Friday, December 29, 2017

5 MUST HAVE Items To Take To The Parks

Happy End of 2017, Disney Fans!
     Well, I hope all of my Disney friends had a happy and magical holiday! Did anyone get surprised with a Disney trip reveal???

     Today's post is a repeat from almost this same week last year, but since so many of you found it useful, I thought it was worth repeating.... and adding to! I want to tell all of you about the five items that I always have in my bag when I go into the park. It doesn't matter if I'm taking just my five year old to the park with me, my 9 year old 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 five 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 little guy, these are usually 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 Disney fireworks
  • 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!
Wipes are an absolute MUST for us!





      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 teen-aged 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.....


     4. Glow Necklaces or Light Up Toys

Wanna save a bunch of money? Bring your own glow items to the park! If you're in the park at night, your kiddo is absolutely going to ask for a light-up toy, since they sell them everywhere! They charge a pretty penny for these battery-operated, illuminated souvenirs, and they're kind of a big waste of money for you, since once you leave the park, your kid will likely never use it again.  You can buy a whole pack of glow necklaces at a dollar store, and most WalMarts or Targets sell light-up balls, dolls, swords, hats, etc, for much less than what you'll pay at the parks. 

And even if you don't plan plan on hitting the parks at night, these light-up items can still be great to have with you if your kid gets nervous on dark rides. They'll be so into their necklace lighting up that they won't even notice that mean ol' Captain Hook!

I do recommend that if you won't have a stroller with you, and you aren't getting a locker, pick something lightweight and easy to carry around, like a pack of necklaces, or a small wand. 


     5. Your Kid-Sized Sense of Wonder and Magic

Ok, so this one isn't really a packable "item", but hear me out here... So many adults go to the parks grumpy, (and I don't mean THE Grumpy. He's actually happy comparatively. And I don't mean THE Happy.... wait... this could take a while...). Yes, it's expensive, and hot, and crowded, but what did you come here for in the first place? Because of your amazing childhood memories? Because you wanted your kids to have fun? You will get SO much more out of your visit if you let your inhibitions go and have FUN! Your kids want you to have fun! They will crack up and have great memories if you just get into it and have a blast. Ride that ride that makes you a little dizzy. Buy that silly t-shirt. Pose for a picture with that character. Wear a crazy hat. Cannonball into that pool. Try not to let the outside world in. After all, that's why Walt chose to buy 48 square acres of land for Walt Disney World! He didn't want you to see the outside world and be taken away from the magic of his World. There's no need to be serious or sensible at all times at Disney. Make like Elsa, and let it go!!!! You deserve it!


Go ahead... Jump on in!
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     Well, that's it, kids! My 5 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! 

     And if you need help planning out your dream vacation, contact the fantastic agents at Kingdom Konsultant Travel, and they'd be happy to help make your vacation dream come true! 

     Until next time, have a magical week, everyone!

                                                                                                - Jenn



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