Prepping for Disney World When its Busy as HECK (week after Christmas,Spring Break, Summer)

Going to Disney World the Week after Christmas is one of the most daunting, frustrating, rewarding, and high energy things I have every done. My family and I can really only go together during this week due to super busy schedules and living in different countries, but we have turned it into a yearly ritual for nearly 5 years now. We have learned A LOT of tips, tricks, do’s and don’ts about visiting WDW during this chaotic period, and I wanted to share them with you… just in case you need extra assurance that it will indeed be worth it (believe me, it will). If you are going in March or Summer then these may be good tips for you too!

  • Minimize number of bags

    • As you would expect, Disney is very vigilant in checking all guests with bags. I like this policy, but it can really sap the amount of time you have when the park first opens.
    • For example, if you are a family of 4, then try packing 2 bags instead of 4 and taking turns carrying them.
    • Always have all pockets and pouches open when you go through bag check. They will ask to see inside every nook and cranny of the bag. And make sure to say Thank you!
  • Stay all day

  • If you have kids this may not be an option. Having a mid day nap is NECESSARY for kids and sometimes adults too whenever tensions are running high (in both good and bad ways) for such a long amount of time. However,  if you do leave the park (even park hopping) there is a good chance you will not be able to get back in if it reaches the max capacity. This rarely happens, but if you are visiting during a peak day (like New Years Eve for instance), it may be a good idea to stay put and find a rest area where you and your family can take a chance to just chill together. See below for rest area ideas!
  • Fastpasses

  • Did you know that Magic bands can be purchased and used even if you are not staying on the Disney property? Well, they can! You can purchase them online and link them to your tickets 24 hours before you arrive at WDW. The magic band is your key to setting up fast passes and easy entry onto rides. Here’s the rides I recommend to use FP for in the different parks:
  • Magic Kingdom: Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain. Less Thrills but just as fun: Buzz Lightyear Ranger Spin, Dumbo, Teacups or Haunted Mansion 
  • Hollywood Studios: Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, or Rockin Rollercoaster, Star Wars

  • Animal Kingdom: Safari, Flight of Passage, Everest 
  • Epcot: Soarin or Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Mission Space
  • Take Advantage of Rest Areas 

    • The parks are fully of areas to chill and relax, even during the most hectic of times! Here’s some of my favorite places to rest my feet and regroup with the fam:
      • Magic Kingdom:Rapunzel Tower and Tangled Restrooms – a great rest stop that includes phone charging stations! You can relax and take in the view of the floating lanterns and even look for Pascal(s) in the little creek!
      • Hollywood Studios: Sunset Showcase – this is a hidden GEM. It is air conditioned. There are restrooms. There is seating. And sometimes there are characters inside having an awesome dance party! Located behind Rockin Roller Coaster.
      • Animal Kingdom: Rafiki’s Planet Watch – while this is an attraction, I find that it is very low key. I love animals, and this is your chance to hear about all of the love they get at Disney!
        • Dinoland – Don’t let all of the bright colors, sounds, and hulabaloo fool you. Dinoland has a few tables and chairs to sit and relax! The carnival atmostphere is not the most relaxing, but if you’re just looking for a place to gather your family or your thoughts, this may be just the place.
      • Epcot:Canada Vision: the Canada pavilion is GORGEOUS. Take a walk back to see the water falls and don’t miss the showing of Canada vision -a panoramic display of all that Canada has to offer (it’s one of my favorite hidden spots!)
        • Bridge in Venice, Italy: This is a great place to stop and eat some gelato. The bridge has a great view of spaceship earth and it is so relaxing to stop and take in the world showcase from this vantage point.
        • Porch at Tapan Edo: this porch has a special place in my heart. It is in this place that my husband (on his first visit to Disney), told me that he actually liked it. I was afraid he would hate all of Disney World around the busy season (he doesn’t like crowds), but we took time to rest and center ourselves in Japan.  This place is also great for viewing the fireworks!
  • Portable Phone chargers 

    • Data and Phones are the essential tool for navigating Disney world. Between checking the WDW app, taking pictures, and keeping in touch with your party, your phone battery will probably want to give up before it is time for fireworks. Packing 2 portable chargers is a game changer and assures that no one will get a low battery notification. Disney also sells portable charger sticks in the parks that you can exchange repeatedly. Use up all the charge in your stick? Just go get a new one! It’s pretty genius, but the chargers do cost about $30 each (which is more than one you could get in the dollar section at Target).
  • Take time to look at Decorations

    • Disney always has special decorations around the holidays, and though you will be astounded when y seem pretty amazing at first glance it is easy to forget to stop and appreciate them as you travel throughout the parks.
    • During the rest of the year: Epcot’s festivals (The Food and Wine festival in the fall and the Flower and Garden festival in the spring) also have amazing decorations. Don’t let them pass you by!
  • Weather 

    • While we all associate Disney with sunshine, it can be pretty unpredictable. If you are going in the winter, never assume it will be WARM. One year we were in near triple digit weather, and the next it was almost below freezing before noon! Always check to see if there is a cold front coming through or if it is likely to rain before heading to the parks! Packing an extra jacket, poncho, and pair of pants can really save you on spending extra money if there is a sudden change in weather.
  • Don’t Miss the Holiday Shows:

    • Have you seen the Cinderella castle at night around the holidays? It is fantastic. The fireworks show around Christmas and New Years is extra special because the castle is extremely festive and makes for a great picturesque moment to top off your day at MK. You MUST stay for the show and to see the castle in all of its glory.
    • Jingle Bell Jingle BAM! at Hollywood Studios is a very sweet and festive show. It is very geared around Christmas, and I have heard rumors that they make it snow! I have never been to the show myself and regret it since it has such a great reputation in the Disney community.

That’s it! I hope that this helps to alleviate any potential stress of visiting Disney when it is very crowded. It is still magical when you have to share it with extra people, and I hope that reading these tips helps you to experience the magic to the fullest!

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Where to Find Holiday Ears for Disney – Small Shop Edition

Holiday

Christmas time is here! If you’re lucky enough to go to Disney World or Disneyland (or any of the other parks around the globe) between now and December 25th, you’re probably in the market for some great holiday ears.

Shopping at small shops on Etsy and personal platforms offers you a more tailored and organic shopping experience that allows you to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and giving by supporting the dreams of individual creators. I love showing off the hard work of creative artists or “makers”, especially for Disney themed items. The market for home-made goods is booming because of the quality and price of items, and all of the shops below come at customer recommendation (basically, these ears are tried, tested, and top notch). Take a look at the great holiday finds that Minnie herself would love!

Perfect Poof:  Mouse Life Ears

Instagram: @mouselifeears

Mouse ears come in several shapes and sizes. Mouse Life Ears specializes in the perfect stuffed ears that are “poofy” without being too bulky. The  holiday ears are topped with a sparkly bow that will make you look polished and ready for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! This shop is ALWAYS open on Etsy, so you can place your order right now, people! The price point for these festive ears is only $20 and definitely worth it.

Festive Floral: Flowers Gleam and Glow

Instagram: @flowersgleamandglow (visit for coupon code!)

If you live under a rock then you have a good excuse for not being exposed to the wonderfulness of the wire floral ears. Flower Gleam and Glow has taken this trend to a whole new level for the Holiday Season by combining crisp florals, happy poinsettias, and lively pine branches. These ears basically are a Christmas song in themselves. The price range never goes above $30, and her shop has a great variety of ears so you can pick up an extra pair while you’re there!

Trendy Plaid:  Simplicity by Emma

Instagram: @simplicity.by.emma

Anyone else OBSESSED with Buffalo Plaid? If you are, then put down your Starbucks cup right now and go order these perfectly plaid ears from Emma’s shop.  These ears are stuffed and poofy, which helps to channel all of the cozy aspects of the holidays: chestnuts, hot chocolate, fuzzy slippers etc. You can pair this trendy print with a plain bow or even a sparkly one for extra pizzazz.

All About the Details:  Lo and Grace

Instagram: @lo.and.grace

When I started this post, I had multiple people contact me and ask for this particular shop to be highlighted. It is definitely a shop supported by its customers! The ears have the cutest details on the bows without looking too busy. The ears are flat, which means they are also easy to pack and also carry in the parks. The shop also has a pair of Coco inspired ears (eep!) if you want to show your love for this season’s newest movie release. While you are there, make sure to check out their new shirt too to match your new ears!

Pom-Poms for Days:  Zipadeedesignco

Instagram: @Zipadeedesignco

I’m dead because the poms on these ears have slain me. But really, these ears hit all the bases when it comes to the Holiday check list: great prints, sparkles, baubles, and the poms are the perfect finishing touch of fun! They are full package accessory for your holiday vacation. I also admire the non-bow pairs. While I love a good bow, the option is minimal and could be a unique addition to the ear lover’s collection.

Character Ears: Stroke of Midnight Co

Instagram: @strokeofmidnight_co

The variety available from this shop is amazing. I fell in love with the Star Wars pair. Then the Gingerbread pair. Then the Mickey Santa pair. They are all magical and amazing in their own way (and the shop has even more beautiful character options listed too). Besides the overwhelmingly cute fabric designs, the headband also stood out to me with these ears. If you have never worn ears, the headband MATTERS. A lot. It can make or break the accessory in an instant. I noticed hair grips on these pairs and it seems so practical! Her reviews also sprinkle compliments on the maker like pixie dust!

The Best Gift Ears: All Ears Boutique Company

Instagram: @allearsboutiqueco

Merry and BRIGHT describe these ears perfectly. I love the array of cheery colors in this shop and the attention to detail in creating the perfect happy Disney aesthetic. The Christmas ears come in a wonderful and festive variety for any taste or outfit goal. The shop also has a great selection of ears that you can easily gift to family and friends. The small world ears give me White Christmas vibes, but are amazing for any time of the year. Want a discount? Use forrestdear at checkout to save a little money!

And there you have it! I fully admire the hard work, time, and effort that each of these makers put into creating special accessories for the parks. Supporting the creativity of people is 100 percent in line with the Holiday spirit!

I was not paid nor did I receive any form of compensation for this blog post. 

Where To Find Rose Gold Minnie Ears – Small Shop Edition

I am sure you have all seen or at least heard of the sparkly “Rose Gold Minnie Ears” that broke the internet last week. If you are a Disney newbie or a die hard fan, you probably experienced a teensy bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) as you scrolled across the photo taken by @styledbymagic, one of the Disney community’s favorite grammers.

disney-rose-gold-minnie-ears

Chelsea, the account’s owner, posted the pic and it went viral. Teen Vogue, Cosmo, and other media outlets reposted the picture, the ears sold out, and then they were being sold on eBay for triple the asking price within 48 hours. This is how the world works… and the world wept thinking that the chance at rose-gold-ear-instant-satisfaction had been lost.

But alas! The rose gold ear trend has been a subtle market in the Disney small shop community for quite some time now. For those of you who are not attached to your phones and diving into the corners of the internet,  there are several small shops that directly market themselves to Disney-goers. The Small shops usually have their own stores on Etsy or they create their own website to sell their merchandise – rose gold ears included.

This post is mainly to highlight a few of my favorite ear shops and also shops that have been recommended to me for their rose gold ears. So if you felt like you missed out on the trend – look no further. These shops have you covered! All of their Instagram handles will be available as well as links to their online shops. Enjoy!

  1. @Castle_Cuties – Rose Gold Ears (Sequin or Satin Bow) $25.00

Lauralee is the genius behind Castle Cuties. She did the Disney College Program at WDW and also a professional internship with Disney costuming that fine tuned her skills with the sewing machine. Her ear shop is relatively new and gaining popularity by the minute. As a customer myself, I can speak to the quality and comfort of her ears. Each pair is sturdy with a little bit of flexibility so you don’t get headaches OR easily damage your ears. Her rose gold ears come with a satin bow or a sequin bow! The choice is yours!

2. @Alycattycreations Rosé Gold Ears $33.00

If you’re a girl who loves rose gold and Rosé (which you know you are), look no further. Aly’s “Rosé Gold Ears” are the perfect blend of blush and petal pink. So they are definitely a part of the “Rose Gold”  family, but they do stand out because of the unique and gorgeous hue of the sequins. Her shop is special because all of her items are hand stitched and can be easily styled with items from other small shops for the ultimate Disney outfit. Aly also is great at creating custom orders – so if you love the rose gold trend but have your own ideas (a different color bow, extra flowers, or bling), Aly is the girl to do it for you!

3. @Vivalamouse Rose Gold Ears $28.00

Claudia’s ears are BEYOND PERFECTION. I don’t know how she does it, but her work looks like craftsmanship. Her take on the rose gold ears includes a blush sequin with an even lighter blush bow. The make of the ears are flat – so if you don’t want your ears very poofy, this is a good option for you. Claudia’s ears are known for being super comfortable too – so if you are prone to headaches from head bands, her ears may be the best option for you. Not only that, but they have the sweetest little details. Claudia wraps the headband with a white satin ribbon and she also adds extra sparkles to the sides of the ears (see second photo of yours truly). You really can’t go wrong with any pair from her shop – especially the rose gold ones. Her other most popular pair are her Tinker Bell confetti ears (which are totally on my wishlist).

4. @Pixidustbowtique

Sam is the doll behind the @pixiedustbowtique and her shop has some of the best ratings and reviews around. Her customers recommended her shop to me for this blog post and I was honestly blown away by her ear designs. The rose gold sequin ears are among many other colours of sequin pairs that she makes, so you have lots of options to choose from if you are on the fence about the rose gold trend. Due to the popularity of her shop, make sure you follow her on Instagram to know when she opens and has sales. You don’t wanna miss out!

5. @Seasquaredboutique

Ashley’s shop is another that was recommended by a happy customer. After scrolling through her feed on Instagram, I had fallen in love with every single pair that she makes. Her very first pair of hand made ears were out of an old Lilly Pulitzer dress… how cool is that?! Her Rose Gold ears are slightly poofy, which is a happy medium if you are not into the flat ears or the super poofy ones. Her rose gold ears are a new addition to her shop, but also in high demand.

So if you had any fears of missing out on being a Minnie Mouse replica decked out in rose gold, then you are set. I do not see this trend passing quickly, so why not invest in a good pair from one of these shops right now? If you do end up placing an order, make sure you that you leave a review! Etsy shops love reviews!

Best-

Forrest

Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by any of these shops and I was not payed by any 3rd party to write this post. I believe in supporting small shops and also their incredibly well made products. There are tons more shops that have their own take on the Rose Gold ears, and the one’s that I have chosen are endorsed by personal experience of wearing their ears or from satisfied customers that recommended the shop to me.

White Rabbit Prints: My New Store!

So… I’ve started a new project — White Rabbit CA. This is my new Etsy shop with all things Disney.I wanted to go with pretty, feminine, delicate designs withe powerful words from influential Disney female characters

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I’ve branched out to include some of my favorite quotes that bring me joy, but I still try to keeip following the same floral and “pretty” aesthetic. Here’s my absolute favorite:

Dishonor on your cow (1)

But…this blog is not entirely about the shop, but why I started it.

I’ve been juggling a lot of things lately. Every thing that came my way I tried to handle the best I could, but often times it was without a smile. I like to think that I am generally a positive “zip-a-dee-doo-da” person and I felt myself slipping into a bad place — where I felt like I did not deserve to be happy. Without going into too much detail, I came to the point where I knew that it was time to find something new to do with  my mind, my hands, and my heart that would give me an outlet to remind myself what I am capable of.

The same thing happened the first winter in Canada. I got Oliver (the cutest orphan puppy ever who is now an 80 pound fuzz ball of love).

The second winter I started my Youtube channel. It went okay, and I liked making videos… but I no longer have the technology or the time to commit to my perfectionistic ways. It was taking me hours to import and export videos. That is not counting the time it took to film and edit. It makes me sad that I can’t keep up the schedule to maintain the channel of my dreams, but I had to accept that this outlet was less feasible as time went on.

This winter… I started my Etsy shop: White Rabbit CA. When I was younger, I was always on the look out for white rabbits — they are the guides to Wonderland! Even when I didn’t see any white rabbits, I was hopeful and would look for little rabbit prints  to hopefully guide me to where they were hiding. As a kid I knew that you had to try hard to find what you believed in, even if you couldn’t see it. The white rabbit is my symbol for belief, hope, and wonder.

WHITE (6)

I create designs based on some of my favorite Disney quotes and characters, upload them to Etsy, and then if anyone orders them I send them to the printers and the printers sends them to the customer. It actually took a lot of research to find the avenues to open a shop with very little financial risk, but I did it. So now I’m selling my little pieces of happiness hoping to bring a little bit of happiness too.

This list of things that I start during the winter months may seem like I find something for the moment and quit. Perhaps that’s the case. But I feel like a hobby is the one area where you are allowed to move on whenever it is not serving you any more. That is what I struggled with as I started my new store. Was I giving up and quitting something that others had supported me on? Would they be disappointed? What would I say when people asked me about YT? What about my YT community who I subscribed to and who subscribed to me? These are questions I’ll have to continue to answer, but for right now, I’m happy doing something new and that’s okay.

If you are interested in learning more about starting a small shop, feel free to DM me on Instagram! White Rabbit Prints OR Forrest_Dear