10 spots to get splashed in the Disney Theme Parks

Visitors to the Walt Disney World theme parks generally know going into the game that they’re likely to encounter some heat. The index can range from toasty warm in the milder months to darn near sweltering in the summer. Much appreciated are the myriad ways to cool off around property. If it’s not yet time to head back to the hotel swimming pool, we’ve got 10 spots in mind in and around the theme parks where you can catch a break from the temps and savor a splash or two.


Casey Jr Splash ‘n Soak Station

First stop on our Splash Tour is this colorful, spurting collection of circus cars in Fantasyland. Themed after the animated film Dumbo, Casey Jr Splash ‘n Soak Station will be a magnet to your parched tykes on a hot day at the Magic Kingdom. We prefer to “splash” instead of “soak” at Casey’s — use your own discretion. (more…)

Take a mini-safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

It was a stretch for me to fully envision the concept of a hotel built within a re-created African savanna – until we stepped foot into the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Though I had read about guests taking morning coffee on their balconies while watching the animals amble, I still expected the savannas to be less accessible to the curious public. Gladly, this is not the case. The animals are on display for all to admire from beautiful vantage points around this majestic resort. (more…)

See the species soar in Flights of Wonder

It’s such a joy when we cross off some rare attraction on the to-do list for the first time. In the case of a recent fall trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we finally made it to the Flights of Wonder show! The show had never been a priority, though I had read nothing but positive reviews. (more…)

Make a catch of “Finding Nemo: The Musical”

“Finding Nemo: The Musical” does a pretty slick job of condensing the darling, full-length animated film into a 30-minute stage show. It has to move at brisk pace to accomplish this, but the show’s not tough to follow – especially for those familiar with the movie. Nemo’s story is carried out in a spectacle of vibrantly-colored puppets, live performers, a digital backdrop and – in the one divergence from the movie – perky musical numbers. (more…)

Four places to bang the drums in Walt Disney World

Kids don’t want to work – they just want to bang on the drum all day! So where can you do that at Walt Disney World? Here are four spots we’ve found:

MH walt disney world drumsThe Little Drummer Girls are performing at the following locations clockwise from top left: the interactive play queue of The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh at Magic Kingdom Park, the Outpost area of World Showcase at Epcot, while waiting to be seated at Boma – Flavors of Africa at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and in the Harambe Village area in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Let me assure you – you don’t have to be a kid to join in!

Spot: Siamangs in the Asian temple ruins at Animal Kingdom

Pause for a few minutes to watch these playful siamangs – members of the gibbon family – deftly navigate the beautiful temple ruins that make up their habitat at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

As with all things Disney, the siamang exhibit tells a story. It’s the tale of the people of Anandapur (the fictional kingdom that comprises the Asia portion of Animal Kingdom) and their desire to preserve these ancient temples. The scaffolding and ropes surrounding the ruins supposedly serve a dual purpose: to allow repairs to be made on the temples, and to amuse the siamangs that have taken up residence in them. (more…)

Jeep into the wilds on Kilimanjaro Safaris

MH kilimanjaro safaris“But where’s the lion? Have we seen it yet? Is there a lion on this ride? Can he get us? When do we see the lion?” My son, then not quite five, was obsessed the first time he rode Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. To the kid, it was totally possible we really had jeeped through some portal at Walt Disney World and ended up on the African savanna. I’ve never been to Africa myself, but from what I’ve heard, Disney does an excellent job re-creating the ambiance of a sub-Saharan savanna, complete with dozens of exotic animals. (more…)

Celebrate Easter at the Walt Disney World Resort

magic kingdom easterGiven that our Mouse Holiday Family wilts at the thought of such crowds, we have never ventured even in the general direction of the Walt Disney World Resort too close to Easter. As we don’t have the luxury of visiting as often as we’d like (a major understatement), we tend to schedule our trips when attendance is low. This totally wouldn’t be the case if we were locals. We’d take the crowds in stride if we could experience these special Easter activities:

Wishful Thinking: Camp Minnie-Mickey

“Taps” has sounded for Camp Minnie-Mickey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The summer fishing camp-themed piece of the park hosted its last guests on January 5, 2014. The space had been on Animal Kingdom’s map since the park opened in 1998. Plans call for replacement of the camp with a new “land” based on the 2009 film Avatar. Regardless of opinion on these new-ish developments, several elements of Camp Minnie-Mickey are passing into the history books including: (more…)

Spot It: Amazing creatures on Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life

PicMonkey Collage - tree of life - CopyIf you can spare the extra time, it’s really rewarding to spend it studying the incredible work of art that is the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Our family discovered this on a recent trip, that the Tree is a wonderful attraction in its own right. We purposely slowed our pace and meandered the Discovery Island Trails, paths that meander close to the base of the tree and afford views of the animals intricately carved into the trunk and roots. (more…)