Disney world tips

16 Tips To Make Your Disney World Trip As Magical As The Castle

Just call me your Disney World expert!

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My family and I are avid Disney goers. We've gone for so many years that I feel like I should share some tips to get the best out of your trip!

1. Watch the FastPasses

You are now only allowed to have three FastPasses per day. If the ride you want is full, look at the fast pass list every 30 min to see if the ride has any openings. If it canceled one of your other ones and book it!

2. Don't eat at the parks for every meal

Park meals are expensive! Bring snacks (or buy a few) or eat big meals to save you some money!

3. If you want to ride rides, go during meal time

Many families do not eat often or have made dining reservations for lunch/dinner. This is one of the best times to ride rides because everyone is eating!

4. If you want to ride rides, skip the fireworks!

Even though all of the firework shows are amazing if you're not a big fan, skip them! Ride times are the lowest during the firework shows!

5. If you want to meet characters, go to character dining!

Instead of waiting in long lines and maybe not being able to see the characters, go to character breakfast! There are a bunch of characters there!

6. Load your card onto your magic bad

To save time, you can set your card up on your magic band. When buying anything in a park you can use the magic band instead of digging to find your card.

7. Bring/buy a poncho

In Florida, no matter where you are it's going to rain. It happens and you don't want to be stuck wasting ride time from the rain.

8. Bring a backpack

My family always brings a backpack. You can put your wallet, ponchos, snacks, maps, and everything you need in it and bring it into the park with you! It is a life saver.

9. Buy the souvenir cups and popcorn buckets

If your family gets hangry like mine when you are in the parks between the long stretch of meals, buy the souvenir popcorn buckets and cups. The refills are cheap and you can use them in all parks! (They are also able to attach to your backpack so you don't have to hold them!)

10. Wear comfortable shoes

Yes, you are on vacation. Yes, it's Florida so you think you should wear flip flops. But don't do it. You will walk many miles a day and be miserable if you wear flip flops. Be smart, wear shoes that are comfortable to wear.

11. Bring battery powered fans

This is Disney and it's Florida! IT'S HOT! Bring that fan to make you happy while waiting in lines!

12. Be there when the parks open!

This is a biggie because you want to maximize your time. But also you might be able to get a few rides in before the rush starts!

13. Buy Disney Ears on Etsy or Amazon

Ears on Etsy or Amazon are much cheaper than buying them from the parks!

14. Stay at a Disney Resort

By staying at a resort, you can have free shuttle to the parks and other Disney destinations!

15. Don't be afraid to watch shows

At Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios there are shows you can watch. If you're tired or want a rest, stop by and watch! They are entertaining and worth it!

16. Bring a portable charger

We all like to take pics and videos and that means your phone will die quickly! This is the one that Disney recommends!

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12 Struggles Only Portuguese Girls Can Relate To

It's like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" but Portuguese edition.
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As mentioned before in my "8 Ways You Know You're Portuguese" article, I'm 100% European Portuguese. Which means that if you're reading this, you're probably somehow related to me (see #5). You know these 12 things to be true if you grew up in a Portuguese household:

1. You're pressured to marry a Pork Chop.

A Pork Chop is a Portuguese person. The older generation feels that this term is derogatory, but Portuguese Americans self identify as 'Pork Chops.' Some families will probably disown you if you don't marry a Portuguese guy, but I lucked out and my family is pretty open minded. Let me put it this way, if you're not married by the time you're 28, your grandma and your mother are going to take you to the Portuguese club to find a nice Pork Chop to settle down with. You may not be forced into a Portuguese marriage, but it's highly preferred that you marry within the culture.

2. You're always too fat, even if you're skinny.

Portuguese people are a feminist's worst nightmare. They will body shame the hell out of you and feel no remorse. You could lose 20 pounds and look/feel amazing and a Portuguese person will still say "well, you could stand to lose a few more pounds."

3. You must remember your Portuguese classes that you took when you were five years old.

It is a crime against humanity to a Portuguese person if you don't at least understand the language. If you can speak it, read it, and understand it, you've automatically earned yourself the "golden child" title. Every time I move to a different state, my Grandma's only warning is "don't forget your Portuguese," because someone's got to carry on the culture.

4. Am I white? Mixed? Hispanic? Unclear.

I grew up thinking I was some kind of Latina just because the Portuguese language is so similar to Spanish. You probably feel comfortable in Hispanic communities because of your Portuguese background. I eventually realized that I'm white, but I still get told that I look racially ambiguous. Whenever someone asks what nationality I am, I give them three guesses. It's rare that people ever guess Portuguese, but upon finding out that I am, I suddenly become "exotic."

5. You have 55 first cousins.

This is not an exaggeration. My dad actually has 50 first cousins. I have 13, but I have way more cousins in Portugal that I've either never met, or I've met them, but wouldn't be able to pick them out of a line up. If you go to Portugal and visit all of your relatives, the faces and names start to blur together and it's safe to call every man "Joao" and every woman "Maria" or "Ana Maria" and they'll be delighted that you remembered their names.

6. You have to make sure you don't marry your own cousin.

Portugal is such a small country that if you meet a fellow Pork Chop in America, chances are, you're somehow related or your families are friends. I suggest drawing an extensive family tree before shacking up with a Pork Chop.

7. Somebody is always praying for you.

Portuguese people are devoutly Catholic, so it doesn't matter if you're temporarily down on your luck or a self made millionaire, you have a tia (an aunt) that you probably only see when someone in the family passes away, who prays on the rosary every night for you.

8. You must have a name that can be pronounced in Portuguese.

There are two criteria for naming a Portuguese baby: is it the name of a saint, and can it be pronounced in Portuguese? If your uncle twice removed that you see every six years when you go to Portugal can't say your baby's name, you need to pick a new one. Names like "Riley" and "Jackson" won't get Grandma's approval.

9. You're considered adventurous if you move out of your parents house before you're married.

It's rare that Portuguese women don't live with their mothers until they find a spouse, and even once they do get married, it's not uncommon for their mother to move in with her daughter and her (hopefully Portuguese) husband.

10. You've been given something with Our Lady of Fatima on it.

Fatima is Portugal's claim to fame. It's the city in Portugal where three kids claimed they saw the Virgin Mary in 1917 and it's now a popular, religious tourist destination. Your grandma has probably given you something with the Blessed Mary on it to put in your car or in your bedroom so that you stay '#blessed' all the time.

11. You're not allowed to be a vegetarian.

Portuguese people are fishermen and their specialty is codfish, so it's nearly impossible to maintain a vegetarian diet in a Portuguese household. You can be pescatarian though!

12. You have to warn people before you introduce them to your family.

Have you ever seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding?" That's what it's like to bring a non-Portuguese boyfriend to a Portuguese family gathering. Good luck.

Cover Image Credit: CDMPHY / Flickr

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6 Reasons Traveling Is Good For Your Mind, Body, And Soul

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

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Have you ever traveled to a new destination and felt your mood instantly improve? Are you like me and feel happiest when you're on vacation? This is because traveling is a way for you to renew your soul and step out of your comfort zone. It keeps you happy and allows you to experience new things.

Visiting new destinations can open your mind to experiences you didn't even know were possible. You can meet new people, fall in love, try new foods, and see remarkable sites all while traveling. There are no limits to the places you can visit, and the things you can see. Currently, I am on a mini weekend trip to Arizona, and being here has opened my eyes and made me realize how impactful traveling really is on your mind, body, and soul. Traveling should be something you do as often as possible and whenever you get the chance. Here's why:

1. Traveling makes your heart happy 

Traveling is something that most people enjoy. It keeps the heart young and childlike. Traveling brings people joy because they get to experience new things that they love with the people they love.

2. It teaches you to embrace every moment 

Traveling can be unpredictable, especially because you are experiencing new things. Although it can be challenging, we learn best from these unpredictable moments. When we travel we learn to embrace every situation that is thrown at us.

3. Traveling relieves stress and improves mental health 

Traveling reduces stress and allows you to relax. More often than not, you take off work when you go on vacation and you focus on renewing your self. You get away from all the crazy things going on in your life, and you can just relax and focus on your own happiness.

4. It broadens your horizons 

Traveling lets you branch out and experience different cultures. You can try new foods, new activities, and meet all different types of people. You learn diversity, and you learn respect for other people and their culture's. Traveling helps you learn other perspectives around the world and lets your mind think in ways it never has before.

5. It keeps you healthy 

Traveling actually plays a big part in your physical health as well. During vacations, you often walk a lot to destinations and participate in calorie burning activities like hiking and swimming. Activities like these are often why you still are able to get your workout in while on vacation.

6. Traveling reminds you what is important 

Most importantly, traveling reminds you of the important things in life. We live day by day forgetting that every moment is remarkable. Sometimes, we get stuck in the same old boring routine and take for granted the life we have been given. Traveling reminds us that memories are valuable and that our lives should be cherished.

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