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Old 10-10-2012, 10:54 PM   #31
Counting too many days till my next trip to Disney!
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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   #32
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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 10-10-2012, 11:56 PM   #33
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I'd tell my husband to bite it, but that's just me
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My iPhone has been a godsend. I have a terrible memory. I set reminders for everything, and my phone constantly dings at the right time. I travel internationally a lot and I just turn off roaming and phone services. It's a handy device. I hate talking on the phone, so turning off that feature doesn't bother me.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:09 AM   #34
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Although I *have* a smartphone, it's mainly just a phone that looks the way that makes my eyes happy (and feels good in the hand). The old dumb phones don't meet those specifications for me. My upgrade time has just showed up, and I'm getting an iphone4 because it meets those for the most part. DH just upgraded to an HTC from a Blackberry, and so while my data will go up by $10, his will go down by $10, and it'll be the same. (and he HAS TO have his for work, so they pay his plan, woo!)

Anyway, all that was saying that I don't really USE the phone while in the parks. But it's hard to imagine not having it. I've had an almost dead battery while going solo and I didn't like the feeling.

Originally Posted by PrincessShea View Post
I enjoyed being able to take pictures and communicate with family and friends via facebook, instagram, etc who weren't on the trip with us. It was a good way to preserve memories and keep in touch.

So no, I will not leave my phone at home next time I go.
DH did that once or twice during our recent Anaheim trip, and it made his/our friends on his FB happy!

Originally Posted by LaurieO View Post
I don't even know what people are doing with those "smart" phones besides alienating themselves from the real world & other humans beings.
I imagine they aren't watching other families and deciding that they are alienating themselves. Since they are likely texting to other humans that they love, or posting pictures of their loved ones so their friends and families can see, etc etc.

Just because they don't want to stare back at the ones without the phones who are watching others doesn't mean they are alienating themselves from other humans.

Originally Posted by kpm76 View Post
That's great if you think it will provide a more relaxing vacation, but I can tell you that I would never leave my phone at home, especially after what happened on our last WDW trip. We had a family emergency back home and without my phone, I would not have been able to keep in touch, but also not upset the kids by having to leave. After that trip, I learned to never judge because you just never know.....
Yep yep. In September my MIL had 3 series of ministrokes. Her life, and ours, have changed forever. I'm the one mainly in charge of her care, as I'm "at home" (ha!) and have some medical knowledge. My current phone has a really weak calendar application, and I'm hoping the iphone will be able to help me organize myself a bit more. Right now I have a calendar in my purse, info in my phone, and a big wall calendar that I try to update, but nothing yells at me to say "look at me and be remembered!". I almost missed her neurologist appt yesterday because of the chaos. So I hope I can use the smartER phone to help me.

And our phones were on and nearly duct taped to our ears during our recent Anaheim trip, in case she had an emergency, or if her Home Health nurse needed to call (MIL doesn't like speaking English on the phone with strangers), or the anti-coagulation clinic needed to let me know of changes in her warfarin, I absolutely positively had to get that call.

Originally Posted by Senator Tressel View Post
How will you know what the temperature is going to be in four hours?
And very relevant during our recent Anaheim trip. 102 wasn't fair *in October*! But at least we knew about it ahead of time.

Originally Posted by KristiKat View Post
I'm also one of those parents that takes a pic of the kids in case something happens and I panic and can't remember what they are wearing.

Again referencing our very recent disneyland trip, DS decided to go against the rules (and he is now facing the consequences since we're home...we don't really punish AT Disney, but he gets a nice long consequence once home) and disappeared on Tom Sawyer Island on purpose. Once we finally decided he had been gone too long and sent one parent off to look, I know that my mind was racing, trying to remember what on earth he was wearing. KNowing he had blue shorts on wasn't a great help. Knowing he was wearing his grey Kali River Rapids shirt, however, was, because how many other kids *in Anaheim* are wearing those, right? I finally realized I had a pic on my camera, but had to scroll back to see it. if I'd taken a picture on my phone that morning it would have been *right there*. Silly me.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:12 AM   #35
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Something I noticed was how LOUD the lines are, and how I could barely hear my beloved family when we were waiting in lines! I wished my battery were better and DS had a phone, so I could have texted them while in line, since I couldn't hear them very well!
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:20 AM   #36
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I always have my iPhone with me at Disney for the following reasons:

1) I'm local-ish and am only ever gone for the day. I need to be able to tell my roommate about what time I'll be getting back, and if I'm driving, it's a necessity in case the car breaks down. Plus it's my music for the drive
2) It's my camera
3) It has my parks app for wait times, fireworks schedules, etc.
4) It's nice to pass the time waiting in line or for fireworks by checking Twitter or playing a short game
5) It helps me communicate with others in my party if we split up

That said, I don't think I use my phone any more or less at Disney than I do anywhere else. I am not glued to it, but it is handy. Kudos to you for wanting to focus on spending quality time with your family and doing whatever you deem necessary to achieve this! I think it's great that you're determined not to become more attached to electronics than to your kids

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Old 10-11-2012, 12:35 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by jenrose66 View Post
We were just having the same conversation the other night. We were out on a rare date, at a concert, and everyone there was busy recording on their phones or playing with something...and it's like, whatever happened to being present in the moment?
I agree with this. At 27, I really feel like my generation is losing a lot of the experience when these kind of things happen. And they invariably do. Like your grainy, terrible-sounding cell phone video is something anyone is ever going to care about. Meanwhile you were so busy watching through your screen.

I am one of the ones who does feel something is lost when you are constantly looking at a screen. Checking the time, checking the weather, checking the lines, checking in on facebook... it's tedious. Believe me I love my laptop, but I know when a computer belongs at home. By nature a smartphone is taking your attention away from the here and now and into the over there and later. I've traveled with a smartphone addict a number of times and never once did they realize how much their smartphone use was affecting the experiences of the people with them.

It's a whole new technological world, but I believe people need to think critically about whether these things are helping or hindering our memories. Good for you for thinking about how you are affecting (and setting examples for) your children.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:50 AM   #38
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We always always always take our smartphones with us, we are not that obsessed that we have to leave them home to not use them (Not saying that this is your case OP! but we do have friends that are that crazy lol). We think we need phones if an emergency happens (God forbids). We are a big group and sometimes we like doing different things, so we need phones to communicate. However, we never zone out, we only use our phones when we need to use them.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:18 AM   #39
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I can admit I am sort of addicted to my iPhone. But it's like some of the previous posters have mentioned: I know when to put it away and just enjoy myself, but I feel better having it on me in case I truly need it. And when we get stuck in a line or are just riding the bus back to the resort, I see nothing wrong with playing a little game or checking my FB page. Those are not moments I really need to focus on, so I don't see anything wrong with it. I also love my wait times app.

My mom and I actually had a lot of fun the last two trips as we raced each other to see who could "check in" at each ride the fastest using the Foursquare app! I know it sounds so stupid to a lot of people, but we really enjoyed it! So technology and smart phones don't always distance people from one another.

I do remember what it was like at WDW when I was younger though, and people didn't really have phones or anything. It's true we lived without them but times change and technology is becoming a bigger part of our lives whether we choose to accept it or not. I will say, however, that it does bother me when kids have their DS/3DS or other portable consoles with them in the parks. It's DISNEY WORLD for heaven's sake -- why would you go there and miss out on all of the wonderful magic because you can't stop gaming? That I will never understand. Play the DS in the hotel room, or better yet, enjoy a night at DisneyQuest!
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:24 AM   #40
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DS and I both brought our phones but mine rarely left the hotel room and DS only took his in case we needed to look something up. He was having way too much fun to spend his time online.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:14 AM   #41
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I support others doing it, but I wouldn't be able to not have a phone. I didn't own a smart phone during my last trip, but I'm excited about using apps this time around. Plus, it will come in handy waiting for buses or maybe while waiting in line for rides, or making last-minute dining reservations.

I do need access to my phone and email while at WDW because of my job. Don't have to check it everyday but still need access.
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:38 AM   #42
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Each to their own I say.... I've never taken my phone because of data roaming charges and if any emergency happens back home people know to email since my dad takes his laptop to check emails at night (not much we could do anyway since we're from the UK so journey home takes an absolute age)

However our next trip will be our first with a child so we will no doubt be taking a phone in case we get separated. Not really interested in line apps etc.... We're not a planning family we just take it easy and if we don't manage to get on a ride then so be it we don't let it spoil our day!
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:11 AM   #43
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I can understand not bringing phones if your entire family will be sticking together, but I find it so useful to be able to communicate with my DH or kids in WDW with a text or call that says I am stuck in a line or will be a bit late. My DH may be one of those guys that people say are stuck staring at their phones and not watching their kids. We have taken a variety of photos of him in just such a scene. However, his vacation can be much less stressful if he keeps up with emails at work and avoid coming back to 1000's of messages when he returns. He just uses time in the lines to go through stuff. Unfortunately, he's a guy that doesn't have the luxury of completely going off grid, but his work is also the reason that we can enjoy fabulous Disney vacations too.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:29 AM   #44
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In another country I can totally understand not taking your phone. ( I left mine in the safe while we were on our cruise... the part I missed was the clock and the camera. I dont wear a watch, so my phone is my watch.)

I do love the app features on the phones. We drain the battery checking the line apps. ( and posting pics to fb.
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Old 10-11-2012, 08:29 AM   #45
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We bring our phones. They're for communication only. They're "dumb" phones so not good for anything but calls and light texting. My kids love Disney so they don't want to be looking at their phones all the time anyway, a fact for which I am grateful!
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