We are officially here for #DisneySMMC and we had a bit of an uneven day. Fun, but uneven. For some reason we prepared less for this trip than our usual, my guess is because we were both slammed at work last week. Regardless, we’re here! Anyway, I need to process a bit so here is my list of dos and don’ts for myself. Learned from personal experience within the last 24 hours…
Do: Take a morning flight so you can spend the afternoon getting acclimated
Don’t: Wake up your kids at 600 AM and expect everything to go smoothly.
Do: Utilize Disney’s Magical Express
Don’t: Forget to bring a bag to hold the garbage from all the snacks you need to feed the kids on the trip (which can take up to an hour or more). Also, don’t forget to wash out your pocket afterwards.
Do: Check-in online, receive a text message when your room is ready, and use your magic band to get into your room. Truly wonderful.
Don’t: Book a room on the second floor if you have a stroller. Or two. Port Orleans: Riverside does not have elevators (at least in my building).
Don’t: Go to the front desk reception for any reason if you can help it. The line is interminable. Seriously, check in online.
Don’t: Underestimate the value of being closer to the lobby and food court.
Do: Consider renting a stroller. Super convenient. We used Orlando Stroller Rentals, the City Mini we got is well used but still works great. Beats the alternative we had at home.
Do: Enjoy the very nicely themed and fun pool.
Don’t: Leave your clothes there and not remember until two hours after pool close.
Do: Order food from Amazon Prime Now or an equivalent food service. You save so much money. It costs $5 to deliver to the hotel but still well worth it.
Don’t: Call bell services asking them to bring the food but tell them you got groceries instead of something from Amazon, even Prime Now. They didn’t realize our food was there and didn’t call us back (because they were waiting for the food). An hour wasted and we had to pick up the food ourselves.
Don’t: Stick to your plan of going to Disney Springs even though you are an hour behind schedule (and one hour short of the kids’ normal bedtimes).
Don’t: Sprint through the resort after dropping off the groceries to make a bus in order to stick to said stupid plan.
Don’t: Show up at Disney Springs with no idea where you want to eat it is crowded, especially on a Saturday night.
Do: Eat at Morimoto’s Street Food. I liked it quite a bit.
Don’t: Go to Disney Springs without knowing how you are going to get out of there. Another half an hour wasted looking for the right boat to go back (we never found it because we made the mistake of ignoring a dock cast member’s direction for a land cast member. Is it too much to ask for people to know the right information though?).
Do: Stay calm. We obviously hit a lot of rough patches today, mostly of our own doing, but kept it together and didn’t ratchet up the stress, mostly thanks to The Glue. Things could have fallen apart but instead we still had a really fun day.
Do: Show empathy for your fellow travelers. A poor woman on the bus was in tears because she couldn’t calm down her toddler. That was rough.
Do: Prepare for an early morning rope drop the next day by getting the kids to bed as early as humanly possible despite spending way too long finding a bus at Disney Springs.
Don’t: Stay up late blogging about it that night.
Here are my quick impressions of what I’ve seen so far, all of which has been new to me (since we usually stay off site).
Magical Express: Great to have the service, though not necessarily the most convenient. Still, it was amazing to have our bags just show up.
Port Orleans Riverside: This resort is beautiful. The room is modest but feels comfortable, but the theming of the resort overall is great, and obviously what I’m paying for.
Disney Springs: Doesn’t feel like my scene. Too crowded and too confusing. Maybe it’s just cuz it’s Saturday night but I didn’t have the greatest first impression. Probably is cooler for people without kids (though there was a super cute kids’ dance party going on).
Disney bus system: It’s free…so that’s something. TBD I guess.
Tomorrow’s a new day and I can’t wait to get to Epcot!