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There is no denying that a trip to Walt Disney World can be expensive. When it comes to Disney World vacation planning tips one thing that everyone wants to know is how they can save money on their trip. There are many different ways to save, and here are some of my top tips to save on Walt Disney World dining costs!

12 Ways to Save on Walt Disney World Dining Costs

Most people think about tickets and resort rooms when they think about high costs for their Disney vacation. Sadly, like other theme parks, sports stadiums, and museums, the cost of dining at Disney has gotten really high. Even I was surprised by how expensive some of our meals ended up being this past summer.

Luckily there are some ways to save on your dining costs. There are many different tricks that we have discovered over the years that can be used to help you save. You might not be able to utilize all, but every group should be able to put some of these tips to work.

Buy a Refillable Mug

If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort for at least a few nights than you’re going to want to invest in a refillable mug. The mug is good for refills on coffee, soft drinks, and hot chocolate for the duration of your stay.

As long as you’re going to be buying drinks a few times at your resort than the mugs more than pay for themselves. Many days we try to eat either lunch or dinner at our resort so we can use our mugs. That way we don’t need to spend any money on a drink.

These mugs can be used at any of the resorts, so if you go to another resort to visit be sure to take your mug with you!

As an added bonus the mugs make great souvenirs! Just know that due to the computer chip in the bottom of the cup they cannot be heated up in a microwave.

Order Ice Water at Counter Service Restaurants

The cost of drinks can really add to your Walt Disney World dining budget, and bottled water isn’t cheap. Especially Disney bottled water!

While it’s never listed on the menus you can always order a glass of ice water with your meal for free at quick service food counters. This will be tap water, so be aware of that if you really hate the taste of the Disney World water.

Refill a Water Bottle

Another way to save money on beverages is to bring water bottles that you can refill during the day. It’s always important to stay hydrated, but when that Florida sun is cooking you’ll find yourself wanting to drink a lot of water.

Instead of buying new bottles of water all day you can keep filling up a water bottle at the drinking fountains instead. You could also buy one bottle of water and then just keep refilling that for the rest of the day. There are water fountains all around for refilling, or you can just ask for a glass of ice water and use that to fill up with.

Share a Meal

Walt Disney World dining prices aren’t cheap, but they don’t usually skimp on the amount of food you’re given. If you have multiple people in a group without huge appetites (especially if some of those are young ones) consider sharing a meal.

My mother and I do this a lot. We’ve also shared meals with Nick. If we feel that we need a little more food we nibble on the food that Nick can’t finish or we buy a dessert or two to share. Adding a dessert is still a lot cheaper than buying another entire meal. Personally I’d rather have a little dessert than have just a huge meal anyways.

Order a Kid’s Meal

This has become my favorite ways to save on dining costs. If you don’t have a big appetite ordering a meal from the kids menu is a great way to save.

Kid meals usually contain a main food option, two sides (one option is often dessert), plus a kids size drink. You really get quite a bit of food for a lot less money. The only downfall is that these meal choices are the same at a lot of the quick service restaurants, so you don’t always have much variety in what you can choose to eat.

Kid meals do state an age range, but Cast Members will never stop you from ordering off the kid’s menu. Sometimes we order three kid meals and that’s it. Even my grandparents will just buy kid meals to eat. Anyone can eat from the kid’s menu at the quick service locations.

Eat Your Big Meal Early

Many of the quick service restaurants at Walt Disney World are pretty good, but their sit down meals are hard to beat. The dining prices at the restaurants can be quite high though.

To keep dining costs somewhat in check plan to eat a big meal for breakfast or lunch instead of dinner. You’ll still get the amazing dining experience without spending quite as much. Some locations even serve the same menus for lunch and dinner, or very close to the same, but the price is lower at lunch.

Check the times that lunch is served as well. Sometimes you can still get lunch prices late in the afternoon. We’ve done this and just considered our meal a very early dinner.

If you’re looking to experience a specific dining location more than just specific food than breakfast can be a great option. That can be a really great way to save on a character meals like the Disney Junior Play ‘n Dine Breakfast at Hollywood and Vine.

Skip the Buffets

This one is tough for our family because we love buffet meals, and Disney has some really good ones. Disney charges pretty steep prices though for the buffet meals. With the way we eat I doubt we truly ever get our money’s worth.

Remember that with a buffet you’re going to pay a flat rate no matter how much you eat. At the non-buffet dining locations you can keep costs down by ordering what you’ll actually have room to eat. This way you can skip the expensive extras like dessert.

Walt Disney World Dining Plan

A Walt Disney World dining plan might also be a great way to save money on dining costs. There are three different priced dining plans to choose from. With these packages you pay for so many meals up front when you book your trip.

Some families find that the dining plan can really help them save a lot of money. F0r other families (like ours) paying for food as you go is more cost effective.

Check out the different Walt Disney World dining plan options to see if one of them might be a good fit for your family’s vacation.

Bring Your Own Snacks

There are no rules against bringing your own food into the Walt Disney World theme parks. Park snacks can get expensive fast, so it’s a great idea to keep some snacks on hand. Just be sure to choose snacks that won’t melt in the hot temperatures. Granola bars with chocolate chips usually are alright though.

Always having some snacks on hand can be especially important if you have little ones with you. This way you can whip a snack out when your child hits that worn out/over hungry point. Once that point hits trying to find a snack stand, or a snack in a store, just takes too long. In my opinion preventing meltdowns is a key to having a good family vacation!

Buy Snacks as a Meal

While buying snacks all day long can get expensive, buying them to be your meal can be a great way to save money. Disney has the staple snack foods like popcorn, soft pretzels, and giant turkey legs, but the choices don’t end there. In Epcot, for example, in World Showcase there are a lot of snack stands that sell food samples from different countries. You can get some really interesting snacks at Walt Disney World!

Refillable Popcorn Bucket

Alright, so this tip kind of goes with the one above, but I love it too much not to give it it’s own shout out. This item is still fairly new, but we love it. You can now buy a bucket of popcorn at one of the parks, and then you can continue to get it refilled for the rest of your trip for only $1.50 a refill!

Nick loves popcorn, so we more than get our moneys worth from this tip. We usually refill the bucket several times during our trip, and we always take it with us every day and just hang it over the stroller handle. It can be great for evenings in the room when someone gets hungry. We just pull out the popcorn bucket and there is an automatic snack. Plus I love to use those buckets for storing small toys once we’ve returned home.

Eat Breakfast in Your Room

Bringing food that you can eat in the room will not only save you money, but it’ll save you time too! Since most people want to get to the parks around the same time they also all want to eat at the same time. When the breakfast rush hits it hits hard. The resort restaurants become packed and it takes a lot of time to get food.

All Walt Disney World Resort rooms are equipped with a mini-fridge and all of the resorts have an area in the gift shop that has food items that you can buy ahead of time.

You’ll save even more money by buying breakfast items at the grocery store and bringing them with you. Then all you might need to purchase at the gift shop is a carton of milk. We even bring paper bowls with us for cereal. We do usually grab some plastic spoons from the food court though.

If you have a car at your disposal you can also drive off property and pick some food items up. I really like the Super Target on 192 myself. It’s not too far past the Animal Kingdom resort area.

Vacations at Walt Disney World can cost a lot of money, but they don’t have to. With these 12 tips for saving on Walt Disney World dining costs you can cut back on the amount you need to save for vacation.

More Disney World Vacation Planning Tips Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Resources

Want some more help planning your Walt Disney World vacation? Click on the image below to get your FREE Disney vacation planning videos!

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When it comes to bringing a dessert to parties there are several standards. Cookies and brownies are often the go to as they are easy for people to grab and eat. Next time it’s your turn to bring a dessert shake things up with these amazing Fritos dessert bars!

Fritos Dessert Bars – The Perfect Combination of Salty and Sweet

What is it about the combination of salty and sweet? Combining the two together just seems to hit the spot no matter which one you’re craving.

These Fritos Dessert Bars are seriously the best salty and sweet treat I’ve ever had.

The recipe comes from a friend of my mom’s. He gave her the recipe several years ago and we’ve both made it many times. It is such an easy recipe to make which is must in my book. I just don’t have enough time for making complicated recipes.

These Frito Scoop bars are always a hit. They usually are quite a conversation item as well because people often aren’t sure what they are. Once they find out they always have to give them a try. I’ve never heard anything but raves about these bars after someone has tried them.  They are just so good!

What You Need to Make Fritos Dessert Bars How to Make Fritos Scoop Dessert Bars

As I mentioned these dessert bars are really easy to make.  The recipe only requires five ingredients and it takes all of 10 minutes to throw together.  See, super easy!

The first thing you need to do is put a layer of Fritos Scoops in the pan. You’ll want to use a rectangular pan that’s approximately 9×13. Make sure that it’s one that you can cut in as you’ll be cutting the bars in that pan.

The easiest way to the Fritos in is to dump most of the bag of the Scoops into your pan. Then go through and turn some of them. You want to get the majority of the scoops facing up. Meaning the “scoop” part is facing up. That way when you pour the peanut butter mixture on it will get held in the scoop.

Once the Fritos Scoops are ready to go it’s time to make the melted peanut butter mixture. To do this you are going to heat the sugar, peanut butter, and Karo Syrup in a pan on the stove. Heat it until boiling and then let it boil for 1 minute.

When it is done boiling remove the peanut butter mixture from the heat and pour it all over the Fritos Scoops. You want to try to distribute it as evenly as possible across all of the Scoops in the pan.

As soon as you’re done pouring cover it well with the chocolate chips. The heat from the mixture will melt the chocolate chips, so you don’t want to add them right away.

 After you have added the chocolate chips you’re going to want to wait 20 – 30 minutes before you cut them up. This gives everything enough time to cool down and melt. Don’t wait too long to cut the bars up though because the longer they set the harder they are to cut.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Fritos Dessert Bars - The Perfect Combination Of Salty And Sweet
Author: Rock-A-Bye Parents
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:  5 mins
Cook time:  5 mins
Total time:  10 mins
Serves: 30 Bars
  • 1 Party Size Bag of Fritos Scoops
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Peanut Butter
  • 1 Cup of Clear Karo Syrup
  • 1 Bag of Chocolate Chips
  1. Cover the bottom of an 13x9 container with Fritos
  2. Heat sugar, peanut butter, and Karo Syrup to a boil. Let it boil for 1 minute.
  3. Pour mixture evenly over Fritos.
  4. Cover well with chocolate chips.
  5. Let it cool for 20 - 30 minutes and then you can cut it up into bars.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Bar Calories: 241 Fat: 11g Saturated fat: 3g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 35g Sugar: 22g Sodium: 89mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 3g Cholesterol: 0mg

There is just something about a salty  and sweet combination, and these Fritos Dessert Bars deliver it! They are seriously amazing (and oh so rich). They are a hit every time we’ve made them no matter where we’ve taken them. Plus you can’t go wrong with a no bake dessert that is easy to make!

More Easy Dessert Recipes

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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CheckYourPetFood #CollectiveBias

I don’t know how it is in your home, but in our home our pets are members of the family. As a parent I do the best I can to feed my child healthy food. Since our pets are family members I do the same with them. That is why I feed all of our pets Purina®.

Give Your Dog the Family Treatment with Purina

Giving our pets the best care that we can is so important. The food that you feed your pet can make a big difference on their health.

I had a beagle growing up. My beagle lived to be almost 18. I kept joking with everyone that my dog was going to be able to vote. For her entire life she ate Purina® Dog Chow.

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve probably seen pictures of our family dog. We have a Sheltie named Scout. Scout is a retired show dog. In fact she is both a national and international winner! The type of food show dogs eat is very important. They always need to be healthy, in good shape, and they need to have very healthy and shiny coats. The type of food she had been fed before we got her? Purina!

Why We Chose Purina

When Scout became part of our family I knew without a doubt that we would be feeding her Purina food. I do the best I can to feed my son healthy and quality food. The same goes for Scout. I want to feed her food made with real meat and other quality ingredients.

With Purina® Dog Chow and Purina® Beneful® I know that I am feeding Scout dog food with real meat. Plus with their vitamins and minerals and high-protein I know I’m feeding her food that is truly good for her.

We’ve been feeding Scout Purina Beneful Healthy Weight With Real Chicken Dog Food a lot recently because she’s gotten a bit overweight recently. She has been loving referred to as a butterball. Every extra pound a dog puts on is like an additional 15 pounds for us, so each added pound makes a difference to a dog’s health. With Beneful though she’s still getting real chicken and yummy fruits and veggies that she can’t get enough of. All in a yummy calorie-smart package.

When we work on losing weight we watch our calories. We often eat lean meats and more fruits and vegetables, and the same goes for our pets. I felt like after the holidays Scout and I went on similar diets to lose a little weight.

Real Meat, Right Price

While I always want to feed my dog the best I can, there is no reason to go broke doing it. For all of our shopping needs I go to Meijer. They have the best prices for everything. I am able to get good food for my entire family, people and pets, for great prices at Meijer.

There is nowhere else I go to buy Scout’s dog food. At Meijer I know I can get her real meat at the right price.

With winter making itself known getting to Meijer hasn’t been so easy lately. Between extreme cold, lots of snow, and my son having the flu it’s been hard to get out of the house at all. With all of those elements against me I wish I could take advantage of Meijer’s new service Schipit. That’s where you can place a store order online and someone will go to the store, purchase it for you, and then bring it to your house! What a fabulous service for busy moms! Sadly we live too far out and Shipit doesn’t come to us at this time. Be sure to check out whether Shipit is available for you!

Another great option, especially if you have a sick kiddo, is curbside pickup. With curbside you can add items to your cart and then choose when you want to pick them up at the store in the curbside lane. Not all Meijer stores have curbside available, but be sure to check out whether curbside is available at your Meijer.

For some of us our only option is to shop in store at Meijer, but we’re still lucky because we have a Meijer to shop at! I feel bad for all of those states that don’t have a Meijer because they’re really missing out! In my opinion no other store truly compares to Meijer.

The pet aisle is one of the first that hit every time I make a grocery trip at Meijer. I can always easily find everything I need. Finding the Purina food I want in the dog food aisle is always easy. Plus it’s always a great bonus when I find a yellow tag under it telling me I can save even more money! As you can see, I got some great saving when I stocked up on dog food the other day! Score!

Save on Purina with MPerks

Have you started using MPerks yet? If you haven’t you are missing out. I save on my shopping every week with great coupons, and I earn lots of great shopping rewards that save me money on my shopping orders. I’ve saved over $200 this year and almost all of it has come from MPerks!

I was so excited when I logged into MPerks the other day to get ready for my upcoming shopping trip and found some great offers on Purina products!

There are two different offers available right now. You can take advantage of them through MPerks now through March 3, 2018. The deals are:

  1. Dog Chow – $1 off 32 lb bag or smaller
  2. $1 off any size of Beneful Dog Food

Scout is a very important part of our family and we treat her that way. I certainly want to do everything I can to keep her healthy and around for a long time. I can do that by feeding her Purina food. I know that with it’s real meat and other quality ingredients that I’m feeding Scout a great meal every time.

Don’t forget to grab your Purina food offers before they’re gone on March 3! Log into your MPerks account, or create an account, now!

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It was when I found out that my son had left a winter item at school for the third time in a week that I felt I was going to snap. This time it was a mitten. A tiny little mitten that was easily buried in the large lost and found box. That’s when I decided it was time to pull back out the DIY mitten clips that I had made for Nick years before.

Easy DIY Mitten Clips – No Sewing Necessary

Do you feel like you’re going to lose your mind if you find out your child forgot something at school again? Are you tired of making the monthly, weekly, daily trip to the lost and found box?

We certainly have gotten to that point this year. It was when we were making multiple trips every week to the lost and found that I realized things were getting out of hand. Nick and I both agreed that it was time to get his mitten clips back out.

When I got them out of our winter gear box though I found that he really needed a fresh pair. After 6 years of wearing them in the snow they were quite dirty and the clips were starting to get a bit rusty. They did their job and worked great though, so I can’t complain.

I had originally made the clips because Nick had been required to have mitten clips for daycare. I had been unable to find any in the stores, so I turned to trusty Google to search for DIY mitten clips. This was back before Pinterest was even an option!

I honestly don’t remember what site I found the instructions on for how to make your own mitten clips. It was 6 years ago, so I guess I’m allowed to be forgetful. What I found though was that DIY mitten clips were beyond easy to make, and you didn’t even need any sewing skills to make them!

I actually like to hand sew, but as a busy working mom quick and easy was exactly what I needed.

Supplies Needed for DIY Mitten Clips How to Make Mitten Clips

The first thing you need to do is measure your ribbon length. I like to measure my ribbon out to 7 inches. That gives enough space for the velcro folds while still leaving plenty of length between the clips. You may want to use pinky shears to keep the ribbon from fraying, but I just use regular scissors. The ironed on velcro will keep the ribbon from fraying far even if it does start to fray.

Once you’ve cut both of your ribbon pieces you’re ready to prepare the velcor for ironing. Place one side of the velcro at the end of the ribbon. I find the velcro often shifts a little when I start to iron it on, so I would leave a little space between where you place the velcro and the end of the ribbon.

I like to iron on the velcro at each end and then go back to do the other piece. I’ll attach the two pieces of velcro together and fold the ribbon over to create the right placement. The bar for the clip isn’t very big so you don’t need to create extra space for it.

Once you’ve got the other four velcro piece in place go back and iron all of them on.

When you’re velcro is all ironed on and cooled you can attach the the clips.

You’re done! See how easy those were to make?

Tips for Your DIY Mitten Clips
  • Never iron the velcro patch directly. Make sure you’re ironing the ribbon.
  • If you have a delicate ribbon you can put some material between it and the iron.
  • Follow the ironing directions that come with the iron on velcro, but know that every iron is different and you may need to adjust what it says.

I hope these really easy DIY mitten clips help stop the frustration of lost items. Plus it’ll save you time by reducing your trips to the lost and found to look for a missing mitten. I’m afraid I have no suggestions though for the forgotten hat, snow pants, or the random lost shoe. You’re on your own there!

More Crafts from Rock-A-Bye Parents

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For many of us the first few months of the year bring cold and bad weather that often leads to snow days. Kids love snow days, but after a few a kid’s excitement can quickly turn to boredom. That’s why it’s always good to have fun kid crafts on hand like this snowflake beaded safety pin. It’s the perfect beaded safety pin pattern to use for the next snow day!

Snowflake Beaded Safety Pin

Should we take a vote to see who has had the most snow days this year? We’re actually on the lower end with only two. I have several friends whose kid’s already are going to be making school time up due to a lot of snow days. It is certainly the year for them!

I am not a fan of winter. I don’t like cold and to me snow is more work than it could ever be worth. For years I have said that the only thing snow is good for is snow days. Having been a substitute teacher for many years I still got to partake in the enjoyment of getting a snow day.

As a work at home mom snow days are a bit more work. I not only have my son at home with me while I’m working, but I often have to find time to shovel. Both can take a lot of my time that I should spend focusing on working.

Trying to help Nick decide what to do when he’s bored can take awhile, and I do not have time for that. I find it helps to have things on hand and ready to go when he gets tired with what he’s doing. Beaded safety pins are great for that because it’s so easy to keep the supplies on hand, and there are lots of fun designs you can make. On a snow day though a snowflake beaded safety pin would certainly be my go to choice.

Supplies Needed for a Snowflake Beaded Safety Pin How to Make a Snowflake Beaded Safety Pin

I have to admit that I have gotten a little addicted to creating beaded safety pins for the last several months. They are a lot of fun to make, but not always so easy to design. Luckily for you I’ve cut the hard part of the process out by giving you a pattern to work with.

Now the teacher in me always likes to give a little disclaimer about the beaded pins. I create the designs with kids in mind, but they are really geared towards older kids. Of course pins and little ones really don’t mix, but the seed beads are also very small.

One more tip before we get into the design steps. If you’re new to seed beads please be aware that they are not created equally. Each bead varies by both height and width. This can cause the design to not look quite right when you put the pins together. It’s not a big deal. Just play around with the beads until things look right. If nothing else, this helps spread the craft out longer. Snow days can be long!

Building the Beaded Safety Pins

To keep things consistent I always discuss the order of the safety pins from left to right. This pin though is the same on each side. The middle pin is the only one that doesn’t have a mirror image, so you really can create the pin starting on either end. For the most part it doesn’t really matter.

In my opinion the easiest way to create the pin is by first building each individual beaded safety pin. That way it’s not such a headache if the beads don’t line up right and you have to redo a pin.

To create each pin all you need to do is open up one of the safety pins and slide each of the 10 beads on to it. Then clasp it closed and set it to the side. To make the final steps easier I like to line my pins up in the order that they are going to go in on the main pin.

The designs of the pins are as follows:

Pin 1: 10 Blue seed beads

Pin 2: 1 Blue seed bead, 1 White seed bead, 3 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 3 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead

Pin 3: 2 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 2 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 2 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 1 Blue seed bead

Pin 4: 3 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 1 Blue seed bead, 1 White seed bead, 1 Blue seed bead, 1 White seed bead, 2 Blue seed beads

Pin 5: 4 Blue seed beads, 3 White seed beads, 3 Blue seed beads

Pin 6: 1 Blue seed bead, 4 White seed beads, 1 Blue seed bead, 4 White seed beads

Pin 7: 4 Blue seed beads, 3 White seed beads, 3 Blue seed beads

Pin 8: 3 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 1 Blue seed bead, 1 White seed bead, 1 Blue seed bead, 1 White seed bead, 2 Blue seed beads

Pin 9: 2 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 2 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 2 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 1 Blue seed bead

Pin 10: 1 Blue seed bead, 1 White seed bead, 3 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead, 3 Blue seed beads, 1 White seed bead

Pin 11: 10 Blue seed beads

Assembling the Beaded Safety Pin

Now comes the trickier part of the craft, assembling the entire pin. Truthfully it’s not really that hard. It can be a little confusing for kids though and does involve tools, so this part usually requires some parental help.

The first thing you need to do is widen the coil of the safety pin that you’ll be putting all the beaded pins on. You won’t need to widen it a lot, just enough to allow you to slide the the other pins around it.

Opening the coil is fairly simple. Just take a thin butter knife and insert it into the coil. Then pull the knife towards you. Just a little pull should be enough.

Now it’s time to add the beaded pins. I would start at Pin 1 and continue to Pin 11, but since the pin is a mirror image of itself you could go backwards as well.

You attach the pins by sliding the hole of the beaded pin onto the opened side of the main pin. When you get to the opened coil you’re just going to slide the pin around it.

This might sound confusing but you’ll like get the hang of it quickly after you’ve tried it with a few pins. If the pin won’t slide very easily around than just work on  opening the coil up a bit wider.

One lesson that I learned with my first pin is that it is important to make sure that the beaded pins are all facing the same way when you attach them. Otherwise you end up with them facing different directions when they get to the other side of the coil.

It’s up to you weather you have the pins face left or right when putting them on. I have done it both ways and both work. Just make sure you have them face in the same direction every time.

When all of the beaded pins have been added the only thing left to do is to use the pliers to pinch the coil shut. If you don’t close it then the beaded pins tend to slide back into the coil.

I hope that your kids enjoy this craft, and that it helps keep them occupied on their next snow day!

More Beaded Pins and Other Beaded Kid Crafts

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I have always been a huge fan of the Olympics. As much fun as it is to watch the Olympics it is even more fun to watch them while playing the family Olympic viewing game that we call Go for the Gold.

Family Olympic Viewing Game – Go for the Gold

I love watching both the summer and winter Olympics, but the winter ones are by far my favorite. I kid you not that our television will hardly be turned off once the games begin.  As much fun as it is to watch the games though, it’s even more fun when you get involved with the teams.

I saw this back during the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City. I was doing a tutor class where I would work 2 hours of every school day in a 4th grade classroom in my school district. That year was the year that the U.S. started really making their mark in the Winter Games. Every day I’d go into the class and update on the board how many medals we had won by that point. The kids went crazy watching the numbers go up, and they were so excited to come in every day and talk about the games.

This family Olympic viewing game is sort of a spin on what I watched happen with my 4th graders years ago. Only this time every family member is going to have their own teams to cheer for.

I do like to give credit where credit is due, so I have to say that I did not come up with this game on my own. For years a friend of mine has done this with her group of friends, and they have the best time. I have created all the printables though so that you can enjoy this game with your family.

What is Go for the Gold?

This is a game that you can play while watching the Olympic games. The country cards are current for the 2018 Winter Olympics, but you will be able to make them work for other Olympic games (although my goal is to always update them).

Everyone playing will draw cards with the names of countries playing in the Winter Games. Each player is going to cheer for the countries that they drew. Every time one of those countries wins a medal the player earns a certain number of points. The number of points is dependent on the medal won. The person at the end of the Olympics with the most points is the winner!

How Many People can Play?

Go for the Gold is meant to be played with at least 2 people, but you can go way higher than that. You can really have as many people playing as there are countries competing in the games. This game can be a family activity, or you can get together with a group of friends to play. You don’t need to be together for all of the games to play, but it will be a lot more fun that way.

Supplies Needed to Play Go for the Gold Olympic Viewing Game How to Play the Family Olympic Viewing Game – Go for the Gold

 1. Print out the 2018 Winter Olympic Participating Countries printable.

2. Cut out all of the country name cards, fold them in half, and place them into a container or basket.  You’ll notice that 10 of the cards have red letters. These represent the 10 winningest countries for the Winter Games. You can either cut these out, fold them, and put them in a separate container, or you can set them aside completely.

3. Print out the Go for the Gold playing cards.  Each card has room to record stats for up to four players.  If you have more than four people playing then you’ll need to print off more than one card.

 4. Have all of the players draw countries from the container(s).  I suggest having each person draw three different countries.  There are two ways you can do this.  You can either draw all of the countries you play with from the main container (not using any of the red lettered cards), or you can have every person draw one big winning country (a red lettered card) and then two countries from the main container.  Either way I suggest removing your own country from the drawing because you’re going to be cheering them on any way.

5.  Write everyone’s name in a square under “Players” on the playing card and also write in the countries that they are going to be cheering for.

6. Watch the Olympics and cheer on the countries you drew.  If one of those countries wins a medal than give yourself a tally mark in your row in the correct medal column.

7. When the games are all over, add up your points.  You get 3 points for every gold medal, 2 points for every silver, and 1 point for every bronze.  The player with the most points is the winner!

I hope your family really enjoys playing this family Olympic viewing game. Watching the Olympics is always a lot of fun, but it’s even more fun when you’re playing this game a long with them.

Show off Your Patriotic Spirit for the Games with these Crafts and Recipes

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A Walt Disney World vacation can be so exciting, but it can take a bit of planning. You have to decide when to go, where to stay, what to do, and more! There is so much great information out there to help you plan, but in my opinion the place to start is with the main source. That’s why one of my Disney World vacation planning tips it to take advantage of the free Disney World planning videos!

Start Your Planning with These Free Disney World Planning Videos!

I have always loved the Disney World planning videos. When I was a kid we would request a new Disney planning tape every year. Yes, I said tape. As in VHS! These videos have been helping people plan their Walt Disney World vacations for quite some time.

As years went on Disney changed to sending out Disney World Planning DVDs. These regular playing DVDs eventually changed to interactive DVDs that gave you more control over being able to watch planning sections that were important to you.

In keeping with the times Disney now allows you to stream these videos right online. While a part of me will miss getting the videos in the mail I think this a great thing. No longer will you have to wait weeks for your awesome planning resource to arrive (and forgetting you ordered it during that time). This is especially great if your trip isn’t far away because you need that planning information now!

What the Disney World Planning Videos can Help You Plan

There are so many things that need to be planned for your Walt Disney World vacation. These planning videos can give you a really good base for your basic plans. These are a fabulous starting point for mapping out your vacation. Then you can use other resources such as the planning posts here at Rock-A-Bye Parents, other blogs, and travel books to help you get more in depth with specific information and tips you might need.

The videos will give you a complete tour of all four theme parks. They’ll also give you a tour of both water parks, Disney Springs and over 20 different Walt Disney World resort hotels.

On top of all of that great planning information the videos will also give you tips on affordable ways to play and stay during your Disney vacation. Plus it will also give you personalized tips and information on special events.

How to Get Your Free Walt Disney World Planning Videos

Getting access to these fabulous planning videos is easy. All you need to do is click the image below. Once you’ve clicked the link and you’re on the registration page it will want some information. Don’t worry though because there are no strings attached to requesting access to these videos. This information just helps Disney know what planning information you’ll need.

They will also want you’re address, but don’t be scared of that. Disney will use that to sometimes send you some great travel deals by mail. These are deals that are only good to the address they are sent to, and I can tell you that we’ve gotten some really good deals from them in the past. It’s a little like winning a vacation deal lotto!

Wondering if you’re vacation is too far away to request the videos? Don’t worry at all. Even if you just think you might plan a trip in the next few years you can still request access to these videos. It never hurts to be prepared!

So what are you waiting for? Click the image and get your planning on!

I hope that you find these planning videos helpful. Even die hard Disney fans like our family request them yearly. It’s always fun to see the new things that have been added. The planning videos really are full of great planning information. Plus watching them will really get the family fired up and excited for the trip. Happy planning!

More Disney Vacation Planning Tips

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I love a good dip recipe, and I especially love this lime ball dip recipe because it’s so versatile. What you choose to serve to dip in it changes whether you use it as an appetizer dip or as a fun dessert dip. To me that really makes it one of the best party dips that I have.

Lime Ball Dip: An Easy Appetizer or Dessert Dip

There are so many great dip recipes that you can find on Pinterest. In fact I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to fabulous party dips. I must say though that I rarely find a dip recipe that can be used for multiple purposes like this lime ball dip can.

This recipe is one that my mother and I created ourselves after attending a Tastefully Simple party. At the party one of the recipes that we tried was called a lime ball. We were instant fans and bought a couple of kits of it so we could make it again.

After we had gone through all of our kits my mother decided that we should try to recreate the dip ourselves. The end product turned out really well and is a very good copycat. Our lime ball dip doesn’t have quite as thick of a consistency as our kit ones had, but the flavor is same. Plus, with only three ingredients it’s really easy to throw together.

What You Need to Make the Lime Ball Dip

You may be wondering why I have put that you need pure lime extract or True Lime. The reason is that we have made the lime ball dip with both.

The first time we made the recipe my mother happened to have a box of True Lime packets on hand (although I can’t recall the reason why anymore). Those worked great, and we continued to make the dip with the packets until they were used up.

When I went to buy the ingredients to remake the dip for this blog post I couldn’t find True Lime anywhere in our grocery store. I looked in every place that I thought it could be, but never found it. I honestly wondered if they still sold them, but I have found them listed on Amazon. Since I couldn’t find them my mother suggested to try making the recipe with pure lime extract instead.

The pure lime worked just as well as the True Lime packets did. My only problem was that due to a food allergy I have to citric acid I was unable to eat the recipe with the pure lime extract because it set my allergy off. So due to my own issues I prefer using the True Lime packets, but either ingredient works and the taste is the same with both.

How to Make the Lime Ball Dip

This is seriously one of the easiest dips to make. I put 5 minutes down, but I don’t think it even takes that long.

The one thing you have to remember to do though is to get the cream cheese out of the refrigerator to soften well ahead of when you want to make the dip. I personally would get it out at least an hour before.

Once the cream cheese is soft all you need to do is combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl and mix them together.

Then put the dip into a fun dip bowl to serve and place your desired dippers out with it.

If you are going to use the dip for an appetizer I would put out either pretzels or Tostitos Hint of Lime Flavored Tortilla Chips. If you are going to use the dip for a dessert I would put out graham cracker dippers.

Now if you have all of the party food out in one location and you have all of the types of food mixed together (appetizers, main foods, desserts) you could also do something else. If you have everything out together than you could just put out several different dippers and let your guests choose whether they like it better as an appetizer or a dessert. You see why this is such a great party dip? It can work with whatever need you have.


5.0 from 1 reviews
Lime Ball Dip
Author: Rock-A-Bye Parents
Recipe type: Appetizer or Dessert
Prep time:  1 hour
Cook time:  5 mins
Total time:  1 hour 5 mins
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Brick Cream Cheese
  • 3 Teaspoons of Pure Lime Extract or 3 Packets of True Lime
  • Pretzels, Tostitos Hint of Lime Flavored Tortilla Chips, or Graham Cracker Dippers
  1. About an hour before you want to make the dip get the cream cheese out to soften.
  2. Combine all three ingredients in a bowl and mix together
  3. Place the dip in a bowl and then serve with your dipper of choice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Full Dip Calories: 1272 Fat: 79g Saturated fat: 50g Carbohydrates: 126g Sugar: 116g Sodium: 671mg Fiber: 0g Protein: 17g Cholesterol: 249mg

This lime ball dip recipe has become one of our favorites. I just love that I can pull it out of my recipe box whether I need to bring an appetizer or a dessert to a party. Plus it is so easy and fast to make.

More Party Dip Recipes:

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When people think of Walt Disney World they often think of the theme parks, rides, and characters, but it is so much more than that. One of my best Disney World vacation planning tips is to schedule time to do things outside of the theme parks.  One place that we almost always visit on our Walt Disney World Vacations is Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.  In my opinion this is a Walt Disney World jewel that is overlooked and often forgotten.

Fort Wilderness – Walt Disney World Fun Beyond the Theme Parks

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground opened in November 1971. It was one of the very first resorts that was available to Walt Disney World guests.  It covers 750 acres and contains 788 campsites as well as 407 air conditioned wilderness cabins.  The resort is set within a forested area full of pine and cypress trees. You’ll often spot a lot of wildlife there including rabbits, deer, ducks, geese, and peacocks.

I have actually stayed at Fort Wilderness quite a few times. Even the dog I had growing up has stayed there. In fact this was the first resort I every stayed at. My family stayed in the cabins on that trip and I was only 2.

What is there to do at Disney’s Fort Wilderness?

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground is a great place to stay at Walt Disney World, but it’s also a wonderful location to visit. There is so much to see and do there, and you don’t have to be a Fort Wilderness resort guest to enjoy it!

Fort Wilderness Dining

A lot of people don’t realize that tucked at the back end of Fort Wilderness are some fabulous dining locations.

One is a fun dinner show called the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review. The all-you-care-to-enjoy countrified feast has been around for a long time and is still quite popular. The high spirited dinner show is two hours long and dinning costs are based on seating preferences.

Our favorite dinning location is Trail’s End. This is an amazing place that some die hard Disney fans don’t even know of. It offers breakfast and dinner buffets as well as a brunch buffet on the weekends. The food is always fabulous, and the buffet cost is one of the best on property.

There is one other dining location at Fort Wilderness and that Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. It’s a dinner event that happens several nights a week during certain times of the year. It’s an all-you-care-to-eat hoedown event that includes character meet & greet time. Most people give it pretty good reviews, but we tried it several years ago and didn’t care for it. The music was very loud and it wasn’t a show in the sense that we had expected, so it didn’t keep Nick entertained at all. Considering the high price tag it has we found it to be a waste.

Water Fun at Fort Wilderness

Although the fun of River Country is long gone Fort Wilderness still boasts a lot of fun water options. One option is to rent water equipment. There are many different types of water recreation items that you can rent. You can rent motorized boats of different sizes (seating for 2 guests up to 10 guests). There are also kayak and canoe rentals available. Fishing excursions and dockside fishing are options here as well.

Of course with water recreation comes a beach! The beach is located at the back of the campground and it is usually pretty quite.  It’s a nice place to lounge on a chair and read a good book or rest your eyes while the kids play in the sand. There are also volleyball nets available there. Although you need to have a valid resort id to check a ball out.

More Fort Wilderness Fun and Activities

Not far from the beach there is also a really nice playground. It’s probably the best resort playground on Walt Disney World property. It has several climbing structures with slides as well as swings. Nick has loved this playground for years and still wants to play there every time we go. Disney has recently gated it in, likely for safety reasons, but it does not require a key for entrance, so anyone can still play there.

The fun doesn’t end there though.  There is a lot of fun to be had at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch. You can check out Cinderella’s ponies there. Plus you can go horseback riding or take a wagon or carriage ride.

There is also a fun campfire program with Chip and Dale that is totally free and open to all Disney resort guests! You get to roast marshmallows (you can purchase these there or bring your own) and have a fun sing-along, and then you can watch a Disney movie on a large outdoor screen.

Be sure to check out the Trading Post store while you’re there. We always love to shop at all of the resorts because you can find fun souvenirs in the resort shops that you won’t find any where else on property. The shop is also right by the beach so it’s a great place to pick up some fun sand toys or extra beach towels.

If you’re there during the Christmas holidays be sure to take a look at the campground sites. Many people stay there for long periods of time (especially those at the back) and they go all out with their Christmas decorations. Plus you can also take a “sleigh” ride instead of a carriage ride. Everything there will be sure to get you in the Christmas spirit!

There are still lots of other great activities to be had at Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.  Be sure to check out the Sports & Recreation tab on the Walt Disney World site to see what’s happening there during your visit.

Enjoy a Boat Ride

If you have some extra time on your hands a nice boat ride around Bay Lake can be a great way to spend it. Two different boats run to Fort Wilderness. One goes back and forth to the Magic Kingdom. Another runs circle loops between Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, and the Contemporary. We like to do the resort loop as it’s fun to get off and check out the other resorts.  Remember what I said about the shops!

How to Get to Fort Wilderness

If you have a car with you than you can drive to the resort, park, and head off to your adventure. Pretty much everything you’re going to do is at that back of the resort, so you’re going to need to ride a bus to get there. Trust me  when I say you can’t walk it. The path from the parking area will take you right to the bus stop. From there you’ll need to ride any of the Trading Post buses (there are three different ones). They will all take you where you need to go which is the Trading Post.

If you are staying on property without a car you have two options. You can take a bus from your resort to any of the theme parks and and then grab the bus to Fort Wilderness. They will drop you off at the front bus location and from there you can take one of the Trading Post buses. The only exception is if you take the bus to the Magic Kingdom. From the Magic Kingdom you’ll take the boat to Fort Wilderness. This will drop you off in the back right at the Trading Post area.

Your other option would be to call a taxi (or Lyft, or Uber) and have them drop you off at the front of the resort. From there you will grab a Trading Post bus to the back.

We just love Fort Wilderness. There aren’t many trips to Disney World that we don’t make it over there. With so many fun things to do, and great places to eat, it’s a must visit for us! Have you been to Fort Wilderness before? What things do you like to do there?

Walt Disney World Vacation Planning Resources More Disney World Vacation Planning Tips

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If your family is like ours than you probably have a lot of food allergies and special diets to think about when it comes to food preparation. If you have been searching egg free recipes to find a safe pie to make than I have just the roundup you need! I have complied over 50 recipes for pies without egg that you can make!

50+ Pies Without Egg

One thing I have found over the years of policing recipes for Nick is that people often over look food items where egg could be hiding. Mayonnaise is one item that people forget contains egg. Certain types of chocolate candies is another one.

This problem often occurs with pies. While the pie itself might not contain egg it can be hiding in other ingredients. In fact I found several pies that people thought were egg free that contained cookies or candy that include eggs. It’s these sort of unintentional overlooks that makes food allergies so scary.

I have personally checked the ingredients of all of the pies listed here and have found them to be egg free. I found some recipes that gave options for making them egg free, but I chose not to include them so there wouldn’t be any accidental slips. Having had a child with a serious egg allergy I take all food allergies very seriously.

Egg Free Gluten Free Pies and Vegan Pies

I found several pies that were gluten free or vegan. Many were listed as both, so I decided to combine them into a category together. The pie title will tell you whether is gluten free, vegan, or both.

Egg Free Fruit Pies

Like a good traditional fruit pie? You’ll find several fruit pies without egg here. Many are of the traditional sort, while others have a fun twist to them.

Egg Free Sweet Pies

When it comes to desserts I must admit to a sweet tooth. These sweet dessert pies with chocolate and peanut butter flavors always hit the spot with our family!

More Pies without Egg

I found so many eggless pie recipes to share, but not all of them fit into a simple category, so here is a catchall of more amazing pie recipes that didn’t fit into one of my categories above.

In our family pie is a pretty staple dessert after a family meal. Due to Nick’s food allergy he wasn’t able to enjoy all of the pies that we used to make. Not being able to eat egg can limit some of the recipes that can be used. As you can see though there are a number of amazing recipes for pies without egg out there. Which one do you think you’re going to try first?

More Egg Free Recipes

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