Reflecting on my traveling experience, I realize, I don’t have much to offer as far as world travel. I’ve never been to Paris, I’ve never toured a rain forest. Shoot, I’ve never even been on a flight longer than four hours – and that time was for work!
BUT (as it’s so often pointed out to me) – I go to Disney A LOT. I read blogs about Disney, I talk about Disney with friends and family, I long for Disney…..Some might say I’m obsessed, but I just call it a passion…
Over the last four years and the last six trips to Walt’s kingdom, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve had an opportunity to travel both with and without a child. I’ve gone in large groups and I’ve gone with just my husband. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way – in no specific order.
We normally go to Disney between September and January. During these months, we’ve experienced rain. Not like rain at home, though. The rains in Florida generally come and go quickly; and it’s usually a gentle rain. When you get there you can purchase an authentic Disney rain coat…But let’s face it, why spend your souvenir money on a rain jacket, when we all know the giant stuffed Steam Boat Willie is really calling your name.
Here’s my advice…. Buy rain ponchos from the Walmart camping section. They’re 88 cents – you can’t beat that. We typically will open one and fold it back up to use later that day if the rain is off and on. At the end of the day, we just toss them in the trash. Each morning we throw two or three in one of the back packs and take off for the parks.
2) Gallon Zip Lock Bags
And I don’t mean just one. I take about five. You never know when you’ll need one. They’re handy. First, we use one for our mugs. All Disney resorts offer reusable mugs to use throughout your stay at any resort. So we fill up the mug before we leave and sip on in throughout the morning. After you get to the park though, you don’t want to be stuck carrying a mug- nor do you want to just dump it in your back pack or bottom of the stroller. So we rinse them out in the bathroom and – BAM – plop them in a zip lock bag. Perfect!
Another reason for the bags – buffets. That’s right. I save food. I’m not ashamed! Sometimes you think you’ll eat that banana you put on your plate, only to realize that the Mickey waffles filled you up! They can’t put that back on the serving table, so stick it in your bag. Or when they bring pretzel bread to your table (If you’ve been to Le Cellier, you know what I’m talking about!) you can’t turn it down! Throw those extra uneaten sticks in a zip lock bag and munch on them later. Trust me; you’ll be thanking me when that three o’clock hunger rolls in!
The last reason for the zip lock bags that I’ll mention – Messes! My little girl isn’t always the cleanest eater. (Let’s face it, she comes by that honestly!) Sometimes we have a costume change after lunch. There are other reasons custom changes are needed, but we don’t really need to get into that. Just keep those magical baggies on hand. Zip lock it and don’t stress! Disney is made for fun, not for worries!
3) Neck holders for your sun glasses
I know, I sound old – but trust me, they’re a life saver (Unless you hook them on the back of your chair at a restaurant and walk off and leave them…Ahh, I still miss that pair…) At Disney, you’re constantly in and out of so many buildings to see shows or attractions that you’re constantly sliding those shades on and off. Just let them hang! Plus, when you’re on the faster-paced attractions (Thunder Mountain, Everest, etc) you can feel better about knowing they’re safely attached to your neck!
4) A backpack
How, you might ask, will I carry all of these great ideas – Simple, a back pack of course! I’ve carried one at Disney for as long as I can remember. My back pack is equipped not only with the necessities mentioned about, but items such as long sleeve t-shirts (I get chilly in the evenings), cameras, snacks, sun screen, etc. They’re great to carry and my husband and I have never gotten tired of carrying one. If you’re back pack does get loaded down by the middle of the day with your goodies, check out the Disney lockers at the front of each park. They’re very affordable and totally worth it if your packs weighting you down!
5) Glow Sticks
You’re thinking – what?! I know it. This one is more for the families with kids (or kids at heart!) I once read a review, where the author talked about how she stocks up on the glow sticks around at a dollar-type store for their trips to Disney. It’s genius! They last as long as they’re properly stored. Trust me; this will totally make you the coolest parent, aunt, uncle, grandma or grandpa in the world! Plus it keeps you from having children who are tempted to want all the glowing toys that appear the moment it gets dark. (Trust me, the ones that twirl – pretty cool….) Save your money on glow toys at Disney by bringing your own!
6) Applesauce and Carrots
Remember that awesome back pack I mentioned??? Last time we visited with my daughter in tow, we kept apple sauce, carrots (the kind that you can buy at Walmart – individual serving already diced), and even some of the yogurt found in the baby section (doesn’t have to be refrigerated until opened) on hand. These were things that we knew she’d eat. If our dining reservations don’t match her eating schedule, we had this to tide her over. It also ensured that she was getting at least a little nutrition on vacation. Also, since she’s not yet 3, she still eats off of our plates. So I can cut up bites of my main dish and then add the side dishes that I brought along that I already know she’ll eat!
Whether they’re the hand sanitizing ones or the kind made for baby’s bottoms, carry wipes. As clean as cast members keep the parks, they can’t constantly wipe down the hand rails that everyone’s sweaty hands touch. Wipe your hands often. Especially if you forgot to visit the restroom to wash your hands before you started diving into that chocolate Mickey-shaped ice cream! (Plus, if you’re like me, you’ll need a wipe for around your mouth when you get done with one of those….Oh man, I can taste the chocolate now…..)
These are just a few tips I’ve found useful when my family travels. I’m sure there are a dozen more that can be discussed. Or maybe you have some to add? I’d love to hear your travel related tips!
This guest post is from Chelsea at The Roberts Rundown
- Disney World Planning Tips – Don’t Leave Home Without It (chipandco.com)
- A Stroll in the Parks with Kingdom Strollers (chipandco.com)
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