Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Disney World

Ok, honesty here. I was totally overwhelmed by our vacation to Disney-more the planning and the execution of it rather than the actuality of it. Does that make sense? Do you realize that people actually make full time jobs out of Disney Vacation planning? I know, I know...it's so commercial and cliche. But I really wanted to see my kids' faces light up when they saw all the commercialism. Kids like that!

Tips for planning:
  •  go during off-peak times if you can. We homeschool and this is a huge benefit of homeschooling. We went in February when it wasn't hot and it wasn't as crowded!
  • mousesavers.com --all kinds of tips for planning and budgeting your trip to Disney.
  • a Travel Agent! --
     we used Small World Vacations, Inc. (Mary was our agent's name) and I have nothing but good to say!
  • plan your days-meals and all! But leave room for error and down time. We had reservations for most meals and when we didn't have reservations we knew where we wanted to eat. We also had a list of each day's must-dos. We spent one day in each park, we knew we couldn't see everything and trying would make everyone miserable. So, as long as we got our "must sees" done...we didn't stress about the rest.
  • the meal plan is worth it. Food at Disney is very expensive (seriously!) and our meal plan kept us on a budget and it was so simple! And we never felt deprived or hungry.
  • Use the family pass and the fast pass options. If you don't understand it? Ask one of the workers at Disney! We had a lady that stopped what she was doing and very enthusiastically showed us how to use these options!!!! We found their hospitality to be wonderful at Disney-overall.
  • skip the park hopper pass-it just makes you spastic
  • stay on site-free transportation and no parking fees! And you get perks-extra Magic Hours and stuff like that if you are staying on site! You just have to check which dates of your stay is the best to go to which park.
  • Enjoy it! Let perfection go...it won't be perfect, you won't see everything and you and your kids will get tired and grumpy-even at "The Happiest Place on Earth"!

We drove. Yes, drove. It took us 2 days (plus an evening on the first night because we left in the late afternoon to get part of that first leg done!). But if we had flown, with the size of our family, we were afraid we'd have gotten there, looked at the castle in Magic Kingdom (from outside of the park) and said "ooooh. aaaaah" and had to go home (due to used up funds). I planned out (mapquest.com) where we would stop each night--and it was so worth it! To have printed out directions to each hotel, knowing what amenities (free breakfast anyone?) they had and that there was a room for us! All we had to do was follow the directions and check in! Voila!

So we checked in to our Resort (hotel) at Disney on Sunday night. That way the fun could begin Monday morning!  To be continued....


Anonymous said...

Yes Disney is so helpful with everything and all the workers were so nice and happy. We loved having our park hoppers though cause we did hollywood studios and animal kingdom together. I totally agree with the meal plans and staying on the grounds there really is no other way to do it cause you don't have to worry about spending to much on food or dealing with parking. Can't wait to see pics.

BL said...

Hey, looking for advice on Disney travel planning. Found this site www.flyingelephantvacations.com but wasn’t sure if anybody had used it or could recommend it. Looks like Disney authorized planner. Thoughts???

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