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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Packing for Disney: The One Thing you MUST take to Disney

Packing for Disney World or Disney Land can be challenging. You want to have enough clothes, toiletries, but also empty space for souvenirs. And maybe this is the trip that you take your best friend Judy seriously and pack her in your luggage to go to Disney World.

Regardless, space is limited. That being said, this post isn't so much about "packing" for Disney. It's about the one thing you must bring with you.

It's not money. That's way too obvious. Although if you brought a money tree, that would be helpful. Hey-the "Money Tree of Life." A perfect theme for Disney. Yes, things are expensive in Disney, but thats because there is an ever-revolving door of people at the theme parks. You'll pay the extra $6 for that T-Shirt because it says "Walt Disney World" on the bottom. Just prepare yourself for it...People talk about making emotional decisions at grocery stores and only buying what you came to get. If only it was that easy at Disney theme parks!

It's not luggage. If you forget your luggage, I'm concerned. You may want to check and make sure you are clothed.

It's not transportation- Disney has that covered.

It's not food- believe me, if you have read some of my previous blog posts (here and here) then you know how much I love the food here. If you aren't dining while in Disney, then you are missing out on some seriously good food.

It's not your friends and family members... although there may be times you may wish that you forgot a few of them.

It's not sunscreen- you can buy that if you forget it at a gift shop.

It's not deodorant- hey, you may finally get  empty plane seats around you.

Click the link to find out what you CAN'T leave home without!

Are you ready for this? The one thing you can't leave for Disney theme parks without- a plan!

Going to Disney is a little different than the family road trip. To get the most out of your trip- that's your time and money- you must have a plan.

Are you going to use Magical Express? Where is it located? How do you get there? Where will you eat once you arrive in the park? Which park do you visit first? Which hotel should you stay in? Do you stay on the monorail? What transportation options are available from your hotel-bus, monorail, boat? Which rides do you need fast passes for? Which parks have extra magic hours? What do you need to take into the parks? When's the best time and place to get a snack? Where will the characters be- and how can I avoid waiting 75 minutes for an autograph? When does bus service start and end?

These are just a few of the questions that will pop up. There are a lot of variables when it comes to Disney- it's ok if you are overwhelmed (this is also where my free service is extremely valuable!). You just need to start small, and start answering some of these questions you'll face before you take off to Cinderella's Castle.

If you go willy-nilly, you may not be able to ride some of the attractions, you may not be able to try some of the restaurants, see all of the characters, or, at the very least-keep your sanity.

By planning what restaurants you'll eat at (please, please, remember you can schedule your dining reservations in advance..something else that I can help with!), which day you'll visit parks, and what day you'll relax by the pool, you'll save yourself time. You won't free pressured to wait 90 minutes to ride Splash Mountain if you know you'll ride it tomorrow morning when Magic Kingdom opens two hours early, thanks to extra magic hours. You'll skip the line that makes the DMV look like a paradise to get to Minnie, because you know you're eating at Chef Mickeys tomorrow.

That being said- plans CAN and WILL change! Maybe you don't want to ride the monorail back to go to eat, and some mini corns from Caseys Cafe will do. Maybe you found out that only need 1/2 day at Animal Kingdom and want to go to Epcot. That's perfect- plans will change. By having a guide map, you will know what you want to do and when.

Imagine, you get right off the plane... get lost in the Orlando Airport finding Magical Express, get on the wrong bus to your hotel, and your first theme park visit is to Hollywood Studios. Your kids are huge Toy Story fans... upon arriving the park, you stop at a gift shop, wander around until you find Toy Story Mania, and the fast passes are all out, and the wait is two hours! That leaves you time to eat, except all you can find is quick service- meaning pizza or chicken strips.

Instead, you could go immediately to Magical Express, get to hotel in quick fashion, and you ride the boat to Hollywood Studios. You head straight back to Toy Story Mania, get fast passes for a couple hours later, and still have time to hit up the Great Movie Ride, the American Idol Experience, the Disney Jr. Playhouse show, as well as a free drawing class. You pick up fast passes to Tower of Terror right before you hop on Toy Story Mania, and have dinner at the Hollywood Brown Derby, where you feast on the best short ribs ever. Sound like a better experience?!

Planning is what I do best-it's also the most important thing you can't leave home without!

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