Thursday, February 5, 2015
the dodges do disney || part 1
So we ran off to Disney World for 10 days IT WAS MAGICAL. We all miss it! And though I would like to call it a vacation I have to admit we came home completely wiped out. We crammed in everything Disney had to offer... which made for some great memories and gave me a lot of insight about the dos and don'ts of future Disney Vacations. It is definitely a trip every family should do at least once!
This post is solely some quick starter tips -- I will be sharing some of our favorite things about each park in a separate post! If you have anything specific you would like me to share about feel free to tweet at me or leave a comment here.
Here are a few quick tips that can help with a Disney trip.
PLAN IT - DON'T WING IT!
Do not go to Disney World without looking over their website and each park or you will miss so much. They want your trip to go great and they have so many tools to help! They are so detailed about each park on their site, and I read about each ride and attraction beforehand so I had a good idea of the shows and how they would fit into our days. I also made sure to look at their maps while I planned so that things were close by each other. The parades and evening light shows absolutely make the day magical - I wouldn't miss them! They have great tools for you to have a rough itinerary and it also collects in it an app so you have your day at your fingertips once you are there. It also tells you if you schedule things that overlap in advance to help you ensure that you see everything you want.
I suggest taking full advantage of their Fast Pass program where you are entitled to quick passage onto 3 rides or attractions of your choosing PER DAY. If you buy tickets to the park in advance you can book them in advance. Keep in mind they are limited and time selections fill up -- the only draw back is that you're committing to those time frames. The first 4 days we stuck solely to the itinerary. Then we started using the app to change our quick pass times, it was way faster than the Fast Pass kiosks that are crowded with people who don't understand technology aka slower than molasses
BRING A GOOD STROLLER --
I had so many people tell me to bring a small, compact umbrella stroller. I AM SO GLAD I DIDN'T LISTEN. You must bring a functional stroller!!! You will have Mickey ears and bags, and trust me you don't want to be carrying it all! Guys, you are on and off buses and they are packed and you have kids and bags -- be sure that you have a stroller that is easy to fold and carry! Our kids fell asleep on the bus almost every night and I can't imagine trying to carry them plus an impractical stroller back to the resort. Wrennyn was in the stroller more than not, he also napped in it -- I would definitely be sure that you bring a stroller that reclines.We were lucky enough to have the Stokke Scoot which is a quick and easy folding stroller. It has the luxury of Stokke but is a smaller footprint than their XPlory or Crusi. I hands down love everything Stokke, but I think the convenience of the Scoot really saved us on this trip - the fact that it was comfortable to ride in for hours made it easier for Wrennyn to be content as we explored the countries of Epcot and ran from park to park! Thankfully it was also large enough for Brinley to ride in when he was tired from all the walking. I loved that the boys could take turns taking a break. I absolutely would have been miserable with an umbrella stroller. You walk. A lot. You walk miles every day to be honest and if your child isn't comfortable they are CRABBY. Be sure you stroller is big enough to haul some things with you each day - we carried a bag with snacks and sweatshirts for layering and there is no way we could have made it through the day without the undercarriage basket. The Scoot stands on its own when folded which is really nice, that made the transitions on and off the shuttle a breeze considering we had 3 tired kids and bags of goodies to get on the buses safely at night, because trust me the shuttles are kind of hectic when the parks close.
BRING YOUR OWN SOUVENIRS + SNACKS
I can thank my sisters for this amazing tip! Yes, there are some things you can only buy in the parks on Disney property like Mickey ears, but most things you can find for a little cheaper at the Disney Store in your area. The toys that spin and light up were the biggest hit and I bought them for a few bucks cheaper before we left, the kids wanted them with every night because you see them all over the parks. So glad they didn't feel left out. I also bought a lot of little character figurines and stuffies - we gave a surprise gift to the boys each morning to make it special. Packing them in advance and bringing them along also ensured that we had room in our luggage to bring it all back home. This also made for a lot less whining in the parks because most rides drop you off into a gift shop and it is hard not to want it all, this way the boys rarely bothered to even ask us for anything.
We also packed a small carry-on solely full of quick snacks. To be honest there weren't many snack options outside of ice cream, popcorn, and carrot sticks in the parks. You get sick of it all pretty fast. I was so thankful for our little bags of pretzels, peanuts, granola bars, and oatmeal that we had brought. When you are waiting for a parade or show there is no doubt your kiddos will be bored and cranky -- these snacks saved us many times. We ate everything we brought along, and we even had the dining plan that included daily snacks in the parks. Starbucks was a nice treat if you were dedicated enough to wait in the 45 minute line.... which I was thank you very much.
There is this great thing Disney offers calls a Rider Switch pass. If you have a family member who isn't tall enough for a ride you can all go to the entrance together before you go on the ride I REPEAT BEFORE YOU GO ON THE RIDE and get a switch pass. This allows part of your party to go on the ride and then the parent who had to wait with the children who were too small gets immediate access once you have come out of the ride. This saves an immense amount of time waiting in line and lets everyone experience Disney. Here is an example: Wrennyn was too small for roller coasters. We would all go to the entrance and get a swtich pass. Andy would take the 2 older boys, wait in line, and go on the ride. Meanwhile I waited with Wrennyn. Once they came out I got to take the boys on the ride and advance to the fast pass lane - it means I could go on the ride without waiting in the long lines since I had the switch pass from Andy. I am sure a lot of people don't know about this, but I am so glad we found out about it on the first day. It also allowed Rowan and Brinley to go on the rides twice versus just once! This photo is our view while we waited for the boys to go on Thunder Mountain in Magic Kingdom. If you didn't use the switch pass immediately you could save it and go on the ride at a later time - which we did often!
I absolutely loved Disney -- it was completely Magical and as they say it is the happiest place on Earth. These next two photos were on our first day Disney on our first day, and it already makes me want to go back! Will be sharing some more about our trip! Hang tight!
Huge thank you Stokke for gifting us the Scoot for this trip, we love supporting you and your amazing brand! We never share about products that we don't believe in, and I thank all of our readers for following us and discovering new brands through us.
Posted by ruffledsnob at 6:06 PM