What I learned on my September vacation
I just returned from a week at Walt Disney World. I went with both kids and my mother. The husband stayed at home. I felt that I learned a lot from this vacation, and I wanted to share it with you.
1. My husband who stayed home is the one who had the vacation. Any trip to Disney is work, and needs to be approached as such. Even more so when you have two kids, one who is an infant. We had a stroller and a baby Bjorn carrier and I used both of them extensively.
2. I used one guidebook to help plan our trip – The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. Yes, this is a shameless plug for a Wiley book, but as a veteran of 30+ trips to WDW, believe me when I say this is the best and only guidebook you need. I know a lot about Disney. It’s hard to tell me something I don’t know about parks. But the Unofficial Guide ended up doing just that. One of the best tips in the book was about the barbershop on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. They specialize in first haircuts for kids, which would have been great if my son actually had enough hair to cut (he doesn’t). Instead, I went there for an “up-do” for my daughter. For $5, they put colored gel streaks throughout her hair, put it in a high bun, and sprinkled pixie dust (confetti in the shape of castles and coaches). We could have spent $30+ to get her hair done at the (not kidding) Bippity Boppity Boutique, but what we did was just as good if not better. I had tons of parents and even Disney cast members ask where she got her hair done. You can see some of the other works of the barbershop here. My mom liked the place so much, she even got her hair cut there. Thanks to the Unofficial Guide for that hint!
3. When we booked our trip back in May, they were offering the “Magic Your Way” dining plan for free. I won’t describe it here, because it is simply WAY too much food for any person to eat. I’m on an austerity program now, finding myself craving salads and broccoli like mad. Advice? If you get it for free, remember you don’t have to eat everything. And think carefully before you buy the plan, if that’s what you’re thinking of doing. You can really do better by eating less. Granted, my pedometer showed me walking 5+ miles per day, but I seriously did not need that fourth waffle at Chef Mickey’s to compensate.
4. Photopass is cool! You know how you get your photo taken these days at every little theme park and zoo? Disney has taken it to a new level. If you see a “Photopass” photographer in a Disney park, ask him to take your picture and give you a photopass card. Collect all your pictures on that one card. You can get printouts of the pictures, but cooler yet, you can now get them all on a CD. Yes, the price of the CD is ridiculous, but my family had almost 100 pictures accumulated, and by having them on CD I can do what I want with them, whenever. I’m going to make a Disney trip calendar for my mom’s birthday (shhh don’t tell!).
If you have any mouse-related questions, feel free to ask. I am here to help!