Calling all Mouseketeers!

Matt graduated from law school this month (YES! YES! YES!) and we’re going to celebrate.

We’re going to Disney World!

Other than my own visit as a teenager, we’ve never been.  I’m so excited, and a tiny bit overwhelmed by how to navigate the big wonderful world of Disney.  I need help from you experienced Mom travelers.


  • We are staying off-site in a condo that has a kitchen, 1.5 miles from Disney World.
  • We will have a rental car/van.
  • We will be in Orlando for 6 full days (including one Sunday)
  • Three children:  ages 7, 5, and 3.
  • We have a behavior plan currently in place where kids can earn “Disney dollars” they can use to purchase snacks or trinkets at the park.  Good behavior earns dollars, bad behavior loses them.  Pretty simple.

Questions: (answer any or all of them.  I’m “all ears.”  Get it?)

  1. How should we divide up 5 days between the 4 parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios)?  Please consider my kids’ ages and recommend what they’ll like the most/least.
  2. I don’t think we can afford to eat at Disney restaurants and such.  How realistic is it to eat off site or bring a lunch?  Could we “run home” and eat or is that really a 2-hour round trip?  Suggestions?
  3. I know about the “Fast Passes” you can use to come back later and not wait so long in line.  How does the “Ride Sharing” (thing where you and your husband can take turns going with/without children) work?
  4. Any great insider tips?
  5. What about must-see attractions, events, sites to see within the parks?
  6. Natalie is 3 and never uses a stroller any more.  Should I take one anyway?
  7. Anything I should pack that I probably haven’t thought of?
  8. Should I pay the upgrade for the park-hopper passes or is any one park going to easily occupy the full day?
  9. Anything you thought your kids would love and they didn’t?  I don’t want to waste my time.  I know for a fact they won’t like things like walking tours (for example, the Animation studios tour).
  10. I can’t think of another question, but name anything random you want me to take a picture of while we’re there and I’ll do my best.

p.s.  Don’t forget to join us in the Winter Poetry contest.  Entries due by Tuesday night.

Dear Wise Readers,

Just pretend that you’re Dear Abby (except with the kind of morals that you don’t tell people that they should be proud of the life they’ve chosen for themselves even though it’s riddled with sin and selfishness), and hit me with your best advice.  These are real questions, some dumber than others, that would greatly benefit from your insights.  Pick and choose, or if you’re infinitely smarter than I am, go ahead and answer them all.  (I made up little pseudonyms to sign off each question because maybe that will make you forget that there’s ONE person out there with all these issues.)


  1. Will my laundry situation improve or get worse if I buy more towels and sheets?  We seem to always be running out.  —MAYBE MORE IS BETTER
  2. I’ve been asked to give a talk in church on a big ol’ topic that could take hours to discuss, but I’ve been given 13 minutes.  How do you narrow it down without feeling like you’ve left out some really important stuff?  —CAN’T SHUT UP
  3. When I walk from room to room in my house and see huge projects that need to be done in each one, I get a little panicky and shut down.  I know you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time, but how can I get my brain to just think about the one bite instead of the whole blasted elephant?  —I THINK I’M GOING BACK TO BED NOW
  4. Another laundry question.  I have serious doubts about whether or not the clothes that come through the laundry are dirty or not.  I wonder if many of them have even been worn or if maybe they just fell off a hanger.  Is there any way to minimize this problem without being a 24-hour monitor that has to question and sniff each item of laundry as it is placed in the dirty-clothes pile?  —HAMPER GOALIE
  5. Does anyone have good ideas for cold-weather after-school snacks?  I keep trying to think of a warm snack, but everything I think of is cookies or desserts.  Any ideas for healthy, cozy after-school snacks I can use during the Winter months?— BECAUSE A BAGEL IS GETTING OLD
  6. I have a lot of dried beans in food storage and I really need to learn how to use them this year.  I love soups and stuff, but I never remember to use my beans in time.  They’re supposed to soak overnight, right?  How can I work them into my regular meal schedule?  —OVERWHELMED BY BUCKETS OF BEANS
  7. This one’s a little heavy, but how does one apply the Atonement to all the “little stuff”? It’s easier to identify the application when there are big issues, major sins, or heavy burdens.  I wish I understood better how to hand over all my small struggles (the recurring shortcomings or undeveloped attributes) and tap into the Savior’s ability to “fix” it.  Any thoughts?  —TRYING TO GET IT RIGHT