Our amazing travel agent Kara Brown is back with more tips, pics and fun!
If you saw my previous post, you got an overview of our most recent trip with our twins. This post will have some tips, our favorite things, and lots of photos!
• Pack your patience! I wouldn’t trade our trips with our girls for anything and don’t regret them for a second, but I did have to change my mindset on how I experience the parks. We had a general plan but no set schedule. We went with the flow on how the girls were doing (when they needed a nap, snack, break, etc). We were not able to experience as many attractions as we would have as just adults, but it was still well worth it!
• Our first trip, I tried to just use a poncho to cover the stroller when it rained. That did not work and I purchased an actual rain cover this time. That was a wise decision!
• I packed a ridiculous amount of snacks, and that paid off. Though you’re not supposed to eat snacks in line currently (with mask/Covid rules), it was our saving grace for keeping the girls occupied and close to us in the lines (as well as a great budget saver). Since they aren’t old enough to need to wear masks, per Disney policy, this was not a problem.
• Water. Water. Water…. And some sunscreen. We took separate water bottles for the girls and I’m glad we did- they drank a lot more than they typically do at home. We also reapplied sunscreen at least once, sometimes twice, during the day.
• Know the routes the character cavalcades take, because if you hear that music change, one is coming quickly and people will start gathering. By knowing where they were going and noticing the music changes, we were able to get the girls up close to see before it got crowded, because unfortunately a lot of people don’t care if they stand right in front of little kids, blocking their view.
• Consider bringing a sun hat for your kids (and yourself) as some of the lines do stretch out into the sun because of physical distancing.
• Keep your eyes out for characters hanging around in various areas. We saw Winnie the Pooh in a field in Epcot, Stormtroopers and Chewie on roofs/balconies in Hollywood Studios, Mickey & friends atop the train station in Magic Kingdom, and Mary Poppins in the gardens behind the UK in Epcot. We even ran into Goofy at our resort one morning! Even though there are no scheduled character greetings and they do stay distanced from you, they are great about pausing and posing for photos/selfies!
• Try to do the most popular rides as close to park opening or park closing as possible and keep an eye on wait times in the app. Middle of the day is typically the most crowded, hottest, and possibly your kids’ nap time. Use this time to rest, just walk around, or find a slow paced ride.
• If you’re driving to the parks, take a photo of the parking lot sign so you remember which section you parked in
• My girls are used to sleeping in a very dark room. The curtains in the hotel room, while they are blackout, do not fully close, so a decent amount of light still slips thorough. A great “hack” I learned is to use a pants hanger from the closet to clip the curtains together. This worked wonderfully!
Some of our favorite things and memorable moments from each park/day:
Arrival day and Disney Springs
When we arrived at our resort, the girls needed some time to run around and get some energy out after being stuck in the car.
We loved seeing the character displays made out of Legos at Disney Springs
The girls got to ride both the Dumbo and the Magic Carpets of Aladdin rides this time, and laughed and smiled the whole time!
The girls’ two favorite rides in Magic Kingdom this time were the Little Mermaid and Winnie the Pooh
The girls were napping when I stopped to grab one of my favorite treats- the Kakamora Float- so I had to eat the whole thing all by myself! I was very disappointed about that, as you can imagine!
We loved seeing all the topiaries and special garden displays for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
The girls’ favorite thing in Epcot, without competition on either trip, was the Journey Into Imagination with Figment ride. We came home with a stuffed Figment our first trip and Figment-inspired Mickey Ears this trip. They even got to sit in the seat by themselves (as opposed to in our laps) this time and loved every minute!
Something new to us this trip was the Epcot Experience. This 360 degree film with LED light display on the center diorama gives a glimpse into the new things coming to Epcot in the coming years. As an Epcot lover and travel agent, I was so excited to see some of these additions/changes!
One of the biggest positives about Pop Century Resort is its access to the Skyliner transportation system. This gondola gives you easy access to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios and the girls loved riding it!
I somehow managed to not take a single photo of our snacks, but we thoroughly enjoyed “snacking around the world” at the special food booths that were park of the Flower & Garden Festival. Festivals at Epcot are my favorite for several reasons, but the snacks are definitely at the top of the list!
If you have small kids and don’t take them to the Disney Jr. Dance Party at Hollywood Studios, you’re missing out on so much fun! I mentioned earlier that my girls love to sing and dance, and they also love the characters. This little show was one of the biggest highlights of our trip! The girls danced their little hearts out, pointed and waved to the characters on stage, and were laughing and smiling the entire time. I wish I could share videos, because it was one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. The whole trip was worth seeing them have so much fun in that show!”
A new experience for us this time was Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, which was different than I expected but very cute and entertaining
We really didn’t take near as many photos this trip as we did last time, mainly because busy toddlers have no interest in stopping to pose or wait for us, and also because we were so wrapped up in having fun that we just totally forgot. With that said, we spent a good bit of time in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and had some great food at Docking Bay 7, but have no photos to share.
Another of the girls’ favorites in Hollywood Studios was Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This newer attraction took the place of The Great Movie ride, which I was sad to see leave, but this is a great replacement
Because the shows are still closed and we wanted to spend 2 days in Epcot, we decided to skip Animal Kingdom this trip. We missed it, but know it was the right decision for us and we will definitely be visiting it on our next trip.
With all the fun and chaos of the parks, we always like to have at least one “rest day” where we hang out at the resort, go to the pool, visit other resorts or Disney Springs, etc., and these often end up being some of our favorite times. The girls got to push their baby dolls around the resort, we rode the Skyliner over to the Riviera Resort for our brunch reservation at Topolino’s Terrace (its technically a breakfast, but we had it at noon so I’m calling it brunch!), and spent some time swimming in the kiddie pool. It was such a good break and got us ready for the next few days in the parks.
October 2020 vs. April 2021. Topolino’s Terrace is on the very top floor of the Riviera Resort. You can go out onto the terrace and have the most beautiful view of the Disney property. You can see for miles and its fun to pick out the different landmarks!
Pop Century had a great kiddie pool area that was fenced off from the main pool. This made it a safe place for the girls to splash and play without me having to worry about them getting into deep water. The pool was zero-entry all the way around and only about 12” deep in the middle, so it was the perfect size for us!
Follow along for more toddler twin adventures this Summer… and Walt Disney World round 3 this Fall. Unless the policy changes before then, we will be navigating the world of kids wearing masks in the park, so that will be a whole new thing for us!
Kara Brown is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel and a mom to twin girls. She loves traveling with her family and making priceless memories. Kara specializes in Disney destinations and Universal Orlando Resort. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org