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3 Things You Should Start Bringing to the Parks With You NOW!

Happy End of 2016, Disney Fans!
I don't know about ya'll, but I will be happy to kick 2016 in the butt on the way out the door! What a yucky year. And to loose Princess Leia on top of it all was just a low blow. Ok, 2016, we get the point. Now go home. 
Anyway, today's post is one you will hopefully find super useful. I want to tell all of you about the three items that I always have in my bag when I go into the park. It doesn't matter if I'm taking just K to the park with me, while D is at school, D and I are having a girl's day, or even if I'm going to the parks alone... (wait, that NEVER happens!)... I always have these three things with me. (And I bet you'll start taking at least one of them with you every time after reading this!) What are these amazing items? Read on!
  1. Baby/Antibacterial Wipes
Well, since I have a toddler, these are always with me anyway, but even when K gets bigger, I will always bring wipes with me. And not even for tushies! Wipes have tons of uses in the parks. I have used wipes for all of the following:
  • De-stickifying post-cotton-candy hands
  • Removing slushie stains from clothing before they set
  • Wiping sticky lollipop residue off of a ride vehicle before sitting
  • Freshening up on a particularly hot and sweaty day (i.e. ANY summer day)
  • Wiping runny noses
  • Cleaning melted Mickey Bar chocolate off of faces
  • Controlling hair frizz
  • Wiping up the eyeliner and mascara that is running down my face from either sweat, or possibly from tears that form while I watch Wishes
  • Wrapping one around some ice leftover from a fountain drink, (or even just running one under cool water from a drinking fountain), and putting it on the back of my neck to cool down
  • Cleaning the lenses of my camera, cell phone and even sunglasses
  • Wiping the toilet seat before sitting
  • Wiping up an un-bussed quick service table instead of waiting for a custodial Cast Member to clean it
  • Cleaning sand/pebbles from the Boneyard out of hair
  • Many, many more things!
2. Gallon-Sized Zip Lock Bags
These can be a life saver! Here are some of my favorite uses of them:
My #1 way to use them is as an emergency protective layer for electronics when I am stuck in one of Florida's infamous downpours, or when going on a water ride. At the first drop of rain, toss your family's iPhones, cameras, etc. into a ziplock bag and you won't have to worry if the rain drenches you through to your underwear. Your electronics will be safe. (Whew! We wouldn't want your teenaged daughter to not be able to Snapchat her friends about how lame you are!)
You can also use these bags to split snacks, so that your kids don't kill each other while waiting for the parade. Pour half that popcorn into a bag and now they each have their own portion. Crisis averted.
Oh, and just like you have to do with TSA, if you pop any liquids that you may be bringing into the park into one of these babies, you're more likely to avoid your spray sunscreen accidentally getting depressed in your bag when you toss it into a ride vehicle, and ruining all your stuff. Same goes for medicines, lotions, hand sanitizer, drink pouches... whatevs.
My final super-helpful use for these bags? After your kids have played in the fountain in Epcot, ridden Kali River Rapids, gotten drenched at the Casey Junior Splash pad, or even just got rained on, toss wet clothes in a bag and zip it up, so that you don't soak the rest of your backpack. Of course, FIRST you'll want to put your kids into dry clothes. Hopefully you have brought a back-up set to the park with you, but if you didn't, Disney will gladly sell you a $25 t-shirt so that your son doesn't shiver his little butt off in the Florida A/C.
3. Liquid or Powdered Drink Mix
This is my FAVORITE tip and it has saved us SO much money!!!! Before your trip, buy yourself a box of single-serve powdered drink mixes, (Crystal Lite, Gatorade, Kool-Aid, etc.), or even easier, one of the liquid ones that you squeeze into water, (Just make sure you put it in a plastic, zip-lock bag in case of leaks. See? Those bags ARE handy!) When your kids want a drink, rather than spending $3+ on a lemonade or a soda, you can go to any counter-service location and ask for an iced water. Then just add the drink mix and viola! No more gross, chlorine-flavored Florida water. You can even bring your own water bottles to the park and mix up some drinks using water from a drinking fountain. It doesn't get much better than FREE, great tasting, sugar-free drinks at Disney!
We love this tip so much that we use it everywhere. I always have a little squirty thing of fruit punch in my bag. I'm not sure that servers in restaurants love that we do it, but it's not like we're breaking a rule or something. They have to give me free water, no matter what. Who cares if I flavor it? We make up for it with a hearty tip. If you feel bad doing it, guess what?? They even sell CLEAR mixes now, so no one will ever know!!! Shhhhh.....
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     That's it, kids! My 3 MUST HAVE items when I visit a park. I swear by all of them and hope that you benefit from them too! Please let me know in the comments which ones you will use on your next trip, or if you have your own MUST HAVE item in your Disney bags! 

- Jenn aka "Tink"

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