The first few hours post Disney trip can be brutal, but the first few days can also be filled with confusion, difficulty and even tears. Here are a few reminders of the tragic life you now live for you first timers ,and laughs for you frequent visitors of what you have to look forward to after your Disney vacation!
Doors no longer open automagically. Not. A. Single. One.
Yup. That magic band no longer is your Key to the Kingdom. You can't get anything with it once you leave The Happiest Place on Earth.
Food no longer appears from thin air with only the tap of your band, and the words "on the Disney Dining Plan"
When you leave your house for the day, you don't return to trash cans emptied, beds made, and fresh towels. Doesn't that stink?
87 check outs at Walmart, and only 2 cashiers? Sorry, there's no fastpass for that. Time to get used to it again.
Leaving your stroller loaded with shopping bags, purses and toys outside of a store or restaurant no longer seems like a good, safe, or practical idea.
Letting your 5 year old sit next to strangers, and engage in conversation? What are you, crazy?!
No one randomly hands you stickers as you pass by.
There seem to be a lot less people smiling!
Have you ever had a hard time adjusting back into "The Real World" from a trip? What's the thing you miss most? I really loved the bed magically being made, and all those clean towels and never having to do dishes!! What about you? We all know the only cure....so let's start planning for next time!
For those who can only visit Disney in the summer (like we do) it seems like the deck is stacked against you. The prices are higher, the crowds are bigger, and the heat is worse! How is any of that fair?!
Up til now, we've had loads of ideas to pay less, and ways to navigate those crowds and hardly stand in line.
Today, it's all about beating the heat! Disney can be HOT in the summer. Hot, muggy and miserable! But it can also be really fun, and if that's the only time you can go, make the most of it!
Have the Right Mindset
The first thing you have to do is accept it's going to be hot, and then tell yourself, and everyone with you, you shouldn't be miserable in Disney, and it might be hot, but you are going to have an awesome time!
Dress for Success
Denim is a mistake, let me tell you. Even capris and not full length pants don't do well. It just doesn't breathe! Go for light weight fabrics, and even better, moisture wicking ones!
Make Use of Misting Areas
Stand new a water ride and you'll get wet for sure, and there are fountains that splash a bit too. Not near anything wet? Pop in the restroom and wet your arms and face, it'll make a difference, just please...don't stick your feet in the fountains. That's just yucky!
Consider a Cooling Towel
I've held out against this trend for so long, but our last trip, I saw two girls having such a good time, and looking so cooled and refreshed in the zillion degree line to meet Buzz. I saw them again at our resort, and asked, did those towels REALLY make a difference? Turns out, they really do. We got a few while visiting Texas in the summer, and wow! You do feel a lot cooler. Don't want to look dorky? (My worry!) take it off before a picture, just wear it when hot, or, get a really long, flexible one and learn how to tie it stylishly, and coordinate it with your outfits!
Buy or Bring a Portable Fan
Disney sells the misting fans with a lanyard so you can be hands free, but if you aren't set on having Mickey on everything, you can save a lot, and just get a fan at your local store. They'll have ones that mist, ones that don't, and some also with a lanyard, for a lot less. Just pack a few extra batteries.
Be Strategic With Your Touring Plan
Sleeping in is great, unless it starts your park day at noon, when the sun is high up in the sky, shining it's blessed rays of skin blistering goodness on you. For hours. Time your day to make the most of the morning and evening, when the temps aren't as bad, and find indoor attractions to enjoy during those times.
Don't feel like a wimp if you take a few hours mid day to fall asleep during the Hall of Presidents, or head back to the resort. You'll be rested and ready to shut the park down if that's what you want, while those who went all day are wanting to snooze before the fireworks!
Sunstroke and dehydration are no joke! Drink, drink drink. Bring your own, ask for free water, however you want to do it, just stay hydrated! A large number of visits to the First Aid Centers are from heat exhaustion symptoms.
The biggest tip, is enjoy yourself! Getting too hot? Pop in a store! Visit a theater style attraction, stop off at an indoor Quick Service for a drink or ice cream, or even climb on the ferry for shade and a breeze! You can find a way to cool down, and you'll be good to go again soon!
A hot day doesn't mean a miserable day! Use some of these tips, and you'll be looking like a local, all comfortable and making the most of your day!
We like to tip on vacation to Mousekeeping, and this is the fun way that we do it! That way there is no mistaking "our" money for "Mousekeeping" money.
I've got a FREE printable for you, so you can print these off too (I like to use colored cardstock but any paper works!)
Print, cut and wrap around your tipping money, close with a smidge of tape, and you'll be spreading the magic too!
Just click below on the picture to go that printable, and our others, or the file name to print!
See that battered and smudged looking post it in the picture? That's mine, and that way my very lo-tech way of how I was keeping track of my gift card savings. I totally did forget to add gift cards on there, because life is well, life, but the ones that are on there, you can see my discounted percentages.
According to the post it, I bought $4,240 in gift cards.
$2450 was bought at 13% off
$100 was bought at 12% off
$200 was bought at 10% off
$1190 was bought at 5% off
$50 was bought at 0% off. (I wanted "fun looking" gift cards from Shop Disney!)
That means that my $4240 in gift cards actually cost me $3580. I SAVED $660 on our trip by buying gift cards!
You can use these gift cards to pay for your vacation package, or tickets, resort or food. It's simple, and saves you BIG !
How did I do this? You can read about it right here. It was simple, it didn't take any extra time, because you go to Target fairly often, right? Have a Best Buy nearby? I promise, it was simple, and easy. And I saved enough to pay for the hotels on the way down, the way back, gas and food.
While you might not always be able to get the 12 or 13% off, since promotions change there's nothing stopping you from getting 5% off every day at Target, and quite possibly more if you keep your eyes open. I missed out on a lot of 20% offs, simply because the grocery stores offering those deals weren't near us, and we don't have a Sam's Club near by.
While it might seem like a waste of time, or a drop in the bucket you get the $50 and $100 gift cards every so often with a promotion, it's easy enough, and your savings will more than make up for the few minutes time you spent buying them!
I encourage anyone who wants to go on a Disney vacation to do it. As a matter of fact, this blog is chock full of ways to make it happen, for less. The one thing I don't encourage though, is going into debt to go on that trip. While there might be a rare exception, say, a terminal illness and it being the once in a lifetime trip with a family member, most people (thankfully) don't fit into that category.
If you go into debt for your 2020 Disney trip, you could be paying for it still in 2022, there are some other things to think about too though.
You won't enjoy yourself as much
How can you walk around enjoying yourself, when you are also wondering how you're going to pay for it all? The $8 soft pretzel your kids want, the $14 drink your spouse wants, heck, the $20 thing that's calling your name? When your mind is focused on how much something costs, and how long it's going to take to pay it off, you are robbing yourself of the joy of the experience, and the joy of watching others enjoy.
You might not want to go back
I had a coworker who told me their one and only trip to Disney was 5 days. He said he told the kids get whatever you want, eat whatever you want. They did. Face painting, hair wrapping, drinks, cupcakes, good meals, and park hoppers. they lived it up those five days! They got back, and on his credit card was over $10,000. for 5 people. He said never again. That was ten years ago, imagine how much that is in today's money. And no, they have ever returned. "It's too expensive,"he said. "It took me three years to pay it off."
Cut your costs
While you might be a Disney Property of Bust sort of person, and only like to get the dining plan, what if you change your thinking just for one trip and try something new? An offsite hotel, or condo can often be half the cost of a Disney Resort, though you will have to provide your own park transportation. Bringing in meals and snacks is way cheaper, and not as much work as you'd think. Even choosing to eat out, at an off property place can save a bundle. Looking at the things you can cut, might just make your vacation a reality.
Find a compromise
Maybe you've compromised. No dining plan this time, and only one meal out per day, but it's still not enough. How can you experience Disney, without tickets? There's a lot you can do, even without a park ticket. You can click here and see some of the ways to experience the magic without the cost. You can compromise, by perhaps just doing one or two park days, a resort pool day, and then a day or two of the free experiences. That's going to cut your budget, but not cut the fun.
Find the money
Make it happen. Host the mother of garage sales, get a part time job, do a savings challenge, buy discounted gift cards and get free money.
You CAN make it happen, and without going into debt, and when you do, you're going to enjoy it ten times more. Trust me, I know this first hand. Mr. Disney is a teacher, in a rural town and I work part time, so stretching the budget and finding a way is what we do! You can do it too.
See you there on Main Street!