Best Things to Buy From the Online Grocer

cf5fe5b62e26e8efc49fccd8e07beb25_-jiminy-cricket-disney-disney-jiminy-cricket-clipart_236-559Last week we asked… You answered.   The most well-liked princess is Belle.  Thanks again Julie & AMY for helping with a ROYAL challenge. 

Online grocery shopping is a great way to save money at Disney. It is possible to have all of your vacation needs delivered to your resort before you even arrive. The resorts will even keep the cold stuff cold! We have all been guilty of over buying groceries for our vacation so what are some optimal purchases to have?

Rich here:

  1. Water / Gatorade – Florida and California are HOT!! (I know – no duh) Part of the preparation for the heat has to be hydration. Sure – my cargo shorts MAY not be the most fashionable, but I can carry a lot of water in them. One of the best ways to avoid heat stroke is to drink early and drink often (No – not beer). 
  2. Donuts or Pop Tarts – Mornings are magical in a Disney Park. The best way to get going is breakfast to go. I know Richie and I love the Entenmanns donuts. You know – the chocolate covered ones, or the crumbly ones. (and they are available in the Disney Shoppettes if you need more!). When not donuts – Pop Tarts are my backup and my pre-race goto. Quick easy fuel to start the day (with sprinkles). 
  3. Salty Pretzels – Ok – I have had the donuts, I have drank all the water I could get my hands on… now it is time to replenish some of the salt I lost during the day. That is when I turn to my pretzels for salt replacement, and a snack after getting back from the parks. (And they are good with a post park beer too!!)

Amanda, what say you?

Amanda here:

  1. A case of bottled water is probably the single most economical and useful purchase. Instead of paying $2.50 per bottle, you can order a 32 pack of 16.9 oz bottles of water for $10. If you need to drink cold water, you can freeze the bottles and let them thaw throughout the day.
  2. One of the most useful snack foods at Disney is Uncrustables. Ingenious little-frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that are intended to thaw during the day and be eaten at room temperature. They are portable, individually wrapped, and taste good even if they get squished beneath the water bottle. Plus they provide a reasonable combination of protein and carbs to keep you going. (Obviously, these are not so useful if someone in your party has a peanut or gluten allergy.)
  3. The best breakfast food for vacation is definitely Pop Tarts. Nothing is easier when you’re trying to get to rope drop in the morning. Each family member grabs a package and eats them on the way to parks. A great way to have an expensive and quick breakfast every morning.

Special Guest Holly Adams, How about you?:

  1. Water: First off, you need to drink a LOT of water. Sure, you can get free water in any restaurant in the park (or at least anyone that sells fountain drinks), but you have to waste precious park time, a lot of places don’t open until 11 am, and they give it to you in a cup, which isn’t as easy to carry around. Bottled water in the park is almost $3 a pop. And the fountain water often has a nasty taste to it. So, order your water from the grocer, and drink drink drink. We also like to bring flavored water drops – easily packable and helps if someone in your party doesn’t like the taste of plain water. An alternative is to have a reusable water bottle or camel pack, but we liked being able to just toss the bottles in the recycling bin before leaving the park – one less thing to schlep home.
  2. Gallon Ziploc bags: I used these a lot more than expected. I would put the autograph book in it so it didn’t get wet in any of the frequent rainstorms, stashed a change of clothes for the kids (with one in potty training, wet clothing was a concern), and stored wet bathing suits, snacks, random small souvenirs (allllllllll those stickers!) and at the very end of the trip, wrapped up some random leaky toiletries. I used almost an entire box.
  3. Sunscreen, because nothing is worse than a sunburn (except blisters!) If you are going straight to the park on arrival, it might be better to pack this in your go-bag instead. But if you are sticking by the resort on your first day, just order ahead and save baggage space. Because you’re going to need a LOT of sunscreen.

Holly only has three trips to the World under her belt – but she’s an expert planner and obsessive researcher. She is currently plotting how to get back to Disney World before the end of 2017 with zero money in the bank. 

Ok .. now it’s your chance …

  • Who was right?
  • Who was wrong?
  • What is your favorite?

 

Top Three Things About Solo Travel

 

cf5fe5b62e26e8efc49fccd8e07beb25_-jiminy-cricket-disney-disney-jiminy-cricket-clipart_236-559Last week we asked… You and Holly Adams answered.   The most important thing to pack are those extra comfy shoes. .

Now let’s see what we will find this week!

While many people continue to harbor the misconception that Disney World is only for families with children, Disney can be a great vacation for a solo traveler. With dining options ranging from counter service, communal, food festivals, to bars and lounges, it is easy to have a meal by yourself without worrying about feeling awkward. There are several events which target adult fans of Disney such as race weekends, D23 Events such as Fanniversary or sip and stroll, or Food and Wine Festival with all sorts of courses and events that would be perfect for a solo traveler.

Rich here:

  1. Single Rider Lines – Want to take another spin on Test Track? Need to face the Yeti again? Aerosmith wants you to rock and roll? It’s all good with single rider lines. As a solo traveler, there are multiple options for a single rider and many other attractions that will look for that one more passenger. Way too often, they are looking for that ‘odd’ rider to fill a journey on Star Tours or that last body for dino bait. 
  2. Go at your own pace. I found that as a solo traveler, I would tour hardcore from rope drop to lunch time, and then take my break, and go slow the rest of the day. As a single rider, you can maximize your time, and just do those things that are calling out to you. No need for groupthink on this trip!
  3. You get to choose the must dos.   Way too often we over book our vacations… Touring plans, ADRs, Fast Passes.   Want to blow off a day and do the monorail loop dining plan… you can do it.   Want to meet some friends in world showcase, and not see Rivers of Light… why not? Sometimes it’s fun to be free!

Amanda, what say you?

Amanda here: Most of my solo travel experiences have been during race weekends where I have had roommates and running friends for companionship although I have traveled alone on a few occasions.

  1. One of my favorite solo trip experiences involved a magical day at Animal Kingdom where I literally rode Expedition Everest five times in a row. I got there at rope drop and kept riding until there was a line. It was super fun and not something I would ask anyone else to endure. The ability to do whatever you feel like doing is a major advantage to solo travel.
  2. Most Disney trips are non-stop action with a focus on getting as much done as possible. When you’re alone, you can take the time to stop and smell the roses. I had a fantastic day at Epcot during Flower and Garden Festival (I was in Orlando for a work conference and was able to sneak away for one day). I’m not a great photographer but I brought a DSLR camera and spent the day taking photos of the flowers. There is NO way my kids would have tolerated that. Having the ability to Slow Down and enjoy the details is a real luxury.
  3. I am a natural born extrovert who could make a new best friend in line at the grocery store (much to my children’s horror) so one of my favorite things about solo travel is the ability to meet people and talk to them. I love talking to cast members and fellow travelers. Disney attracts a diverse group of people and it’s fun to hear everyone’s stories. Plus, as someone involved in the Disney fan community, it’s rare for me to be at the World without knowing someone else there. When you’re with a group, it’s harder to keep the flexibility necessary to meet up with others. When you’re by yourself, it’s easy.

Special Guest David Koch of the Mickey Dudes Podcast: How about you:

  1. Stopping to smell the roses in the World Showcase.
    I like to wander the pavilions of the World Showcase and really appreciate the intricate architecture of all the buildings. I then like to take a slow look in all the shops, experience some of the cuisine and have a nice drink associated with that pavilion. I also like to take time and experience all the character greetings and entertainment offerings of each pavilion: be it a band or an acrobat.
  2. Not having to worry about anyone else. I’ve lost track of how many times I have been to Walt Disney World. I have experienced a vast majority of the magic. When I am with other people in Disney, my main concern is to help others experience the magic. When I’m alone I don’t have to worry about other’s enjoyment. I can just take it for what it is and not have to worry about being a manager of the world.
  3. It’s a good time to socialize.
    Believe it or not, the trips where I come solo, I am the most social. This blog, for example, is for Disney fans, by Disney fans. Chances are if you are reading this, you are a member of some type of community of Disney Park fans. Through social media, I have made lots of friends in the Disney community. Every time I am here I meet up other travelers or locals. With travelers, they are usually with their family. So as to not impede on family time I might meet them for just a little while to experience a few attractions or to get a bite to eat. Locals have met me in the parks after work for a few hours almost every time I came. I have even used meetup.com and a well know Disney Parks fan forum to attend a monorail bar crawls of mostly locals looking to meet like minded people. I find that I am more social when I travel solo. When others are in my travel party, I tend to stay with them and am unable to meet up with others. When I’m solo I just see where the wind takes me. In my experiences, a simple tweet or Facebook post saying I will be in WDW with dates has always yielded somebody to hang out with for a time.

Dave Koch @FigmentsReality is a relatively new fan of Disney Parks, only visiting for the first time 7 years ago. You can say he has made up for lost time holding an AP for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland. He is the cohost of The Mickey Dudes podcast, (https://themickeydudespodcast.podbean.com/) where a group of guys discuss all things Disney. His spirit animal is Figment and he collects pictures of himself with different Disney characters: having over 150 of them.

Ok .. now it’s your chance …

  • Who was right?
  • Who was wrong?
  • What is your favorite?

Best Things to Pack From Home

cf5fe5b62e26e8efc49fccd8e07beb25_-jiminy-cricket-disney-disney-jiminy-cricket-clipart_236-559Last week we asked… You answered.   The most anticipated part of Beauty and the Beast 2017 – is Emma Watson.  Thanks again Jessica!

Now let’s see what we will find this week!

Packing … it is one of the last things you do before your vacation, and it is one of the things you fret about as you sit on the plane.  “Did I remember my park tickets?”   “I sure hope I remembered underwear!”  “Do I have my 5 luckiest Hawaiian shirts (or 10?)? “   Here are a couple of reminders of things to bring that may not be at the top of your packing list – but just as important in our opinions.

Rich here:

  1. Body Glide- Chafing … It’s bad for you. It’s bad for your vacation. Avoid it at all costs. Between the heat, humidity, and water rides, bad things can happen. Prepare and prevent Chafing at all costs. Runners use a product called Body Glide to prevent those issues, and I strongly suggest it to avoid discomfort and the pain from preventing a great trip. 
  2. Comfy Shoes – Last trip we went on we walked over 15 miles a day. On days I wore less appropriate shoes, I knew it at the end of the day. On the days I wore good supportive shoes, I knew it too. As a scout I learned – be prepared (like Scar taught the hyenas) I urge you to be prepared too, to be on your feet all day!
  3. Extra Room – I always find myself squeezing items in my luggage last minute – or even worse sitting on my suitcase to make sure I can close my suitcase after all my trinkets are packed…. Then it is the hope that the scale isn’t that working that day at baggage check in. Don’t be like me – save some room and weight, because you will always bring home more than you take. 

Amanda, what say you?

Amanda here:

  1. The first thing I pack is carry-on sized sunscreen in my purse. My children and I are super fair-skinned so it doesn’t take long in the Florida sunshine to get a lobster-style sunburn. I like to make sure that as soon as we are outside in Florida, I have readily accessible sunscreen. If our room isn’t ready and everyone wants to start going, I have enough sunscreen to protect us. 
  2. One of the best things about staying at Disney is the amazingly well-theme swimming pools. I make sure to pack 2 bathing suits per person. The humidity in Florida means that the suits don’t dry quickly and I hate putting on a wet bathing suit. If I’m flying, I always make sure there is one bathing suit per person in a carry on bag as we often use arrival day to explore the resort pool instead of going to the parks.
  3. My family will certainly laugh at me for this one but I always pack gummy fibers when we go on vacation. After several days of eating junk food with nary a vegetable in sight, there is a risk of everyone getting a tummy ache. Giving each person some daily gummy fibers prevents stomach issues during the trip.  Trust me.

Special Guest Holly Adams … How about you?

  1. First and foremost, BODY GLIDE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. I found out about this product on the Disboards, and I will never go without it. Rub it around your (ahem) groin area and where your bra hits (or at your underarms, gents) to prevent chaffing, and all over your feet to prevent blisters. It also works great to prevent ingrown hairs when you shave your bikini line, ladies. This stuff saves lives.
  2. Ponchos. I like to buy those disposable 10 packs of ponchos, for about $5 at Walmart. They are light and compact, and you can just toss them in the end. They work great to protect a stroller from getting wet. However, there are a lot of proponents of buying the Disney ponchos in the park. They run about $10 for adults and $9 for kids, so for a family of 4 that’s about $40. However, they are a higher quality and Disney will replace ripped ponchos for free. Plus, it’s a nice souvenir!
  3. Be sure to pack an extra pair of shoes! Squelching around in wet ones is no fun. Make sure they are comfortable, broken in, and have good arch support. You’ll be walking 5+ miles per day, it’s important to have something that will keep your feet happy. A good pair of blister-guard, moisture wicking socks will also help.
  4. 4. Bonus item: a portable phone battery charger. You can buy these in the park for $30 each, and exchange them around the park for fully charged packs when your juice runs out. However, you can get much better battery chargers for a lot less money on Amazon, and they charge up your phone a lot further:   http://ropedrop.net/2016/07/disneys-new-fuel-rod-service-seems-like-an-unnecessary-hassle/

Holly only has three trips to the World under her belt – but she’s an expert planner and obsessive researcher. She is currently plotting how to get back to Disney World before the end of 2017 with zero money in the bank.

Ok .. now it’s your chance …

  • Who was right?
  • Who was wrong?
  • What is your favorite?