*This is not a sponsored post**A Guest Post by Lesley Sawhook authorized Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations
Planning for a Disney Trip –
I’m a type A personality, especially when it comes to Disney planning. For us, an average Disney World vacation lasts 7-10 days, and that requires a lot of planning about what to pack, how to budget, and so forth.
Here are some of the things we do in advance to stay organized in the parks:
The Baggie System
We typically do the Plus Dining Plan and plan on one sit-down Disney meal per day. With the Dining Plan, I don’t have to calculate the cost of those meals, but I do have to plan for tips, etc. To do so, I work out a budget on paper for what I think is a reasonable amount to spend each day on souvenirs, snacks, and tips.
Cash is placed in each baggie and labeled for each day. Every baggie includes a note card with details. Those details can be as simple as “6/15 Magic Kingdom morning reservation at Crystal Palace at 8:30 a.m. Res #ABC. Evening at Epcot Teppan Edu at 6:30 Res #XYZ.”
This budgeting system helps me to stay organized throughout the trip.
ROLLOVER Those Baggies:
We use a ‘rollover system’ with our baggies. If all the money allocated for one day wasn’t spent, we transfer it to the baggie for the next day, hence —rollover. We hope, on the last day of our trip, to have some extra money available for take-home souvenirs.
This system keep me organized,as baggies are pretty fuss free. Once we get situation and arrive at our resort hotel, all I do is put all the baggies in our room safe, then transfer one each day to my purse before we leave for the parks.
Organize Your Park Bag
I don’t know about you, but I hate lugging lots of things into the park each day. When my kids were younger, this wasn’t a big issue because we would put everything in the stroller and then just carry the necessities onto each ride. Unfortunately, now that my kids have gotten older, I no longer have that luxury. (sigh)
Nowadays, I find that the best type of bag to carry into the park is a backpack . The contents of my bag include a baggie with park plans/money (see above!), a baggie to put my Smart Phone in for water rides or in case of a sudden down pour, ID, band aids, hand sanitizer, autograph books with pens for the kids, a small camera, and a small pack of wet wipes to clean sticky faces covered with melted Mickey bars. The kids take turns carrying a small sack type backpack that contains a small snack/juice box for each of them, a bottle of sunscreen, and 1-2 bottles of water which we freeze the night before in the hotel fridge so they stay cold in the parks.
Plan Ahead to Save Some Money
If your kids are like mine, they want everything they see when they’re in Disney. If it sparkles, spins or glows, they want it!
There are a lot of ways to make some simple purchases ahead of time to save some money during your vacation. We typically travel to Disney in the summer, so spray fans are a must. Instead of buying them in the parks for around $20 each, we buy them at WalMart before we leave for about $4.99 each – big savings!
My kids also love the light-up spinners sold by Disney vendors. We bought some years ago at a local Disney store (they have them in Target stores, too) for 1/4 the Disney vendor price and now we just put new batteries in them each year and take them with us.
You can also purchase glow sticks cheaply in dollar stores and give them to your kids to play with and wear as necklaces during night-time Disney parades and fireworks.
You can save more money by not buying Disney ponchos (which sell for $10-20 each) but instead bringing your own – you can find them in most dollar stores – or packing umbrellas.
Plan Ahead for Happy Feet:
I’m often asked what I wear on my feet to the parks. A Disney vacation requires a lot of walking and you want your feet to be as comfy as possible. Our family has found that Crocs footwear is the best for park touring. Not only do Crocs keep your feet cool and comfy, but if it starts to rain suddenly (which it often does in Orlando), or if you decide to brave a water ride, you don’t have to deal with wet socks for the rest of the day.
You can buy Mickey Crocs in the parks, but they’re very expensive. I recommend buying them in advance, for less, online at Shoe Buy or at your local Crocs outlet. My favorite is the Cleo type. I wear them year after year, day after day, in the parks. I love them!
All of the above takes time to plan, but once you get to Disney it’ll save you time, money, and headaches, and let you concentrate on what’s really important: having a Magical Disney vacation with your family!
My dear friend Lesley Sawhook is an authorized Disney Vacation Planner with Pixie Vacations. Her service to you is FREE and she can add a lot of magic to your next Disney Vacation. She also offers a $25 Disney gift card and as an exclusive to my readers is offering a free autograph book for your children if you mention my blog when contacting her. Drop Lesley a line and see what magic she can make for you when you’re planning your next Disney trip at Lesley@pixievacations.com