OH what I wouldn’t give to be back at the Happiest Place on Earth right about now… 🙂 While everyone’s travel plans are postponed for the foreseeable future, it’s still fun to daydream about the dreamiest, most magical adventures amiright??? If you’re planning a trip to Disney World or aboard a Disney Cruise for ASAP post-pandemic, today’s post is for you!
Today’s #AskE is finally A’ing all of the Q’s that came in from you after our last trip to Disney World for the Disney Creators Celebration in February! I am SO insanely grateful that our trip safely happened before the world shut down, because we’ve been clinging to those memories still months later as we sit in our house reminiscing – ha!
ALSO for more Disney content, check out…
Everything to know about a Disney Cruise
My Disney Outfits – a Week’s Worth of Disney Outfit Inspiration!
Disney World for Adults – #AdultsAtDisney Recommendations
How did you get to be a part of this? I’m so intrigued!
Disney personally invited around 100 creators to take part in this year’s Creators’ Celebration – so I’m SO HONORED to have been asked to attend. I have worked with Disney twice in the past – here + here are recaps of those trips ICYMI!
Do you recommend any of the Disney dining plans?
I haven’t personally been on one of the outlined Disney dining plans before! That said, I can give my thoughts on Disney dining in general. 🙂 Sit-down restaurants at Disney are SO popular, and for good reason. You definitely want (really, need) reservations to ensure your dining time, and the quick-eateries around the parks aren’t really all suited for “dinner food” if that makes sense – my recommendation would be to plan for quicker dining for snacks + lunches, and then a nicer sit-down dinner at a restaurant each night. So I’d probably pick the traditional Dining Plan for that reason. BUT, also keep in mind that if you’re someone who prefers spontaneity and doesn’t want to have all of your meals planned out in advance (although at Disney World, that’s sometimes the best route), you can always opt to NOT have a plan and still just make your own reservations accordingly when you want.
What was the best part of the cruise?
All of it? Ha! But really, our Disney cruise was interesting since we had super choppy seas the first night and pretty crappy weather the first day docked in Nassau. That being said, it was still MAGICAL because Disney makes it so. Castaway Cay is just perfect. Disney’s entertainment on board is SO GOOD – they have award-winning Broadway-style performances. They just go above and beyond to make it feel like TOTALLY Disney, even though you’re not at the actual parks. Also unlimited free soft serve cones is a perk. 😉
Any drink/bar recomendations? How much do drinks typically run?
I think this question was specific to the Disney Cruise so I’ll answer accordingly – drinks were actually pretty reasonably priced, I thought, probably averaging about 10 bucks. For a specialty cocktail, I figured $10 is great, especially since it can be closer to $15+ back home or in somewhere like New York City. On the Disney Dream there are a few adults-only club/bar spaces with great drinks – check out the Oasis area! Pub 687 on board has big flat-screens for watching games, etc, and Pink is a great wine + champagne bar tucked away on the boat, too.
What are your must-do’s?
I’m not sure if this is referring to Disney WORLD or the Cruise, so I’ll do quickie answer for both – ha! A few of my must-do’s at WDW are Space Mountain, Flight of Passage, Rise of the Resistance (if you can get a spot on it!), Haunted Mansion, a safari in Animal Kingdom, the Happily Ever After fireworks show in Magic Kingdom, and a Mickey ice cream bar. On the Cruise, definitely see the nightly entertainment on deck like Beauty & the Beast, and go out and explore Castaway Cay when you’re at that port of call! Of course, any photo opps with characters is always an added bonus. 🙂
How do you budget/plan for everything?
You start waaaaaay in advance when you’re planning a trip to Disney World OR a cruise! This trip was a bit different for us since it was in partnership with Disney, so we honestly didn’t have to pay for the full cost of what it would’ve otherwise been. But with any other Disney adventure, you essentially want to plan out your entire trip in ADVANCE – like, MONTHS before going. Some folks book + budget a year out! Figure out exactly what you want to do/see, and set a daily budget for things like snacks or souvenirs since I think that’s where it’s easy to accidentally overspend – especially if your credit card is hooked up to your Magic Bands and you can just tap to pay. 😉
For planning, use Disney’s apps + website to help plan your trip! Once you make an account, you can outline + literally schedule out full days there, down to scheduling FastPasses at specific times for specific rides. Use their resources!!!
Did you use the baby centers at Disney World?
We did not, but I had learned all about them before going in case we needed them! Disney’s baby centers are FABULOUS – they have one near the entrance of each park where you can go to change or nurse a baby, or even just hang out in some peace and quiet if your little one is overstimulated.
What were Olivia’s park essentials?
GoGo Squeez pouches (these were truly a saving grace between meals!!! Especially since there are veggies hidden inside, too!), drinking water, comfy walking shoes, a hat, a stroller (more on that in a hot sec…), + SUNSCREEN! Speaking of…
What did you pack for the cruise??
I packed probably about 7 outfits ranging from swim stuff to light clothes, to a few dresses for night and sweats for lounging on the verandah. You want to have a smaller carry-on bag packed for the first day on deck, with the expectation that your luggage might not be delivered to your room until evening. So they recommended having something packed with the pool/beach gear (swimsuits, change of clothes, SPF, book, travel documents, etc) so that you can survive the full day without any other baggage.
Since rooms are small, here are a few random “hacks” that really worked well for me…
- Bring mix + match pieces, and always a layering piece for when it’s chillier on the boat (or on the islands!).
- Don’t worry about body wash – they have big bottles in the staterooms. (Just pack hair products if you have specific hair needs – I can’t use anything with sulfates or anything not-color-safe, so I always bring my own!)
- Remember your swimmies for the islands! Pack like you’re doing a beach day.
- Tula’s Makeup Melt for makeup removal – it’s a compact little stick with no mess, so easier and more efficient than a bottle of makeup remover. (You can always get 15% off all Tula with code COMINGUPROSES)
- They’re SO GOOD at Disney with provisions for babies/toddlers, so we didn’t bring a pack n’ play or stroller or anything – we just requested a pack n’ play crib in our stateroom upon boarding and they had a super nice one set up for us while we were out!
- Don’t forget some “nicer” clothes for nighttime activities! I made the mistake of only bringing one dress, which was awkward to then wear three nights in a row…HA. So while you’re packing your beachy bum clothes, don’t forget a few nicer things!
- And know the theme nights on board! We missed pirate night which was OK since Liv was sleeping ANYWAYS, but folks go BIG for theme nights on the boat. So just know them + pack accordingly!
Which cruise line did you use?
Disney cruise line, and our specific boat was the Disney Dream! More on the Disney Cruise here, but there are 4 ships in the Disney fleet.
Can I ask what room y’all are in? Trying to plan our first cruise and I’m so overwhelmed!!
Yes – we were room 10040! I would highly recommend it – the room had a veranda overlooking the water with cute little chairs to hang out. It had a queen-sized bed, as well as a pull-out couch AND a bunk bed situation where another bed could flip down from the ceiling. But we loveloveLOVED having the balcony to be able to sit out and watch while sailing. It was so cool!
What was the room like where you stayed at?
Rooms are small, obviously, but they’re so efficient with space! You can see a tour of our kind of room here.
How were “the seas”? I was on a smaller whale watching boat once and got a little sea sick – did you take anything like Dramamine to help?
The first night was HORRIBLE, namely because it was bad weather and choppy seas. It was both J’s + my first cruise of course, and we kept going up to our veteran cruiser-friends saying, “Is it normally this bad?!?!” People were legit grabbing onto walls and railings to walk, and everyone was feeling it. One of my girlfriends passed along a Dramamine bracelet and I ended up passing it along to my girlfriend who was pregnant and needing it more than me – ha! But after that first night, it got significantly better. We had heard that there were 15-20 foot swells going up against the boat that first night, which would explain it.
The last night you couldn’t even tell we were moving! I’ve heard that Disney cruises spend the most money out of any cruise line on their boat stabilizers to ensure the smoothest sail, so take that into account, too!
How was the variety of activities and food?
Awesome!!! Honestly, there’s so much to do + see + eat on board that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to do it all, especially on a 3-night cruise like we had. 7 days/nights would’ve been different probably, but we were PACKED schedules with 3 nights! There are schedules uploaded to your stateroom TV’s and on your Disney Cruise app during your stay with all of the available activities, character meetings, movie screenings, etc. You will have to pick + choose!
Disney is also notoriously great about dietary restrictions/options. I knew quite a few girls on the trip with me who had stricter requirements for their meals and Disney always accommodated delightfully. The full lunch buffets were probably one of our favorite things on board – I mean, the OG had her fill of peas (she loveloveloves peas – ha!).
How were the stops? Like when the boat docked?
The first stop was at Nassau in the Bahamas. We got off since neither of us had been before to explore, but many folks stayed on ship that first dock-day to just explore everything on board, since there is SO MUCH available on Disney cruises! Nassau is OK, but it felt pretty touristy walking through the town where we were, the beach was pretty crowded, you’re approached quite a bit by folks trying to sell you everything under the sun…so I can see why some people choose to take advantage of everything on board that day, especially if you’ve been to Nassau before.
The second day was at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. And LET ME TELL YOU. There’s a reason you can *only* get to that island via a Disney Cruise…otherwise everyone and her mother would just LIVE there. The island is gorgeous. There are a few separate beaches – two for families and one for adults-only – as well as different BBQ spots, bars, a kids club, the works.
GO TO CASTAWAY CAY.
Absolutely gorgeous, and like a true dream for the day.
Did you bring a stroller? Stroller fan?
We chose to not bring a stroller because we had heard great things about Disney’s stroller rental service, Kingdom strollers! We rented one for our longer Magic Kingdom day and then one for Animal Kingdom, too, and it was great – only $15 for the whole day. I was initially worried because Olivia isn’t a fan of strollers and hates feeling confined, but these were open where they felt more like a ride for her – ha! She also slept like a CHAMP in them, bless up. Highly recommend.
I didn’t pack a stroller fan but definitely COULD have – it gets hot at WDW. But Liv preferred trying to drink from adult water bottles and ended up splashing water everywhere which she much preferred anyways – ha!
Would you say the cruise is handicap friendly? My 12-year-old uses a walker/chair and I want it to be fun for him, too!
YES! So Disney is notoriously great with EVERYONE – they do not exclude anyone for any reason, which is partially why I just lovelovelove the brand so freaking much. They actually have this entire page on the Disney Cruise Line website entirely dedicated to information on accessibility so you can know exactly which staterooms will be the most comfortable for him, as well as different services they offer for additional accessibility options and help while on board!
Are you planning a trip to Disney World or a Disney Cruise for the travelable future?
Hopefully this will get us all thinking about happier places + happier times ahead once this crazy time passes…