A very merry unbirthday on Mad Tea Party

My stomach just isn’t what it used to be. I stopped deliberately spinning those teacups half a lifetime ago. When the kids were toddlers they were pretty content to ride without the extra rotations but each year they get a little bolder and want to move a little faster. Thus, my two main Mad Tea Party rules are as follows: Make sure to ride before lunch. And please, go easy on Mom.

Celebrate your own unbirthday aboard a twirling teacup on both coasts.  Our favorite way to spin is beneath the colorful lanterns in Disneyland Park.


Location: Find the Mad Tea Party attraction in the Fantasyland sections of both Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort, and Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort.


Hunting an Easter Eggstravaganza

The hunt was on for these Disney kids. The annual EGGstravaganza, hosted by several of the Disney parks during the spring season, can be a fun family activity that doesn’t have to divert your attention much from a touring plan. You can simply be on the lookout for the sizeable character eggs while moving between attractions. Or, as we did, you can purchase a special map and stickers to mark your progress. Whether or not you choose to complete the hunt, you are entitled to a little prize. We found that our kids, even the big ones, loved scouting for the eggs. Here and there a bit of fierce competition broke through their united front, but for the most part it was a cooperative effort.  It’s also a great activity for younger ones to do while their big sibs are on the thrill rides. (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 and yours 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.


Hunt for A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas

[This post is a contribution by Junior Disbird Andy, Disney interactive games enthusiast.]

Arrgh, mateys! Captain Jack Sparrow be requestin’ your help.

Find the skull with crystal eyes in an idol, or find hidden gold in a fish tank! Make a pirate skeleton emerge from the depths of the water! All of these adventures and more await you in A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas.

Located in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom, this exciting interactive game involves scouting out a boatload of pirate mischief. Embark on different adventures: Blackbeard, The King’s Ransom, Guardian’s Curse, Haven Defense, and Heads, You Lose — where you go to find the aforementioned skull. But don’t make the mistake of thinking you are the only pirate on this quest. You must escape from the British Navy and Captain Barbossa and his crew while trying to find the treasure!

(more…)

Disney Classic: Country Bear Jamboree

The Country Bears: what’s your take? Do you cling to the last threadbare pieces of the original Magic Kingdom? Do you wish the veteran bears would make a date with the taxidermist? Or are you kind of “meh” about the whole hoedown – you’ll stop in to reminisce if you’re in the neighborhood but don’t take it hard if there isn’t time? Our family doesn’t often fit the bears into our schedule; in fact, half of our children have yet to be introduced to Buff, Melvin, Liverlips McGrowl, Teddi Barra, and Big Al crooning their twangy tunes. (more…)

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.

MAGIC KINGDOM

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…)

Listen to Jim, the Main Street Piano Player, at Casey’s Corner

How many times had we rounded Casey’s Corner of Main Street, absently listening to the ragtime cheerfully drifting from a piano just out of view? The answer was all too often — without pausing a moment to discover the man behind the music. Many Magic Kingdom regulars consider Jim, the master pianist of Main Street, to be a rather hidden treasure they’d never consider missing. Finally, on a recent fall trip to the parks, we joined the ranks of those regulars.
(more…)

Disney Classic: The Hall of Presidents

This one has never been a great favorite of my children – a little too long, a little too educational (heaven forbid, but given their extra tender ages, we’ll give them a break). However, Dad and I really enjoy the Morgan Freeman narrated-show, especially the Presidential roll call at the end. I’ve always loved – even as a child myself – watching the growing collection of Presidents introduced one by one, each nodding to the audience and reacting to speeches given by George Washington and the current Chief Executive Officer. Our hope is that if we keep bringing our kids, each time they watch the show they’ll retain a little more of the story, understand a bit more of the history of our democracy. (more…)

Learn some new jokes on the Jungle Cruise

I remember being an 11-year-old riding the Magic Kingdom’s “world famous” Jungle Cruise for the first time: was the skipper for real? What possessed him to spout off corny jokes the entire trip down the great rivers of the world? By age 17 I’d wizened up. No way was it coincidental that all the Jungle Cruise guides had a penchant for comedy. And, by the time I was a honeymooner, finally had a soft spot for the witty spiels and classic commentary. Indeed, the jokes and puns are likely why we ride it. (more…)

Join in the “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party

What I appreciate most about the Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It! Street Party is the way it encourages guests to work off that Dole Whip. (Or, less aggressively, join in the festivities.)

The first time I saw the caravan coming down Main Street — originally called Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! —  I figured it was another rather passive parade and staked out a spot on the curb. (more…)