It is a gorgeous day here in sunny California, as usual. My keyboard is blazing hot from sitting in the sun in the backyard typing up this post. The amount of “downtime” I have is very infrequent these days. If I have any at all, I would rather spend it sleeping or catching up on my neverending pile of laundry.
Today is Friday and all you Geminis out there, its time to celebrate! It is officially my birthday month, and so I plan to milk this one for all its worth.
If you guys know me at all, or if you don’t, you may at least know I have a slight obsession with all things, Disney. It is what it is, and I am owning it. I have since passed down the tradition to my oldest daughter, and the little new one will most likely also inherit the obsession. Sorry, daddy.
When we lived on the east coast, we frequented Disney almost monthly. I kid you not; we were there every free chance we got. We had annual passes for a couple of years, and since we went at every opportunity, I learned how to make the trip as fun yet inexpensive as possible. I might add that I got mighty smart when it came to packing all the must-have items and then some.
I am a total list maker and planner, and for whatever reason, I love making a list of things to pack for trips. It seems like we are always on the go, and when I am a mom prepared I feel like I can take on the world.
Since just recently having my second baby girl we haven’t made a trip to Disneyland this month. Haven’t been in almost three months and I am going mad. I have been listening to Disney playlist and podcast, cause duh, entirely ordinary people do that.
Since I will not be going in the next few weeks, I thought I would sit here and listen to sounds from the parks and write a post about things to think about when packing for YOUR special trip. I am a mom of two girls, so my bags are geared entirely toward family trips, but even if your vacation is sans little people, this list might help you out as well!
We are headed to Lake Tahoe soon, and minus the rain gear this is likely most of the contents I will take on do pack for almost any trip; day trips included.
If you plan to visit Walt Disney World in Orlando, it is generally sweltering hot June-Aug and even May -October. Jan and Feb sometimes March you can expect some deceivingly chilly days, so pay close attention to the forecast.
The 4 pm showers are real. You can buy ponchos at the park but you are likely going to fork over a chunk of cash so run by a dollar store and pick up a few just in case and when they rip, get left on a ride or trashed you don’t care so much. Stroller covers. Get one. The plastic rain covers are phenomenal to have. You have to stroller park, and it is likely that while you are in a ride queue indoors for two hours, there will be a total downpour, and everything you left will be soaked. Also even on non-rainy days, it keeps the critters and the squirrels out of your kids’ snacks. Yes, that happens, and my 3.5-year-old daughter lives to tell the tale.
Ahh, as much as I love Disney, you can guarantee to spend a small fortune on the “things” if you aren’t careful. I like to stop at the Target Dollar spot or even the Disney Outlet for Autograph books, pens, glow sticks, bubble refills, etc. There are for sure some things you definitely will want to splurge on in the parks so why not get some of those cheapy things to entertain the kids while waiting for parades and fireworks.
In my general purse, I usually keep stickers or marker packs to keep them occupied during dinner, so I’m not continually breaking out the iPad or phone.
EXTERNAL battery packs! Slide one of those down in your bag. There are charging stations located around the park but who wants to be one of those people stuck waiting on a device to charge.
I do think they sell a backup battery that you can trade in for a charged one when yours is dead.
Since we were Annual pass holders, we got the photo pass images for free. I made sure to take advantage of that. It saved me from having my big camera out all the time. I just got to enjoy being in the frame with my family, catching the expression of my daughter when she got to chit-chat with her favorite Princesses
*First aid Kit
It goes without saying that if you don’t pack one, you will be on the hunt for what you need.
Not to mention that $3 pack of Princess band-aids from Target on a “boo-boo” could casually save the day.
Mole Skin or Dr. Sholl’s pads for blistered feet.
Lysol wipes: These are perfect when you want to sit down, and its busy and a cast member hasn’t been able to wipe the table down, and you have a potential hangry meltdown on your hands. Wipe the surfaces down you guys because people are gross. I have actually seen someone change a child’s dirty diaper ON the table. I’m super, so naturally, I was grossed out.
Wet opens, gel sanitizer, and sanitizer spray. Pack that stuff in every pocket, purse, backpack. Wipe down and spray frequently or you will need more than whats in your first aid kit.
Next, I always carry a full-fledged medicine bag. It never fails someone doesn’t feel well or gets sick, and you are on the tedious hunt for items found at a Walgreens that oddly enough are much more difficult to find at a resort or within the parks. Like I mentioned before, I feel so much better when prepared.
You can find the mini size container of most items and carry them with you on the go.
-Tums/ Rolaids/ Antacid (Disney food isn’t always so lovely on the tummy.)
-Tylenol or other pain relievers. Kids pain reliever.
-Anti- Diarrhea. Yep, self-explanatory.
-Nausea medicine, Sea-bands and ginger gum. Ginger Rescue tab
I keep these with me at all times. My daughter gets motion sick like her momma, and I used these throughout both pregnancies along with any car or plane travel. They do make kids sizes, and my daughter calls them her “special travel bracelets.”
– Motion sickness essential oil roller
-Vision. I keep extra contacts because I’m probably legally blind without them and not having a spare would 100% be a problem
-Nail clippers. I cannot tell you how many times these have come in handy.
-Antihistamine. With kids, and growing kids you never know what could cause an allergic reaction and that could get scary quick.
-Pedialyte packs. One trip to Disneyland my daughter got motion sick, and by the time we got to the park she was scary dehydrated, and I was so glad to have this on hand, I keep the strawberry lemonade packs along with the Ultime replenish lemonade electrolyte packs with my water bottle.
It is beyond vital for me to keep a big water bottle. I carry a 40oz hydro flask with me everywhere I go. EVERYWHERE. I am also an ice water snob, and I hate lukewarm water. I found this neoprene insulated tumbler sleeve that fits my hydro flask and it goes everywhere. It even has a pocket for your phone or money, cards, etc.
Yes, I look like I have a hiking canteen but who cares I am always hydrated!
I live for snacks. Snack Attack should be my middle name. Petunia Picklebottom has these diaper organizer cube sets that hook onto a stroller, but I pop the insulated one down in a
backpack and fill that sucker full. We keep individual mini packets of peanut butter or nut butter, great to have with apples or celery if you plan to bring lunch or a cooler with you, I’ll go more into depth on that shortly.
I keep trail Mix, natures bakery fig bars, Nutella and go, Granola minis, goldfish, cliff bars, applesauce etc.
MEAL/ DINING Plans
(NOTE If you are flying and staying in a hotel this might not be as easily done. You possibly could sneak over to a Publix for fresh fruit but if driving bringing in your food and snacks might be a little more attainable. I have done both and taken in our food, so I speak from experience.)
In all the times I have ever been to Disney we have never done a dining or meal plan. I never saw the worth in it? We went with, and saw people on the trip that did a meal plan and were sitting down for huge meals every two hours and had more snacks and food they knew what to do with. These weren’t so many healthy snacks, and it was cotton candy or ice cream. I’m not sure if they have healthy options? Certainly worth checking out. We don’t drink soda or carbonated beverages. On occasion, we get a sprite but 95% of the time we are water drinkers and last time I checked alcohol not included with a meal plan.
Like I mentioned earlier we tried to make our trips on a budget and food is a considerable expense. There will always be those token items you must get at the castle like a Dole Whip, a churro or the fun treats over in the new Avatar area at animal kingdom which by the way are extra cool. Other than that I usually pack food. We eat before going to the park; I get Starbucks (regular grande pikes place, nothing fancy) inside because that’s more like a lifeline for me, not an option. Then I’ll make sandwiches or do vegetable, olives, hummus, and fruit. I love to find low-key shaded, quiet spots in the park to enjoy lunch and my family. Sometimes we sneak on over to Tom Sawyers island and find a nice cool place to sit and talk before daring the crowds and rides again.
Then we eat dinner out somewhere delicious; maybe an enchanted evening at Beauty and the Beast castle. Head to Canada in Epcot or Disney Springs has also stepped up their game and has some great places to eat if you take a break from the park and cool off before heading back for fireworks or extra magic hours.
No matter how you do it, you are bound to have a fantastic time and enjoying your family is the most important thing. I will say I do love when I feel prepared, but it is not the end of the world if you have to find what you need along the way. All part of the adventure right?
I hope you have the most fabulous time on whatever trip you have your way. Now I’m going to think about one of my favorite memories with my family at Fort Wilderness. Mimi and Papaw with their granddaughter having campfires and smores with Chip and Dale while mom and dad do date night followed by extra magic hours