So as you know by now, my family and I spent a week in Orlando and enjoyed a wonderful vacation at Disney World at the end of June! Of course we planned it during one of the busiest AND of course hottest most humid time of the year. Hahaha! But we learned a few tips and tricks I’d like to share with you!
These are the things that worked for us (keep in mind we were traveling with a group of eight people including a 3 year old). So use whatever works for you!
Tips and Tricks: What to know BEFORE you get into the Parks!
1. ) Know your transportation: we stayed at Shades of Green, a hotel on the Disney resort for military, vets and their families, and it took us a little bit of time to learn how the shuttles worked for each park.
If you are planning on driving into Disney and parking in their lots be prepared to pay a fee (for this trip it would have been $15/day) so make sure you add that into your budget.There were buses to and from the hotel to Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios, and Downtown Disney (as well as the water parks Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon) which only arrived once hourly. To get to Magic Kingdom and Epcot, our shuttles (every 20 mins) dropped us off at the Transportation and Ticket center where we took the monorail to each park. It appeared that many surrounding resorts’s shuttles did the same thing so…my recommendation is to find out the NIGHT before your first venture out as to what the transportation looks like and the times your shuttles, etc. will arrive and depart.
- Band aids
- Neosporan (great for making sure the small cuts and scrapes DO NOT turn into an infection)
- Pain reliever (aspirin, ibprophen, etc. b/c you will have aids and pains from all the walking each day)
- Moleskin (we like to buy it for all the blisters we end up getting…mostly me for some reason..hmmm)
- Foot wraps or compression socks (if you have a history of ankle/foot injuries like myself you may benefit from wrapping your feet up each morning before you head out to the parks. This really helped my feet reduce the swelling and foot pain I felt the first day at the parks.)
- Any child medicine you may need (we always carry a thermometer and some child fever reducer and homeopathic cough and cold meds….just in case! We haven’t had to use it yet on trips but it gives me as mom a sense of security I guess.)
3.) Stay Hydrated!: I cannot STRESS this enough b/c I know if I was reading this I would probably not take this tip as seriously as it should be taken!!! This time of year is SO humid in Florida and you will be sweating within mins of walking outside. This time my husband had the brilliant idea of purchasing these Camelbacks for our trip! Each morning he filled up our Camelbacks with hotel ice (as full as possible) then poured one bottle of water over the ice and we had almost 3 quarts of cold water a day (each) that we carried on our backs. This was MUCH, MUCH lighter than I though it was going to be AND the fact that we had water readily available all day long kept us hydrated and cool! The water stayed cold while we were outside and we refilled once we got back to the hotel before our event trek back to the parks.
- Best part about these Camelbacks? ALL the extra storage space which we filled with snacks, lunch and other necessities! Want to know what we packed in these pockets? Keep reading!!!
- What did we pack? Granola and Special K bars, fruit cups, sandwiches (all of which stayed cool when in the pocket NEXT to the Camelback’s bladder…perfect and no need for a separate cooler), fruit buddies (If you don’t know what these are, they are applesauce of varying flavors that are stored in small plastic bags so children can suck out the applesauce and eat on the go), fruit snacks, AND lollipops (for those desperate moments right before my son totally melted down into a puddle of tears!).
- We also packed sunscreen, band aids, Neosporan, bug spray, moleskin and ibprophen…just in case! Yes ALL of these things fit in our Camelbacks without difficulty!
7.) Bring a fan spray bottle: head on over to Walmart or where ever and buy yourself a fan spray bottle b/c you can get for 1/3rd the price it is selling for in the parks. We brought our own fan spray bottles from home and it was a brilliant way to keep ourselves cooled off during the day! (make sure your spray bottle has a lanyard so you can hang it on your neck, bags or, like us, the stroller)
11.) If you are bringing a stroller…. I recommend you use an umbrella stroller b/c its small and easy to maneuver. IF you MUST bring a double stroller, I will tell you that the frontal seating strollers seem to be much easier to maneuver and fit better on buses and in stroller parking than the horizontal seating double strollers. But that is up to you to decide what works best for your family. I really liked our small umbrella stroller with a roof for shade but use what works for your family! Now let’s all agree on some ground rules shall we:
- if you have a stroller…keep to the RIGHT!
- if you are planning on stopping and checking on your child…stop on the RIGHT!
- if you are walking slowing and taking in all the sights, sounds and smells…that’s great, and make sure you do it while keeping to the RIGHT!
- Do NOT cut off other groups that are walking just b/c you have a stroller!
- Do NOT let your child drive the stroller around and bump into others.
- If you or your child accidentally bump another person, APOLOGIZE!
12.) Transfer Paper Tickets to Plastic Cards Night Before: there are a number of ways to get discounted tickets and I don’t know all of them BUT what is important is if you do buy discounted tickets and they are paper tickets you MUST go to customer service to get them transferred to a plastic ticket (card) BEFORE you go into the parks. We did not know this and spent an hour in line the first morning waiting to get these tickets transferred to the plastic entrance cards. You can actually transfer your cards the night before you go to the parks as long as you go to customer service (which is at the entrance of all parks AND in Downtown Disney) and your card is NOT activated until you actually ENTER a park! So that can definitely save you time!
Has something else worked for you? Feel free to share in the comments!!!!
You can also find some great Disney tips on what used to be called Oh, How Pintearesting blog but is now All Y’all Need. Just scroll down on the right and find her Disney tab, click and read all about her recommendations and suggestions!!!!