After many years of visiting Disney theme parks I’ve perfected the process of packing my park bag. I could call this Park Bag Packing 101, but this is more than an entry level course. I present my thesis for park bags for adults!
Let’s start with the bag. It took many years before I learned about LeSportsac bags, but I now consider them perfect park bags. The ripstop nylon is lightweight and water resistant. I like the Cleo the best. It’s a good combination of roomy interior but small profile, and has a strap that can be short over the shoulder or long crossbody.
Visiting Walt Disney World in Florida is usually an adventure dealing with weather. Whether it’s 95 degrees and humid, raining buckets, or cold enough to frost the windows, you may search out indoor activities. I prefer indoor character meet and greets not just for the character experience itself, but also for the more comfortable queue.
Ponchos are not good meet and greet fashion!
This list of character meet and greets is updated as of January 2018. Characters and locations change often, so always check your Times Guide or My Disney Experience app and Park Map once inside the park. Extreme weather can also move some outdoor meet and greets inside, but these won’t be published. This list excludes any meets that happen as part of a character dining experience.
For most of the United States and Canada, Mardis Gras is just another Tuesday in late winter. For many Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama residents, Mardis Gras can mean school holidays perfect for a mid-winter vacation! Whether school closes for the entire week or just a few days, Mardis Gras can be a good time to vacation to Walt Disney World.
Mardis Gras flies under the radar as a vacation holiday because it’s not celebrated everywhere. It is known to have some impact on crowd levels. In my experience, it’s not a significant enough impact to sway me from traveling. When Mardis Gras falls over Presidents’ Day week, the combined impact to crowds is significant. When Mardis Gras is late and falls in early March, it can mingle with early spring break.
Mardis Gras 2017 is February 28 which falls one week after Presidents Day on February 28, 2017. This will help separate these two vacation crowds, but the weekend in-between check-outs and check-ins will overlap.
Port Orleans French Quarter Lobby
The drive from Baton Rouge to Orlando is 10-11 hours. Southwest flies nonstop from MSY to MCO. This is a very popular route around Mardis Gras, so the best flights will sell out or rise in price early. 1 stop flights are available out of MSY New Orleans, BTR Baton Route, and MOB Mobile.
Port Orleans French Quarter is the first choice hotel for a Mardis Gras trip. The hotel buildings are modeled after the historic buildings of the French Quarter with wrought iron “balconies.” The hotel food court, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, is a mock float storage building with large float props hanging overhead.
Picking the dates of your Walt Disney World vacation is one the first decisions you’ll make. If you’re not sure when you’d like to travel and would like an easy overview to help you decide, you’re in the right place! Already selected your trip dates and want a little more insight into that time of the year? Scroll down to find out more!
(Event dates have all been updated as the information was released.)
- Osborne Lights end January 3
- Marathon Weekend January 6-10
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day January 18
- Crowds higher through the first weekend after New Year’s and around MLK Day
- Ride and hotel pool refurbishments common. One water park closed for annual maintenance.
- Blizzard Beach closed through January 2. Typhoon Lagoon closes January 3.
- Weather can vary, be sure to check forecasts and pack accordingly. Cold weather, 50s and below, can close the only open water park.
- Mardis Gras February 9
- President’s Day February 15
- Princess Half Marathon February 18-21
- Crowds higher around Mardis Gras and President’s Day, otherwise a slow month.
- Ride and hotel pool refurbishments common. One water park, Typhoon Lagoon, closed for annual maintenance.
- Weather can vary, be sure to check forecasts and pack accordingly. Cold weather, 50s and below, can close the only open water park, Blizzard Beach.