Disney Vacation Planning

Must Have Items For That LONNNGGGGG Road Trip To WDW

ARE WE THERE YET?!

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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: Walt Disney World, Disney Vacation Planning | 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:

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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”

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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

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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!

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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

T.G.I.F. Pic Of The Week – Valentine’s Day Gifts Delivered To Your Door At Your WDW Resort!

Happy Valentine’s Day Eve to everyone! I know not everyone loves this holiday, but I personally can’t get enough of it! What’s not to love – hearts, flowers, candy, romance – add some Disney in there and you’ve got the best of everything! I mean, what better a couple to look to as a role model than Mickey and Minnie? They know a thing or two about love, that’s for sure!

If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the Mouse himself at Walt Disney World (LINK), there are plenty of ways to show your sweetie you care. Disney Floral and Gifts creates amazing custom gifts for any and every occasion – including some amazing ones for Valentine’s Day:

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What little guy or girl wouldn’t love to receive a Mickey or Minnie themed Valentine gift?

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Kids aren’t the only ones who love getting valentines…jewelry is a classic gift to give, and with a Disney twist, who can resist?

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Bring out the kid in your honey with their very own set of Mickey ears!

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Flowers are another traditional Valentine’s Day gift – these Minnie themed ones are perfect for your Disney-loving sweetie!

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A Disney villain themed Valentine’s gift? Why not – it’s something different and fun, plus it comes with chocolate (yum!)

Check out all their holiday offerings here, and whatever your Valentine’s Day plans are, hope it’s an enjoyable day full of love and fun!

TGIF!

Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney in Pictures, Disney Resorts, Disney Vacation Planning | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Waste Your Money On These Disney Souvenirs

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There are SO MANY awesome things available for sale at the Disney Parks that it’s hard to narrow it down when it comes to which ones you should actually buy and bring home with you. Some choices are better than others when it comes to what you might actually use/appreciate/enjoy after your trip is over, and if you’re not sure what is worth your hard earned money, then check out this list of items NOT to buy:

Clothes: Ok, this is controversial, as many people would argue they will wear the hoodie or hat or t shirt again at home – but I know for me and my husband and probably many other people, that’s just not the case. We don’t generally go out in “Disney world” apparel, so dropping $60 on a hoodie might not be the best choice for us. Also – I did just say $60 for a hoodie, that’s right – the price is another factor here, clothes at WDW tend to be really expensive, and if you don’t desperately need it (like you didn’t spill coffee all down the front of your shirt while trying to get a picture of the castle like I did…) then don’t bother

Parade Toys/Glow Sticks etc: While waiting for the nightly parade you will see vendors pushing carts of light up wands, glow sticks, and other bright flashy items. They are fun while they last, but don’t give in to the kids’ begging – these items won’t get much play time at home and in the case of the glow sticks, die out after just a few hours

Anything Huge: This may seem like an overly general statement, but that Lego Star Wars Millenium Falcon is bigger than most people’s checked luggage, and that huge stuffed Mickey mouse will definitely get dirty after being dragged around the Orlando airport for hours…this one is really common sense people – if its bigger than your child, don’t buy it

Glassware: Disney sells some really nice kitchen items, including nice wine glasses and beer glasses and ceramic mugs – all of which look great in the store, but won’t look so great after being shattered to pieces in your suitcase. Wait until you get home, and order it online through the Disney Store – you’ll be glad you did!

Things You SHOULD Buy: There are a few go-to souvenirs that I always end up grabbing on our Disney trips: A Christmas ornament with the year on it, a photo frame (I like the small magnetic ones, no glass involved!), playing cards, pens/notepads – anything small is a win in my book, and some of the kitchen stuff is great too – like towels or pot holders – things I can use and enjoy long after my trip is over are what I like to bring home with me!

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

T.G.I.F. Pic Of The Week – New Year, New Resolutions!

HAPPY 2015! Can’t believe Christmas is over and it’s a whole new year already! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to take on 2015 and all the challenges and good times it is sure to bring! I like to make New Year’s Resolutions, and I have come up with some for this year:

Introducing my baby boy to the world of Disney, starting with these:

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Yeah, that’s right – Disney Videos! Actual VHS tapes of basically all the classics, and not only will this introduce him to Walt’s classics, but it will also teach him what a VCR is (something he otherwise would never have known, because who uses those anymore anyway? Well, me, duh!)

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Aside from videos, it’s also never too early to teach him about the Disney Parks too – he will need a full education on what it’s like to visit the happiest place on earth, and I hereby resolve to start that education ASAP!

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Another one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to cook more and to try new recipes. Lucky for me, Disney can help me out with that, with their assortment of cookbooks that contain recipes from the Disney Parks and Resorts!

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My last resolution is the most important to me – and that is to spend as much time as I can with my family and get to watch my baby grow into a little boy – they grow up fast, and I won’t be missing a single minute of it. Before I know it, he will be tall enough to go on all the Rides at Walt Disney World! I can’t wait to take him – but for now, I will focus on enjoying this stage of his life and helping him learn and grow

What about you – do you make any New Years Resolutions? Are they Disney related?

TGIF and Happy New Year to all!

Categories: Adult Walt Disney World, Disney in Pictures, Disney Resorts, Disney Rides/Attractions, Disney Vacation Planning, The World Outside Disney, Walt Disney World | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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