Chip and Company’s own Chris had an excellent post, Disney World Quick Tips – Finding More Magic this week. It’s a perfect introduction for this week’s excerpt from Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers (2011). The excerpt below will help your little ones find more magic with some of Disney World’s preschooler-friendly recreational activities.
The finishing touches are being put on Beyond the Attractions and it will be available from Amazon in a few short weeks. You can find Excerpt 1 and Excerpt 2 here at Chip and Company. In the meantime, keep checking back for updates. I would even bet you’ll find a giveaway or two on Chip and Company this fall .
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Disney has deftly leveraged the popularity of spa treatments and has developed a unique and special experience for little girls. After selecting their favorite hair and makeup styles, your little ones will be treated to a princess-style makeover. Girls can even select a manicure, princess outfit, and a photo package. The special girl in your life is sure to feel like pampered royalty after this unforgettable, but costly, experience. Packages range from $50 to $200.
Walt Disney World has two Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations. One is in the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney and the other is in the Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle.
Little boys will not be left out; they can enjoy the Knight package with spiked hair, pirate confetti, colored hair gel, sword, and a shield for $14.95.
The Downtown Disney location offers an additional Hannah Montana-inspired makeover option.
Reservations must be made by calling 407-WDW-STYLE.
For an affordable alternative to Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, visit the Harmony Barber Shop between the car barn and the Emporium near the park entrance in Magic Kingdom. Your kids can have their hair styled with gel and lots of pixie dust for $7.50, a fraction of the cost of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique experience. Children’s haircuts are approximately $15. Call 407-WDW-DINE for a reservation. A credit card guarantee is required when booking.
Boating. Walt Disney World Resort offers a wide range of boating opportunities on its many waterways. If you’re staying at a resort with a marina, you will be able to rent watercraft; if not, the marina at Downtown Disney offers boat rentals.
Fishing. Even preschoolers can participate in fishing at the Walt Disney World Resort. Many Disney resorts offer catch and release bass fishing. The typical two-hour excursion costs about $270 and is guided by a Cast Member. Equipment and beverages are provided.
Call 407-WDW-BASS for more information.
Fort Wilderness and Port Orleans Riverside offer dockside fishing for under $5 per pole per 30 minutes. This fishing experience is reminiscent of simpler times with a traditional cane pole, bobber, and live bait. No reservations are required.
Horsin’ Around. Fort Wilderness offers pony rides at Tri-Circle-D Farm for less than $5. While you’re at the farm, watch a blacksmith at work or meet the horses that pull the carriages down the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, U.S.A.
Miniature Golf. Walt Disney World offers four miniature golf courses at two different locations: Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland.
Fantasia Gardens. These miniature golf courses are conveniently located within walking distance of the Boardwalk area, across from the Walt Disney World Swan Resort. One whimsical golf course is modeled after scenes from Disney’s classic film, Fantasia. The second course is a miniaturized version of a true 18-hole golf course and is billed as the largest, hardest miniature golf course in the world. Unless you have a budding golf great, the latter is not ideal for small children.
Winter Summerland. These courses are part of the Disney Animal Kingdom Resort area and are located next to Blizzard Beach. They can be reached from the Blizzard Beach bus stop.
Both courses feature Santa Claus; one course is themed after snow and ice while the second course features a sand and beach theme. To set the stage, Christmas music plays.
Miniature golf is $12.50 for adults and $10.50 for preschoolers.
Movie Theater. Downtown Disney’s Pleasure Island hosts a large, 24-theater movie complex. Taking in a relaxing movie can provide the perfect downtime from the hectic pace of your Walt Disney World vacation.
Pirate Adventure Cruise. Disney offers a pirate experience on the “high seas” for daring children. The pirate cruise is actually a pontoon boat that leaves from several docks around the Walt Disney World property. After kids are welcomed aboard and don pirate costuming, the boat takes off in search of treasure and adventure. Children are given a snack after making several stops to claim their loot during the approximately two-hour cruise. The theme of the pirate cruise will vary based upon which cruise is taken.
This activity is appropriate only for older preschoolers. Children must be fully potty-trained and at least four years of age. Parents do not accompany their children.
The following Pirate Cruises are available:
Albatross Treasure Cruise (Yacht and Beach Club Resort)
Bayou Pirate Cruise (Port Orleans Riverside Resort)
Disney’s Pirate Adventure (Grand Floridian Resort)
Island of the Caribbean Pirate Cruise (Caribbean Beach Resort)
The cost is $34 per child and reservations can be made 90 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-PLAY. Cruises run from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on select days.
The Pirates League. As the equivalent of Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, The Pirates League in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland is for both boys and girls who want to live the pirate life. Disney’s Pirate Masters will transform landlubbers into true swashbuckling buccaneers. Different packages, beginning at $30, are offered but all pirate experiences include a pirate name, makeover, and personalized pirate oath. Photos are an additional cost for the First Mate and Empress packages.
Children must be at least three years of age to participate. Call 407-WDW-CREW for reservations and more information.
Professional Portrait Service. Have your group portrait taken by a Disney PhotoPass photographer during a 20- or 40-minute session at any of these five Disney resorts: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club Resort, Grand Floridian Resort, Polynesian Resort, and Wilderness Lodge. Different packages, beginning at $50, are offered; call 407-934-4004 for more details and to make a reservation.
Surrey Bike and Other Bike Rentals. Many of the resorts offer either bike rentals or surrey bike rentals which can be enjoyed by the whole family. Surrey bike rentals range from $21 to $24 for 30 minutes.
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Lisa M. Battista is the author of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers When she’s not chasing after her little ones, you can most likely find her at the beach or in the kitchen trying her hand at a new recipe. You call follow her on Twitter @DisneyExplorer and Facebook.