I’m a planner. I like to know what’s going to happen and when. It takes away the chaos that is present in so many activities when you have an AD/HD family, and just ups the enjoyment factor immensely. So it wasn’t long into our Walt Disney World trip that I developed my own way of doing things. And as promised, I’m going to reveal a few tips and tricks to make your Disney trip stress-free and a whole lot more enjoyable too.
I’m all about keeping things simple, easy, and stress-free. Thus my tips are all about doing just that. And one of the BIGGEST helpers are those kitchy little maps they have for all the Disney parks. GRAB THOSE MAPS!
The night before you head to a park, sit down with the map and figure out your MUST HIT attractions, character meets, rides, and dining experiences:
I just laid on the bed in our Finding Nemo room at the Art of Animation resort, and using one of the pens from our room sketched little brackets around everything that we really wanted to do that second day in the park. We had already spent one day there, so it a lot of our must do’s, but there were still a lot left on our list. I tossed in a question mark on any attraction that we really wanted to do, but that wasn’t a top priority.
Then I went through the map, and drew stars beside each of the must do rides/attractions/events/dining spots, and a question mark on the want to do ones:
Lastly, but SUPER important not to miss, go through and mark an FP on all the places you’ve marked so far that offer a fast pass. Using the fast pass system makes your life SOOO much easier. So be sure to take note of which spots actually offer them and mark them on your map. You can see them on the map above, but here’s a close up of Fantasyland and New Fantasyland:
When you first hit the park, go directly to the closest area and get your first fast pass. Take note of what time you need to be back there, and then decide to do the remaining STAR attractions/rides now or closer to when you need to redeem your fast pass. You can only get a new fast pass once every hour, so once you’ve gotten one, then hit some of your starred rides and attractions that don’t offer fast pass while you wait until enough time has passed to get your next one.
Having these maps, and your choices charted out on them, really is a small thing. And honestly? It only takes about twenty minutes to do – and is a great relaxing activity for the adults in your party to tackle after any younglings are asleep. It’s a small thing that makes a BIG impact on your park experience. So take that little bit of time the night before each park visit. It saved my sanity and made our trip SOOO much more enjoyable.
When I look at the blogs I enjoy, when I look at my friend’s blogs, when I look at blogs – period, they all seem to have one thing in common: a theme. Yet here I am. I write about what hits me when it hits me. I have trouble with rules.
Rules. Yep. Even in the blogosphere. The biggest two being “Give Credit!” (and, okay, that’s not really a blog specific rule, but it’s worth repeating) and “Blog on Theme!”. So clearly, no problem with the first one. Whenever I use the work of another I make sure to give credit, and share links whenever possible. But number two (the one that is pretty much the cardinal rule of all things blog)? Good grief. It seems like it should be so easy.
Garden Blog – http://www.katesgardenjournal.com/
Disney Travel Blog – http://www.returntodisney.com/
Heck… even topics so narrow you’d never guess there’d be a blog Blog – http://www.fairyfiction.com/
And yep, that last one is a blog dedicated to fairy books for young readers. Not just books, not just fairy books, not just juvenile fiction, but fairy books specifically aimed at kids and youth. How’s that for a niche?
Goodness knows I’ve tried to blog on topic. Had my own dog blog for a while at http://deardogma.wordpress.com/. But I just can’t do it. Stay on topic I mean. I get bored after a while and need to write about other things. Sure, I could set up multiple blogs, one for each area of interest… but really? I’m just not that dedicated.
Okay. So, maybe dedication isn’t the problem. I am on my third year of blogging almost daily.
It seems to fly in the face of every single “how to blog” blogger’s advice, but I just can’t help it. Life is messy. Life doesn’t fit in a neat little box. I don’t fit into a neat little box – so why should my blog?
It works though. I get to share, what I need to share, when I need to share it. And I somehow still manage to keep a few of you coming back day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. And my wee little blog just keeps on growing (which I am SOOO appreciative of).
My advice then? If you want to blog, just go ahead and start writing. Ignore the cardinal rule. Write what you need to write, share what is important. It may take a lot longer to establish readership with a relatively random flux of ideas – but if you are honest and forthright? They’ll come. And it’s so worth the effort.