Saturday, August 19, 2017

Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park Polar Patios


I may have mentioned (a lot!) that my family are high maintenance travelers. We like what we like and we require some special attention; we know it and are wiling to pay for it. It's one of the reasons we love Disney so much. They have options to accommodate travelers like us! As such, we decided to reserve a Polar Patio this summer at Disney's Blizzard Beach water park. The Polar Patios are a reserved area for just your travel party (up to 6 people). You can reserve them prior to your arrival (ask your travel agent to do this for you!), or you can check and see if they have any available the day you arrive. After you have checked in at the Beach Haus (a gift shop near the entrance of the water park), you are all given wristbands and your attendant takes you to your Polar Patio. Once there, they will orient you to your Polar Patio and the services available.

 I am always worried about having enough shade for my very fair skin, and having a place to settle with the kids. The added bonus of having someone available to bring us food and drinks sounded like an actual vacation to me! We managed to get a perfect location (Patio 1) for our family, right near the kid area, a snack shack, and directly across from the restrooms. I didn't request a specific location so I don't know if it was dumb luck or if Disney actually looked at the ages of our kids. When you rent a polar patio there is seating for 6, towels, a cooler stocked with ice and water bottles, refillable mugs for everyone in your party, plenty of towels for everyone, and a personal attendant who will bring you food and beverage all day long. We definitely felt pampered all day!

I will be honest here and say that your experience with these Patios may vary depending on the attendant assigned to you. You will be given a phone number so you can text your attendant throughout the day, and they will bring you just about anything you like. Menus are provided on the patio for food and drinks available in the water park. Keep in mind, It can take a while for your items to be delivered because your attendant is physically going from one place to another to get the food and drinks you are requesting. So plan ahead and be aware that you may be close enough to a food location to grab what you want without having to wait.

The food options at Blizzard Beach were different than we were used to, as they have family platters and salads that feed up to 4 guests. It was a perfect solution for our family. Three of us are all about the food and two just really want chicken strips and fries! And here, as with every other place we've been on property, they are able to handle any food allergies we throw at them.

The drink options were great! They had a nice selection of sweet and not sweet drinks. Something for everyone.

 You will have the option to have a running tab all day; if you choose this, be sure to check out with plenty of time to get to your next destination. We were pressed for time for our dinner reservation because it took SO LONG to check us out at the end of the day. We may have been one of the last families to leave the park! Just afford yourself enough time.

Overall it was a great experience and something special for our family to do. I might not do it again, but it was definitely worth doing once! I'd love to hear about your experiences renting a Polar Patio! Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

WDW Water Park Review: Blizzard Beach

On our last trip to Walt Disney World we enjoyed a day at Disney's Blizzard Beach, one of Disney's two water parks. If you don't already know this about Disney, they pride themselves on storytelling and there is a backstory to this water park. According to Disney "legend" (and wikipedia), a freak snowstorm in the area led to the development of Florida's first ski resort. Naturally, the snow did not last long. This left behind a collection of waterlogged but snow-less ski jumps and chair lifts. The operators were preparing to cut their losses and walk away. However, they were interrupted by an echoing "YAHHOOO!!!" coming from the mountain of melting snow. They looked up to see a blue alligator, wearing a red scarf and gold inner tube, careening down the mountain at top speed. Ice Gator, the mascot, then landed in a pool of melted snow at the base of the mountain with a thunderous splash. The ski resort operators suddenly saw the park's potential, and the mountain of snow became Blizzard Beach, "the most slushy, slippery, exhilarating water park anywhere!"

Our family has fallen in love with taking a day at the water parks during our Disney stays. Our little ones are water bugs and will swim in any old pool, but a day at the water parks has become a big treat! And since it's only $62/person (or less with a Disney Vacation Club or Annual Pass discount) it's a bargain day compared to the theme parks! There is something for all of us, including a lazy river, a wave pool, and lots of slides and attractions.

There are plenty of shelters throughout Blizzard Beach with shaded seating and chairs so, if you are like me, you won't burn to death while having fun! There are also lockers and changing rooms/showers near the front of the park for anyone needing a secure location for their valuables.

At the time of this writing, Disney was also providing the park rental towels free of charge for resort guests (they are also part of a polar patio reservation). Otherwise, you can either rent them for the day, or bring your own. Life vests are provided throughout the park for little ones free of charge.

And as evidenced by the photos above, PhotoPass photographers were all around the water park taking pictures and handing out PhotoPass card on a rubber band so we wouldn't lose them and could have some great pictures from our day! It was a really fun touch this year that wasn't available last year.

There are also plenty of places to get food and beverages (even the adult variety) so if you don't want to tote your own food, you have plenty of choices. There is even a refillable mug so that you can have unlimited fountain drinks while there. We didn't think that would be very appealing and yet we quickly realized it was exactly what our family needed. Also, don't try and take your resort dining plan mug; it won't work!

Another tip if you are staying at a Disney Resort, put your MagicBand in a secure location while in the water. They DO NOT float. We saw more than one person combing the lazy river and wave pool looking for their MagicBand.

We had a blast at Disney's Blizzard Beach this summer. The kids all gave it a 4 out of 5 stars. (Typhoon Lagoon has our heart for atmosphere - Blizzard Beach for activities.) And incase you are wondering, here is my list of essentials for your Blizzard Beach Bag:

  • goggles or snorkel mask
  • waterproof case for your phone (I like this one)
  • sunscreen!
  • water socks 
  • a small waterproof toy for the kiddie area
  • cover ups or dry clothes for the ride "home" (the busses are freezing!)
If you go to the water parks in Disney I would love to hear your feedback! And until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DIY Figment Sleep Mask

Over the past year or so the 4 year old has been struggling with fear of the dark and "sleeping alone" (although she shares a room with her brother, I suspect she would rather be in the same bed and not just the same room). I have tried to implement several ideas to make bedtime more appealing and less stressful for us both! So far we have created a curtain that surrounds her bed (she's on the bottom bunk), started a kid's meditation (4 quick minutes, you can find the app here), used a dream spray for good dreams (an essential oil and water spray I just whipped up), and use of a sleep mask (remember these Meeko ones?). Most nights it has not been a struggle. This is a good thing!

I was watching her sleeping with her Figment stuffy one night and thought, wouldn't it be awesome to make a sleep mask of Figment? He is her recent obsession and it seemed like one more enticement for bedtime! So I got to work. I simply used the pattern from the Meeko mask for the right size and started altering it to look like Figment. I love how this turned out and so does she! It's a little bigger than I would want it to be but nevertheless she loves it. And it actually sticks out from her nose so it's not as suffocating as the picture makes it look!

I am sure there will be more Figment crafting in the cottage as this is one character we just can't get enough of lately. Until next time, may all your days be filled with fairy dust!