Monday, May 3, 2010

D.W. Day 1 Packing strategies.

Welcome welcome! It's the first day of Disney Week and I'm so glad you're here! Today I wanted to post some super amazing packing tips. I'm going to add a linky just in case you want have any traveling & vacation tips and want to join along!

I only have two kids so we don't have near as much stuff to bring as a larger family. But, let me tell you those two girls are divas and insist on multiple outfit changes and big ol' bows to match. Before I hear the "Well you're the parent, make them pack light" How can you say no to this face?

I didn't think so either. I start by making a packing list.

  • What outfits are coming along. Maybe not specifics, I haven't lost my mind this much-- considered it. But I just give an amount and any "special" outfits we simply can not forget. Cinderella dress, must be in the bag.
  • Matching bows: Purple outfit? Green bow? I don't think so. If it weren't for my list I could overlook this. Moms of boys go ahead and shake your head at me! :) It's okay, it's true; I'm a looney toon.
  • Extras I need to remember: 
  1. Bendy straws for the refillable cups at the resort. They have a lid but the girls had a lot of trouble not dribbling with them last year. This year we're solving that with bendies! 
  2. A cheapo dollar store over the door shoe holder for the closet area. The counter area is really slim at the resort we're staying at so it helps to have a place to have everything out in the open as I like to put the bags back in our car since we drive. I hate to have them lying around the hotel room! Anyways, I can fit my hairdryer, straightener, make up, sunblocks, sunglasses and such in it and it's out of the way hanging on the rod. Too much? Maybe. Simply smart? I think so.
  3. Empty mini M&M tube to hold pennies for the penny presses around Disney. My oldest has a collectors book for the post pressed pennies. But I wanted something small that could fit in her purse to carry then pre-pressed pennies. They fit perfectly in the tubes and she can get to them in a snap! 
  4. We also are going to bring a couple extra Disney themed dollar store toys this year that have been secretly hidden. Something special to come back to the room after a day of magic. Overdoing it? Probably. Adds to the magic? Absolutely. 
  •  Food, things that don't have to be refrigerated for the ride. Snack items, fruit, cereal-- the go to for road trips. :)

Once my list is done then I can start packing! My favorite part! I can pack, unpack and pack again till I go crazy. This year I found a tip from a Disney message board and I fell in LOVE with it. The tip is to get gallon sized bags and pack one whole outfit in each bag for the the kids, making it much easier for them to get out their clothes for the day. And by them, I mean my husband. ;) I'm sure everyone else has husbands that matches their kids to a "T" right? Thought so. I'm really excited for this one, the ziplock bag held a shirt, pants, undies socks and the bow that matches. Hello, lover.  I'm half temped to get 2 gallon size bags to do this for my husbands suitcase too. How funny would his face be when he opens it when we get there? For his I'd go ahead and label them by date too, because I'm evil like that. ;)

Okay now your turn! Give me those tips! I still have some time till we leave so maybe you'll inspire me to do something completely and utterly different. Blow my mind! I'm ready for it! Packing tips, traveling tips, how to ride in a car with two kids for 20 hours. :) Please grab the button up at the top of the blog so others know where the party is at!

Ready, set, go!

23 comments: said...

Yay for DW week!!

Rachelle, you seem to have it all covered. I'm with you on the matching hair accessories too. My kids pretty much pack for themselves now. It's gotten trickier with the baggage restrictions. They like to have two outfits per day--after the Florida sun all day, you want fresh duds for the evening.
I love your M & M tube for the pressed pennies idea. My kids used to love them!
I used to pack them each a bag of surprises for the plane ride (snacks, activities, little toys).


MindyMindy said...

I'm excited to read all of your Disney week posts! We've never been but hopefully someday we can get there. I know my kids would love it!

corina said...

We just did a cross country drive from Oregon to Georgia when my hubs got re station and we have two daughters who also have to have the matching everything :) We did acouple of things my daughters are two and three and when we did our first cross country trip it almost one and two anyways we like to have the dvd player with all sorts of disney dvds and there favorite disney shows we also have little backpacks per child (theres r even disney bags with their names on them...i know we r freaks) but the bags have little activity books color wonder stuff, special snacks ect. its alot of fun oh and dont forget the hand sanitizer and wipes for restrooms and stick situations also they now sell toilet seat covers for kids and adults u might want a couple just incase the restareas dont
have fun!!!

Mama Thompson said...

I'm a list maker's just smart...get on the list and it gets in the more "crap, I forgot that". LOVE the gallon bag smart...and I (a mother of a boy) will not shake my head at your bows....if I had a girl, I'd have them too. I am a bit grateful I have a boy....'cause there is a LOT less to bows, no cinderella dresses...just t-shirts, shorts and flip flops...

Sarah said...

Well I'm not going to Disneyland any time soon, but love love LOVE the idea of the ziploc bags!!! Fantastic!!

Rachelle said...

Heather, We brought about 40 outfits each, feels like at least! :) But we do change twice a day too, I hate to be sweaty and full of sunblock! Nice and fresh for dinner!

Corina, HAND SANITIZER! Yes, almost forgot! I'm running low.. I need one on a key chain! :)

Mindy, Oh how I hope you can go sometime too! It's magical that's for sure.. Any vacation away from work seems magical lately though! :)

Mama Thomps, Glad I didn't get the stink eye from you! :)

Kim's Treasures said...

Great tips! I think I will get my mom and dad one of those m&m tubes! They love to press the pennies at Disney! LOL! Yep, gotta pack some things for my parents next trip! I like the zip top bag idea too. My kids are grown now but I know my daughter uses a bag like that for her undies so she can find them in her suitcase easily.

Where are you in Michigan...I live there too.

Looking forward to more tips. Oh, love the shoe organizer tip too! Wish I had something to share with you other than hand sanitizer!

Angie said...

I am going to use the ziploc galloon bag trick on our trip in October. I am making outfits for our family.. that are cheap but not cheesy ;) I made the tie-die mickey shirts last night. I plan to hook up to your party later in the week? Do you have the daily themes? :)

Leanne said...

I'm so excited for your family, especially the girls. Have a wonderful trip.

ScrappinAway said...

We are going to Disney in Sept and I am excited by this series of posts! I am sooo doing the gallon bag tip!

traci in virginia said...

We went to Disney in November and I would suggest buying Dollar store rain ponchos for the water ride in Animal Kingdom (if you plan to ride it). The ones they sell are so expensive and my kids really did get drenched! They were so uncomfortable. Hours later my son's jean shorts were still drenched. (I wimped out and bought the expensive poncho! Thank goodness, it saved my camera)
Have a great trip!

Cara said...

I am soooo excited for this week! We are *hoping* to get to Disney World next Spring, so I need all the tips I can get!!


Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

It never occurred to me that I might be insane for insisting on matching hairbows. ;) I am soooo jealous...maybe if we start saving now, we can tale our girls in a few years. Hope you're having a blast! :)

LF said...

Have a great trip!! DW is SO AWESOME!!!

We have used the Ziploc trick several times. It works great! Now that my son is older, it is a little harder to get everything in a bag though.

We do take it one step further. Since your children are younger and their clothes do not take up much space, it may work for you too. What we did was open the ziploc just a little and then roll the bags to squeeze out some of the air, and then seal it again. It works somewhat like the space saver bags. It is not completely airtight, but does take up quite a bit less room. You may want to give it a try. :)

We were packing for a trip around this time last year. Sure wish we were going again this year! Have a great time!!

a little bit of everything said...

We have been to Disney about 20 times since 1980 and love it every time. We were just there in March. We did invest in the Disney Vacation Club when it began in 1990 and it has been great. Needless to say the "children" are not "children" anymore but still love going. We look forward to our future granddaughter's first trip- she's due in July!
When they were young I always packed their entire outfit,including socks and underwear, in plastic bags. All 3 kids in one bag, per day so there was no searching for outfits. Ok, I liked them to sort of match too, color wise. We take lots of photos and video!
I always pack a soft side cloth suitcase in the bottom of one bag for the dirty laundry or perhaps purchases we've made on the trip.
If you travel SW, you can still check a second bag for free.
I use cleaners bags in mine and my husbands suitcases to corral clothes of like kinds, such as all the pants outfits, shorts outfits etc. in bunches. My thought is, if our bag is chosen for inspection, it keeps things from falling out or getting manhandled by inspectors.
Plus they compress well for packing.
I also use a travel hanging cosmetic bag from llbean which I keep packed at all times with mini size items such as toothpaste, shampoo, sewing kit,extra meds (prescription meds should be carried on), bandaids etc etc. This I also put in a plastic bag just in case there is any spillage. be continued

a little bit of everything said...

We always take a carry on with a full extra outfit for each of us just in the event of lost luggage. Any phone or camera chargers etc. go in the carry on as well.
And I always print out a sheet of paper with our name and address along with a cell phone number and the address of where we are staying and put one in each suitcase in case any outside tags are lost.
The kids always brought a backpack as a carry on which we could use going into the parks for rain slickers and snacks etc. And we still bring the rain slickers we purchase one rainy day in the Parks many years ago. Definitely good for the Rapid River ride in Animal Kingdom too.
If you haven't already made dinner reservations, do so immediately. Once you get there, there could be no space. You can make dinner reservations months ahead of time. You can book them online as well. 50's Prime Time Cafe in MGM is great for kids as is the buffet at the Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club. And you might want to do a character meal.
If using a carriage in the park, tie a scarf or something on it when you park it. Makes it a lot easier to find after a ride.
We also brought peanut butter/jelly sandwiches into the park for lunch for the kids which saved a few pricey lunches. We make a trip to the local Publix food store for supplies when we arrive and since we always have a kitchen, we buy breakfast items and bottled water and essentials to save some money as it is all pricey in the parks. Even when we were only in a hotel room, we did the sandwiches.

a little bit of everything said...

...and finally....
Another tip is, try going on rides while the parade is going on in the parks. Cuts down on the crowds. And head for the back of each park first as people get congested working their way back on rides. In Animal Kingdom, be at the Safari Ride first thing when they open as the animals are more apt to be out at that time. As it gets warmer, they take shelter. It's a great ride. Bring a camera or two!
Check the opening and closing schedule of each park. They open an hour early certain days and stay open later certain days. If you aren't an early riser, don't chose to go to an early-open park or you will just be in more of a crowd when you get there. It's good to be there when a park opens, take a break in the middle of the day and go back in if you are there when the parks are open late.
Oh, if you are a AAA member, they have the cheapest park hopper tickets and ask for the Diamond Lot parking pass if you plan to rent a car. They have specific areas in the lots for AAA customers. We do rent a car because it is just easier than waiting for the buses. But if you are not renting a car, check out the free Magical Express bus service Disney offers to and from the airport. You can sign up right for it at anytime. I would suggest not having them take your luggage because it doesn't arrive when you do at the hotel so you have no access to it. It comes on another bus, I believe. But you can bring your luggage with you if you prefer.
Have a wonderful trip! Tell Mickey and Minnie we said "hello"!

Richella said...

Rachelle, it looks like you've got it covered. My hat's off to you.

This tip wouldn't work for you when you're staying in a hotel, but if you're ever renting a condo or something you could try it. . . I used to pack my boys' clothes in laundry baskets. I had several of the same size and shape--their clothes fit in perfectly, and they all stacked like a dream in the back of the van. Somehow it was much easier for them to find their things when they were in a basket than to dig through a suitcase.

I must say, traveling with girls must be really something. But you want little princesses to take to DW, don't you? :)

GroverFamily said...

i like the idea of having every outfit in a bag already to go! my mom is coming with us and if she wants to help get the boys around all she has to do is pull out a bag! great idea thanks for sharing:)

Angie said...

I do the ziploc trick too!

Also, when we went, I actually had a huge box of supplies (snacks, sunscreen, etc.) shipped to our resort and it was waiting when we got there. Less expensive than buying there, and it was all used up by the time we left, so nothing to ship back :)


Katie said...

You are such a "together" mom. I love it. Please go ahead and be preparing a "how-to manual" for me. I will let you know when I'm pregnant. :)

Natalie Catherine said...

this post and all these comments are amazing!! haha. i feel more organized just looking at it. hehe.

Amy said...

Interesting idea with the ziplocks... I have a 2/5/7 yr old and the only one I pack for is the 2 year old. The others are on their own and I do a final check before we leave. There is NO way I would pack for my'll send him your way next trip we take!! lol.

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