10 Interesting Things To Consider Aboard A Disney Cruise

It’s been over a month since Brad and I were on our first Disney Cruise, well our first cruise ever actually, and we still like to think back to how much fun it was. For all you other first timers out there, I have compiled a list of some interesting tidbits I wish I had known ahead of time to make your Disney cruise even more magical.

IMG_10701. Clocks are not really present onboard:
For my next Disney cruise, I am definitely going to invest in a cheap, waterproof watch. I never wear a watch and on vacations I don’t love having my phone out, so I often didn’t know what time it was. While onboard I only saw one clock and it was inside the AquaDuck load area. Other than that, you basically have to use the angle of the sun and the rumble of your tastily overfed tummy to determine the time. For a lot of the day I didn’t really need to know what time it was ‘cause heck, I was on vacation, but around the evening time when there were dinner and shows and clubs, a watch would have been handy. Lucky for me, Brad is one of the few uberdorks left in the world who always wears a watch, and you know what they say: a husband with a watch is better than wearing a watch yourself, because that way, only he gets ugly tan lines.

Thank you table mates for this picture

Thank you table mates for this picture

2. You may be forced to sit with other people at dinner, and dinner can take a long time:
I’m not saying this is a good or a bad thing. Some people love to make new friends and sit with new people and can talk for hours about what they did that day or life in general. I’ll be honest and say my husband and I are not those people. If you are there as a couple, you may be forced to sit with other couples. Brad and I are the kind of people who, for whatever reason, get along much better with people far out of our demographic. We like talking to people nearing, or in retirement, whose kids are our age. Perhaps we have old souls. But naturally, because we were celebrating our anniversary, we were with a bunch of other anniversary people our age. Maybe you will get lucky and like everyone you are sitting with. Maybe you won’t like them and you will have to awkwardly sit with them every night for the 1.5 hour long dinner.  Having a little privacy at dinner would be much more relaxing for introverted couples. Again, depending on the type of person you are, this can be awesome or it can be a bit anxiety ridden. Apparently some tables for two do exist, and are available upon request. This is when having a vacation planner comes in handy. They know these secrets and help add some extra magic to your trip.

Does this look strange to anybody else?

Does this look strange to anybody else?

3. Outlets are for American gadgets:
I spent one whole day trying to figure out how to charge my phone. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out the outlet situation. Even though Brad, who is brilliant, told me it would definitely fit, I refused to try plugging my phone in because the outlets just looked way too big and foreign to be compatible with American electronics, and I was dead set on believing that he was an idiot. Finally at the pool one day I asked a veteran cruiser (who was nearing retirement and had kids our age) if I was missing something. He said they will fit. An older woman overheard us talking and said she too could not figure it out and had to ask a staff member. Whew, I was not alone in this. When I went back to my room and tried it, there were correct, it did fit. Mischief managed.

4. You can bring your own alcohol onboard:
This is something Brad and I unfortunately didn’t get to participate in since we had only carry on luggage and could not find a liquor store in the Orlando airport. If you can swing it, there is no limit to the amount of alcohol you can bring on, it simply just has to be in a carry on bag. This literally has the potential to save you hundreds of dollars if you like to drink while on vacation. Plus with the free unlimited drinks by the pool, you have all the mixers you might need. Buying drinks onboard will get very expensive very quickly. Brad and I ordered a grand total of two drinks on our cruise, and $30 later we decided we didn’t love alcohol enough to spend that kind of money. (We also come from a small town where drinks are typically $3-4). For our next cruise, we are checking luggage and therefore will have a nice bottle of rum or three to bring with us. Drink up me hearties yo ho!

Nothing like waking up early to go run in intense heat and humidity.

Nothing like waking up early to go run in intense heat and humidity.

5. You should bring some running gear so you can participate in the Castaway Cay 5k:
The Castaway Cay 5k is something relatively new on Disney’s private island. It is a real runDisney event.  If you are a runner (or walker) it is something fun to do to help justify the enormous amount of food you have been eating. Make sure you bring some running shoes and clothes. You will start early so no sleeping in that day. And it will be hott. (Yes, I misspelled “hot” intentionally to make a point. But the payoff of the early rising is you get a nice mickey medal (plastic) that is only given out for this “race.” I say race loosely because you get a medal for participating and no one cares if you decide to walk the whole thing. In fact, the leaders, who we called “the skinnies” missed the first turn because they were travelling at warp speed. No one cared. We noticed some people brought bookbags with them to the race with their bathing suit and sunscreen so they could immediately start enjoying the island. We didn’t think of that and went back to our room to shower then back to the island. It really depends how much time you want to be out in the sun on the island or if you want to come back to some air conditioning for a bit.

Free onboard credits is basically free money!

Free onboard credits is basically free money!

6. There are different ways to get some free onboard credits:
For this you might have to do a bit of research in order to get some free onboard credits (obc). For starters, if you have the Disney visa card, you will get $50 obc if you book and pay for your entire trip with that card. Easy enough. Once you are onboard, if you book another cruise, they will often throw in some obc as well. Plus you will save a little bit by booking onboard. The other way would be booking through an authorized vacation planner, I know a really good looking vacation planner named Sandy who would love to help you out. Sometimes they have CLIA weeks, which offer $100 obc if you book through an agency with a CLIA number. Othertimes, agencies or individual agents purchase credits for their guests as a “thanks for booking with us.”

7. Having some sort of lanyard to keep your keys on would be helpful:
I will be honest and say I think it’s stupid that Disney cruise line hasn’t hopped on the MagicBand wagon. I love the ease of MagicBands and they would fit so seamlessly on the cruise. Plus you could recycle them at the end of the cruise and they could be reused. Anyways, until that happens, I’d recommend a lanyard that would hold you room key. As a woman, sometimes I don’t wear clothing with pockets (dresses, bathing suit, etc.) and I don’t love carrying around a purse on vacation. Having a lanyard might have been a little easier to keep track of and less worry about losing my key in my tiny pockets.

We love you refillable Disney mugs.

We love you, refillable Disney mug.

8. Bring your own Disney Mugs if you have them:
While my husband will deny being a Disney fan until his dying day, he has no problem praising the refillable Disney mug. I’m not quite sure why he likes them so much, but we have grown quite a collection of them at home. I knew that there were drink stations onboard Disney cruises similar to those at the resort hotels so we brought our mugs and were happy we did. Our mugs were bigger, more insulated, and more portable than the paper or styrofoam ones at the drink station. It just made pool time and Castaway Cay a little more enjoyable to have a little more to drink in my mug. Plus it’s way more environmentally sustainable to use one refillable mug instead of a million paper cups on a cruise.

9. Being able to read a map may be helpful in getting around the ship the first couple of days:
If it is your first time onboard, you may notice, as we did, that hallways and locations are not labeled particularly well. When we first arrived in the main lobby, we really had no idea where we were going. You will have to get very familiar with the terms forward, mid, and aft. To access some floors you might have to cut through restaurants. Some floors you can walk outside. Some floors it’s easier to go up over and down before moving forward or aft. By the 2nd day, we had become more familiar with the layout of the ship, and only sometimes used the navigator app to help us get around. Don’t be afraid to ask the cast members too, they are all super nice and helpful.

IMG_110010. Three nights might not be enough:
Now that I’m officially a cruise lover, I tell people that three nights was not enough. While it was my first cruise and I had no idea what it was all about, I now know that it really wasn’t long enough. Part of this was my fault. We had a late flight the day of the cruise departure and were literally the last bus to arrive in the port terminal around 3:00pm or so. Perhaps if you were one of the first people on board around noon it would feel more like an extra day onboard. You really only get two full days on a three-night cruise, and on the morning of your departure, you are off the ship by 8:00-9:00 am, so no sleeping in there. I would have liked to try a couple more things (tours of the boat, onboard movies, different restaurants, different entertainment) but I also loved sitting by the pool so I was a bit conflicted. I feel that a longer cruise would let you do everything and still have plenty of time to lounge and relax.

Indeed three nights was not enough for Brad and I. We have already booked another Disney Cruise for this spring on the Disney Wonder. I am excited to see a new country (Cozumel, Mexico) and to return to the beautiful Castaway Cay. If you have any questions about the Disney Cruise Line or are interested in booking a cruise, I would be happy to help. Disney pays me, so my service is free!

I’m Officially a Cruise Lover…Aboard the Disney Dream

IMG_1117

Disney is magical because there’s always something new to experience. There’s a different park to visit each day. There are too many restaurants to ever eat at every one. There are so many runDisney events that you can’t race them all. There are parties, and decorations, and no two days at Disney will ever be the same.

You know I love Disney vacations, so I was a little nervous when my husband and I embarked on our first Disney cruise. My expectations of a Disney vacation are unbelievably high, and my husband is kinda hard to impress sometimes.

IMG_1042We flew into Orlando a little bit late, and arrived at the cruise ship on the very last possible bus. As soon as we entered the cruise terminal we were blown away. Security was quick and friendly, and the building was immaculate. There was a gorgeous stainless steel inlay of Cinderella’s Castle in the floor and a beautiful scaled model of ship as a centerpiece. After a three minute check in procedure we were issued our “key to the world” cards and we took our first fateful steps through the glowing Mickey head that indicated the ramp to the ship.

The words “wow factor” are usually hyperbolic. In the case of the Disney Dream, the wow factor was literal. Literally. We walked into the lobby of the ship and both of us whispered “woooooow.” That wow factor continued through the entire ship. Every square inch of the ship was maintained to perfection. During the day, when most people went to Nassau, we saw maintenance crews sanding and repainting lamp posts, sanding and re-lacquering bar top tables, powerwashing every surface imaginable, and cleaning and sanitizing every surface any person might have touched. That’s not to say the maintenance got in the way of enjoying the ship, it’s just that somewhere on the boat, at all times, someone was improving the appearance or function of the ship.

IMG_1053It wasn’t just the ship that blew us away. The cruise delivered above and beyond our expectations in every way. For example, we passed a human sized portal window that looked perfect for sitting in, and we thought “wouldn’t it be nice if there was a little cushion in there?” Three portals down the hallway, there were cushions in every other portal down the entire hallway. The only reason there weren’t cushions in the first few portals is that they would interfere with how people lined up for dinner nearby. At one point, I said to my husband “it would be nice if you could watch video versions of the shows in the stateroom.” We returned to our stateroom that night and turned on the TV for the first time, and guess what I found? Filmed versions of the shows I watched, available at any time. IMG_1072Our first experience in the hot tub was at night, and it was amazing that the bottom was made out of clear glass, so you could look down at the roiling waved below. After we returned to our room, I said to Brad, wouldn’t it be cool if the outside of the hot tub was also glass, so you could see out? When we returned to the hot tub during the day, we realized that the outside wall of the hot tub was actually glass and you could actually look out.

IMG_1077The value of a Disney cruise is phenomenal. Every night you receive the Navigator, an all encompassing schedule of the next days events. Throughout the day you could meet characters, take tours of the ship, watch current movies, attend Broadway style shows, attend dance parties, play games, and the list goes on. The best thing though is you can also just hang out by the pool and that is awesome too. There is literally something for everyone, and something for every age onboard. Brad and I took full advantage of the adults only sections of the ship, and luckily staff members were on top of keeping it that way.

While we loved the cruise, there were some times when the service was almost obtrusive. There are about a million cast members walking around the pool with drink menus, so while beautiful, our lasting impression of the pool experience went something like this:

“Would you like a drink?” said cruise guy.
“No thank you,” we replied politely.
-30 seconds pass.
“Would you like a drink?” said cruise girl.
“No thank you,” we replied politely.
-One minute and 30 seconds pass.
“Would you like a drink?” said cruise guy version 2.0.
“No thank you,” we replied tersely.
-45 seconds pass.
“Would you like a drink?” said cruise girl version 2.0.
“No thank you,” we replied exhaustingly.

It was just too much drink pushing for us. With less than ten cast members offering drinks, they would have been able to remember that we didn’t want a drink, but it was always a new person, always offering a drink.

IMG_1056After the great cruise sickness outbreak of a few years ago, Disney is poised to make sure that there is never any sickness on their ships. What that looks like for the average cruiser is someone in the 50 square foot public restrooms watching you…ya know… and then wiping up any stray droplets of water from the sink (or wherever.) It got a little awkward. It also looks like being handed a wet nap every time you enter a restaurant. I get the point, but it got a little tedious being all clean and polished and fresh from a shower and being handed a wet nap like a child each time we entered an eatery.

The only other part of the cruise that didn’t get top marks was the dinner service. Don’t get me wrong, the food at the restaurants was fantastic. You could order as much as you wanted, and there was always someone there smiling at you. But when there’s a server, assistant server, and head server all catering to only several tables, it’s a little disappointing when ordering coffee with dessert is followed by a 10 minute wait for the coffee cup, and another 10-15 minutes before the coffee shows up.

IMG_1082Overall the cruise was beyond amazing. We loved the ship. We loved the food, drink and ice cream station, and room service. We loved the shows and the general, laid-back atmosphere. Three days was not quite enough awesome. We have already booked another cruise on the Disney Wonder for a bit longer so we can experience the magic again.

Why Frozen Summer Fun is a Must See

signIt is without question that the movie Frozen has become a massive hit around the world, and it was only a matter of time before Disney cashed in on its huge success. The two adorable sisters Anna and Elsa were first introduced to the “World” at Epcot. They greeted their fans in the Norway pavilion and then over time the lines grew. They were then moved to the Magic Kingdom so more of their adoring fans would have a chance to interact with the Queen and Princess of Arendelle. What came next was pretty much madness. Parents and children waiting up to 5 hours or more to meet the sisters. As someone that thinks waiting in a line for 15 minutes is getting to be long, spending hours in line is unimaginable to me. Parents, listen up. Your solution is to go to Disney’s Hollywood Studios Frozen Summer Fun instead. While you might not have a personal meet and greet with them, your day will be much more exciting being immersed in everything Frozen.

Wandering Oaken Trading Post

Wandering Oaken Trading Post

As a frequent visitor to Disney World, I always enjoy experiencing new things. I wasn’t quite sure what to think and didn’t even quite know what they meant by Frozen Summer Fun. I did know however, that it was being advertised on every map, times sheet, bus, and poster all over Disney World. As my mom and I entered Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the first thing the cast members do is hand you an Olaf cut out. The idea behind this is to take pictures of you and your favorite snow man and post them on Twitter using #olafsummervacation. I decided we would ride Toy Story Midway Mania first and then I would look over the times sheet to see what Summer Fun was all about. On your way through the park, you can’t help but notice the giant stage that is now set up right in front of the sorcerer hat.

Frozen snacks and drinks have taken over the park.

Frozen snacks and drinks have taken over the park.

I saw on the sheet it said Wandering Oaken Trading Post. This was located right next to Toy Story. All of the Frozen cast members are dressed like they are going on a ski trip in the Alps and try to speak with their best Norwegian accent. The trading post was chocked full of Frozen merchandise. T Shirts, dolls, stuffed Olafs, jewelry, everything Frozen. Even Frozen inspired tasty treats. We left the post and went on with our day.

Enter the Frozen Funland, complete with ice rink.

I have mentioned in a previous post that I do not do well in the heat and Frozen Summer Fun was a great way to keep cool. Instead of watching the Coronation on the stage by the sorcerer’s hat, we opted out in favor of spending time in the coolest (literally and figuratively) room in the park. To the left of the the trading post mentioned earlier was a Frozen Funland, complete with snow, an ice rink, and frozen treats. It was like entering into an arctic safe haven from the unrelenting heat outside. For $10 you could ice skate, and the cast members would even help you tie up your skates. It truly felt like a little piece of Arendelle in this room.

Do you want to build a snowman?

Do you want to build a snowman?

The other part of Frozen Summer Fun I didn’t partake in was the sing along. They recommended you sign up in advanced for this. Anna and Elsa lead everyone in Frozen’s greatest hits. I figured, I sing the songs in the shower, in my car, and in my kitchen all the time, so I could forgo this.

After another ride or two, we left the park for lunch and our midday nap with plans to return around dusk for more Frozen festivities. When we got to the park in the evening, we were welcomed by a band decked out in more alpine clothes rocking out to great songs from the 80’s. It was just a cool atmosphere. If any of you have ever been out to Disney’s California Adventure and have seen The Mad Tea Party or another band like it, they had a very similar feel. When the band finished playing, it was time for the Frozen fireworks (what I had pretty much been waiting for all day).I wasn’t quite sure where to stand since Disney’s Hollywood Studios doesn’t typically have fireworks since they have Fantasmic. stageIt was very packed in, since the Studios version of Main Street is no where near as wide and accommodating for a fireworks show, but we squeezed in and looked up. (People love to forget that fireworks are in the sky) We unexpectedly had Anna, Elsa, and Christoph on stage getting things going and even saw some selfies with Olaf from around the park. The fireworks show was amazing. They seemed to be lower and wider in the sky than other firework displays and danced perfectly to the sound of Frozen soundtrack.

#olafsummervacation

#olafsummervacation

I will never deny my love for Wishes at the Magic Kingdom, but I can’t help but feel this put Wishes to shame. I left the park that night excited from all the new things I had seen that day. I felt more apart of the Frozen world than I ever could have during a 5 minute meet and greet. If you have kids that love all things Frozen, this is a must. What was once supposed to only be during the summer, has now extended to September 28. I would strongly urge you to make the trip if you can, you won’t regret it.

 

Dealing with the Disney Heat…how I attempted to stay as cool as possible in the happiest place on Earth.

ice cream mickey earsI have recently returned from a fantastic trip to Disney World with my mom. We have been avoiding the summer months in recent years but decided to brave the July heat of Orlando. Let me preface this by saying I do not do well in the heat, and I absolutely despise humidity. I walked around incredibly jealous of people that looked like the real feel of 104 with no breeze was like a mild spring day. Why weren’t they sweating like me? Why was every hair still in place of their head while I experienced a frizzy mess? Come on people, no likes a show off. Anyway, this post is to give my honest feedback of how I dealt with the heat and tips to help you for your future summer Disney vacation.

Sitting in Cosmic Rays to cool down from the heat.

Sitting in Cosmic Rays to cool down from the heat.

Become an A.C. addict:
So I get a little annoyed when the door of my bedroom cracks open and precious air conditioned air is slipping out into the hot hallway. Disney, on the other hand thinks that cool air is something that should be shared with the world, inside and outside. OK, not really, but they have no problem leaving doors open of buildings that are cranking out some powerful A.C. without feeling wasteful. On this particular trip, indoor attractions were my friend. Anything I would have had to wait outside for and didn’t have a fastpass for, I was just not going to wait. Anything that would have me outside without any chance of cooling down (ex, the shows at Hollywood Studios) I skipped. As much as I love Beauty and the Beast and Indiana Jones, the thought of sitting outside close to people without the chance to cool down for 30-40 minutes sounded like torture. The key to getting around the park and staying cool is utilizing restaurants, bathrooms, and gift shops (All air conditioned). Sometimes my mom and I just sat at a quick service restaurant for 15 minutes to cool our bodies down before we braved the heat again. You and everyone else in your party will feel better after a refreshing break.

Apparently I love to mist myself.

Apparently I love to mist myself.

Bring a misting fan:
I bought one cheap from Wal Mart and was so incredibly thankful I had it. It made some of the longer walks or longer waits bearable.

Keep that refillable mug stocked with ice.

Keep that refillable mug stocked with ice.

Try a zero calorie snack:
If you purchase the refillable mug or just bought a soda and a quick service restaurant, don’t throw away the ice. Keep it with you as you walk around the park. This zero calorie snack is a great way to cool yourself down.

Become a vampire during the hottest part of the day:
For this particular trip, our plan of attack was fastpasses early in the day so we were back at our hotel during the hottest/most crowded part of the day, then back to the parks at dusk. If you go into the trip knowing that you might not get to everything in the park, but it will be worth it because you won’t be mentally, emotionally, and physically drained then you will feel good about your decision to cut out early and come back later.

Olaf is all over the place, ready to keep you cool.

Olaf is all over the place, ready to keep you cool.

Do you want to build a snowman? How about ice skate?
If you are fortunate enough to visit Disney World while Frozen has taken over Hollywood Studios, make sure to visit the Wandering Oaken Fun Zone. To give you some indication of how cool it is in there, the staff members are wearing winter sweaters and pants. Inside this winter wonderland is a huge pile of snow kids (and adult kids) can make snow castles and dig in actual snow. Or for $10, you glide along in the indoor ice rink. My mom and I just sat in this building for a while. Not to mention this is where you can get some delicious Frozen themed treats. Definitely a must see if you’re there this summer.

Some things to consider:
With all this talk of unforgivable heat, it might seem counterintuitive for me to tell you to pack a light jacket, but here is my rationale for it. If you are a sweater or are now wet thanks to an attraction with water and you enter into a deliciously air conditioned room (for example the hall of presidents for a 40 minute show), evaporation will cool you down. And at times, it might make you even chilly. Having a super lightweight jacket can come in handy.

The pools were basically baths, hit the showers for a refreshing feel.

The pools were basically baths, hit the showers for a refreshing feel.

The pools were not exactly refreshing. Now I can’t attest to every pool in the Walt Disney World Resort, but I can say the pool I had at my hotel was like bath water. This is something that feels amazing on a chilly November day, but when you are just looking to cool down and you think pool is the trick only to be met with 85-90 degree water, you realize it would be more refreshing to take a cold shower. This was a bit of a letdown to me, but in the intense sun, I understand how the shallow pools heat up so fast. Swimming in the morning would be your best chance at a refreshing experience.

My other tip to you would be to take advantage of the late extra magic hours if you can. My mom and I stayed for the Magic Kingdom extra magic hours from 11-1am. We made it to around 12:30 but the lines were so short and it was much cooler than during the day.

Overall this was a very good trip. It might be awhile until I go back in the summer, but this is because I am spoiled by Disney World in January (parks are empty). As always, be smart about being in the heat. Stay hydrated and don’t forget the sunscreen. Just enjoy your time there without overdoing it and you will feel calm, cool, and collected throughout your trip.

Getting Ready for Your Walt Disney World Vacation…Packing

luggageIt’s a couple days before my trip to Disney World and I feel like Cinderella getting ready to go the ball. It’s such an exciting feeling, but getting there takes some preparation, and we don’t all have personal fairy godmothers at a moments notice. No, instead you will have this blog to give you some suggestions on what I consider to be the most valuable items to pack.

Items may change depending on the time of year you go (lot’s of t shirts versus lot’s of sweatshirts) or the age of people you are going with (diapers versus hearing aid batteries). You know you and your family best, so this is not an all encompassing list. Things like MagicBands and money are definitely a must. This is my top “must haves” that might or might not be so obvious to you, followed by a list of what I deemed unnecessary baggage.

Must Haves

Keeping cool with sunglasses and a visor.

Keeping cool with sunglasses and a visor.

Sunscreen and/or Sunglasses and/or Hat:
I take my sun protection very seriously, and I’d advise you to do the same. Sunburns will not only kill your Disney vibe since you’ll be in pain, they also leave you wide open to infinity lobster comparisons. The sun in Disney World is bright because it’s more magical that way. Stop straining your eyes and get some sunglasses. I love finding cheap ones at someplace like Target so I don’t care if they drop, get scratched, break, or I lose them on a ride.

My Mickey bag is my go to Disney park bag.

My Mickey bag is my go to Disney park bag.

A Bag to bring into the park unless you are a guy with ginormous pockets:
To women, this probably seems obvious, but I want you think more about the type of bag that will work for you. If you get stuck with a huge backpack, will it get too heavy and uncomfortable throughout the day? If you stick with the forever cool fanny pack, will that be enough room if you wanted to bring some snacks or water bottles? What feels more comfortable on you, over both shoulders or just one like a messenger bag? I would never recommend using something expensive or something really special to you. This bag will be touching benches, hanging from bathroom stalls, set down on seats and floors and different ride vehicles. I have been using an orange Mickey sling book bag for what seems like forever. I like it because it’s super light weight, but I can still stuff a sweatshirt and refillable mug in there too.

maybe the best dollar you ever spend

maybe the best dollar you ever spend

Umbrella or poncho, the dollar ones will do the trick:
Depending on the time of year you go, you may experience monsoon like weather in Orlando. (Summer). While you are most likely going to experience rain during your visit, for every cloud there’s a silver lining. People will leave the park when it starts raining. I don’t know why, perhaps melting is a serious concern, but I would advise you to whip out your trusty poncho and keep enjoying the Magic. The rain is likely to pass, and in the meantime, the lines on some of your favorite rides have greatly diminished.

we love snacks, any time, any where.

we love snacks, any time, any where.

Snacks:
There is something about traveling and being in a plane or hotel that just makes me want to eat, regardless of the time of day or how many hours it’s been since my last meal. Save yourself a couple bucks and bring some snacks and even your own bottles of water if you want. (Of course you have to check all liquids over 3 oz.) And since you’re already bringing something to eat, why not bring breakfast? This only applies if you are like me, not super into breakfast but still has to eat something or I might die. In the past I have brought my own Kashi cereal, bowls, and spoons and just bought some milk at the food court. I have also brought my own bread and peanut butter. The food courts and villas have toasters for you to use. Bringing your own breakfast also cuts down on time in the morning so you can spend that extra 30 minutes or so sleeping in.

plastic bags will help you out in multiple situations.

plastic bags will help you out in multiple situations.

Plastic bags big and small:
Since these are super lightweight and take up virtually no room, I’d recommend throwing in a couple extra plastic bags. Throw in an extra zip lock for your liquids in case your other one rips for gets thrown away. Or incase you want to put your phone and wallet in something waterproof on Splash Mountain. Throw in an extra garbage bag so you have a dirty clothes bag in the room. Throw in an extra Wal Mart bag for wet bathing suits if you want to swim on your check out day but have already checked your luggage at the Resort airline check in. You would even throw in one of those dollar bags from the store checkout in case you are coming home with more souvenirs than anticipated. Bottom line, can’t go wrong with plastic bags.

Gum:
This is more of an FYI to any serious gum chewers out there. If you want gum, you will have to bring your own. Disney does not sell gum anywhere on property. I’d imagine it’s to avoid sticky messes all over the park.

your dogs might be barking by the end of the day.

your dogs might be barking by the end of the day.

Pain Medication:
After I ran the Walt Disney World Marathon, I was beyond thankful to have some pain killers with me. Even if you’re not running a marathon, it’s still a good idea to pack something. After a long day of walking around, climbing in and out of ride vehicle boats, and doing way more standing than you are used to, your legs and feet will be feeling it. You also never know when a child induced headache will strike, so have a few over the counter drugs at hand.

Unnecessary Baggage, What NOT to bring:

Expensive jewelry:
This is similar to above when I mentioned there is no need to bring an expensive bag. Disney is not responsible for any lost or stolen items, so why even put something of value in a vulnerable situation like that?

towels are provided

towels are provided

Towels:
Towels are always provided at the main pool of every resort. Unless you have a really deep affinity for your own pool towels, don’t waste space in your luggage. They will be provided. Disney also has life jackets for the little ones too if you want to keep their floaties at home.

you will be stuffed for most of the day on the dining plan.

you will be stuffed for most of the day on the dining plan.

Food:
But wait Sandy, before you said to bring snack, now your saying not to bring snacks?
If you’re on the Disney dining plan and you’re a human, I can almost 100% guarantee you that you will not to bring extra snacks. You get a lot of food on the dining plan and even get snack options, so in this case, it’s not necessary to bring your own. You could however still bring your own breakfast since most plans don’t include breakfast options.

don't let this be you a few days before your trip.

don’t let this be you a few days before your trip.

Shoes you’ve never worn before:
A single blister can derail an entire Disney trip, and if you’ve ever tried to buy quality footwear in an amusement park, you know the pickin’s are slim. If you’ve read my other getting ready for WDW blog, you know that I recommend training, so you should have your proper footwear picked out ahead of time. Now is the time to go tried and true. I always like have a couple footwear options just in case. I was just in the Adirondacks where one of my favorite Dr. Scholls shoes started giving me a blister out of nowhere. So sad, but luckily I had my trusty flip flops for the rest of the trip.

There you have it folks. The last of my getting ready for Walt Disney World Blog series. I can’t wait to enjoy the fun and sun at the happiest place on Earth. What are your must haves when you pack for Disney?