March 28, 2014

Disey Recap: Do and Do Not

Do Make Advance Dining Reservations for your “must do” dinners and character meals.

Do Not make too many.  By the end of the trip I was tired of buffets and the stress of trying to get super stoked kids to eat something while Mickey was standing five feet away.

Next time: I won’t pay for the dining plan which means I won’t be booking as many sit down meals.  Sometimes a sit down dinner is nice and I will definitely have a couple (probably at Be our Guest and a character dinner) but seven was too many.

Do set a souvenir budget.

Don’t get excited when faced with store upon store of Disney merchandise, much of which you can’t buy elsewhere and cause Big Daddy to make THAT face.

Next time: I’ll set myself a budget, too.  Of course, it might be so I can buy a Dooney and Bourke bag…

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Do be flexible to the best of your ability.  I know it’s a huge expense, but if no one is having fun because Mommy is being a harpie and insisting that everyone march on to ride the Jungle Cruise when all everyone else really wants to do is ride the Flying Carpets again  You’ve missed the point.

The above did NOT happen on my trip.

Do not force your child to ride a ride he or she is insisting they are frightened of.  Do not be that parent.  It is expensive, but I bet if someone asked you why were at Walt Disneyworld, you’d say it was the kids so don’t be a jackass.

Do ride the small rides that are quick gratification (aka short lines) as frequently as your child asks to.  We rode the Carrousel and saw Mickey’s Philharmagic multiple times during our trip.  The lines were always short, so if we walked by we asked the kids if they wanted to ride/see the show.  They nearly always said yes.

Do Not break the magic for others.  There is only one Mickey Mouse and he’s standing right in front of you and of course it doesn’t get any hotter “in there” then you get under your skin.   The company line is that you are currently meeting the one and only Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty/Minnie Mouse/Goofy/Donald.  Every adult (and a lot of kids) knows the person you’re meeting is someone dressed as a character, but some little ones are true believers. Do not spoil it for true believers.

Do bring the essentials, but Do Not overpack.  I belong to a few Disney Planning boards and I’m often shocked by the amount of items people choose to carry all day in an amusement park.  Big Daddy and I like to travel light.  Want to know what was in our park bag?

  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • bandaids for blisters
  • motrin for headaches
  • granola bars
  • disposable ponchos
  • autograph books with pen
  • hand sanitizer
  • portable phone charger
  • jackets if it was cold starting out or expected to be cold by the end of the day

That’s it. No extra changes of clothes.  No ziploc bags for storing things. No flashlights or extra socks.  No beach towels.  And, let me tell you, the above was heavy enough as the day wore on.  We tried to pack five bottles of water, which mean a 5 pound+ bag at the start of every day. I think packing food is a fine way to minimize some costs and Disney does allow you to bring food in the park, but is the money you save worth toting extra crap?  For us, it’s not.  If it didn’t fit in our backpack, it didn’t come.  Period.  That also means, to be careful with what food you pack.  Granola bars don’t really crumble upon crushing, so while they do become more messy to eat, they don’t turn to dust.

Additionally, I know it can be expensive, but you can really buy anything in the parks.  From shoes to underpants.

Do be generous with your downtime.  If you have small kids, please remember that Disneyworld is huge and even excited kids tire out.  Rent a stroller, even if your kids have long aged out of it.We did five park days in six days. That was too much.  For our next trip (November 2015, right Big Daddy) I’ll plan better in that regard.

Do not be so obsessed with milking the fun out of Disneyworld that you miss the fun.  Don’t miss the fun!  Or the fireworks.

 

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Jamie

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      It’s magical and I can’t wait to go back. <3

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