Last call for DisneyQuest!

When DisneyQuest opened in 1998, the indoor theme park boasted five levels of cutting edge interactive attractions. It was the kind of place where families could take a break from the pace of the theme parks and be entertained for an entire day. When it closes its doors for good next week — just shy of the 20-year mark — it goes out as a tired destination, badly showing its age and lack of upkeep. (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…)

A round of golf at Winter Summerland Miniature Golf

We’ve all had those days at Disney: half days before we’re due back at the airport, days when we need a break from the hustle-bustle of the theme parks. In our case, we had a day to kill before setting sail on the Disney Magic. We decided to head over for a round at Disney’s Winter Summerland Miniature Golf. (more…)

Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-Along at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort

Chip ‘n Dale’s Campfire Sing-Along was the ideal finale to a resort day spent relaxing and exploring The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. We had earmarked the first full day of our trip as one to take advantage of some of the recreation at the expansive resort — and the campfire did not disappoint. It was a cowboy-crooning, s’mores-stuffed good time had by all.

We started things off with a round of beanbag toss alongside Chip and Dale. Arriving to the outdoor theater a half hour before the sing-along began gave us time to mingle with the ‘munks, purchase a s’mores kit from the Chuckwagon, and snag one of the wooden benches near the front (preferable to the bleachers behind). (more…)

A taste of the Grand Floridian gingerbread house

MH grand floridian gingerbreadIt’s a delicious tradition dating back to 1999: the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa’s gingerbread house in all its iced-shingled, snowflake-spangled, Disney character-adorned glory. The edible little cottage sets up shop — literally, as sweet treats are peddled from inside — every holiday season in the hotel’s lavish lobby. Our family paid a special visit to the Grand Floridian on a recent Christmas trip to admire the house and get a gingerbread fix. (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!


A stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside’s Alligator Bayou

2013 will go down in Mouse Holiday history as the last year our family fit into nearly all of the moderate-level resort hotel rooms (the exception being the Fort Wilderness cabins, if you choose to lump them in the same category). This is incredibly bittersweet for us. On the one hand, our family has now outgrown the majority of hotel rooms in the Walt Disney World Resort. On the other hand…we no longer have to wedge a Pack ‘n Play into the room, and all family members can be expected to sleep through the night. So, yes, bittersweet.
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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:
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Shop: The LEGO Store in the Downtown Disney Marketplace

The LEGO Store in the Downtown Disney Marketplace will forever be known as the site of our two-year-old daughter’s biggest meltdown to date. She was that upset about having to share space at the littlest outdoor Duplo table. A (very) small fraction of me was happy she was so engaged in building her masterpiece. The rest of me was frazzled and disappointed that we had to vamoose so quickly from Downtown Disney.

At least we were able to fit in some fun activities at the LEGO Store before our hurried exit: (more…)

Cool the toddler off in Tike’s Peak at Blizzard Beach

The best cure for mid-winter blues in Minnesnowta? If I can’t hop a plane to balmier climates this very minute, the next best thing is getting a jump start on planning our next Disney venture! The fantasy: I’ll feel warmer just looking at pictures of water slides and wave pools. (The reality: We’re still a month out from a spring break trip to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.) I’ve still got time to chill here in the Midwest and test this theory. (more…)