ARGH! Save your doubloons or join the crew at The Pirates League?

The Pirates League

Pirate flags decorate the walls of The Pirates League

If you didn’t know it was there it would be easy to walk right by The Pirates League. It is tucked away in the Magic Kingdom between Pirates of the Caribbean ride entrance and the gift shop. Even worse, while everyone seems to know about Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique with all their ball gowns and glitter, it seems that The Pirates League does a pretty good job of keeping a low profile. Just like with the princess counter-part, The Pirates League is a chance for kids to dress up, only here – it’s the pirate life for them. They can choose to add costumes or simply the face painting and accessories. But is it worth the money? Here are three reasons you should part with your doubloons for this experience.

Yo-ho, a pirate's life for me

The Pirates League offers options for boys who want to get dressed up but don’t want to spend their time in the castle with pixie dust!

1. Boys go to Disney too! This one should also include, not all girls want to be princesses all the time. Disney has absolutely cornered the market on the “Happily Ever After” princess tale. From meet and greets to meals to expensive makeovers at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. But for a long time that left boys feeling a little left out of all the dress up fun. Most boys I know love to dress up it’s just that most of them don’t want to dress up as Prince Charming – a black eye and a sword, now you are talking their language! The Pirates League gives them an escape from all the pink and glitter. Not to be forgotten are the little girls who want to sign up for the pirate’s life. There is the Empress package or the Mermaid package that gives them a makeover with pirate accessories necessary to go plunder the Magic Kingdom.

The Empress package

A great alternative for the girls who would rather be a pirate than a princess!

2. The Pirates Oath and your pirate name. Before you head back to get made over and join the crew – you have to pick out a pirate name. And in true pirate fashion – you must stick to the code. Based on your birthday and letters of your name you are given your new pirate name. Learn it because for as long as you are there, that is your name! Kids love getting their new name and the older ones will tend to remember their pirate name long after the experience is over. And to me that is what part of the Disney magic is all about – remembering those magical moments long after the vacation is over and “real life” has set in again. And the pirate oath is one of my favorite things that they do at The Pirates League. Once your new pirates makeover is complete, he or she will have to say the pirates oath (with the help of the veteran pirate who is initiating them to the crew). And since it is one big crew, of course all new pirates must be announced as having joined the crew – usually with the clanging of bells, some yelling and shouting and a whole lot of fanfare. (What do you expect, these are pirates after all!)

The pirates oath

Taking the Pirates Oath before being allowed to join the crew

3. The secret room. Again, pirates and their secrets! This is a closely guarded pirate secret, so secret in fact that the new members of the crew are not allowed into the secret room until they have said the oath and been welcomed to the crew. Now, what could a pirate keep in a secret room? Why – treasure of course! (And since it is Disney, a photographer too.) The treasure room is the prop room for the photo shoot at the end of your makeover. This is perhaps my favorite of all Disney photo spaces. Between the lighting and the treasure that lines the room, the photos do look like you have a plundering pirate worthy of the set of Pirates of the Caribbean.

Ready to take to the high seas

The pirate portrait in the secret treasure room. It doesn’t get much cooler than that!

And a bonus reason to love The Pirates League, the pirate makeovers won’t leave you feeling like your wallet has been plundered. Without a costume, the packages start at $29.95 + tax and go up to $39.95 + tax. Reservations can be made by calling 407-WDW-CREW and they accept reservations up to 180 days prior.

So next time you will be in the Magic Kingdom – consider checking out The Pirates League to have your pirates singing “Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho a Pirate’s Life for Me”.

 

mel-at-epcotAbout the Author:

Melissa Rhodes is a stay at home mom to two Disney addicts, one princess and one pirate. She is also a Disney Vacation Specialist with Magical Memories Travel, where she helps other families plan the Disney magic that she loves experiencing with her own family. Melissa made her first visit to Disney in 1978 and has made more than 50 trips since.

Melissa would love to help you plan your next Disney vacation. You can reach her at Magical Memories Travel at  703-688-2WDW or 1-888-908-7718 , ext 122.  When she is not dreaming about Disney, Melissa can be found at Mickey By Mel or on Facebook at www.fb.com/mickeybymel

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Getting through Orlando Security at the Airport

English: A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage.

By Amanda C.

I have very rarely given much thought about getting souvenirs through security at the MCO (Orlando International Airport), but as I am going “ OOOOO I’ve got to get one of those!” That one of those is a death star hot potato game. I was describing it at the ball park last night and one of the mom’s said “Good luck getting that through security. It sounds like it looks like a bomb.” I was like woooah hold up! A bomb? No way would I have thought of that. That got me to thinking of what the TSA must see go through the scanners and do they flip out seeing it going through in checked luggage and open your suitcase or do they go ehhh and let it go?
Some of those great souvenirs: From Pirates of the Caribbean: The dagger, scabbard, and ball and chain and the hook. From Star Wars: The Light Saber. From Frontierland: The 3 foot long hunting rifle and pistol. Tomorrowland: Buzz Light years ray gun.
I’m sure Universal and Sea World have some crazy souvenirs as well that would make a normal person go what the heck if it was seen in your luggage. So the question for you readers…. Has the TSA searched your luggage because of the goodies you stashed away?

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The Disney Dictionary!

By FrancesChef Mickey photo

As a former Disney Cast Member, I learned there are a lot of terms that you need to learn the meaning of. If you are an avid Disney Fan… it’s cool to talk like a Cast Member. Below you will find some common phrases and their meaning.

The most important thing to remember is that Disney is all about the show! It’s one big performance!

Cast Member: Disney employee. This applies to the custodians all the way to executives.

Guest: You are the cast member’s guest to see their show.

Magic KingdomOnstage: Anywhere a guest can see.

Backstage: Anywhere a guest shouldn’t see.

Intermission: In your everyday life you would call this a break. It may be a 15 minute intermission, 30 minute intermission or an hour intermission.

Box Office: Cash register stand.

Green Room: Restroom

When setting a stage for a performance (setting up displays or creating a show), it’s very common to stay “What kind of story does this tell?”

I hope you enjoy a few select terms of my experience of being a Disney Cast Member.

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

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Autism + Disney= A Great Match

By Frances

Having a child with autism/asperger/any sensory disorder takes special planning for any trip. Of all the places that I have taken my 4 year old son, Disney does special needs best. Here are a few things that I do to prepare my son for the trip and things that I do/take for him during any Disney Vacation.

Pre-Planning

1. YOUTUBE:  I watch videos with him of the rides and shows starting a few months out. This allows him to be more familiar with all of them and I can see what actually catches and keeps his attention.

2.Disney Junior /the Disney Channel/DVDs: The more familiar he is with all of the characters the better he is when meeting them. He has an older sister so he knows all of the “boy” shows and is also fluent in princesses:-)

Minnie Mouse doll3. Plush Characters: He sleeps with at least one stuffed animal each night.

4. Make Reservations for Character Meals:  It gives him a great chance to meet most of his favorite characters in a reduced stress environment. As much as I love Chef Mickey’s. I find that the monorail being above tends to be a little over stimulating for my son. I usually opt for Tusker House inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.  He still gets to meet his main favorites without the “MONORAIL” going over us every 5 minutes.

While we are at the Walt Disney World ResortDisney Guest Assistance Card, how to get a Disney Guest Assistance Card, what is a Disney Guest Assistance card

1. I get a Guest Accommodation Card (GAC) for him at Guest Relations when we enter. It allows us to have reduce wait times in line for rides. This has literally saved our vacations.

2. Go to the Baby Care Centers for a few moments to regroup. When he gets over stimulated and needs a break, I find the baby care centers are my best friend. There is one in each theme park. It is a room with a TV playing classic Disney cartoons. They are set up with chairs/furniture that make it nice for a break.

3. Disney chefs or managers will come out and tell me what is Gluten Free on the menu so I don’t have to guess.

4. My son is almost 5 years old but I still use an umbrella stroller. The cast members even place a “Stroller can be used at wheelchair” tag on it. This allows me to push him all the way to the ride. I get this at the same time as I get the GAC.

I hope you enjoy a few of my tips that have helped me make our Disney vacations more magical.

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

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Saving Pennies for Walt Disney World!

Like most families, we are on a budget. When we go on vacation, there isn’t a lot of extra money for “extras”. We always go when there is a special promotion that is being offered. We usually get the Plus Dining meal plan and find that we save over $200 a trip on food using that. We love the snack credits. We usually get our Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars using them. However, my kids want a new toy (or toys) “to remember” each trip by. Souvenirs can add up very fast and my kids want two of each and three of most toys. Does that sound like your kids?

So here is what my husband & I do. Our kids have to pay for their own toys! Some people might call that cruel but we call it a life lesson! Our children are 8 years old & 4 years old. Loose change in our house is theirs! They have to take it and place it in the piggy bank. Even the 4 year old knows that he is saving for his Disney toys. Of course we encourage our 8 year old to save birthday and tooth fairy money to use for herself.

About two weeks prior to leaving, we uncork the pig and count it up. Our 8 year old has to help us count and roll the coins. This last time, we saved our coins for 5 months. We rarely will spend our coins when paying with cash, so that helps a lot getting to the grand total. We are always surprised at how much it adds up to. When the last pig was counted, we had saved $73.50 plus we have a few coins leftover to help us start saving for next time.

What kind of things do our children pay for?

1. The Arcade

2. Extra Mickey Rice Crispy Treats

3. Hair Accessories

4. Plush Characters

5. Extra Trading Pins (We usually give them 20 to start that we purchase off of EBay)

6. Extra Vinylmations (We usually give them 3-4 to start)

7. Extra swords, daggers, hooks (If he already has one, we make him purchase the extras)

You might not think a 4 year old understands money but they quickly learn. Especially when it’s “All Gone”.

Another general rule that we have is they can’t purchase anything until day 3 or 4 of an 8 day trip. This gives our kids an opportunity to really find something that they will enjoy.

Thank you for stopping by Mouze Kateerz. We value feedback from our readers and welcome your comments.
Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys is ready to help you plan your next magical vacation. Please visit them at Disney Vacations by Distinctive Journeys or 404-414-6198 or frances@distinctive-journeys.com

How Do You Draw Mickey Mouse? Instructions and Photos for the Beginners

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After sending several hours playing games at DisneyQuest in Downtown Disney, my husband, teenage daughter and I sat down to take a class at the Animation Academy. I wasn’t all that thrilled with the idea, but drawing Disney characters actually turned out to be a blast, and I took six classes during several visits. I thought teaching you the skills I learned – how to draw Mickey Mouse in particular – might be fun.

[Read more...]

When Should You Tell the Kids You are Going to Disney?

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I am a big sap when it comes to all things Disney World. When the Disney commercials comes on TV, with unsuspecting kids opening  a pizza box announcing a trip to Orlando, I tear up. Commercials with kids riding Disney roller coasters? I tear up, the music gets to me every time. I think I get more excited about trip planning and settling in on travel dates than anyone in my family. So when is the right time to tell your kids that a WDW trip is forthcoming? There are two different ways… [Read more...]

Pregnant at Disney: A Survival Guide for the Mom-To-Be

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If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, “I would never go to Walt Disney World when I was pregnant,” I could treat my family to dinner at Chef Mickey’s. I’ve been to Disney when I was pregnant. I pushed a stroller with two toddlers while I was pregnant, and it wasn’t all that traumatic, in fact, I had a good time. My kids are all way beyond the stroller stage now, which I actually miss. Seven more years, and all mine will be off and gone.

If I had to go back to Disney pregnant, would I? Of course. I might plan a little better though. [Read more...]

Fabulous Ideas to Celebrate a Kid’s Birthday at Walt Disney World

Mickey Mouse balloon, Mickey balloon, Disney balloon, Disney birthday, Disney Moms,

I recently became intrigued with the idea of celebrating a birthday at Walt Disney World. I asked The Disney Moms fans just what they did to celebrate birthdays with The Mouse, and their answers basically fell into three categories: totally surprise them, dine with a character, and decorate your hotel room. [Read more...]

Take the Kids Out of School for a Disney World Vacation? See if You Agree!

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Summer is going to zoom past us at a crazy rate, and fall will be here before you know it. For the real Disney World fans out there with kids, there will come a time when you have to ask yourself if you should take the children out of school to go to Disney. What do you do? [Read more...]

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