Springtime at Walt Disney World: Why You Should Visit!

Springtime at Walt Disney World: Why You Should Visit!

Springtime at Walt Disney World

The Florida sunshine is simply gorgeous (and warm!) during springtime at Walt Disney World. Flowers, smiles, and magical experiences are blooming in every park and resort.

And as spring arrives, pastel colors explode! It’s a whimsical time to visit the Happiest Place on Earth.

Pink Cupcake at Contempo Cafe.

Stop by Contempo Café for delicious treats!

Also, springtime in Walt Disney World brings the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Spring Break, Easter, and the Star Wars Half Marathon. Plus, Mother’s Day and more!

Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival

Even before the official start of the season, Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival gets underway. I can’t wait to see what’s blooming next year!.

Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival - springtime flowers blooming near Space Ship Earth.

Find out what’s blooming at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

Here, you’ll want to dig into the tasty bites at the Outdoor Kitchens. Or listen to a concert. My favorite part of the festival? The stunning topiaries! This event is fun for all ages.

Minnie and Pluto Topiaries at the spring Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

You won’t want to miss the topiaries at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.

Spring Break Brings Crowds

Spring Break is a popular and thus crowded time to visit WDW; this makes the month of March very crowded. You’ll find springtime touring less chaotic from around the second week of April to mid-May. Of course, the timing of Easter is also a factor.

Still, Spring Break is a great time to visit Walt Disney World. If you’re traveling from a colder climate, you’ll really appreciate the warm, Florida sunshine. You can explore the theme parks day and night or opt to relax by your hotel pool. With so many things to see and do, this is a Spring Break location that promises fun for all ages.

Easter at Walt Disney World

Look for treats, eats, and customized baskets. Buy a pre-made basket or build your own! You’ll find Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny greeting guests in the Magic Kingdom. Look for other Easter activities at the resorts.

Purchase pre-made Easter Baskets at Walt Disney World.

Purchase pre-made Easter Baskets.

 

Cookies and Candy for your Easter Baskets at Walt Disney World.

Cookies and Candy for your Easter Baskets!

The sweet aroma will lure you into the Disney bakeries, including Main Street Confectionery.

Find Easter cookies at Candy Cauldron in Disney Springs during springtime at Walt Disney World.

Don’t pass up the seasonal cookies!

Don’t miss a smorgasbord of shopping, dining, and entertainment at Disney Springs.

Vera Bradley Bags at Disney Springs.

Vera Bradley bags are great for Easter and Mother’s Day gifts.

 

Spring Merchandise at Disney Springs.

Look for colorful merchandise.

Star Wars runDisney Event

Runners will want to start prepping for this event usually held in April. Get your race on!

Spring Activities at Walt Disney World

Picnic Tables at All-Star Music Resort.

Find a place to picnic. We love these outdoor tables at All-Star Music Resort.

  • Swimming at your resort pool.
  • Visit a water park.
  • Have an outdoor picnic.
  • Watch an outdoor movie.
  • Go fishing.
  • Sit by a campfire.
  • Watch your resort’s activity schedule for Easter festivities.
  • Rent a boat — cruise on a lagoon, go fishing, or take a fireworks cruise.
Kids playing outdoor activites at Polynesian Village Resort

Outdoor Activities at Polynesian Village Resort

Spring in  Walt Disney World is rejuvenating! Are you ready to say goodbye to winter hibernation, boots, and heavy coats?! If so, plan a weekend or week-long stay at the Walt Disney World resort in Central Florida.

Walt Disney World Date Ideas
Date Ideas for Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World

What’s your favorite time of the year to visit Walt Disney World? Do you have a favorite spring activity that you must do on every WDW trip?

Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World: Romance and Family Fun

Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World: Romance and Family Fun

Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World: Romance and Family Fun

Yes, that sometimes chaotic theme park in central Florida can be a romantic and fun option for the upcoming holiday. Let’s take a look at how you can enjoy Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World!

In your planning process, make sure to take the photographic tour of our favorite hotels for couples at WDW.

Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World

Opt for family fun, romance, or a combination of both vacation styles for your Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World. As you plan your special day, you’ll find temptations all around the resorts and parks. From red and white festive baked goods to holding hands in the Haunted Mansion, your theme park day is sure to be a memorable celebration.

Of course, you can splurge on special events, magical add-on experiences, or candlelit meals. Or you can keep it simple with a cupcake, balloon, and moonlit walk.

A pink Mickey balloon shimmers in front of Cinderella Castle.

Get your sweetheart a balloon.

Whether you tour with your loved one or the whole family, be sure to get PhotoPass pictures taken to commemorate your Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World on February 14th!

2018 Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World Details

Special Treats

As with all holidays and celebrations at WDW, the bakeries will showcase specialty treats. Mickey Mouse shaped cookies, Mickey Mouse Rice Krispy Treats, and an assortment of cupcakes will boast colorful sprinkles and frosting. And that’s just for starters. Take a look at these special treats found on a past Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World:

An example of the Valentine's Day Treats that you may find in Walt Disney World.

An example of the Valentine’s Day Treats that you may find in Walt Disney World.

If you plan to visit the Magic Kingdom, a visit to the Main Street Confectionery is a must for you and your sweetie(s).

You’ll find shopping, dining, and entertainment at Disney Springs. At Sprinkles, you’ll find new seasonal cupcakes — Raspberry Chocolate Chip or Red Hot Velvet. Or indulge in a scoops of  Cherry Vanilla ice cream now through February 28!

Romantic Restaurants at Walt Disney World

If you’re looking to impress, make an Advance Dining Reservation at the five-diamond Victoria & Albert’s restaurant at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.

Other fine dinner choices include the award-winning California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Narcoossee’s with its waterfront real estate at Disney’s Grand Floridan, the unique ambiance of Jiko at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, or the Pacific Northwest décor at Artist Point at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.

For in-park dining, consider Monsieur Paul and Chefs de France in Epcot, Tiffins in Animal Kingdom, Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

We loved our meal at The Boathouse at Disney Springs on a previous Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World!

The Boathouse Disney Springs Walt Disney World Valentine's Day Dinner

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Most restaurants will require booking 180 days in advance, especially for holiday dining. However, last minute cancellations do occur, so keep checking!

WDW Add-On Experiences

Valentine’s Day Spa Package

Created exclusively for Valentine’s Day in Walt Disney World, Senses – A Disney Spa has announced the “Part of Your World” package.

From February 10 – 18, 2018, the package includes a couple’s massage with apricot-infused body oil, a chocolate hand-hydration treatment, sparkling wine served in a chocolate champagne glass and a take-home, custom-blended bath salt.

$340 (plus tax) for 50 minutes and $450 (plus tax) for 80 minutes. A 20 percent gratuity is added automatically. Disney Vacation Club Members (DVC) will receive a 15 percent discount by calling Member Services.

To schedule, call (407) WDW-SPAS or (407) 939-7727.

Candy Apples dressed up for Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World.

Dressed up for Valentine’s Day.

Walt Disney World Date Ideas

  • Dine at Narcoossee’s, watch fireworks, then stop by Disney’s Grand Floridan Lobby to listen to the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra.
  • Stroll around the Boardwalk at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, sip on a cocktail at Belle Vue Lounge, and share an ice cream flight at Ample Hills Creamery.
  • Keep your eye out for seasonal flavors at the specialty shops at Disney Springs.
Valentine's Day Seasonal Flavors at Vivoli il Gelato in Disney Springs

Valentine’s Day Seasonal Flavors at Vivoli il Gelato in Disney Springs.

    • Take a moonlit walk outside and look for giraffes. Sit by a wood-burning fire and share roasted marshmallows. Wherever you roam at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you’ll find family fun and romance due to the exotic ambiance.
Iced Sugar Cookie Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World

Beautiful Valentine’s Day cookie treat!

  • From Port Orleans Riverside, take a horse-drawn carriage excursion. Reserve your extra-fee ride in advance by calling (407) WDW-PLAY. Afterwards, take the Sassagoula River boat to Disney Springs for more shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Don’t forget to get a treat at Goofy’s Candy Company!
  • Dine at a Disney Springs restaurant, then shop for sweets to share back at your resort.
  • Play mini-golf before heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Take the plunge together on Tower of Terror.
  • Go horseback riding at Disney’s Fort Wilderness, followed by a dinner and show at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue.
  • Look for Hidden Mickeys — every time you find one share a kiss.

Family Fun on Valentine’s Day

Most of the date ideas above can be customized for family fun. In addition, you may want to try these family-friendly options:

  • Guests ages 7 and up can learn archery at Fort Wilderness. Pick up supplies at the Meadow or Settlement Trading Post and have a picnic.
  • Visit a water park, then return to your hotel and sip hot chocolate.
  • Have each family member choose part of the day’s itinerary. One person can choose where to breakfast, another can pick the afternoon activity, and so on. Finish the day with an outdoor movie at your resort.
  • Speaking of movies, why not head to the AMC Disney Springs 24 Dine-In Theatres?!
  • Take the monorail or boat from the Magic Kingdom to the Grand Floridian, Polynesian Village, and Contemporary resorts. At each stop, choose a favorite or new-to-you snack. You’ll find Dole Whip at the Polynesian Village. Yum!
Valentine's Day Trivia at Fantasia Market in Disney's Contemporary Resort WDW

Valentine’s Day Trivia at Fantasia Market in Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

The options are endless. These are some ideas to inspire you to find your own special magic during Valentine’s Day at Walt Disney World.

Walt Disney World Date Ideas
Date Ideas for Valentine's Day at Walt Disney World

What’s your ideal date at Walt Disney World?

Disney Trips with Grandparents: Planning Tips for Memorable, Hassle-free Travels

Disney Trips with Grandparents: Planning Tips for Memorable, Hassle-free Travels

Disney Trips with Grandparents

Since our son was born, we have traveled to many locations where we took his grandparents with us or met up with them at our destination. With some advance planning, multi-generational travel can be fun for the whole family.

If your parents and/or in-laws enjoy traveling, then consider a Disney trip with grandparents. Yes, it’s a little extra work to make sure everyone’s idea of vacation is implemented, however the memories made will be priceless.

Disney Trips with Grandparents: Planning Tips

The Calendar

Once everyone is on board to make a multi-generational trip a reality, the first step is coordinating calendars. First, gather dates that are available for each member of your traveling party, see what dates are mutually convenient, and then price out your vacation.

Plan a Disney trip with grandparents.

Nic and Nana with Mickey. Plan the best time of year to visit WDW for your family!

You may want to travel when prices are lower or your first priority might be to share a holiday or enjoy a certain type of weather. Once you get this first stage of planning coordinated, everything else will begin to fall into place.

Springtime at WDW. Enjoy family touring at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival.

Visit WDW during the Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot.

Accommodations

Discuss the type of accommodations that are suitable for each traveling party as well as the price point that everyone is comfortable spending.

For a Disney cruise, you’ll want to decide on the type of stateroom desired and whether or not you want adjoining or connecting cabins.

Disney Dream at Castaway Cay

Decide which staterooms are best for everyone in your traveling party.

At Disney’s Hilton Head Island, we recommend reserving a two bedroom villa for a mixture of privacy and family togetherness.

Fun at Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort

Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort

Headed to Walt Disney World? You will have a large assortment of hotels to choose from. Will you camp? Stay in a cabin? Reserve rooms at a value, moderate, or deluxe resort? Or perhaps, you’d like to rent a condo off-site. There are also villas available from studios to multi-bedroom options at the Walt Disney World resorts.

Port Orleans French Quarter is a charming hotel at WDW.

Port Orleans French Quarter is a charming hotel – a great choice when visiting WDW with grandparents.

Getting There

Now you need a plan to get the family to your Disney destination. Each travel party should choose the type of travel (car, train, plane) that best suits their budget and travel preference.

Air Travel with Grandparents

Nic and Nana waiting to board airplane.

If you live in different cities, will you meet up and then continue on to your destination or meet up at your Disney locale? Either way, specify clear departure and arrival times and keep everyone posted if travel delays are encountered.

Itinerary

Before you leave home, you’ll want to have some idea of the preferred vacation desires of each traveler. Does Grandma want to shop when the ship docks in the first port of call? Is Grandpa wanting to fish or play golf? Perhaps the kids want to ride Dumbo with their grandparents followed by lunch at Be Our Guest. While compromises will have to be made, it’s important to try to accommodate varying vacation styles, likes, and dislikes.

Fishing Excursions are a fun activity with grandparents at Walt Disney World.

Take a Fishing Excursion at Walt Disney World.

And no one is immune to getting cranky when they are exhausted. You’ll enjoy more quality moments together if everyone is well rested. So, do allow down time for relaxing pursuits such as afternoon naps, hanging out at your resort, and poolside fun. It’s a vacation, not a marathon!

Enjoy relaxation at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Relaxing at the Wilderness Lodge.

Be flexible. If Grandpa and/or the parents need a rest, let them sit down in the shade while Nana takes the kids on a Disney ride. Parents want to do some shopping? Grandparents can watch the kids at the playground. The best part of a multi-generational trip is being able to spend time together and sometimes that means the kids alone with grandparents or the moms hanging out by the pool while the dads play horseshoes. There are countless special bonding opportunities!

Disney's Hilton Head Island is perfect for a getaway with extended family.

Grandpa, Dad, and Nic playing horseshoes at Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort.

Also, allow for everyone to have some alone time. This can be during an early morning, afternoon down time, or evening. Allow those travelers needing extra rest to sleep in and then meet up for lunch.

Rest time with grandparents at the Polynesian Resort in WDW.

Parents escape to shop while Nic is being entertained by grandparents during rest time at the Polynesian Resort.

Dining

Just like at home, dining encourages families to slow down and talk. It’s a time to bond with each other.

Bonding time with grandparents on a Disney cruise.

Nic escorts Grandma to dinner on the Disney Dream.

On a cruise ship, dinner can provide the opportunity for the family to meet and discuss the different activities that each family member enjoyed that day. Or maybe Grandma wants to hear about your latest school projects.

Enjoying a family dinner on a Disney cruise ship

Animator’s Palate on the Disney Dream.

When traveling with differing ages, you’ll also want to keep in mind a few things when planning reservations. Do you have picky eaters? Does anyone need to eat at a certain time? Any allergies or other dining considerations to be aware of? Ask — before you make reservations.

French Onion Soup at Les Chefs de France in Epcot at WDW

French Onion Soup at Les Chefs de France.

By taking into consideration these dining preferences, you’ll set up meals that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Photographs

Capture the memories. Now is the time to let the grandparents pose and smile with their grandkids or get group pictures. However, grandparents can also help take pictures of your family — since the photographer is usually missing from a lot of photos, let a grandparent take photographs of you, your spouse, and the children.

Capture your memories with the grandparents.

Pose for fun photographs!

Do not forget to get pictures of you with your parents!

Separation Plan

There will come a time when you think you are all together, and then… you’re not. Perhaps Grandpa and Dad stopped to look at old-fashioned fudge in the Main Street Confectionery and lost sight of the group. Or Mom stopped to take another picture and she’s been left behind. Whatever the reason, you’ve lost your group and having a plan will get you back on track.

Main Street Confectionery in the Magic Kingdom.

Main Street Confectionery in the Magic Kingdom.

Your plan should go beyond “text if we get separated” because sometimes a phone is left in a room or a battery dies. If you are in the Magic Kingdom, for example, you may want your contingency plan to be a meeting point such as in front of Crystal Palace Restaurant.

Don't forget to set up a meeting spot with grandparents when touring a Disney Park.

Crystal Palace Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.

A separation plan is for the whole family – kids, parents, and grandparents!

Try Something New

Experiencing a new restaurant, attraction, or activity together creates an instant bond and provides fun conversation for later in the vacation.

Try a new activity like karaoke on a Disney Cruise

Karaoke on the Disney Dream

Age is Relative

The kids are never too young or too old to enjoy time with grandparents. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Grandparent entertains child at WDW.

While the parents take a break, Grandpa plays with Nic at WDW. Hope his back didn’t hurt too much later that day!

Parents get a little break from parenting around the clock, grandparents get to spoil and create lasting bonds, and kids get to soak up the unconditional love from everyone. Plus, your offspring learn to respect their older counterparts and that age is relative; grandparents are fun too.

Buzz Lightyear is a fun ride to share with a grandparent.

Challenge Grandma to a spin on Buzz Lightyear.

Then those little ones become young adults before you know it. Sure, teens may go off on their own and meet up only for meals and a few designated activities, yet the conversations when everyone is together are sure to be interesting. And even the teens will remember the laughs they’ve had with their grandparents.

Take the grandparents -- Whispering Canyon Cafe is fun for all ages.

Whispering Canyon Cafe is fun for all ages.

Don’t forget that traveling with your own parents is a great way to reconnect, especially if you live in different cities/states.

Spend time with your extended family in WDW.

Kim and her Mom at Fort Wilderness.

Set Limits

If you are absolutely against your child staying in the parks without an afternoon nap break, set a limit. However, allow plenty of opportunities for the grandparents to spoil your kid(s) or to help out.

Mickey Ice Cream Bar

Nana spoils Nic with a Mickey Ice Cream Bar. Priceless moment!

On one day in the Magic Kingdom, our son was exhausted. Grandma gave him some sips of a soda and he perked right up. Now, did that lead any of us to start putting soft drinks in his sippy cup? Of course not. But it did solve an immediate issue without any dire consequences. And we still laugh about that memory that took place 15 years ago!

Child Tired at Walt Disney World

Time to refuel!

Would you ordinarily allow your kid to race down a hotel hallway? Probably not. But watching Grandpa push a stroller crazy fast down the empty (middle of the afternoon) hallway at the Polynesian Village was harmless fun that filled Grandpa and child with in-the-moment laughter. And still gives us giggles when we remember the fun that they had.

Nana or Grandma wants to buy your kid a stuffed animal or a cookie? Well, as long as your little loved one isn’t begging and taking advantage of the generous grandparent (and doesn’t have an allergy or dietary restriction), then let the grandparent have at it. A bag of spun sugar, a sweet confection, or another furry friend (that doesn’t poop) is not going to cause lasting harm.

Let the granparent spoil your child with a Mickey Cookie.

Mickey Gingerbread Cookies are delicious!

Discuss non-negotiables and then let vacation happen! It’s the spontaneous moments that are usually the most prized.

Celebrate Milestones

While traveling with extended family, celebrate milestones. A graduation, birthday, retirement, and other special occasions become even more memorable when acknowledging them during a vacation.

Wishes Fireworks Birthday Cruise

Wishes Fireworks Birthday Cruise

Packing

Don’t forget to pack items that will make your travels easier. Good walking shoes, some moleskin, rain ponchos, and a bag for the stuff you want to haul to the parks are essential. Grandparents will appreciate your preparedness.

Planning your next Disney getaway? Don’t forget to invite the grandparents!

What are your tips for traveling with grandparents? Contact Us, Follow Us on Twitter, or comment below to share your travel tips.