The night before the solar eclipse I was bombarded. Everywhere I looked, email, texts, any sort of social media, even to my own front door people were coming asking about solar glasses to watch the eclipse.
“Where can I buy glasses?” “I meant to buy them, then I forgot.” “I wasn't able to get glasses.” “Who has glasses? Can my kids and I come over to watch the eclipse with you?”
It was crazy. That's what got me thinking how a Disney vacation is just like the 2017 Solar Eclipse. You know it's coming. You know what you need to do, and then that's where you fall into one of two groups. The Ants and the Grasshoppers.
Remember that old story? The Ant worked hard all summer while the weather was nice to be prepared for the winter. The Grasshopper played and put it all off til the last minute, then when winter came, had nothing to keep him warm or feed himself.
Back to the Eclipse. The first email asking who sold glasses still, (It was a group email, so I didn't feel the need to respond again after suggesting a few store to try). Then came the reply all from a mom with 6 kids to everyone in the email, “We weren’t able to find any, can we come over and watch with someone? It's not fair that my kids have to miss it.” That's when I got a little bit mad. Though she wasn't asking me specifically, I thought, how would it be fair that ANY kid would have to miss it, because YOU didn't plan? Because that's what “I wasn't able to find any,” usually means. It means you didn't look or think about it until the last minute. Then another email came, from another parent, “I know, it's not fair that some lucky people have them and others don't.” A third email, someone saying they were going to be making their own and had more than enough supplies if the others wanted to join in. The reply from those anxious to find glasses moms? No, that's OK. We'll just find them somewhere else. But it's not fair how lucky some people are. That's when the idea for this article came to me.
How is it not fair, and how are some people lucky for being prepared? The Eclipse has been in the news for months. Magazines, newspapers, TV news, radio news, in the stores, online, it's absolutely everywhere. Glasses were sold starting about 4 weeks in my area, and I didn't buy any the first two weeks because it just wasn't in the budget. I did get some the following week, so how is it not fair that those who got ready ahead of time have what they need?
The same thing goes for Disney. How often do you hear complaints about people who had to wait in long lines? Or maybe they just walked around and didn't do anything because the lines were so long? The lines were that long because they were full of people who either didn't plan, or didn't really mind waiting in lines. The “lucky” ones who got to use Fast passes or walk right onto lines aren't necessarily “Lucky”, they were people who planned.
On a Disney forum I like to visit, I see a lot of complaints. “I couldn't get fastpasses for Frozen,” one said recently, complaining about an Epcot trip where they had to wait in line and couldn't walk right into table service restaurants. No less than ten people replied immediately with varying versions of: “That's because you didn't plan out anything until the day of. Of COURSE you aren't going to get reservations or fastpasses for headliners.” The person tried to argue that they shouldn't have to do that, and sure, at some of the smaller parks there isn't such a long wait, but visiting Disney World is an experience, and it is a place where tens of thousands of people go every day. At Magic Kingdom alone, data suggests that the average daily attendance is 53,000. That's an average! Holidays can shut the place down where it reaches capacity and people are turned away. Of course you are going to be waiting in long lines if you don't have a general idea of what it is you are wanting to do!
Our first trip we were in line to meet Mickey at the Magic Kingdom. This family was behind us, griping the whole time about waiting. We finally get up to the Cast Member, about to enter, and the family asked what this line was for. Surprised, the Cast Member said, “To meet Mickey!” The family turned around and started to go. “We don't want to do that,” one said. “What a waste of time.” Baffled, the CM said, “But you've been in line so long. In just a few minute’s it's going to be your turn!” The family didn't care, and walked out, complaining they had wasted their time. And I guess they had, because they didn’t pay attention to what they were doing, and had waited in line for a half hour just to walk away.
If you aren't going to plan ahead your trip, that's totally fine! Some people like to be spontaneous, or maybe have to go last minute and don't have time to plan. Others don't like details and just cross their fingers and hope for the best. Whatever kind of person you are, that's fine! But a little bit of planning, even just a general list of the rides you want to go on will give you such an advantage over a large number of visitors, isn't that worth it?
It's not luck that some people (like the Disney Magic Family) don't wait in line for more than 15 minutes, even in peak season. It's not luck that some people get to eat at all the best restaurants that are hard to get into, and it IS fair that those who do a little bit of planning get rewarded.
This blog is full of great information on how to make the most of your trip, and if you don't see if here, Google will find it for you. Everything from how to make the most of your meal plan credits, to how to do Ten Attractions in 3 Hours at Magic Kingdom, or follow the links in that article to find similar plans for any of the Theme Parks, as well as other little tips and tricks to make your trip smoother.
Just an hour of reading could save you hours of frustration at Disney, and make your moments memorable, not miserable. Don't you deserve to be one of the “lucky” ones too?
This week's Focused on the Magic shot is a September calendar Shot. I've never been to Disney in September because of school aged kids and hurricanes, but I do think this shot is a good autumn shot... it makes me think of fall, and honestly.. I just love Pooh.
If you are standing a few steps back from the base of his house, look up and to the right, just above the sign. There you'll find the beehive. I can almost hear the bees now, and see Pooh looking for his red balloon to blow up so he can get a small smackerel of honey...
Click on the button below to see other great Disney sites!
When you think about getting ready for vacation, the first thing that pops into your head is usually packing the perfect clothes, the sunscreen and remembering your phone charger and camera. Did you know though, it's not just your suitcase you have to get ready for your getaway, it's your house too!
Why do you have to get your house ready? Because it makes it so much nicer for when you get back! Here's a few tips for prepping your house before you leave!
Do the dishes
The night before we go somewhere, we usually use paper plates, but this last trip when everything was going wrong a few dishes got unwashed and left out on a table. Guess what we came back to? Lovely smelly mold in several of the kids cups, requiring lots and lots of scrubbing to clean. Not a great welcome home.
Make sure the washer is empty and any clothes in the dryer are dry
If you've ever been so busy that the load of clothes in your washer have taken a while to get to, you'll know the kind of smell it can leave, even after the clothes have been dried. Double check that all your clothes are dry, even the ones in the dryer so no funky smells or mildew form while you are gone.
Turn on some ceiling fans
By leaving on ceiling fans, not only will your AC not run as often while you are gone, when you get back there won't be a stale smell, or as much dust build up.
Set your AC/Heat
Don't forget to adjust your thermostat higher than you usually would in the summer, and lower in the winter. If you aren't going to be home, no need to keep paying for the heating and cooling at your usual comfort level!
Change your sheets
Isn't it nice to come back home and just fall into a bed made with clean sheets? You're already tired, so do something nice for yourself, and have your bed ready, and inviting and clean!
Put out fresh towels
The same goes for your bathroom towels! Toss them in with that last load of laundry and setout some fresh ones for your return.
Take out your trash
Don't forget to empty your kitchen trash, and set it out for collection, or take it yourself. That prevents the house getting smelly, or animals finding it outside and making a mess for you to clean up when you get back.
Let your neighbors know
Let the neighbors you are most friendly with know you are going to be gone, and see if they can keep an eye out that nothing strange happens.
Hold the mail
It takes about 2 minuites to get your mail held, you can request it online at USPS.com and select both the date you want it to be held, and the date you want to resume delivery. Don't take a chance on a bill going missing, or rain soaking your magazines! Let it all stay safe at the post office!
Feed fido and fluffy
Chances are, you've already made arrangements for your pets, but don't forget to follow through on those! There’s nothing worse than being distracted the morning of your trip, getting down the road and realizing you forgot to take the pets to their caretakers!
Mow your lawn
Depending on how long you are going to be gone, that grass is going to keep on growing! Give it a mow before you go, and that's not only going to make the neighborhood nosies happy, but also make it look like your home isn't vacant, to deter a theif.
Consider leaving on a radio or light
Some people leave on lights, others a radio, so that the house doesn't look empty. Whatever you choose, if you can do a timer so it looks more natural, great. Otherwise, I'm a firm beleiver something is better than nothing.
Unplug everything you don't need plugged in
this one is really important because if you get a strong electrical storm and it were to fry your modem, cable box or TV, that's going to really stink. We've had that happen, and it's not fun.
Make sure the kids turned off the water in sinks and hoses
My oldest went through a phase about a year or so ago where he thought he turned off the water every time he used the sink but it was still trickling. That was expensive, and very, very upsetting when we got back from a long summer trip and saw both the hose, and the bathroom sink running. Just double check, and save yourself the aggravation.
Locking all windows and doors
Really, this should go without saying, but you'd be surprised how many times people leave and don't double check their windows and doors, especially infrequently used ones, like a sliding door, or kitchen window. Many years ago, my mother in law called, saying they'd left for a trip and had forgotten to feed the cats. My husband and I drove over, and of course, he had forgotten the keys! He started looking though, and my mother in law, while the doors were locked, had left three windows unlocked! We made sure they were all locked after the cats were fed, the doors too.
It's so easy in a rush to forget to make sure your house is secure and won't be in bad shape when you get back, that's why if you start a day or two ahead of time and start prepping for what you need to do, you can spare yourself some worry when you get back.
Remember, your car needs some prechecking too! Click here to read some must do's, before you hit the road!
Did I miss some tips? What things do you do before you leave on a trip?
I saw the funniest picture the other day... There was a facebook post, and the person said It's September 1st! You know what that means! Then it showed a woman's Target cart was filled with everything pumpkin. Pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies...etc. It's funny because it's so true, it seems like when we get that first bit of fall on the way, pumpkins explode everywhere. Disney is no different!
How would you like to have one of these in your yard? I'd personally love it! Just don't know where I would store it the other 11 months of the year...!!