Over the weekend I surprised the kids and my husband, with their first trip to Hershey Park. The last time I was there was in middle school, so it was practically my first visit too. I remember riding my first big roller coaster in an effort to look cool in front of a cute boy. But that is a story for another day. This trip was all about my birthday boy! We had an amazing day and we definitely went home #HersheyparkHappy! I want you to have a great visit too so I’m sharing my top 10 tips for visiting Hershey Park!
1. Rent a locker
Lockers are located in several locations throughout the park. We rented one close to The Boardwalk since we would be spending a lot of time there. Since we brought a backpack with us, we chose a large locker. I recommend renting early in the day if it is a busy, because they are first come first serve. The good news once you rent the locker it is yours for the whole day!
2. Pack a bag
I never go to an amusement park or theme park without a bag. When you have kids are you even allowed to leave the house without one? I packed sunscreen, wipes, hand sanitizer, swim suits, water shoes, towels, and high protein snacks.
You can choose to air dry if you want but you will get SOAKED at The Boardwalk!
3. Get officially measured at the front of the park located near the fountain of Milton S. Hershey
By getting measured right from the start you know exactly what they can ride. It will also save time in the lines because they won’t have to stop and be measured.
4. Arrive when the park opens
This gives you a good parking spot and a chance to get right on the rides.
5. Download the Hershey Park App
The free official Hershey Park app has ride info, wait times, character appearances, show times, food locations, and more. Download it for Apple and Android.
Ready to ride the Super Dooper Looper! And thanks to the app we knew the wait time was 10 mins and both of the kids were the right height.
6. Character fun
This is probably the only time you can hug chocolate without it melting on you! Throughout the day and at various locations you will run into some pretty sweet friends. Check the app to see where your favorite candies will be hanging out.
7. Eat a S’More
I had the regular the kids got the cookie one. Either way, you need it. Looking at these pics, I know what I want to make at home this weekend. Yum!
8. Stay Hydrated
Bottled water is available throughout the park for purchase. You can also get free water at the various food places, or you can purchase a Souvenir Cup and get free refills throughout the park all day.
9. ZooAmerica and other in park entertainment
ZooAmerica and other shows are included with your park ticket. We watched a traveling show with Ms. Twizzler, met a sea lion, and danced along with the Character Commotion.
10. The Boardwalk
The Boardwalk and all the awesome water rides are included with your regular park admission. We spent a good chunk of the day there and it was so much fun! Get instantly soaked on the Tidal Force, relax in the lazy river, or hangout at the East Coast Waterworks.
My boy had a great day celebrating his birthday at Hershey Park. The whole family cannot wait to go back for more sweet fun!
They definitely went home #HersheyparkHappy!
Thank you to Hershey Park for hosting us for the day. All opinions and chocolate mustaches are our own.
It wouldn’t be a #PiratesLifeEvent without a Disneyland Pirate adventure! Our group headed to Disneyland for a day of fun in the happiest place on Earth! First stop: Pirates of the Caribbean. The ride that started it all.
Pirates of the Caribbean recently celebrated its 50th anniversary! It opened in 1967 and has inspired versions of it at five Disney Parks worldwide. Plus five movies! Is there any other ride that can boast that? I don’t think so!
If you have never ridden the Disneyland Pirates, you are missing out on a lot of fun! There is something magical about the original ride.
The Disneyland Pirates is actually longer than the Disney World version. You begin by floating through a swamp like Tia Dalma’s before hearing that ominous warning, “Dead Men Tell No Tales.”
Look familiar? This inspired the scene in On Stranger Tides, where Jack visits Ponce De Leon’s ship looking for the chalices.
Pirates Fact: Pirates of the Caribbean was the last Disneyland attraction Walt Disney personally supervised.
50 years. You would think they would give up on getting those keys.
Second stop was to see what our favorite super heroes and ex-cons of the galaxy are up to.
Over in California Adventure it is time to hero up with the Summer of Heroes!
Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT is now open! I watched the videos and wow! It looks amazing! And I’ll say it, I don’t think I will miss Tower of Terror. Sorry guys.
Super Hero Encounters: All year long, we, the citizens of Terra (Earth) can hangout with the coolest tree in the galaxy! Hey there Groot! Plus Captain America, and Spider-Man might swing on by to greet guests.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!: Star-Lord joins the party with his awesome mix of music. Even Groot is there to show off his dance moves! I wonder what it is like to dance with a tree?
Limited Time Summer of Heroes Experiences: (May 27 through Sept. 10 2017)
Avengers Training Initiative: Black Widow and Hawkeye assemble young recruits to see if they have what it takes to join the Avengers. If this is similar to Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial and Jedi Training Academy, I want to do it too!
Heroic Encounter: Black Widow: Black Widow joins guests throughout the day in an armored Avengers vehicle for her heroic encounter with park guests.
Grab a Piece (or Bite) of the Action: Special themed merchandise, plus food and beverage items, will be available throughout Hollywood Land.
I think this east coaster needs to head back west soon! I want to dance with Groot and hangout with Captain America!
As night fell, my anticipation grew. I was finally going to check off another Disney Bucket List item: World of Color.
The show blew me away. It reminded me of what it felt like seeing Fantasmic at Disney World for the first time when I was younger. Just wow.
And a special Pirates of the Caribbean section? It’s like they knew we were coming!
I was invited by Disney for a special press trip to share my experience of Pirates with my readers. All opinions are my own.
This post has been a long time coming. Months in fact. We took our first Disney Cruise in September on the Disney Dream. And just like that we were bitten with the cruise bug. When Disney Social Media Moms Celebration was announced as a Land and Sea adventure I couldn’t wait to get back on a Disney ship. A lot of my friends were first time cruisers and I tried to help them navigate the ship based on what I knew from our adventure. So I thought I should maybe finally write this post and share what I know with all of you. So my Disney Cruise Line tips are for all your first time cruisers and maybe some pros will learn something new too!
Before You Go
Book your transportation through Disney. The Magical Express is not included with your cruise. You can use other forms of transportation but I like to know Disney has everything taken care of.
Pre-pay tips. Tips are not included in your cruise price. Pre-pay to save yourself the time while on the ship. And if someone blew you away with their service you can always add more to your initial amount.
Download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App. It allows you to check all onboard activities and text with other people on the ship once connected to the free wifi on ship. Additional wifi packages to allow you to use your devices like normal is available for purchase. Bonus: It has the cutest countdown clock!
Worried about motion sickness? Book mid-ship. My friends used pressure point bands and other remedies are available on the ship for purchase. The first time I felt the ship move it reminded me of when you are sitting down having a few fun adult drinks and then go to stand up thinking Woah. I’ve had more than I thought.
*Pre-Register the kids for their activities. If the line at the terminal is long, head to the ship and pick up their bands at the registration desk located near the kids clubs.
*Schedule your onboard activities (like character meets), adult dining options, and port adventures when the windows open. 75 days prior for first time cruisers and sooner for Castaway Club members.
Print all forms you must sign and fill out at home. If you forget don’t worry, they have extra at the terminal.
Celebrations. If you are celebrating something special, call Disney Cruise Line a few weeks before the cruise. And they will be happy to help you celebrate!
Dining. You have the option of choosing Main Seating or Second Seating. Main Seating dinner will be 5:45pm. Second Seating is 8:15pm.
*You will find these on the website under “My Cruise Activities”
What To Pack
Swim suits. If you are prone to getting burned like me, you might want to invest in a coverup too!
Pirate Night clothes. Pirate night is a big deal. I didn’t realize how much so until we were in the middle of it. Now you don’t have to go all out, but some people will! Disney gives you adorable bandanas, delivered to your stateroom, for the whole family. So don’t worry if you aren’t full cosplay, you will have something piratey to wear.
Optional formal wear. I saw some guests dress very formal for dinner on the optional night. But you don’t have to. My husband had on shorts and a Disney shirt, myself a sundress, and the kids in normal kid clothes.
Cruise clothes. Sun dresses, flip flops, just be comfy. Cute, but comfy. Cruises are all about relaxing and enjoying the moment. Who wants to be all stiff on the beach? Not me! I’m a Disneybounding kinda girl.
Costumes. Halloween on the High Seas includes a costume night. But even if you aren’t cruising during the holidays, kids will still enjoy wearing costumes. Especially when meeting their favorite characters!
Go Pro/Underwater Camera. So much fun to use and less panicking around the world.
Check In and Boarding
It certainly is a beautiful sight to look out the bus windows and see this!
During the booking process you will pick a boarding time. Once you arrive at the terminal head to Check In with your forms. The longest we have waited is about 10 minutes to get to a window. Once with a Cast Member in only took about 5 minutes to get our Key to the World Cards and be on our way. Sometimes a special friend is there to personally welcome you aboard!
On the Ship
Your stateroom will most likely not be available when you board. Be sure to pack a bag with your swim suits, sunscreen, and anything you might need for the day. We all wore our suits under our clothes so we could get right into the pool. Hungry? Head to Cabanas or one of the Quick Service type eateries located on the pool deck.
After the mandatory safety drill, which is not anything scary I promise. You will head towards the pool deck for the Sail Away Party! Mickey and the gang come out and we celebrate embarking on this journey together! And listen carefully, when it’s time to pull away from the dock it’s not just any ship horn you’ll hear. Nope, each Disney Cruise Ship is equipped with a magical one!
Disney’s own private island. It is paradise. I gushed about it and what you can experience: 5 Reasons to Book a Disney Cruise.
Is all the food included? I think this was the most asked question. Yes. everything is included with the price of your cruise except adult only dining, alcoholic and specialty drinks, special desserts, and any other place it is noted. But trust me, more is included than is not. You might leave 10lbs heavier! Even room service is included (except the tip) so go ahead and order something tasty before bed. I mean you are on vacation so why not?
Want more? Have an issue? Let your wait staff know. They are amazing and don’t judge when you have a problem with beignets!
Get a lanyard to hold your Key to the World card. This card is your ticket to getting on and off the ship, charging to your room, opening your door, and more. I bought this cute lanyard and pins to keep track of mine.
Oceaneer Bands are great souvenirs for the kids. And they do unlock something fun in Disney Infinity. But if you don’t want to be charged for them, make sure you return them to the club before the clubs close on the last night.
Ready to cruise again?
The best, most fantastic deal you can get on a Disney Cruise is while on a Disney Cruise. If you get the cruise bug like we did, make sure to stop by and book your next cruise while onboard the ship. You get a special discount plus a stateroom credit!
For more Disney Cruise Fun:
Warning: Before this I thought re-entry from Disney World was rough. This might be worse. I wandered the house looking for the free ice cream and waited for someone to care that I wanted tea with my dinner. Alas, no ice cream machine, no musicals, and I had to make the tea myself. The real world is tough.
Did I leave anything out you want to know? Leave a comment below. Also find more information at Disney Cruise Line.
I was invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I paid a conference fee to attend and received discounted & complimentary items from Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and their sponsors. We were not asked to write about our experiences at the conference. All opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link.
Our second day of fun in Disney World before Disney Social Media Moms Celebration began, found us in Hollywood Studios and Epcot. The day started with meeting Moana and more Studios excitement before exploring Epcot International Festival of the Arts!
Up early for park opening! That’s the way the Saunders clan does Disney. Okay, that’s the way Mommy does Disney and Daddy follows along like a good sport. I had us all up and out the door so that we could be first in line to meet Moana! She is meeting guests inside One Man’s Dream. She is a lot of fun and we even heard Maui fly bye to say Hi.
Then we rode our favorite rides before grabbing a mid-morning snack at the Trolley Car Cafe, aka Starbucks. There’s nothing like enjoying your favorite drink in a Disney Parks cup while watching Captain Phasma and her Storm Troopers patrol the park. Everyday should start like this!
I was thrilled that we would be able to catch the inaugural Festival of the Arts while at Disney. All the senses were engaged at this Festival. Instagram worthy food and drinks, live music including broadway performances, and meeting artists that are creators of some of my favorite Disney pieces! It was just amazing.
I couldn’t even finish this. It is MASSIVE. But sooo good!
The kids liked interacting with the live sculptures. It surprised them when one reached out to say hi for the first time. Wow they move Mommy!!
Probably the coolest, nerdy moment for me was meeting several artists that I admire. After watching Stephen Fishwick Jr. paint Minnie Mouse on the Fountain View Stage, we met him and he signed my print!
True Story: I jogged from Germany to Mexico to meet Don “Ducky” Williams with only 10 minutes to spare. I somehow had missed his name on the list of artists meeting guests around the World Showcase. But once I realized it I knew I had to meet him. I had a total nerd fan moment, aka I was super awkward because I was just so excited. But he was really nice and made the kids laugh with his stories of drawing Mickey and the gang.
If you missed the festival this year, good news it is coming back next year! It is a must for Disney fans!
The day was full of memories for all of us. We met Baymax, Joy and Sadness, talked to Crush, and just enjoyed being together as a family.
See the highlights of our time in Hollywood Studios and Epcot on the vlog!
For more Disney Social Media Moms Celebration vlogs:
What is your favorite food in the Epcot World Showcase?
I was invited to the 2017 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. I paid a conference fee to attend and received discounted & complimentary items from Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, and their sponsors. We were not asked to write about our experiences at the conference. All opinions are my own.