Tag Archives: Packing
What is a Garden Grocer and why are we so in love with it? Garden Grocer is a local supermarket outside the Disney World properties in Orlando. There are many grocery stores in the area that will make your deliveries but Garden Grocer does the best job by far!
5 Reasons why we love Garden Grocer:
- Online ordering. It’s so much easier to peruse the selections online than try to explain something over the phone. Their system is very user-friendly and their selection complete. Coming from “up North” some of the brands were unfamiliar, but they had everything I was looking for.
- Delivery. Right to your Disney Resort or place off property. With a delivery to our Disney Resort we didn’t even need to be in our room. Your groceries are left with luggage/bell services and the cold items in refrigerated storage. At most of the moderate or deluxe grade resorts you may have the groceries then delivered by bell services upon your return. Otherwise you can pick them up at the luggage rooms. Check with your resort ahead of time if you think there may be an issue.
- Selection. Garden Grocer has a huge selection of products. They have baby items, snacks and even alcoholic beverages. The online ordering section is divided into “aisles” just like your grocery store at home. My favorite section…”Park Essentials”.
- Savings. Buying these same items are a fortune at Disney’s gift shops. If all you want is a half-gallon of milk you can go into any Disney gift shop and get one. We even found we were able to use snack credits for boxes of crackers and cookies. However, if you are looking to save on snacks to bring to the park or have breakfast items on hand you will not save any money by going to the food courts.
- Time. We don’t rent a car while at Disney. If we did, the LAST thing we would want to do is running to the grocery store. We would rather be relaxing by our resort pool or enjoying the parks. You are on vacation, for a small delivery fee and a little planning ahead you really can enjoy it!
Packing for the Disney Parks can be both stressful and exciting. There are several different thoughts on what to pack in your carry on bag when you fly to Disney:
- Pack everything you need for your entire vacation in one bag so you don’t have to deal with bag check. This is my father.
- Pack only in your pockets- keys, wallet, money, ID, chapstick- and carry a book. This is my husband.
- Pack a backpack with as many books, magazines, toys, handheld games, snacks and gadgets as possible. This is my oldest son.
- Pack a little bit of everything, just in case. This is me.
Several years ago when our family flew to Los Angeles to visit Disneyland our carry on bags basically contained the items listed in #2 and #3. We were only focused on keeping our son, then age 9, occupied on his first flight. It worked beautifully on the way out to California. However, on the return flight home, we had a much different experience. One flight was delayed which meant the connecting flight was missed and there were no more flights to our destination until the next day. Look back at the items in #2 and #3… we weren’t prepared for this. After spending too many hours in the airport and eventually a night in a hotel, I made a list of items that will always be with me on a flight, just in case!
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!
Of course there is! Gone are the days of Mom handing you a handwritten list of what you are allowed to bring. No more spreadsheets for each trip, detailed right down to the phone chargers. Or maybe I’m the only packing nerd here? Somehow, I doubt it. My new favorite app discovery is the packing app. In particular Packing Pro for iPad/iPod Touch. However, search your phone/tablets app selection for “packing” and many options will appear.
The features of Packing Pro:
- Can set up different “Lists” for trips, great if you take the same trip annually. I have one set up for weekend trips, Disney, our annual trip to Maine.
- List can be divided by “bag” and there are preloaded suggestions.
- Thanks to iCloud, my husband can see his list without touching my Ipad.
- I’m not there yet, but you can even set up weights to make sure your bag does not exceed the limits.
- There is even a “to-do” list section for home and work of things to do prior to your trip. Great place to remind yourself to set up reservations, arrange for pet sitter, etc.
I’m often reluctant to change and accepting all the new ways of “doing things”. However, to my over-organized mind this and other packing apps are priceless! Next time you are planning your trip to Disney you can be sure to have a list of your favorite Mickey items. Autograph books, Mickey Ears, Pin Lanyards, etc. Perfect for families with older children so they can pack their own bags by looking at their own phone or tablet. So if you own the technology, embrace it. Make more time to check out Chip & Co for the fun planning of your trip!
Mickey Mom is a Disney Addict in denial, admitted packing nerd and mom to two boys. She loves to share her trip tips to others, especially in regard to traveling with little ones.
- Disney’s “Where’s My Water?” mobile game app gets “Frankenweenie” makeover (orlandosentinel.com)
- It’s a Bag’s Life: Bag Options For Disney (couponingtodisney.com)
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.