Podcast Episode 169: Last Minute Trips

Have you ever dreamed of planning a very last minute trip to Disney?  We have too!  In this episode, we give you all the tips and tricks you need to know to plan a last minute trip to Disney that won’t have you frustrated!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 162: Under And Over Estimations Of A Disney Vacation

Planning a Disney vacation can be full of unknowns.  How much can you do in one day?  How much walking will I do?  How long will it take me to get around the resort?  In this episode, we tell you all about the things you shouldn’t overestimate and underestimate when you’re planning your time at Disney.

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 156: What To Pack For Disney

If you’ve got a Disney vacation coming up, chances are you might be thinking about what you should pack for that trip.  We’ve got you covered!  We talk about what kind of clothing you’ll need for various seasons, what accessories to bring, and even a few helpful hints for things you might not have thought about!

Happy listening!

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Preparing for a Disney Cruise with a Baby

As I prepare for my young daughter’s first cruise I thought it might be helpful to talk through some of the ways I’ve tried to get ready for sailing with a baby! Anyone who has traveled with a baby knows it’s not easy, but something tells me all this preparation will be very much worth it in the end.

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  1. Think about the basics: diapers, baby food, cribs. How are you going to secure these things for your trip? First, once you’re paid in full you can call and request (or do it right online from your DCL account!) a pack and play for your stateroom, and a high chair for your dinner table. Older babies will be able to enjoy the wonderful Disney Cruise Line food, but make sure you pack some purees if that’s all your baby will eat. Kitchens on DCL cruise ships will puree vegetables for your baby in the main dining rooms and through room service, but it’s always good to have a backup! If the baby is still on formula you may want to consider carrying on or ordering bottled water for making the baby’s bottles. Diapers are available for purchase on the ship, but they are expensive so consider packing your own. Complimentary diaper disposal units, bottle warmers, and bottle sterilizers are also available through DCL guest services.
  2. Sign up for some time in the nursery. From your DCL account online you can sign your baby up for some time in the nursery under “My Cruise Activities”. This is a great way to ensure you still get to enjoy some of the adults only areas of the ship like Palo or Remy and the adults only pool!
  3. Easier said than done, I know, but try to pack light if you can. I’m still going to bring a stroller for my daughter, but a small one as space in the cabin to store things is limited.
  4. Excursions aren’t just for adults! Many port adventures have a minimum age of 6 months (the same age limit to sail on DCL), meaning the whole family can enjoy these activities together so make sure to plan some of these in advance.
  5. If you’re going to the beach at Castaway Cay there are complimentary wagons available on a first come first served basis. This will  help you contain all those baby necessities, so do pack whatever you need for the beach!

Have fun! If you go into your Disney Cruise knowing there’s no way you can be prepared for all situations your baby is going to throw at you, you’re going to have a great time. What could be better!

Disney Cruise Line Packing Tips

Dear highly intelligent reader, we know that you can choose your clothes with no problem for your cruise.  That part is usually tricky to be general, because you have to dress for your cruise.  We know you wouldn’t dress for an Alaskan sailing the same way you would a Caribbean cruise.  So here are some other items you may want to consider packing, what to leave at home and what you should carry on for your cruise.

What to bring on  your cruise:

USB plug- This is a simple 2 prong plug that can charge multiple USB devices.  A true must have for the modern family especially on vacation with limited wall outlets.

Refillable Mugs- if you are coming from Walt Disney World bring your mug along.  If you aren’t then consider packing an insulated mug or cup for each person.  I found this nice to carry around since mine had handles which made it easy to carry multiple cups at the same time.  Plus I could carry around a hot beverage and it would stay hot longer, same with the iced drinks too.  What else can the cups do?  Well if you have extra glasses or sunglasses these mugs are perfect for transporting the glasses while you are in transit.

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Soapy Sponges- I know, I know.  You will want a dry sponge and coat it in dish soap.  Let it air dry a day or two then cut it into smaller pieces.  The pieces can go in a baggie and you have something to clean those refillable mugs, or sippy cups or whatever else you bring along.  Then when you’ve used it up, go ahead and toss it.  This is a must for me because I switch from coffee in the morning to water later so I need to get the cup washed out.

Sunscreen- You can purchase on the ship but save yourself big bucks and bring your own.

Bug Spray- You will probably not need it on the ship but if you are getting off the ship you will want to make sure you are covered in this area too.

Sweater/Jacket- this applies more to the warm weather cruises, but the temperatures can drop at night and the dining rooms can be downright chilly at dinner.  I like to stick with basic black, navy or white so I can wear it more than once saving room in my luggage.

Beer or Wine- Yep you can bring that too!  Check out the alcohol policy first but it is pretty nice to be able to enjoy a beverage or two while you relax on your verandah.

Dressy Clothes- You may not have a formal night on your cruise, but you can get some great family picture when everyone is relaxed and having a great time.  The dressier clothes just add some classiness to the cruise.

Gum- if you are a gum chewer you will need to bring your own!

Highlighters- Ideally you will want one color for each person in your party.  You can use these to highlight activities in your Daily Navigator that you want to do.  The colors can help you all differentiate who wants to do which activity.  Much easier than circling then trying to figure out who want to do that (not that I would know anything about that, ha).

Extra batteries- you will be taking a lot of pictures!  If you are using a camera other than your phone you will want to make sure you have plenty of juice to take those amazing photos.

What to pack in your carry on when getting on the cruise ship:

If is it before the time when stateroom are open you may have some time where you will be unable to access your luggage.  It is always a good idea to have a small bag, backpack or carry on luggage until the time when the staterooms are open.

Swimsuit- The best time to get in the pools and on the water slides right is as you get on the ship.  Or even better wear your swimsuit under your clothes and take extra clothes in your carry on.  Towels are provided by the pools.

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Medication- VERY important, always keep this in your carry on.  You never know when luggage services may be delayed so it is key to keep this with you!

Valuables- Jewelry, electronics and any other thing of value should be in your carry on just to be safe!

Sunscreen- It might be worth packing this into your carry on baggage especially if you are hitting up the pool areas.

Extra clothes- Especially with children it is nice to have a change of clothes available in emergencies. Or if you an adult like me who seems to spill things at the worst possible times.

Chargers- Whether you have an external battery source or plan to plug into the outlet this is something that can be helpful to have.

What to leave at home:

Hard liquor- Sorry friends, Disney no longer allows this.  And we wouldn’t recommend trying to sneak it on.  They will find it!

Power Strips- This is on the banned list from DCL.  Go ahead and bring that USB outlet and leave this one at home.

Hanging Organizers- These can damage doors, so unless you have a large party with a lot of small items in tow, this is something you can leave behind.

Snacks- No reason to bring food unless you are on a special diet.  You can get food at all hours of the day and night in the many dining rooms, quick service areas, and room service.  You will not go hungry!

Beach Towels- Disney provides beach towels at each pool area and they are always plentiful.  Of course if you find you want the really oversized towels then by all means bring one.  But this is definitely a waste of space.

Too many clothes- Disney Cruise Line has washers, dryers, laundry soap, irons and large sinks available for guest use.  I believe I paid $3 to do a load of laundry which is downright cheap for Disney.  Just know that you can do a quick load and not waste any time of your vacation and save you the headache of over packing!

As always we want to hear what you think is important for packing for a Disney Cruise!

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Top FIVE Things to have in your carryon for Disney World!

While some Disney fans are close enough to drive to Disney, others like myself must take a plane. Air travel does add an extra layer of planning, as you have to decide what you can pack in a single suitcase instead of your entire trunk! Not only that but you also have to plan what things can go in that suitcase, which you may not see for several hours (but don’t have to lug to your resort, thanks to Magical Express!) and which things you need in your carry on bag. This week we’re going to talk about 5 things you should carry on the plane if you’re on your way to Walt Disney World.

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  1. Your Magic Bands! You’ll use these to scan at the Magical Express check-in, and more importantly you’ll need them if they are linked to your tickets and you plan on heading straight to a park after you check in at your resort!
  2. A change of clothes. For many different reasons a change of clothes is a good idea to have in your carry on. Sometimes luggage is delayed, or what if the weather where you’re coming from is very different from that in Orlando? Bring that change of clothes! Optional: a bathing suit too, if you plan on hopping in the pool at your resort.
  3. Your good camera. The photo worthy memories start right away at Walt Disney World! If you’re going to the Magic Kingdom first thing, you’re definitely going to want to capture that first glimpse of the castle.
  4. A hard copy of your Disney reservations. Your mileage may vary on this one, but I’m old school. The My Disney Experience app and Magic Bands are a fantastic addition to the Disney World resort experience, but I prefer to have a hard copy print out of my confirmation numbers…. just in case!
  5. Some form of entertainment for you and the children. So this is probably a no brainer, but you’re going to need to remain entertained during your flight. Not only that, but keep in mind you’ll also be waiting in line at the airport for Magical Express (hopefully not long!) and then the bus ride to your resort can take a while. More waiting at the resort to check-in (again, hopefully not long!). That’s a lot of waiting for kids and adults! Make sure you have some things in your back pocket to keep everyone busy while they wait for arrival at the most magical place on Earth!

That’s our list… now what’s on yours!

Shipping Packages to Your Resort

There is a little known way to save some money at Walt Disney World. Did you know that you can send packages ahead of your visit to your resort? It is a simple process but there are a few things you will want to know.

The first is that at any resort that is a considered a conference resort will charge a fee. These resorts are the Contemporary Resort, Beach Club, and Coronado Springs Resort.

You will need to address it correctly. Here is the format you should use:

Your name- Hold for Guest Arrival *date of arrival*
C/O Resort name
Street Address of resort
City, State Zip code

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When you arrive for check in you will want to ask the cast member at the desk if your package has arrived and they will have it delivered to your room. You do not have to be in the room to accept the package delivery so if you have plans to go elsewhere do not worry.

So what would you have delivered ahead of you? The one thing I always order is a case of water. Water costs $2.75 a bottle and when you multiply that by the number of people it really adds up. You can get free cups of ice water but we like to be able to take our water with us on the go. If you don’t drink Coke products and have to have that Pepsi this is a good way to have your drink of choice without having to purchase them one at a time or bring them with you. This is a good way to get snacks to your resort too. Another great item to ship ahead is diapers and wipes. Baggage prices can be expensive so only taking a small number of diapers with you can really save the luggage space. This is especially helpful if you are going for a longer vacation.

Another great reason for shipping to your resort is if you are planning to use only Walt Disney World transportation. This means no stops off to a grocery store or Target to pick up these essentials. So in the end it can save you a lot of money if you plan it out correctly!

5 Things NOT to Pack for Walt Disney World

We talk a lot about our packing lists: things to bring in your luggage, things to bring if you’re driving, carry on only, cruise line specifics… but we haven’t touched on one thing! What should you NOT pack for your Walt Disney World vacation.

 

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  1. Selfie Sticks. As of the summer of 2015 selfie sticks are banned at Disney parks, so leave yours at home!
  2. Pool towels, especially if you’re staying at a moderate or above. At moderate and deluxe resorts pool towels are available by the pool. At value resorts you can take the towel from the room if you’d like, and request more from mousekeeping the next day. Another option is to purchase a beach towel for the pool from the resort gift shop. It’s a great souvenir!
  3. Costumes, if you’re an adult. In order to avoid confusion with costumed Disney characters they ask that adults not dress up as their favorite character. Consider trying Disneybounding instead!
  4. Some toiletries. From a shampoo/conditioner combo and bar soap at the value resorts to shampoo, conditioner, body gel and lotion at deluxe resorts Disney provides H2O brand toiletries in your hotel room. They’re some of my favorites.
  5. A bad attitude 😉 What, you know we had to sneak something corny in there! Pack your A game, and your patience and you’re sure to have a great vacation.

What do you leave at home that others consider necessities? Are there things you’d like to pack but can’t due to space? Let us know in the comments section!

Podcast Episode 68: Walt Disney World Planning 101

If you think planning a Disney vacation is too stressful and overwhelming, this episode is for you!  We walk you through planning a Walt Disney World vacation from start to finish, in an easy to follow format that will help you make the most of the magic of Disney.

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 64: The ABCs of a Disney Vacation

After some technical difficulties last week, we’re back with a new episode this week!  In this episode we talk about the ABCs of your Disney vacation.  Lots of hints and tricks in an easy to remember format to make sure you make the most magic possible for your next Disney trip.  Don’t miss it!

Happy listening!

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