2.) Wet socks and underwear feel gross (from FL showers and water rides)! Bring a pair for each member of the family and store in a ziplock bag in the diaper bag or backpack.
3.) If you don't need a stroller other than inside the parks, rent them for $13 a day when you prepay.
4.) You will save lots of money staying at Shades of Green Hotel if you're military. However, it does not have an airport shuttle service. You'll pay about $40 each way for a van shuttle service. It can still be the cheapest way. The hotel has a bus service to the Monorail station (what you ride to get to Magic Kingdom and Epcot). They have a bus service to Animal Kingdom, Downtown Disney, and Hollywood parks. Starting in May, they will do a 100% ID check on the buses coming back to the SOG hotel from all parks. The rooms do not have microwaves, but they do have mini refrigerators.
5.) Let children sleep if they fall asleep in the stroller. Mom and Dad can use the parent swap option where one stands in line and receive a voucher for the other parent to ride the next turn.
6.) Try to coordinate your child's character t-shirts with the characters they meet and take photos with. My child did not wear his Buzz Lightyear T-shirt on the day he met Buzz. He instead wore it on the day he met Mickey. Sigh.
7.) Buy the CD for $100. You can have the photographers through all four parks take unlimited pictures of you with ALL FAMILY MEMBERS in the photos and put them on your Photo Pass. Awesome!
8.) You cannot do it all. Pick your must see and must ride attractions ahead of time. If you have multiple kids consider giving each one their day. Their park, rides, food picks, etc. for the day. I actually suggest you do this in life. It will help with meals, who sits where, and who gets to stir the batter type every day dilemmas. Of course right now, everyday is Caden's day.
NEW!!! WHAT TO TAKE ON THE PLANE FOR YOUR TODDLER (HOTEL PLAY TOO)
-Something to write draw on and with (crayons, mini pencils--small and fun, duel sided crayons--fewer items, still a variety of colors). Small note books or flip books are great too. (pictured above)
-Color Wonder items are great. No color shows up unless they touch the special paper. (pictured above)
-Dry erase board with special erasable crayons or markers. (pictured below)
-Magnetic play book. (see pictures above and below)
-Dum Dum lollipops. Helps with ear discomfort to be sucking on something. Soothes a cranky toddler while waiting in long Disney lines too.
-Snacks. Some "safe" and familiar and some new to gain their attention. Our new snack was yogurt covered raisins. Our safe snack was Gold Fish crackers.
-Don't bother bringing juice or milk in your diaper bag or carry on. The make you either toss it at security or stand there while they open and test each one. Your hotel should have a convenience store or a market near by. After you get through security at the airport, you can buy drinks and lunch.
-A Nabi, tablet, portable DVD player or lap top for playing movies and games, if your child is a techie.
-Paint with water products. We love Crayola's My First Crayola mess free finger paint and water color board. (See picture below)
-Window cling stickers if you have a window seat.
-Velcro strips for little hands to adhere and rip apart again.
-Button practice homemade toy (see picture below)
-Marble maze homemade toy (see picture below)
-Felt board with simple pieces (see picture below)
-Math button board (see picture below)
-Magna-Doodle board (pictured below)
-Alphabetic trace magnetic boards (pictured below)
-Brain Quest trivia cards (pictured below)
-Sensory balloons for 1-2 year olds. Fill with either rice, beans, or sand. Little hands like to squeeze and mash. (pictured below)
-Finger puppets to take turn putting on simple plays. (pictured below)
-Homemade paint sample sight word match (pictured below)
-Flashcards on a ring (pictured below)
-Travel Aqua Doodle (pictured below)
-Stuck On Story Books (pictured below)
-Pipe cleaners to make bracelets and sculptures.
-Temporary tattoos (all you need is a napkin an water)
-"Fill a cup first" game. Prep ahead with paper, straws, and cups or wing it and ask for some napkins cups, and straw(s) on the plane. Tear napkin into equal sizes. If two players, give each player two cups, a straw, and the same amount of napkin or paper pieces in one of their cups. The first one to transfer their pieces to the empty cup wins. You must use a suck and blow type approach to move your paper pieces to the empty cup.
Homemade marble maze
Finger puppets (most from Ikea)
Homemade button practice toy
Homemade paint sample sight word match
Flashcards on a ring
Paint with water reusable books
White board with dry erase crayons
Math button board
Magnetic Tracing Alphabet Boards
Travel Aqua Doodle
Stuck on stories books (figures have suction cups to sick to book and other flat surfaces)
Crayola Finger Paint and Water Paint Board (front)