Tag Archives: kids
So you’ve decided that flying to Disney is the way to go. I live in the Northeast, so our flight is short, but in my opinion necessary. My parents were all about the road trip, but with two young boys, I’m all about getting there quickly. So I’m going to share a few of my tips for a successful flying experience with the family. Disclaimer: I make no guarantees here. Flying these days can be rough. But try a few of these ideas to ease the pain.
- Picking Your Flight: Pick a time that works for you. If you are not morning people, don’t stress yourself out by trying to get a 6am flight. Direct flights are not always financially feasible, but if it’s a matter of a small amount, definitely go that way! Spend less on your souvenirs when you get to Disney. Obviously we are all traveling from different parts of the country, but we try to take a late morning flight which gets us in mid afternoon. For many families, travelling during nap time works out well. If your kid is easily distracted this is not a good plan. Then you are left with a napless, cranky child.
- Discounted Flights: Many times if you go to your home airport there will be smaller companies that fly out of there to Orlando. For example Chip has Frontier and Allegiant air that fly out of Greensboro with direct flights to Orlando. Tickets usually run $49 each way. Just check the individual airline website for details as many of these companies will not show up on Expedia or some of the other travel sites.
- Bagging It: We travel with a backpack with several pockets and use bags within the bag. By that I mean using Ziploc bags, pencil cases, makeup bags, etc to compartmentalize your items. Dollar Stores are a great place to find little bags. Keep all like items together for easy access during the security check in and flight.
- Travel Insurance: If you are travelling during Hurricane Season or during the winter months, I strongly recommend this. On the three trips I’ve purchased insurance, I’ve had to use it twice. The company that works with Disney will handle all your flight rebooking and the cost.
- Entertainment: Purchase some small entertaining toys, books or games that will be new to your children. Or put some of their favorites away for a while and reintroduce them. It could be as simple as a Matchbox car! Download apps, movies or tv shows they haven’t seen before if you travel with a IPad or similar device. Disney shows of course! Coloring books with the “magical markers” are a big hit with this family.
- Preparation: If this is their first flight, talk with your children about the process. Books are always great tools. Especially inform them that they will walk through security on their own. Practicing and play acting your flying scenario can be fun family time.
I love the Disney Dining Plan. I know that some people love it and others not so much, but for my family we really enjoy it. I am able to book meals in advance, there usually isn’t too much of a wait when checking in, and the food is DELICIOUS! The problem is (he really isn’t a problem) my 2-year-old! He is an incredibly active child, he is always on the go, he runs and doesn’t walk, sitting for 5 minutes is like sitting for 5 hours to him. We ran into our fair share of problems while waiting for our first sit down meal of our trip.
John was very impatient…he started banging on the table, trying to get out of his highchair, he wanted to run around the restaurant…all behaviors that are totally not acceptable. I am not one of those parents that let my kid run wild because I want everyone else to be able to enjoy their dining experience too! Here are a few things that my husband and I have figured out to make our sit down dining experiences a success!
- Once you are seated, look at the menu, choose who is going to order for everyone (in our case one meal I order, the next my husband orders), and take the kids and your cell phone and exit the restaurant. Allow your kids to be kids outside of the restaurant (we let our son explore, and he isn’t becoming agitated from sitting too long). Once the meal arrives, the person that is at the table calls the one that has the child, we take our son back into the restaurant and we all are able to enjoy our meal because he isn’t antsy! After we are finished it John is looking for activity, one of us again takes him outside to wait for the bill to be paid and then we are on our way to our next attraction!
Ahhh…the perfect vacation (we all know my perfect vacation means being at Disney or cruising with them.) We all plan for it, save for it, count down for it, and think this is going to be the best vacation yet. However sometimes an illness rears it’s ugly head and rains on your Disney parade.
I unfortunately experienced this first hand in October 2011. It literally was the worst trip and experience of my life. My son was 16 months old, I was 6 months pregnant…we flew in to Disney on a Wednesday and had to fly home that Friday…yes 2 days later because of a horrible stomach flu that left both my son and I so sick we both ended up in the hospital severely dehydrated. We both had never been so sick in our lives. I wished that I would have taken some extra precautions because maybe if I would have followed some of the advice that I am going to give you this whole thing could have been avoided!
Most of us have a budget but Disney World can be a budget buster. My daughter and I have annual passes so we go as often as we can. Over the past few years I have learned a lot of money saving tips. Hopefully some of these can help you.
A huge one for me is getting a free cup of ice water in any quick service location that has a soda fountain. If the taste of the water bothers you then you can bring along some of those little flavored packets or Chip uses Mio. There are few locations that will only give you a cup of ice so in that case I just find the nearest water fountain. That can save you a lot of money especially when it’s hot out, which is most of the time here in Central Florida.
Disney World food prices can be a little expensive. So here are some tips that can help you save money on your next visit to Disney.
- You can get a kids meal at a quick service location and if you are not a big eater that will be just fine for lunch or dinner or if you are a big eater that can be a good snack for you. Quick service locations do not ask the ages of the child. You can get a kids meal without the plastic box and save $1.50
- The Plaza restaurant in the Magic Kingdom is a sit down restaurant, reservations are strongly recommended, their prices are reasonable, by Disney standards. There menu is limited but the selections they do have are all good and food portions are large enough to share.
- Casey’s Corner is quick service restaurant, on main street, they serve mainly hot dogs and fries. The portion sizes are large so if you are not a big eater you can share a hot dog between 2 people. As a bonus they also have UNLIMITED CHEESE Sauce for nachos and hot dogs!!!
- In Liberty Square, there is a food kiosk that sells mainly healthy snacks, along with some chips. They have these huge pickles, but they are big enough for 2 people. So put that with free cups of ice water and you have a snack for 2 people for less than $10.00.
- If you have a sweet tooth you can get a cupcake at The Confectionery or The Main Street Bakery. I know they are a little pricey but they are very good and they are huge so 2 people can split one. They also have many other tasty treats.
- Try getting a Waffle Sand which from Sleepy Hollow. They have a sweet and spicy chicken waffle and a ham, prosciutto, and Swiss cheese waffle, both for $6.99; and a Nutella and fresh fruit waffle for $5.59
- Another trick that works anywhere is using a company like Garden Grocer to order snacks and bring them with you to the parks.
With the money you save you can buy those Mickey ears you have been eying all day. What are some tips and tricks you use to save money on food at Walt Disney World? We would love to hear them in the comment box below.
Sunshine is Disney fanatic. You will find her counting the days until she gets to go back to Disney, while annoying her daughter with everything Disney.
- Your Preschooler won’t Remember their Disney Vacation… Or Will They??? (chipandco.com)
- Squirrel holds up Monorail at Disney World for 45 mins (chipandco.com)
“Do as much or as little as you like” is one of the biggest draws for a cruise vacation but how do you know what to do or when?
Disney Cruise Line has it all figured out and they’ve got your “to do” list in a handy-dandy bi-fold paper that is distributed nightly.
The Personal Navigator is your life source to what’s happening on the ship. It’s like a daily TV guide for your cruise; all the activities are listed by time and broken into age groups and categories. Like a TV guide (pardon my pre on demand TV references) it won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use it. So what does your Personal Navigator include and how do you make use of it?