Category Archives: Planning 101
As the countdown to my family’s vacation ever so slowly creeps down, we are beginning to focus on our traditions for preparing for our trip. While some of our traditions are exciting, like movie nights and making T-shirts; some are simpler but equally as important to us. One of these simpler traditions is making special envelopes for the tips that we leave for the Mousekeepers at our resort.
Like many people, one of my favorite things about being on vacation is that I get a break from my normal cleaning responsibilities and I am very appreciative of the people who take are of these things for me while we at Disney World. While tipping the Mousekeepers is certainly not required, my family and I like to sprinkle a little bit of pixie dust on our Mousekeeper’s day. We leave one envelope each day instead of just one tip at the end of our stay since we may have a different Mousekeeper each day and we want to be sure that each person gets a thank you for their hard work.
We make preparing our envelopes a fun, family activity and our designs have changed over the years as my Disney Addicts have gotten older and craftier. Design possibilities are almost endless; really only limited by your creativity. Ranging from simple too much more crafty and elaborate, there are design choices for everyone to choose from. A quick Google search can easily get you started with ideas for your envelopes. We prepare one envelope for each day of our trip and usually choose images that relate to our activities for the day or our resort.
35 Days! Yes that is the countdown until our “Holiday” trip begins! I usually am pretty stress free (except for the night before/morning of the trip). This trip however is a bit different for me. This upcoming trip I will be traveling with BOTH kids! Yes I know some of you are old pro’s at this but for us this is the first time traveling with not just one child but 2! I am not embarrassed to admit I am a little stressed! I have the traveling with one kid down pat…Jr has been to Disney 3 times since he was born and on a Disney cruise (he is only 2). It was relatively easy to pack for one, get to the airport with one, fly with one, and tour the parks with one. This time is going to be so different! 2 car seats for the plane, most likely an extra bag of luggage due to unpredictable Florida weather in December, 2 single strollers or one double?! Oh the choices and preparation!
Even though I have only traveled with one I have learned so much! Things like head back for a nap (or you will be that family in the park…you know the family with the screaming tantrum throwing child, and the parents that are stressed out yelling at each other because of the screaming kid…side note…that has been us!) So as I prepare for the next phase in our Disney life, I am going to welcome you all along to take a ride with us! I am going to include you all on some tips and tricks, some packing thoughts and suggestions, decisions that are to be made, tools that we will use in the parks to help us get the most out of our vacation, and when we come back I will share with you new things that I have learned and some great memories that I just know we will make! So buckle your seat belts and join us for the next chapter in our crazy, busy, Disney loving family’s life! I am SO glad you are joining us!
First up on my to do list: PACK MY TOP 5 MUST HAVE/MOST FORGOTTEN ITEMS FOR THE KIDS!
Planning a Disney vacation can be expensive, but Disney does a great job of allowing families of all sizes and budgets to have a great vacation! There are all sorts of ways to cut down costs at the Parks, but maybe the most beneficial to your wallet is having the ability to pack your own cooler!
That’s right, Walt Disney World actually allows you to bring a cooler into the Parks, which is something not all theme parks allow you to do. This is a HUGE money saver, especially when a coke will run you close to $3.00.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when packing your cooler for Walt Disney World:
- Your cooler must be soft sided and smaller than 24″ X 15″ X 18″ which happens to be the size of a locker at Walt Disney World.
- No alcoholic beverages are permitted into the Parks at any time!
- No glass containers are allowed inside the Parks, with the exception of baby food jars.
- Coolers with wheels are not permitted into the Parks.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom does not allow anyone to bring in coolers of any kind, except for medical purposes, for the safety of the animals. Animal Kingdom also does not allow juice boxes or drinks with lids into the park for the same reason.
- Upon entering the Parks, you must get your cooler inspected at the bag check locations.
Mickey Mouse shaped tomatoes? Pumpkins resting in hammocks in the air? No, it’s not the dream I had last night after spicy pizza and too much Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. These are just two of the interesting things that you can see on the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot. The first thing that most of us think of enjoying at Epcot is that coveted Fastpass for Soarin’, Mission Space or Test Track; however, Epcot has even more to offer, especially if you are a Disney nerd like me!
This tour, which is located in the Land pavilion, is something that I had wanted to try for many years and it was even better than I had hoped for. If you have ever ridden the Living with the Land attraction, then you have seen a small portion of one area that you will explore during this hour-long walking tour. It is a great experience with several unique highlights.
- Price:While wonderful and interesting, some of the tours at Disney World can be rather pricey; especially if you have a large family. This tour is much more reasonable at $18.00 per adult (ages 10 and up) and $14.00 per child (ages 3-9 years old) currently. 15% annual passholder, DVC, Disney Visa, and military discounts are offered.
Many people think that Disney World is just the 4 parks, but there are many things to do outside of the parks that do not cost a lot and some are even free !
Here is a list of a few of my recommendations of some free or cheap things to do outside of the parks, in no certain order.
1) Visiting the many Disney resorts. Disney has over 20 resorts and each of them has a different theme, You can make a day of just going around and checking out all the different resorts. They are all beautifully decorated and worth seeing. Keep in mind that all Disney resorts, just like the parks, sell different merchandise and some merchandise is only sold at certain resorts. Check out Chip’s Series Resort Hopping 101 here.
2) Riding the monorail. I know that most of us already know this so this tip is directed more to the first time visitor. The monorail loop circles The Magic Kingdom, The Polynesian Resort, The Contemporary Resort, The Grand Floridian Resort, and the Transportation and Ticket Center. I recommend getting off the monorail and the resort stops and taking a walk around. These resorts are some of Disney’s top resorts and of course that means they are some of the most expensive resorts, so for those of us who can not afford to stay there we can always go and dream.