15 Dollar Store Must Buys for Your Disney Vacation!

Often times I am asked what to take or pack for a Disney Vacation and normally I will tell you about these items that are a “Must Buy” for your trip! As a family who travels often and not just to the World, I like to help save money and making a trip to the Dollar Store is normally something I do just before each trip! Even when I travel on my own, I still will go and purchase these several things before leaving and packing them in my luggage each time. Even if I don’t use them, I still have them available to me.

  1. Glow Sticks & Necklaces – I always buy these from the Dollar Tree because I hate paying for an item that my child is only going to use for one or two nights. I normally feel guilty paying the high dollar amount for the ones at the parks because Olivia will normally lose it. But if she misplaces the ones from the dollar store, then I’m not going to panic or get upset.
  2. Ponchos – Going to Disney can be expensive and sometimes having the dollar store ponchos in your park bag is something that you will need. I normally will purchase 3 for each person going because they do tear a lot but they come in handy for keeping a stroller dry or you dry if you happen to be at the parks and a rain storm comes up.
  3. Sandwich Bags and Gallon Size Bags – I normally keep plenty of gallon sized bags in my park bag because whenever we get onto a ride that has water, I will put my imporant things in there so they stay dry. And the sandwich bags we use for our keys or our wallets and even snacks for while were are there in the parks.
  4. Tissues and Wipes – This is something that we always get to have on hand. Whether it be for the ride down to Disney World or using the wipes while at the parks for my messy child when it comes to eating ice cream. Always good to have on hand no matter where you are.
  5. Hand Sanitizer – My husband is obsessed with making sure that his hands are clean and this is no exception especially when we are on vacation! This always goes inside our park bags!
  6. Souvenirs – Yes you can get quite a bit of things from the Dollar store that you can give your kids for either the ride down to the parks or for maybe each day that you get up and head to the parks. Something that my best friend and I did was each night after the kids went to bed, we laid a few things out along with a note from “Mickey Mouse” telling them that they are going to this park for the day and the item is for their day but they better be good! It worked like a charm too!
  7. Coloring Books – One thing that we always get is coloring books and markers or crayons. This helps for the long ride down and for the end of the day or middle of the day when you take a break from the parks. Sometimes keeping them inside your park bags is something to do as well for while your waiting for a ride or your table to be ready at meal time.
  8. Water Bottles – Getting the water bottles from the dollar tree is nothing to worry about. While you are in Florida, you will need to stay hydrated so having a water bottle for while you are in the parks. You can get free water at any quick service place and then when we get the ice water, just pour them into your water bottles you brought with you.
  9. Travel Size Medications – I normally will go and get some motrin and a few other items from the dollar store to keep in our bags for when we travel. This is something that I have always done and also having a small first aid kit helps too. You never know when someone will trip and fall or skin their knees up.
  10. Mesh Laundry Bag – We normally will take with us two mesh laundry bags to put our dirty clothes into and then will just pack them up when we are finished in one bag. This helps us keep the clean laundry separate from the dirty laundry.
  11. Toothbrushes – I will normally keep some new toothbrushes with us to use while there and when we leave, we just throw them away because we know we have our others at home. I can’t tell you how many times we have left a toothbrush or two there at the resort and didn’t realize it until we were almost home or at home.
  12. Snacks – We normally will get snacks for the ride down to Florida so we don’t have to make too many stops for food on the way down there. This helps out with food costs too down there. And we will have small snacks to take into the parks with us.
  13. Straws – Straws have become a thing we must take with us. Normally whenever we go to Animal Kingdom, Olivia likes to have regular straws to drink out of instead of the paper ones. This is one thing that we always do is pack some in a ziplock bag and take inside the parks with us. We do dispose of the straws where they need to be compared to being thrown on the ground.
  14. Pens & Markers – Another good thing to take along with you would be pens or markers for while you are in the parks. Sometimes this can be a good thing for you to have since having an autograph book for the kids or even yourself, your pen can run out of ink so having backups help!
  15. Gum – Whether you are flying or driving down for your family vacation, we always bring gum with us. Gum is NOT sold inside the park or anywhere on site so if you are used to having gum with you don’t forget it while at the dollar store!

If you’d like more information on booking a Disney Vacation for yourself or family please email me at charlotte@mainstreetmagicllc.com today!

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Food Allergies & Going to Walt Disney World

Do you have food allergies, or someone in your family has food allergies and you’ve been wanting to Walt Disney World? Afraid that you will have a reaction or your child? Don’t you worry about that when you go on a vacation especially to Walt Disney World or any Disney locations. The chefs at Disney take this matter serious and they make sure that you don’t get anything that you would be allergic to or any cross contamination!

As a person who has severe food allergies and we go to Disney often I felt that I would give you some tips that would help ease that fear of going on vacation with food allergies!

1. When you book or have your travel agent book your dining to please make sure you go to ‘Add Special Request’.

2. When you choose the ‘Add Special Request’, it will give you the option of putting in your Special Dietary Requests such as:

      • Peanut
      • Corn
      • Milk
      • Fish
      • Shellfish
      • Egg
      • Wheat/Gluten
      • Soy
      • Tree Nut
      • Other

3. Make sure that when you go to the restaurant to eat at to please make sure to tell the waitress as well that you have a food allergy at the table.

4. The chef will come out and talk to the person or parent of the person with the allergies. This is very important that you tell them everything that you are allergic to food wise and what happens if you eat it.

5. If you are at a buffet, the chef will personally take you up to the buffet and tell you what you can and can’t eat off the buffet and if there is something that you’d like that could be a cross contamination, they will make it for you in the back and bring out to your table.

6. Always remember that an allergic reaction can still happen and know that it is not the chefs fault and that sometimes it can just happen!

7. If you use a travel agent, please remember to tell them you have a food allergy as well.

8. Always remember that when you go on vacation to please carry and EpiPen with you and to take plenty of Benadryl.

9. There are first aid centers throughout each park so if you feel that you have forgotten your Benadryl for the day at your resort, you can head over there and they will be able to provide it for you.

10. Just enjoy your vacation and leave the stress up to your travel agent and the chefs!

As a person who has many reactions inside the parks, I know how it can feel if you have a reaction. Try not to panic of course, and if you can get some ice cold water with ice get some and sip on it. This will help you relax some and help with the reaction. Also if you have a reaction and you have say a dining later one, you will be able to cancel without a penalty. Just go to the resort or guest services and let them know. I have done this numerous times after having a reaction to something I ate. Now please don’t abuse this as it is a good thing to use for those who need it.

If you’d like to go to Walt Disney World and would love to experience it the food, fun and experience then please allow me to book your vacation needs!

~charlotte@mainstreetmagicllc.com

Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort

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Often I get asked what is my favorite Walt Disney World Resort and I have to say I have many. But the one resort that we continue to visit time and time again would have to be Port Orleans Riverside Resort. This resort will take you back into the Deep South and reminds me a lot of what it’s like to live in the south! Think of Steel Magnolias if you’d like!

We first tried this resort when I decided to run the 2015 Princess Half Marathon and it became a hit with just my husband and I. Then we returned that September to Port Orleans Riverside but in a Garden View and not the Royal Guest Room. I’m so glad we got to experience that side of the resort as well. Don’t let this resort fool you in thinking that it’s just a regular resort…this has a amazing feel and the rooms are just perfect for everyone! Here is a little more information on the resort:

  • Most Rooms can accommodate up to 4 guest plus 1 child under the age of 3 in a crib.
  • All rooms have 2 queen-sized beds or 1 king-sized bed.
  • Up to 5 Guests, including 1 child (ages 3-9) in a fold-down bed can be accommodated in the Alligator Bayou rooms.
  • There are 512 Royal Guest Rooms at the Resort but can only accommodate 4 guests!
  • Guests can enjoy the pool at Port Orleans Riverside and Port Orleans French Quarter!
  • Bike Rentals at Riverside so get your workout in while having fun!
  • Children’s pools and whirlpool spas at each resort hotel, fishing, campfire, arcade & recreation activites including Disney movies under the stars!
  • There is a casual dining location at Port Orleans Riverside called Boatwrights Dining Hall.
  • Quick Service Dining is available at both resorts too.

There is so much to offer at Port Orleans Riverside! If you are interested in staying at this resort or any of the other resorts at Walt Disney World please send me an email today at charlotte@mainstreetmagicllc.com to get started!

The Plaza Restaurant


Have you ever been to The Plaza Restaurant in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World? If not then maybe this is a restaurant that you should give it a try. I have come by this restaurant without a reservation on several occasions (which I highly recommend having before you come on your vacation) and they will have us seated with in a few minutes. My husband and I last ate at The Plaza Restaurant when we went to Walt Disney World for a Princess Half Marathon and we were kid free for this trip! The restaurant is located just off main street right behind Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. The restaurant is themed like it would be in the 1920’s and I love how it reminds me of something you’d see in the movie Pollyanna or Mary Poppins.


We arrived at the restaurant roughly around 6:15 pm and they were able to take us early even though our dining reservations weren’t until 6:35 pm. We had to wait about 10 minutes before they had a table ready for us but we still were able to eat a little sooner than planned. We were seated towards the back where the windows are and near the emergency door was located. I was able to watch the sunset and take some pretty amazing photos of Cinderella’s Castle during dinner!


For dinner, I chose the Grilled Ruben with the french fries and my husband chose the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger with the french fries.


We both ordered Cokes as our drinks and we both enjoyed a lovely dessert. I chose the Banana Split and my husband chose the Brownie Sundae. The food was absolutely amazing and this is a restaurant that we will continue to return to in the future. The service was good as well that night although our server I believe was new and so was moving a little on the slower side. Nonetheless we enjoyed our meal that night and we shall return to The Plaza Restaurant!


If you are looking for a great sit down meal and still want a non-character meal then give The Plaza Restaurant a try on your next visit to Walt Disney World!

Allow me to help you plan your vacation to Walt Disney World today! Contact me at charlotte@mainstreetmagicllc.com.

 

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Walt Disney World & Kids with Autism

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Have you been concerned about taking your child to Walt Disney World because they are on the Autism Spectrum? Does it worry you that you won’t be able to handle the meltdowns when they occur in the parks or that you won’t be able to handle the crowds or wait times for the rides? Don’t worry because Walt Disney World is fully ready for all those who are on the spectrum and ready to help when in need.

For those who don’t know, my daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorder and was diagnosed with it about 3 years ago. She also was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder which normally accompanies Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have been going to Walt Disney World since 2010 and have been dealing with the meltdowns, driving people nuts in lines and probably the cast members too by her not standing still and twirling so much it makes everyone sick. But since her diagnosis we have learned about a few things that have seemed to have helped with going to Walt Disney World a lot easier and I thought I would share those with you all now!

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  1. Get the Disability Access Service. This alone has saved us and many others from having to sit and listen to the meltdowns, whining of having to wait too long and singing and non stop chatter for who knows how long. We didn’t find out about this until 2014 and it was a blessing in disguise for our family. Under the HIPAA Law, Walt Disney World is NOT allowed to ask for documentation showing that your child has it, but please do not abuse this service! This is for those who really need it. This will allow you to go to the ride, be given a time to come back, come back and ride the ride. It does work in conjunction with your fastpasses so that is good.
  2. Go During Fall, Winter, Non-Holiday Vacations and Spring Seasons. We have found that going during the non-peak seasons, you will have less of a chance for meltdowns, long wait times and crowded parks. Also if you choose to do a special event such as Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to do it on a Tuesday or Thursday. If you do it on any other day then it will be very busy and could cause for meltdowns.
  3. Stay in a Walt Disney World Resort. If you stay in a Walt Disney World Resort, then if your child is say sleepy and needs to go back for a while to take a break from the parks then you have an easy access out. Just catch a bus, monorail or boat ride on over to whatever resort you are at and take that break. If you stay off-site then you would have to take the ferry back to the area and then go back to you car and make that ride and meltdown even longer. Not worth it really.
  4. Try to Eat During Non-Peak Times. We have found that eating at non-peak times is the best. Try to eat either a little earlier than you normally would or a little later than you would at home. This way it’s less crowded inside the restaurant and you won’t have a meltdown or issue. Also if your child has a Sensory Processing Disorder as well and only will eat off the kids menu like mine still does, then just tell the waiter or waitress and they will help you.
  5. When Viewing Fireworks, Bring Headphones. When it’s time to watch the fireworks and your child may be sensitive to hearing the loud booms of the fireworks. Then maybe bringing some noise cancelling headphones will help out. My daughter has a pair that you would use for when going shooting and those work great for her. You can grab them at your local Walmart or sporting goods store. Also try and find a good spot that isn’t too crowded as well.
  6. Where to go when a Meltdown Hits. If your child does happen to get a meltdown and your not able to get them calmed down due to the crowds, you can take them into a baby care center. Just let them know that you are there due to your child having ASD and as soon as they are calm quietly leave. Sometimes just having that quiet time helps in getting them settled and calm a little quicker. Also, try and find a cool place like maybe a ride or a show would help calm them down. Try taking them for a ride on the People Mover in Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom. What a great ride to just sit back and relax and allow them to calm down. Also having something as a security helps out a lot too. Like a stuffed animal, toy, blanket or stroller. For our daughter it was her stroller as her safety whenever she had a meltdown.
  7. Just have Fun! Just have fun no matter what happens! You can leave the planning up to me so you don’t have to stress out about the planning of the dining, where you will be for the days and the fastpasses. You can allow me to handle all of that but just allow yourself to relax and enjoy your family vacation! Have fun and be a kid yourself while on your trip! Who said you too had to act like an adult all the time? Kids of all ages are there every day at Walt Disney World and we all have a kid inside us at all times! It’s OK to skip down Main Street or Sing along with the characters in the shows! Just have fun!

 

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Allow me to help you plan your stress free, family fun trip to Walt Disney World today!

Contact me today!

~charlotte@mainstreetmagicllc.com

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Set Sail with Disney Cruise Line and get an On-board Credit!

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Have you ever been on a cruise with Disney Cruise Line before? Is this something that you have been wanting to try and enjoy a relaxing vacation with your family? Then why not give it a try and book a 4 night or longer cruise with Disney Cruise Line today! I can book your vacation for you and even give you a little extra to help you have fun while on-board the ship! If you book a 4 night minimum cruise with Disney Cruise Line with me from now until 10/31/17 then I will give you a $50 on-board credit for you to enjoy while on the ship!

How amazing is that offer? While I don’t offer larger amounts, I will give you the $50 obc and I will give you excellent customer service! I will make sure that you have the best trip that you can have. I look forward to working with you and helping you have a magical trip! Ready to book your vacation or want a free quote then please email me at charlotte@mainstreetmagicllc.com today to get started!

Universal Studios Orlando


Last month I went to Universal Studios Orlando for the first time since 1998 when it was only Universal Orlando! Way back before There was Islands of Adventure or even Volcano Bay! I have to say it’s has changed quite a bit since then and for the better! I will say I was a little upset when I went because I wanted to ride the Twister ride but that has been long gone for years now. I was happy that E.T. was still there and Olivia found it creepy as all! 


We were able to take advantage of using the Attraction Assistance Pass because my daughter needed it. She has Austim Spectrum Disorder and so going to parks during the summer has always been a struggle for her. She normally can’t handle it because she can’t wait in long lines at all. She also has sensory issues and so some of the rides just weren’t going to do with her. We went to Guest Services which is right by the front entrance and was able to get the pass. There were several people who were turned away from the pass due to them saying things that they could tell were untrue. I actually came into the park with my daughters paperwork from the doctors. It was also a very hot day and needless to say many people weren’t happy to be there. The AAP allowed us to go into the express pass lines if the wait time was 30 minutes or less and if it was longer than that then we were given a time to come back and enjoy the ride. We were pretty lucky and didn’t have to wait out for a ride except for one ride but it was closed due to bad weather. 


We did enjoy some snacks while we’re there and we enjoyed a giant donut that was delicious!!! We shared it but I’m gonna be honest I could have eaten all by myself! The best deal for the day was we got a refillable mug for $14 each and we got free refills on soda and icees all day long! Couldn’t have asked for a better deal and I’m the long run it saved us a ton of money there alone! This is something I highly recommend for anyone who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money on drinks for the day they are there. 

And if you want to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and want to ride Hogwarts Express then you will need a Park to Park ticket so you can go to both parks. We enjoyed our time in that area and my daughter and niece loved the theming but my daughter was having meltdowns due to the amount of people packed in there. 


The rides were really fun and while we only got to ride a few it was nice to just hang out for a while. The one complaint that I have is that most of the thrill rides are not “fluffy” friendly. Now I’m not a big person by any means but I have to say after being pushed down into one of the rides so that I could ride with my daughter. And they only have one seat on the thrill rides for larger people. But that was my only complaint for the whole trip there. I highly suggest this park if you love Harry Potter! 
If you are interested in going to Orlando and head to Universal Studios Orlando please email me at charlotte@mainstreetmagicllc.com to get your Free Quote or to book your package. 

Volcano Bay is Open!

On May 25, 2017, Volcano Bay opened up in Orlando, FL. I saw the opening ceremony of the park and let me just say this park looks amazing!!! I was hoping that Universal Studios would come out with a new park and this one is just as amazing as their other two parks in Orlando. Volcano Bay has many new rides that just amaze me in what they look like. Universal Studios did an amazing job on this park and I hope that I will get to visit it this summer will make the whole week better!

My question to you my clients is…When you go to a Waterpark..what is a MUST do while there? Mine is definitely the Lazy River! I could spend all day in there and the wave pool!

New Destinations!

I recently went to training for Sandals & Beaches Resorts and am now a Certified Sandals & Beaches Specialist! Sandals and Beaches Resorts are all-inclusive! That means that your food, drinks and water sports are all included!!! How amazing is that?

In addition to being able to book Sandals and Beaches Resorts, I am now offering Universal Studios Packages and tickets. And SeaWorld and Busch Gardens as well! I mean let’s be honest those are so pretty amazing destinations and make great family vacations for all!

I remember when I was younger going to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA for many summers! We either went camping or we stayed in a resort. Either way great memories were made there! Another big annoucement is I am going to Universal Studios in June! I have been there back in 1998 but haven’t been back since! I would love to be able to book you and your family for a vacation at Universal Studios! Plus they have a new waterpark opening up on May 25, 2017!!! This is like no other waterpark and will have to be checked out for sure! Let me help you out on all your traveling needs!

Carnival Cruises!!!

Did you know that I can now book Carnival Cruises? How exciting is that? I have been working hard and trying to accommodate everyone who is looking for a cruise but didn’t want to do a Disney Cruise! I’m also in the process of getting certified through Sandals Resorts as well! So many good changes happening in my travel agency business and I hope that I am able to help you find the right vacation for you and your family or spouse! There are a lot of good promotions out there and I don’t want you to miss out on them! If you’re interested in taking a cruise please allow me to help you out!