Visiting the Mouse – Part 8

Part 8: Memories & Lessons Learned

5 days was tons of fun and we felt that we got a lot done. It was agreed that it would have been nice to extend and get a true pool day.  We did make use of the pool but it was limited to quick swims and the am before departure.

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The magic bands are adjustable for adult and kid. but only one time.  My husband ended up wearing our toddler’s on his belt loop cause we made it kid size but he would play and chew on it.  Should have left it adult size.

I brought my big camera but never pulled it out of my backpack I used my phone and the Disney photo maker package.  I carried my phone with $10 cash and my ID in a cross body small purse.  PS ended up using zip tie to hold it together broke the strap on day one.

Bathing Suits:  If your kids are naturally drawn to water like mine toss in a bathing suit.  It is nice to have some down time at your hotel pool and for those rides you’ll get soaked in.  Ladies just remember that for the rides you are not permitted to wear just a bathing suit.  We had one incident where my daughter got all the way up to the front of the line, past 4 cast members, only to be told that she had to go get a shirt for on top of her bathing suit.  Rash guards and suit shorts work best with flip flops or crocs of some kind.

Notes: The refillable cups weren’t worth it to us because we’re not soda drinkers.  And they can only be used at the resort not in the parks. Next time we would only get one drink package for my husband’s am coffee.   These might come with the meal plan option or as part of a promotion, so check it out while booking.

Water refills:  We would fill our water bottle at every breakfast with water and ice.  We learned on the second meal that you can march up to any counter service and ask for ice water they have them all prepped; don’t wait in line.  Grab 2 per person and refill you water bottles too.

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Trading pins. I will say our first trade happen when I was wearing my daughter’s lanyard as she had just come out of Bippity Boppity Boutique.   An older man approached me and asked if I wanted to trade.  I think if she was wearing it he would have been turned off but she traded and he nicely explained how it all works.  From that moment in she was hooked and not afraid to approach anyone. P.S. this man was a serious pin collector, I hand no idea it could be so intense.  He had a special case and not one but 3 of them where he’d pull cork boards out like they were baseball cards.  I am glad we had some extra backs too as we did catch one or two and there would have been tears if it was lost.

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In the autograph book have the characters sign every other page and once you get home print a picture of them with the character. We did not fill our book so we will surely take it again the next time. It will be fun to see how the kids grow on each trip.  Disney fun fact:  Characters have to practice the autography so they all look similar park to park and year to year.

It was a wonderful and busy trip.  Truly a place where dreams are made and the magic is all around you including the below… all tuckered out and seeing Cinderella’s Castle for the first time = our magic moments.

Part 1: Research & Booking 

Part 2: Time to Plan & Book your Fun

Bonus Section: Special Adventures

Part 3: Time to Shop things I purchased ahead of time…

Part 4 Time to pack/hunt; things I brought from home…

Part 5: Final Countdown

Part 6: Here We Go! 

Part 7: Visiting the Mouse 

Part 8: Memories & Lessons Learned

Visiting the Mouse – Part 7

Part 7: Playing in the Park

What fun and busy days we had.  We aimed to be at the park for opening each day and earlier, as we were, on property guests.  Most days we made it; some days it just wasn’t in the cards and we were there shortly after the gates opened.  Still each day was packed with all the fun the Mouse could offer.

 

MAGIC KINGDOM:  So magical.  Nothing beats the look on your daughter’s face when she sees Cinderella’s Castle for the first time.  I’m so happy I had read, to make sure I position myself to capture this picture

EPCOT: Never disappoints.  It was the Food and Wine Festival when we were there and it made even the adults smile ear to ear.  Still one of my favorite fireworks displays.

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HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS:  Rides, rides, rides.  This is where my favorite rides are.  The older I get the more I LOVE real rollercoasters.  The Aerosmith one is a blast!

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ANIMAL KINGDOM was tons of fun for the older kiddo who enjoyed the Wilderness Explorers hunt.  We grabbed a book at the front and used it all day long.

 

DISNEY SPRINGS:  The girls split off from the guys for an afternoon at Bippity Boppity Boutique at Disney Springs.  I’ve heard that both locations are great; the one at Cinderella’s Castle is harder to get into, but as first time visitors we had a great time.  We than caught up with our guys for dinner at Disney Springs for an unforgettable evening at Gloria Estefan restaurant called Bongos Cuban Cafe.  One of the dancers took a liking to my daughter and would come get her every 20 minutes and get her a front row seat to the show and even let her lead the conga line.  The service was on point.  Note: if you want to talk to those in your party ask for seating outside otherwise enjoy the show.

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We poured our kids into bed every night but every moment was worth it.  We had very few melt downs as we aimed to be prepared for the crash.  Our double stroller saved us on more than on occasion when they just needed to crawl in and fall asleep while we waited in lines.

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Part 1: Research & Booking 

Part 2: Time to Plan & Book your Fun

Bonus Section: Special Adventures

Part 3: Time to Shop things I purchased ahead of time…

Part 4 Time to pack/hunt; things I brought from home…

Part 5: Final Countdown

Part 6: Here We Go! 

Part 8: Memories & Lessons Learned

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKEY

Visiting the Mouse – Part 6

Part 6 Here we go!

Had to post today because it’s Mickey’s 90th Birthday!

We decided that we wouldn’t tell the kids until that morning and let them figure it out; the crafty girl in me was dying.  I was dropping hints like a crazy lady!

For dinner each night leading up to our departure I had to toss some Disney Magic into each meal.  Served rolls in our Mickey towel,  pizza the night before featured ears.

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For a few days leading up to our trip I started wearing all the Disney jewelry I owned.  and my mother-in-love and I split a pack of Jamberry Nails featuring Mickey and friends.  IMG_5556IMG_5559

I laid out my daughter’s clothes this week so she wore a sweater, that was knit by my grandmother for my brother some 25 years earlier.

The night before, I told them I got them new pj’s, that just happen to be covered in Mickey and Minnie, Shhhh.

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I had ordered sweatshirts ahead of time and we put them in them; in the wee hours of the am to keep them warm.  As my husband said, as we were in the shuttle to the airport, someone might blow up our spot, but no one did; I think they all enjoyed  playing along too.

We’re here! Let’s go, I’m so excited!  The older one still hasn’t figured it out 🙂

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Happy 90th Birthday Mickey Mouse.  Can’t wait to come visit you and your friends again soon!

Additional blog posts and more coming soon…

Part 1: Research & Booking 

Part 2: Time to Plan & Book your Fun

Bonus Section: Special Adventures

Part 3: Time to Shop things I purchased ahead of time…

Part 4 Time to pack/hunt; things I brought from home…

Part 5: Final Countdown

Part 7: Playing in the Park 

Part 8: Memories & Lessons Learned

Visiting the Mouse – Part 5

Final Count Down You’ve made it you’re just a little bit away.  You’ve done so much good work, now you’re finally starting to get excited.   A few last things to put into place to make your trip easy breezy.

img_8104img_8105Strollers -Which would you rather roll in for the day?  Photo credit: Mom Endeavors. Kingdom Strollers worked out to be awesome for us.  I booked a city mini double.  It arrived clean, on-time and was great.  My 6 year old enjoys ridding and it was so much easier to just have both kids sitting safely when navigating crowded parks or late at night.  It was nice using the stroller from our hotel room door and back.  The park strollers have to be handed in prior to park departure where as we would keep ours as we stood in line for monorails, trams, and busses loaded with sleeping children.   The 2016 pricing for a double was $18 a day for Stroller Kingdom and $27 per day for the Disney stroller. (Note that if you keep your receipt and are using a park hopper you can show it at the next park and get another stroller.)  Also if your hotel is along the monorail you’ll never have to remove sleeping kids just roll them on and roll them off.  A note that if you have 3 cuties you might consider the Bob Stroller.  You can tuck a 3rd on top of the third wheel when all 3 start to fade on you.

We had a small insulated cooler, that came with stroller company’s rental; super helpful

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I placed an order for groceries from Orlando Grocery Express for room delivery… order at least 72hrs in advance. Use coupon from an order with Stroller Kingdom for free delivery.  Our order included…

  • Sandwich size Ziplock bags (ice for cooler, unfinished snacks & toys)
  • Diapers, if necessary
  • Wipes were so helpful for diaper changes and messy fingers/spills.
  • Individual peanut butter
  • 1 loaf of bread
  • 8 bananas
  • 1 package of granola bars- avoid chocolate they melt.

We would have ordered more but because we were up and out every day and back late we weren’t really hungry than.

I did bring peanut butter sandwiches, granola bars, bananas and random leftovers from previous meals into the park to ward off the 10:30 snack munchies.  I also spent the extra money on individual packaging because whatever wasn’t used I packed in my suitcase and brought home.

Each morning we would toss in some ice from the hotel ice machine into a ziplock and toss it in the soft cooler.  We would also load up our water bottles with ice to help keep things cold.

credit cardsCall your bank and credit card companies and put travel notices on your accounts.  Nothing more frustrating that arriving for a week of fun and being frozen out of your accounts.

Plan out any final details, who’s going to watch the dog?  How are you getting to the airport? Do you need a house sitter to grab your mail and water your plants?  Having your plan set, even if only in your head.  It will make your trip smoother and more enjoyable for all.

 

Additional blog posts and more coming soon…

Part 1: Research & Booking 

Part 2: Time to Plan & Book your Fun

Special Adventures

Part 3: Time to Shop things I purchased ahead of time…

Part 4 Time to pack/hunt; things I brought from home…

Part 6: Here We GO!

Part 7: Playing in the Park 

Part 8: Memories & Lessons Learned

Visiting the Mouse – Part 4

Part 4 Time to pack/hunt; things I brought from home…

You probaly have most of these items around your house already so there is no need to spend an additional small fortune on these items.  The key is to find them and set them aside in a designated place so you don’t forget them when it times to pack your bags.

You’ll need a good backpack (our son’s small LLBean one was good enough for the 4 of us.   We had to pull it out at every bus stop and bag check so pick a durable one.)

Large carabiner clip, like really large, mine is called Mommy’s helper it held 2 adult water bottles.

2 regular (2in) carabiner clips for attaching hats, hand sanitizer and kids water bottles to the stroller.

Mickey & Minnie ears (previously purchased).  I will say looking back the ears with the pretty veil was kinda cumbersome as they would blow around and get heavy on her little head and get in the way of certain rides.  Also you’re never to old for mouse ears so pack yours too.

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Time to have some fun pulling out any Disney themed jewelry you owned. It worked well because than my daughter was hunting for a new charm as her self-purchased souvenir.IMG_5556

Glow sticks, are super helpful for parade events, not getting your stroller tripped over as everyone leaves the fireworks display.

Water bottles for each person that could be clipped to stroller.  We used Nalgine as they did get bumped around every time we closed the stroller.  Make sure they are strong and close tightly.  You don’t want it to spill all over your autograph book.

Extra charger for cell phones and cameras.  Disney offers free wifi but, you use a lot of battery power snapping all those pictures and referencing the Disney App.

Pennies to toss in fountains- Disney than collects the pennies and gives them to a charity of the Cast’s choosing.  Don’t need a ton just a few.

Magnet to stick to hotel room door so we could quickly find ours and others traveling in our group.  Our dog passed away just a little bit ago so he’s become the private family signal.  I ordered this free from Shutterfly with a coupon.  Please don’t put a family photo on your door or pictures of your kids for safety reasons.  img_1017

Cup holder/sling came with stroller was very handy.  I also brought our own attachable one which was nice for the extra storage.IMG_5787

There are of course tons of other things that you can toss in your pile, just keep your eyes pealed as you move about your house.  I also use this method for my kids birthday parties.  Make a note to yourself to remember where you have hidden your stash.  🙂

 

Additional blog posts and more coming soon…

Part 1: Research & Booking 

Part 2: Time to Plan & Book your Fun

Bonus: Special Adventures

Part 3: Time to Shop things I purchased ahead of time…

Part 4 Time to pack/hunt; things I brought from home…

Part 5: Final Countdown

Part 6: Here We GO!

Part 7: Playing in the Park 

Part 8: Memories & Lessons Learned