a few hours!

One well known activity for kids in the World Showcase is the Kidcot stops, where kids can color a character on a wooden stick (Duffy Bear or Agent P) and then take their character to each country and get a stamp, along with a special hand-drawn symbol representing that country.

Kidcot Fun Stop at Epcot

Kidcot Fun Stop at Epcot

Agent P Epcot

Agent P Epcot

It’s fun for younger kids, but not always exciting enough to keep an older kid’s attention.  However, on our last trip, we stumbled upon a new fun way for kids to explore the World Showcase – the Epcot Passport.  For around $10, the stores sell an authentic-looking passport that comes with stickers that look like stamps – including the flag of each country and a few of the sights from each country of the World Showcase.

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Jedi Training Academy at Hollywood Studios

Anyone who has seen Star Wars can probably agree that lightsabers are cool.  When you add in Jedi skills, an Obi-Wan robe and a chance to defeat the Dark Side, you’ve got a pretty big adventure waiting at the Jedi Training Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Jedi Training Academy

Jedi Training Academy

This high-demand event is only for kids ages 4-12, although I’m sure there are plenty of grown ups who would love to become Jedis too!  There are shows about every 1/2 hour throughout the day, but spots fill up quick – and the kids who are signing up have to be present to register. So if Jedi Training is on the ‘must-do’ list for your Disney vacation, plan to be at the park before it opens to head straight to the ABC Sound Studio to register.
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Ideas while waiting for Anna and Elsa

By now I think everyone has heard of the insanely long lines to meet and greet Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen in the Norway pavilion of Epcot.  I did not wait in the line, but my sister and her family did (4 hours with 2 kids) and I started to think of ways for families to pass the time while waiting in the line. During my brainstorming, I had a breakthrough and I think I actually invented a new game!  Well, not technically new, but a Disney-fied version of the old favorite Rock, Paper, Scissors.

I call it Snowball, Snowflake, Carrot.

Snowball, Snowflake, Carrot

Snowball, Snowflake, Carrot

The rules are the same as Rock, Paper, Scissors, but in case you don’t know here they are: Continue reading

Golfing at Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course

I love to golf.  My husband and I used to golf nearly every weekend in the summer when we were first married.  It was a great time to bond, relax and enjoy the outdoors.  However, after our daughter came along it was harder to find time (and a sitter) to make it out to the course very often.

Once she turned about 6 years old, we had the great idea that we’d just teach her how to golf and then we could go back to our weekly golf habit!  I know Tiger Woods started golfing at age 3, but we soon learned that taking the average 6 year old on the golf course (even a par 3) is tough.  Carrying clubs, walking up hills, and the 4-5 swings needed to make contact with the ball were too draining for her to make it for 9 holes.  But over the next three years we persevered, continuing to teach her and from time to time golfing a round with her as scorekeeper in the cart (I think she’d rather drive the cart than golf most times anyways.)

On our last trip to Disney, I felt like we had reached the point where we could try to golf as a family.  After some research I was pleased to find a Disney course that was labeled as “family friendly,” which is pretty rare on a regular length course.  The age range on the website even listed preschoolers … which made me wonder if it was going to be the equivalent of a mini-golf course with lots of kids running around.  As soon as we arrived I realized that was not the case at all.  There was an attendant to greet us, take our bags and escort us into the pro shop, which had all the Mickey golf paraphernalia you could ever want!

WDW Golf

WDW Golf

Since we are annual passholders, our rounds were FREE!  Yes, I said FREE!  (Greens fees are a benefit for passholders at Oak Trail, but not the other courses.)  In addition, our taxi from the resort to the course was FREE! (Complimentary transportation is available for guests from most Disney resorts – check with the concierge desk to confirm.)  Free golf and free taxi – – how could we pass that up?  To save on the baggage fees at the airport we combined my clubs with my husband’s and I was able to get a complimentary bag at the course as well.
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The wilderness (of Florida and California) must be explored!

Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom

Wilderness Explorers at Animal Kingdom

One of the newer activities at Animal Kingdom is the Wilderness Explorers scavenger hunt.  It’s based on the Disney movie Up, and there are several places to sign up around the park. Just keep an eye out for  wilderness guides dressed in khaki and an orange neckerchief to get a Wilderness Explorer Handbook and pass initiation into the explorers by learning the special call named the Caw Caw Roar, pledging to be “a friend to all.” The badge guides are standing by at each stop to help the explorers learn about the ways of the wilderness and many of the skills that are required to navigate the woods.  There are 31 badges to achieve so it could take as much or as little of the day (or several days) as you’d like.
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Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure

Agent P's World Showcase Adventure

Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure

Epcot has a reputation for not being kid friendly, but on all of our trips one of my daughter’s favorite things to do is Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure in Epcot.  (There was previously a similar adventure based on Kim Possible from the Disney TV show, but was reimagineered a few years ago based on the popularity of Phineas and Ferb.)

Phinneas and Ferb is one of the few shows on the Disney channel that I can stand to watch and the only one that I actually enjoy.  Agent P is the secret code name of Perry the Platypus, the googly-eyed pet of Phineas and Ferb.

Agent P

Agent P

The missions are set up as an interactive scavenger hunt using a cellphone-like controller called a F.O.N.E. (Field Operative Notification Equipment.)  There are 4 stations where you can sign up for a mission: Continue reading

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