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 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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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…)

Hit the links at Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf

Once in a blue moon, we find ourselves with a little something called “downtime” at Walt Disney World. (And really, we don’t actually so much find downtime as it’s forcibly written into the schedule.) What to do with that extra hour before it’s back to the theme park for dinner and the nighttime entertainment spectacle? Particularly if you’ve got little ones who like to hit the links, how about a round at Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf? (more…)

Make a splash at Disneyland Hotel’s Monorail Pool

The sleek monorails whooshing down the waterslides are first to grab your attention upon entering the Disneyland Hotel’s swimming complex. The nostalgic Disneyland marquee atop the slide tower is pretty impressive, too. And the slides, according to our little waterbugs, are just as fun as they look. Monorail Red’s double loop emerged the clear favorite. For the very youngest in our Mouse Holiday family, the gentle kiddie slide and super shallow water at the base of the tower were all they needed for a perfect afternoon. (more…)

Shop: World of Disney store in Downtown Disney

Wander into one end of the mammoth World of Disney store in the Downtown Disney Marketplace – especially with kids in tow – and it may take you a good hour to disgorge yourself from the other end. This was our result after bringing the children to do some end-of-the-trip souvenir shopping on a recent trip. We had gone no further than five feet into the gigantic emporium when the kids paused at a huge collection of Minnie Mouse merchandise. Twenty minutes later, we had gone no further.  That’s when I realized we might truly go no further that day at Downtown Disney – at least to souvenir shop. But given the spectrum of goods to choose from, that didn’t turn out to be a problem. (more…)