10 Must-Haves for Visiting Disney World with a Toddler

Traveling with a toddler can be difficult but there is no better place to visit with your little ones than Disney World.  We are so fortunate to have annual passes to the parks and the kids love visiting as often as possible.  Now that we have had passes for a couple of years, I thought it would be a good idea to share my top 10 must-haves for doing Disney with a toddler.  These items will make your trip so much better and will keep your kiddos happy all day! I would love for you to share your must-have item below!

Kids at EPCOT

  1. Backpack or Fanny Pack – Before Disney World I was never really a backpack fan.  I loved a good crossbody or tote but I could never get behind the idea or appearance of a backpack or fanny pack.  Oh how life has changed.  I purchased a backpack a few months ago and I will never go back.  I have so much more room, my hands are free, and the pockets keep me so organized.  I have heard amazing things about this one because it is super light-weight, breathable and packable! Perfect if you need an additional bag for the trip home or can be easily tucked away if you don’t!
  2. Water Bottles – Disney World can get really hot most of the year and you and your kids will definitely need a lot of water throughout the day.  Bottled waters run about $3.50/each and can really add up during your trip.  One thing a lot of people don’t know is that you can get free cups of ice-cold water at most of the quick service restaurants.  For sanitary reasons they can not fill up your water bottle, but you can ask for cups and fill up the sippy cups or water bottles yourself.  They also have multiple water fountains throughout the park.  This will keep you hydrated and save you some money!
  3. Snacks/Lunch – Keeping snacks on hand during park days will keep everyone happy.  We usually pack a full lunch for both of my kiddos so that they can eat when they are hungry and we can control what they are eating.  This way we also save some money and keep them happy without having to wait in line for lunch or snacks.  We like to pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple slices, cheese sticks, carrot sticks and granola bars. That way we can save for the infamous Mickey Bars or other fun treats.
  4. Sunscreen – This might be an obvious choice but I don’t think people realize how much sunscreen you will need.  It gets really hot and if you are like us, you will spend a lot of time outside at the park.  I always like to bring more sunscreen than I think I will need so I can reapply as needed.  I love this sunscreen stick for the kids and I feel like it works really well! Also keep in mind that if you are staying at a hotel, you will also need it for pool time or other outdoor activities.
  5. Fan – This was such a helpful item for us, especially when the kids were younger.  This one clips to the stroller and provides a good breeze on those really hot days. It can also serve as a quiet “white noise” machine if the kids want to take a nap.
  6. Ponchos – As much as you don’t not want it to happen, there is a very good chance it might rain while you are at Disney World.  Florida is known for it’s summer showers and they come out of no where.  Ponchos at the park are pricey and everyone races to get them at the same time.  Skip the lines and the high prices and grab some before you go.  The dollar store ones are a little too thin for me and break pretty easily, so I would recommend these.  They are also awesome for water rides and can be tucked in your backpack or stroller when not being used.
  7. Stroller – I would highly recommend bringing or renting a stroller, even for older children.  Not only are the parks crowded, but there is so much walking involved and even the most energetic little ones will probably get tired.  We usually bring our stroller but I know there are a lot of rental companies in Orlando that can deliver to your hotel room, or you can rent one at the park.  The stroller might seem like an inconvenience, but it can provide shade, storage and a place to nap.  Sometimes I wish I was in the stroller haha.
  8. Dollar Store Mickey Gifts and Glow Sticks – The parks are filled with toys and temptations for kids (and adults).  One tip I was given a couple years ago that has helped me out more times than I can count is to purchase some fun dollar store Mickey items before the trip.  They often have them in the dollar spot at Target or at the Dollar Tree.  I purchase a couple for each day and say that Mickey and Minnie left a special surprise for them back in the room or the car.  That seems to keep them distracted enough from the gift shops.  I also pick up a few glow sticks or light up toys to bring out at night.  The kids love them and it saves us money!
  9. Hats – This is something I didn’t think of until a few trips in, but we purchased these baseball caps for the kids and they have been amazing.  They block the sun from their face and eyes and keep their heads a little cooler.
  10. Hand Sanitizer – This is another item I always run out of.  There are so many germs everywhere you touch at Disney World and I am a little crazy when it comes to the hand sanitizer.  Sometimes we aren’t near a restroom when the kids want a snack so it’s perfect to pull out when needed.  I also sanitize after each ride for good measure.  Last week I saw my son licking the hand rail in line at Thunder Mountain Railroad, so I help where I can.

Bonus Tips:

Pajamas – One of my absolute favorite tips to share is to pack pajamas.  This works especially well when you are traveling by car and have to drive home after your day at the park.  We always change the kids into their pajamas after a long day at the park just so if they fall asleep in the car, we can just take them right to bed.

Contact/Emergency Bracelet – This is another added tip that I received from a fellow Passholder.  I like to write my phone number on a bracelet and stick it on my kid’s ankle.  Hopefully it will never be used, but it is an added sense of security for us on park days. These are also great for kids who have some medical restrictions or if you want something a bit more permanent.

I hope these tips help you when planning your next trip to Disney World! I keep learning things every time I go so I will try and update this post as needed.  Have a magical day!

Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom, Disney World

Riding the Tea Cups at Magic Kingdom, Disney World

Disney World parade with Minnie Mouse

 

 

 

How to Season a Pizza Stone

After sharing our family pizza night post, I received a few questions about how we seasoned our pizza stone.  Fortunately, we just purchased the pizza stone and I took some photos of the process.

I purchased the Big Green Egg pizza stone for my hubby for Christmas along with a table for the smoker.  When the table and stone were being delivered, the BGE authorized dealers gave me 2 tips that have helped a ton in our pizza making journey.  The first noted that we never want to soak the pizza stone or wash it with water.  The stone is very porous and when wet, could shatter under the extreme heat.  The second is that we should season our stone before using it.

I did some research online and there seems to be a difference of opinion on this matter. Some people believe that the stone does not need to be seasoned and the act of heating/cooking on the stone will allow natural seasoning over time.  There are also those that believe a seasoned stone will create a better cooking process and prevent the pizza dough from sticking to the stone.  We decided to season the stone and I am so happy that we did! Here are the steps to seasoning your own pizza stone at home.

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5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me

I have been blogging off and on for about 13 years now and I truly love everything about it.  The blog has changed a lot over the years but it has always been something in my life I can visit when I am feeling inspired or lost.  It gives me a home and a space to share what is important to me! I have also been so fortunate to have met so many amazing people over the course of my blogging journey.  I am so grateful to everyone that reads my blog, follows me on my social media channels and supports this little business of mine.

For those of you that I haven’t met, I thought I would share 5 facts about me.  I hope you will do the same and share something about yourself below! Thanks again and it’s so nice to meet you!

  • I have an irrational fear of broken glass.  When I was 5 years old, I was helping my dad take out the trash and a large piece of broken glass had punctured the bag.  I ended up with many stitches and a lifetime of awkward moments in restaurants.
  • I had a pet snake in college.  I will use the term snake very loosely as it was a small pink corn snake named Chanel.  She was about the size of a no.2 pencil. I bought her as a birthday present to myself and she was a hit in my college apartment.
  • I can’t stand olives. I don’t know why because I will eat and try almost anything, but the flavor and texture are definitely not my jam. I have been known to tell restaurants I am allergic to avoid any possible slip-up.
  • I can’t drink caffeine.  This is a tough one for me and if you have followed me for a while, you might know that I struggle with energy because of it.  About 12 years ago I realized that caffeine was a trigger for my migraines and once I stopped, they basically went away.  Worth it, but oh so hard.
  • I teach English to kids in China. I have been working with a company called VIPKID for about a year and a half now and it has been one of the best things I have ever done for myself and for my family.  Not only do I get to meet amazing kids every day, but I also make extra income and work from my home.  I will be sharing a full blog post with my experience soon!

And just a couple things you probably do know about me.

  • I love pink.  Seriously, give me all. the. pink.
  • I love champagne. 
  • I have 2 kiddos, Brayden (5) and Hayes (3)
  • I have the most amazing and supportive husband and we have been together 13 years.  Blog post on how we met coming soon!

See you next time, friends!

The Cutest Zip Pouch {What I’m Currently Loving}

If you are anything like me, you are always looking for ways to keep things organized.  I have definitely jumped on the Marie Kondo wagon and I have been getting rid of so many things around the house and only keeping things in my life that “spark joy.”

In my process of getting rid of things, I decided to finally tackle my cluttered and disorganized make-up cabinet.  I got rid of so many products that I didn’t use and it feels so amazing to only have the products that I love and that make me feel my best.  In my process of re-organizing, I was thrilled to use my new Carrie Dunham leather zipper pouch for my favorite lipsticks.

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Our Top 3 Family-Friendly Florida Weekend Getaways {Travel Tuesday}

For our family, 2019 is the year of experiences.  We have been through a lot the past 5 years and during those struggles, we have truly realized what is important to us.  Instead of toys or trinkets, we have decided that we want our family to get out more and explore this beautiful world we live in.  Specifically, we want to explore more of our gorgeous state of Florida.  Florida is such a huge state with some of the most breathtaking beaches, parks, springs and experiences.  We can’t wait to share with you some of our destinations and why we love them.  To get started, I have shared our top 3 Florida destinations we have already experienced as a family.  There are so many more we want to visit and I am so excited to add to this list!

30a – 30a has a special place in my heart and will always be my number 1 for family-friendly Florida destinations.  I grew up near-by in Destin, Florida and there is something about 30a that always makes me smile.  The beaches are gorgeous, the food is delicious and the small neighborhoods up and down 30a are truly magical.  I highly recommend staying at WaterColor Inn and Resort.  In addition to saying at a fantastic resort, your family can also bike to nearby Seaside for a day full of homemade ice cream, the best grilled cheese and a fun day of shopping.  WaterColor Inn and Resort is located directly on the beach and even has a kid’s club for your littles!

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