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OlgaDavis30

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

WDW Wednesdays - What To Pack for a Disney Trip


I love my pink polka dot luggage

The second most asked question I get is, “What do you pack for your trip to Disney World”. Well even though I had my list, let’s just say things don’t always go as planned. So if you run into issues, don’t sweat it, you’re at Disney World!

Let me just start with my OMG moment that happened on the plane on our way to Disney World. I had a Kevin’s mom moment. You know the one from Home Alone, where she can’t remember what she left behind, and then she does? Well that was me. I’m just sitting there thinking, I know I forgot something, something that was on my mental list that I never checked off. Well then all of a sudden like a pile of bricks it hit me…Oh no, I had forgotten to pack the girl’s leggings! I was pretty positive, but couldn’t confirm until that night, after we got to our rooms for the night. But yes, after a long day at the park it was later confirmed that my girls had only had the bottoms they wore on the plane, plus one more sweatpants outfit. #MomFail.

Ugh, how could I forget. I also got a look from the husband that said the same thing. Well I know exactly how I forgot, I was doing laundry to have all the pants clean for our trip, but then after folding them I never added them to the suitcase. To make matters worse, the forecast at the time only called for high 60s, so any shorts I had intended to bring I took out, thinking it was going to be too cool for shorts. And boy was I wrong, well the forecast, not me. It ended up being in the 80s most of the time. 

The girls also managed on the extra dresses I packed. There were other possible solutions, like I did eventually think of ordering from Amazon Prime (which would have added a $5 fee to hold at our resort), or getting an Uber to go to a local store, but then that would dig into our park time. All in all, we didn’t let the situation sway us from our fun, we are at the happiest place on earth, nothing a little Mickey and Friends can’t fix. 

What I've learned is to pack the essentials, and remember if you forget something you most likely can find it at resorts or parks.

Here’s my list!

1). Clothes! We had one outfit per day, plus 3 extra tops in case of accidents/stains. Swimsuits if you have any intention of making it to the pool. We brought ours, but were too exhausted to go. Next time we’ll add an off day to just relax at the pool.  We also brought some princess dresses, cause the kids will want to wear them...until they don't. I'm the mom that likes to dress my kids alike. I think they look cute, and if I misplace my child I can just look at the other and know what they were wearing, LOL! All joking aside, I found having matching outfits/shirts, really did help keeping track of the whole family.


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2). Two pairs of shoes. You never know when you’ll get hit with the Florida rain. It would suck for your shoes not to dry by the next day. For us we also included one pair of “dress” shoes with sneaker soles. This was for our dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table. 

3). Water bottle. For us it made sense to just fill a water bottle at the drinking fountains. Most of the times the lines were pretty long to just get a cup of complimentary water. But if you don’t want to carry a bottle, comp water is a great perk, just ask at any counter. 

4). iPad. Are your kids like mine and obsessed with unboxing videos, or kids (adults) playing with toys? Well this certainly was a good, last resort tool on the airplane in order to get them to sit still. This time around the kids didn’t need it as our flights were spent mostly sleeping, but it’s good to have. I like to limit its use, but lets face it, sometimes mommy and daddy need a break.

5). Toy figurines. We brought our mini princesses figurines for the plane and park. Olivia entertains herself with these toys. They are small and lightweight and a good distraction for her as her big sister rides the big kid rides. 

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6). Your phone. We used our phones to book fast passes as soon as we swiped our 3rd fast pass. This is how we managed to also ride Na'vi River, Toy Story Mania, Mine Train, and other rides more than once, or as an extra tier one. Keep checking different times, and something usually pops us. You can also use fast passes for easy rides, and just skip to the front of the line, and after you swipe,  get another fast pass again. Rides such as Dumbo, Flying Carpets, and Tea Cups, we didn’t have to wait in any lines this year.  

7). Your plan/agenda. Look I’m a planner and although I don’t plan every detail, I like to know that I’m at least a little prepared. We had our fast pass times, the land locations, show times/meet & greets, and our food choices kind of planned out. Then everything else was just as we go.  

8). Dramamine/Medicine/Sunblock/Toiletries Just your typical mom kit. Dramamine for me mostly so I could enjoy all the rides with my kids, including the teacups. Which I would otherwise not be able to handle. When we went to Disney it was during the Disney Flu outbreak. So they did end up getting it and needing medicine. You don’t really need to bring shampoo/soap, since what they provide is pretty good. And if you need more you just have to call Mousekeeping. Which by the way you can opt out and receive a gift card in exchange. Ask guest services when you check in . 

9). Snacks This year I actually packed a small carry on suitcase and filled it with tons of snacks. Muffins, granola bars, cheesy puffs, fruit snacks, etc. This saved us time and money. We used them for a quick breakfast, and as energy boosters between meals at the park. Sure we still indulged in some awesome Disney snacks, but with picky eaters this is a must. 

10). Stroller If you have kids bring one. And don’t let any one judge you. Parents need a break too, and if that means putting your kid in a stroller, do it. I think I’ll bring a stroller as long as the one of the kids is under 6. Then after that they can both handle the park and small breaks on a bench. But for me, right now, naps in a stroller are a gift. 

11). Backpack Yes it may slow you down to get into the parks, but it is nice to have all you need in one bag. Snacks, diapers, phones, toys, extra tees, and anything extra you may need. 

12). Ears and Souvenirs If you can purchase Disney themed items, you can save some time, money and crying time from your child. Many of the items you can find at the dollar store can be just as good for your child to enjoy while on vacation. Bubble wands were a big thing at the parks, I didn’t bring those just because I didn’t want to carry that bulky of an item. But I did bring along ears. We did end up buying one pair while were there for Madeline since I had spiked her interest because I was on the hunt for the Rose Gold Ears, which they didn’t have until a couple of days after we had left. But I'm happy to report, I was finally able to buy a pair online at the Disney Store.

13). Mother-in-law LOL. I love her and could not have survived our trip without her. She helps my husband and I keep our sanity, and allows us to have a little fun too! Extra help is always appreciated. 

What else would you or have you brought on vacation? Anything you would leave off?

Monday, April 30, 2018

Mighty Big and Super Great: Texas is the "Lone Star State”! - Book Review

 
I received a copy of the book to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.


As a parent I’m always interested in fun, easy to read books for my daughter that will teach her some new things. Mighty Big and Super Great: Texas is the "Lone Star State”! by Amber Manning is a fun way for kids to learn and remember some of the history of Texas. The author engages kids by using rhymes, storytelling and fun facts to keep the young ones interested in reading. 

This book has me wanting one for each state, quick someone work on one for Illinois! Even I learned a couple of new things about Texas. With a plan for a future trip to San Antonio, Texas to visit family, this book arrived with great timing. Madeline is ready to show off her new found facts with her family. She’s already mentioned visiting the Alamo, and wanting to meet an armadillo. I thought there was a good about of facts that were easy for my daughter to try and remember. I’m not trying to quiz or anything, but I’m glad she’s remembering some things on her own.

Mighty Big and Super Great: Texas is the "Lone Star State”!
Bluebonnet Kids
ISBN-10:0998770442

 



Wednesday, April 25, 2018

WDW Wednesdays - At What Age Should You Take Your Child To Walt Disney World?

I love her reaction to meeting Elsa
A very popular question among family and friends that causes some debate is what age do you take your kids on their first Disney vacation. You will get many different answers and reasons as to when. I always like to start my answer with: Every family is different, and you as a parent will know best.
 
When we decided to go our first time, my youngest was about 15 months old and oldest had just turned four. At the time I was surprised by how many responded with, “but they are too young, they won’t remember”. But for me it was more than them just remembering. It was about living in the moment and making memories. It’s quite possible that yes they won’t remember down the line, but guess what, I WILL. Disney is also about parents making memorable memories with their children. And at such a young and tender age, they can see the magic. Meeting their favorite characters is something they had only dreamed of, and now they can see them. Everything is real to them. The look in their eyes and reactions are priceless. Something we may not have seen had we waited for them to be much older. 
 
Then we also get, “but they won’t be able to go on any of the rides, they won’t be tall enough”. But surprise, there is so much for a toddler to do. And you won’t have to wait in long lines either, as those lines go pretty quick compared to big kid/adult rides. For us the Magic Kingdom was the best park for a toddler. We did two days there, and could have done three. As far as Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Epcot, we found that it was fine for a toddler, but as far as rides, yes those were limited, but these parks have so much to see and do (and characters to meet), so it works out. Just be prepared for lots of walking and breaks. Below is a list of our go to rides according to our kids, while on our first trip and height requirements were met.
A classic - Dumbo the Flying Elephant
 
  1. Mad Tea Party (Tea Cups were by far my littlest’s favorite ride, she still talks about it)
  2. Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid (my oldest loved going on this multiple times, and we didn’t mind since the waiting area was very well air conditioned)
  3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  4. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin 
  5. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  6. It’s a Small World
  7. Peter Pan’s Flight (although my youngest did not like the darkness or Captain Hook)
  8. Enchanted Tales with Belle (not a ride, but a fun experience)
  9. Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor (not a ride, but a real laugh riot!) 
  10. Walt Disney World Railroad (a nice break for the whole family, and multiple stops along the way)  
Enchanted Tales with Belle - I think she likes her dress

There many more things to do with you small kids, and this is just our short list, I asked my kids which rides they’d like to go on and this is what they came up with. 
 
At Animal Kingdom we’d recommend you do the Kilimanjaro Safari for sure, and try to do it once in the morning and once at the end of the day, to get two different experiences. 
 
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios definitely go to Toy Story Mania, blasting moving targets, you’ll want to go on as many times as you can to beat your score (looking forward to the new Toy Story Land!!!) 

Meeting Olaf - He really does love warm hugs
And at Epcot, of course our girls loved the Frozen Ever After ride. And although not a “ride” Turtle Talk with Crush was a great way for the girls to interact in a show. 
 
So in the end I say take your kids as young as you want. Remember that at every age there will be different experiences to be had. Older kids may not want to ride these fun “kiddie” rides, or you’ll have to skip them in order to stand in the lines of the bigger coasters/rides. Let them be little and enjoy them while they still believe in the magic.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

WDW Wednesdays - Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On-the-Road


This morning I woke up to some pixie dust in my inbox! Super excited to have received an invite to the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration On-the-Road in Chicago. I knew I'd be excited when something like this came, but I didn't realize how giddy I would be. I cannot wait to attend and tell you what I learned. Stay tuned next month! Dare to Dream. (Next I'm dreaming of the big celebration, small steps).
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