Saturday, May 25, 2013

Doing Disney Pirate Style

We seem to average about three Walt Disney World trips each year for the last three years. We try to do something unique each time we go. With two boys, we have not experienced the Bippidy Boppity Boutique or princess character meals. (Even though I still would love to dine at Cinderella's Castle!) Since the princess craze doesn't work for us, we search out other fun things to do with boys.  The Pirate Adventure Cruises are for kids only and are one of these great choices.  These cruises sail from one of several Disney resorts and are available for potty trained children ages 4-12.  Each of the four locations that offer the Pirate Adventure Cruises have a slightly different theme.  These adventures set sail from 8:30-11:30 each day from one of the locations and include a hunt for treasure and a story told by the crew.  They even give the kids a snack while away.  You can find the details on Disney's website here.
When we stayed at Port Orleans in 2011, our youngest was too small to join brother on the Bayou Pirate Adventure that sailed from the Fishin' Hole on Ol' Man Island down the Sassagoula River.  But the oldest wasn't keen on leaving mom and dad's side either so we waited until October 2012 and booked the Pirate Adventure Cruise.  This cruise leaves from the Grand Floridian. On this adventure, our kids sailed around Bay Lake and the Seven Seas Lagoon and were treated to a reading of "The Legend of Gasparilla"—a real Florida pirate. These excursions can fill up in advance so call Disney or your travel agent to book in advance. 

This really turned out to be a great adventure for all of us. While the kids were off for a couple hours, John and I went to the Grand Floridian Cafe (where we had advance dining reservations).  We enjoyed some grown up food: Citrus Pancakes with roasted pecans and dried cranberries served with orange butter and Smoked Salmon with tomatoes, onions, capers (I had these left off), cream cheese, and toasted bagel.

After our delightful breakfast we headed back off to the marina with about 45 minutes to spare.  We spontaneously decided to rent a Sea Raycer for the last 30 minutes before the kids came back into the dock.  I have to say it was pretty cool to cruise around Bay Lake for a bit. 

The kids came back in as we were pulling into the dock and showed us all their pirate treasure (a small chest and bag filled with pirate loot like rings, bracelets, eye patches, pencil toppers, etc.) and we headed back to our Pirate Room at Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort.  Our little one fell asleep on the way back and rested well in his pirate ship bed. Our boys really loved the pirate themed room but know that we found the beds a bit more uncomfortable than most Disney Resort bedding.  The room was smaller too but Disney still paid close attention to every detail as always with keg-like bedside tables, plank flooring, and pirate curtains.
When we were planning our Spring 2013 trip we decided to try for the Pirates and Pals Fireworks Cruise that sails from the Contemporary.  We lucked out and got reservations about 3 weeks in advance.  We arrived quite a bit early and there were crayons, color sheets, and puzzles for the kids to work on in the hallway until it was time for refreshments.  The snack buffet included white cheddar popcorn, cake, chocolate pirate coins, fruit, a freezer of Mickey and Disney's Ice Cream Novelties), small bagged portions of Disney's cotton candy, and a beverage selection of coffee, teas, cocoa, and more. 

While we filled up on snacks, Captain Hook and Smee posed for photos and signed the boys 9" Vinylmations.  We were led to the boat by Hook and our cast member on board entertained us with trivia games (for the kids) and prizes while we got our own view of the water pageant before moving along to get into position to watch Wishes.  Of course we had to sing "Yo Ho" and discovered we didn't really know the words! I think The Pirates and Pals Cruise is now our favorite way to experience the fireworks.  It was spectacular with the music piped in over the boats speakers.

The next day the boys had the opportunity to meet Jack Sparrow! After a ride on the Pirates of the Caribbean we made it just in time for him to invite the boys on stage.  They loved the fact that they were sworn in as honorary pirates! Each of them were delighted to have a special certificate to show for this experience.

The only thing that my boys weren't keen on experiencing was the Pirates League at the Magic Kingdom, where children and adults can be transformed into a pirate complete with makeup and accessories.  Maybe we'll try that on another trip.

If pirates and adventure sound fun, try doing Disney pirate style on your next trip. There's no danger of having to walk the plank and you may just have an amazing time.

-Let me know if I can plan your next magical vacation or a pirate adventure for you.  I now work with a full service travel agency that provides FREE quotes, and lots of help to make magic for you! You can email me at for your quote

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