Magical Blogorail: Reasonable Disney Trip Splurges

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing ways to splurge on your next Disney trip that won’t break the bank.

If you’re like me, you take an extra suitcase with you on your Disney vacations just to carry all of the merchandise you buy back home. Yes, I’m that addicted to Disney swag! At one time I had over 5,000 individual pieces of Disneyana. I went through a purge to fine tune my collection, making room for better additions.

But I totally get that, collecting even a small amount of Disney swag, can be expensive. So how can you splurge on keepsakes without forsaking your budget? Here are three ways you can add Disney swag to your collection without feeling guilty:

Something to Use Throughout the Vacation

For about $20.00 or less, you can buy something that you can use throughout your Disney vacation. Like the pair of Mickey Ears our handsome model is wearing above! I won these Ears during the Year of a Million Dreams, but even if I’d had to pay for them, it would have been a reasonable expenditure.

After all, I got to wear them often and can wear them again during subsequent visits. You can also buy light toys, water fans, resort mugs, and the like.

Something to Commemorate the Vacation

We attended the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival for the first time in 2010 and picked up two Trading Pins to commemorate the event. At under $10.00 each, it was an inexpensive way to remember the experience. But you could justify spending a bit more for one special piece of merchandise, like the Mickey Garden Gnome above.

After all, you can only get a product like this at the Festival (initially) and it will last for years to come!

Something Special and a Little More Expensive



Our lovely model, Karen, is wearing a beautiful Mickey Jacket. This was under $100.00 (as it was on sale) and has gotten much use since it was bought on one of our Disney trips. A splurge like this becomes that extra special memory that can be revisited each and every time it is worn, years after that impulse buy!

You may prefer a Big Fig or some other article of clothing, like a jacket or hoody. Or perhaps it’s an expensive piece of jewellery? No matter the product, it can be a justifiable splurge, if… the price-to-joy ratio is right!

So do you splurge on Disney swag? What do you consider to be a reasonable splurge?

For more information on Reasonable Disney Trip Splurges, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Reasonable Disney Trip Splurges Loop:

Magical Blogorail: Flower and Garden Festival

A Look Beyond the Flowers and Seminars

And beyond the awesome topiaries too!

Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Red. Today we are discussing the Flower and Garden Festival held each year in Epcot at Walt Disney World.

My wife and I have only attended this event once, back in 2010. Karen had always wanted to see the flower displays and topiaries but I was unsure if the extra trip was necessary, being as Epcot always had such beautiful floral displays anyway.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much more beautiful the park was, and had to agree that it was indeed worth visiting during the festival. But I’m not here to highlight the flowers, topiaries, seminars, or exclusive merchandise. I always like to see what’s off the beaten path! And when we wandered off that path, here is what we found:

Butterfly Tent

Each year, just beside and slightly behind the Canada Pavilion, Disney sets up a butterfly tent where you can enjoy interacting with many different species, including the Floral Gigantes pictured above!

Disney also likes to use these special events, such as the FGF, to promote the latest movie or franchise offering. This particular year, the festival featured the new Fairy series based on Tinker Bell’s early life and adventures:

Welcome to the Pixie Hollow Fairy Garden

This garden area featured many little fairy houses and sitting and play areas. There had been a contest to design a fairy house, and the winner had her entry featured for all to see at the festival. There was also a small area to promote The Princess and the Frog movie, but it wasn’t very impressive:

Simple flat cut-outs of some of the characters

The theme of the 2010 Flower and Garden Festival was Celebrate the Great Outdoors, and I thought I’d finish my post with an aerial view, taken from the Monorail, of the topiaries just inside the main entrance. These change every year to reflect that year’s theme:

So if you’re intending to visit the 2015 Flower and Garden Festival, be sure to veer off the beaten path and see what else you can discover!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is DISTherapy.

Here is the map of our Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop – Disney Mamas – What’s New at the 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

2nd Stop – Home is Where the Mouse Is –  How to Make the Most of Your Day at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival

3rd Stop – Rolling with the Magic – Topiary Displays at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

4th Stop – Cool Nouns by Lee Beatens (you are here)

Final Stop – DISTherapy – Best Eats & Drinks

How to Get Your Newborn Ready for Disney

It’s never too early. How many times have we heard that old chestnut? Well, in the case of developing an appreciation for Disney, it rings true! So today I present a list that every expecting and self-respecting Disney Fan should read.

And if you’ve already received your bundle of joy, then it’s even more important that you read and apply these suggestions. Their little minds could be swayed by Dreamworks characters before you know it, or worse yet, they might see a Universal Studios commercial!

So to make sure that doesn’t happen, I give you 20 Ways to get your child ready for Disney from birth:

1. Hang a Mobile over her crib that plays ‘It’s a Small World After All’ in 27 languages.

2. As you plan your Disney trips, ask yourself: “Will I be able to ride Space Mountain with her strapped in one of those baby carriers?”

3. Make sure to book an appointment at the Main Street Barbershop for that ever-important first haircut!

4. Be sure to track the baby’s height measurement every single day. You must be ready for when she’s tall enough to ride your favorite attraction.

5. Visit the Parks early and often and stay late. You’ll need to build your stamina to endure Disney Parks with a child!

6. Teach her to lift her hands in the air while in the baby swing so she will learn how to assume the position.

7. Prepare your little one for the Disney dining experience by dressing up as different characters during meal times.

8. Search your home area for a local Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boutique stylist (or kidnap one) so your little Princess always has The Look! If you have the look, you have the feeling.

9. Take your baby to the Flower and Garden Festival every year, to help build up her immunity to Florida allergens.

10. Sing the most infectious Disney songs to her as lullabies every night, so that she’ll never forget them. Seriously. She’ll never be able to forget them!

11. Buy her an iPod Touch and fill it with every Disney App imaginable. It’s never too early to become a Disney Geek!

12. Get her an Alice costume, Mad Hatter and March Hare stuffies, and a tea set, so she can have her own Mad Tea Parties.

13. Slowly start integrating Dole Whip floats and turkey legs into the child’s diet.

14. It’s good to teach kids a second language as early as possible. Why not start with: “Por favor mantenganse alejado de las puertas.”

15. Instead of trying to get your baby to say “mama” or “dada” as her first word, instead, try to teach her “Mickey” or “Minnie.”

16. Make sure to buy baby’s first Mouse Ears! Never too soon to be a Mouseketeer!

17. Make sure your baby is used to riding around in a stroller… she’ll be doing lots of that at Disney Parks!

18. To get her ready for Parades, cover her in flashing lights and play SpectroMagic Parade Music while you have her walk up and down the driveway.

19. Buy a Tinkerbell nightlight so baby doesn’t ever have to be afraid of the dark or pirates.

20. Play old Disney 45’s while she sleeps. Merlin Jones’ Sleep-learning system doesn’t just work on chimpanzees and Football players!

So there you have it. 20 of the best ways to ensure that your little bundle of joy grows up to love Disney. Try not to think of it as brain washing, but more like very strong suggestions forced upon a young, impressionable mind. No, wait…

Bonus: Tell her bad puns while giving her a bath to prepare her for the Jungle Cruise.

This list was compiled by me with the help of many different writers from across the Blogosphere and originally appeared on the Chip and Company website. It has been edited and updated for publishing here.