Friday, March 2, 2012

Magical Blogorail Yellow- Spring Break Survival Guide



Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Yellow.  Enjoy the ride as we share with you our Disney Parks Spring Break Survival Guide.




Granted, most of the country has enjoyed a mild winter, but many of us still will find it difficult to look at their January and February calendars and not dream of sunshine, tank tops and pool time. This week marks the official start of the college spring breaks, which will continue until after Easter.  A few years back we were in dire need of photo therapy, and so we took our kids to Walt Disney World during Holy Week.  As I stood in line at Pecos Bill for lunch one day, (purposely waiting until 3:30 pm, the supposed "lull" in food service), I found the words "never again" forming on my lips.  You see, we were getting drenched on that queue because it had extended to the splash zone at Splash Mountain.  90 minutes later we had our hot dogs (and soggy shoes) and I knew there had to be a better way.  Lesson learned.  And so it is that Blogorail Yellow will offer up our "Spring Break Survival Guide".  For parents who have no choice but to schedule a Disney vacation around their children's holiday school break- there is a way.  Never say never again!!


Dining Survival


Hey, no matter how much importance you give to the dining experience, you have to eat! Depending on your budget and priorities, here are some strategic dining strategies:


Avoid mutiny at all costs!!
Advanced Dining Reservations  Perhaps simple and straightforward enough, but to avoid the above scenario at all costs, I would not go to a Disney Park during Spring Break unless I had an ADR for all 3 meals a day.  If you have money to burn, this is an obvious choice to preserve your sanity.  The Deluxe, Premium or Platinum Disney Dining plans may save you a bit of change if you go this route.  If you are an Annual Passholder, a Florida resident, or a Disney Vacation Club member, a Tables in Wonderland program will provide a 20% discount on food and beverage at most restaurants.  Trust me, you will welcome that table-service experience as a respite from the madding crowd.  (The air conditioning will be your friend as well...)




Breakfast  The best way to begin your day, literally, is to make those ADR's for a Character Breakfast in the Park, before the Park even opens (most offer 8:00 am bookings).  You'll have a wonderful time, get those prized autographs, and then get a jump on the crowds when you're done.  Of course, if you have a stocked fridge, you can always eat in your room.




Room service will also do the trick, but I would strongly suggest that you place your order the evening before, using the handy card in your room that gets placed on your door knob. Otherwise, be prepared to wait an hour or more for your food...




Go to a nearby resort for lunch.  Just a short monorail, boat or stroll away, these restaurants will never be as crowded (in case you broke the ADR rule), and will provide some great and unique food choices.  A nice cross-section for you:  Whispering Canyon Cafe, complete with comedic entertainment, (Wilderness Lodge); Trail's End buffet or now a la carte service, (Fort Wilderness); Gasparilla Grill, with the added bonus of arcade games for the kiddies, (Grand Floridian); Big River Grille, it's a brewery for goodness sake, (Boardwalk).




Have lunch by your Resort pool.  This trumps the above.  You will really feel like you are vacationing in Florida if you take a cool dip, pull up a lounge chair, and order one of those umbrella drinks!  Our favorite lunch-by-the-pool spots:  Cabana Bar & Beach Club (Swan & Dolphin); Hurricane Hannah's Grill (Stormalong Bay- Beach & Yacht Club); Paddock Pool (Saratoga Springs).  Of course, you have to be staying at these resorts to enjoy their pools, but you can factor this in when booking your room reservations.


The soft cooler.  If you have little ones who simply must eat as soon as they are hungry, play it safe and BYO.  Whether you bring food from home, shop on your way from the airport, or have your groceries conveniently delivered to your room, you can stock an in-room fridge with your favorite bread, cold cuts, fruit, yogurt etc.  If you are not staying in a Disney Deluxe or Moderate Resort, there may be a small daily charge to rent a refrigerator. 


Any one of these suggestions will save you time standing in the sun, unnecessary tears (yours) and aggravation.  Don't sweat the food stuff!  Book away!!




Thank you for joining me today.  Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Jackie at Delightfully Disney.



Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:
1st Stop ~ DIStherapy



                              

10 comments:

  1. I can't imagine standing in line that long to eat! My kids would go bonkers! Looks like your boys were past being irritated, lol. Excellent advice!

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    1. Thanks Jodi- and just when I thought I had seen it all at WDW! That experience changed the way I prepare for crowds at WDW, for sure!!

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  2. Great tips! As a mom of three little ones, we always have snacks in our bag to be sure we don't have any dining disasters! :-) ADRs are definitely the way to go!

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    1. Yes! And when my sensory son was younger, we absolutely did not leave the room without his survival kit: raisins, cinnamon raisin bagel and OJ- every day, every way.

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  3. Awesome info!! We have been discussing taking a trip to Disney, but we're thinking we should wait a few more years. We have a 4m old, almost 2yr old and a 6yr old. Lots of info above that we never knew. Thank you! And snacks are ALWAYS in our diaper bag! We often have more snacks then other things as my almost 2 yr old often wont eat normal food/meals.

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    1. Oh my, that sounds familiar! My younger son did not eat "normal" food until he was 10; you learn to always come prepared, right? Please stop by again, and ask away!!

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  4. Great tips! We love Disney during Spring Break!

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    1. Thanks Lindsey- it just takes an adjusted mindset, right? :D

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  5. Loved seeing this loop again!! Thanks for Riding the Rails this week.

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    1. Yes Mary- it was one of my favorites; it's so nice to have a reason to revisit it!!

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