If you are looking for stilletto recommendations, you are in the wrong place. I need to be able to run after my kids without falling on my face. Want to know your smartphone's metapix? Sorry. I only write about whether it can survive 5 minutes in the hands of my kids.
It’s finally here! I’m heading to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference 2013 this week! Actually, I’m already en route. Err….sort of. I’m making a detour to Las Vegas first. I was asked to speak on a panel at the ABC Springs Conference; a conference for baby, infant, juvenile retailers. So I had to do some extra planning to pull everything off. Including packing for the kids days in advance and leaving tons of notes for the last minute items that need to be packed. Then I will connect with the family at the airport in Orlando after my redeye flight. Oy.
But I’m excited to be sharing the fun in that there is a lot of information Disney will be emparting to us, which may help you plan your next trip, consider a trip, or consider other fun things like new apps, movies and more that you don’t have to get a plane for!
One thing I’ll be doing at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration is running in my first runDisney experience. It will be a two mile race and I made a video in my magical quest. Not only will this be my first runDisney ‘race’, it will be the first one since the birth of my daughter and my abdominal surgery. I’m going to be slow. Like, ridiculously slow, which is a humbling experience after running 7 marathons in my life. But my life has changed, and so has my body. It will take awhile for me to adjust to this new fitness paradigm. Yet, I’m going to give it a go.
Growing up, my parents were able to take us to Disney World by saving their money from clipping coupons. They didn’t have money left over to spend on souvenirs so we didn’t get to buy anything and always packed our lunches because we couldn’t afford the food in the parks. Now, with my kids, we have a little more leeway, but not too much. So I need to find ways on how to save money on souvenirs at Disney World.
I buy the souvenirs in advance of our vacationat the online Disney Store with online coupons and sales. Sign up for their newsletter to get notice on sales. Or do a Google or Bing search to find online promo codes. When you get to Disney, dole out the purchases! I also buy licensed t-shirts and things at the Super Walmart in Kissimmee, FL, just outside of Disney World. (All still support Disney!) I pack our our lunches to save money on some meals so we can buy ice cream/popcorn, that sort of thing, later in the day. While it is easy get groceries if you have a rental car, and have a kitchen in your room (like at the Disney Art of Animation Resort), you can still do it with a mini-fridge and a taxi ride. Here is my post on how to do that.
Regardless of how to save money on souvenirs at Disney World, I think it is also important to teach my children that while it is understandable to want the balloons, Disney ears, t-shirts, popcorn, it is about the magic of Disney itself that is most important. Plus, the fun is in the rides, the shows, and the characters.
If you want to provide something tangible, however, and you are on a really limited budget (or even if you aren’t!), one idea is to make a handmade autograph book. At Disney, there are autograph books for sale (around $8) and you can have the characters you meet ‘autograph’ the book. Yet, there is no rule that it has to be one of Disney’s books – they sign anything. So find a blank journal at a dollar store or thrift shop for a dollar or two. Then find pictures of various Disney characters online or in books from the library. Print them out or make photocopies them, and paste each character on one side of the journal. One page for Mickey Mouse, one for Minnie Mouse, one for Winnie the Pooh, one for Cinderella, etc. Or just decorate the book with Disney stickers. At the parks, have the character autograph the page opposite from the one with their picture on it! Don’t forget to take a picture while they are greeting your child! Then in future years, use the picture of your child greeting the character in the autograph book!
It is a great memory piece and gives something special to do for, and with, your children. It will keep their focus off the Disney popcorn and Mickey Mouse ice cream when they have a mission to find the characters in their specially made autograph book!
When you go to Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World, you are in awe when you see the massive wave pool in the center of the park, then you are drawn in to the Lazy River, and then the fabulous water slides. But there is one attraction that is often overlooked in favor of the rides and that is the Typhoon Lagoon Shark Reef.
The Typhoon Lagoon Shark Reef is also tucked away in the back corner of the park, so it is a bit ‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’ but it is worth checking out. One of my fellow Disney Social Media Moms wondered if anyone had done it before, and since I have been going to the Shark Reef since Typhoon Lagoon first opened, I shared my thoughts and thought I would share them here too.
It is quick attraction. You spend more time picking out your preserver and mask/snorkel. Once you get into the water, you are supposed to keep moving and you are across the open air ‘fish tank’ pretty quickly. Yet, if you go when the park opens (and everyone else is hitting the slides) the staff are a bit more lenient I’ve found. Plus, you aren’t bumping into a lot of people and can enjoy the fish (and sharks!) You can’t splash kick because you could hurt someone else (and the fish!) so you and your kids should be pretty good swimmers. It’s safe because of the life jackets kids can wear (and are complimentary throughout the park) and the sharks are well-fed on fish food so no worries there.
My two other tips/thoughts is that the water is really cold. My Mom always passes on it because of the water temp so if you aren’t a fan, or if it is a particularly cool day, you may want to skip it. However, regardless of the weather, if you want to see it, but don’t want to go in it, there is an underwater viewing area and an above water one too! Perfect for toddlers to check out!
I am beyond trilled and have pasted enthralled on my way to utter ecstatic-ness about attending the Disney Social Media Moms Conference.
What I am enjoying the most is chatting about all things Disney with fellow #DisneySMMoms. Everything from tips on water parks and how much money to bring for souvenirs. As we chat, and I share my 30+ years of Disney experiences, I figured I’d share my responses in hope that it may help one of you! While I have written a lot of Disney posts on this blog, everything from Strollers, New Fantasyland, and Tips with Toddlers, here are some more ideas to consider!