Disney World’s Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Review

Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney Review

Christmas in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World Christmas in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World One of my favorite things to do is to go camping at Fort Wilderness at Disney World.  I have always loved to camp, however my dear husband has been dubious at best about it.

We have found the perfect happy place to make it work for all of us!  We can camp here and there are so many things to do, no one is ever bored!

Being there while the campgrounds were all decorated for Christmas was extra special.  It is so much fun just walk around the campsites and see how the campers decorate their sites.  This last visit we stayed in the 2000 loop.  At first I felt like it was too far from the pool, however we Christmas in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney Worlddiscovered that people had build little bridges across the canal and we could walk to the pool and the camp store in less than 5 min.  We had so much fun “trekking through the wild” to the store (where I could get coffee) and of course to the pool.

Make sure that you look over your schedule when you get there so you don’t miss any of the fun!

 

 

Pools
Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool at Disney World
There are two pools, one for adults (which truthfully, I have never been to) and one for everyone!  The pools are heated and there is almost always some sort of entertainment going on there.  There are crafts for the kids in the morning, and dance games, bingo and quiz games throughout the day.  Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool at Disney World Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool Craft at Disney WorldThe snack bar is pretty good and handy too. Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool at Disney World Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Pool at Disney WorldThis last trip was so cold, that we did not swim (well my hubby and daughter lasted about 10 minutes in the water).  However we spent a good bit of time hanging out by the pool, playing games and making crafts.

There is a fabulous kiddie pool as well as a splash slide for the little ones.  I love that the kiddie pool is shallow enough that the little ones can handle it without us parents getting too wet!

Of course there is the giant slide too!  We were lucky enough to arrive first in the morning on one of our trips.  The lifeguard asked my daughter if she would like to open the slide and gave her a train engineers hat and whistle.  She was so proud of herself, she got to announce loudly that the slide was open, blow her whistle and take the first slide down.  She still talks about it.  This is the magic of Disney, where something rather ordinary becomes something special that is never forgotten!

Don’t worry there is a hot tube too!

One of the things that I love the most about all the Disney Resorts and Fort Wilderness are the lifeguards.  As a former lifeguard myself, it is clear that they are all well trained and super alert.  They are professional and always have an ice pack at hand for the occasional bump or boo boo.  I know this because my daughter is adept at needing a ice pack!

WildlIfe
Wild Turkeys Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldIn our wanderings around the campgrounds we have seen loads of deer grazing, bunnies, all kinds of birds, a hawk, an oriole, and some turkeys.  Once a duck flew into the pool too, which the kids thought was hilarious.

 

 

Hidden Mickey in the bathroom Fort Wilderness Campgrounds  at Disney World
Hidden Mickey in the bathroom Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World

Facilities
Each camping loop has a couple of “Comfort Stations”.  The bathroom, the loo, the toilet, the privy, the throne…..you get the picture.  The bathrooms are always clean.  Seriously, I have camped here when the grounds were completely full and the bathrooms have never been gross!  Mind you I still wear my flip flops in the shower, but really they are pretty darn good.  All the showers have a disabled shower in them too, this is particularly handy for those of us with little girls, being able to pick up the shower head to rinse out little ones hair (especially long hair) makes things a lot less ratty (pun intended).

Smores Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World Our Camp Site Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World

Our Campsite Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldMost sites have water and electric, there are tent sites and also big rig sites. So it seems that they can accommodate just about any type of camper that comes their way.  I should not forget to mention that they have cabins for rent too.  We have never gone that route, but if a tent is a bit too much for you it is always an option.

Most of the sites are pretty secluded so there is some privacy.  Although, as a parent of an only child, I don’t mind that we can see all the kids playing in the center field of the loop.

Playgrounds
Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Playground at Disney World Fort Wilderness Campgrounds Playground at Disney WorldDisney did not forget that kids love playgrounds!  There are playgrounds tucked in here and there and everywhere and there always seems to be kids who want to play.  Which in our case is a very good thing! The playgrounds gave loads of shade and are almost always surrounded by picnic tables and benches.

 

 

 

 

 

Cinderella’s Horses
Tri Circle Farms Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldTri Circle Farms is housed on site near the beach and the Trails End Restaurant.  This is seriously cool!  The kids (as long as they are under 48 inches) can ride on one of Cinderella’s horses.  Yes, they are the very same horses that pull Cinderella’s Carriage.  This time my daughter got to ride Bandit.  As I was leading Bandit, I thought to myself How cool is this, I am leading one of Tri Circle Farms Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldCinderella’s horses. At that moment I looked back at my daughter and she was grinning ear to ear and she said “I am riding Cinderella’s horse!”  For $8.00, this is a memory that will be special for a long time!

Even if you are too big to ride, you can walk through the yard and visit with the horses.  Don’t forget to check out the barn and see the working Calliope, see the Clydesdale and learn a little about Walt’s love for horses!

Tri Circle Farms Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldYou can also take the family on a trail ride at Fort Wilderness, the horseback riding barn is at the front of the campgrounds near the reception.  I don’t know what the fees are, but I can’t wait to take my girl on ride soon.

Tri Circle Farms Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World

 

 

 

 

 

Campfire Sing Along, Bonfire and Movie
The campground hosts a Chip and Dale Sing Along and Bonfire that is included in your camping fees.  You can buy marshmallows and a stick (or just bring your own).  I prefer to do our smores at the campgrounds as it gets a bit much with tons of kids running around with sharp sticks and fiery marshmallows.

The Beach Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldFireworks and Electrical Water Pagent
Ask when you come into the campgrounds what time the fireworks and the Electric Boat Parade are.  You sit on the beach in the evening and watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. The kids love it and while maybe not quite as impressive at it is in the parks, it is still a great view and a great time!

Monorail and FerriesThe Beach Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World
Not going into the parks this trip?  No problem, you can still take a boat across to Magic Kingdom or the Wilderness Lodge.  From Magic Kingdom you can take the family on monorail ride.  The little ones love this and think it’s the best ever!

 

Christmas in Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldTrails End Restaurant
They do a sit down breakfast and dinner.  We prefere the breakfast, however it is a little expensive.  We don’t do it every time, but I love it.  The food is really good and of course they have my favorite, Mickey Waffles!

Trails End Breakfast Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World
Trails End Breakfast Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World

Did you forget the hamburgers or did it rain on your hotdogs?  Both of these have happened to us, the Trails End Restaurant is available to walk up order pizza or breakfast items, and i thought the prices were pretty reasonable.  They also have a bar with a walk up window which makes waiting on the beach for the fireworks a bit more fun for adults!

Camp store Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldThe Trading Post store (there are two on the campgrounds) should have most things you might need.  Everything from snacks to food, souvenirs and of course coffee!  I always come prepared to make coffee at my campsite, however you can never have enough coffee in my opinion.

Disney has not forgotten the extras.  Right outside the restaurant they keep a plastic horseshoe game and loads of hula hoops.  It was so much fun to sit on the patio there and watch all the kids playing in front of the Christmas Tree.

Bikes at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World  Canoeing at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney World Canoeing at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney WorldCanoeing, Fishing, Archery, Wagon Rides, Boat Rentals, Fishing, Bike Rentals, Jogging Trails, Arcade, Walking Tours, Segway Tours, Bike Rentals, and Golf Cart Tours.
This last trip we took a canoe rental around the canals.  It was fun, and rather comical.  The young man who helped us get out the canoe indicated that we could not get lost, however that did not turn out to be the case.  Anyhow we made it back to the Bike Barn (where we started) and we had fun.  They have rental bikes for all sizes and even helmets too, so if you can’t get your bike to the campgrounds you are covered.  All of these things do have extra fees.  The Canoeing at Fort Wilderness Campgrounds at Disney Worldcanoeing was pretty reasonable, at around $6.50 for a half hour for all three of us including life jackets.

 

Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market, Strawberry U-Pick and Pumpkin Patch

Bedner’s Farm Fresh Market Fall Festival

Update:

We go to Bedner’s every year!  They stepped it up a notch last year, which means that it cost a bit more too, so expect to drop some cash.  They added some great games (free) for the kids and bunch of bounce houses (not free).  The best advice i can give you about this place is that you need to go the first weekend if expect to get good pumpkin patch photo’s.  The first weekend the vines on the hay bales are green and look great.  By the end of the season, you will have photo’s of pumpkins on brown hay bales.  The second bit of advice is to go early.  This place gets very busy!

Bedner’s Fall Festival Review

This is the best Pumpkin Patch that I have been able to find.  It is a bit of a drive from Fort Lauderdale, but seriously worth it!  Bedner’s have a great market filled with beautiful locally grown fruit and vegetables, some of which are grown on property.

Weekends in October are the best here due to the Fall Festival!  Guests take a ride through the fields on a tractor to the “pumpkin patch”.  We got to see an alligator on the way!

Pumpkins don’t grow terribly well in Florida, so it’s not a real pumpkin patch, There is an entire field filled with Pumpkins sitting on what looked like cucumber vines.  So you get the feel that you are really out picking pumpkins. It is a great photo opportunity!  I got several pie pumpkins while we were there and made some great pumpkin pie with it!

The grounds are all decorated for fall and Halloween, there is a huge Tiki Hut where you can sit in the shade and enjoy great barbecue and home made ice cream and the best fresh dipped caramel apples ever!

There are also some local craft venders with some really cute stuff for sale.  Be prepared to walk to get there, we had to park down the street, so bring a stroller to carry your pumpkin back to your car even if your kid won’t use the stroller.  If you get there at opening you can park right in the lot (I won’t go unless we get there early, it gives us a chance to get through all the activities with less lines.)  

During the summer they also run a strawberry  and tomato u-pick.

Bedner’s can be found at 10066 Lee Road Boynton Beach, Florida 33473 and the Fall Festival is open Beginning September 27th Saturday 9-6 and Sunday 10-5.

Alligator at Bedner's FarmLast word of caution:  There are alligators in the canals, and while we were at the pumpkin patch I did see a child fall into the canal.  He was fine, his mother was in like a flash right after him.  However, it is a good reminder of how fast a kid can trip and fall.  Please be right on top of your kids at all times near these canals.

Bedner’s Pumpkin Patch

 

Bedner’s Pumpkin Patch

 

Gator in the Canal

 

Bedner’s Alligator
Bedner’s Fall Festival
Bedner’s Pumpkin Patch
Bedner’s Farm Market
Bedner’s Home Made Ice Cream
Bedner’s Fall Festival
Tractor Ride
Tractor Ride

IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach

Fishing Hall of Fame Museum in Dania Beach

Fishing Hall of Fame Shark Trophies in Fort LauderdaleWe headed out one morning last summer to the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum in Dania Beach.  It is right next to the Tri Rail Station, so if your kids like riding the train, this would be great way to spend the day.

The IGFA Museum participates (along with many other local museums) in Bank of America Free Museum Day, so we thought we would take advance of this great program to go somewhere we had not been before.

We are not a fishing family and I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  I just thought it would be an inexpensive morning in an air-conditioned place.  It was late July and the South Florida heat and humidity was just more than I wanted to deal with that day. Great Hall at Fishing Hall of Fame in Dania Beach

I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised!  This is probably the most high tech, hands on, interactive Museum I have ever been too.  It really was way above and beyond!  It was super fun, air-conditioned, and it was extremely educational. We hit the trifecta!

As you enter Great’s Hall you will be greeted with an amazing site.  The ceiling is filled with fish and sharks from small to large (well actually behemoth!).  Who can help but be in impressed with over 160 species of fish hanging over your head.  Educational Director, Jeff Mackin say the great white is always a hit and explains that the fish are true to size mounts of All-Tackle and Line Class records from around the world.  The fiberglass and hand carved wooden replicas include panfish, basses, catfish, billfish, sharks, among others.

The World Records Exhibit is a huge sectiWorld Record Video Library at Fishing Hall of Fame Museumon with loads of video screens and displays that can be used to look up world records.  For me this was my least favorite section, but I know many of my fishing friends and their kids would love it! The information gathered and displayed here is massive in scope. It is laid out in beautiful designed exhibit displays.

Habitats Exhibit at Fishing Hall of Fame Museum

The Fish is of my favorite section and includes detailed exhibits about ecosystems and biology.  This is a great area to get a look at how the plants and animals all work together to keep the environment healthy. It would be an incredible supplement for any educational group or scout troupe. The unique ecosystems found here in Florida are so important and this exhibit helps to demonstrate how they work together in our own backyards.

Kids Area at Fishing Hall of Fame MuseumThere is a small kids Discovery Room area with a boat to climb in, the fun thing here is the fish print rubbing station.  There was at least 15 different fish for the kids (and adults like me) to rub prints with crayons. The Wii fishing game is a pretty big hit too.

 

Virtual Fishing Game Room at Fishing Hall of Fame Museum

                                                 The Tackle Exhibit includes table where you can practice tying knots.  Surprisingly, I couldn’t get my family away from that area!  Everywhere you look there is some sort of hands on activity.The museum is filled with interesting items, every kind of fishing gear that you can imagine.  Some much bigger than I ever dreamed.

Don’t forget to check out The Catch game room!  This room houses High tech virtual fishing games where you can actually feel how hard some of the big fish pull while watching the action on a big screen.

Outdoor Florida Habitat at Fishing Hall of Fame Museum

Last but certainly not least is the incredible Wetlands Habitat recreated outside.  This four acre wetlands area is complete with alligators and all kinds of birds.

As you walk along the boardwalk you will enjoy an education in Florida’s diverse species of plants and types of wetlands.  It is a retreat right in the middle of the city! Don’t forget to pick up a packet of fish food when you enter the museum so you can feed the fish in this areas.  What mom, uhem I mean kid doesn’t like to feed fish?

I want also to give a shout out to the youth volunteers who were working that day.  These young people are a credit to the museum and were extremely helpful!

IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum is definitely on my Summer Pick list.  Adults are $10 and Kids and Seniors at $5 which is very much a bargain! Call for Prices and Hours.

IGFA  Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum
300 Gulf Stream Way, Dania Beach, FL 33004

Grovelands Park in Winchmore Hill, London

Grovelands Park Winchmore Hill

Grovelands Park Winchmore HillWe headed out one chilly, wet Sunday morning to Grovelands Park.  While visiting the London area we always seek out parks.  I think parks (other than tea) are one of the things that the British do best!

Grovelands has the required cute cafe, with snacks, cold drinks and of course good coffee and tea!  The patio overlooks the kids playground and the lake.  It is a lovely place to enjoy a few quiet moments.  The patio also has a few plastic houses for the toddlers to play with while their parents catch their breath!

This park has two playgrounds, the one near the cafe is for younger kids and has all the Grovelands Park Winchmore Hillstandards plus it is wheelchair accessible.  The second playground is a natural climbing area for bigger kids.  I love this area, it is in the wooded area of the park and is a perfect place to practice those climbing skills.

We walked through the wooded area and climbed trees, crossed a dry creek bed, and enjoyed nature to the hilt!

Grovelands Park Winchmore HillThis park has a lovely wide path that parents and kids were busy running, biking and walking around the large lake.  There is huge field that seemed to be the best destination for dogs to run, kids to play ball and even picnics.  Don’t forget the outdoor workout station for the parents to use! Oh, I almost forgot there were kids fishing in the pond too!

We could easily spend an entire day here playing and picnicking and biking!

Click Here for the location and directions to Woodlands Grove Park.

Grovelands Park Winchmore Hill
Loved this sign, asking that you not feed birds bread, but cut up grapes and frozen peas instead.

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Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca Raton

Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca Raton

We finally visited Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca Raton at the end of the summer last year.  It is on my list of favoritesCoconut Cove Water Park in Boca Raton for sure!  It is pretty easy to get to in West Boca so that is always a good thing.  The water park itself is clean and pretty big too. In fact we liked it so much that we went back the next day!

I didn’t get great photo’s because, well, I was too busy enjoying myself with my daughter and friends, which is a good sign.

We spent most of our time switching between the  897-foot lazy river ride (I love these ), and the Children’s water playground.  The children’s area is very nice with all the normal water manipulation levers and cranks, dumping water buckets and slides. The kids loved it!

Coconut Cove Water Park in Boca RatonThere is a Lily Pad Walk where you can hold onto ropes above your head and “walk” on the “Lily Pads” across the pool as well as a couple of four-story high water slides.

My daughter was too tiny for the big water slide and the Lily Pads last summer so hopefully I will be able to get some more pictures this summer and update you on these.

Coconut Cove park also has a lap pool, locker rentals and showers, and of course a concession stand.  We are definitely going back there this summer so I promise to get better photos and update this post.

Coconut Cove Waterpark
located in Burt Aaronson South County Regional Park
11200 Park Access Road, Boca Raton, FL 33498
(561) 274-1140

March 24 – June 5 – Weekends Only*
Saturdays: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
*Open Fri, April 18: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm                    
*Open Memorial Day: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

SUMMER HOURS
June 6 – August 18
Open daily: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 11:00 am- 5:00 pm

FALL HOURS
August 19 – September 1 – Weekends Only*
Saturdays: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Open Labor Day: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

2014 Ticket Prices
Prices do not include tax.

Adult Admission (12 & over)
$10.30

Child Admission (3-11)
$8.30

Toddler Admission (1-2)
$3.30*
*Fee includes water diaper.

Infant Admission (under 1)
FREE

Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton

Turtles at Gumbo Limbo

Turtles at Gumbo LimboWe headed over to Gumbo Limbo a few weeks ago, and yes I only just got the photo’s edited!

If you have not been in awhile, you really should go!  They have done an immense amount of work to update and build new tanks.

Gumbo Limbo is a Nature Center in Boca Raton, and it is both a city park and a part of the FAU Research Programs.  Sea turtles are studied, rehabbed and released through this facility.  Gumbo Limbo was created in 1984 and focuses on environmental education.

The nature center is a preserve for all kinds of native wildlife and includes trails and Lake Wyman at Gumbo Limboboardwalks, tanks of native fish, butterfly gardens and a fire tower that is 40 feet high overlooking the mangroves, Lake Wyman, and even the Atlantic Ocean.

Gumbo Limbo offers educational programs, fish feedings, and school programs all year long.  The facility is free to enter however there is a suggested donation of $5 per person.  This is a great place to spend a few hours with the family, get in touch with nature and learn about the amazing environment we are so lucky to have in our back yard!


My Little Pony Friendship Train Set Video Review

My Little Pony Friendship Train Review

The My Little Pony Friendship Train Set has actually been a big hit in our house! The neighbor boy has even played with it alongside my daughter, which I thought says a lot.  Check out our my video blog review to see the details.  I have placed a few links below with good deals on the different size train sets.

Take a moment to rate our video and let us know what you think!

Yamato Scrub Natural Area Review, Boca Raton

Yamato Srub Natural Area Landscape

Yamato Srub Natural Area LandscapeWe took advantage of the perfect South Florida winter weather to take hike in a new place.  We went to Yamato Scrub Natural Area in Boca Raton.  We didn’t really know what to expect but were pleasantly surprised.

This is a scrub / wetland area (we went in the dry season) and I couldn’t believe how much land there was!  217 acres to be exact!.  I am not usually a fan of sand scrub, but this area has some nice sized slash pines and Spanish moss that breaks up the ground cover, and makes the landscape much more interesting!  It felt like we were walking back in time, like we might even see a dinosaur among all those palms. (By the way we didn’t).

The multiuse trail (sidewalk) is .5 miles, perfect for those with little ones!  If you know your Yamato Srub Natural Area Landscapefamily can handle longer hikes the other trails are 2.5 (yellow trail markers) and .7 miles (blue traill markers), these are rough trails with roots and scratchy palms so light weight pants and shoes and socks are recommended.

Since we had not planned this little hike, we took the yellow trail not realizing it was longer.  There is a fire break in the trail so we cut across until we came to the end of the trail and picked it up again.  My daughter was complaining rather loudly by the time we got to the fire break and my husband had a moment of genius!  He pulled out his phone, put on the compus and said the “car is parked east find the trail leading east off this trail.  Serious, genius!  She led the way proudly and loved it!  I knew there was a reason I married this man.

Yamato Srub Natural Area LandscapeIf you haven’t taken your family on hike yet, check out my 5 tips for hiking with kids.  I have ideas on how to start your kids out birding as well at The place was beautiful and now is the time to head before the mosquito’s regroup for summer!

Yamato Srub Natural Area LandscapeYou can find Yamato Scrub Natural Area at 701 Clint Moore Rd in Boca Raton.  The entrance is on the north side of Clint Moore east of Congress Ave.

Click Here for their website it has a list of the plants and animals you might see on your hike as well as a trail map.

Oh, one last bit of advice, the area only has a portable toilet so make sure everyone has gone before you get there.  I didn’t go into it,  but my husband did and his exact words were “It is not as bad as most, but it is a porta potty.”

Battelle Darby Creek Park Nature Center and Bison in Galloway Ohio

Battelle Darby Nature Center Water Table
Battelle Darby Nature Center Viewing Deck
Looking at the Bison at the Battelle Darby Nature Center Viewing Deck

I grew up going to Battelle Darby Creek Park (aka Big Darby), we thought it was great.  Compared to now, though?  Wow.  This park has come along way.  On our last trip to Ohio, we headed over to Battelle Darby Creek Park to see the Bison and the Nature Center.  This park spans 20 miles of riparian forests along the Big and Little Darby Creeks.  It includes 7,000 acres of prairies and forests.  As kid I felt this park had the best canoeing, hiking and the absolute best sledding hill around!  These are all still there and of course, there are picnic areas, pet trails and playground equipment

Battelle Darby Park Bison
The Bison are way back in the right hand corner.

everywhere, not to mention the Environmental Study Sites and Nature Programs.

The Bison can be seen in winter from the Battelle Darby Creek Nature Center.  The Bison can be viewed from the deck of the center, and it serves as their winter paddock.  The Nature Center can be found at 1415 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway OH 43119.

We were able to see them only with the telescope on the deck of the center, but it was still pretty neat.

Battelle Darby Nature Center Water Table
Battelle Darby Nature Center Water Table

The Nature Center itself is really amazing!  There are many hands on areas for the kids to learn about the nature.  A giant wall that allows kids to place pictures of animals in their habitats on the wall.

There is a pelt room, full of the pelts of all the native animals that you might find in the Ohio Valley.  Be prepared for this room, as a former zoological educator I used confiscated animal pelts to teach audiences about important animals for years, but I still find it difficult to see.  The educators and volunteers around the room will gladly explain to you where they came from.

Battelle Darby Park Nature Center
Peering into the creek bed table

The Riverbed Water Table is the highlight of the exhibit.  The table stretches the length of the room and show the different levels of the creek.  There are some really neat places where the kids can stick their heads into a plexiglass box from under the table so they can see right into the creek.

If you have a chance, this is a fabulous (free) way to spend a fun, education afternoon.

Thanks to our sponsors, please be sure to check them out!  Stella & Dot have some great Valentines Gifts so check them out!
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Disney Springs (Downtown Disney) Review

T-Rex Cafe Downtown Disney

Downtown Disney

Disney Springs, formerly Downtown Disney,  is one of the places we always stop when we want to do Disney without going into the parks!  On our latest trip to Orlando we stopped into Downtown Disney.  It is a great place to wonder and window shop.  Be careful though you can spend a bundle easily here!  However, there is loads to see for free here too!  I would suggest you go on a weekday in the afternoon, the weekends and evenings get crazy busy.

T-Rex Cafe Downtown Disney

We spent a fair amount of time this trip at the T-Rex Cafe.  I am not a fan of the Rainforest Cafe food, so I assume that its the same at the T-Rex. However the restaurant itself is amazing!  The T-Rex (like the Rainforest Cafe) is filled with animatronics they “come alive” periodically and move and make sounds.  It is really neat and pretty real!

We had a gift card for Build a Bear and guess what!  T-Rex has a Build a Dino by Build a Bear!  Yeah, something different and not another build a bear.  She picked out a purple T-Rex and put some wings on it.  It is kinda cute and nice change from the usual.

Dinosaur Dig Downtown DisneyT-Rex Cafe has a Dino Pit where the kids can take paint brushes and brush away the sand to reveal dinosaur bones.  You don’t have to eat there to go in and play, just walk into the gift store and you will see it.

 

Geodes at T-Rex Cafe Downtown Disney Geodes at T-Rex Cafe Downtown Disney

They also have a Geode table, where the kids can pick out a geode and crack it open themselves (with a little help from a staff member).  We picked up one of the small $5 ones that is supposed to be about 11 million years old.  They have bigger older ones that probably are a lot more beautiful, but my daughter was thrilled with hers!

Ghiradelli

We can’t go to Downtown Disney without a stop at Ghiradelli’s.  They usually hand out samples in there so who wouldn’t be happy here.  The hot chocolate is the best I’e had this side of Paris.

 

 

Boat Ride Downtown DisneyBoat Ride

Hop onto Disney’s free water taxi and go to any of the resorts you want, or you can just walk down the street and take the boat back.  My daughter thinks its great and I do too!

Characters in Flight Balloon Ride

This one costs but looks really neat.  This balloon takes you up 400 feet in the air.  It is about $18 per person.  I bet you can see the Magic Kingdom from up there!

Lego StoreLego Store Downtown Disney

My daughter likes to have her picture taken with each of the Lego creations.  My photo’s aren’t so great this time because it was overcast, but it is pretty impressive.

 

 

Splitsville Bowling Alley

Downtown Disney BowlingWe heard all about this new bowling alley Downtown Disney, and I will admit it was neat.  We just went in and looked around, the decor was hilarious and fun.  It has several bars, a sushi bar, and it is a restaurant.  Pretty snazy place!

 

There are many, many more things to see and do, it is worth a taking a lazy afternoon stroll down the waterfront in Downtown Disney for sure!