Starting tomorrow, Disney Cruise Line is accepting bookings for early 2020!
There are new itineraries, including departures from New Orleans in Louisiana, visits in Puerto Rico, and a Hawaiian Island cruise! There will, of course, continue to be cruises departing from Florida and California.
Are you interested in travelling on a Disney Cruise? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a big Disney fan. Anyone who knows me can tell you that. So when I heard that the two North American Disney parks were adding Pixar content, I got incredibly (get it?) excited.
Disney World (Florida)
Toy Story Land, in the Hollywood Studios park (possibly soon to be renamed again), is opening on June 30, 2018 in Florida. There will be a roller coaster (Slinky dog), swirling saucers (Aliens), an expanded Toy Story Mania, and Woody’s lunch box fill this new space. I’m sure there will be more coming, as well. There’s lots of room for expansion.
June 23, 2018, Pixar Pier in the California Adventures park will be officially open! If you don’t want to wait that long, however, there will be a preview of the Pier during Pixar Fest starting April 13. Rides you will find include a roller coaster (Incredibles), Toy Story Mania and neighbourhood, “something” from Inside Out, and a complete re-theme of the pier with images and characters.
You can read more about the changes in Florida here, and California here, here, and here.
Are you interested in travelling to Disney? You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. email@example.com
The main reason we travelled to Florida was to visit the parks at Disney World and Universal Studios. Unfortunately, illness prevented me from going to Universal Studios.
I am going to discuss each of the four parks at Disney from the perspective of a new mom with a stroller, as well as point out my favourite parts of each.
Something that we were extremely pleasantly surprised by was that every single concessions stand had an ingredient list.
The proximity and amount of stroller parking in Epcot was very reasonable. As this was the first park we visited, I was anxious about leaving the stroller unattended. However, we never had a problem, and neither did anyone else, as far as I could see.
Walking around the “world” was actually pretty easy with the stroller. There was space in the stores we went in for maneuvering, and the only time we felt at all worried about people kicking the stroller was in Norway, because Frozen, and dinnertime. It was a little squishy in the restaurant in China, but that was the case in pretty much every restaurant.
We used the rain protector today, and it worked perfectly. Pro tip: When leaving the stroller in the parking, cover it with the rain protector even if it isn’t raining. Your baby will thank you when their seat is nice and dry when it rains unexpectedly while you were inside.
Baby Care Centre
The Baby Care Centre was off to the left, just before Mexico. It was big and clean. There was a huge nursing room with only 4 wooden rocking chairs (could definitely have fit more in there). The changing area had large sturdy change tables, with space for the diaper bag. The changing paper was the same throughout the parks – very large, thick white paper that, once used, go in the garbage with the used diaper. I wish there had been a recycling bin for the paper.
There was a tiny room for those accompanying the mother to sit, and they were playing Finding Nemo.
Introducing Keladry to Baymax.
Seeing Keladry’s reaction to the hologram images of Dory, Nemo, and Marlin.
Seeing the Frozen ride.
We had a very similar experience as in Epcot, although the stroller parking outside the Finding Nemo Musical was not very clearly marked, so that was a little confusing. We used the solar screen today, and it worked really well. It does keep the heat inside the stroller, too, though, so if it’s a warm day, I recommend letting the baby breathe every ten minutes or so, depending on how hot it is. (Or maybe our dragon is a little furnace, and this isn’t a problem for other babies?)
Baby Care Centre
The Centre in this park is in the centre island, over near Africa. It was tucked away and was supremely tiny. There were two individual nursing rooms and very tiny change tables. The chair in the nursing room was a wooden rocking chair with very soft cushions. There was a change mat and more space to change the baby inside the nursing room than there was in the change room itself.
Changing Keladry in the theatre for Finding Nemo before the show started, across our laps.
The Finding Nemo show – phenomenal!
The Lion King show – we were in the lion section. Rawr. Keladry fell asleep during it.
Lots of curbs in this park, which was mildly annoying with a stroller. Stroller parking wasn’t very clearly marked for the Toy Story ride, although it was everywhere else. They did an excellent job of parking the strollers for Fantasmic.
Baby Care Centre
Right at the entrance to the park, on the left hand side as you enter, was the smallest Centre of the parks. There were 2 curtained individual nursing rooms, again with a wooden rocking chair, and the changing room had two tables only. There was barely any space to breathe in the space. Definitely my least favourite.
Eric being allowed to wear Keladry during the Toy Story ride, getting the highest score of the 4 of us, and Keladry falling asleep partway through the ride.
Introducing Keladry to Moana – Keladry was asleep by the time we got to see her.
Watching Keladry watch the fireworks from Fantasmic. Oooh lights, *startle*! Oooh lights, *startle*!
The proximity of the stroller parking to the rides was not very good, and it was confusing to find it sometimes. Once, Eric parked the stroller somewhere, and a park attendant had moved it by the time we exited the show. That was mildly terrifying.
Definitely the least stroller-friendly park, because of how much is in it.
Baby Care Centre
Located just to the left of The Crystal Palace (when facing it), this was by far my favourite Centre. There was a calm room for nursing with 5 squashy rocking chairs, and while it was a bit squishy in the room, there was space for everyone. The change room had 6 changing tables, and the room for accompanying people had lots of chairs and a TV screen; the only other one to have a TV was Epcot.
Nursing Keladry during Mickey’s Philharmagic – I had forgotten about the champagne bottles and I jumped at the forced air, startling Keladry.
Keladry falling asleep on the Haunted Mansion BOTH times we went on it!
Watching Keladry get excited about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride – her little head swiveled from side to side, trying to see everything. And she raised her arms in the air when we went down the water fall!
Introducing Keladry to Tinkerbell, while dressed as Tinkerbell!
The stores were maneuverable with the stroller, and easily accessible. I was pleased by how easy it was to get around with it, and that I didn’t have to go too far out of the way because I had it.
Baby Care Centre
There wasn’t one. Bad Disney! It’s on your map!
The Information Centre let me use one of their offices when I asked about the location of the Baby Care Centre, which was nice of them, but not practical for multiple people.
YeSake food – this was delicious, large portions, and had customizable rice, noodle, or wraps. Yummy!
Cookes of Dublin – Super yummy fried fish, and they were very good about my mother’s allergies!
Mickey’s Pantry (and Spice & Tea Exchange) – a store with the best fancy salts and sugars, and other kitchen supplies
Marketplace Co-op – a series of shops that are high-end and great quality
World of Disney Store – everything for everyone, except they were out of the cute short set in the size we wanted for Keladry…but they did check to see if they had any in any other location (they didn’t, but I appreciate that they tried to find it for us!)
If you are interested in booking a trip to Orlando. You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin T. Johns (website, Twitter) is an author, podcaster, writing coach, and ghostwriter residing in Ottawa, Canada with his wife and three daughters.
Kevin grew up reading comic books, watching horror movies, and playing guitar in punk rock bands.
He attended Carleton University where he attained a double-major undergraduate degree in English Literature and Film studies and Master’s Degree in English Literature.
He has published five books, ghostwritten several more, and helped hundreds of writers from around the world get their ideas out of their heads, onto the page, and into readers hands.
On October 29th, I’ll be releasing my latest novel, a young adult action thriller titled M School.
M School is about Lilith Delaney, a 17-year-old girl who is recruited into a secret training facility for teenage assassins. (You can check out the book trailer here.)
As I created the novel, I wanted the M School facility to feel like truly exotic environment for the reader. It couldn’t just be a regular school building or a skyscraper in some urban center. It needed to be something different, something strange, and possibly threatening…
Ultimately, I decided to make M school an underwater facility, hidden beneath an oil rig, somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean.
While much of the story in M School takes place within the underwater facility, I also wanted there to also be several sequences set in a tropical jungle environment. As such, I created an island fairly close to the rig. In addition, I knew that later in the story, Lilith was going to leave the facility, arrive on a beach, and then make her way to a nearby city where she would catch a bus home.
Now, as a Canadian writer, a tropical environment just ain’t going to happen in my country, so the demands of the narrative meant it was time to take my story south!
I pulled up the ol’ Google map and started looking for a very specific real world setting: a beach/resort community in the South Eastern United States, with a city big enough for a bus station nearby.
After some searching, I found my perfect location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Ponte Vedra is a high income tourist community with long sand beaches, orange roofed resorts, and lots of golf courses. It’s positioned about 30 kilometres from the city of Jacksonville.
In other words, perfect for my novel!
As someone who has written his fair share of Canadian stories with chilly winds and falling snow, it was exciting to get to set a portion of my book in Florida.
The more I imagined the bright sun, warm sand, and flowing ocean waves, the more I wanted to not just write about it, but actually hop on a plane and live it!
If you are considering a Florida vacation, I suggest working with Jen to check out Ponte Vedra!
And if you are looking for a great book to bring along with you for some beach reading, make sure you grab a copy of M School later this month! If you get on the early notification list now, I’ll send you an email and let you know as soon as it goes on sale.
If you are interested in booking a trip south. You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. email@example.com