Shopping at Walt Disney World can be a great past time for retreating from the crowds, cooling off between rides, or just picking out a great souvenir to bring home.
It's entirely possible to spend a lot of time wandering from shop to shop as there are so many in each park. Disney Springs alone could take an entire afternoon exploring. Here are a few spots I checked out on my last trip that had some great merchandise worth exploring.
If you've never checked out The Marketplace Co-Op, you must stop in on your next visit to Disney Springs! This is a huge retail emporium featuring a variety of brands and special events featuring art, apparel, home decor and so much more.
The Disney Cruise Line Pop-Up Shop had a great selection of merchandise like this cute purse, lots of clothing and even luggage for your next cruise! The Dress Shop on Cherry Tree Lane has beautiful dresses like this one seen on display. Also check out Disney Tails where you might even find some matching apparel for you and your pup!
Browsing around the Co op is a great way to pass the time before your dinner reservation in Disney Springs.
Another area I love to shop in is Hollywood Studios. This is where you can find all the greatest Star Wars gear.
The unique items like the pilot helmets make for a great holiday gift for your favorite Star Wars fan. There were also fun items like this adorable "The Child" mug and entire Star Wars outfits perfect for exploring Galaxy's Edge.
There are so many great shopping spots all around DisneyWorld. What is your favorite item that you brought home from Disney? Do you have a favorite shopping spot?
Erica Van Stell, Travel Professional with Road to Relaxation Travel
I love helping people find the perfect destination for their vacation and sharing all of my favorite tips and tricks with them.
Growing up, my family made it a priority to take a trip each year to somewhere we had never been. It wasn’t always to a far away, exotic location. Sometimes it was just a new place to check out in our own state. This is what fostered my love for travel and helping people find new places to enjoy.
When you think of Disney, what is the one ride you think about? Is it Space Mountain as a little kid for the first time? Is it “It’s a Small World” because it’s a classic ride with a song that sticks in your head? If you have never been to Disney World or you have been 100 times, attractions are what make guests come again and again. They want to feel the thrill of a coaster, the wonder of new technology and immersive atmosphere, or maybe the giggles and awe of their children experiencing new things.
If you’re a first time Disney guest, or it’s been a while since you have experienced the magic, this post will give you an idea of the ride types you will be experiencing.
Best Rides/Attractions for Small Children
Thankfully, Walt Disney wanted Disney World to be a place where everyone can be a child, including children. The creation of a boat ride through a story is classic to Disney Parks. All parks have some sort of easy ride for children of all ages and sizes (as little as an infant and as old as you are able!).
Magic Kingdom: It’s A Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, Little Mermaid, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Epcot: Grand Fiesta Tour Featuring the Three Caballeros (a personal favorite), Frozen Ever After, Spaceship Earth, Finding Nemo
Animal Kingdom: Navi River Journey, TriceratopSpin, Kilimanjaro Safari, It’s Tough to Be a Bug, and many trails to see different animals!
Hollywood Studios: Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Alien Swirling Saucers, Toy Story Mania, Lightning McQueen Racing Academy, Disney Jr. Dance Party!
Want a thrill ride? Here is my favorite thrill ride at each park!
Magic Kingdom: Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain (they are fast and SO fun!)
Epcot: Test Track. Buckle up because you are about to test your car’s brakes, agility, and SPEED!
Animal Kingdom: Expedition Everest Coaster. This is my favorite coaster on property because of all the different surprises in it!
Hollywood Studios: Tower of Terror and Rocking Roller Coaster-- it’s hard to choose which one to pick for the top thrill ride here! Rocking Roller Coaster is an inside coaster that you get to experience while jamming with Aerosmith! Tower of Terror takes you into the Twilight Zone and gives you the thrill of dropping you multiple times, and it’s never the same ride twice!
Want a true ride EXPERIENCE? I’m talking about being completely immersed and feeling like you are right in the middle of it all. Here are my favorites at each park:
Magic Kingdom: Haunted Mansion. There’s 999 happy haunts, but there’s room for one more. Any volunteers?
Epcot: Soarin’. Fly over some of the most beautiful places in the world!
Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage-- a true ride experience. Attach to a banshee and fly over the Avatar’s land!
Hollywood Studios: Star Wars Rise of the Resistance. This is the definition of “ride experience”. From the moment you are given your mission, you are treated as part of the Resistance. You do NOT want to miss this one!
Whether you are 6 months old or 90 years old, there is a ride for everyone at Disney World! Ready to try it out with your family and friends? Contact a Road to Relaxation Travel Professional and we will be happy to help plan and book your vacation!
Hannah Sosebee, Travel Professional with Road to Relaxation Travel
My family has always been a Disney family, going once a year for many years. As an adult I decided to use what I thought was “useless knowledge” to help others while planning their magical Disney vacation.
I joined Road to Relaxation Travel in 2018 with the goal of giving my clients the best experience possible!
This evening, Disney made an announcement about mask rules at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
"We are adapting our health and safety guidelines based on guidance from health and government officials, and will require Cast Members and Guests ages 2 and up, to wear face coverings in all indoor locations at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort beginning Friday, July 30, regardless of vaccination status. At Walt Disney World Resort, this includes upon entering and throughout all attractions and in enclosed transportation vehicles, including shuttles, buses, monorails and at Disney Skyliner."
So masks at indoor locations are back for now. We will keep you updated as we learn more information.
One of my favorite reasons to travel is to try new food and snacks! While it is so hard not to just grab my usual treats I am so glad I tried new thing in my last visit.
First up is the Snacking Sandwich Cookie at Fairfax Fare last located on Sunset Boulevard.
This snack is the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth and hold you over until your next meal. I promise this treat will not disappoint.
Second is the Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup dipped at Andy's Lunchbox in Toy Story Land. This isn't new and many other highly recommend it but it was my first to having it and it is always worth a mention.
Lastly, it the Iced Round-Up Latte from the Joffery’s stand just before Toy Story Land. It's not only my favorite but also everyone's in my family. I am not a coffee drinker but this latte hits the spot.
Laura Rodriguez, Travel Professional with Road to Relaxation Travel.
I have always loved traveling. I believe that creating memories from travel experiences makes us richer. I have been working with RTR since 2019 and it us a passion I never thought of pursuing, but I am so glad I took a leap into this industry. It is an honor to be able to serve others and make them richer through travel too.
One of my favorite features of the My Disney Experience app is Mobile Ordering. Absolutely no one enjoys standing in line to order food at a Quick Service restaurant, right? Mobile Ordering takes care of that problem with just a few taps on your phone screen.
In an effort to assist with Social Distancing guidelines, Disney is asking all guests to use Mobile Ordering whenever possible. I've put together a step by step guide to Mobile Ordering to help you prepare for your next trip!
When you're ready to order, open up the My Disney Experience app and navigate to the menu by tapping the button with three lines on the bottom right of the screen.
From there, you can choose "Mobile Food Orders".
Then select "Create New Order". Tip: this screen will show you pending orders, so go ahead an order WAY in advance and then navigate back to this screen when you're ready to pickup your food.
Next, you'll be prompted to choose a restaurant and an arrival window - you can choose a window further out if you'd like to order ahead (again, don't worry, your food won't be prepared until you are at the restaurant!)
Once you've chosen your restaurant and arrival window, you can browse the menu and start building your order.
You'll notice that Disney has made sure to take those with special diets into consideration. When available, there will be menu categories for "Plant Based" and "Allergy Friendly" offerings. Please note, if your allergy isn't listed or you have a combination of allergies, you'll need to order in person. When you arrive, see the Cast Members at the restaurant for assistance - don't be afraid to ask for a Manager or a Chef if you have questions!
Once you've selected your items and customized them, you can add them to your order.
At checkout, you can add any applicable discounts and purchase your meal.
When you are ready to pickup your food, head over to the restaurant and tap "I'm Here, Prepare My Order". You'll be able to see updates about your order on this screen and you'll receive a push notification when it's time to pick it up.
If you have any questions, make sure to speak with the Cast Members at the restaurant. So far, we've found that Mobile Ordering is a great way to avoid crowds and lines in the parks! I usually build my order with my family while standing in line for an attraction so that when we're finished riding, we can head right to the restaurant! You can use the app to order at most Quick Service restaurants, including popular spots like Aloha Isle, Docking Bay 7, Flame Tree BBQ, and Satu'li Canteen.
So, are you hungry yet?
Lauren Regan, Travel Professional with Road To Relaxation Travel
Travel planning has always been something I loved to do. I found that researching a trip and learning everything I possibly could about a destination was something that gave me immense satisfaction. However, I knew that not everyone enjoyed this aspect of traveling as much as I do.
In January 2016, I joined Road to Relaxation Travel. My goal: to make my client’s vacations as stress free as possible. I know that my clients don’t necessarily get to travel as much as they’d like to - and I want them to have the best possible experience they can.
Let's face it, at some point in time you have been at Walt Disney World and got that Chef Mickey's or Ohana's reservation that your child desperately wanted, but there was the fun issue of not staying at that resort. How much fun is it waking up before the sun comes up to make sure you were on time after you played the Disney transportation transfer game! Oh, let's not forget that if you choose the monorail from Magic Kingdom, you might hit the "We are holding for traffic" jackpot! Really what options do you have? If your child is in a car or booster seat, then using a cab or rideshare is not the option. You could have really planned ahead and rented a car, but then you have to add on parking fees, navigate Disney construction, and bring your car seats with you from home. So after all of this, maybe we all are really stuck on the transportation merry go round however, we haven't brought up this wonderful piece of transportation called the Minnie Van!
You are probably thinking to yourself, what is a Minnie Van? Is it a tricked out Chevy Astro better yet maybe a Ford Aerostar! The tricked out part is correct, as it will either be a SUV or Van that is decorated in a familiar color and pattern. You guessed it, they are modeled after the one and only Minnie Mouse! They are 6 passenger vehicles that are owned and operated by Disney and they include 2 car seats that are installed by drivers who have been trained on proper installation.
The next big question is how does this work? Does my Travel Professional have to make fastpass reservations for this in advance? Luckily for us, Disney has made this process very easy. If you have ever used Lyft or even Uber, you are going to be a pro. If you have not don't worry, I bet we can walk you through it. Disney uses the Lyft platform for Minnie Vans. For the rideshare pros, you call up your Lyft app and put your information in for pick up and drop off. You then move to the scroll to the right where you pick your vehicle and at the end you will see the option for the Minnie Van. Those that do not consider themselves pros, the picture below is what you will see in the app. Once your ride is confirmed, it will display the Minnie Van number that will be on the actual Minnie Van's back windows on each side. The driver will confirm your information and off you go!
It really is that simple to have Disney pick you up and provide door to door service. Also, don't forget, these are cast members and the conversation is always fun that may include fun tidbits along the way! One other big plus is they will pick you up from the parks and now they have dedicated pick up points at some of the bus areas. Maybe everyone has crashed and burned at Magic Kingdom and you really just want the quickest ride back to the resort. Taxi's, Lyft, and Uber will have to pick you up at the Transportation and Ticket Center so that means a trip there on a boat or monorail however, the Minnie Van can pick you up at the same Bus Loading area as the resort buses!
In closing, we have utilized the Minnie Van for various reasons throughout our stays. The cost is more than a normal rideshare, but again you get to forego renting a car, lugging carseats, and not doing the transportation hop. Let's not also forget you are in the hands of trained, knowledgeable, and fun Disney cast members! One last word of advice, make sure you ask for the special Disney Transport card! If you have taken a Minnie Van, we would love to hear your comments!
Co-Owner at Road to Relaxation Travel, LLC
Travis is co-owner of Road to Relaxation Travel, LLC along with his wife Crystal. Their family are avid travelers and spends time at all Disney Destinations, Universal, Cruises, and all-inclusive destinations. When he is not traveling with his family, he loves spending time at the beach and surfing with his son.
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