Disney Vacation Planning

Living In A Grown Up World – Plus One!

In looking back on my recent articles, I realize that a lot of them involve me reminiscing, or dreaming, or pretending, or wishing…basically, I realized I haven’t been to Disney in a while, nor will I get to go for quite a while. Normally this would make me sad, but this helps a little….

JohnCampEastman

My little man has brought so much joy to my life – watching him learn things – grab a new toy, or whip his head around when he hears mine or my husband’s voice – it’s something that is so great, I can’t really describe it – and although having a baby may have postponed our next Disney trip (for a LONG time) – I don’t care. I would give up any and everything for this little guy – and someday I will get to show him just how great Disney World is – and then we will get to experience Disney from a whole new perspective! Traveling there as a family will undoubtedly have its challenges – but the payoff will be so much greater! To get to see my son experience the rides and characters for the first time is something I can’t wait to do, and can’t wait to share here too!

So I may still be an adult Disney lover, but I will probably not travel there in an “all adult” party anytime soon – which is ok, because I hear it’s a great place for kids too… 

Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney Rides/Attractions, Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

My List of Disney Lists

disney-world-vacation-planning

I like to make lists. That is no secret, and I do not apologize for it. Organization is important – and it’s especially important when you’re taking your family on a vacation! Forgetting something (like your cell phone charger or spare camera battery…) can impact your entire trip, so I find its best to plan ahead as much as possible. I like to make SEVERAL different lists when preparing for my Walt Disney World vacations – here’s a rundown of them:

-Souvenir List – having been to WDW many times, I know what kinds of souvenirs they have, and what kinds of things I can actually enjoy/get a lot of use out of. Kitchen items, mugs, playing cards, pens – these are the kinds of things I like to plan to buy, and having a list of what I might want to get helps keep my budget on track. I use the Disney Store website to help ballpark costs of some of the items, which helps too!

-Budget – Ok, this one isn’t really a “list”, but its still a REALLY important part of vacation planning – knowing how much things cost and about how much you will need to save is imperative. Some things I always include in a Disney trip budget are: hotel, park tickets, food costs (don’t forget tips and “adult” drinks too!), souvenirs, transportation, and incidentals (someone loses their hat, or we run out of sunscreen, etc)

-Packing list – You HAVE to make a list of what’s going to go in your suitcase – you don’t want to forget anything important! I like to make the list a few weeks before the trip, and I do it on my phone so that I can add items as I think of them. I also like to check the weather so that I know what I can expect – things like ponchos and sunscreen are always on my list, and I like to make sure I have some snacks for traveling and all my necessary chargers too. Now that I have a son too, packing has become this HUGE undertaking –and I now need a separate list so I can make sure I have everything he needs too – so if you have kids, packing lists are even more important

-Park Items – There are some items you will want to make sure you are toting along on your Park days – sunscreen, assorted sizes of Ziploc baggies, ponchos, snacks, sunglasses, and a lightweight hoodie are some of the things that go into the backpack we bring when we head to one of the WDW theme parks

-“Must-Do’s” – Before you go to Disney World, check out their official list of rides/attractions and go over it with your family. Decide which ones are on your “must do” list and make sure you have that handy while at the Parks. This should be a pretty short list – as you don’t want to try and do too much in a day or you’ll get burnt out!

-“Must-Eat” items – Disney is a food lover’s paradise – they have all kinds of cuisine and restaurants, and it’s a good idea to know what they have and what you might want to try. This is an especially good thing to do if you have any type of special diet or food allergy – it’s good to know which places can accommodate your needs

Hopefully this “list of lists” will be helpful to you– maybe you can use some (or all!) of them to help ensure your WDW vacation goes smoothly!

Categories: Disney Food, Disney Restaurants, Disney Rides/Attractions, Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Son’s Disney Education – The (REALLY) Early Months

My little guy is already going for the Disney toys - apparently we will be playing Disney Yahtzee tonight!

My little guy is already going for the Disney toys – apparently we will be playing Disney Yahtzee tonight!

There are few things I am adamant about, but waiting until my kid is old enough to enjoy a vacation (and not need a stroller!) is one of them – as I cannot fathom toting a stroller/diaper bag/toys/blankets etc around with me at Walt Disney World, so I am opting to wait until he is about 4 to take him to the Happiest Place On Earth (well, almost 4. 3 maybe – depending on how independent he is….). This means I have approximately 3.5 years to make sure he is schooled in all that is the World of Disney. May seem like a long time, but there’s a LOT TO LEARN!

So how do I teach? Well, I have several methods.

MOVIES: This is probably the most important, and one of the easiest ways to teach kids about Disney – is to show them the works of art that Walt himself and his team of animators and Imagineers created. They may not understand much of the story, but they will love the colors, animation, and songs

BOOKS: Reading to your kids is a great habit to get into, and my little guy loves hearing stories and seeing the pictures. Most Disney classic movies are also available in book form, and they are a great way to introduce them to the joys of reading!

SINGING: Some of you may be wary of this one as not everyone has choir perfect voices, but kids generally LOVE being sung to – even if you aren’t always pitch perfect. I like to sing Mary Poppins songs to my boy, and I help him “dance” to them too

TOYS: There are SO MANY Disney toys out there – they have them at almost every store – from the grocery store, to Wal-Mart and Target and drugstores too! Make sure you pay attention to the recommended ages, so that you can be sure your little one is enjoying the right kind of toy. Personally I love stuffed animals, and so does my son – Mickey’s ears and Tigger’s nose make the best chew toys

It’s NEVER too early to teach your kids about Disney – Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself anyway. At this rate he will be more than ready for his first (of what I am sure will be many) Disney World trip!

Categories: Disney Vacation Planning, The World Outside Disney, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Must Have Items For That LONNNGGGGG Road Trip To WDW

ARE WE THERE YET?!

ROadTrip

When I was a kid, we drove to Disney World a BUNCH of times – and I know it’s a huge money saver for families with kids, but the truth of the matter is – its BORING and LONG – especially when you live in Upstate New York and the drive takes TWO DAYS – ugh. I am so grateful that my parents were able to take me to Disney so many times, but I have to admit – I hated the car ride – especially on the way back. These days, many families are opting to hit the road instead of the airport – and for those of you who decide to head to Walt Disney World by car, here are some items you will definitely want to bring along to help make the trip more bearable:

Electronics: Ipads, kindles, tablets, ipods, smartphones, DVD players – they are all amazing inventions that will help provide many hours of entertainment to your passengers. Make sure you pre-load them with stuff they can do offline, like downloaded movies, games, and music. And since all those things can be pretty noisy, remember to bring along a few pairs of headphones too!

*Don’t forget to bring extra batteries/chargers/car adapters too – or else you could wind up with a meltdown on your hands!

Snacks: For some reason, riding in the car makes me SUPER hungry (weird, right?), so I like to make sure I have plenty of snacks on hand. Make sure you get everyone’s favorites, the ones you don’t normally buy them – so that it makes the car ride more ‘special’ for everyone (I would very willingly get in a car for a long road trip if I knew there were plenty of delicious goodies waiting for me…just sayin’!). Try and stick to items that don’t melt easily to avoid a mess in the car! Speaking of messes – I suggest you bring along some baby wipes/wet naps, paper towels, and extra grocery bags for garbage (it accumulates quicker than you might think…)

Drinks: Pack up a cooler before you leave home, and make sure to include a variety of drinks. Water is the most important – bring some water bottles full of ice and water, and then stick a few caffeinated beverages in there too for when you need a quick pick me up. Make sure the cooler is easily accessible – we like to keep ours between the driver and passenger seats (easy cuz we have a van – but the backseat works too – just make sure not to pile anything on top of it!)

Pillows/Blankets: It’s not easy to get comfortable or stretch out for a nap in the car – but bringing along your favorite pillow and blanket can help you pass the time by getting a little shut eye during the trip. Make sure you bring enough for all of your passengers – as no one wants to hear a fight over how “he took my pillow and won’t give it back!”

Road Trip Games: Classic distraction tools that don’t require any fancy technology or an adapter – click here for some great road trip entertainment. Or you can purchase some games, like this Family Road Trip Box Of Questions, or this Travel Scavenger Hunt For Kids game, or you can buy books of word searches and crossword puzzles to bring along. Things you’ve already got at home work too – crayons and coloring books, decks of cards, pads of paper and pens, books & magazines – the possibilities are endless!

While none of these will make a road trip “thrilling” – they will definitely help to pass the time. And the best part is, once you arrive, you’re on vacation at DISNEY – the Happiest Place On Earth!

Categories: Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

T.G.I.F. Pic Of The Week – All Time Favorite Disney Moments

There are some vacation memories that stand out in our minds as being the perfect moment – and throughout all my trips to Disney, I have definitely had a BUNCH of these – moments where I just stop and think “wow, this is amazing and perfect and I wish this could last forever!” Of course, it can’t last forever – but the memory of it can, and so can the pictures (my personal favorite souvenir of all time!). Check out some of my top Disney moments:

???????????????????????????????

When my husband and I went to Disney for our honeymoon, I hadn’t been there in over 7 years – and when I stood at the start of Main Street and stared down at the Castle in the distance – I got a little misty eyed – and the only thought I had was “I’m FINALLY home”

Osb Lights1

My parents, husband and I spent the week of Christmas at Walt Disney World two years ago – and we had SO MUCH FUN! Waking up at Disney on Christmas day has to be the ultimate in Christmas dreams come true (thanks Santa!), but I have to say the best moment of the whole trip was when we went to see the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights on Christmas Day. We went early so we could see them be lit, and it was an amazing experience – the music, the lights, the (fake) snow, it was the absolute perfect thing to do on Christmas Day and I think of that memory often

Duffy

When Duffy The Disney Bear came on the scene, I just thought he was the cutest thing – and I loved the backstory of how Minnie made him for Mickey so he wouldn’t be lonely on long trips. So I knew I had to meet him – pronto. I made my way to his character meet and greet in Epcot, and was saddened to see that he wasn’t there – but after only a few minutes, he appeared and I got to meet him! I was so excited, and I would say this was definitely one of my favorite character encounters ever!

disneyland collage

I have been lucky enough to get to travel to Disneyland once – and it was such a great experience! I love how different it is from Disney World, and yet how similar it is too (yeah, that seems weird to say, but it’s true!) and I love that it was a place where Walt actually went and took his family there, and that he created from the ground up

Vacations are a perfect place to have fun, relax, and make memories with the ones you love! I am so grateful and lucky to have gotten to travel to Disney and have these moments with my family – and I can’t WAIT to bring my little guy to Disney so he can start making memories of his own!

TGIF

Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney in Pictures, Disney Vacation Planning, Disneyland, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disney Vacation Planning – Easy Saving Tips

Wishes fireworks show (with Cinderella Castle behind), Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida USA

Disney vacations do NOT come cheap – they take a lot of planning, and a lot of saving too –but they are worth EVERY penny – and a penny saved here and there can add up! Read on for some tips to help you save for your Disney Dream vacation:

Make A Vacation Fund Jar: Gather up some cute stickers/pictures/ribbons and decorate a plain jar to be designated as your family’s “Disney vacation fund” – where you can stash any loose change you have hanging around. Before you know it, it will add up and help you get that much closer to that Disney magic!

Divide And Conquer: We all divide up our paychecks based on our bills and budget needs, but what about setting aside a slice of that payday for Disney? Most banks allow you to setup recurring transfers- where you can set how much/how often money is moved to a savings or other account you have designated for your vacation money. Set it to move $10 each payday, and you will be surprised at how little you miss that $10, and how much that $10 helps beef up your vacation fund

Make Do With “One Less”: One less dinner out per month, one less purchased lunch, one less latte, one less movie outing…you get the idea. Just getting rid of one outing/extra expense per month allows you to still go out and have fun, but lets you save some money towards Disney too! Besides, doesn’t staying in and cuddling under a blanket while watching Frozen sound better than going out anyway?

Utilize Store Discounts/Perks: Purchasing Disney gift cards at places that offer a discount is a great way to help pay off your trip – Target’s Red Card offers 5% off, and warehouse stores like BJ’s sometimes sell these at a discount as well. The Disney Chase Visa credit card is another way to earn Disney rewards – $1 for every $100 spend on the card

No matter what your method, all the saving and planning will pay off for sure when you finally get to take a trip to Walt Disney World (aka the best place EVER!)

Categories: Disney Vacation Planning, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 73 other followers