An "Overtired Mama's" Tips for an Unforgettable Disney Vacation
Sometimes I laugh when I read titles like the one I just used for this blog post... how can a Disney vacation NOT be unforgettable, right? Well, I do think that with any vacation, there is a chance that you can be too tired, too overwhelmed, or trying to do too much, and that can make your vacation unforgettable in a not so enjoyable way. Here are a few things I recommend to make your vacation more enjoyable:
1 - Get a stroller - Ok, maybe not if you're travelling with teenagers - although they might not be opposed to being pushed around in one after a long day of walking - but if you have young children, or school aged, strollers can be a life saver. When my daughter was 2, she stopped being interested in riding in a stroller, however, when we made our first trip to Disney when she was 3, the stroller was a must, and even when we went back the following few years, we continued to get a stroller. Think about it, their legs are short, your legs are long, it takes them almost twice as many steps to go anywhere, that's pretty tiring, even for energetic kids, so to minimize exhaustion, get a stroller. You can rent them in the park, or, you can do what we did, we purchased an umbrella stroller at Walmart. Best $20 we ever spent. Then we handed the stroller on to someone else when our holiday was over.
2 - Drink water. This may prompt people to say "that goes without saying". Maybe, but sometimes we all need to be reminded. You can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the park, and you can actually forget to drink. By the time you sit down in the hot sun for one of the parades, you realize you haven't had a drink all day. Not good. Make sure you take a bottle with you when you leave your hotel in the morning, we kept ours on top of our stroller to help remind us to drink.
3 - Take your time. This is a hard one. You want to experience everything. Especially if you don't anticipate coming back for a while, or maybe you only have one day. Do your research beforehand, and make a list of your "must dos", but keep your list limited to a few things, that way, you can focus on those attractions first, and the rest is a bonus. Always allow time to take in the sites, enjoy your surroundings. I love to sit in the hub in front of Cinderella's Castle and take it all in.
4 - Don't take your camera. Whaaaaa?? I know. Crazy, right? If you can manage it, buy a Memory Maker, and take your cell phone. I am assuming, for these purposes, that your phone has a camera, perhaps it doesn't, in which case, just take a small little camera for "emergencies", however, hear me out - the memory maker sounds expensive at first glance, but, if you are spending more than 1 day in any of the Disney parks, if you are travelling with a larger group, and if you're looking to minimize the amount of stuff you are hauling around with you.... these are all great reasons to "splurge" on the memory maker. There are Disney photogs EVERYWHERE, and the memory maker means you can have as many pictures taken as you like. And these photographers are good. It only takes a second, and they get fantastic shots! They know the best angles, and can add some "extra magic" to your pictures (we had some pictures were Lumière was added to our pictures... awesome, right!?). Best part? It's unlimited. As many as you like. It even includes pictures on attractions like Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, AND video on some attractions like Tower of Terror. So cool!
This allows you to focus on the moment, and not whether you should be getting a picture. And you have your camera there for those "impromptu" moments that may come up.
5 - Do a character meal - Ok, we ignored this the first couple times we went. My daughter wasn't a big eater, and we weren't sure we wanted to spend more money than we needed to on what we thought was an "unnecessary" experience, but boy were we wrong. The benefits of the character meals are 3 fold - 1 - awesome food. I haven't been disappointed by any of the Disney restaurants we've been too. Food was always hot and delicious. 2- You get to meet some awesome characters! We had breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and friends, and I will admit that I nearly cried when I got to meet Eeyore (my fave), Tigger, Pooh and Piglet! So fun!! And the look on my daughter's face when she got to meet Pooh? Priceless. 3 - It "forces" you to sit down, relax, and take it all in. When you're rushing around the park, sometimes you are so focused on getting to everything, you don't take the time to really enjoy everything. These meals make sure you do that.
I'm pretty sure I could continue writing this post for another 1000 words or more, but I'll keep it to those tips for now. You may not agree with all of these tips, or you may have more to add, please share in the comments below. I love getting feedback, and I love reading about other peoples' experiences! Most of all, I love to talk Disney!