Guess where we went recently?
Yup. The happiest place on earth. And we had an amazing time (even with gray skies)! Funny thing is, we made the decision to go about a week prior to our visit. I think some people plan their Disney trips a year or more in advance but I'm not that girl. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants--which is great for lots of things--but when you spend the kind of money that Disney requires, I realized (okay, my husband told me) we should have some sort of plan.
Here's what we did to make the most of our trip:
1. We signed up for Mousesavers. It's a newsletter that comes once a month and provides information on discounts and offer codes along with helpful tips.
2. We signed up for a subscription to Touringplans.com. This site allowed us to make a customized plan for the park and minimize our wait times. We used the Magic Kingdom One Day Touring Plan for Parents with Younger and Older Children. This plan cost us ten dollars but it was money well spent. We had a plan that we could reference for the day. We accessed the plan through an app for our Iphones. Occasionally, we did deviate but it was helpful to have a guide.
3. We used a free app called Undercover Tourist. This app provided updated wait times for every ride in the park and told us the return times for our fast passes.
4. We strategically used fast passes. Where were these things when I was little?! The passes allowed us to plan around the popular rides. We would swipe our pass in the fast pass kiosk and then return at the designated time. In between, we would tackle other rides.
5. We packed a lunch. Well, my mother-in-law packed lunches. She's so smart. That way, we could eat on the earlier side and then go on rides when other people were eating!
6. We made lunch and dinner reservations ahead of time (even though we ultimately didn't use the lunch reservation). You can make dining reservations right on the Disney webpage. It allows you to sort available reservations by park and price. Then, you can look up the corresponding restaurants on allearsnet.com. A friend of mine (thanks Zoe) told me about this website! It was helpful to view the restaurant menus ahead of time and read what others said about it. It was also good to know we had a reservation in case the weather was awful or the kids got overheated. Better to have it, right?
7. We brought rain jackets and ponchos. (Thanks Auntie for giving me your rain gear). Those Florida skies can turn on you faster than the Kardashians churn out reality shows.
When we left, I felt giddy and exhausted. I also felt satisfied that we had made the most of our day. I can't wait to go back!
Turns out Jiminy Cricket was right: when you wish upon a star, dreams DO come true.
As Mickey would say, "C" you real soon.
Note from Mrs. Gosling: Oh Disney .. how I miss you! We were there 3 years ago and it was magical. The best part, the fireworks. What a wonderful memory for you and your extended family!
Note from Mrs. Williams: Thanks, Mrs. K., for sharing all the great tips and tricks for managing the happiest place on Earth!