Monday, July 11, 2011

Disney world: TIPS & Confessions!!!

mickey-min-vacationNow, don’t get me wrong…I’m NO Disney World professional! But, I did QUITE a bit of research and feel that our trip went pretty stinkin’ close to perfect! So…here’s my advice to you…

Before you go:
*Talk it up!!! Get online and order the free “Vacation Planning” DVD. (Click here!) Let your kids watch it OVER and OVER again! It got Quinn SOOO excited!
*Make dining reservations AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING! They book SUPER fast!!
*Make Pirate’s League, etc. reservations AS SOON AS YOU KNOW YOU’RE GOING! I had NO idea how crazy booked they’d be! Slickpaw came to our rescue, but I don’t think it’s typically easy to “squeeze in!”
*Pre-order the Photo Pass (Click here!) It was well worth the $100 to get the hundreds of pictures that the Disney photographers snapped of us all week long!
*Pre-order your park tickets through Undercover Tourist. We got an extra day for free for ordering through them as opposed to the park!
*Watch ALL of your Disney movies…and rent the rest! Quinn loved knowing the stories of everything he saw!
*Plan your days out a little bit. It’ll help you make sure to not miss anything that you really want to do. Just don’t be stressed out by your “schedule!” Be flexible!
*Don’t get too bogged down with all of the information out there. Pick a few resources that you trust and use those! I got myself SUPER overwhelmed when I started internet hopping. My favorite resources were these books…

The first one, Beyond the Attractions, I uploaded to my Kindle and got SO much good info. The others were great to have in hand! I actually took the Birnbaum Guide with me everyday to the parks! … And, Quinn LOVED having his Kids one. He got it for his birthday in March and looked at it ALL of the time!

At the Parks:
*Go as many days as you can. We had a 6 day pass and that was great. One day at each park just wouldn't be enough. And, even with the 6 days, we could have gone more!
*USE THE FAST PASS!!! I seriously couldn’t believe how many people didn’t have a CLUE! It’ll save you so much time!!!…and, it’ll make you SO happy to walk to the front of the line! And, it’s FREE! (Click here to read about how it works!)
*Either go to the Electrical Parade/Fireworks on a day when you don't go to the park…or, go in the morning, take a rest and come back! It makes for a SUPER long night…but you won’t want to miss it!
*Take your own stroller! Despite the annoyance of traveling with it, it was so nice to have while we were at the parks!
*To save money, grocery shop and take your own lunch and snacks!
*Decide ahead of time if you want to participate in Pin Trading. You can order a starter set online before you go and save money.
*If you buy anything of considerable size (Slickpaw bought us all some really cute popcorn bowls), they’ll ship it home for you for a very good price.
*Go back to my posts to see my ratings on the things we did each day. But, remember that it’s my opinion…and I have a 4 year old and not even 1 year old!… 
-Magic Kingdom (click here)
-Animal Kingdom (click here)
-Nighttime at Magic Kingdom (click here)
-Epcot (click here)
-Disney Studios (click here)
-Magic Kingdom (day2) (click here)

What to bring:
*A misting fan!!!
*Water bottles! These were our SAVING GRACE for the boys! They kept their water cold all day!

*Birnbaum Guide (see above!)
*A Sharpie so the characters can sign your autograph book easily
*A noticeable ribbon to tie onto your stroller. It’ll make finding it much easier in the sea of strollers.

My Confessions:
*It really was as magical as I described! I’m not exaggerating!!! It’s THAT great!
*It’s HOT if you go in the summer time! But, if you’re prepared to be hot, it’s not too bad! You get lots of breaks in between being hot to get cool in shows/rides/etc.
*It’s EASY to get wrapped up in hype and get “Mickey-crazy!” I may have considered purchasing WAY too many Mickey themed items!
*We rarely told Quinn no! He got pretty much every little “sussy” that he wanted. But, to my surprise, they weren’t THAT expensive. I expected it to be MUCH higher!
*I might have gotten chills NUMEROUS times every day…and may have teared up a time or two!
*We MIGHT already be talking about our next trip. We really want to go to DisneyLand…Cars Land opens next Summer!

When You Get Home:
*Document your memories before you forget!
*Print pictures for your kids to look at! (I’m writing this to remind myself!)
*Listen to Disney music! It takes them back! Quinn heard the “Soarin’” music and, without prompting, knew immediately what it was from!


I hope that helps all of you! Please feel free to leave a comment if you have a question that I didn’t answer! And, if you’re going…ENJOY EVERY MAGICAL MOMENT!!!


Kelly | Fabulous K said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip! All your posts/photos have been adorable.

KJJ Houston said...

I LOVED reading all your posts!

Amanda said...

First of all, your family is beautiful!!! I have loved reading your Disney posts and tips, as we are leaving for Orlando in less than a week! I'm a little confused about the Photo Pass. Will I receive my photo card in the mail before we leave or when we arrive at the park? Also, if I pre-order the Photo Pass, do I receive all of the photos on a CD to do what I want with them?

Laura said...

these posts have been SO helpful! we are more than a few years away from our first Disney trip with Ellie, but I have definitely tucked some of your tips away for future reference :)

Laura said...

I have really enjoyed your Disney posts. 2 months til we go! I think I will definitely need to order the photo pass cd. And I think my main "sussy" for our trip will be the camera strap. Love it!

The McIntires said...

Great job with the recap! I have been many times and you did a super job summing it up and giving very realistic tips. Glad to see you had a magical vacation!!

Katie said...

I have loved reading all your Disney posts! We have yearly passes to Disney Land & we just love everything DIsney SO much!

Can't wait to take the kiddos to Disney World some day!

ThePoeFam said...

You get a photo pass from there...the first photographer that takes your picture will give you one! Then, when you get home, you get on their site and order the CD that you pre-paid for. They'll send it to you in the mail!! *And, the pics upload, we loved looking at them each night in the hotel! :)

Is Disney Land just as great? We're SO excited about Cars Land!!! And, we're thinking we want to go at Christmas time in a few years!!!!

The Cochran Fam said...

Hi there! I've enjoyed reading all of your Disney posts! I noticed you took your DSLR camera. What kind of bag did you use in the park? I want to take mine, but want a compact bag to carry it in.

ThePoeFam said...

The Cochran Fam, I'm sorry I'm just responding! Hopefully you haven't already gone! :) ... About my camera bag?! I didn't take one. Just kept my camera on me at all times. Sadly, I don't take very good care of my camera...and I just wanted it easily accessable! Sorry to be no help! Y'all have a BLAST!!!