First Time at Magic Kingdom | Disney Review

I’m still on a high from our Magic Kingdom day on Saturday!  I’ve been on Disney’s website at least once a day, and have approximately 3 more visits planned at this point.  I figure I’d share with ya’ll, some mini reviews of what we did there!

For more tips on How to Survive Disney as an Adult (and without Kids in Tow!) and to see more photos, check out my guest post on Life in German on Friday!

Disney Reviews: Dining, Entertainment, Attractions from a first-time annual passholder

Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant.  2.5/5 stars.
This restaurant is a fast food-style hub, with 3 different bays.  Bays 2 and 3 serve the same food, while 1 has different options.  It definitely has a “Jetsons” vibe going on in there, and it works similar to the rest of Disney in that you don’t really choose where you sit; they have workers directing you to the next open table.
Husband and I both ordered their 1/3 lb Angus Bacon Cheeseburger with fries and split a drink.  The total came to about $27, and we forgot to slide our annual passes for a potential discount.  Service was quick, even though it was pretty crowded in there.  This wasn’t our first choice to eat at, but we soon discovered that reservations are a must in some of the sit-down restaurants and we were STARVING.  The burgers were edible, though the bacon-to-burger ratio was a little “off.”  They were also well-done- I assume that’s more of a safety thing as far as Disney is concerned.  The best part is that we add whatever toppings we’d like at a buffet bar after getting our food.  This is great for people (like Scott) who get plain burgers, as there is no risk in something being added that you didn’t want.  I like bunches of stuff on mine, and while I have no problem doing it myself, there wasn’t really enough room in the carton to take the top of the bun off and add the toppings.  There was plenty of room on the tray itself, but I’m weird about my food touching that tray!  Scott really liked his fries while I thought they were just okay- mine were pretty cooled off by the time I got to eating them.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  4.5/5 stars.
I totally would have given this a 5 star rating if we would have thought enough in advance to get Fast Passes.  But we didn’t, and we had approximately a 35 minute wait, which was not at all terrible.  The line was constantly moving and there were little activities to do inside (like setting of “dynamite”) to make the time pass.  Even though though the line was inside, there were plenty of fans and air conditioning going to keep the masses comfortable.  I’m not a big roller coaster person, and really dislike rides that go upside down.  I love that this one has small drops, and is dark in places, but is by no means a “thriller.”  I will definitely enjoy this one the second time around, now that I know what to expect.  Plus, there will be no need for a boy to record the experience!

Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade.  1/5 stars.
If there is a gun to be found in the Magic Kingdom, my husband will find it!  $1 will buy you 35 rounds in this laser-style shooting gallery.  There are no real lines for this attraction, and it’s a good little pit stop to get out of the heat.  I had fun reading the headstones, however it is definitely meant for younger kids.  I felt like I was transported back to grade school watching kids (assumably in the same family) fighting over whose turn it was, and parents feeding more quarters into the machine so their kid could keep playing rather than giving others a turn.  Scott had a kid of about 8 cut in front of him in line for quarters- we soon discovered when the boy was talking to his mom at his spot, that she had WATCHED him do it!  Scott’s only real complaint-  his gun was shooting “high and right” and they should totally zero them in!

Shooting at Frontierland Shootin' Arcade in Disney's Magic Kingdom

Jungle Cruise.  1.5/5 stars.
This has apparently been an attraction since Walt Disney World opened, and was originally at Disneyland. In fact, per Disney Online, the only theme park that doesn’t have it is Disneyland Paris. The wait for this ride was about 45 minutes, and it was HOT.  While the waiting area was shaded, it make no sense to me why the areas at either end of the line were the spots with air conditioning and higher powered fans, yet the MIDDLE (where there are more people, and you spend most of your wait) had NO A/C and slower fans!  The corny jokes of the ship captain person were just terrible for a grown up to have to listen to, and the mechanical creatures were obviously very mechanical.  My two favorite parts were the pair of monkeys in a cave, one looked to be latched onto the other’s back (which reminded me of when I used to ride on the back of Scott’s motorcycle with him!) and the little baby mechanical elephant that sat on its haunches playing in the water.  That totally reminded me of a spoiled little princess pants that did not get her swim time that day!

Swiss Family Treehouse.  2.5/5 stars.
What caught my eye about this one was the “0 minute” wait time.  I was intrigued.  Turns out, it’s a giant man-made tree(house).  It was set up and furnished to include a study, a bedroom, and an outdoor kitchen area.  It had a pretty neat view of Space Mountain.  There is a fair amount of stair climbing (according to Disney, 116 steps) on this, so if you have kids, be prepared to carry them or bring them early in the day!  In all, it was a quick 15 minute walk through, and it definitely didn’t feel “6 stories high” as the info on Disney.com states!

Study in Swiss Family Robinson's Treehouse attraction, and view of Space Mountain in Disney's Magic Kingdom

Main Street Bakery.  4.5/5 stars.

I smelled it as we walked into the park.  Starbucks is near.  And we should have sought it out then, rather opting directly for food!  Really, I didn’t realize this coffee-shop / bakery combination served Starbucks products until we were making our way out of the Magic Kingdom.  We had entered on the other side of the road, so my eyes skipped right over the small sign that read “Starbucks Fresh Roasted Coffee.”  Ya’ll.  I think I found the parents’ hang out- plus it was right around 3pm, so people were preparing for the Festival of Fantasy Parade.  Overall, I’m had much longer waits and FAR less crowded Starbucks, and our drinks tasted phenomenal!  The only real shock was the $10+ for two venti drinks, and the $1+ difference for his frappe!  I’m not sure if I attribute the cost more to Starbucks, or to Disney!  I also loved their Disney Parks-specific mugs, and may have to go back for one!  I can’t even be mad at not spelling my name correctly- it only seems fitting in Disney!
Starbucks at the Main Street Bakery in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Festival of Fantasy Parade.  5/5 stars.
Ya’ll, we weren’t planning to stay for this, but on our way out, we noticed everybody lining up.  We decided to get our drinks, swing by the fire station in Main Street, USA to get our my “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom” cards (more on this once I get a chance to play!) and find a spot for this unknown (to us) parade.  We got a spot at the end of the route and it was fantastic!  I thought before it started, to take a short video for my niece to see.  But that turned into the entire 12 minutes!  I got a very happy Facetime the next morning, and my brother told me she’d already watched it twice!  The route winds around a round about, and we only a had a few people in front of us.  We had a clear view of the action and got to see some of my favorite characters including Snow White and the Dwarves, Ariel, and Beauty and the Beast!  Festival of Fantasy runs daily at 3pm, but it was about 3:20 or so by the time they made it to the “Town Square Viewing Area.”  I’ve read that I can get a FastPass for upgraded viewing, but not sure it’s necessary!
Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade the Magic Kingdom
Despite some less than stellar parts of the day, I’m glad that we went on the attractions we did, and can’t wait to go back this weekend to explore more!  I’m going to make an effort to stay awake past 8pm to actually see the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle.  I’m also hoping that the more I become accustomed to the Magic Kingdom, the less of a sensory overload it will be for me.  But then we have 3 other parks to explore!

What are some of your favorite attractions / shows / dining options at Disney?

Linking with Painted Teacup & Going the Distance

Moving Checklist pt 2: Changing your Address


A couple weeks Almost a month ago, I shared with ya’ll my moving checklist.  Once we got moved in, I drew up another list that is still currently set on my desk, waiting to be completed.  The what to change your address on checklist.

I cannot state enough: once you know your future address and have a moving date, go to USPS.com and pay the $2-$3 to set up mail forwarding.  It was super quick and easy, and I got a a ton of coupons out of it.  Which we’ve also established, is one of my favorite things.  This will give you a little bit of time to get addresses changed, and forward anything on (for a year) that you may forget about.

Somethings, it’s very easy to remember to change your address on- the things you use every day.  Accounts that I could access online were the first to get updated, like credit cards and our joint checking.  My personal checking and savings accounts were a little trickier since I go through a local bank back in Maine, but that was done with a simple phone call.

Insurances.  Home owners’ should already be on the new address, since that’s the house that’s being insured!  However, it took me a while to remember to change it on the auto insurance- be aware that your rates may changed based on the new location of your vehicle!

Loans.  Same with the home loan as the insurance- it should already have the correct address.  However, since I went with the bank that provided the best rate for my auto loan, I only use it for my loan.  I made sure to change the address on that right away, as I had forgotten to when we moved previously.  They wound up sending important notices to my old address after the mail forwarding expired, which led to issues later on to clear up.  I also hadn’t changed my name until this issue, which was double the fun!!  As I’m typing this up, I’m realizing that I also need to change the address on my student loan.  Probably necessary, but since I get all of my correspondence online anyway, I’ll probably put if of a while longer.  Procrastination anyone?

State documents.  Be sure to check with your local DMV as soon as possible, especially if you’re moving states!  Each one has their own rules.  Florida’s is to have your new license / registration changed within 10 days of moving.  Oh, and pay $25.  I believe that if you have a concealed carry permit, that changes at the same time since it’s linked (kind of) to your drivers license.  The voter’s registration may have to be updated separately, which can be done in person or online (in Florida).

Blog stuff!  Seriously ya’ll, a lot of these I changed right away.  But only after Influenster sent me a product to try out to my old address (that was never forwarded on to me, even after checking with the local post office).  Side note- I emailed Influenster to let them know, and didn’t “check in.”  Never heard ANYTHING back from them.  I also had a book sent up there that was never forwarded, but was able to get the electronic version.  Remember also to change your domain registration information.  I’m not entirely sure how to do this, which means that I haven’t done it yet.  Since I have a private registration, I think I need to go through whois.com!

The two things that I did forget to change my address on, even after the fiasco with the book and product, was Adsense and Amazon Affiliates.  I never even thought to change those, until I got a notification from Google asking me to verify my address (the old one) with a pin number that they had sent to me.  Thankfully, that DID get forwarded, so I was able to update.  After that, I went a head and updated Amazon as well.

What else can you think of to change addresses on?  I know I’m missing stuff since I repeatedly get mail with the little yellow stamp on them from USPS.  However I feel like all the “big” stuff covered!

As with the last checklist, I created a printable checklist that you can download and fill out to help you guys in your moving process!

Couponing | Create a Coupon Binder

How to make a Coupon Binder

You may have noticed under my navigation bar, there’s a spot for “Coupons” that (until today) links to nothing.  That’s because I threw it in there knowing that I would start couponing again when we moved to Vero!  I figured I would start things off in this little subcategory, showing ya’ll how I organize my physical coupons.  These include those ones store coupons that print out with your receipt, printable coupons online, the coupons in the Sunday paper, and the ones you get in any number of other fashions.  I’ve been hoarding coupons for about a month now, and I know how out of control (thus useless) they can get!

There are a number of ways to organize these little monsters, and I’ve tried a bunch.  Even clipping and sorting.  My favorite by far is the Coupon binder-  I can file things just how I want, and keep everything in one place.

First off, gather up your supplies – here’s what I include in mine…

1. Coupons! I have seriously just stuffed every sort of coupon into a folder for a month or more, which was doing me NO good.
2. 2- or 3- Inch Binder. (affiliate) You’ll need a super thick one fairly quickly.
3. Cover Sheet. I have multiple binders for things because I’m neurotic. I just printed up a quick black and white sheet to slip in the front of the binder.
4. Plastic sheet protectors. (affiliate) These make it easy to slip whole inserts (from the Sunday paper) and pages into.

5.  Plastic Trading Card Sleeves(affiliate)  Great for single coupons, and ones that are printed out from CVS.
6 & 7.  Sharpie & Pen.  You’ll need these.
8.  Info sheets.  There are multiple places online to find good info for couponing (and coupons!)  Years ago I found a price list for different products and what you could be paying for them if you’re extreme couponing.  While my list is from 2012 and I’m not an extreme couponer, I use these as a guide.  You’ll also want to print out the coupon policies for any stores that you plan on couponing at.  Right now I just have Publix and CVS policies (which have changed since I started), but I think I’ll also throw Target into the mix!
9.  Post-It Notes.  They’re not pictured, but the little 2 inch by 1 inch ones are perfect as tabs on the side.  AND they stick better than the divider tab things that you can purchase for a lot more money.
Now that you’ve got all your stuff together, it’s time to start going through those coupons.  Am I the only one that hoards Bed Bath & Beyond coupons?  I throw them all into a plastic sheet protector to grab a handful when I need.  I do the same with any store-specific coupons that come in flyers (like Publix.)
Coupon binder organization
Any smaller-sized or single coupons that I get (like the bunches I got when I changed my address),  slip into the trading card sleeves. I try to make it so I can see the expiration and deal amount at a glance.  I throw a post-it down the side of each of these sleeves so I can get to it quickly when I need.

Now all that are left are the inserts (Red Plum, Smart Source, and P&G Saver) from the paper and online (printable) coupons!

For the inserts, I open the front page and lay flat.  Along the spine, there is the date that the inserts were included in the paper.  I write that on the front cover, somewhere noticeable, but making sure the marker doesn’t bleed through to any barcodes or whatever on the back side.

Where to find publication date on coupon inserts

Because I still don’t feel too inclined to flip through every single insert when I’m planning my shopping list, I create a little Table of Contents, if you will, for the insert.  Be aware- these can be time consuming; it’s best to do this every week.

I don’t go through all the pages and write out what each coupon is, not when the interwebz does it for me.  I found a site called Coupon Previews, that someone lists all the deets for current and upcoming coupons on.  They’re all in alphabetical order, however since inserts vary by region, the ones listed may not be included in your particular one.  90% of the time, the list on here and the ones available in my inserts match up pretty close.  So I copy the list on Coupon Previews and paste it into a Google Sheets file.  Then I go through and enter the page number into the column beside the details.  This is a little extra step, but it makes it so I can just look through the index page I’ve created and see what coupons are included, what the deal is, when they expire, and where to flip in the insert.

As with the store coupons, I go through and sticky tab all of the pages with the name of the insert and the date it was found.  This is especially helpful if you peruse the message boards on We Use Coupons or A Full Cup, because a lot of times the users will break down just where they found their coupons and how they managed to save so much money.

Aaaand voila!

Coupon Binder Organization

Do ya’ll use coupons? What are some of your favorite tips and tricks?!

Linking with The Painted Tea Cup!