When you’re kids are driving you nuts asking Disney vacation questions
Disney vacation questions plagued me for months, upon months. Why? Well, let me explain. Thanks to my strategic shopping skills, the money saved has paid for my daughter’s dance classes, as well as her Jiu Jitsu training. I no longer pay OUT OF POCKET for gifts throughout the year for birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, and holidays. It’s a beautiful thing. However, I wanted to push myself even further, and last year I booked a cruise to Disney for this summer. And gosh darn it, all that expert strategic shopping got our family the Disney vacation of our dreams. As soon as I made the final payment, I sprung the news on the kids. Perhaps, not my greatest MOM MOMENT, but I couldn’t keep it in any longer. I was BURSTING to share the news.
Non-stop Disney Vacation questions
As you can imagine, it’s been NON-STOP questions about the cruise, and everything we’ll be doing. The cruise includes not just the cruise, but also, a day at Disney. Yup, it means DOUBLE the questions from my kids. I haven’t been to Walt Disney World in quite a few years. The last time I went to Orlando, I was pregnant with my daughter. Mr. Sunflower’s cousin celebrated her 40th birthday at the Grand Floridian with a big party, and lots of weekend festivities.
On a day off from it all, Mr. Sunflower, and I, escaped to Epcot, figuring it was the best option for a pregnant lady! I’m totally out of the loop when it comes to Magic Kingdom. Plus, I’d never taken a Disney cruise before, so this is something I know nothing about.
Guidebooks for kids are KEY
What’s a Mom to do? Find INFORMATION on both so I could answer some of the questions being torpedoed at me on an hourly basis. I got super lucky, stumbling upon a fantastic chance to review two amazing guidebooks. I was given:
- Planet Explorers Disney Cruise Line: A Guidebook for Kids (no longer available on Amazon)
- Planet Explorers Walt Disney World: A Travel Guide for Kids
Amazing turn of events. The universe knew I needed help, and brought me Laura Schaefer and her phenomenally easy-to-read guidebooks.
My kids are too young to read the books. However, I’m not!!! Since the book is written for kids, it’s laid out rather nicely. There’s fun facts about the cruise line, the four ships in the Disney fleet of ships: Magic, Wonder, Dream and Fantasy.
Each boat has it’s own “chapter”:
- cool stuff to do on the boat
- where to eat (and what they serve at each place)
- which pools are for kids, adults, and perhaps younger siblings
- tips to find activities to do on the ship
- reminders of what NOT TO MISS on the ship as far as shows, and the final farewell.
Every ship, including the new one, Fantasy, has it’s own dedicated section in the guide. All of the sections are set up the same way, and breaks each section into smaller sections:
- What is there to do on board for kids?
- Shows and live entertainment
Kids pick a boat they’re interested in learning about, and read up. Once all the boats have been fully explored, it tells you about all the various ports each of the boats stop at. Starts with Castaway Cay and goes through every port of call, from the Bahamas, to Alaska.
Our trip includes a Park Hopper pass. Which means our family can hit every Disney Park. Personally, it’s too much for our family, so we’re focusing on Magic Kingdom. Why Magic Kingdom? Easy, I did my research. I read through the Planet Explorers Walt Disney World: A Travel Guide for Kids. It’s not only packed with information for every Disney park, but also each ‘land’ within each park. It’s so cool.
I tore through it super fast, and found great tips on where to find all the characters my kids love to watch when we’re in the park. Is it a guarantee the characters will be there, no. But there’s a better shot if I know which ones frequent which areas in Magic Kingdom.
Know before you go with helpful guides
Prior to getting my hands on the book, Magic Kingdom was our park of choice. What little girl doesn’t want to go to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Cinderella’s Castle? Plus, it’s rides are geared toward the younger crowd. HOWEVER, after reading the book, I think we might TRY to get to the Disney Hollywood Studios, because my son LOVES Toy Story. It seems there’s a lot of that around the studios, but we’ll see.
What I find helpful, for me as a parent, is her attention to detail when creating the book.
- notates which “adventures” are scary, dark, awesome (don’t miss this attraction), thrilling and wet. Super important to know when you’ll be soaked on a ride, and where you’ll get the most wet when sitting ON THE RIDE.
- height requirements for rides
The amount of fun facts, tips, and just all-around DISNEY LOVE shared in these books, is astounding. You can tell a true Disney lover spent time putting the guides together, and made them great for kids. It’s not boring, even with factoids. If you’re a hard-core Disney traveler, and your kids have been there more than I’ve been alive, then the books probably aren’t for you.
If you’re a new Disney visitor, with kids driving you nuts with questions about your upcoming Disney trip, I highly recommend getting guide books. They can explore what the adventure will entail for them! There’s a bunch to choose from, and even within the guides, you can click on certain links to learn more about various facts about not just Disney! Subjects like The World’s Fair, and who the Sherman Brothers are. Just full of great information, done in a kid-friendly, short attention span, kind of way!
*I received copies of both Planet Explorers Walt Disney World: A Travel Guide for Kids and Planet Explorers Disney Cruise Line 2012: A Travel Guide for Kids. No other compensation was given. All thoughts, opinions are MINE and mine alone.