My mailbox has been filling up
with suggestions from readers. Today I'll share just a few:
eMailbox for 9/28/01:
took our trip to WDW in 1999, we had 3 kids in tow, at the time
aged 6, 4, and 23 months. When researching info about the park,
etc., I noticed the prices for breakfast and snacks. So I
decided to pack one suitcase with nothing but snacks. This saved
a bundle. We purchased Styrofoam™ bowls, plastic spoons, small
boxes of cereal, pepperoni sticks, granola bars, cheese
crackers, etc. Since we had a refrigerator in our hotel room, we
purchased milk at the hotel grocery store and had our cereal
each morning before leaving for the parks. We packed enough
snacks of a variety to make the kiddos happy throughout the day.
When we were ready to come home, the suitcase was empty and we
then had a place to store all the souvenirs we bought and could
safely bring them home.
planning a trip in October to Disneyland and are planning on
using the same system as the kids are now 8, 6 and 3. This is a
great way to save time and money since you don't have to waste
time eating breakfast instead of going on the rides. Or if
you're in line for the ride and a little one states they're
hungry, reach in the bag and satisfy everyone! It's magic in the
place of magic.
research the restaurants described in Birnbaum's and other books
about Disney. They give food descriptions and prices for each
restaurant and in which park or "land" they are
located. I type out and print each restaurant food listing and
price to take with us the day we visit the park. This may sound
silly, but when you have hungry kids and need to make a
decision, having something in front of you that tells you what
food is available in which "land" is easier that
walking everywhere only to find that that particular place is
not going to satisfy everyone.
We look at
the list, decide and go. It saves a lot of time and patience and
sometimes even tempers when you have to walk from place to place
searching for the meal that pleases everyone. A little extra leg
work at home pays off when you're at the park and wanting to
have a good time.
this on to other friends and have even given them my notes to
take with them. They had a great time and admitted that these
were well worth having with them.
Michelle, thanks for the
tips, but, I am going to take your restaurant list one better…
I'd like to save you all some time typing up restaurant tips.
Brian Bennett maintains the Walt
Disney World Restaurant Resource
here at MousePlanet.
readers can create lists of their own by checking out the notes on
169 different restaurants at Walt Disney World! Vacationers
heading west can use the Disneyland
advantage of your tip of using the front tram with strollers.
Embarking was very painless. We didn't really notice a lot of
fumes from the engine, and the noise unfortunately was NOT loud
enough to drown out the man next to us (with his kids) who was
cursing up a storm. Assuming we're not stuck with that guy
again, we'll be using that front tram from now on. We probably
will use the walkway if we have a sleeping child on the way out,
though. That's a good idea.
we had was disembarking from the tram. While the cast members
were very nice and helpful when we loaded, there were no cast
members at the unloading area by Downtown Disney, and we had
trouble negotiating the bar that folds up on either side of the
handicapped row. Couldn't get it folded down from inside the
tram, and ended up lifting the stroller over since I didn't want
to delay the other passengers, which was kind of awkward. I'm
sure it's probably easy to fold down from outside the tram,
think there's a catch underneath.
guess the tip (if you discuss this again) is to try to watch the
CMs when you're loading to see how they lower those bars, in
case you're on your own when you disembark. You'll probably need
to hop out and do it from outside the tram.
your contributions. My favorite tip (which I think is yours) was
the one about marking your stroller to easily identify it among
the masses. We just put 3 bands of green electrical tape around
the handle and can spot it immediately. Thanks.
think I can take credit for that tip, Andy, but I'm happy to post
it here! Thank you for sharing your experience on the tram.
"Another Disney Mom"
had a tram tip, too:
for the walking info. We frequent the park, and with three small
children(5,3,2) I have learned a few tricks.
that when waiting for the tram I go as far back as
possible, less people. Second I never fold my stroller, I
have a double seater that is front to back and it fits between
the first two rows that face each other. So I load the stroller
and keep it loaded, minus the kids all the way to the front
entrance. This would work for single strollers too. I had a side
by side and hated to wait for the front wheelchair car!
freeze the water bottles! Cold water all day. I usually take one
for each of us and a spare for the first of the day when the
bottles are too frozen. I keep them in a soft 6-pack cooler and
leave it at the stroller. My bag is an open top purse that holds
a few diapers, wipes, my wallet, phone and camera. I need it to
be light because I am usually holding one or more children.
have my car diaper bag. Full of diapers, change of clothes, and
for the late nights, pj's so I don't have to wake the
children when we get home.
other things, but my mind has stopped working. Thanks for all
the info I really look forward to you section.
The only thing I will
say: when the lines for the tram are very long, I don't like
keeping my stroller unfolded because it takes up so much more room
that people in line could be using to sit on the tram. I recently
picked up on the pajama idea whenever we're out late and it works
out very nicely.
Jamie had a location to add for
breastfeeding at Disneyland:
Orleans Square, in the little courtyard between the Pieces of
Eight shop and the New Orleans food store. There's usually a
nice bench there, it's quiet so little ones don't get too
distracted from their meal and I really like nursing our baby in
that spot. It was a like a private garden area.
thought I'd share!
the updates. It's a nice way to take our minds off current
events for a bit.
Melly shared a wonderful e-mail that I've
slightly edited for length:
reading your advice for parenting in the parks. I am a mother of
three and have been going to DL with my children since my oldest
(now 11) was just 15 months old, my other two are 9 and a very
active 2 year old.
absolutely love the Baby Center. I, like you, feel very
comfortable feeding my babies everywhere, whether I am breast
feeding or bottle feeding. However, sometimes when the little
ones are cranky and tired a nice quiet baby smelling room with a
rocking chair is the perfect place for Mom and baby to just to
hang and nurse giving the baby a break from the sometimes over
I started doing for my older kids when they were around 5 is
giving them a disposable camera so they could take their own
pictures of their trips. I always planned ahead and got these
cameras when they were on sale and I had a coupon, making this
very economical. They love taking pictures and it is great that
they each have their own camera. If the camera should happen to
get lost, it is not such a major catastrophe. Actually I write
their first names on their cameras and their state, which came
in real handy one time when one got lost, we just went to lost
and found later in the day and someone had turned it in and with
the name on it, identifying it was super easy.
thing that I started with my older kids a few years ago is I
give them $X to spend at the parks. This amount really varies
for us depending on our financial situation at the moment and
how long we are going to spend in the park. I usually always
start them of with $20 in Disney money and then add to it each
day we are there with an additional $10 a day. This way they
know exactly how much money they are going to have and can
either buy something everyday or save up for a big item the last
them even more responsible (and to help me budget), I explain to
my kids that I supply three meals and three snacks a day while
we on vacation and if they feel they need an extra churro or
pretzel then that needs to come out of their spending money.
Since I implemented this system it has saved us a lot of
headaches and even more arguments. My oldest child is very
thrifty with her money and always comes home with some, however,
my middle daughter spends every dollar every day, but it is her
planning our next trip for December 12. I think I am even more
excited than my kids. After the tragedy over the past couple of
weeks I had thought about canceling my trip, but our leader is
right we need to move forward with our lives. I might feel
differently about the trip if I was flying, but we drive over
from Phoenix so usually things go smoothly and quickly for us.
for your great columns, I truly enjoy them.
Melly, thanks for your
thoughts. I love the camera idea. Disposable cameras are wonderful
for this purpose and writing their names on them is a great idea.
In my other life, I'm an avid scrapbooker, so I especially
appreciate that tip. (You might want to check the sidebar on the
right for some favorite online scrapbooking stops.)
I also wanted to comment
on your decision to not cancel your trip: Good for you. I agree
strongly with you that we must listen to our leaders and move on
with our lives. More importantly, I believe that we must support
our nation's economy!
questions and feedback! They will help me plan future columns! Write me
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Here are two great
a MousePlanet affiliate, has many Disney and vacation themed accessories
If you're looking for
scrapbooks and adhesives, my personal favorites are from Creative
experience taking kids to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp
counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she
started her favorite job, being Matthew and Spencer's Mom.
Adrienne, Matthew and
Spencer visit Disneyland several times a month, usually with Daddy, too.
Besides Matthew &
Spencer, Adrienne and her husband Kevin created and maintain The
Happiest Potties on Earth website.