Until our 2019 Disney Trip, I had NO IDEA how huge of a difference compression socks made when you are treking across Magic Kingdom or Epcot! I had always thought I handled the walking just fine, but ya'll, I just upped my game, and actually had the others asking me to wait so they could catch up!
In 2018, I had a blood clot scare, and was told compression socks were my new normal. Of course, I was upset, who wants to be stuck in dorky looking old person socks?! But instead of taking the pharmacy socks the doctor's office wanted to offer me, I visited Amazon, and couldn't believe my eyes. The most amazing array of fun socks, cute socks, and also different styles, like toeless, footless, low, medium, high length...Amazon has it all, and at incredible prices. Took a few tries to find the brand and size that worked for me, but do you know what happened? The most amazing thing!
The Plantar Fascias in my right foot pretty much cleared up, my legs were NEVER tired or achy, and I could stand all day, feeling much more energized! They were really put to the test at Disney, and I have to say, at the end of the day, I felt like I could go a few more laps around the park, that's how big of a difference they make!
So what are compression socks?
If you are a medical professional, or an athlete, chances are you already know about compression socks. They are snug fitting socks that reduce swelling in your legs and feet. They help prevent varicose veins, and in some cases, help to shrink them. (I'm proof of that!)
The socks some in different lengths, they can be ankle length, mid calf, under the knee, or even thigh high. If you DON'T get them from the pharmacy, or Walmart, you are going to be able to get such cute styles and colors, no one will even know the magic ability of these socks!
How do compression socks work?
By applying pressure (a gentle hug to your legs, anything more, you've bought too small!) these socks make sure that your blood flows properly, and the valves function well. No more blood pooling when you sit, or stand for too long. Your legs work as they were designed to, before every day use and wear started wearing the functionality down.
Aren't people going to laugh at me for wearing these?
Before we went to Disney, I spent a lot of time googling, worried about wearing them at Disney. Would people notice? Would they point at me? Could I wear them with skirts or shorts and not look like a dork?! I was definitely worried. While there, I can honestly report, that the guy, just wearing one compression sleeve on his leg in front of me in line (pretty neat pattern) didn't even have anyone notice, so what me? With my nude colored ones under my capris? While waiting to meet Chip and Dale, a preschooler pointed them out to his mom, and she shrugged, and said "Why in the world are you looking at peoples socks?" Truthfully, I only had the one person notice, and when on me, the nude ones looked like tights. Since then, I've bought some colored ones, and some stripes, and don't think twice about wearing them because they come in so many cute styles. If you are worried...don't be. It's Disney. When was the last time you stared at someone's socks, unless they were in front of you in the line and you were mentally trying to make them scooch further up the line?
Compression socks have an added bonus?
They do. They really do. Besides the amazing leg energizing benefits, I also didn't have to wear sunscreen on my legs. I usually burn just looking at the sun, but with these, I didn't have to wear sun block on my legs! A total win and time saver!
I'm a believer. now what?
If you want to try some for yourself, I suggest going to Amazon. There are a LOT of different brands, but my personal favorite are the Doc Miller brand. Since I like to wear my regular socks, and I do have varicose veins to protect I bought the footless type, but Mr. Disney Magic prefers the ankle style. You can get the same style as what you already wear, and in plain colors, or fun ones or patterns. They run about the same price as socks, maybe a little more, but if you get a few pairs to rotate through, I can attest they will last a LONG time. My original compression calf sleeves I bought a year and a half ago, are still going strong. My Hanes socks? Not quite as good of shape!
If you have never tried these, do it, I think you'll be amazed at the difference, and next trip, it will be YOU that people can't keep up with!
We love Disney gift cards! We've talked before how to get free money to spend on Disney gift cards, but do you know all of the ways that you can use your Disney gift cards? We've got a list for you! This isn't a complete list, but I'll bet there's a few ways to use them you might not have known!
1. Disney Resorts, includng those like Aulani and Hilton Head
2. Food anywhere on Disney Property, even some non owned Disney Spring locations
3. Souvenirs and shopping at Disney and Disney Springs
4. Parking at the Theme Parks
5. Theme park tickets
6. Spa services
7. Disney Cruises
8. Adventures by Disney
9. DVC dues or fees
10. Memory Maker
So what can't you use these gift cards on? Balloon vendors are cash only, and a few of the nightime carts with light up toys can't take these. You can't use these (yet) for Minnie Vans, RunDisney fees, pressed pennies, laundry services and a few other small things. It's also a good idea to have a little cash as a backup, there have been times we've been in Epcot and all credit card readers have gone down, and the only way to get that Mickey Pretzel was with cash!
Once you get your gift cards, you can combine them up to $1000 each, check balances or even buy specialty looking cards, through Disney's gift card website.
There's very little these card's can't buy, and with so many fun designs, they are perfect gifts too! If you haven't read our article on how in less than 10 seconds how to make sure your child (or you!) doesn't lose their gift card, you might want to check it out by clicking here. It's quick, easy, and fun!
Galaxy's Edge might be a trial run for a new style of fastpass. A virtual queue! You'll need something important though to participate.
You are going to need the most updated version of the My Disney Experience App. This is a pretty simple process, but like with everything new at Disney, might have a few kinks.
First, open our app once you've scanned your magicband or presented your ticket. Once you've gone through the gate, open the app, and enter the virtual queue for the Galaxy's Edge. You'll want to select "Join Boarding Group". When it gets time for your group to enter, you'll receive an alert from your app. Once you get that, you have up to two hours to get in line to ride.
A word of warning...just because you have a boarding pass doesn't mean that your group will be called, and also there are only so many boarding passes released each day. You'll want to try and get your boarding pass ASAP when walking into the park!
If this goes well, it's possible that Disney will expand the virtual queue to other rides! The great thing about this, is that you can work your touring plan, have a snack or jump in line for something else while waiting for your turn.
Every one of us has a secret weapon to make our Disney planning so much simpler, and it's completely free, easily available and something the whole family can enjoy participating in the excitement of planning.
YouTube is a treasure trove of Disney Magic, all waiting just a click away. You'll be able to find out most everything you need to whittle down that massive list of must do's when you have more to do than time, and this tool is especially helpful if you've never been, or don't visit often and want to see what's new. If you aren't sure how to plan with YouTube and all of the amazing things you can discover, keep reading!
Go on the rides
Are you unsure if Dinosaur is the kind of ride your six year old will like? What about Grandma Stevens, who doesn't like heights, will Peter Pan's Flight be too stressful for her? Whether you need to find out if something is too fast, too scary, to boring, or just something no one will like, YouTube is your play. Simply type in something like: "Animal Kingdom Rides" or "Kids Rides at Hollywood Studios" and see what pops up!
Preview the food
The best way, other than browsing menus online, is to check out what others are eating, and see how they like it. You'll be able to see portions, real opinions and get a "taste" of what might appeal to you on your own trip!
Watch the Shows
Is it really worth spending 20 minutes finding a spot before the castle preshow? What about the dance party over in Tomorrowland or the new Lightening McQueen show at Hollywood Studios? With YouTube, you can browse the shows, give yourself a preview and not only use someone else's vantage point to decide if that's where you want to stand, or if you'd rather go somewhere else.
Take a walk around
I tend to get lost easily. My kids joke the only place I can navigate around without getting lost is at Disney. I suppose, that's because I need landmarks to get myself from point A to B without getting turned around! Disney has loads of amazing points to navigate with, but if you aren't familiar with the area, and wonder how much walking you'll need to do, or just want to see the land not on a printed map, try a keyword search like: "Magic Kingdom Walkthrough" You could narrow it down, with "Frontierland Walkthrough". Enjoy the scenery, and take notes!
Check out the resorts
Who has the best pools? How far is it from the check in to the building you are assigned to? Is the theming better at this place, or that? By typing in the name of resorts, you'll find videos of the insides, the outsides, and all the little extras and unique parts that each resort has to offer!
Browse the stores
There is nothing like a Disney store to bring our your inner shopping spree personality. Young or old, Disney stores have something (times a hundred) for everyone! Motivate yourself and your children to save, by checking out the merchandise, and the prices! Need more tips? Go here to find some savings tips for adults, and then go here, for ways to help your kids to save!
Experience the nostalgia
Relive the old days! Rides no longer there, shows that have closed their curtain, and characters who don't appear often. This is not really something to help plan, but makes for a fun evening anyway!
Chances are, one evening won't be enough to do this! One video turns into five, turns into ten, turns into more things you want to see than you have time for! Before you worry that that's the problem you already had in the first place, more to do than time, jot down the things you are seeing that you want to cut from your list.
Hopefully some of these ideas will make planning for your next trip easier! Do you have some other planning tips, or a favorite thing to watch on YouTube about Disney?
If you've not stopped by Target lately, you need to! On a large standalone display near the groceries and housewares, at least in my store, is a display with all kinds of Disney Eats merchandise. You'll find cookie kits, bowls, snack containers, kitchen utensils, other food related things, and these...beautifully decorated cookies like you'd see at Disney. But part of what makes these so amazing, is for those of us who need to be on the hunt for allergy friendly products. These are made in a peanut and tree nut free facility!! All of this cookie's brands are. Isn't that fantastic?
We bought both the tub, with 8 cookies for $14.99 and some single cookies at $1.99 each. The tub has 4 different designs, snowflake, Christmas tree, gingerbread and Mickey Clause. Single sold cookies, they had Mickey Clause, and Minnie. I'm hoping they get some plain Mickey in too, to save back.
We all love the taste of these, they are not as hard as you might expect iced cookies to be, and actually have a bit of flavor, unlike many decorated cookies I've tried. What could be a better way to brighten the season than to have beautiful, Disney cookies at your family gatherings? In a Disney park, since these are safe for your child with nut allergies, or tucked in a stocking or lunchbox? We plan to give a few to our Disney loving school librarian!
Since these have a long shelf life, I plan to buy any left after Christmas! (I might have already bought 3 tubs and some singles!! So I've bought all I can at full price!)
It's my hope that they will bring these back for next year! And the year after that! Every Christmas cookie tastes better when in the shape of Mickey!