Archive | Disney World

Mama Monday : Walt Disney World Pools

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Walt Disney World Resorts have incredible pools. Take a pool day to enjoy your resort’s pool! You will not regret it. If you don’t want to take an entire day, then take an afternoon or two to enjoy them. Here are a few of my favorites.

Which one is your favorite?
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But I don’t cook on vacation….

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I often get asked why I would use a grocery delivery service. I don’t cook on vacation. I don’t think anyone should have to personally! But I do use a grocery delivery service. I have used the same service for years. But recently that service has not been offering the best customer service so I am trying a new service(We Go Shop)  out this trip. I will let you know how it goes.

While traveling with small children, you already have so much STUFF to take. And with the weight limits and bag limits, it is just one less thing to worry about if you can have someone else shop and deliver it for you. Some people like to stop on the way to the resort. I personally don’t know how they get in and out of a store they haven’t been to in the 30 minutes you are given. And this is if you are taking a private car. If you are doing Magical Express, then there is no stop and you have to take a cab to the grocery store and back. No thank you!
This particular service charges a flat rate for the shopping portion and it is based on your total bill. You don’t pay a markup on the grocery items. They are willing to shop the sales for you or stick to your brands if you prefer. And then they charge a delivery fee. Honestly, I am wondering what is the catch??  It seems too good to be true. Another agent swears by them so I hope she’s right! The other service marked up the prices of the groceries, no sales were passed on to you, and you paid a minimal delivery fee. They always texted you to let you know the order had been delivered to Bell Services. By the way, Bell Services will keep your cold items refrigerated for you until your room is ready.

Here’s a peek at what we ordered for this trip. Keep in mind we have a 1 year old and a 3 year old so there are a lot of baby items on this list. Our kids eat most things at the restaurants but I like to make sure they have breakfast in the room, snacks, and some fruit/veggie options. And we

Breakfast Items
1-      medium box of honey nut cheerios
1 box of Kashi soft cereal bars, any flavor that is fruit based
Dairy Case
2-      4 packs of Lifeway Drinkable yogurts for kids Pro Bugs Berry or Banana flavors NO orange
1 gallon organic whole milk, horizon brand if available otherwise any organic brand
1 dozen cage free eggs, prefer brown
1 small container of butter, like country crock or something that is small
Produce
10 bananas approximately-organic if possible
1 small container of frozen peas/carrots veggies. Can be the singles. Prefer organic if available if not the Green Giant brand.
Baby Items
14 Plum Organics squeezable fruits/veggies for baby or tots. variety of flavors is fine no prunes
1 can of Earth’s Best Organic Formula in the red can
1 pack Earth’s Best™ TenderCare Size 5 Chlorine Free Disposable Diapers (26-Count)
1 pack Pampers® Baby Dry™ Diapers – Size 5 (27 Count)
3 plum organics super puffs, variety of flavors
1 bag of yogurt bites
1 box of Earth’s Best Sesame Street Bars
1 box of MumMums
Deli
1/4 lb boars’ head oven roasted or smoked turkey lunch meat sliced thin
1/4 lb boars’ head colby jack cheese sliced thin
Snacks
1 bag of individually boxed raisins-prefer organic if possible
1 box of Annie’s cheddar bunnies or 1 bag of goldfish
2 jiffy pop stovetop popcorns
Drinks
1 case of bottled water no nestle brand, prefer ozarka
1 gallon bottled water, no nestle brand, prefer ozarka, with spout if available
1- 12 pack yuengling beer
1 bottle of Pinot Noir – $25 or less range, examples Belle Glos Meomi, Schug, King Estate, Rodney Strong. If none of those pick something from Russian River Valley or Oregon
1 bottle of Savignon Blanc – $20 or less, Oyster Bay, Kim Crawford, anything from New Zealand
2 six pack of 8 oz canned coke
 Looks like a lot but the kids will eat the snacks and we will enjoy our beverages! Plus breakfast in the room will be super easy in the mornings. 

Did I miss anything on my list??
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They Will Never Remember It So We Are Waiting Until The Kids Are Older

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This is one of the biggest misconceptions about Disney that I hear often. Why would you ever want to wait to take your kids to THE MOST MAGICAL PLACE ON EARTH?? We took our oldest for his first birthday. He’s three now. He certainly DOES remember his first Disney trip. There are things we did on that trip that we didn’t do on other trips. He adores the Disney characters and over time who his favorite one is changes. He still remembers feeding Minnie Mouse grapes at Chef Mickey’s. 


Now that he has a younger brother (who we took on his first trip when he was nine months, he’s about to turn 1) he tells him about the trip. He has been to Disney multiple times and each trip was different in its own way. We took him on the Tea Cups on this trip and on his next trip he remembered going on them. He was quite concerned though on his first ride on them.

We had two couples and their kids go with us on that trip and he clearly remembers the people that were with us. He talks about H and L going to Disney with him for his birthday and he asks before every trip if they are going to go again with us. No doubt they remember this trip too. L was 4 and H was 3. 

If we followed this guideline of only doing things they will remember, we would never leave the house with our kids. They take music classes, swim lessons, sports classes, go on a variety of play dates, attend birthday parties, dinners out, etc. We create family memories together by living in the present. 

The best part about taking them when they are younger than 3 is they are FREE. That’s right, FREE. Disney allows children who are under the age of three to go into all of the parks, water parks, etc for free. They can share meals with you at every restaurant which means the character meals are FREE. You can save hundreds of dollars on their first trip just by going before they turn 3. You can even celebrate their 3rd birthday there and as long as they are 2 on the day of check in, they are FREE. This is definitely a great deal.

Even if he never remembered this trip though, this look right here is one that is embedded in my memory and his daddy’s memory and I know we will never forget it. This was the look on his face when he saw we were about to meet Mickey Mouse. He was not even walking yet and he wanted down on the ground and he crawled as fast as he could over to Mickey and Minnie. The pure innocent joy on his face makes every trip worth it to us to take him and to let him and now his brother experience Disney.


So when asked why take the kids if they won’t remember it anyhow, I always say take the kids. YOU will remember it and they will surprise you with what they do remember. I personally could not have waited to share the Disney magic with my kids until they were older. We went to Disney often before the kids were born and have continued to go often since they arrived. We have incredible family memories from all of our trips and my kids are very lucky to have experienced these.


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To Hop or Not To Hop

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Prior to becoming a Disney Vacation Planner, when we went to Disney I always purchased the Park Hopper feature. It is currently approximately $61(including tax) per person to add the park hopper at Walt Disney World. Now after having planned hundreds of tips, I still feel the exact same way. It is the best $61 you will spend! 

For those of you that are not familiar with how the tickets work, Disney sells a Base Park ticket that allows you to enter one park per day. It can be any of the four parks at Walt Disney World: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or Animal Kingdom. At The Disneyland Resort it allows you to enter one of the two parks: Disneyland Park or Disney’s California Adventure. If you add the Park Hopper option you can go into multiple parks in one day. This is why I think you should add it:

1) It allows you the most flexibility with your dining schedule. Not everyone actually books their dining at 180 days. If you are my client and this is an advance planned trip, sure your dining is booked at 180 days out but if not and it’s a last minute trip or if you are choosing one of the most popular restaurants, it is nice to be able to take the reservation that is available and not worry about which park you should be in that day.

2) Some parks just don’t take as long as others. Animal Kingdom is a prime example. I have never spent open to close in that park. This park has some of the earliest closing times so the animals can get their rest and there’s not much to see after dark there. This often leaves a lot of hours left that could be spent at another park.

3) Even with the best planning, some days you just aren’t feeling like a particular park. Or you didn’t get to a ride you really wanted to do at another park and you want to hop over and squeeze that ride in. The year we ended up at the Magic Kingdom during the Christmas Parade taping was the time that sticks out the most when something unplanned happened to our stay. It was a makeup taping day so we weren’t expecting it. The crowds were much higher than expected and the park was broken up where you couldn’t get from one land to the next as easily as usual. We left and went to enjoy another less crowded park. 

4) And what about the unexpected events that can happen. You might oversleep one day and miss rope drop at a critical park or you might need to shift your plans to accommodate a late night the night before. You can’t do that as easily if you don’t have the park hopper. 

5) In the grand scheme of your total trip, this is a small dollar amount of an option and the return is much greater with it than without. 

Overall, I always recommend to HOP. Not everyone takes this advice and I can certainly plan a vacation without the hopper, but if it was my trip(and when it is my trip) I opt for the hopper every time for the most flexibility and best value of the tickets.

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