On our last trip, I printed index cards for each day of our trip (we had 8 people) with the park we would be visiting, hours, our ADRS number and time and any special things we were doing like tours and on the other side a small map of the park. Plus for our arrival and departure dates, flight info. They are easy to create. It saved alot of time and if people wanted to go in different directions, they knew what time to meet up.
You can now pre-purchase the Photopass CD and it will save you $50 over purchasing at the parks. If you don't like your pics, you have 2 weeks after your visit to request refund. Also check out on stitchkingdom.com the special photopass extra you can get added to your photos like Tink on Main St.
Order trading pins online. They are much cheaper than at the parks, i just bought our kids 40 pins on ebay for total of $39 with shipping. They enjoy trading but not paying $5-6/pin.
We make sure to pack out park backpack before we leave cuts down on time in hotel room in morning. I put bandaids, ponchos, motion sickness pills, pepto, and excedrin in a ziplock bag. Trading pins in a ziplock, autograph book in a ziplock w/ sharpie. also a ziplock w/ sunscreen. This let us just get up and go in the morning w/ everything in one place already and not just thrown in on the bottom of our packback.
Also be sure to check park hours for changes a week out. Also steve soars website has character greeting times and show schedules posted for the week. Don't forget you lime green mickey head for your backpack or stroller to let everyone know you are a diser!
if you have young kids bring a pad of post it notes - put them over the automatic flush sensor on potties and it saves so much hassle
pack extra batteries or the charger!!
if you sleep with a fan on at night, bring a small one, you will sleep so much better
bring stain stick (like Shout stain remover, but stick form) - you can stain treat a shirt and leave it for up to 3 wks and it will still wash out the stain just fine. Even spaghetti.
Don't forget your CPAP machine or no one but you will sleep as your snoring will keep them all awake. (sleep apnea machine)
keep a noteboook with all the info for hotel stays (if driving and staying overnight other places or going from one place to another) and each night record your thoughts about the day - these will make your memories much more clear
If you have children set up a "lost parent" when you walk into the park so they know what to do if they can't see you - my recommendation is to have them stay absolutely still as they call your first name (not mom or dad) ten times as loud as they can, then if that doesn't work they should find a cast member or a mom with kids to help them.
if you have napping age kids - PLEASE respect their routine!! Missing a nap one day is usually ok, but if you go more then that I will be able to pick you out in a crowd so easily. IMO 90% of the tantrums kids have are caused by being overtired.
Leave note for the animal sitter how to feed animals, make sure you have enough food for all of them, and leave the vets number. Leave info on where you are staying, cell numbers, and phone numbers of nearest realtive.
Find out from the travel agent which rental car company she booked with. Got to WDW once and had no idea.
Make sure garbage is emptied before leaving and you did not leave anything in the microwave. (Left brocolii in there once. Was not a good thing to come home to)
This may be an odd one but it works for us both stress and budget wise.
I get travellers checks throughout the year. I buy one everytime I go to the bank or have extra money. I usually bring at least $500 in them with me when I go to disney. As soon as I get there I give them to the CM when I check in to add them to my room bill along with a credit card. They take the added fees on my room card off the travellers checks balance first. This way the hit on my credit card is minimal if any at the end of my trip.
Kind of playing mind games with yourself but its a nice little way to not worry about the budget while you are down there.
Oh, but dont forget to pack them and bring them with you!
I usually keep diaries for all of my kids to make notes on, during trips and at the end of the day. Its so much fun later when we all sit together and each gives their version of how the day went and the highlight of the day. Usually ends up in giggles
I can't remember whether I posted this on here yet or not, but buy your postcard stamps at your local post office so you don't have to scrounge around and possibly pay a premium for them once you get to Disney and print out a list of addresses for people you want to send the postcards to. I actually print them onto mailing labels to make it that much easier.
If you take prescription medications, get a pill container to put your meds in just in case you don't make it back to the resort in time to take it. This way, you won't have to carry a prescription bottle with you.
When you pack your suitcase place clothes in the super large zip bags. That way when you arrive at MCO and it is raining you don't spend your evening and quarters to dry all of the clothes. Just ask my DD. Also, when I make my lists I always do them in pencil,as I pack I erase item packed. When done packing I have blank pieces of paper.
New to the boards but not to Heaven on Earth.
Next trip Sept.4-11-10.