Last week we (virtually) toured Walt's office, today, the Walt Disney Family Museum. While this is just a taste of the actual place, you do get to see some amazing things. I hope you enjoy!
You've prepped your house for a Disney vacation, you prepped your car for your Disney vacation, and now it's time to prep your phone for a Disney vacation!
There are some great app that are FREE and can REALLY make a huge difference in your Disney vacation! Here are a few:
These first few are made by Disney.
My Disney Experience does most everything from giving you menus, telling you where and when the characters meet, maps to help you navigate to the "Rapunzel", and more. While some people have complained that it drains their phone batteries, I personally have not had that issue.
Shop Disney Parks is an app to help you locate the elusive Oswald Ears, or whatever else it is you are looking for. You can even shop away from the parks,and have it shipped to you!
Play Disney Parks is the newest official Disney app! You'll find ways to enhance your wait time, and I don't want to spoil it, but it's so, so fun!
These next apps, aren't official Disney apps, but are incredibly useful.
Touring Plans even if you don't have a paid subscription, there are some great things you can take advantage of, like menus, and crowd levels. If you do have the subscription, you can see your touring plan, and incredibly accurate wait times.
Hidden Mickey's if you want to try and spot them all, this all is for you! A treasure trove of info, maybe you'll be able to find Mickey every place you look!
A weather app, with radar is super important to have, so that when it starts to rain, you can see if it's just a shower that's going to pass by, or something you need to get indoors for!
Those 6 apps on your phone, and you are set for any adventure at the park! I know we didn't mention all of the Disney apps, do you have a favorite we left off out list?
If you aren't among the fortunate to get a chance to visit Walt Disney's office, then here is an amazing YouTube tour, including a tour guide. You can see many original items that Walt actually used and touched, as well as reproductions. The guide is fantastic at telling what is original, and what is not. What strikes me, is how small the rooms are, even with a few of the areas being renovated to make them larger. Can you imagine, stepping where Walt did? Sitting in one of the chairs, and him coming down the hall? It's amazing to think about. Enjoy the video!
Last week, we talked about some of the best and worst deals at Disney, and since one of the things that we think are the worst deals are the ordinary, every day snacks, we thought we'd also suggest a way to save big, because who doesn't need a snack!
You don't have to give up the snacks you want, but you can save big, just by where you get them. I don't know about you guys, but I really think having the same things as everyone else, but spending a lot less, is pretty magical!
Here are a few examples.
Instead of buying that banana for a quick on the go breakfast while passing Harambe Market ($2.29) why not bring your own? A banana usually costs around a quarter at the grocery store!
Stopping by the resort food court to grab a Powerade to stick in your pack? It's $4.69, PLUS the time to stand in line. How about 89 cents at Walmart, toss it in your backpack and you've got a lot more flavors to choose from, plus you don't lose any time!
There are many snacks that you can pick up either locally, or if you drive down, can get on the way, to have the exact same snacks sold at Disney, but at more than 50% less! Our kids love individual bags of chips, because they don't get those too often. Instead of $2.99-3.99 for a bag, the nearby gas station, or any store will have that same bag for around $1.50.
A Dasani bottle of water to go with your chips is $3.50, or, $4.19 for a bottled Coke. Ouch! Even at a gas station you are going to be able to get twice the drinks for the Disney price.
Replace one Disney bought snack, per family of four, with a grocery or gas store alternative, and you'll have quite a bit of savings each day.
Use those savings on a fun in park treat you can't get elsewhere!! Doing Disney on a budget, doesn't mean sacrificing ANYTHING. It means enjoying the same things everyone else is enjoying...but paying less! Like I said... I don't know about you guys, but I think that's pretty magical!
Here are a few of the snacks you'll find for sale at Disney, in the parks or at our resort but that might not be the best use of your Disney dimes!
Bags of chips
Single serve packs of donuts (like, Hostess)
Single cup of yogurt
Browse the Disney menus, Disney pictures or even recall previous trips of what you saw, or bought, jot down the prices locally, and calculate the savings. It might be worth it to you to put a few consumables in your park bag!
One of our favorite things about Disney? The snacks! You probably have your own favorites there too, and you've seen a few of our copycat ones, but doesn't it stink when on your next visit, you don't see the same things you had last time and fell in love with? While some things are never changing, like the Dole Whips, or Mickey Pretzels, others are in a constant rotation, things like cupcakes, cones and prepackaged specialty baked goods.
If there's an allergy in your house, I'm sure you especially know how upsetting that can be. Your choices for treats are already limited, and when your choices shrink, it can make your trip to the Magic Kingdom not as magical.
Recently we experienced that when Disney switched up some of their offerings, in particular, the prepackaged cookie and brownie area. Where previously they had sold OMG Brand products, now, it's two different brands, and the brownie, which is definitely a good substitution dessert in the sea of cross contact forbidden cupcakes, was made in a facility with nuts. If you've got a nut allergy, do you REALLY want to take that chance and ruin your vacation? We don't.
So of course, we did what anyone would do. Food allergy people understand. We PANICKED. I won't lie, my heart was heavy and there were tears and I felt absolutely sick to my stomach. The very few treats that our 6 year old would actually want had now been cut in half, and when you are 6, and everyone else has something yummy, that's a Big Deal.
Thankfully, I discovered that you can still buy the OMG products, directly through their website! What's even more exciting, is buying them ahead of time is actually going to SAVE us money, over The Mouse's Markup. I was so excited about this, I decided to share with you guys, so that you can have a safe, or heck, just plain AMAZING Disney dessert, AND save money! They didn't ask me to write this, and might think I'm slightly crazy for how obsessed we are over these, but I want to make sure everyone knows!
Don't don't let the gluten free part scare you if you don't need to be gluten free. I admit, I wondered if they would have the "healthy" taste of Enjoy Life products, but O.M.G. I bit into one, and the heavens opened. A choir of angels sung, and for just a brief moment, through the heavy snow falling, the sun shone and everything was perfect. Then my kids gave the puppy dog eyes and sighing, I handed over the rest.
They say these are gluten free....I cannot tell at all. They are so incredibly fudge-y inside, flaky on the tops, moist, rich...I could go on and on. The perfect brownie has been made, and it is one most everyone can enjoy!
The brownies are shipped freshly made, sealed in pretty thick plastic, and are meant to be frozen, and thawed. Once thawed, they say to use within two weeks. I hope they last that long here. I have them in the freezer right now, so I can practice thawing before our summer trip. I'll be buying more, so that when the oldest buys Disney treats to bring home, the youngest can eat his heart out on these brownies. These are even going to replace the Wolfgang Puck brownies I bring back every time and free. I can even keep a stash for when SURPRISE! There is a birthday party I didn't hear about until the last minute, and didn't have time for make him his own cupcakes!
OMG has a lot of other products too, cookies, rolls, pizza dough, muffins...a big list! If the other things taste as good as these, you won't be disappointed. Another great thing? Their customer service! Before I even ordered, I sent several emails with questions, and was surprised at how fast I got answers! When does that EVER happen? I think it was even the owner herself who answered me each time! Huge!
Shipping was free, I don't know if it's that way on all orders, but it was only about 3 days from when I ordered, to when I got my brownies! So fast! They weren't broken or crumbly at all, like I worried about.
I'm excited to try these jazzed up too! Ice cream on top, or whipped cream and hot fudge, shaped like Mickey.... these stand alone, but a dash of Disney sprinkles, when I can manage to find them, will definitely be awesome!
Here's a peek what they look like kind, of hard to see through the wrapper. It's not safe for me to open any more, and I forgot to take pictures while it was out! (The three seconds it lasted!) And, here is the ingredients label, for you to check out, yourself. If you go into the Food Service tab, you can see all of their ingredients, for all their products. Isn't that so nice? I sure appreciate it.
I will say, you will see these on Amazon. Don't buy them there. WAAAAY overpriced. Buy directly. And tell everyone you know, because these things are so amazing, it's a disservice NOT to share the word, and help get them into stores everywhere! Happy eating! And if you stop by my house? Umm. Sorry. All out. Can't share. Nope. Move along. Nothing to see here...