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Old 04-21-2009, 09:25 PM   #331
pdy11366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marciemouse View Post
We are in the process of adopting kids from Ukraine, and I dream of taking them to Disney! Hopefully that trip will happen next year! I can't wait!
Congrats! The waiting is the hardest part. Celebrating our "Metcha" day on our WDW trip because out gotcha day is during October and I can't take off.
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:43 PM   #332
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Originally Posted by mickeyluv'r View Post
No CM here, but here's a little one. I got the idea from CM's...

Now I'd never do this in the real world, but at WDW - at least if they are Mickey/Disney stickers and you have kids with you - it seems to work.

Sometimes CM's give out Mickey stickers. They tend to give them to kids. They often give two at a time. If we get extras, I save them in my wallet.
When I see a kid having a meltdown, I offer the parent a sticker or two. It has worked every time to end the meltdown! It also keeps the situation from escalating. By offering it to the parent first, you are getting their permission.

Not only does it end the meltdown, it usually creates a smile!

Also, I sort of disagree about encouraging a person to go on a ride if they are mildly afraid. Certainly it pays to know your person. Encouraging someone under the right circumstances can build trust! If you know they don't like ghosts, then pushing them to go on a ride with ghosts is out. If however, they are iffy (not total panic attack, but iffy) about a ride that you know has no ghosts - then it may be in their best interest to encourage them to overcome their fears. But not encouraging someone to go on a ride may also damage trust beyond just riding rides.

I speak from experience. One family member once forced me on a ride that I hated when we were small kids. she flat out lied. I didn't trust her about rides for years, and it made me fearful of unknown rides. Ideed, my distrust of her went beyond rides.
Conversely, another friend and frequent WDW companion didn't encourage me to go on a ride that I was iffy about. Now I think about the times I missed out going on a fun ride - sitting out unnecessarily. Again, it damaged my trust in that person. They weren't willing to encourage me to overcome my fear, and didn't listen when I told them what my concerns were (I was an adult by then). I don't blame that person for my fear, but I also don't trust him for advice entirely either. Another person finally encouraged me to overcome my fear - and THAT person gained much trust with me!

My policy now is to try to experience each ride once and judge for myself. I know that ride fears are a very real thing, but I also know that helping someone overcome their fear is a powerful trust building tool!
Love this idea. My little guy had a meltdown at WalMart one day over the coin operated pony. I didn't have any cash on me. He was frustrated, I was frustrated. A sympathetic mom saved the day. Such a simple "pay it forward" but one I have been able to repeat a few times. I'll have to remember this for our trip.
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Old 04-21-2009, 10:39 PM   #333
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Originally Posted by erinch View Post
Actually, a tip about Cast Members:

One of the things our family does is carry some note cards with us to write down the names of CMs who go above and beyond, and "shine" at what they're doing. We put down their name, where they were working, and brief description of what was exemplary. We then make a stop at guest relations, on the way out of the park or resort, ask to see a manager, and "turn them in." It never fails to delight Guest Services, and it's good training for my kids in noticing what there is around them to be grateful for.
This is a great tip! We went to the backyard bbq when my DS was 5. We did not know how far away it was from our resort we were not entirely prepared for the journey in the dark in the rain with no umbrellas or raincoats..... We finally found our way there but got lost and missed the last boat after the show..

Horrible experience but there was a CM (security) who went out of her way and was so so so nice. She escorted us back to our hotel. I really think if it were not for her we would have been stranded there till morning.

I had all intents on writing to WDW when I got home but could not remember her name for anything. My point is that if I had a notebook or pad to write down her info, I would have been able to give credit to her for being so helpful and friendly even though we were all getting soaked in the dark in the woods..
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:39 PM   #334
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My one big tip as a former CM is go to the bathroom before you get in line. Lines can get unexpectedly long and frequent bathroom breaks are important. Imagine you've jumped in line for Space Mtn., you're half way to the front and you child needs to potty. You leave one parent in line while you walk the child back to the front through the narrow Space Mtn. cue, all the while apologizing and saying "Excuse Me," a thousand times to tons of people. Then after you use the bathroom you have to either push your way back through those tons of people again with the apologies and "excuse me", while half of them who got in line while you were pottying are convinced your just trying to cut in line. Or you have to convince the Fast Pass return CM that you really do have a party waiting inside, and you're still pushing your way through people who are convinced you're a line jumper.

Or worse you're child has an accident in line.
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:07 AM   #335
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Talking Response from WDW!

I got a voicemail yesterday from WDW Resorts thanking me for sending in a letter about the wonderful CMs I encoutered on my trip in March!

That was so nice! I hope those CMs yet a wonderful commendation in their HR record and continue the magic!
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:24 PM   #336
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Originally Posted by brendaziz View Post
Totally agree on the spreadin the Disney love! It obviously always feels nice to do nice things :-)
I've had FPs given to me by strangers and given them away as well.

On our last trip we booked the Fantasmic Dining Package and went to eat- went on a few rides (we had an early ADR)- but by then my kids were POOPED and were NOT gonna make it Fantasmic.
So while my hubby went w/ the kids to do stroller return I walked up by where people were beginning to line up for F! and foudn a party the same size as ours and gave em our seating tickets.
ACTUALLY i asked 2 other families first and they looked at me like a door to door salesman :-) thought i was CRAZY.
The last family was super nice and still looked like they thought i was crazy and trying to sell em a timeshare or something :-)
They had never heard of the package and they were like - "Wait, we have a sep. entrance and can go on rides for another hour or so b4 we have to line up?????"
I assured them I wasn't totally insane- just had cranky children that needed to go to bed and didn't want the thing to go to waste.
This sounds a bit like what happened to us last trip - on our arrival day, we went to Epcot, did a few attractions and had a great dinner at Tutto. We had the CP package, but because my MIL and SIL changed their minds about wanting to see it that night (as usual - they were constantly changing our plans) we tried to give our CP tickets away to folks lined up at the end of the huge regular line. A few people looked at us like we were crazy and refused our tickets! Finally, someone did take them!

Also, we often buy a bunch of cheap glow sticks and bracelets for the night time shows for our kids, we always give extras away to nearby kids.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:06 PM   #337
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I wish I'd taken the time to 'write-up' Snow White and Belle from our 2005 trip. The kind interest and genuine kindness they showed our kids was extraordinary. In fact, all of the other princesses fell kind of flat after them!

To this day, my kids talk about how much they adore Snow White and Belle. Snow White is my personal favorite. She knew DS was dressed up as Prince Phillip, and scolded Cinderella for thinking he was Prince Charming.

My tip:

Buy a simple autograph book. Have the characters sign every other page, leaving the facing page blank. Glue in the picture of your child and the character on the blank page.

The characters LOVE this. They've called over their handlers, merchandise CMs, other characters to see the pictures. My kids have ended up holding up the line for 5 minutes while the characters found their friends pictures in the book.

The villains are amazingly fun to play with. Smee tried to get my daughter's Wendy Coca Cola pin away from her, and Captain Hook threw their autograph book down a well in Adventureland because DS was wearing a Peter Pan shirt.

Finally, go to Disney to PLAY with your friends and family and cast members. Don't worry about the rides, the shows, the attractions. You will remember the playing you did for a lot longer!
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:14 PM   #338
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True

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Finally, go to Disney to PLAY with your friends and family and cast members. Don't worry about the rides, the shows, the attractions. You will remember the playing you did for a lot longer!
Truer words were never spoken.

Children remember the time spent on them and not the money.

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Old 04-22-2009, 07:42 PM   #339
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Originally Posted by newtowdw1 View Post
My tip:

Buy a simple autograph book. Have the characters sign every other page, leaving the facing page blank. Glue in the picture of your child and the character on the blank page.

The characters LOVE this. They've called over their handlers, merchandise CMs, other characters to see the pictures. My kids have ended up holding up the line for 5 minutes while the characters found their friends pictures in the book.
What I'm thinking of doing for this trip is getting a Pogo (It's a printer that can print right from the camera & bluetooth phones too - the ink is in the paper, not the printer, so it prints instantly ) and taking photos with the characters, then either printing them out and sticking them in right there, since the paper is sticky, or doing that each night, so as to not hold up lines. (And then characters on that trip could see their friends, instead of having to wait for the next trip) Would they think that's cool?

Orrrr..... I wonder if the characters ever get pictures of themselves? Would it be some nice pixie dust to print out a photo of them and give it to the Character Attendant to give them when they go on break?
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:56 AM   #340
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Originally Posted by newtowdw1 View Post
Finally, go to Disney to PLAY with your friends and family and cast members. Don't worry about the rides, the shows, the attractions. You will remember the playing you did for a lot longer!
Oh - I love this "tip". It's soo true..

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlightlyGoofy View Post
Truer words were never spoken.

Children remember the time spent on them and not the money.

Slightly Goofy
Exactly - I believe the same is true for us adults - aka "children at heart".
We budget and stress over the money - but when its all over - its the memories that we take home that are most important.
I don't know about you but 3 years from now I'm not gonna be looking back at my upcoming vacation thinking "Wow I wish I'd have spent less money"
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:51 AM   #341
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Originally Posted by mickeyluv'r View Post

Also, I sort of disagree about encouraging a person to go on a ride if they are mildly afraid. Certainly it pays to know your person. Encouraging someone under the right circumstances can build trust! If you know they don't like ghosts, then pushing them to go on a ride with ghosts is out. If however, they are iffy (not total panic attack, but iffy) about a ride that you know has no ghosts - then it may be in their best interest to encourage them to overcome their fears. But not encouraging someone to go on a ride may also damage trust beyond just riding rides.

I speak from experience. One family member once forced me on a ride that I hated when we were small kids. she flat out lied. I didn't trust her about rides for years, and it made me fearful of unknown rides. Ideed, my distrust of her went beyond rides.
Conversely, another friend and frequent WDW companion didn't encourage me to go on a ride that I was iffy about. Now I think about the times I missed out going on a fun ride - sitting out unnecessarily. Again, it damaged my trust in that person. They weren't willing to encourage me to overcome my fear, and didn't listen when I told them what my concerns were (I was an adult by then). I don't blame that person for my fear, but I also don't trust him for advice entirely either. Another person finally encouraged me to overcome my fear - and THAT person gained much trust with me!

My policy now is to try to experience each ride once and judge for myself. I know that ride fears are a very real thing, but I also know that helping someone overcome their fear is a powerful trust building tool!
I definitely agree with you that you have to know the person. And really, a parent should know his/her child and judge based on that. My DD can get herself worked up over what she thinks a ride is. Now, there are rides that I know better than to let her ride. But she was waffling on Haunted Mansion. She really wanted to ride it, but was a little apprehensive. DH told her that he'd give her $5 if she rode with him and didn't panic. She rode it, had a great time and got her $5. It ended up being her favorite ride and she rode it several more times.

Now other rides, like Dinosaur, we won't coerce her to ride. That ride would completely freak her out.

My DS, who is three years younger, has no fear and will ride anything without issue. lol
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Old 04-23-2009, 08:55 AM   #342
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Originally Posted by DisDreaminMom View Post

Also, show your children what a Cast Member looks like. Go up to a female CM and ask them if your children can see their name tag. Tell your kids that if they get lost, they should go find a female CM with a name tag and ask for help. (Not to knock male CM's, but child security advocates recommend asking for help from a woman). I do the same thing with police officers for my kids. I've always had a great experience with CM's and police officers when I do this, as they always have something reassuring to say to the kids and it makes life easier should someone get lost. The security guards at WDW are fabulous as well. My kids will just go up to them and talk to them, now. The goal is get them to be comfortable asking for help if they ever get separated from you.
I remember my parents used to do this on every trip. It's a good idea to do it on every trip too. A) The tags can change a bit each year and B) your kids might not remember them from year to year. Every day when we entered the parks after the first day, my Dad used to go get the stroller rental (back when they were reasonable! ) and my Mom would ask me to point out CMs.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:47 AM   #343
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Not necessarily so

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I don't know about you but 3 years from now I'm not gonna be looking back at my upcoming vacation thinking "Wow I wish I'd have spent less money
Piglet843, that might often be true, however, IF you are still paying the credit card debt from your trip three years later and find yourself in a financial mess you MIGHT regret it.

That being said, doing without things that you truly need or possibly want, when you CAN afford them can be something to regret.

Balance, it is all about balance. I am often off balance myself but only mentally, not fiscally

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Old 04-23-2009, 11:03 AM   #344
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Since it is a tip thread - here's another tip from me. If you (or your kids) are desparate to ride in the front cabin of the monorail...get on the monorail AT EPCOT at or near park opening. Generally people aren't starting from the Epcot parking lot to go to MK. We did this last trip, and there was NO wait for the front, and in fact was only about 6 people on the entire monorail. When we got to the TTC, they kicked us out of the front cabin, but we just hopped back on and rode back to Epcot. You also get some GREAT views of Epcot riding back there when the Monorail goes through the park.

SkierPete
This is a great tip! Me and my boyfriend did this in September of '07 and not only were we the only ones waiting for the front of the monorail, we were the only ones on the monorail! It was my first time riding, too. So it was awesome.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:44 PM   #345
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This is a great tip! Me and my boyfriend did this in September of '07 and not only were we the only ones waiting for the front of the monorail, we were the only ones on the monorail! It was my first time riding, too. So it was awesome.
We did this last July at MK park opening... Not only did we get in to ride in the front, we also got into Early EMH's even though we weren't resort guests. I guess they were checking for room keys at the TTC back then.
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