#1: The kids’ menu is only for kids.
Anyone can order from the kids’ menu. We do it all the time.
#2: Character meals are only for kids.
Oh, please. We love meeting characters and we love character buffets!! Enough said.
#3: You can’t bring in your own food and drinks.
Disney World allows guests to bring food and drinks into the parks. The rules are simple: no alcohol and nothing in glass containers (with the exception of baby food in glass jars). Enjoy!
#4: It’s impossible to eat on a budget.
Counter service locations in every park provide FREE cups of ice water. We always ask for large cups with lots of ice. We never order anything but water to drink with our meals, saving at least $3/person/meal. My sister brings concentrated fruit punch drops to add to her iced water.
If you want to save money on snacks, pack some granola bars, baggies of cookies or chips, poptarts, a little something for everyone in your bag or backpack.
Then, buy one Disney Snack per day, like a Mickey pretzel, and share it! Best of both worlds.
#5: There’s nothing healthy to eat at theme parks.
Disney World provides healthy options for guests at quick service, table service, and snack stands all over the property. When ordering, look for healthy sides like carrots, salads, apple slices, grapes, or other fresh fruit.
Look for Mickey Check meals on the kids menus. These meals follow nutritional guidelines that limit saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and calories. The kids meals have healthy sides like grapes available instead of cookies. (And remember, anyone can order them!)
#6: Alcohol isn’t served in Disney Parks.
Drink up, me hardies! When Walt Disney conceptualized the Magic Kingdom, he decreed that it (and Disneyland in California) should remain dry, with no alcohol served on the premises, except for Club 33 in Disneyland. But that tradition ended in 2012 when Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom’s new Fantasyland began serving adult beverages at dinner. All restaurants at Epcot serve wine and beer. Same with the nice sit down restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney Hollywood Studios.
#7: There’s nothing but burgers and fries on the menu.
Even the quick service places offer pretty good choices on their menus. While the park burgers aren’t very good, the fries are consistently good everywhere. The sandwiches are very good.
#8: Dining with allergies is too hard.
Disney World has made a lot of progress over the past few years in providing options for guests with food allergies. This attention to allergens even finds a place at special ticketed events – like at the 2018 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, where allergy-friendly treats are available to all guests.
#9: It’s too hard to visit Disney World with a baby.
We speak from our experience working as WDW cast members…Disney World is a place for families, including those with babies. There are fabulous Baby Care Centers located in all four parks, and they are terrific, quiet spots to take care of your little one. Caroline loved working at the one in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. They are fully stocked with baby food and snacks. But, please, use some common sense people! The millions of guests visiting the WDW parks annually come from all over the world and your 4 week old newborn baby shouldn’t be exposed to their germs!!
#10: Same-day Advance Dining Reservations are impossible to find.
Advance Dining Reservations (ADRs) can be made 180 days ahead of your arrival day. Lots of guests book their dining reservations at 12:01am.
Two things are helpful for finding same-day ADRs: persistence and flexibility. Be persistent: check the Disney World dining app repeatedly throughout the day. Be flexible: check out dining reservations at an off time and you might get lucky. Plans change and guests change their ADRs all the time!
Last: There’s nothing for vegetarians to eat.
Total myth. Disney has really expanded their vegetarian meal offerings across the property. We’ve never tried any of them so we can’t comment on their taste, but know that a surprising number of guests order them.
Lions and Tigers and Strollers, Oh My!
This is not Caroline’s first time in the Disney College Program. Along with her sister, she was previously accepted into the program a few years earlier. Back in Colorado, Caroline was wishing for a little more pixie dust to brighten up her life. On a whim, she decides to apply to the exclusive Disney Alumni Summer Program.
Now that she’s back, things get wild.
Wild, as in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Caroline is assigned to work in Stroller Rental. While not the most glamorous position in the park, it’s often ground zero for humanity at its best and at its worst.
While Caroline makes many “Magical Moments” for deserving guests whose pixie dust has gone temporarily sideways, she also receives magical moments of her own through the friendships she makes, going to Disney cast member exclusive events, and all the spectacular dining opportunities at Disney World.
Caroline tells all – from the ins and outs of Disney’s secret training class called Traditions; to learning how to be a happy cast member during on-the-job training; to what it’s like to interact with fellow cast members and the guests who are ready to explore the most magical place on earth.
Join Caroline as she takes you on a wild ride through her adventures in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But be careful, it’s a jungle out there!
Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.
Book link on Amazon.com: Adventures in the Animal Kingdom
About the Author:
Caroline’s love for all things Disney, and desire to grow up to be a Disney princess, is the reason she always wanted to work for Disney. Her dream came true working as a cast member at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Caroline is the co-author of the book, Two Girls and a Mouse Tale, about her adventures working at Disney World with her sister.
She is currently a 7th grade middle school Social Studies teacher in Colorado.
Daily blog link: https://collinsrace1.wordpress.com/