Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Bring Your Own or Rent a Stroller

When traveling to Walt Disney World with children, I would like to say that a stroller is a must for children 5 and under. You have two options. You can choose to bring your own from home or rent one. If you don’t want to rent from Disney and you don’t want to bring your own, you can even rent them from off site companies, such as Kingdom Strollers. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. But in the end, as I have mentioned in my other articles, you know your child better than anyone and what works best for them.

I have always brought my own stroller. My son was only 14 months for his first trip. We wanted to have the stroller to get him through the airport, as well as be able to have a stroller he was familiar with and felt comfortable in. Because he wasn’t walking at the time, had we not brought our own, we would have had to carry him through the airport with all of our luggage. In addition, we would have had to carry him all over the hotel when walking back and forth to the food court, pool or gift shop. Being able to put him in the stroller and go made those quick trips much easier. We also loved having the stroller to walk all the way to the bus depot (we did not rent a car on that trip) from the park exit. At the end of a long day, we certainly didn’t need to be carrying a child from the park, to the bus, and to the hotel room.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Will We Get to Ride in the Red Van Again?

Joey's 1st Mickey Ears ~ he was 14 months

WDW Daily News, Making Magical Memories Column, Article #4 September 2009

I have always been a firm believer, especially when it comes to Disney, in not paying for something they offer for free. I’ll handle the extra few minutes it may take or slight inconvenience in order to save money that I can put toward something else, like a character meal or a souvenir. But there is one part of the vacation expense that I will gladly pay extra for – a rental car. I discovered this gem of information first hand during our 2006 trip!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers (2011)

Are you looking for a guidebook that focuses on creating a memorable and fun Disney vacation for your little ones?  Lisa Battista has written a book that shares her expriences of traveling to the parks with her children.  Enjoy!

Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers (2011)
By Lisa M. Battista

Planning a trip to Walt Disney World with preschoolers has never been easier.

NEW JERSEY October 2010 – Lisa M. Battista has packed the 2011 edition of Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers (CreateSpace, October 2010, ISBN: 1-4536-4039-8) with all the information readers need to plan an unforgettable Walt Disney World vacation with children, ages 2-5.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Favorite Kid Friendly Resort ~ Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort

WDW Daily News
Making Magical Memories Column
September 2009

There are so many options for resorts, vacation homes, and timeshares to stay in when visiting Walt Disney World. We always stay on property because of the benefits of being a resort guest. Disney has a range of resorts to fit any budget and many choices of theme. The hotels are categorized into different price categories – deluxe, moderate, value and then the Disney Vacation Club Villas. Of course, the more it costs, the more amenities they have available to you. For us, a family of five, we stick with the moderates, but I dream of the day I can afford to stay at a deluxe resort on the monorail! Another important consideration when choosing your hotel is how much time you will actually spend in your room. For us, with three little ones, we knew everyday, midday, we would be back at the hotel for a few hours so Emily could nap. We needed a room larger than a value room and a resort that had things for Joey and Hayley to do while Emily was asleep.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Disney Dream that Almost Wasn't

As you may know from some of my previous posts, my first trip to Walt Disney World was in 1986 and I was immediately hooked. As a family of four we went back to Walt Disney World every other year until my brother and I were in college.  Then my parents started going every year with out us!  Remember the old Disney ad with the son sitting at his desk at work on the phone saying that couldn't believe his parents were in Disney without him?  It was as if that ad were based on what was happening in our family!

In 1995, my parents brought my brother and I, and this time Pierre (now my husband) was invited to come along too.  It was during this trip that I started imagining what it would be like to one day bring my own children to Walt Disney World.  Pierre and I were married a year later and took several trips alone to Disney.  In 2001 I was happy to announce to my family that I was pregnant.  One of the things I mentioned when telling my family was that our trips to Disney were going to be even better now.  Unfortunately, three months later, I had a miscarriage.  Of course, I was devastated, as was my family, but I figured, we would just try again. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Disney Moms Panel Round 2 Has Begun

I was one of the people who applied for the Disney Mom's Panel this year.  I am always excited to apply for this group, though I do know that the chances of being chosen are pretty slim.  Long before the panel, I considered myself, as did my family, a Disney mom, so I was quite excited when they began the panel a few years ago.  I had the user name of disneymom2joey in 2004, then in 2006, when Hayley was born, my user name was updated to disneymom2jh and then in 2007, when Emily was born, it was updated to disneymom2jhe.  I didn't make it to the second round this year, but I certainly am happy for those who did and wish them the best of luck through the next round.  I am disappointed, but it isn't going to change what I do everyday to help my friends and family plan their Disney vacations.  I still consider myself a Disney mom and look forward to trying again next year!

Good luck to those of you who have made it to Round 2!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Let the Memories Begin Campaign

I've submitted two photos to the Let the Memories Begin Campaign for Disney's latest promotion. 

The first is my son, Joey, hugging Dale at his first ever character meal at Cape May Cafe. This was taken in 2006 when Joey was just 14 months old.
Check it out here!

The second is of my daughter, Hayley, ringing the dinner bell at Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue.  This was taken in 2010 when Hayley was 3.5.
Check it out here!

Now I need to find one of my daughter Emily!


Have you shared your memory yet?  You can just visit the Disney Parks website.

When to Visit Walt Disney World with the Kids

Hayley cooling off in the Emporium by trying on hats
The first decision when planning a trip to Disney is deciding when to go. There are so many factors to consider, especially when you have children. Do you take your children out of school or use school vacation times? What type of weather will your children be able to tolerate? What special events do you think would enhance your trip that may only occur during one season per year?

Taking your child out of school is a personal choice and only you know what is best for your children. The obvious benefit of taking your child out of school to visit Walt Disney World is to go when the parks are not as busy and cost less. By going during value season, you can save significant money off the price of your hotel. Plus, since most children will be in school, you are almost certain to have shorter wait times for rides and attractions than you would during regular, peak or holiday seasons. The drawback is that normally the parks open later and close earlier, so you have less time to get in everything you need. Plus, with shorter hours, there will be a reduced number of evening parades or nighttime shows. On the other hand, there are negatives to taking your child out of school. I can say as a former teacher there is no amount of worksheets or assignments that will make up what is missed during classes. Some school systems, to discourage traveling during the school year, will not allow the teacher to give your child work and what is missed is considered incomplete. The best thing you can do when trying to make this decision is first check your school’s policy and check with the teacher. You must also consider how your child will handle missing that time from school. Luckily for us, we haven’t had to worry about this yet since none of our children are in school yet.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Disney again???

There are two questions I am always asked when I tell my friends or family that I am planning another trip to Disney. The first one is “Disney again - haven’t you already seen it enough?” The second question is “Why are you bringing the kids, they aren’t going to remember it?”

My answer to the first one is pretty simple . . . because I love it! There is something about walking into the Magic Kingdom and making my way down Main Street. It is a true passage from reality to fantasy. All the worries of the world seem to disappear. You become completely immersed in a world of enchantment. Even after 11 trips, I still get teary-eyed when I see the castle. In all the trips I have taken, I have never had the same vacation twice. I have traveled to Disney with family, friends, for a wedding, family reunion, and to share the magic with my children. Each trip brings its own special memories and magical moments. The choices of shows, attractions and restaurants seem endless and can appease travelers with all types of interests. Who can ask more from a vacation than one filled with so many possibilities?