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  1. #1

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    Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    What worked:
    • Arriving late afternoon and just checking in to hotel and grabbing something to eat and some DTD time vs. trying to hit parks. I was torn on this during the planning session, but I liked this setup.
    • Valet parking. We've always done this at the Grand... the convenience over self-park was totally worth it to get our vacation going and get on the road expediently at the end as well.
    • Staying onsite. EMH is a MUST for us. We get probably a full third of a day's worth of rides out of just that first hour and the park is so magical when there's practically nobody around.
    • Getting to the bag check an hour before EMH starts (well sorta because evil-cutter lady still beat us to the DL gates).
    • Snacking/dining exclusively in park on park days. Beignets, Cinnamon rolls, Dolewhips, and Mint Juleps got us through the days without having to resort to Cliff bars or leaving to hit up DTD/Hotel.
    • Traveling light into the parks. I used to bring my camera sling with all my gear. This time, I started out with a dapper-ish cross-body/shoulder bag which I only had my body with mounted lens, and a second lens. by the end of the trip, I was just toting the body+lens, nothing else needed.
    • Staying at the GCH. I cannot fathom how miserable we would have been trudging back to any hotel but where we were staying after 8 times in a row on Grizzly River Run. GCH = worth every penny for the convenience.
    • Leaving on a Sunday. The traffic was great leaving, and we made it back to Phx in 5 hours, 2 minutes door to door with a fuel and food stop. The traffic in the greater LA area is always the time killer compared to the 10 which always moves well, and we were able to make great time on a Sunday afternoon.
    • Stroller Passes. No more assured way to get the kids on RSR twice in a single day than EMH + Stroller pass.
    • Bringing my own adult drinks in a cooler bag with us. Saved probably $50 just by bringing a few beers from home vs. buying at the resort.
    • $40 personal DVD players (with SD card support for youtube Disney videos), and headphones.
    • Calling early the day of check-in and putting in my room request type. They made sure I had a queen + bunk already assigned by the time I checked in.
    • Starbucks mocha frappuccinos for the wife in the morning. I do coffee black, so the in-room coffee maker worked for me, but as she dumps tons of flavored creamer in her’s, the Starbucks fraps in a bottle got her going.



    What didn’t work:
    • Getting to bag check 20min before EMH started (the GCH entrance was backed up to Whitewater, so we had to book it over to the main entrance.)
    • Getting the kids to take a mid-day nap at the hotel. We cut our evening way short because the kids refused to take a nap mid-day. This also lead to a later than desired start for the following day.
    • Letting the big kids ride in the infant’s stroller. Ended up with a crack which allowing the stroller back to fall into a recline vs. being upright.
    • Forgetting to wear a brimmed hat. On our non-dapper day, I had brought my C33 ball cap, but neglected to wear it into the park with me. I paid for that mistake once it heated up, especially in Toontown.
    • Most of Tomorrowland. Every ride in TL had LONG wait (and FP for Space wasn’t working), and we only rode Buzz. We’ve avoided TL the past few trips outside of Nemo, and really don’t do that side of the park. Without some major future draw, it will continue to be a skip.
    • Arriving on a Friday night. Talk about a LONG time once we hit the area. Getting from the Ball exit to DL drive took an EXTREMELY long time as well. Major congestion.
    • Trying to get a table at Trader Sam’s on a Friday night without a long wait.
    • Letting the kids eat Cheez-its in the vehicle.
    • Getting a reservation at Blue Bayou on the same day (we didn’t think we’d have time, but would have loved to do it when we found we had time).
    • Not bringing blisterguard/tape/moleskin for the kid’s feet where they got blisters.
    • Neglecting to put the kids on leashes…I’m joking, but only slightly. When crowd levels are as high as they were, kids can get lost 10’ away. My wife kept asking where the oldest was and I was telling her “right there” (pointing).. I just saw her but now I don’t. Her phone rings, and it’s a couple who have our daughter, but they can’t see us and we can’t see them… wife asks do you see a girl on a man’s shoulders dressed in purple? Yep… Come towards him. They were only 10’ away and we couldn’t see our 7 year old due to the crowds… We had gone to the pet store and got dog tags with contact info engraved on them before our first trip, and had the kids wear them on their lanyards… only problem… we left the lanyards at home accidentally… thankfully the kids know our cell #s. This was in Adventureland by the Indy queue (aka madhouse)

  2. #2

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    Thanks! Never been before with kids and your tips will be helpful on our upcoming trip.

  3. #3

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    Very nice, effective grouping of tips and info there. Thanks!
    "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money." - ​Walt Disney

  4. #4

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    Quote Originally Posted by smartlabelprint View Post
    Thanks! Never been before with kids and your tips will be helpful on our upcoming trip.
    If we were to go sans children, it would DEFINITELY change our park experience. I hope the wife and I can do an adult Disney trip one day, but I'm not holding my breath.... it would go something like hitting C33, SH55, Napa, Sam's, BB, CCR+B, and a LOT of E-tickets probably as single rider.

  5. #5

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    Blisters. I noticed that on your great trip report but didn't want to reference the incident.

    So my question to you and anyone else, are blisters more common with children now in this decade in comparison to the 60's and 70s. On my December trip I had two college age adults traveling with me who developed blisters. Both of them were sedentary men. Does the sedentary life style of tv, video games and computers increase blisters because folks are not spending 4-8 hours every day in their shoes?

    As an old man, I always pack Pepito bismo, anti acid tablets, Vaseline jelly, sunglasses and a clock. But I never think to bring foot care because I wear the same shoes everyday nor have I ever suggested foot care to the families that I am helping plan their trip to Disneyland. Foot care is now on that list.

  6. #6

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    Quote Originally Posted by laferney Road kid View Post
    Blisters. I noticed that on your great trip report but didn't want to reference the incident.

    So my question to you and anyone else, are blisters more common with children now in this decade in comparison to the 60's and 70s. On my December trip I had two college age adults traveling with me who developed blisters. Both of them were sedentary men. Does the sedentary life style of tv, video games and computers increase blisters because folks are not spending 4-8 hours every day in their shoes?

    As an old man, I always pack Pepito bismo, anti acid tablets, Vaseline jelly, sunglasses and a clock. But I never think to bring foot care because I wear the same shoes everyday nor have I ever suggested foot care to the families that I am helping plan their trip to Disneyland. Foot care is now on that list.
    I certainly think that coming from a sedentary lifestyle might make a difference, but IMHO it's often all about the type of shoes. If you do any amount of people watching at the parks - or you're like me, and you're introverted and tend to look at the ground a lot, especially in queues - you notice right away that a a lot of park guests wear shoes that seem to lack support or cushioning. There are always lots of sandals, flip-flops, Chucks, Crocs...shoes that are cute and comfortable, but not necessarily designed to facilitate an entire day of intense walking and standing. Some kids come in wearing dress shoes with their costumes. If you look at the costume shoes Disney sells, you can see right away that they're not meant for intensive walking. It's a wonder those kids have feet left at all at the end of the day.

    The one time I ended up with absolutely horrific blisters at Disneyland, I'd decided to wear Chucks. I'm super active, I usually walk 2 - 4 miles every day and I have almost always had jobs that have required me to spend a lot of time running around. My feet are pretty tough, and they still looked like chopped liver at the end of the day. Since then I've always worn good walking shoes or running sneakers. I have never had issues with blisters again.

    And socks! So many people seem to eschew socks these days. If you're not wearing socks and you're walking all day, the insides of your shoes are going to be rubbing like sandpaper against your feet by the end of the visit...ergo, you're going to end up with more blisters.

    So if I were advising someone about a trip to the park, the one thing I'd tell them would be to wear comfortable walking shoes and good socks.

    And I think that even if one is physically active, the walking and standing one does at Disneyland might still be more than normal, and might affect one's feet adversely.

  7. #7

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    Quote Originally Posted by greenalfonzo View Post
    Very nice, effective grouping of tips and info there. Thanks!
    Agreed. It's a very helpful post.

    Quote Originally Posted by laferney Road kid View Post
    Blisters. I noticed that on your great trip report but didn't want to reference the incident.
    An important thing to do is, wear comfortable shoes. I always where sneakers.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    One of the other things with feet at theme parks is that you often end up with wet shoes and socks from the water attractions which increases the chances of blistering. My dad doesn't do water rides anymore because he can't take the wet feet. I also agree with the need for good shoes. I wore some old sneakers one time which I hadn't worn in a while, the soles were much more worn out than I realized, and it made for an lousy day.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    About footwear:
    I'm a teenage girl and like to be fashionable (sounds stupid but works for me) so I tend to avoid sneakers or tennis shoes. I've ALWAYS worn flip flops or some sort of sandals and I don't ever get blisters (I don't wear plastic flip flops). I get used to them and they're not terribly uncomfortable. And the best part? They match with everything and the tan line is limited to my foot lol. I also have no fear of going on water rides because it doesn't matter if my feet get wet. Also, when I tried to wear shoes, my feet started itching like crazy and I've never worn them since. At the end of the day, even my mom and other family members have complaints about their feet despite wearing proper footwear. It's kind of inevitable.

  10. #10

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    I had to buy new shoes with added sole supporters since I brought cheap shoes that I bought at Wal-mart. My old shoes fell apart and had divets all over inside and were causing blisters and felt like I was walking on broken glass. My new shoes were a major improvement. BRING GOOD SHOES!!!

  11. #11

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    Quote Originally Posted by laferney Road kid View Post
    Blisters. I noticed that on your great trip report but didn't want to reference the incident.

    So my question to you and anyone else, are blisters more common with children now in this decade in comparison to the 60's and 70s. On my December trip I had two college age adults traveling with me who developed blisters. Both of them were sedentary men. Does the sedentary life style of tv, video games and computers increase blisters because folks are not spending 4-8 hours every day in their shoes?

    As an old man, I always pack Pepito bismo, anti acid tablets, Vaseline jelly, sunglasses and a clock. But I never think to bring foot care because I wear the same shoes everyday nor have I ever suggested foot care to the families that I am helping plan their trip to Disneyland. Foot care is now on that list.
    My kids are anything but sedentary (did you see how they weren't ever physically touching the ground in the pics? Its like they float along). It was more so that her feat were FILTHY, and the dirt at the lip of her crocs (I think she was wearing crocs, or some other soft rubber shoe of the sort) irritated her skin. I cleaned her feat off and wiped out her shoes, and after I gave her feet a chance to recover, she was scooting around again without trouble. Trying to keep those kids clean is a chore. I'd just say moreso a combination of the shoe material and RUNNING everywhere with filthy feet did her in that day.

  12. #12

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Malina View Post

    And socks! So many people seem to eschew socks these days. If you're not wearing socks and you're walking all day, the insides of your shoes are going to be rubbing like sandpaper against your feet by the end of the visit...ergo, you're going to end up with more blisters.

    So if I were advising someone about a trip to the park, the one thing I'd tell them would be to wear comfortable walking shoes and good socks.
    .
    I couldn't agree with this more.

  13. #13

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    YES on the good shoes. I see so many at the parks wearing cheap flip-flops that provide NO support and me wonder how these people can bear to walk by the end of the day. The only time I ever wear flip-flops is a quick run to the mailbox or when I go get a pedicure.

    I always wear good sneakers with cushy socks. My Skechers have yet to fail me (and my worn out Adidas before that). Only time I get blisters now is sometimes when breaking in a new pair of shoes (usually cute dressy flats).

  14. #14

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    What didn’t work:
    • Letting the kids eat Cheez-its in the vehicle.
    Adding this to my parenting tips file...

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  15. #15

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    Re: Observations: what worked and what didn't work during our last trip

    I wore men's dress shoes both days without issue, but they are well broken in.

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