Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Awhile - Packing for Disney

It's been a while!  (Awhile?)  So much has happened.

I thought I'd start back with a post idea I had when preparing for our latest trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.

Due to kid sports obligations we chose to fly to Orlando as opposed to our usual method of transportation - driving.
I was flying solo with the kids down to Orlando, so this meant I wanted everyone to be able to carry their own luggage and carry ons.

To simplify things, I sent a box of 'stuff' down to Orlando with my parents in their minivan.  These are things that I often pack on our WDW trips.  Just things I have have found to be useful in the room.

First up - a small air purifier aka 'the white noise machine.'  This trip we were staying at a Value resort - Pop Century.  When staying at Pop Century, we usually request a room with a 'lake view' in the 50's section and we have almost never had an issue with noise outside our room, but at every level of WDW hotel (Deluxe, Moderate, Value) we find it easier to have a white noise machine, especially in the mornings when Mousekeeping starts making their rounds and the 'early to rise' park goers start emerging from their rooms for the day.  This is not to say that WDW rooms are in any way badly constructed or noisy all the time.  This is just to prevent being woken up by that *one* family with that *one* kid who is yelling outside your room when you're children are fast asleep at 7 am.  (And we all know, there is no anger like the anger you feel when you miss out on sleep because someone else woke up your child.  :-)  Ha!

Next up, a few breakfast items.  Now, this may seem crazy.  WDW sometimes seems like it's nothing but tempting foods everywhere you look.  And this trip we were on the 'free' Disney Dining Plan.  But if your children are anything like mine, they wake up STARVING every morning.  And grumpy becomes 'hangry' pretty quickly if you don't feed them right away.  When you're by yourself with your children and you need to get ready before you head to the food court (read: it will be an hour before you're out the door and headed to eat) having some easy breakfast foods on hand can mean the difference between a stressful morning and an easy one.

I try to pick easy breakfast foods with *some* health benefits.  :-)

Next up- Laundry.  I usually need to run at least one load while I'm at WDW.  If for nothing other than stain control (you know, someone dumps something on their outfit at dinner and you need to get it out before it sets in.)  All the WDW resorts have great laundry rooms.  They sell everything you need at the resorts, but it saves time and money to bring your own.  I bring - a hanging laundry hamper (can hang in the closet area - keeps laundry off the floor and keeps it from being mixed in with the clean clothes in kids suitcases,) Shout to pretreat stains, Tide pods, a few dryer sheets and a delicates bag.

 Finally - Dish/ hand soap and a dish rag/ towel.  One thing about WDW resorts are the 'refillable' mugs that everyone seems to have.  You buy a $18 mug and you get unlimited tea/ coffee/ soda refills for your entire stay.  Most people will bring these to breakfast, fill them up, and then throw them in their stroller or back pack until the end of the day.  After dragging our mugs all over the park for the day, I REALLY feel the need to give them a good washing, so I bring an old hand soap bottle (that I saved and cleaned out) filled with our favorite dish soap - Method grapefruit.
This serves dual purpose though, as I find it hard to get my kids to wash their hands with a bar of soap provided by the hotel.  They do much better with liquid soap.  So it's a win, win.
The dish rag and towel are just because of my own OCD.  I don't want to dry my dishes with a towel some other person has wiped their mouth on.  :-)  Weird I know.

I put everything in a clear plastic bin (you can seen I brought a few other WDW essentials too - hello sunscreen!  I didn't think the sunscreen would make it through security in our carry ons.  I also brought a $9 coffee maker from Wal Mart and some coffee, because this momma needs her coffee right away!) and sent it with my parents.

I hope this is helpful to someone out there planning a WDW vacation!  Thanks for reading!