4 Key Points to Consider When Choosing a Family-Friendly Hotel

When traveling on your own or in a group with other adults, there’s not as much to consider when it comes to the type of accommodation that you stay in. However, when traveling with children, your hotel, villa or apartment becomes a far more important decision. As a parent, you want to know that when on vacation, your children are not only happy and content, but also safe and secure where you are staying. But, making sure that you’ve found the right place can be tricky if you are booking online. We’ve put together some top tips to help you make the right choice of hotel for you and your family.

Tip #1. Child-Friendly Facilities

The sort of child-friendly facilities that a hotel offers should always be taken into consideration before you go ahead and book. For example, is there a kids’ pool area? What about a play area or designated kids’ entertainment club? If you’re taking a ski holiday, does the resort offer children’s ski equipment hire and/or lessons? Are children’s meals available at the restaurant? Taking your child to a hotel that’s mainly frequented by adults could mean that they get bored easily and you’ll need to work twice as hard to keep them happy during your trip.

Tip #2. Convenience

If you were traveling on your own or with your partner, you probably wouldn’t think twice about jumping on a bus at the airport or calling a cab to your destination when you arrive. However, when you’re travelling with little ones, waiting around for a bus or taxi at the airport isn’t always an ideal situation, especially if you have just gotten off a long and tiring flight. Search for a hotel such as ChateauBeauvallon.com, where guests can take advantage of the VIP shuttle service that will pick you up from their airport when you arrive and take you back when it’s time to return home.

Tip #3. Safety

Another main factor to take into consideration when booking a family hotel is the level of safety that they offer. For example, if the hotel rooms have balconies, is safety equipment in place to help prevent accidents? Is there a lifeguard on duty at the pool? If so, how often? The last thing that you need is to spend your vacation worrying that your little one is going to hurt themselves. So, opt for a hotel that takes their safety just as seriously as you do.

Tip #4. Location

Lastly, when looking for the perfect hotel for your family vacation, the location is a key factor. Although getting off the beaten path can be a cheaper option when it comes to accommodation, it’s important to bear in mind whether this will impact on your ability to get out and take part in activities during your trip. In many cases, parents find that it’s a much more convenient option to book a hotel that’s close to the center of the activity.

Have you found the perfect family hotel? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Top 4 Child-Friendly Christmas Vacation Ideas

Christmas is a few months away, but it doesn’t hurt to start making plans now. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to keep the kids entertained and under control for the holiday season, and as any mom knows, if the kids aren’t happy, nobody is.

One way to make Christmas extra special is to book a Christmas vacation. Sure, it can be expensive to travel over the festive holidays, but if you want to make this Christmas extra special for the whole family, it’s a wonderful idea. The only fly in the ointment is choosing a child-friendly vacation. Some destinations, like New York, for example, might be an adult’s dream Christmas break, but if you have young children in tow, a city break isn’t going to wash. Not to worry, though, as we have some great ideas for Christmas vacations your kids are going to adore.

Take a Snow Vacation

Christmas and snow go together like peanut butter and jelly. This year, why not book a ski break in one of the top ski resorts in North America. You have some wonderful destinations to choose from, including Whistler in British Colombia, Winter Park in Colorado, which is very family-friendly, and Snowmass, which is also in Colorado. Splash out on luxury accommodation for the whole family, such as the gorgeous condos available from https://www.snowmassvacations.com. Check whether the resort offers childcare and nursery slopes. If it does, you are good to go.

Disney at Christmas

Kids of all ages love Disney. A trip to Walt Disney World in Florida is any child’s idea of a dream vacation, at any time of the year, but at Christmas, Walt Disney World really comes to life. Imagine the joy on your children’s faces if they found out they were spending the Christmas vacation in a Disney Resort hotel. They would be in seventh heaven! It’s not too shabby for adults, too, with warm Florida sunshine and plenty of adult-friendly rides and activities to enjoy. Of course, you could just put your feet up and relax, but with so much to see and do, that would be a shame.

A Christmas Chocolate Extravaganza

Kids love chocolate, so they are sure to appreciate a festive break in the Hotel Hershey in Pennsylvania. Take a trip down Christmas Candylane and admire the two million (yes, you did read that correctly) LED lights. Next, cruise through the Sweet Lights attraction and have lunch with Santa. Just watch your waistline, as a few days in this hotel is sheer bliss for chocoholics!

The Resort at Paws Up

Christmas in Montana is pretty special if you visit the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough. This is a working cattle ranch, but you can stay in a private, luxury lodge, and enjoy a snowy sleigh ride, personal visit from Santa, and some delicious food. They even provide a hand-decorated Christmas tree!

Now that we have inspired you, it is time to start planning your best Christmas vacation ever.

Beautiful Ways to Bond as a Family

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Life can get extremely hectic as time moves forward. One moment, you’re a teenager with the weeks and months stretching ahead like a new page. Suddenly, you’re married with a family and ten years have scooted by in a blink. When you find yourself working forty hours a week while having a family at home, a house to look after and a social life to keep up with, the family bonds can really be strained. It’s not anyone’s direct fault, it’s just how life goes sometimes.
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The happiest families have strong family bonds, and it’s up to parents to make sure that those bonds stay strong and unbreakable. You can create the foundation your family needs for a strong future as a unit, and with these suggestions, you can commit to that:

  • Schedule the time: It doesn’t sound particularly fun to schedule in time with your family, but you need to do that sometimes to make it happen. If you don’t carve the time out to spend together you just won’t. One night a week should be reserved for dinner and games and you should reserve Sunday as your day as a family to get together and have fun! Add in a monthly weekend trip and find a good retreat center as a family to simply enjoy yourselves. Time away together can ensure your bond is strong.
  • Eat together: Families to leave technology out of the kitchen and eat their evening meal together are families who understand each other. Talking together about your day and discussing issues over the table can help you laugh, joke and have fun.
  • Have meetings: Meetings in the office are a totally different activity, but when you have a meeting at home it gives you all as a family to remind each other of the values you hold, the chores that need doing and any important updates. It gives you all an open forum to be together to discuss important events coming up in school or at home and it also allows the children to have a voice and feel like they matter in the home.
  • Encourage each other: Families are successful when they believe in each other’s success. If you have competitive teenagers involved in sports, go and see their games and meets. Have your children involved in your own successes at work and let them tell you they are proud of you. Family support is very important and you need that to be able to continue as a united group.
  • Socialise together: Hold a block party or invite the neighbours to you for days of fun. It’s always said that it takes a village to raise children and if you are close and tight knit with your neighbours, you can always be looked after together. It gives your whole family a sense of responsibility and can also in a way, show your family how strong you are together.

Family bonding is important and when you are all together, you can feel secure and close the way family should be.

 

Rainy Days and Mondays: Indoor Activities to Share With Your Child

Ask any parent and they’re sure to tell you how hard it can be to keep a kid amused when stuck indoors. Whether due to bad weather or a bad case of the sniffles, being stuck at home isn’t much fun for anyone. That’s why we’re so pleased to present several rainy day activities you can share with your kid.

Indoor activities away from home

If you’re looking for an indoor activity to do outside the home, check out the Mommy Poppins website. There you can scout by city or region to find all sorts of educational and entertaining stuff to do with your kids on a rainy day. For instance, Connecticut moms can find info about planetariums, museums and observatories that offer an exceptional experience for kids and parents alike. The Treworgy Planetarium at Mystic Seaport offers rotating planetarium shows along with exhibits and lectures that explain how long-ago seafarers used the stars to navigate.

Mary Poppins also offers a range of kid-friendly indoor activities that are just right for a rainy day. Snuggle under comfy blankets and read a pile of book aloud. Shuffle a deck of cards and teach your kids to play gin rummy, slapjack or poker. Use household items to make musical instruments and march a parade through the house.

At-home activities for rainy days

Hold a room-cleaning competition with a time limit, and see how fast your kids organize their personal spaces. Set a timer, and allow the winner to choose the next indoor activity, recommends NetMums magazine. Make one-person pizzas with premade crusts and any topping the kids might find in the kitchen. Be sure to have plenty of shredded cheese and sliced veggies for this one. Make a gigantic bowl of popcorn and settle on the sofa to watch all the kid-friendly flicks you’ve been meaning to catch up on.

Creative on a rainy day

Art projects are a great way to spend a rainy day. Keep a collection of sketch books, markers, pencils and crayons and bring them out on inclement afternoons. Art apps for Android devices can be a whole lot of rainy day fun, too. Browse a sweet selection of artistic apps at this link. Collage art is another project that’s fun for the whole family. Let your kids cut pictures and phrases from used magazines and glue them onto cardboard oatmeal cartons to create cool containers to hold just about anything.

Let the kids raid your closet and put on a fashion show. You’ll want to supervise, but letting your little ones dress up and try on colorful makeup can turn a rainy afternoon into a wheelbarrow full of laughs. If you know how to macrame, teach your kids how to make friendship bracelets, plant hangers and other crafty items made of cord.

Rainy days don’t have to be boring, nor do they have to cause tension between parents and kids. Try a few of the aforementioned activities and enjoy your rainy afternoon.

 

Freddie Oliver is Dad to 3 kids under the age of 10. He loves being a Dad and enjoys spending quality time with the kids as they learn, grow and develop into wonderful mini humans!

Is It Worth Taking Your Kids On A Long-Haul Holiday?

Now is the time a lot of families are starting to think about holidays. After all, it’s a good idea to get somewhere booked before the prices start to hike up. But when you are thinking about destinations, you need to think very carefully if you are planning to go further afield. After all, while there is a ton of benefits to going somewhere luxurious which is 10-hours flight away. It can be a challenge going on a long journey with the kids. In fact, here are some things to consider before you decide to take your kids on a long-haul holiday.

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You need to prepare them for the flight

 

The most challenging thing about going on a long-haul holiday with little ones is the journey. After all, they are going to get bored during the time at the airport. And then it can be a challenge to get them to sit still for the flight. If you do want to make the trip, you need to choose an airline who offers lots to do for the kids. For example, you want kid’s music and tv shows available for them to watch. And you should also take a bag for the kids full of activities and toys to keep them busy. Also, bring a cozy blanket and their pj’s, so that they can get some sleep while on the flight. If you still think it might be a challenge, it would be worth looking at a shorter flight which will be manageable with the kids!

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You need to consider the time difference

 

You also need to check what the time difference is in your chosen destination. After all, if it’s a big difference, it could be a challenge to get your children to get used to the time. In fact, they might end up suffering from jet lag when you arrive at the destination. Of course, there are some things you can do to help ease this. For one thing, you can get a flight which lands in the evening at the destination. That way, you can all head to bed and get into the same time as the country in the morning. And as it says on these jet lag tips from whatsthebestbed.org, make sure your kids are well-rested before the trip so they won’t feel as exhausted when you arrive!

 

You need to think about the benefits of the holiday

 

To ensure you make the right decision, you need to think about the benefits of going to the destination. For example, is there anything unique which you won’t get at a country only an hour or two away? And is there things that the kids will always remember? You might find that you can get similar fantastic accommodation and sights at somewhere a lot closer. It can definitely help you make your mind up if you do your research before you go and book that holiday!

 

And remember to check out what injections and tablets you will need before you go to the destination. After all, it might not be worth going if your family has to go through the stress of a load of injections before the trip.

 

Single Mom Vacation Stress, And How To Reduce It

So, everybody knows that while vacations can be wonderful family time, they can be a big bag of stress as well. There is all the washing and ironing you have to do before you go. Then there’s the packing, as well as booking and paying for things.  All of these issues can be magnified when you are the only adult that is going, as you don’t get to split the responsibilities or the stress. But there are some ways you can seriously reduce your vacation stress, and have an enjoyable time. Just read on to find out what they are.

Pay In Increments

So one of the biggest stresses about vacations is that they can cost so much money! It can be pretty tough to make ends meet when there is only one parent in the household. So finding the money to go on vacation is often a rare and exciting treat.

One way you can make this a little easier on yourself is to find a voucher to help you reduce the cost of your holiday. Or you can look for a provider that allows you to pay in increments.

Some vacation providers allow you to book your place, and dates, with a small deposit and then pay off the remaining fees over a year or so. It’s a lot easier to pay a little each week or month. Plus, by booking it this early, you have something to look forward to on the days that are a bit stressful. You know the ones I mean!

 

Pack In Advance

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Another major stress of vacationing is getting everything ready to go. This is primarily made up of washing, ironing, and packing all of the clothes that you will want to take with you for both you and your kids.

The best thing that you can do to reduce stress here is to get packing in advance. What you need to do is sort out which clothes you will need for your trip, and keep them separate from anything else. Then wash and iron these, and roll them up once they are dry as this will help to stop them from creasing.

Be clear with the kids on what they can and can’t wear for the week before the holiday, though, as they might take something from the wrong pile. You can even put it in their suitcases, so they know not to touch it.

Also, it’s often a good idea to dress in something comfortable, but nice when you get to the airport as this helps you to get in a festive holiday mood.

 

What About You

Something else that you can do to reduce the stress of your vacation is to make you’re you provide for yourself as well as the kids. It’s your vacation too!

For example, it is your time of the month while you are away, you may want to get tablets to delay your period, so you don’t have to worry about that on top of everything else!

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You may even choose to pay for some childcare on one of the days. Then you can get some time to relax by the pool, instead of always making sandcastles and running after the little one when visiting theme parks!

 

 

 

 

 

Unbreakable Bond: Moms, This is How You Bond With the Kids

The bond between a mother and her children is one that can’t be broken. And, forging this unbreakable bond is something that happens at an early age. So, you need to come up with the best ways of bonding with the children and making a positive impact on their lives.

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Read to Them

You know one of the dying arts these days? Parents reading to their children. Most parents these days are too content to let their kids sit in front of a screen. As such, many children nowadays aren’t able to read very well. Educating your child to read and reading to them yourself are really important. This can increase a child’s vocabulary, excite their imaginations, and make them more creative.

Discipline is Important

Discipline plays a big role in your life as a parent. You have to be sure your children are well disciplined and that they know the rules. Kids who lack discipline at a young age will wind up being entitled and spoilt as they get older. That’s why you have to address this behavior when they are very young and make sure you nip it in the bud. Discipline teaches kids about respect and understanding and will bring them closer to you in the long run.

Spend Time Together

Spending time with your children is one of the most important things you’ll have to do as a parent. Kids need love and attention at a young age because it’s crucial for their growth and development. Children look to you as their role models and their link to the world. The more time you spend together, the more your children will learn, and the more well-rounded they will become. If you neglect your kids and don’t make time for them this will have repercussions on them as adults. Too many parents these days don’t make the time for their kids, and you’ve got to make sure you don’t make this mistake.

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Play With Them

You have to put in the time to play with your kids. Spending time together is important as well. But you need to share in the act of playing together. This means you join in with their games and embrace the way they want to have fun. It’s really important for kids to be able to play with their parents. And not enough moms and dads these days take the time to do that. Kids need stimulation and interaction when they play. And they have to be taught about socializing while they play because this will come in very important later in their lives. Also, playing with them allows them to spend time with you in an entertaining environment and ensures that you develop strong bonds.

Know When to Reward Them

You have got to know when to reward your children for their behavior and accomplishments. Now, this is a bit of an art form because you have to get it right. It’s important to recognize their good behavior and success, but you can’t always reward them. You shouldn’t get into the habit of rewarding the kids constantly for things they should be doing anyway. This will make them grow up thinking that’s always going to happen. But it is important to show recognition on occasion. You also have to choose rewards carefully. You could buy them treats, gifts of unique craftsmanship, or follow through on promises. Make a decision about what you feel the best reward will be for your children.

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Be Consistent

One of the big mistakes that parents often make is to be inconsistent in their approach to parenting. This is a mistake because it gets confusing for their children. They need consistency to familiarize themselves with the way you parent. This means you need to follow through on threats you make, as well setting boundaries. Find a style of parenting that works for you, and stick to it. The worst thing you can do is chop and change the way you are with the kids. This is okay occasionally, and when they are younger. But, if you do it too much then you’re going to find that the children disengage, and they won’t take things you say seriously. Consistency is the key to success in anything, and parenting is no different.

Prepare for Tantrums

As your children get older, the number of tantrums they have is going to increase. As they get more and more hormonal, they will start to treat everything like it’s the biggest deal in the world. Now there are many ways you can tame your children’s temper tantrums. But this will become increasingly more complex as they get older. And you need to be aware of the fact that these tantrums are going to occur. The best way of bonding well with your kids is to make sure you understand their tantrums and try to understand their emotions. If you can deal with these things well, then you’ll get on better and develop a better relationship with the children.

Find Out What Works for You

There’s no formula for how to be a good parent, though people may tell you otherwise. It’s about being there for your kids and treating them well. But, it’s also about making sure you find what works for you as a parent. Something that is effective for other people and their kids may not work on your kids. The best way to bond effectively and be a good mother is to determine what works with your children and then use the techniques you need. This helps you I understand your kids on a deeper level and allows you to bond with them better.

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Parenting is one of the hardest things in the world, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. And you need to make sure you give yourself the best possible chance of being a good mom. The thing is, there is no guidebook to raising children. Sure, there are plenty of parenting books that give you the basics. But no one knows your kids the way you do. And you can use this knowledge of them to ensure you bond with the kids as much as possible.

3 DIY Projects Moms Will Love

On Mother’s Day, how can you honor your mother for the work she does for your family? Perhaps the most popular way of showing Mom how grateful you are for her is through DIY projects. Whether it’s decorating a mailbox for the spring or helping her fix up a space in the house just the way she wants it, young children can get in on the action by making decorative items with Dad using age-appropriate materials.

You might even take it a step farther and get Mom a DIY craft kit or a gift card to her favorite store. The following three DIY project ideas can help you give Mom a nice surprise on Mother’s Day.

DIY Crafts for the Whole Family

 

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Crafting is a relaxing hobby, and it’s one that the whole family can share with Mom. While it’s traditional to give Mom something on Mother’s Day, consider giving her a DIY craft in which everyone can participate. Crafting moms get the pleasure of making something with their families, and everyone else will get to enjoy learning more about Mom and her favorite crafts. Going this route might slightly change up the tradition of giving Mom a gift outright, but it brings the family together and makes the day a particularly special one.

Decorating the Mailbox for the Season

Mother’s Day is something of a season opener for planting annuals or perennials, making it the perfect time to create a beautiful setting for your mailbox. Take Mom on a trip to the nursery and have her pick out what she’d like to see in her front yard, but don’t stop there: Go one step farther and prepare the spot for planting, then let her design the layout. Don’t let her do the work, though; this is her day to relax while she enjoys what her family wants to do for her.

You can also find weatherproof decorations to put on the mailbox. Pick out Mom’s favorite flowers or find items that represent her hobby, and then place them around the mailbox. Be sure, though, to keep them out of the way of the postal worker who delivers your mail.

Check an Item Off the Honey-Do List

There’s always something around the house that Mom has been wanting to do for ages but that never seems to get done. Use Mother’s Day as an opportunity to get that project done. When you tackle the jobs that are the most important to her, you can get the whole family involved, assigning age-appropriate tasks so that no one will feel left out.

Whether it’s hanging a mirror and putting up a shelf or two — or even something a little more involved that doesn’t need a contractor — your gift will be something that Mom will appreciate for years to come.

Mother’s Day is just one day in the year, but a mother’s work is never done. Make this day special by giving her a gift she’ll remember for life. Think outside the box and get the entire family involved, combining everyone’s best effort into an unforgettable project.

Amazing Family Portrait Ideas

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Many families will have their family portrait taken every year, as it is an excellent way to document the growth of the family and see everyone develop. When it comes to having your family portrait taken, it is worth your time to consider having a little fun with the yearly ritual. There is plenty of inspiration online on websites such as Pinterest.

Not Too Cheesy!

It is important that your photos are not too cheesy, and you will want a theme that is tasteful, and also timeless. You can get some inspiration by talking to the professionals offering amazing Brisbane portrait photography at Studio 4 Photography.

 

  • Reflections

A technique which is not overused is reflections; taking the family portrait while they are next to a still body of water and making the reflection the focus point. With proper lighting, you can create a striking image that is ideal for your family picture.

  • Comedy

With the advent of digital technology, it is easy to have your photo manipulated with a comedy background, such as a prison line-up. If you are looking for this type of portrait, it is also important that you dress appropriately to maximise the effect.

  • Classic

You may wish to go for the classic style where all of the family are sat or stood around nicely with semi-formal clothing. The classic style of portrait photography has been used for a long time, but you can also add a modern twist to it and make it a bit more fun for the family through dressing up in costumes.

  • Scenic

People will often want a countryside background for their pictures, with plenty of nature on view. The use of animals can also make for an excellent portrait, especially when they are cute.

  • Picture Frame

A common theme which is still being used but modernised in many ways is the use of a picture frame. Often the parents will hold the picture frame, framing their children behind the frame. The finished product gives you a picture within a picture and is visually appealing.

  • A Voyeur Shot

Taking a voyeur shot of the family in a natural setting can make for an excellent portrait of the household. Making this type of shot allows the family to be photographed when they are acting naturally, and this will show in the finished pictures.

  • Black and White

As well as all of the different themes that you can use for your family portrait, you can also choose between colour, and black and white. Sometimes when you take a colour photo and render it black and white, it changes the overall appearance and can have a striking effect.

  • A Profile Shot

Instead of taking a picture from the front perspective, you can take it from the side taking the family’s’ profile which can give you an awesome shot of your family.

Whatever style of picture you decide to immortalise your family for prosperity with, listen to your photographer’s suggestions and take advantage of all of their experience. Make sure that you have fun as a family and this will come across in the pictures when they are taken, capturing a memory you can treasure for always.

The Most Haunted Spots at Florida’s Disney World

The Magic Kingdom just might seem a little more magical when you hear more about the haunted hot spots in this amusement park. Whether you stay in a hotel, rent a vacation home like those from Bluegreen or stay at a Disney resort, you can view all the haunted spots in the park during your trip.

Haunted Mansion Ghosts

You might expect to see a few ghosts on a ride called the Haunted Mansion, but some who take this ride see more than just a few fake ghosts. Hundreds of people over the years requested that their loved ones scatter their ashes at the attraction, and while Disney always turns them down, some sneak in and do it anyway. That might explain why some visitors caught a glimpse of a ghostly little boy riding in an unoccupied car and wandering through other parts of the ride.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Long before it was a hit string of movies, Pirates of the Caribbean was just another ride at Disney World. Legend says that this popular ride is home to a ghostly man named George. George was supposedly one of the many men working on getting the attraction up and running before the park opened for the season. There are a number of stories told about how he died, but all those stories end with the claim that he haunts the ride. Workers claim that they often see a shadowy figure when viewing the camera feeds from around the park and that the figure disappears into thin air. Riders witnessed the man standing in the background too.

Splash Mountain

The ghost of a former park visitor allegedly haunts Splash Mountain in Disney World too. Park workers claim that an older man riding began experiencing the tell tale signs of a heart attack but didn’t know how to call for help. He attempted to climb off the ride and was crushed when the log he was in rolled right over top of him. Workers feel uneasy when working in this part of the park. They hear someone whispering their names, feel something standing behind them and generally feel strange.

Space Mountain

The ghost of another man who died at the park haunts Space Mountain. According to legend, he loved the ride so much in life that he keeps coming back night after night and getting on the ride whenever there is a free seat available. Those riding on their own sometimes feel something brush up against them as if there was someone in the empty seat next to them. Workers reported seeing a man riding the cars later at night who disappears when the ride ends.

Mission Space

Though not technically in Disney World, there is a ghost haunting Mission Space in nearby EPCOT. During its first year of operation, a little boy died on the ride. Workers at the park feel cold spots that settle in the exact spot where he died and hear the sounds of a little boy laughing and giggling. Many believe he likes coming back and recreating the fun he had on his last day on earth.

If you decide to head to Orlando and check out Disney World, keep your eyes peeled for the ghosts haunting this theme park.