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Old 10-10-2012, 07:21 PM   #1

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Honey! We are leaving them at home!

So after much pondering and planning and wondering... my wife and I have decided that our smartphones are not coming on the trip with us.

The more I thought about it the more it became apparent to me that the phones would only pose as a distraction between us and the time being spent with our boys. Why are we going to Disney World in the first place I asked myself? We are going to Disney World to escape from the reality of our everyday life. Do we really need access to the "outside" world while we are on vacation? We don't have jobs, blogs, or any last minute deals that require us to have our phones with us at all times. Why would we even consider bringing the phones with us? Especially considering the ridiculous trouble it becomes when crossing the border into the US.

Everywhere I go I see parents with their kids and the parent is "zoned" out on their phones practically ignoring the child. I myself have been guilty of this. So has my wife. Another scenario I see is both parents on their phones, little Sally is texting and little Johnny is on the DS and they are all the same table having a meal at McDonald's.

We are taking our kids to the Happiest Place On Earth and if you think I'm going to risk a single moment of their... actually OUR experiences together as a family because I need to check peoples tweets or Facebook status then you would be mistaken.

The phones they are staying at home. On this trip I'm packing my undivided attention because that is what my boys deserve.

Have any of you ever considered leaving your smartphones at home? Or do you believe you can't live without them? I'm not saying its going to be easy. I'm already panicking that I won't have the Lines App with me. But then again people back in the day didn't either.

Last edited by KapBoy77; 10-10-2012 at 07:27 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:24 PM   #2
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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1) I wish more people felt like you.
2) You are on vacation and very few people need phones in the parks.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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I lead such a boring life that I never carry a phone with me anywhere.

Enjoy your unconnected vacation with your family! People enjoyed and survived without cell phones, etc before so it can be done.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
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I like your philosophy, and if you feel like you would be on them often I would leave them at home too.

However, we always bring ours with us, but we also have control and are not constantly on them. We may check them for the time and to double check our ADR times. Also, there could be a reason someone from back home needs to get a hold of you or you need to get a hold of someone back home.

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Old 10-10-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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I don't judge either way, take it or leave it, it is your decision and I see your point, especially coming from Canada and the extra hassle involved. Phones and texting at meals is a big pet peeve of mine as well, but rather than leave the phones out all together I just say no phones during meal times, and lay down other similar rules on vacation.

Personally, I like having mine, for the apps, entertaining the 19mo old, taking pictures, and communicating with the family when we split up. I know people say "back in the day they didn't have them" but there were lots of things that people used to do, doesn't always mean it was better.

For example, you can plan to meet up at the HM queue at 2:45 after you split up to do other things like they used to do. But to me it is a nice convenience to be able to let my teenage daughter do her own thing and know that she can easily reach us if something changes, like getting stuck on a ride or behind the parade line or seeing a character she wants to meet.

That being said if you want to spend time with your family and not with your head buried in your phone, then that is just self discipline, and a choice, albeit a difficult one for some. I have no problem putting my phone down to pay attention to my daughters, but if you feel that you need to leave your phone at home to do that, then more power to you for recognizing that.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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Neither of us have smart phones; we both have "feature" phones. Our son has a smart phone, but he must be smarter than the two of us. When we all go to WDW, we'll have our phones to keep in touch. If our son is at the park, we can text him to let him know where we are going. If I am at the grocery store, I can check with my husband on something that I see that looks really good (will I have to eat it all or will he share it with me??).

But neither of us use the phone to call much at all. Emergencies only or we text our son.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TheRustyScupper View Post
1) I wish more people felt like you.
2) You are on vacation and very few people need phones in the parks.
WTg! We brought our phones but they rarely made it out of our rooms and usually only my husbands "dumb" phone so we could stay in touch with our oldest.. I wish more people would ditch the phones!
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:21 PM   #9
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I think the problem is that you will start 'missing' out on some stuff as things progress.. I mean interactive apps in lines, with nexgen stuff coming etc etc i see more and more interactivity between phones and actually touring.. guess we shall see.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:39 PM   #10
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Good point about the lines app

DH and I both have iPhones, it's always hard to put them down. I only us mine in the parks for said lines app and I love it for photography.

I do discourage DH bringing his 3DS though.

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Old 10-10-2012, 10:54 PM   #11
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While I would love to leave the phone at home, I am going solo, so I need it to keep in touch with the spouse.

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Old 10-10-2012, 11:02 PM   #12
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Traveling internationally with a smartphone can be a financial disaster since roaming fees can run into the thousands of dollars, so I would definitely agree with leaving them home in your situation. I don't know exactly how it is from north of the border but I've read about Americans getting hundreds of dollars in fees just from going to Niagra Falls, and having their phones locking onto cell towers in Canada!

I have an unlocked "dumb" phone I got from National Geographic for foreign travel, but my friend deliberately disables her iphone so it's basically an itouch when she goes to Europe, and she buys a regular phone over there to text & call with.

Regarding the time & attention issue, in the past we've made the kids leave their game boys and computers. I was going to give them their smartphones before we left for Disney, but this thread has made me rethink that. They'll get them for Christmas- when we get back!

I do want them to have their old phones to text & call with since they are old enough to explore Disney on their own, and won't be with us all the time. My daughter and husband are photo buffs and have Canon digital cameras, so we don't need phones for that, either.
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:33 AM   #13
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I love everything the OP said, and I agree. But I have to admit, we rely on the phones in the parks. When the hubster runs off to get FPs for TSM, he texts back the return time and I give him the yay or nay. When my parents are back at the hotel napping they text to tell us where to meet them for their return. We use the lines app to determine which rides to go on next. While my son and hubs do Agent P while the girls and I shop he texts to let us know when they are done so we can meet back up. That said, we don't use the phones for texting friends or taking work calls or playing games -- we are too busy being immersed in our vacation. I might upload a pic or two to FB at the end of the day to show family how much we are enjoying ourselves - I like to share the magic.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:21 PM   #14
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Yeah we couldn't go without at least one phone. We use it to navigate roads. Check wait times at the park and anytime we just need any info you just pull out the phone. We don't use it to play games on while we're there though. Boy does it come in handy sometimes though.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:38 PM   #15
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We don't have smart phones to begin with. I HATE seeing people playing on their phone vs interacting with their family, CM's, everything.

So kudos to you!

I would, honestly, rather NOT have a phone than have a smart phone.
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