We had an amazing trip family trip to Disney this year. Even after over 40 trips I am always learning new things. Here is what I learned this time -
Popcorn bucket - they sell really cute popcorn buckets at the parks that tempt me every time. I am thinking about starting to collect them, but I really hate to gather up too much stuff and these popcorn buckets are large. But for this year we learned that you can get the less fancy popcorn buckets for $10 and then get refills for $2. For this hungry crew I have found that if I buy them two refills of popcorn before meals it makes them eat much less. I know that usually filling kids up on popcorn is not ideal nutrition, but at Disney we all get to carb load. $4 in popcorn makes the meal bill less and keeps the crew running longer. The popcorn bucket is durable and light weight to carry around.
Water Bottles - Disney gives you free ice water at any counter service restaurant. You just walk up to the check out lane and ask for 8 waters (that's how many we get at each meal). That saves us big money on buying soda's (I happily dumb those savings into fancy fluffy cocktails). I wanted larger water bottles to take into the parks. With a party of six we need a big water bottle to keep us hydrated on the hot June days. I researched and couldn't bring my cheap self to buy an expensive water bottle. We ordered these little pretties and they served us well. They are durable and stayed cool almost all day, we easily topped them off with water and ice when needed. I highly recommend these guys. I am setting them aside to only be used at Disney so they stay in good condition.
Cooling Towels - We actually learned this before. When you come to Disney in the hot months of the year, cooling towels are essential. You get them wet in the sink, ring them out, and then warp them around your neck. I wear mine like a shawl if I am really hot. I love them. They are essential to keeping me comfortable in the heat. I love this particular brand. They are larger and durable. (Durable is essential with the ferals.)
Mickey and Minnie Decals - I love little extra touches. Etsy is an addiction that I have to constantly talk myself out of giving in to. This year I let myself order these little decals for the sweetest little shop. The owner sent me my first order and included two free Minnie bows. I hadn't planned on bows and was so pleased with them I emailed her to get another one. I also asked her about her making a Minnie and mickey bow for my water bottles. Her prices are very affordable and her turn over time is so fast. We sleep, swim, everything in our magic bands and these decals held up so well.
Mobile Order - This is another one we figured out a few years ago. If you download the MyDisneyExperience App you should set up your mobile ordering option. You put a credit card on file and then at any park you login and pick a location to get food. You can place your order hours in advance. Modifying orders for picky eaters is easy. When you are near by where you want to eat you just tell the app you are there, they prepare your food, and you pick it up at the mobile window. There are plenty of tutorials online if you need for details. I highly recommend this.
Uber Eats - Being able to order food from quality restaurants and have it delivered to your room in wonderful. Disney is expensive. Disney food is really expensive. Feeding our crew at a counter service place is $60-$85 and that is without sodas or alcohol. We can easily order way higher quality food and have it delivered for the same amount to our room.
Instacart - Grocery delivery is a game changer for us. We are lucky enough to stay in Disney Vacation club rooms. For our crew we get a two bedroom, that has a full kitchen. Cooking on vacation is not my jam, but you easily could. We try to do at least two meals a day in the room, quick lunches and make your own breakfast us usually the way we do it. It also saves on our alcohol bill for use to have some beer and mix drink supplies in our rooms. We did a two week trip this time. We used Uber to take us to the store the morning after we arrived. Store run on vacation didn't sound fun to me but Josh found a store in a good area and taking the kids let them pick out what special treats they wanted (like Fanta). Mamma picked out a nice big bottle of rum to make mixed drinks with. About one week in we needed to refresh some of our supplies. I placed my first ever Instacart order as they don't deliver in to our farm. Instacart delivered beer to our hotel for us and left it with the front desk, plus the other food we needed. Disney charges you $6 plus tip to have your groceries delivered to your room. We asked for a room near the front just to make sure we could easily pick up UberEats or Instacart orders.
Light weight backpacks - we bought three light weight water proof backpacks on Amazon. They cost less than $15 each. They were durable (FERALS) and I loved the colors. Since they are water proof they are hot! Everyone who carried one would end up with a sweat mark that exactly matched where the backpack was touching them. Still, these where great to have. We could carry our ponchos for those monsoon style rainstorms that come through. We totes around our water bottles, sunscreen, cooling towels, and the magical popcorn bucket. The kids could carry their treasures, cards, and pressed penny kits.