5 Reason Why Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Great for All Ages: Young and Old

I often get asked “Which Disney Park Do I Like the Best? Which one should I go to, I only have one day!” These questions are hard to answer but I LOVE BEING asked them. I love talking about the Mouse!

Disney Word in Orlando, Florida is a fantastic place filled with theme parks and amazing opportunities to create family memories and have lots of family fun. It is so hard to chose which park is the best, which ones are worth scheduling the most time for, and making sure you hit all the must stops. I am writing this to hopefully help you make your decision easier.

Animal Kingdom Resort is an amazing place where, in true Disney style, everyone somehow feels the same age. It is my 2nd overall favorite park but #1 suggestion on THE park to go to together, as a family. Although the span of my family reaches over 50 years to 2 years of age in difference, I love how Disney’s Animal Kingdom can make an experience for ALL. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, 7 people have something to do for everyone under the sun. For the babies, parents, and grandparents: Disney has something for the roller coaster rider, the learner, the nature conservative, the musician, and even those in a wheel chair. Here are 5 amazing reasons why I think Disney’s Animal
Kingdom is a park for the whole family.

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1. They have musicals and dramatic shows for the non walker but they are also captivating enough for the toddler. We enjoyed watching the Lion King Show, which has been open for years, though the younger kids that are seeing it for the first time. (Go Warthog Section!)

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2. The “Kilimanjaro Safaris” ride was made for all ages. All ages can find enjoyment of seeing exotic animals and a bumpy ride. Almost every age can go on this ride. Hold onto your lap child tightly and expect a ride that sways back and forth and where you can feel wind through your hair. Take a train to learn more about other animals at Rafikis Planet Watch.

 3. They have one of the most wildest, crazy roller coasters for those in between ages that love to ride the wild rides. The “Dinosaur” ride is a bumpy one but for any above 40 inches that love adventure. There is an opportunity to discus dinosaurs, types, artifacts, and possibly teeth in the Dinoland USA section of Animal Kingdom. 

 4. Diverse food carts from the different countries to pizza, everyone can find something to eat. Family can gather around rice or pizza. Even your mouth can have an adventure. 

 5. Micky and Minnie are still there. They usually have shorter lines for a meet and greet. It is possible for the whole family to stay in line and experience characters together but at the Animal Kingdom I feel less rushed and can enjoy Mickey and Minnie a little more for group shots.

Let’s be honest, Disney always has something for everyone. When you mix in rarely seen animals with some Disney Magic, it seems to me that memories are for the taking. Next time you are visiting Disney World with the family consider Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Any place I go with my family is an adventure, Animal Kingdom just brings that adventure to real life.

5 Tips to be Water Safe at a Water Park with Kids

We recently visited Moreys Pier Raging Waters water park. Our entrance to the water park was comped but as always these are my own thoughts and opinions.IMG_0310

I decided to try taking Zoey (almost 2) to a Water Park this summer. She is growing up fast and experiencing fun things, like a water park, is a joy. I figured the best place to take her was Raging Waters at Moreys Pier, a water park that I know pretty well. I pretty much grew up in this area and hadn’t been to the water park in years. I wasn’t sure about taking on the task of taking a toddler to the water park. Zoey seems to be unstoppable. She wants to discover everything. Would I be able to keep up? Would it be worth it? Would she even have fun? I just wasn’t sure. Would there be enough for her to do for the day while the others slide and enjoy the water park? Moms ask me these kinds of questions online all of the time. I am glad I finally have answers.

This video might answer that question!

The issue of water safety comes up a lot too. Zoey doesn’t know how to swim yet. This is something I get asked about a lot from visitors to the wildwood area. “Why do the lifeguards move their head up and down?” “How does staffing work?” “Do they rotate?” These are just some of the top 10 most repeated questions I get asked as a local by a tourist vacationing in the place I call home. Water Safety seems to be a concern for those visiting. The more I was researching Raging Waters in preparation to our day at the water park the less nervous I became. Just last year Moreys won a water safety award. I know they take safety seriously but I know it is more than just water safety on your mind.IMG_1225

I made notes of the measures Morey’s Piers takes on safety. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of Morey’s Piers Water Park with any age kids all while staying safe.

  • 1: Moreys Piers Raging Waters lends Life Jackets at no charge to all guests. They have them appropriately spread throughout the park and available in many sizes.
  • 2: You can rent a Cabana in advance. Occasionally, Cabanas are available that day. The dinging of the bell is a good time to remember to check in with your older kids.IMG_0997
  • 3: Moreys piers has rider accurate height with right tube per weight stipulations. I am impressed with life guards enforcing rules of correct tube usage and keeping order on the slides.

IMG_1014Here are a few tips from me:

  • 4: Take a picture of your child in their bathing suit when arriving- Make sure your child knows your real name, and can describe you. Show them how to know the life guard employees. Teach your children to identify life guards if they ever get separated. Raging waters staff has a system in place for wandering children.
  • 5: Identify your children with your name. I have seen this done a couple different ways. Write information on the inside of their arm and cover it with clear nail polish so it doesn’t wash off. I have also seen kids wear water proof hospital ID wrist bands that can be worn in the water. Practice them reciting your cell phone number. A water park is a great opportunity to incentivize your kids to memorize information that they should know. Write YOUR name, with permanent marker, on tag of each child’s swim suit. Kids get flustered too and sometimes mom or dad is all that comes to mind. I have sat at the customer service booth and have watched families get connected. Moreys has a great track record of connecting families. I am thankful for the family time Moreys gives me. A day a Morey’s Piers rarely let’s me down. We find all 3 piers to be a different experience.

By far, Raging Water park is awesome. It has something for everyone. My kids are kind of spread out in ages so keeping our family happy is a true test. A day at Raging Waters on Mariners Landing is a great opportunity to have a great day in the sun!

5 reasons to go to Adventure Pier

We recently had an amazing adventure on Adventure Pier in Wildwood, Nj. Each summer I plan on creating as many memories as I can in the 3 months that Mother Nature gives the Jersey Shore beautiful weather. I believe in awakening all of the senses and giving my children different experiences to make these memories happen. Adventure Pier, titled “the pier that rocks,” is the most southern Morey’s owned Pier in Wildwood. It is an EPIC experience that isn’t just rides but instead culture.
Here are the 5 Amazing musts that my family suggests!

 

Must: THE GREAT WHITE
Want to plunge of 105 feet and reach top speeds of 50 MPH on a wooden roller coaster? The Great White was always one of my favorites and now is for sure my sons ULTIMATE favorite. It isn’t your everyday roller coaster experience but neither is this pier so this coaster fits right in!

Must: SPRINGSHOT
Want to be flung into the air at 75 MPH and see views of Wildwood like no other? I once was shot up in the air and saw a rainbow. It was amazing. It costs a little extra but it is an adventure for sure. Whenever else will you be like a rock in a sling shot? It truly is an adventure!

Must: Tony Luke’s
Call me a traditionalist but when I walk by a Tony Luke’s I cannot resist. Enjoy a Philly Famous Cheesesteak on the Adventure Pier as your tastebuds travel to the city of brotherly love while the ocean breeze is in your hair. Adventure Pier even has an adventure for your mouth.

Must: Visit The Art Box
Right at the beginning of Adventure Pier, recycled shipping units offer visitors a world full of artistic culture. What could be overlooked as simply stacked blocks, this part of the pier offers an experience and class not usually felt on the Wildwood boards. Handpicked regional artists create seaside as you watch for an inspiring look at all types of talent such as surf art, glass blowing, artisanal jewelry and more. I am so glad, as a mom, that my kids enjoyed this moment.

Must: School of Rock
Must: Let your kids dance and jam out to the tunes of the summer. Rock out like never before on the pier with live bands and the radio and make memories with music. You can check out the live music schedule right now here! The new stage is fierce and proves that Adventure Pier is the pier that rocks!

It’s time for an Adventure! Are you ready? Music and art browsing is free! Go on a different kind of boardwalk adventure!

The difference between Disneyland and Disney World!

It is no secret online that the Norton family loves Disney! We are crazy Disney freaks! It is a good thing we don’t live closer. We might just park our camper in the parking lot and never leave. (It’s also a good thing we don’t have a camper because that would even make trips more frequent). We have been asked many different things about Disney. So I decided to answer the biggest question that we have been asked. What is the Difference between Disneyland and Disney World? We live on the East coast so most of my neighbors have never been to the west. Most of my West coast readers have never been to Disney World. I asked my readers to give me 5 questions. So, finally, here it is!

What is the Difference Between DisneyLand and Disney World


1. What is the difference? (Reader Annie)

It is so hard to answer this question. (One of the reasons why it has taken forever to write this post) Besides the obvious difference of size (Disney World is bigger than Disneyland) Even though they were made by the same company and created by the same man, it is almost like comparing a grapefruit to a clementine. They are kind of alike but not really.

  • A. Disneyland is filled with history. You walk where Walt walked. The original concepts and designs are there. It is filled with charm. It is filled with love.

    Disney World has a more pretend and copied feel because some of Disney World was. I truly believe because of this it seems (to me) to be more magical. Your imagination is more peaked and you feel more like you are a kid being part of the story. I think the layout is different because they learned from Disneyland.

  • B. When I am at DisneyLand I feel as if my own personal dreams can be accomplished. When I am at Disney World I feel like if I wish hard enough I may be able to fly. So I feel that one is inspiring and one is more magical.
  • C.The cast members seem to be more on the same page in Disney World. I have gotten this feeling before and I am not sure why.
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  • D. California Adventure has CarsLand. (Which is amazing!) Magic Kingdom has the Princess Headquarters which I can not WAIT to experience with my baby girl in a few months.
  • E. While Disney World is filled with more imagination and wonder in addition DisneyLand is also filled with charm and history. At some points, in my opinion, the charm and history can cloud the magic but the pixie dust is still there.
  • 2. If I go to Disneyland will I be disappointed after going to Disney World? (Reader Chrissie)

    Well, really it depends on why you are going. If you are looking to “fly” through vacation doing the fun rides, go on a safari and ten minutes later pretending you are in different countries, dress up as your favorite character, wear out your kids and never have a dull moment for a week straight you should go to Disney World.

    If you just want to wear mouse ears for a day or two, ride rides, see fireworks with your family, and hang by the pool for the rest of the time DisneyLand is where you should go.

    I don’t know about you, but buying park hopper tickets puts a lot of pressure on me to make sure I hit every park in Disney World. You can have a very relaxing vacation at Disney World. (I have done it) But, (in my opinion) DisneyLand is more relaxing from the gate.

    I think this all boils down to WHY you want to go, with who you want to go with (see exhibit D) and your budget.

    If my kids are older or you are bringing the inlaws, LA might be a great choice to visit in addition to 2 days in the park.

    If your kids are younger you might want to visit Disney World. So many things to explore and the baby centers are wonderful place to regroup. Read my how to handle Baby at Disney Post.

    3. Do you get paid to write about Disney? (Sarah)

    No. Disney does not compensate me to write about Disney. I do however take advantage of Disney discounts (some which are available to you and some of which are available to only media) If I ever get compensated for a post I ALWAYS disclose. I have become very awesome at visiting the park on a budget. We use Disney as a teaching tool. I have, however, once attended a press trip where transportation and stay was included a couple months back. In all post coverage I did disclosed at the top of my post. My readers, you, are very important to me. Just like Disney is!

    4. Is Soarin’ different? (From reader Paul)

    To be fair I know “Reader Paul”. He is my Dad. Thanks Dad for reading our blog. I know Soarin’ is your favorite ride.

    My answer is yes, kinda. Soarin’ is actually called “Soarin’ over California”! For those that do not know ……

    “Soarin’ Over California is an innovative attraction that provides guests with a truly “bird’s-eye” view of California. (And I’m not talking brussels sprouts, here!) Guests enter a large enclosed theater with a huge IMAX screen, then sit side-by-side on one of the three rows (10 seats per row) of long bench-like seats, with their legs dangling, and fasten their seat belts.”

    Since the ride is in California and you are riding in a ride about California it seems to have less hype in Disneyland. In fact the last time I rode this ride in California the wait was only 5 minutes long. Pretty amazing for being around 11 o’clock in the morning. It made me wonder what the wait time was in Florida. The ride itself is the same. The golf ball still almost hits you, your feet still almost touch the water and Tinkerbell still makes an appearance.

    It is rumored though that the ending of Soarin’ is going to change so to my Dad and anyone else who loves this ride hang tight. Your flight plans for soarin’ may change soon. Who knows! 😉

    5. Which is my favorite Disneyland or Disney World? (My son)

    He asks this right before bed time. It is the perfect stalling technique. I can’t choose! I talk about all of it and it just makes me want to go back.

    What is your favorite? Land or World? Weigh in on the comment section. Also let me know if you have any more questions? I could talk about Disney for hours!