yessss...i have a feature for you today! it's shelly from the queen in between!

and friends - she has a treat for you today! she's talking all about her recent family disney world trip...which is extremely valuable to me considering i'm desperately trying to twist my farmer's arm into taking his first born in october for her birthday.

so here's the deal - on my blog shelly has detailed all the dos. on her blog she's telling you all about the do nots about taking a trip to disney world. it's a two-parter, people...and totally worth the read!

and if that wasn't enough - shelly is active on instagram. she posts wonderful outfit inspiration for all of us who...are...ummm...challenge in that area.

me. it's me. i'm challenged in that area.

not only that...but she's giving one of you the chance to win some glorious rod an + fields self tanner. (you can find that at the bottom of this post!)

now...i bring you HRH (her royal heighness) - shelly of the queen in between!

I'm super excited to be sharing with Karli on September Farm today!  We recently took a quick trip to Orlando and spent a few days at Disney World so I thought this would be the perfect chance to share some of my tips for creating a magical experience for your family.  

Do choose a time to visit during a non peak period.  The very busiest times for Disney are the week after Christmas, Spring Break and summer.  While your kids are young take the opportunity to pull them from school and head to Disney when the crowds are low.  

Do arrive before the park opens!  I cannot tell you how big of a deal this is.  If you arrive early you will make it through the gates and be allowed to wander just inside which will allow you to take a few pictures, etc before the official opening time.  This way you don't waste valuable time when the rides are open for business.  

Do buy your tickets ahead of time.  This is pretty much a given for most people planning a multi-day vacation but we are Disney marathoners and have mostly done Disney in a day type outings.  The sooner you can plan your trip the better because as soon as you have those tickets you can immediately begin scheduling your daily Fast Pass.  Read up and understand the Fast Pass you will be so happy you did! 

Do study the park map and become familiar with the layout.  The parks are large and you can waste so much valuable time wandering from area to area if you are not aware.  So much information is on the internet to help you plan and I would definitely suggest reading up.  Specifics down to where to stand for parades, fireworks, etc will be so helpful.  When we went to Disneyland I remember a suggestion to watch the parade near the area where the princesses are available to meet and as soon as the parade passed we jetted over and there was no wait. 

Do go left!  I thought this was a slightly odd piece of advice but it is so true.  Most people instinctively will head to the right upon entering the park.  Study up and head left and you will find a much emptier area at the beginning of the day.  

Do download Disney apps.  The Disney Experience app held all of my fast pass info at a glance and actually was critical at one point when my actual band was not showing I had a fast pass.  The gate attendant was able to see the data on my app and see the FP was unused and let me right through. The Disney wait times app was also very helpful especially when noting a ride was closed.  

Do take snacks!  Disney allows you to bring food in so take advantage.  There will be some rides and character lines you will have to wait at least some time in which is the perfect time to have snacks ready for your family.  We ate a big breakfast at the hotel but skipped a traditional lunch and instead drank plenty of water and ate snacks. I carry a backpack with a water bottle for each member which can be refilled, nuts, beef jerky, goldfish, etc.  

Do purchase My Photo Pass package ahead of time as it is cheaper than if you wait until after your trip.  With the Photo Pass anytime you see a park photographer (lots of them!) they will take your picture and with just a scan of your ticket or wrist band the picture will be loaded to your account.   You can still have your pictures taken and sent to your account but buying the package is definitely the way to go.
Do take a break in the afternoon.  The crowds will become larger as the day goes on so plan an afternoon break.  Leave the park and head back to your hotel for some swimming and naps to be sure everyone is ready to head back and finish off the night at the park.  You don't want to miss the fireworks! 

Do dress comfortably.  There will be lots of walking (I logged over 18K steps both days) and be prepared for layers depending on the time of year.  Watch the forecast and plan accordingly if there is a high rain chance.  Rain will not be a fun killer unless you are not prepared.  I packed ponchos and flip flops in my bag the first day just in case.   So many rides are actually inside so rain will not shut them down.  

Do bring your best patient mom attitude!  Kids will get tired, there will be other people there who are not like you and every attraction may not be for every member of your family.  Losing your cool will surely have your kids telling stories about "that one time mom cried at Disneyland" for years to come. 

The Disney Tourist Blog has endless information and pretty much all the "insider" tips that will definitely make your trip more magical.  

Now.....if you want to see what not to do head on over to read the Disney Don'ts here.  

Thanks so for having me today on Sept. Farm, Karli!

now get yourself entered to win some self tanner!


in other news....

friends! i'm always looking for wonderful new blogs to feature here on Sept. Farm. if you would love to see your beautiful face here all written up with a shiny bow...i'm your gal! check out my ad space options

and ps. you may have noticed i've done away with my group giveaways. are you applauding or a little miffed? either way...i have some good news - if you want to get in on a feature post but at a discount, i can totally help you out.

40% off 4 X FEATURE - code GROUP40

want your very own feature all to yourself? yes and yes...

30% off GET IN THERE, GIRL feature post - code FEATURE30