If you can believe it, I am still recovering from our Disney World Adventure. Now that some of the dust has settles a bit, I am able to look back and reflect a bit.
One of the biggest lessons I learned was that we are still learning how to travel as a family of four. I look back and think that my parents had it down to a science. My Dad would get breakfast, and my Mom would get my brother and I dressed. My Mom would make the reservations for dinner while my Dad made sure we stayed out of trouble. But probably by the time I have any real solid memories, they had been traveling with us for quite a while.
I view this Disney World Adventure as a sort of team building exercise. Some things worked and some things did not. For the things that did not work, Harrington and I discussed during a long debriefing session.
In addition to the lessons I learned while traveling together as a family of four, I did learn a few things that I hope will make our next Disney Adventure a bit smoother:
1. Rent the stroller. Believe me, it’s easier than trying to lug in the monorails and busses. Also, you don’t have to worry if it gets wet or if you misplace it (which is easier than one might think).
2. Do not wait until you are at the park to make an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Cinderella’s Castle location. I had one already at Downtown Disney, but was unsuccessful in changing it to the Castle location. Which brings me to my next point . . .
3. Don’t underestimate the time it takes to travel between parks. The property is situation within something like fifty miles. It took forever to get anywhere other than the Magic Kingdom since it was the first stop off the monorail from our Hotel. It took at least twenty minutes to get anywhere else . . . if the transportation was running on time.
4. If you didn’t make a reservation for the Disney Princess Lunch, but realized that on the second to last day, you had yet to meet any of these lovely ladies, do not fear (like I did, with such a panic I thought I was going to go into cardiac arrest). Just go on down to Epcot around 11ish and see each princess in her own land at the Showcase Pavilion. For example, we saw Mulan in China and Jasmine in Morocco.
5. Guess what? It’s hellishly hot in Florida in September. Like 95 – 100 degrees hot with 417 percent humidity hot. Consider yourself warned.
6. Budget at least $10 in your budget for water. I brought our water bottles and was thinking I was so clever for planning ahead. But the water on the Disney property is not magical at all. It tastes horrible.
7. Food options are limited for kids. There are Uncrustables (with a half a cup of jelly) or chicken nuggets. Maybe you could find some grilled chicken at the Animal Kingdom, but my kids would not eat it. They ate a lot of protein bars and M & M’s. Not good, I know.
8. Use an app to help you plan out your day. I used Disney World Lines by TouringPlans.com. It told me how busy each park was going to be, the wait times for each ride, and the wait time for the Fast Passes. LOVED it!
9. Take advantage of the Magical Express. It was so nice not to have to worry about driving to and from the airport. Loved this option.
10. Try and plan some downtime for yourself. I wish that I was more creative in finding at just ten minutes of quiet.
Visiting an amusement park of Disney proportions is unlike any other experience. It’s the antithesis to a beach vacation. Although this kind of adventure takes work and planning (and them some more planning), it’s totally worth it. . . . in moderation, of course. I think I am much more a beach vacation kind of person.
Which leads me to my poll question . . .
Be sure to click on it and answer!
And if you are up to it, I would love to hear about your vacation memories. I would really enjoy hearing your adventures: the good, the bad, and the stressful.