Freeform is absolutely one of my favorite channels once back to school starts. We usually get 31 Days of Halloween, Countdown to Christmas and then 25 Days of Christmas. But this year Freeform has decided to make the month of September a little more magical by presenting us with 30 Days of Disney. If you cannot guess from the name, all September long on Freeform they will be airing some of our favorite Disney classics. Freeform is the channel my boys first saw The Lion King on, and since Moana is no longer on Netflix they will be super excited to watch it when it airs in September.
Most people think Disney and think princess. It’s not that hard to correlate the two especially when Disney has amazing initiatives like Dream Big, Princess. And it really surprised me that when I performed a google search the other day to plan out our October Disney itinerary it was a struggle for me to find a post specific to taking your little boys to Disney World. There are plenty of articles about Disney with kids, but sometimes I just want to find something specific and non-princess related and I feel like that shouldn’t be a struggle. When we see princesses at Disney RJ makes sure to make it a point to point them out and say “look mommy YOUR favorite girls!”. My boys love a good Disney film but they could care less about meeting a princess in the parks. Yet and still there are plenty of things to do at Walt Disney World and Disney Springs that aren’t princess related at all. I’m here to provide you with the ultimate guide to Disney World with boys.
If you are looking for a park that everyone will love but the princesses are few, Animal Kingdom is it. Animal Kingdom is full of experiences that the whole family will love a. This park is also a big hit with our little boys because there are several dinosaur related attractions and well… little boys and dinosaurs. Here are a few of the must see experiences at Animal Kingdom, and this list only touches the surface of all there is to see and do.
Must Ride Attractions at Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest
Favorite Shows at Animal Kingdom: Festival of the Lion King, Rivers of Light, Finding Nemo – The Musical
Must Visit Interactive Spaces: Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Gorilla Falls, Maharajah Jungle Trek
Light Shows: Rivers of Light: We Are One, Tree of Life Awakenings
Epcot is a favorite park among adults for many reasons. This is the best place to eat and drink around the world. Still, the experiences are plenty for kids and children 3 and under enter Epcot for free.
Epcot Character Spot: If you happen to come across this post before September 8th 2019, then the best place to meet some of your favorite Disney characters is at the Epcot Character Spot. Here you can meet Mickey, Minnie and Donald. You can also meet Joy and Sadness from Inside Out, Baymax, Pooh and Chip N Dale are usually close by. This space is due to close on September 8th 2019 due to the exciting new additions coming to Epcot, but I’m sure the characters new locations will be announced soon.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends: An entire section based off of the Finding Nemo franchise can be found in Epcot. Turtle Talk with Crush lets children talk to characters from the movie. There is also a huge aquarium and ride based off of the movie.
Epcot’s World Showcase: This is where you eat, drink and shop around the world. You can probably spend an entire day visiting Mexico, Japan, Italy and France. There are restaurants, shopping, live shows and entertainment all within the park.
Fireworks Show: Prior to fall 2019 IllumiNations is Epcot’s amazing fireworks show. After 2019, Epcot Forever will be the show at Epcot before a new show arrives in 2020.
With Toy Story Land, Galaxy’s Edge (opening soon) and Animation Courtyard this park (while under some construction) has some super fun experiences that your guys will love. If you are a mom of little Disney lovers Hollywood Studios is the best place to see all the Disney Junior characters!
Must Ride Attractions at Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania!, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Must See Shows at Hollywood Studios: Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, Disney Junior Dance Party, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Light Shows: Fantasmic!, Wonderful World of Animation, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
Magic Kingdom is easily the most magical part of Disney World. The castle is amazing and it is one of my favorite places to take pictures in the parks. It’s pretty much a MUST see when you’re visiting the parks. Gaston, Goofy, and Donald Duck are some of our favorite characters to meet in greet while in this park. There are countless parades, shows and endless characters to meet in this park. Magic Kingdom is also the park where you’ll find Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and A Very Merry Christmas Party. So other than these ticketed events what are our favorite non-princess related attractions?
Must Ride Attractions at Magic Kingdom: Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Tomorrowland Speedway, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Mad Tea Party, etc etc.. I could really go on forever in Magic Kingdom
Favorite Shows at Magic Kingdom: Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, The Muppets Present Great Moments in History, Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party
Must Visit Interactive Spaces: Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade, A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasure of the Seven Seas
Fireworks/Light Shows at Magic Kingdom: Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After
While Disney Springs is more of a restaurant/shopping area and not a “park” there is a TON of things to do that will burn off the never ending little boy energy. We usually go at the end of the day so its a pretty busy space and I wouldn’t be able to tell you much about what it’s like early in the day. Here are some of our favorite places to visit in Disney Springs.
T-Rex Cafe: Because I said boys and dinosaurs right? T-Rex cafe is a huge dinosaur themed restaurant. Animatronic dinosaurs fill the restaurant and of course our boys favorite spot is the Paleo Zone. Your little ones have the chance to dig for dinosaur bones and stones/gems in the huge sand pit located at the front of the restaurant.
NBA Experience: New to Disney Springs, the NBA Experience boast 13 different interactive experiences in their location. I’m sure the combination of NBA and Disney magic is something to be seen.
The LEGO Store: My boys want to go into a LEGO store no matter where they see one but as you can imagine the LEGO store at Disney Springs is huge and there are tons of spaces where kids can get hands on with the bricks.
Making the Most of Your Experience
Planning ahead is SO important for your trip to Disney. If you think you can go in and freestyle it, you can’t. Especially with children it’s important to have at least a soft plan that you are willing to make small adjustments to. While princesses are magical for all there are a ton of experiences that will make your trip to Walt Disney World with little boys just as magical. Since you don’t want to waste time figuring out your day, check out these 6 Apps to Make Your Walt Disney World experience MUCH easier.
What are you little guys favorite things to do at Disney? Have you ever done Disney with boys?
I know I’m going to get ALL the shade for this post but I am prepared for it. Let me just insert my disclaimer here. I am a proud member of the Beyhive. I was fully prepared for EVERYTHING that the queen was about to serve up when The Lion King hit theaters. And just being in the same space as her when I went to the world premiere in LA was AMAZING. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Beyonce slays at every single opportunity given. But I wasn’t as drawn to her in The Lion King as I expected to be. In fact, after I watched the movie I found myself unexpectedly in love with a few characters that I wasn’t expecting. These dynamic duos were undoubtedly the stars of The Lion King.
Azizi and Kamari
Lets just get it out of the way and say I had huge doubts about when it came to Azizi and Kamari. First of all when I saw their names I had questions on why Disney insisted on changing my childhood in ways that I did not approve of. Banzai and Ed were a part of the animated Lion King that I loved. So I was a huge skeptic when it came to these new named somebodies.
Azizi and Kamari played by Eric Andre and Keegan-Michael Key were the couple everyone didn’t know they needed. When asked at the globe press conference how they came to reach that dynamic Eric Andre said of Key, “He’s incredibly talented and really, really easy to work off of. And he is a selfless altruistic talent, which is rare. So I was in good hands. I was in great hands with Jon. So I don’t know. It was just a very nurturing environment and made it very easy, because I’m very, very sensitive. So the slightest wind of any kind will make me tear up.” Key also praised director Job Favreau’s “encyclopedic knowledge of comedic duos” naming pairs we love such as Fibber Mcgee and Molly, Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy. It was obvious during our time speaking with them that the pair had an amazing relationship off camera. That made their duo shine through in The Lion King.
Timon and Pumbaa
Timon and Pumbaa are stars in the animated version of The Lion King, so it’s no surprise that Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner fed off of each other to bring the characters we already love to life. When asked how much of their work was improv and how much was planned Seth Rogen said, “It was a lot of improvisation with Billy. Yeah. And we were actually together every time that we recorded, which is a very rare gift to have as someone who is trying to be funny in an animated film, of which I’ve done a lot, and you’re often just alone in there. And I think you can really tell that we’re playing off of each other. It’s an incredibly naturalistic feeling. And they really captured Billy.”
And Billy Eichner definitely played the role of Timon very well! “Yeah. I wish I was as cute in real life as I am in the movie. The Timon they designed is so adorable. And I think the juxtaposition of my personality in that little Timon body really works”. And a Disney movie would not be complete without an Easter egg. The Easter egg moment between Timon and Pumbaa was actually director Jon Favreau’s idea and it was perfectly placed and had the whole theater laughing!
About The Lion King
Disney’s “The Lion King,” directed by Jon Favreau, journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is fraught with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.
The Lion King was a visually amazing work of art and I think everyone will love it (you can read my review here). Be prepared to laugh, cry and feel all the nostalgic feels when you head into theaters to check out the latest in Disney’s slate of remakes. And while you may just be there for Beyonce, don’t sleep on the true stars of The Lion King.
The King Has Returned – Disney’s The Lion King is in now playing in theaters everywhere !
Fall is by far my favorite season and while it may be July, Halloween is already on the brain here. This year the week before Halloween we are going to be at Walt Disney World for the first time during a holiday. That means we all will be experiencing Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party together for the first time. If you’re a MNSSHP newbie like I am, then you probably found your way here because you want to know all the things. I took the time to compile an all inclusive guide for us, so that we know all there is not know about joining one of Disney World’s most exciting ticketed events.
I received an invitation from Disney Studios to attend the red carpet world premiere of The Lion King. All opinions expressed are my own.
When I got the invitation by email to attend the red carpet premiere of The Lion King, I screamed. And I am not saying that to be dramatic. I literally got out of the bed (from taking a nap with my kids) and shrieked with excitement. I have been patiently waiting for the release of The Lion King since I found out about the amazing cast back in 2017. Knowing fully that this live action remake was going to be a good one, and knowing that the community that I share online with Tomika and Tiffany (The Brown Side of Disney) would be just as excited about us attending . It was exciting that the opportunity that we all had been waiting for, was finally presented.
If I sat here and told you that everything leading up to the premiere was a breeze it would be a flat out lie. I was luckily able to save some money and get a buddy pass via a friend last minute. I didn’t find a dress that I loved for the red carpet until the day before I was leaving. And 3 days before we left for our trip, Tomika and I still had no hotel plans. Yet and still (even after a solid 24 hours on standby) when I arrived in LA I was in high spirits. I was prepared for this experience to be everything that I ever imagined. All bumps in the road still led me to The Dolby theater that night. And I was in complete awe taking it all in.
The Red Carpet Experience
I had done press junkets in New York but this was my first time attending an actual red carpet. Naturally on that end, I had no idea what to expect. I had a few people tell me it was crazy. Some people were expecting me to take a picture of all the red carpet fashions. I really was just taking in all amazing portions of the experience. I will admit that some of the red carpet pros (other influencers) that I spoke with that night said the whole red carpet process this time went by very quickly. While (from what I have seen) there is usually time to take pictures and celebrity selfies, security pushed as much people as possible off the carpet. I assume they didn’t want it to be madness when Beyonce arrived. Nevertheless, for my first experience it was beautiful and you could feel the amazing energy.
Not only did I get to attend my first red carpet premiere, but I got to attend the afterparty. It took us a little while to all leave the theater but that just meant I got to see more celebrities along the way. I got a few celebrity pictures, fangirled over some celebrities and got to hang out and enjoy the experience with the Brown Side of Disney team and some fellow bloggers. They had tons of interactive moments set up inside and outside for the children that attended the afterparty as well. It was just all around a beautiful experience. If you want to get more of a sneak peek at the afterparty you can head to my Instagram and check out The Lion King story highlight.
If I were given the opportunity for another movie that I loved I would head back to LA without a second thought. The travel was awful, I almost had nothing to wear but it was still a moment I will never forget. The Lion King was such an amazing moment in cinema. And, I was so thankful that I could be in the room to witness it with so many others for the first time. PLUS, that cast full of amazing black talent?! A MOMENT. The Lion King was visually amazing, true to story with just enough surprises to make it feel good (speaking of surprises check out 4 things that surprised Tiffany about the movie). With the movie releasing this Friday, July 19th I can’t wait to rewatch it with the family.
Are you planning to see the Lion King? Planning to take your little ones with you? Make sure to tune in to the Brown Side of Disney tonight (Monday) at 9pm est to hear all about our experience as a group walking the red carpet!
Be Prepared – Disney’s The Lion King is in theaters everywhere July 19th 2019!
I was invited by Disney Studios to attend the red carpet premiere of Disney’s The Lion King. All opinions expressed are my own.
When I found out that Jon Favreau was going to be directing the 2019 version of The Lion King, I was confident that we were in good hands. The Jungle Book is amazing visually and I think it’s slept on! Partner that with an all-star cast and childhood nostalgia and I have literally been waiting years for The Lion King to come to theaters again. Like with all live-action remakes there were definitely some differences between this version of the Lion King and it’s 1994 predecessor. But the visuals were amazing, the cast was selected perfectly and the movie did not disappoint.
I got the amazing experience of being in the audience when the movie was screened for the first time ever. We all filed into the Dolby Theater (home of the Oscars) and viewed the movie among a star studded audience. I can’t wait to share all about that experience in a future post, but for now I will give you the information you came for. Is The Lion King appropriate for young children? There are a few things you should be prepared for.