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-   -   What Do You Make For Your Vacation? (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2179996)

GOOFY4DONALD 05-18-2009 01:49 PM

What Do You Make For Your Vacation?
 
I am officially an addict. I have looked in the phone book but there are no 12 step programs for this. So instead of fighting it I will embrace it. We are leaving on a Saturday so when all 3 kids come home from school I am planning a huge surprise of all the goodies taht I made throughout the year for them to pack, for the trip. I am planning my t-shirts (7 for each family member). I also am looking into a dining punch card and canvas tote bags for my girls. But I am curious what does everone else make and take with them? This is the best way to pass the time before the trip (not like I don't do anything else ;))

Catira 05-18-2009 03:34 PM

Welcome to the Addicts Club. I have now made several shirts as well as pillow cases for our June Trip. Today, I stopped at Walmart to buy a clip-on attachment for my backpack.. I want to punch a hole in my photo pass card so I can attach it to the backpack or my pant's loop. Much easier than searching through the backpack. Always on the lookout for disney trinkets.. buy my kiddos are 10 and 14 so it's getting a bit harder. I also ordered online Disney Kooky Pen, it also attaches to a bag. Need to have everything ready for our autographs.
Have a wonderful vacation!:wizard:

Twoboysnmygirl 05-18-2009 03:53 PM

I have no idea what you are talking about. :rolleyes1

:rotfl:

We are a grand gathering of 8 going in October and I have at LEAST 6 shirts for each of us (some have more!) :laughing:

I also made placemats with everyone's name (Kelly's designs!) b/c we are staying offsite and thought it would add some Disney to the house. I haven't made any pillow cases...but I still have 5 months! LOL

I have a huge box (ok, two now.) full of stuff I'm collecting for the trip...poncho's, autograph books, pins, shirts, beach towels, halloween costumes... everyone I know thinks I'm nuts and they're probably right, but I'm having fun, that's all that matters. :goodvibes

noahdove 05-18-2009 05:35 PM

I make and fill before I go: mousekeeping envelopes and also tip envelopes for my TS. I also make invitations for breakfast/dinner or BBB and sometimes I make matching envelopes for the invites. I also make little notes to leave on the pillows after we have our afternoon break. These little notes are from Goofy, Minnie, Mickey etc. I also, have a lime green Mickey head on my backpack with my disname on it:) Have an awesome trip:)

jtanddolly 05-18-2009 11:33 PM

I loooove all of the things that I found on this site to make and made my husband tell me that I spent waaaaay to much time getting ready for our Disney trip...BUT after the trip was over, he thanked me for making it so special for our family.

First, start off with the travel backpack and fill it will all things Disney or travel games. For just $10 you can fill up a backpack at most dollar stores. You can find...playing cards, puzzles, crossword puzzles, coloring books, crayons, pencils, games, squeeze bottles/drink cups...the list goes on. Keep your eyes open and look in the game isle and the office supplies. Then add a luggage tag to the outside of the backpack. Also, www.momsminivan.com is a great place to find travel hints and free printable games like travel bingo, travel battleship, etc. and a loong list of games to entertain kids with while you travel. Scroll through this thread to get ideas and see a picture of one mom's travel backpacks...I think on the second page: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....2005108&page=2

Next let me say that there are a TON of AMAZING designers out there!!! I love Kellybells things, Bababear (Mel's) cruise DISigns, and all of the DISigners I listed below. I know that I will leave out names of great DISigners...these are just the things that I found and used before our trip last December.

Of course just about everyone makes t-shirts so I won't spend any time on them...the list is endless for DISigners that make t-shirt art.

For younger kids that ask every day or even hour...how many more days before we leave...make a countdown calendar or countdown links (like the christmas chain that you make with paper links and take one off leaving the number of days left in links). Mel (Bababear) makes cute links that you can print out with disney characters on them. Look in this thread:
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2018621

I loved making invitations....Natalie has TONS of amazing ones in her shared file that you can add a textbox over using MS Word and put your familie's name or a child's name for special events like Bippity Boppity Boo Make Over or character meals. I slid them under the door each night and my dad was soooo impressed with our concierge. I never told him it was me. :)

Natalie's shared file: http://www.4shared.com/dir/5978989/a...s_DISigns.html

Examples of invites:

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/p...s/IMG_0239.jpg

Wendypooh also makes great invites: http://www.4shared.com/account/dir/1...ng.html?rnd=41

You can also make Welcome Letters to hang on your hotel room door. It was fun listening to people walk by and make comments. One husband walked by and asked his wife why they didn't have anything on their door. :) Again you can find them in Natalie's thread.

I also made "you've been so good treats" that were left on pillows for everyone in the family to find when we got back from a GREAT day at the World. These can also be found in Natalie's shared file under "Gift Tags".

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/p...s/IMG_0237.jpg

For the treats themselves you can make gum wrappers, candy bar wrappers, nugget wrappers,life saver wrappers, mint tin covers...all made by wonderful designers and some of them make the candy look like characters themselves. You don't have to give big treats...just a small piece of candy with the letter will make anyone in your family smile. I made a lot of Telynn's and you can find them in this thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread....ghlight=nugget

Here is an example:

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/p...s/IMG_0235.jpg

You can find more candy treat ideas in Mel’s Candy Pockets thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1980430

I also looove the "Pressed Penny Tube Labels" for M&M tubes. You give them to your children with quarters and pennies inside so they can make press pennies as they find machines all over the park. There is actually a website that lists where the machines are and what the picture is that they make. Then you can use them in scrapbooks or even make bracelets with them for girls. Natalie also makes these...is this beginning to sound like a Natalie advertisement...just check out everything in her shared file!

You can make journals for your kids so that they can write in them at the end of the day so that they can have a record of the wonderful memories. Again...Natalie or you can download a simple one at:
http://www.themouseforless.com/downl.../journal.shtml

I loooved my autograph book! Penny (Chaoscent) has the most wonderful pages. http://s226.photobucket.com/albums/d...1Cent/?start=0
I'm also a fan of LJCollins pages: http://s345.photobucket.com/albums/p379/ljcollins_2008/
If you want to make cards that don't use a TON of ink...Natalie has some great ones.

Example of cards I made:

http://i415.photobucket.com/albums/p...s/IMG_0167.jpg

If you don't want to carry around a photograph book or you want something fun to have signed at character meals...you can make autograph pillowcases.

Natalie has some great Epcot Passports that you can make for your family in her file....you just need to check out her stuff. :goodvibes

What am I forgetting???

If you ever go on a Disney cruise you will need to make magnets for your door and you absolutely need to make or buy a fish extender and participate in a gift exchange!

Link to Fish Extender thread...read to find out what it is and how it works: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1219607

Here is a "Website List" that I made for a travel lecture that I did for a MOPS group. Hope this isn't too much but thought it might help someone that comes across this thread and is just starting out:

DISNEY WEBSITES

www.disney.go.com this is Disney’s official website. Take the time to register on this site to receive emails about updates and travel discounts https://disney.go.com/destinations the last email I received from them offered a free Disney dining plan when you purchased a 5 night/6 day vacation at select Disney Resorts for a family of four (based on 2 adults, 1 junior and 1 child) for a total package of $1390 (a savings of $654). This is a great deal because it includes hotel, park tickets (one park per day…these are not park hopper tickets) and all of your food if you work your dining plan! All you have to pay for in addition is travel and souvenirs.

www.disboards.com this is a great resource and specifically is a discussion forum to find out a variety of things about any of the Disney Parks like “theme park ideas and strategies”, Resorts…the good, bad and ugly, “budget board” gives advice from people that have been on how to do things inexpensively, there are tips for families, a link for teens and college age kids, help if you are traveling with someone that has disabilities, camping at Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and the list goes on! There is no better reference place to find Disney information online because it isn’t Disney putting the information online it is families like yours and mine!

www.disneyshopping.go.com look at Disney’s online shopping to find good deals. I found many t-shirts for $4.99. This is about the same price it will cost you to make t-shirts. If you purchase $85 worth of t-shirts for your family, you can get shipping for $5 when you put in the code: SHIPTODAY (if the code still works)
Also, look for specials. There was an additional 25% off already reduced prices the day that I looked with code: EXTRA25 this made the shirts with our tax $4.06. At the parks for around $100 you will probably get 5-7 t-shirts but by purchasing them early you can get 15-20 t-shirts for under $100. Or you can make t-shirts for around $5 a shirt and they will be more personalized than buying them!

www.amymickey.com If you want to make t-shirts, this is the best t-shirt transfer paper that I have found! I recommend using 100% cotton t-shirts when making them and don’t overheat your iron. This is a dark transfer paper that you have to order online.

www.themouseforless.com has lots of great ideas for saving money on your Disney trip and printables.
Freebies to collect & do: http://themouseforless.com/downloads...Freebies.shtml

www.mousesavers.com has lots of discounts and deals for hotels, rental cars, tickets, recipes, etc.
free downloads: http://www.mousesavers.com/free.html
list of free and cheap stuff including places to eat for $10 http://www.mousesavers.com/freestuff.html

Just a Few of the Disney Freebies You Can Find Online:

1. A Lanyard Full of Charms that Kids can Decorate Themselves: Sharpie sponsors the 6 Kidcot stations in Future World. You can pick up a lanyard (necklace) at any of them. Visit them all to collect the different charms with fun themes like Kim Possible. Color them to make them unique. Locations: All stations are located in Future World (they still have this as my neice did this in January)

2. Personalized Plastic Robot: This is very cool! First you build your own virtual robot and race it against other guests’ robots using the properties of plastic to give you an edge. Then you choose the parts and colors you like and create your own real plastic robot to take home with you. This robot stands about 7 inches tall - with moveable limbs! Locations: In Future World’s “Innoventions East” at “Fantastic Plastic Works” (they may no longer do this...but look on line to find new wonderful free things!)

3. Chef’s Hat & Toll House Cookie: Nestle sponsors the Junior Chef Program where kids learn to follow a recipe and bake real Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies. When they're fully baked, they get to sample the cookies they made. And - if that’s not enough – they also get to keep their chef’s hat! Note: This program is available for children aged 3-10. They must sign-up for this in advance and book a time. The groups are very small so get there early. Location: In Future World’s “The Land” on the lower level near “Living with the Land.” (they may no longer do this...but look on line to find new wonderful free things!)

4. Need a Drink to Go with that Free Cookie? How about free soda? This chill zone called “Club Cool” is sponsored by Coca Cola and features samples of beverages they sell around the world. It’s self-served and you can drink as much as you like. Some are yummy and refreshing. Others are … well – find out for yourself! Location: In Future World past the Epcot Character Spot.

5. A Mask with Charms to Attach and Decorate: Pick up a mask at any country in the World Showcase, and then add a different charm at each additional country you visit. Spend some time and personalize the mask and charms with the Sharpie markers that are provided. At the China pavilion, you can learn your birth sign (according to the Chinese calendar) and how to write your name in Chinese. Tip: If you collect all 11 charms, you get a special bonus! Location: In the World Showcase.

6. Wake Up Tink: When Magic Kingdom opens, the first child in “Tinker Bell’s Fantasy Shop” is given a magic wand to wake up Tinker Bell.

7. Collect a Monorail Co-Pilot Card: They will allow four people to sit up front with the captain on each ride…all you have to do is get there a little bit early and ask.

www.allears.net an unofficial website for a complete planning guide

www.wdwinfo.com planning resource

www.intercot.com vacation planning guide

www.************** employee information about Disney

www.mouseplanet.com resource for all things Disney

www.disney-stationary.com another website with fun printables

www.disneylies.com Walt Disney, the Disneyland resort, and Disney films lies, unsubstantiated rumors, ridiculous half-truths, bad information, and just plain made up stuff. The "snopes" for disney.

http://www.hiddenmickeys.org/HiddenMickeyDisney.html information on hidden Mickeys

http://www.allearsnet.com/btp/pennylist.htm this websites list all of the pressed penny machines at WDW and what they press. Once at Disney you can buy “Pressed Penny Passports” to collect all of your pressed pennies in. They are $6.95 and hold 48+ Pennies, 9 pressed quarters and
come with different characters on them.

www.disneyclips.com www.disney-clipart.com
just a few of the great websites to find clipart if you want to design something of your own!

http://www.disboards.com/forumdisplay.php?f=105 this is a creative thread to request items for personalization and find ideas for things you can make for Disney trips (or Disney related birthday parties) like scrapbooks, t-shirts, autograph books, candy wrappers, photo enhancements, meal invitations…the list is endless. Take some time and look through the threads. You will be amazed by all of the wonderful things you will find! Below is a just a few of the MANY DISigners on www.disboards.com under the link to “Creative DISigns”:

NOT ALL OF THESE DISIGNERES ARE CURRENTLY PERSONALIZING THEIR THINGS. BUT DON'T LET THAT STOP YOU. OFTEN THEN WILL ALREADY HAVE YOUR CHILD'S NAME SAVED IN THEIR THINGS OR THEY WILL HAVE A BLANK THAT YOU CAN USE TO PERSONALIZE IT YOURSELF. HERE IS A LINK FOR HOW TO DO THIS IN WORD: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2179996

Natalie (goes by Donatalie on the boards) http://www.4shared.com/dir/5978989/a...s_DISigns.html

• Invitations
• Autograph Books – simpler design
• Activity Books
• Journal
• Mousekeeping Envelopes
• Pillowcase Designs
• Stroller Tags
• And so much more…


Penny (goes by Chaoscent on the boards) http://s226.photobucket.com/albums/d...1Cent/?start=0
Thread for autograph pages: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1640251
• Amazing autograph pages and so much more

Kellybell http://s10.photobucket.com/albums/a110/Kellybell_/
Thread for name t-shirts: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1966574
• T-Shirts and so much more

Mel (goes by Bababear on the boards) http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1980430
• Candy Pockets & Bag Toppers…she has other great threads as well for cruise things like door magnets and other cruise art.

Telynn http://www.4shared.com/dir/6658211/c...2/sharing.html
• Great Candy Wrappers

LJCollins http://s345.photobucket.com/albums/p379/ljcollins_2008/
• More GREAT Autograph Pages and other things as well.


Planning Journal: here are a few links where you can find pages to help create your own planning journal.
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2114031
http://s645.photobucket.com/albums/u...rva/Calenders/
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2116437
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2120522


The Mouse for Less
http://www.themouseforless.com/downloads.shtml

If you don’t have time to spend on DISBoards looking for all the wonderful things to make…here they are at your fingertips. They are not quite as creative as the things on the DISBoards but they will be loved by your kids just the same!


Calendars
• Desktop Calendar - Disney Themed
• Desktop Wallpaper - Disney themed
• Photo Calendars - Disney Themed - Printable For The Kids
• Disney Homework Pages
• School Excuse Letter
• Kids Travel ID
• Chainlink Countdown
• Kids Travel Journal
• Word Search Puzzles
• Trivia Questions
• Walt Disney World Character Find List
• Autograph Pages
• Autograph Book For Your Trip
• Cast Member Appreciation Certificates
• Character List - Walt Disney World
• Disney Luggage Tags
• Freebies to collect/do on your trip
• Gratuity Envelopes
• MFL Community Information Card
• MFL Pocket Guides
• Mousekeeping Envelopes
• Pin Pixies
• Planning Kit - Walt Disney World
• Stroller Tags
• Travel Journal - Adult Trivia Questions - Walt Disney World
• Trivia Questions - Disneyland
• Ultimate Packing List
• Ultimate Packing List for Cruises
• Word Search Puzzles Just For Fun
• MFL Logo Transfers
• Learning All About Disney



Book Recommendations

Walt Disney World with Kids is the book that I had and loved it!

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World my sister and a good friend have this book and love it! If you are interested in rides more than anything else…this is the book for you! It gives you times to get in lines for the best rides or when to get fast passes for them so that you never have to wait in long lines. It also gives a lot of other great information including how to save money. ($10.69 on Amazon)

The Ultimate Disney World Savings Guide http://www.**************/guide.html?hop=bayoudes
This book is supposed to help you save thousands of dollars at Disney. I didn’t find this until after I went so I haven’t purchased it and can’t personally recommend…but the “www.momsminivan.com” website does. What one family spent $5,500 on…with the author’s advice another spent $2,700 for the exact same trip. (this is an online ebook $29.95 that you can read online or print out yourself.) It was written by a former employee of Disney World.

Hidden Mickeys, 2nd Edition : A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best Kept Secrets (Paperback) I haven’t read this book but it is recommended on several websites ($4.79 on Amazon)

I did not like Frommer's Travel Book on Disney..

jtanddolly 05-18-2009 11:49 PM

Sorry that was sooooo long...I bet you are wondering why you asked. :goodvibes

GOOFY4DONALD 05-19-2009 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtanddolly (Post 31887802)
Sorry that was sooooo long...I bet you are wondering why you asked. :goodvibes

This is GREAT thank you so much!!!!

jtanddolly 05-19-2009 12:27 PM

Just remembered a new favorite that I found...Disney Dollars

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1756989

Make a chore chart for each child and at the end of the week give them "Disney Dollars" to keep in a Disney money envelope (look for DISigners that make these on this site). The "Disney Dollars" represent the money that they have earned and can spend while at the World. It is fun for them to collect and if they loose them...there is no real money lost before the trip. Then right before you go, count and collect the Disney Dollars and trade out for the real thing that you keep in your backpack/purse for spending money while at the World with a personalized disney money envelope. That way each child's money is secure and you can quickly tell each one how much they have left to spend.

If they are like the children in my extended family...they got so much stuff that I made from this site they really didn't spend a lot at Disney because they already had so many GREAT t-shirts and treats.

I sort of mentioned this earlier, but donít forget to make luggage tags for everyone traveling in your family or group!

CdnDisneyLover 05-19-2009 12:52 PM

Thank you so much Dolly for all of the information!!! I have bookmarked it.

THANK YOU:worship:

jtanddolly 05-19-2009 01:36 PM

I was looking in my "disney" box putting new stuff in for our next trip...working on a cruise :goodvibes and came across one more idea. We made name tags that we hung off of lanyards for everyone in our group with contact numbers on the back. i.e. everyone's cell phone #, resort #, etc. That way if anyone got lost and lost their cell phone they would have all the numbers to track down everyone else. It was also great for the kids in case they were lost from the group...heaven forbid!!! But if they did and went to a disney employee for help like they were told...the employee would have every possible number to contact a family member.

chaoscent 05-19-2009 04:37 PM

Dolly, thanks for the kind words and putting everything together. this is really an extensive listing of all that people can do. :goodvibes

tmdart 05-19-2009 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtanddolly (Post 31887802)
Sorry that was sooooo long...I bet you are wondering why you asked. :goodvibes

Thanks for the info:thumbsup2
Will have to look over your post and get some good ideas off of it:thumbsup2

bababear_50 05-19-2009 10:20 PM

Oh My Gosh Miss Molly Dolly
:worship:
What an excellent planner you are!!
Hugs to you!
My grandaughter is going to appreciate this thread.

Thanks for sharing :goodvibes
Hugs Mel

bababear_50 05-19-2009 10:47 PM

I know Mcraft17 is away at school right now but her
envelopes are fantastic--thought I'd post a link to her thread,,
Hopefully all is going well in school and we miss you!

Hugs Mel

http://www.disboards.com/showthread....ping+envelopes

jtanddolly 05-20-2009 07:47 AM

Just when you think there isn't anything else she can post...I'm back. :goodvibes

Make a planning journal to keep yourself organized!!! Here are some links to a few threads:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2114031

http://s645.photobucket.com/albums/u...rva/Calenders/

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2116437

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2120522

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2115381

if you are going to make all of this stuff...you have to be organized :)

Here is a list of "free things" to do while you are at Disney to add to your organizer:

Free Things To Do
• A Lanyard Full of Charms that Kids can Decorate Themselves: Sharpie sponsors the 6 Kidcot stations in Future World. You can pick up a lanyard (necklace) at any of them. Visit them all to collect the different charms with fun themes like Kim Possible. Color them to make them unique.
Locations: All stations are located in Future World:
1. Innoventions East – near the entrance
2. Innoventions West – near the entrance
3. The Seas with Nemo and Friends – lower level
4. The Land – on the top level near “The Circle of Life”
5. Test Track – in the gift shop after you exit the ride
6. Imagination! – after the ride
• Personalized Plastic Robot: This is very cool! First you build your own virtual robot and race it against other guests’ robots using the properties of plastic to give you an edge. Then you choose the parts and colors you like and create your own real plastic robot to take home with you. This robot stands about 7 inches tall - with moveable limbs!
Location: In Future World’s “Innoventions East” at “Fantastic Plastic Works”
(they may no longer do this...but look on line to find new wonderful free things!)
• Chef’s Hat & Toll House Cookie: Nestle sponsors the Junior Chef Program where kids learn to follow a recipe and bake real Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies. When they're fully baked, they get to sample the cookies they made. And - if that’s not enough – they also get to keep their chef’s hat! Note: This program is available for children aged 3-10. They must sign-up for this in advance and book a time. The groups are very small so get there early.
Location: In Future World’s “The Land” on the lower level near “Living with the Land.”
(they may no longer do this...but look on line to find new wonderful free things!)
• Need a Drink to Go with that Free Cookie? How about free soda? This chill zone called “Club Cool” is sponsored by Coca Cola and features samples of beverages they sell around the world. It’s self-served and you can drink as much as you like. Some are yummy and refreshing. Others are … well – find out for yourself!
Location: In Future World past the Epcot Character Spot.
• A Mask with Charms to Attach and Decorate: Pick up a mask at any country in the World Showcase, and then add a different charm at each additional country you visit. Spend some time and personalize the mask and charms with the Sharpie markers that are provided. At the China pavilion, you can learn your birth sign (according to the Chinese calendar) and how to write your name in Chinese. Tip: If you collect all 11 charms, you get a special bonus!
Location: In the World Showcase.
• Collect autographs instead of pins.
• Collect a Monorail Co-Pilot Card: They will allow four people to sit up front with the captain on each ride…all you have to do is get there a little bit early and ask.
• Collect stickers from Cast Members
• Collect pressed pennies. They aren’t free but they are only 51 cents, which is a lot cheaper than pin collecting.
• Collect swizzle sticks that they give out at some restaurants.
• Pick up a free birthday button at the entrance to each park if it’s your birthday.
• Ask the front desk at your resort what “free” things there are to do: for example at the Wilderness Lodge, one family gets to raise the flag each morning.
• Investigate special kids' programs at your Disney resort hotel. The Deluxe resorts usually have kids' recreation programs such as coloring, crafts, pool games, Hidden Mickey searches, and storytelling at various times. Cost: FREE to guests of the hotel.
• At Downtown Disney kids can play in interactive fountains or build legos for free at the Lego store
• Check out the FREE magic demonstrations at the Magic Masters shop -- learn a card trick!
• If you're looking for a fun photo opportunity, consider visiting the All Star resorts or Pop Century. These hotels feature enormous "pop culture" icons. Take a family photo in front of a 35-foot Buzz Lightyear!
• Several of the resorts, including Animal Kingdom Lodge, Wilderness Lodge, Grand Floridian, and Yacht Club, offer FREE tours that are open to any Disney resort guest (whether you are staying at that particular hotel or not). Some of the tours require a reservation, so inquire in advance.
• Sing around the campfire and watch a FREE Disney movie. The campfire program at Ft. Wilderness is open to all Walt Disney World resort guests. It is held every evening, at about 7:00 pm in fall and winter and about 8:00 pm in spring and summer, near the Meadow Trading Post. The program starts with a sing-a-long and marshmallow roast. You can bring your own food or buy it from the Chuckwagon, which sells S'more kits for about $9 (makes enough for about 4 people) and also offers other food such as pizza and hot dogs. Chip and Dale meet the guests and sign autographs. Then a Disney movie is shown on a large outdoor screen. There is some seating on bleachers and benches, or you can lay out a blanket. No reservations necessary -- just show up. Cost: FREE to all Disney resort guests.
• A similar outdoor campfire and movie program is offered at Beach Club Resort. There is a campfire sing-along on the beach, followed by a Disney movie. (No characters attend this one.) Ask at the front desk for a schedule. S'more kits that make enough for about 4 people are sold for about $9. No reservations necessary -- just show up. Cost: FREE to all Disney resort guests.
• Port Orleans-Riverside offers a seasonal "Campfire on de' Bayou" with stories and sing-alongs around a fire at the Ol' Man Island Fishin' Hole. (No characters attend this one.) It usually runs in the winter, from Halloween through sometime in March, and only a couple of nights a week (most recently, Sunday and Thursday), weather permitting. Ask at the front desk for a schedule. S'more kits that make enough for about 4 people are sold for about $9. No reservations necessary -- just show up. Cost: FREE to all Disney resort guests.
• Take a stroll. There are lovely walkways or nature trails around almost all of the resorts. A great time for visiting the resorts is Christmas when they have their decorations up.
o At night you can wander along the Polynesian's beach, sit in a cabana and watch the Electrical Water Pageant and the fireworks over the Magic Kingdom. Walk through the tiki-torchlit gardens between the Great Ceremonial House and the beach. It's all very romantic. (Please keep in mind that the beach and particularly the cabanas are primarily intended for guests of the Polynesian, though there is nothing to prevent the general public from using them.)
o Watch the Wishes Fireworks from the Grand Floridian boat dock. Narcoossees restaurant is nearby and receives the audio soundtrack from the Magic Kingdom, so you can enjoy the fireworks synchronized to the music. There's a little bit of delay due to the distance, but it still works. Seeing the fireworks reflect off of the lake is beautiful.
o From the Boardwalk, meander up to the back gate of Epcot, or over to Disney's Hollywood Studios around closing time and enjoy the music and perhaps a glimpse of IllumiNations or Fantasmic!. The bridge that goes over to the Swan and Dolphin sometimes has nice views at that time.
o During the day, explore the woods from the Wilderness Lodge to Ft. Wilderness.
o Stroll from the Grand Floridian to the Wedding Pavilion and poke your head in. (Unless there's a wedding in progress, of course!)
o At Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can walk out to the viewing areas and see the exotic African animals roaming free. Note that the animals come out around dusk -- you won't see any during the day. (Please keep in mind that hotel guests' rooms open right out onto the viewing areas, so quiet is very much appreciated.)
o Visit the Butterfly Garden located behind Acadian House in Port Orleans Riverside's Magnolia Bend section.
• Watch the Electrical Water Pageant. This floating parade is visible nightly, usually starting at 9:00, from Disney's Magic Kingdom-area resort hotel docks and beaches. The pageant takes about an hour to move slowly around the lake, stopping at each resort in order: Polynesian, Grand Floridian, Wilderness Lodge, Ft. Wilderness and Contemporary. Cost: FREE.
• Make the rounds of the Disney resorts and collect something! You can make your own scavenger hunt for little or nothing
• Find “Hidden Mickeys”


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