Ok. So I know what you are thinking. How is this even possible? How is this even fun? Is it even worth heading to Orlando if we are not experiencing Magic Kingdom, or the excitement of Epcot? Moms. Let’s talk. Let me fill you in on some great tips for all you mouse lovers! Let me give you a quick background on why this was even a “thing” for my family.
My husband and I decided, or maybe it was me..the day we take our son to DISNEY, as in really DO Disney, the stars would be super aligned…low park attendance and great weather. Wishful thinking? Perhaps, but in any case, we chose to wait until he is a little older to head to the parks for the first time. I’m talking matching family t-shirts…the photo memory maker, a trip to Goofy’s Candy store for a candy apple..the whole nine.
Ok, so fast forward, here we are and he is three years old, and definitely into Mickey Mouse and his Fab 5. We want to take our little man to see his favorite friends. We decided to head to Orlando of course. Disney, here we come!
Here is my countdown to doing Disney for a fun-filled and relaxing weekend without actually stepping foot into the parks.
Book Mickey’s Backyard BBQ – This is a delicious all-you-can-eat BBQ buffet. It features a live country-western band AND Disney characters. Yes, you read that correctly. You get to not only just get an autograph with your kid’s beloved character, but they get to dance and do-si-do the whole time rubbing elbows with Minnie, Pluto and more! We loved how they had reserved seating, and the live band was pretty entertaining too. We also enjoyed that it outside yet covered under the pavilion. The photo opps with our son from this night were terrific and candid which I loved. Who knew Mickey could cut a rug? Need an early seating for your little ones? With early show options, they got you covered. It was just such a fun night and I highly recommend it. Did I mention there is unlimited sangria for the parents? Win. Win. You just reserve this through your dining reservations and you are on your way.
Take a ride in the Minnie-Van – This is available through the Lyft App, and it’s a MUST-DO! You get picked up by this cute little van – Minnie style! It is only available when you are on Disney property and it’s as adorable as you can imagine. Our son lit up every time, we told him we were waiting for our Minnie-Van to arrive. The best part is the vans are actually driven by Disney cast members and they give you plenty of inside tips and info. You can also choose your music and it’s connected to the various parks and so that was definitely cute. The whimsical car ride over to our destinations certainly made us feel like we were Disney VIP’s.
Character breakfast at Chef Mickey – Head on over to the Contemporary Resort and come hungry! This resort itself is pretty spectacular, and our son absolutely loved watching the monorail come and go from the station. Let’s talk the famous breakfast here though. One word for you …reservations! I have heard people say they book this 6 months out, and we were lucky enough to book it a week before we left. I still highly recommend you get a reservation. The reason we loved this so much is the food was actually really good, but you can sit and relax and the characters actually come to your table. So, no long lines to meet a character while standing in the sun at the parks. We got those “kodak” moments while we were relaxing and sipping on our hot coffee. Ch-EARS! Yay to not chasing down Mickey Mouse! Insider tip: Be there as they are switching from breakfast to lunch and you get a little of BOTH!
We actually hopped on the monorail after breakfast and our son was elated. Toddlers and trains is life! We got to experience beautiful views and even pointed out the castle in the distance that we will one day go to.
So there you have it, these were just a few highlights of our park-free Disney weekend. There are so many more things you can choose to do. Comment below and let me know some of your non park experiences too!