- Garden Trail– This is a complementary tour. The trail guides are located in the Fig Leaf Shop in the Wesley house. The journey takes you through the rose garden, butterfly garden, and Tucker Bayou.
- Picnic areas
- Meetings and Retreats
- Picnic or event pavilion
According to the latest statistics released by the Themed Entertainment Association, the Walt Disney World Resorts in Florida entertained 51,500,000 guests in 2014. That’s a whole lot of Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars! The Magic Kingdom alone is estimated to host approximately 53,000 visitors per day. (It should be noted that these numbers come from a reliable third-party source. The Walt Disney Company does not publish its theme park attendance statistics.)
So why would any family wish to rub sweaty elbows with that many people? Why join the masses juggling for the best spot to see the fireworks? AND spend many of their hard-earned dollars to do so?
Well for one thing, it’s a matter of logistics. A topic widely debated on online Disney fan sites is whether or not parents should take their kids out of school for a Disney vacation. As you can imagine, this can draw quite a bit of divided opinions. But from the numbers noted above, you can understand the dilemma! Personally, I prefer the take-the-kids out approach. However, once my kids entered middle school, it became abundantly clear that this practice would create considerable stress for them and would put a damper on their vacation. Their classes move too fast for them to easily catch-up—even though they’re both National Honor Society students. So we had to grit our teeth and plan a vacation over this past Spring Break. Fortunately, I’m a Disney-planning guru and set about talking to my experienced Disney friends and researching the bejeezus out of managing Disney crowds. I have to say the planning paid off and I’d like to pass along my experience to you.
Here are the strategies I followed during our recent Spring Break trip that helped us enjoy the parks without losing our cool!
- FastPass+ is your friend! Since our family visits the Walt Disney World Resort frequently, I tend to get lazy about booking our FastPass+ attractions. Well, this time around I was on it, and it paid off in spades. Instead of the 200 minute wait for Tower of Terror (I kid you not), we waited for less than 10 minutes. It was almost too fast for me to enjoy the backstory and beautiful theming! I promise you, this was not an isolated experience. We booked our must-do favorite attractions before our trip and once we blew through them, we booked our next ones. If I had to name the top strategy for dealing with crowded Disney conditions, this is it.
- Stay away from the parks hosting early Extra Magic Hours. Generally speaking, you want to do what the other guests do not. With over 30,600 rooms at Disney’s on-property resorts, that’s a whole lot of families eligible to take advantage of these bonus hours. Experience tells me that going against the grain and visiting a different park pays off. Also along the same line, avoid the Magic Kingdom on any holiday! That always seems to be where everyone wants to be and when the park typically closes due to capacity.
- Don’t hit the parks until late afternoon and stay until closing! I admit, this strategy won’t work for every family, especially if you’re travelling with young children. But a dear Disney friend of mine whose family goes to Disney every Christmas break, tipped me off to this approach. Now, our typical attack plan involves getting to the park first thing for rope drop, but I was desperate enough to avoid the Spring Break hordes to give this a try. And it worked beautifully! We actually slept in on this vacation. Not only were we better rested, but I didn’t have to pry my kids out of bed each morning. Also, we spent time at the resort pool earlier in the day when most families are at the parks. We entered the parks around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon before our FastPass+ selections, had a quick dinner and then explored. Many families with young children leave the park after the parade and fireworks, so crowds tend to thin out. Plus, since this is a busy time of year, the parks stay open later. I can’t even begin to describe the Magic Kingdom at closing time! (The only exception to this in my experience would be Epcot’s World Showcase. Due to the dining and adult beverages available there, crowds do not seem to thin out the later it gets.)
- We stuck mostly to quick service meals. We love Disney table service restaurants just as much as the next Mouseketeer, but the experience takes up a lot of time. Disney has spent the last several years upgrading the quality and variety of offerings at their quick service locations, so we’ve found there’s something for everyone to enjoy at each of the parks. Especially if you eat a bit earlier than most, you can be done eating by the time you would have just placed your order for a table service meal. Now, go enjoy the attractions while others are eating!
With summer crowds fast approaching, I hope you find these tips helpful. Disney crowds are inevitable, but they don’t have to ruin your magic. All it takes is some pre-planning and savvy strategies. Happy planning!
Denise Long is that Disney junkie who turns every conversation into a Disney vacation anecdote. Every picture she shows you of her kids involves either a character or Mickey Ears. She’s the friend who gets more excited for your Disney vacation than you do. A frequent Walt Disney World guest and the Chief Disney Planner for her family and friends, please join her at ADisneyfiedLife.com where you can snag your free copy of Ten Sneaky Ways to Save for your WDW Resort Vacation.
Traveling is a wonderful experience. You get to meet new people, see wonderful places and spend quality time with your friends or family members. But, traveling can be quite stressful as well. Sometimes stress can be quite overwhelming to most people thus preventing them from having fun. To make sure you always have fun regardless where you go, this article brings you 10 tips for stress-free travels. Keep reading to find out what they are.
- Check in online and book seat before you travel
In order to avoid the stress that comes when you’re running behind and get to the airport only to see a huge line in front of you, checking in online is a perfect solution. After all, you don’t want to start your trip stressed out.
Long lines aren’t the only potentially stressful situations you will encounter on the way to your destination. For instance, you might find yourself seated between two larger passengers; which isn’t the nicest situation in the world particularly if you’re on a longer flight. You can easily avoid this stress by booking your seat before you travel.
- Plan how to manage stress and anxiety
Traveling can be particularly stressful for people with anxiety disorders. Instead of spending the entire time on your trip feeling stress out and miserable you should come up with a plan of what to do when your symptoms appear. When it comes to these disorders, symptoms can be triggered by stressful situations and sometimes they can appear without warning.
Regardless of the cause, it’s good to have a plan that includes deep breathing strategies and other techniques of relaxation. Ideally, you should visit your doctor before the trip who will provide useful tips, prescribe medications to treat symptoms. Your health-care provider can also help you get to the root of the problem i.e. determine the underlying cause of anxiety you feel when you travel.
- Make essentials checklist
Before you even go for your holiday, business meeting, etc. you should ask yourself what you need for your travel. Create a list of all essentials to pack easily. Make sure all documents you will need are on the list as well. Ideally, you should pack by reading the list and checking each item as you put it into your travel bag. Remember, the best way to travel is to travel light and only back things you know you will need. This way, you will avoid the stress that comes with packing, unpacking, and drag the bag from one place to another.
- Bring a “calming” item
Your calming item can be just about anything that makes you feel relaxed in certain situations. Without this item, you would focus on your symptoms only or to the cause of the stress and the problem could aggravate. For example, it can be a stress ball or iPad where you can play relaxing music or videos.
- Give yourself enough time to arrive at your destination
To avoid stress and to feel anxious, you should plan your entire trip thoroughly which also includes getting to the airport. It’s good to write down your plan to keep you focused. When making this itinerary, always think about how much time you will need at the airport to go through baggage check and security lines. This way, you won’t have to hurry as you’re not running late, and you will feel relaxed.
- Wear comfortable clothes
Trips should be relaxing affairs; which is why you shouldn’t wear uncomfortable and tight clothes on your plan, bus or even when you’re exploring your holiday destination. You should wear clothes that are comfortable and made of natural materials that allow your skin to breathe. When some clothing item is uncomfortable, it will make you feel awkward and thus increase stress levels.
- Spend the night in hotel before you go
If you don’t live near the airport and your flight is at midday, you can avoid the hassle and stress by spending the night in the hotel that is close to the airport. This way, you can get much-needed sleep, wake up rested, and have enough time to have a healthy breakfast and get ready before you go. Some hotel airports also offer free transport to the airport which means you don’t have to ask anyone to drop you off or call a cab.
- Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is important, and traveling shouldn’t change that. For example, flying can dry out your skin and body. Plus, when you are thirsty or dehydrated you are more likely to become grumpy and irritated. When drinking plenty of water, you will land to your destination feeling refreshed and ready to have a great time.
- Use distractions
When stressed out during your trip you are more likely to focus on your symptoms. Unfortunately, focusing on the symptoms can only make things even worse, and your stress levels can increase. Instead of focusing on sensations in your body and how stressed you are, you should divert your attention to other activities. For example, you can read a book or your favorite magazine, or you can play your favorite game on your tablet. It’s also helpful to write down some inspirational and relaxing thoughts that you can read when feeling stressed.
- Print off hotel details and locations
When you’re in an unfamiliar place, it can be quite difficult to reach your hotel particularly if you’re in a country where they don’t speak English. It’s recommended to print out hotel details and addresses of various locations and always keep them with you. This way, you won’t have to rely on your phone. If your battery dies or you don’t have an internet connection, you might feel stressed. Having addresses and locations printed can be extremely helpful. Plus, you can just show the address to a cab driver, and he can take you there.
Traveling can be quite stressful, and the problem gets even worse when you already suffer from some anxiety disorder. Tips from this article can help you travel and reach your destination stress-free.
About the Author
Adonia Dennis (@adoniadennis), by profession is a Health, Beauty and Skin Care adviser. She provides solutions related to health and beauty problems. She is an independent researcher who researches for all type of skin related issues. She is a passionate blogger who loves to read lifestyle news and share her views on health, fitness and diet. Visit Adonia on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
Anyone who knows me knows I love my desserts. And especially at Walt Disney World. At home, I generally try to eat healthy, but all bets are off when I go on vacation. Disney Springs is really turning into a place I love to visit. On my last visit in February, I stopped by The Ganachery.
I had my doubts, because honestly, I’m content with a Hershey Bar. Cadbury, now that’s my jam. I had heard the chocolates were a little on the expensive side, so I was a little hesitant to try. All doubts were erased the moment I stepped inside the store. The smell of chocolate was heavenly. You know that scene in Frozen on Coronation Day when Elsa says, “What is that amazing smell?” Then Anna and Elsa both snifffffffff, and say, “Chocolate.” Exactly that.
When you enter the store, on the left you get the treat of watching chocolate being made. On the right, the holy grail. There are also fun chocolate gifts such as lollipops in the shape of Disney characters or Star Wars chocolates. Something for everyone.
For the most part, Disney Cast Members are happy and friendly. But George, he was exceptional. That smile, the helpful attitude. It put me in a happy mood. I just wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home.
We got a box to share amongst friends and all of them were amazing! I truly was surprised at how much I enjoyed that chocolate, even the flavors I didn’t think I’d like. Well worth the price.
After you make your selections, your chocolates are wrapped up nicely. Pretty packaging makes everything better.
And then we opened those bad boys right up to eat them.
I tried Caramel Fleur de Sel, Chipotle Pepper, and Calamansi (Vietnamese Oranges in Milk Chocolate). They all were amazing! Dark Chocolate with Mexican Red Pepper? Who knew?
My friends tried Coffee as well and gave it the ‘praise emoji’ status. So my fellow chocolate lovers, put The Ganachery at Disney Springs on your must-try list. And then invite me when you go, please.
Every place in the world can be romantic if you want to make it so. You just need a beloved person and a little bit of imagination. However, when it comes to Sydney, you do not really need to put in a lot of effort into searching for romantic spots and ideas. There are in abundance in this wonderful city. Here are some of the most interesting things that a couple can do or places that they can visit while in Sydney.
The View from the Sydney Tower
You will feel like you are among the clouds as you enjoy the romantic candlelight dinner in the luxurious restaurant at the top of the Sydney Tower. First, take a Skywalk and the 45 minute tour of the tallest building in Sydney, even taller than the Sydney Bridge. After all that excitement, come into the lovely ambient of the 360 Restaurant that features the full view of Sydney and amazing cuisine.
The Glorious Balloon Aloft
This is the wonderful experience from the moment you see the balloon getting inflated, to the moment you land and help pack it up. You will even get a sip of champagne once you do it. And in between these two fun moments, you will live through some of the most romantic moments ever. Flying over the Sydney and softly flowing through the air, you will forget about any troubles that you may have down on the land.
The Delicate Chinese Garden of Friendship
The serenity, the remarkable flora and stunning plants, as well as some of the most favorable tea that you have ever tasted await for the two of you in the Chinese Garden. You can simply spend the day, holding hands and exploring the wonderful spots in this garden, with the view of the Sydney. Also a good choice is to make a tour on electric bikes. That way you will not get to tired and you will be able to see hidden pathways and waterfalls, lovely ponds and secluded corners. After a day spent there, you may never want to leave it. The Taoist spirit of tranquility is in every fiber of this place.
The Hidden Romantic Beaches
Whether you want to walk along the Little Bay until you reach the Little Bay Beach, or if you want to bushwalk through the Garigal to reach the Flat Rock Beach, you are in for a treat. These are among the best, hidden beaches that you can find near Sydney. There are also the Long Reef Beach and the Fisherman’s Beach that people of Sydney use as beach wedding venues. Some of these lovely beaches are also reachable from the sea, so a boat ride to them can also become a romantic part of your day.
The Adrenaline Packed Bridge Climb
If there is one thing that will make you hold on a little bit tighter to each other, then it is the view down from the bridge, as you two climb it. The adrenaline will make you laugh, the view will make you lose your words and the experience the two of you share will bring you two closer together. If you start the climb in the early morning, you may experience the crack of dawn on the bridge construction which is definitely something to tell your kids one day.
You can always decide to stay clear from the land altogether and bring your significant one to the luxurious cruise that will show you Sydney from the sea. You will have a nice meal and some nice Australian wine. The amazing architecture and the view of the city will be peppered with your chats and tender moments. It definitely sounds like one of the great options for romantic couples that want to get to know new face of Sydney – from the ocean.
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