Epcot is in the middle of a huge transition right now, and the front of the park near Spaceship Earth is a bit of a mess, but don’t let that fool you, there’s still an embarrassment of riches when it comes to imagination, experiences, and food to be enjoyed here.
The Baby Care Center is located in the Odyssey building which is on the edge of future world before you get to the Mexico Pavilion.


Let’s start with the icon, the golf ball, Spaceship Earth. Right in the middle of “Future World,” the name for the front section of the park. It’s a ride that really shows it’s age, but also the maintains the heart of the park message. Telling the story of communication, it’s a history lesson wrapped in amusement. It’s one of my favorites, but rides like this take me straight back to my childhood.

To the right of Space Ship earth is a path to the Land and Seas Pavilions. The Seas Pavilion has The Seas with Nemo and Friends, a great ride through with a pretty neat way of tying the ride into the aquarium inside the building. I’m not sure what it is about this ride, but the first time we rode it we just sort of worked our way outside so make sure you look around before you leave. Turtle Talk with Crush here is also an excellent interactive theater experience where Crush from Nemo teaches a bit about the ocean and is able to answer audience questions.

Moving around to the right again takes you to The Land Pavilion home to Soarin, a must ride for me. If you’re afraid of heights, this one might be a challenge, but it’s a great experience of “Soaring” around the world. The other ride here is a sleeper hit called Living With the Land. It’s a longer boat ride (great for putting your feet up for a minute) with two very distinct sections. The first is scenes about earth, farming, and our relationship, but the second part is what we love taking you through greenhouses with tons of plants growing in a variety of ways. I feel like no matter how I explain this one it always sounds kind of boring, but I always love riding it.

The Imagination Pavilion

Next is the Imagination Pavilion, home to the kind of sad but still enjoyable remnants of one of my childhood favs, Journey into Imagination. It’s a rather silly and cheesy dark ride about, you guessed it, imagination. In it’s current state I wouldn’t call it a bad ride but I wouldn’t go out of my way to ride it even though the line is typically less than 10 minutes if at all.

Cross to the other side of future world for the Space and Motion Pavilions. There are 2 other pavilions here, but they are being overhauled into new rides and experiences. Test Track is fun and the fastest ride in the park. The Queue lets you design your own car which you then “test” on the ride and see which design wins. Mission Space is the other ride on this side of the park, a space simulator where you and 3 other people take on the rolls of piloting a space shuttle together. Make sure you’re going to the one you want though as it has two options, Orange and Green. Green is just the screen portion of the ride while Orange is the original version of the ride which also has you spinning to create forces of up to 2.4 G’s. It was so intense and caused so much motion sickness they changed part of the ride to the now “Green” version without the spinning.

Now out in World Showcase there are only 2 actual rides, but they’re both great. The Three Caballeros in the Mexico Pavillion is a nice easy boat ride looking for our friend Donald Duck. It’s silly, fun, and a good way to get off your feet for a bit.

Our first time on Frozen Ever After!

Frozen Ever After is in the Norway Pavilion, definitely grab a fastpass for this later in the day if you can, but the queue has some nice elements to break up the wait if you can’t find one. A dark boat ride through the story of Frozen it has some great music (obviously), animatronics, and a fun drop (bigger than Pirates, but much smaller than Splash Mountain).


This park is full of them! Every pavilion in future world has an interactive section you can explore after exiting the ride (except The Land, but including Spaceship Earth) and they are great, especially for kids. These are also perfect places to shelter from rain too. Our favorite is definitely The Seas, which until the Atlanta Aquarium was built, contains the largest aquarium in the United States. There are two levels here with lots to look at from smaller creatures, to Manatees, and an upstairs view of the big aquarium. Sometimes you can run into the JAMMitors, a percussion trio playing on various trash cans. Sounds silly, it’s wonderful.

Each Pavilion in the world showcase has it’s own performance so check this schedule to track down the one you want to see, or more than likely, you’ll just stumble upon one while you’re making your way around the world. Some are acrobatics like the Jeweled Dragons in China and others are music like Mexico, Canada, the UK, and Japan. There are also lots of characters to meet like Snow White, Alice, Jasmine, and Mulan. You’ll find their times and locations on the same link above.

While the Pavilions themselves are sort of like caricatures of the countries they represent, they’re still wonderful to explore with some genuine history and culture to soak in, such as the Stave Church Gallery in Norway which tells the story of the Norse Gods. I’m also a big fan of the formal gardens in China and Japan.

On the side of Future World with Test Track and Mission Space, if you head up towards World Showcase, there should be a playground on this side. I believe it’s right off the backside of Mousegear (The giant gift shop). It’s a lot of climbing pieces, but a good area off the path to get some kid energy out.


Going to do my best not to rattle on forever here, because there is just SO MUCH FOOD! I’m going to focus on things you can get most of the year, but you may be most interested in taking advantage of current festival, Festival of the Holidays and all it has to offer. Grab a festival guide (which will have the menu for every booth and make a great souvenir) and just go for whatever sounds the best! I haven’t been to Festival of the Holidays, but I DO spend entirely too much time looking at Disney stuff so I’ll throw out this years recommendations from other Disney obsessives for you. I’ve been to Festival of the Arts and Flower and Garden Festival and both of these have had some of my favorite dishes.

The Honey Bee Cupcake from Sunshine Seasons for the Flower & Garden Festival

The Future World area doesn’t have as much as the world showcase, but Sunshine Seasons is worth a look in the Land Pavilion, especially the bakery case here.

Coffee Rubbed Pork Poutine from Refreshment Port for Flower & Garden Festival

Heading out into World Showcase (I’m going to go to the right, but it doesn’t matter which way you go) you’ll come across a small building to the right just before the Canada Pavilion takes over. This is the Refreshment Port, your #1 location for Poutine. They always have a seasonal offering and it’s always worth a look. For Festival of the Holidays it’s the Turkey Poutine, fries topped with turkey, gravy, cranberry relish, and crispy onions.

Yukon Holiday Kitchen is the festival booth in Canada and the Canadian Wild Rice Soup and the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie seem to be the hit here.

In the UK take a look at the Fish & Chips or hop into the Rose & Crown pub for a drink

Next is one of our favs and one of the most food dense locations in the park, France. Nearly every item on the festival list is on people’s must try lists from the Bouchée à la Reine Traditionnelle (Turkey and mushrooms in a cream sauce served in a puff pastry) to the Rillette de Saumon (salmon spread with house made bread) and the Bûche de Noël au Chocolat (Chocoalte Christmas Log). L’Artisan des Glaces is an gelato shop where you can get both an Ice Cream Macaron Sandwich, or a Croque Glacé (Ice cream pressed in a brioche bun). And for even more options, head all the way to the back to Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie to have your pick of the pastry case. Or for something savory grab a warm sandwich.

Stop in Morrocco for some Stenj (Warm beignets) from the festival booth, Sapphire Kitchen, or keep crusing to Japan for some sushi, sake cocktais, or shaved ice. Unrelated to food, but the gift shop here is wild.

We tend to skip over the America Pavilion because we live here.

Via Napoli in Italy has some bomb pizza, but it’s gigantic and sometimes comes with a wait.


Stop in Germany and raise a pint! And then hop over the festival booth, Bavaria Holiday Kitchen for the Potato Dumpling in Mushroom Sauce, Pork Schnitzel with Mushroom Sauce and Spaetzle, or the Cheese Fondue in Bread Bowl.

Pause in China at the Shanghai Holiday Kitchen for the Chengdu Street Fries, just really good, very spicy krinkle fries!

Another family favorite is Norway and the Kringla Bakery Og Cafe. Caroline loves the rainbow cheesecake (which I believe is currently the same thing as the Olaf cheesecake for Frozen 2. We love the School Bread, a lightly sweet cardamom sweet bread with a custard filling and toasted coconut.

Last stop on the World Showcase is Mexico for what Caroline says are the best nachos in the world at La Cantina De San Angel. The nachos that made her realize she actually does like nachos! The festival hit here is the Giant Tostada de Puerco, seasoned pork served on top of a giant tostada with a chipotle black bean spread, guajillo sauce, queso fresco, crema mexicana, pickled onion, and chicharron powder.

Animal Kingdom


While Animal Kingdom is very focused on the animals, there are still some absolutely fantastic rides and attractions here. As you enter the park and head across the bridge to discovery island, if you head off to left, you’ll see Pizzafari on your left, keep going and you’ll see restrooms, then Creature Comforts (Starbucks) and find the First Aid and Baby Care Center.

Our absolute favorite thing here is Kilamanjaro Safari. It’s just incredible to see this many animals up close and the guides always have tons of great information on them. Get your camera ready and enjoy the ride!

The Forbidden Mountain as seen walking through Asia

My favorite roller coaster is here too, Expedition Everest. The queue here is basically a walk through museum of artifacts and legends from the areas around the base of Mt. Everest. This ride also has a single rider Queue you can hop in if you don’t mind being by yourself or separate from you party. This is typically a much shorter wait than standby. Despite having no inversions, this is a surprisingly intense roller coaster, a must do for any thrill seekers.

Our family has to go say hello to Dino Sue every time we visit.

Dinosaur is a deceptive ride. Most of the dinoland area seems designed mostly for the younger visitors of the park, but Dinosaur is a fast paced ride mostly in the dark with some reasonable jump scares, so think twice before bringing a little on on here, but overall it’s a very fun ride, and the queue here has some pretty neat fossils and exhibits as well.

What many would consider the best ride in Disney World is here in the Pandora area, Flight of Passage. It’s a breathtaking flight simulator ride. That description doesn’t do it justice, but I don’t know how else to describe it without giving away too much. Even though it’s over 2 years old, the demand for this ride is still sky high with wait times usually sitting around 3 hours and pushing closer to 5 hours on busier days. If you can luck out and find a last minute fastpass, grab it, otherwise your best bet is to hit it first thing in the morning. Pandora also has a beautiful dark boat ride, N’avi River Journey. Our family usually grabs a fastpass for this one since we can all enjoy it together. If you’re a fan of Disney Imagineering, river journey also has one of the most advanced audio animatronics in the parks.

The remaining rides are all fun, but nothing I would consider must do’s (unless your kid is like mine, and have to do anything involving dinosaurs. Triceratops Twirl is another spinning ride like The Magic Carpets or Dumbo from Magic Kingdom and Primevil Whirl is just a wild mouse coaster and other than the theming, not unique to Disney world (and it has one of the highest height restrictions in all of Disney World).


Animal Kingdom is definitely and “experience” based park with some incredible shows and walk through exhibits, like the zoo of your dreams. But it’s also just a great place to soak in the details. Pandora is amazing to me every time I go. From the way the land looks and sounds like another planet to pondering the engineering that went in to making the floating mountains, I could spend a lot of time just soaking in. This park is probably our overall family favorite. The Discovery island trails around the tree life are always fun with a few good animals to see and getting you up close to the animal sculptures that make up the trunk of the Tree of Life.

For both an amazing performance and a place to rest your feet, check out The Festival of The Lion King. Great music, acrobatics, and a fun theater in the round experience. Finding Nemo – The musical is a longer show, but the puppets are amazing as well as the music. If you can get there in time to get closer seats it will probably help keep easily distracted little ones more engaged as the characters move around in the front of the crowd seating.

One of the absolute best places for kids is here. Our daughter asks about it all the time, and it’s The Boneyard in Dinoland U.S.A. A combo playground and dig pit, it’s the perfect place to let you kid loose for a little bit. Lots of stuff to climb, slides, and a pebble pit to dig for a woolly mammoth. It’s a one way in one way out restricted area, but with as many levels as it is, it can still be easy to lose track of your kid, just a heads up.

It’s Tough to Be a Bug is a fun 4-D experience, and the theater is inside the Tree of Life. Be ready for one “scary” moment with some spiders though. And since it’s inside the Tree of Life it’s another great chance to get up close and see some of the hundreds of animals that make up the trunk of the Tree of Life.

Some of the best attractions are the walk through animal attractions though like the Maharaja Jungle Trek or the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. Both of these offer gorgeous animal attractions with Cast Members standing by to answer questions. Maharaja jungle trail feels like walking through ancient ruins taken over by animals.

Kevin from Up!

Be on the lookout for performances or dance parties in each area of the park. You’ll find traditional music, Bollywood style dancing, animal perfomances, dance parties, and wandering characters. There’s a little bit of everything! And during the holidays you’ll find some fun animal puppets of cold weather creatures wandering around and interacting with guests on Discovery Island in front of the Tree of Life which I think little ones would love.


There’s so much good food here I don’t even know where to begin, so I guess we’ll just start in the middle and work our way around. Flame Tree Barbecue is right here on Discovery Island and is a great counter service option (get that mobile order ready).

From here we’ll head down and around clockwise starting in Pandora. Our favorite counter service in all of Disney World is here, Satu’li Canteen. It’s a great fresh option of build your own bowls, steamed bun cheeseburgers for the kids, and some really fun desserts. I love the chocolate dome cake, but I think they have a really good Peppermint dome during the holidays. (Fun fact, our friend Evan is a pastry chef in animal kingdom, so if you’re eating a dessert here, she probably had something to do with it!)

Coconut Rum Dole Whip Float from Tamu Tamu Refreshments.

Heading around towards Africa brings you to another chance to grab a Dole Whip at Tamu Tamu Refreshments, and here you can also get one with Coconut or Spiced Rum added to it! If you’re hear early heading to the Safari, Kusafiri coffee shop & bakery has a quick and delicious egg and cheese biscuit so you don’t get hangry! And there’s also a pretzel cart here that has Curry Spiced Grilled Street Corn which is a great little snack!

Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries

Continuing our journey around to Asia you’ll pass a few small carts worth checking, Mr. Kamal’s usually has some sort of seasoned fries that I love (but they don’t have the exact ones anymore) and a humus plate. And Caravan road which has a ginger slaw dog!

Seasonal slushie from Anandapur Tea Company

Yak and Yeti has a mango pie (or a mini version at the counter service window) and along the waters edge is Anadapur Tea Company where you can grab a tea or coffee slushy and relax next to the water with views of the Tree of Life. On the bridge back towards the tree if life is 8 Spoons Cafe which has fantastic baked Mac N Cheese.

We haven’t had as much to eat in Dinoland so not much to recommend here. Dino Bites has a much loved Peppermint Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich and Trilo Bites has Buffalo Chicken Chips.

Magic Kingdom

The OG Park of Disney World, there’s a lot of history and magic here, but also SNACKS! This isn’t meant to be a page of things you “Must do,” but just my thoughts on some of our favs. Disney has something for everyone, so just go after the things that sound the best to you and your crew!

Soaking in the views on The People Mover in Tomorrowland


Magic Kingdom is the best when it comes to rides for the whole family. You really can’t go wrong here. Rides like Peter Pan’s Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid will let you relive some of your favorite Disney stories and Enchanted Tales with Bell will make your part of the story. The first two having great queues with interesting things and spaces for kids to play as they wait. The mountains (Thunder, Space, & Splash) will give you some decent thrills. And for a bit of Disney history you can ride the same rides Disney designed for the 1964 World’s Fair; It’s a Small World and Carousel of Progress.

If you’re in the Magic Kingdom with a toddler, Fantasyland is your best bet. Nearly every ride here doesn’t have a height limit. A few exceptions are Seven Dwarves Mine Train (38″) and Goofy’s Barnstormer (35″). Those are both two of our favorites!

Our first ride ever on Seven Dwarves Mine Train!

Barnstormer is a great first roller coaster, but just a heads up, it is a VERY short ride, so keep that in mind if wait times stretch out. This area also features Storybook Circus which has a great splash pad area if it happens to be a warmer day for little ones to stretch their legs and just play.

Casey Jr’s Splash N’ Soak Station

Dumbo has a great queue because it’s actually a playground and they give you a pager to alert you when it’s your turn to line up for the next ride. It can get pretty chaotic inside though and your kid might enjoy the playground so much they don’t want to leave. Other family favorites are Pirates of the Caribbean (it has one small drop) and Jungle Cruise, both early attractions that have stood the test of the time. Our family also loves Haunted Mansion, which can be a bit spooky, but we think it’s silly spooky and no one hasn’t gotten too scared yet. Some of the often overlooked attractions here aren’t the favorites of many people, but I think they’re perfect for kids. Swiss Family Tree House is a huge walk through tree house in Adventureland. It’s pretty simple but it’s got neat settings and great views of the rest of the park (plus it usually has short to no wait times). Tom Sawyer’s Island in Frontierland is an island you must take a ferry to, featuring paths, a playground, a fort, a barrel bridge, and caves to explore. There’s no ride here, but there are some porches with rocking chairs if you need to put your feet up for a little bit. On busy days it also has a pretty fun counter service restaurant called Aunt Polly’s. Also in Frontierland is Country Bear Jamboree, a short performance with audio animatronic bears (a great spot to rest your feet as well). The Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover in Tomorrowland is a surprisingly fun ride around the perimeter of Tomorrowland. I’m always surprised by how fast it goes (don’t worry, not really that fast) and gives you great views of the land and the castle. Toddlers might not really understand what’s going on with the blasters in Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, but they’ll probably have fun anyway!


Something to look out for as you enter the park will be Main Street Transportation, a collection of vintage cars and buses that you can ride on from the entrance up to the hub in front of Cinderella’s Castle. There’s often a lot of great streetmosphere here, especially the barbershop quartet, The Dapper Dans. They’ll be mic’d up so even if you can get right next to them you can still hear to enjoy the show.

The Parades down main street are pretty fantastic. They also happen to be a time when lines go down a bit for rides since so many stop to watch the parade. The start time listed will be for the time the parade actually begins over in Frontierland before making it’s way to the hub and then down Main Street. So you’ll be waiting even longer if you’re on Main Street. People tend to line up very early (30 minutes to an hour ahead of the start) so be ready to get your spot if you plan to watch.

“Happily Ever After” view from the center of Main Street

If you were going to stay in the parks late only one night for a show, I’d make it Magic Kingdom. The fireworks and projection shows on the castle are incredible. Your best view is going to as close to the middle as you can get near Casey’s Corner and The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Crowds are tight here and it’s one of the most chaotic times in the parks. Cast Members will be doing their best to keep pathways clear and people will be pushing their way closer to the castle, I think it’s worth the hassle. It’s usually a 15-20 minute show plus however long you waited, so be prepared to have tired legs!

A Dole Whip Float from Aloha Isle in Adventureland


Magic Kingdom isn’t the best food park, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some real gems here. My favs are definitely the snacks.

First up, if you need coffee, The Main Street Bakery is a Starbucks, which typically has a unique themed cupcake! A little further up Main Street USA is Casey’s Corner, pretty good hot dogs with a a good seasonal option, but what you’d really go here for are the corn dog nuggets (but make sure you order them with dipping cheese, it’s that plastic nacho cheese and it’s perfect)!

From here we’ll just work our way around the spokes starting in Adventureland. The most important option here is the classic Dole Whip, deceptively simple and delicious Pineapple soft serve. You can get it plain, as a float with pineapple juice, or on top of a small pineapple upside down cake, no matter what you choose, you can’t go wrong. It’s probably my favorite of the iconic Park Snacks. Adventureland also has Sunshine Tree Terrace if you prefer orange soft serve or even an orange/vanilla swirl. As you make your way towards Pirates of the Caribbean, be on the look out for a small snack cart serving spring rolls. These are definitely worth a look. The flavors change often, from Pizza to Philly Cheesesteak, but the best is Cheeseburger.

Moving from Adventureland around the back to Frontierland brings you by Golden Oak Outpost. This spot is one of many that often gets new snacks to test, it’s main focus is waffle fries (which are just okay) but if you see the Spicy Fried Cauliflower, get it! Pecos Bill Tall Tale Cafe is a crowded but good spot for a quick meal. Southwest inspired food combined with a toppings bar to make it how you like it is a great combo and I like to at least pretend it’s a healthier option than burgers.

Next around the hub from Frontierland is Liberty Square, so if you head back towards the castle here next to the bridge you’ll find Sleepy Hollow which is always worth a look, from a Churro Ice Cream Sandwich to a Nutella Waffle Sandwich.

From here heading back through the castle to Fantasyland brings you to Friar’s Nook for all things Tater Tots and Storybook Treats for ice cream treats and the peter pan float, much like the Dole Whip Float but made with Lime soft serve. This spot often has good seasonal options too! In Fantasyland you’ll also find Gaston’s Tavern for Lefou’s Brew, which is basically an apple slushie mixed with a bit of marshmallow and topped with passion fruit foam.

Lefou’s Brew at Gaston’s Tavern

Last on my list for Magic Kingdom is a Cheshire Cat Tail from Cheshire Cafe near the Teacups. It’s a simple braided pastry filled with chocolate and drizzled with colorful icing. Very simple, yet very good.

Cheshire Cat Tail from Cheshire Cafe

Disney World – What to Know, What to Pack, and What to do When You Arrive

The Partners Statue in front of Cinderella Castle in The Magic Kingdom

Most Important Things to Pack (Other than the Basics)

Good shoes – I can’t stress this enough. Even if you aren’t crisscrossing the parks, you’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet walking, and standing. On a recent trip on my travel day where I spent 7 hours just sitting in a car on my way there, I still managed to rack up 14 miles and nearly 35,000 steps. This is certainly and extreme case, but 10 miles in a day is pretty normal. It might also be worth considering how well they do in water since you may get splashed on some rides or run into some rain during your time in the parks.

Stroller – This sort of ties in to the shoe concept, but you know, for kids instead of your feet. Aside from keeping those little legs from getting too tired, it also makes things a bit easier to navigate. There will be plenty of time in lines and attractions to stretch legs, so don’t worry about that. We also loved to use our stroller to keep bottled water and snacks (a plus to the stroller is that your kid can also enjoy that snack in the stroller on the way to your next adventure). It’s also a good spot to hang your bags from to give your shoulders a rest as you walk. Strollers can’t go in queues so you’ll find stroller parking near most attractions and areas of the park that’s easy to park it and come back for when you’re ready to move on to a new area. A rain cover for the stroller isn’t a bad idea either with the unpredictability of Disney weather.

Portable Charger – You’re going to use your phone, a lot. The App keeps up with your reservations, your fastpasses, has maps that show wait times, and maybe most importantly, lets you see where the closest restroom is. All that in addition to probably being your main camera (Cast members will be happy to snap photos for you using your phone or camera) and keeping in touch with the rest of your party. So keeping it charged up is going to be tough. A good portable charger makes all this easier. If you don’t have one, or forgot yours, you can find “Fuel Rod” stations throughout the parks that will sell you a small one for $30. But the upside here is that you can swap out a discharged one for a fresh one at the same stations for no fee (or at least a minimal fee). Personally I prefer bringing my own that I know will keep us going throughout the day, but both options work well.

Park Bag – The stroller is a great place to keep heavy stuff and things you don’t need often, but some stuff you just need with you (as well as a place to keep more valuable stuff you don’t trust to leave in the stroller. In our bags we like to keep our wallet/ID, hand sanitizer or wipes (your kid is going to touch SO much stuff), Ziploc bags (for saving food or protecting phones from water), and your portable charger.

Ponchos/Umbrella – Ponchos are way cheaper wherever you are now than they will be inside the parks. Grab a couple and keep them in the bottom of your stroller. Hopefully you won’t need them, but you’ll be very grateful to have them if you need them.

Water Bottle – This is nice to have, but not ultimately necessary. Disney is slowly adding bottle refilling stations, but they aren’t everywhere yet, so it’s not always easy to refill one. We still like to have one in the bottom of our stroller though. Thankfully you can keep get free cups of water from any counter service restaurant.

Swim Suit – Resort pools, need I say more? Our kid LOVES the pools, we have to make time for them most days we visit Disney. If you’re staying at a moderate or deluxe resort, the pool will also have at least a small water slide! The resorts have life jackets and towels near the pool so you don’t need to pack those.

Sunscreen – Even in the winter you’re going to be outside in the sun a lot more than you think. You may be okay without it in winter months, but it’s worth having on hand just in case you realize you or your kids are getting more sun than you thought.

Snacks – Disney food is great, but sometimes you’re stuck in line and you, or your kid, is getting hangry (no judgement either way) and having a good little snack can help get through that, or just hold you over until you get to next meal or prized disney snack (more on these later).

It’s worth taking a look over these prohibited items. They’re all pretty straight forward and mostly focused on guest safety, but worth taking a look just so you don’t get to the gate with something on the list. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/park-rules/

Things to Know Before You Go & General Tips

Disney World is massive, and the amount of things that you can, should, and will want to do is simply astronomical. All the planning in the world wouldn’t be enough to get it all in. So slow down, enjoy what you have time for, and it’ll be okay if you miss some things (There’s always next time). On that same note, no one knows your kid better than you. So while it’s tempting to power through early mornings and late nights because you want them to experience as much as possible, they (and you) are going to have a much more enjoyable time if they stay close to their usual schedule. We usually save our long day for our last day if we’re hoping to stay out for fireworks or just get in a few more rides.

I’d suggest writing your phone number on the inside of your child’s magic band in case you get separated, this should make getting back together a bit easier.

Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten anything. Each resort has a gift shop, which in addition to merch, will also have some groceries and general items if you need anything. Each Park also has a baby care/first aid center with quiet rooms, changing tables, baby supplies, and over the counter medicine. You’ll still have to buy anything you need, but you don’t have to leave the park. In addition, if you’re actually sick, they’ll help you get to the care you need as well.

The App is going to be crucial to your time at Walt Disney World, from the obvious stuff like your hotel reservation, your fast passes, and your meal reservations, it will also let you see current wait times across the resort. Most importantly during crowded times, is going to be the option to mobile order your food. Just select from the menu for your group and head to the pick up window and wait for your number. Confusingly one of the few counter service places you can’t do this is at the in-park Starbucks.

“Let the Magic Begin” welcome show

One of my favorite parts of Disney World is how you can just happen upon a show or performance like the Dapper Dans on Main Street USA, Great Moments of History with the Muppets in Libery Square in the magic kingdom or live bands and dance parties in other parks. These streetmosphere performances are always mic’ed up so you can hear them as long as you’re in the area. These feel random, but you can usually find them on the daily schedule for each park if you want to track one down.

If you find yourself or your toddler just needing a break from constant stimulation of the parks, you’re in luck. At Epcot you can go out the International Gateway (Between the UK and France pavilions) and take a walk around the Boardwalk area on Crescent Lake. At the Magic Kingdom you could hop on the resort monorail and tour the Deluxe resorts and see their incredible Gingerbread houses and holiday decorations.

What to Do When You Arrive

If you have a day before or after your park days and you’re looking for something to do, I really love Disney Springs, which is the Shopping and Dining District on property. Right now during the holidays it’s worth going there just to see The Christmas Tree Trail. It’s a walking trail filled with trees each decorated around a the theme of a park attraction, movie, or specific character, and there’s fake snow to add to the magic. There’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to food options, from quick fast casual style options like The Earl of Sandwich (Get the holiday turkey, it’s basically a Thanksgiving Sandwich), Polite Pig, or Chicken Guy. You could also get a cheese and charcuterie board from Wine Bar George’s walk up window, “The Basket.” There’s also some great nightlife options here if you need a break from the parks one night like the themed bars, The Edison and Jock Lindsay’s Hangar Bar (Aka the Indiana Jones Bar). There’s also a bublbe waffle cart, a surprisingly good Taco Truck, and a Mac N’ Cheese truck. Among the the absurd amount of dining options you can also go bowling (with good food) at Splitsville, and get some shopping in. The World of Disney here is the largest Disney store in the world, the Lego store is just fun to look at, you can see them making beautiful cakes behind the counter at Amorette’s Patisserie, or you could rent an amphicar and cruise around the lake.

It’s also a great time to get to know your resort. Check out the dining options, find the pool, check out the gift shop, and just soak in the atmosphere. The decorations at Christmas time are absolutely incredible. The Parks are magical but just as much detail has gone in to the resorts.

If worst comes to worse, just text your Disney obsessed Brother In Law!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving not once, but twice yesterday. It was such a lovely day and we were glad to see so much of our family! Here’s our little family.. 


Today Forrest dragged the Christmas boxes down from the attic and I got to start decorating! It’s funny, last year I pretty much slept through Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Pregnancy is exhausting and I did NOT feel like decorating or celebrating much of anything. This year has been completely different. I’m having such fun celebrating Caroline’s first holiday season! I cannot wait for Santa this year!

<3, Liz


Cat Love

I know that I’ve been absent from this blog for quite some time and I’m not making any promises, but I’m trying to get back into the groove.

Recently, we had to say goodbye to our first cat (together), Hemingway. Forrest’s parents found her as a kitten in their backyard in 2007. We found out a couple years later that she suffered from congenital heart disease. So we took her to the kitty cardiologist, gave her medication daily, and hoped for the best.

Flash forward (nearly) four years.

In January of this year, Hemingway went into heart failure. Fortunately, the emergency vet is nearby, she responded well to the meds, and came home a few days later.

In June, she threw a blood clot and couldn’t move one of her back legs. Again, she responded well to meds and came home in a couple days.

In September, Hemingway threw a larger clot, which led to more clots, and within a few hours I was stroking her head while a ventilator breathed for her.

We buried her in the backyard. She always loved to sneak outside.

It’s not a time to be sad, but a time to celebrate Hemingway. Four years ago, we were told she may only have a few months!

Hemingway was strong-willed, beautiful, loyal, and fun. She loved rubber bands, climbing things, and sleeping in front of Forrest’s computer. Most importantly, she was wild, unpredictable, and wonderful.


<3, Liz


Years ago, a friend of mine told me that she just wanted her son to be average and normal.

At the time, this struck me as really odd. Why wouldn’t you wish for your child to be exceptional? Why not wish for brilliant?

Now that we are only a few days away from meeting our daughter, it’s been swirling around my head. A few months ago, when every doctor warned that I was at a high risk for delivering very early, all of my hope was for a normal baby. An average baby. Thinking about delivery and the upcoming days and years of her life, normal still sounds perfect. Average sounds like more than enough.

That’s not to say I don’t expect her to be wonderful in a million different ways. I know she will be. But right now I’m putting all my hope on normal, average, and happy.

<3, Liz

ps- Have you read Tina Fey’s prayer for her daughter from her book Bossypants? It’s amazing.

april showers bring june babies!

I’ve always been grateful for our family and friends, but it’s amazing how kind and wonderful everyone has been since we found out we were expecting a baby. My sweet sister-in-law Jennie and my best girlfriend Lauren threw a fabulous baby shower in honor of baby Caroline! I just wanted to share a few photos. This was in April and (not that I look particularly thin, but) I can’t believe how small my belly seems in these photos! It’s grown a lot in the past month!


Continue reading “april showers bring june babies!”