1. Swimwear is not a proper undergarment for your clothes (but its better than nothing! and there was a lot of that) Disney will not let you strip off your shirt and do a ride in your bathing suit...so why wear it? There were 3 or 4 young ladies that decided to ride Pirates of the Carribean in their swimsuit tops and not only was there a very loud announcement at the end of the ride for them to put their shirts back on, when they ignored it, a Disney Castmember stopped them and required them to redress before leaving the area. (Disney does not have employees, they have Cast Members)
2. You don't have to eat their food everyday. You can take your own picnic and eat in the park. We aren't the only ones who did this. We did get a treat everyday, either ice cream (love the Mickey ice cream sandwiches) or popcorn. Somedays we ran out of water for our bottles and had to buy some, thats pricey. I don't like water fountains, so that wasn't an option. They seem too germy and nasty to me.
3. Parents have alot to do with their own childs actions and meltdowns. If your little angel is reaching the end of his/her rope, take a break. Find some air conditioning and chill out. Lots of parents have the attitude of "I paid a lot of money for your ticket and we are doing everything"...I heard this or similar statements more than once last week. Take it easy, relax, have fun and enjoy yourself. Make memories.
4. Your lack of planning for a parade seat is not my problem. I discovered that I still have very strong curb territorial issues at Disney. If we have been sitting there for over an hour....you can't just plop in front of us, I will complain. And you shouldn't use my daughters wheelchair as a prop to lean against..an Oriental woman took exception to me not letting her drape herself over Katie's wheelchair. Oh well, too bad. Now, I will let and encourage any small children to get closer so they get a good view of the parade but their multi-generational family can forget it. Like I said..territorial issues.
5. The characters are scary to some children. Amy was petrified the first time I took her (week of her 1st birthday). However, I have great pictures of me and the characters while Amy is keeping a wary eye on them and making sure they don't invade her space! I would hold the baby and get the picture taken. Wouldn't trade them for anything.
6. I have visited Disney over the years in March, April, May, June, August, Sept. Oct. & Nov. I am not sure what the best time to visit would be. April did seem to be warm but not too hot. I would love to go in December sometime and see all the decorations. That, to me, would be lots of fun.
7. James was 18 months old his first Disney visit, Allen was 15 months old and Amy was almost 12 months old. I have taken babies, toddlers, elementary age and high schoolers and every trip has been enjoyable. This was the first trip with 3 teenagers and we had a great time together. They could get in lines and ride by themselves. They rode with us and we all switched for a variety of riders. They didn't get fussy or whiny. They can offer constructive ideas for activities and help tote stuff. We all had a good time together, from ages 13 (Amy) to 70 (my mom). There is no perfect, magical age for Disney enjoyment. I would like to go with just Greg sometime and wander to our hearts content. And I would love to go with any future grandchildren we are blessed with and have magical fun!
8. Let your kids earn their own spending money for the trip. They are more frugal with their purchases when its their money being spent. Amy did alot of Christmas shopping there and spent her own money. They all got treasures that they really wanted. Greg and I bought them Mouse t-shirts for the trip. And our lovely, indulgent Granny bought some goodies for them too. (I think Amy could talk her into just about anything - except for that pony).
9. I have stayed on property a couple of times and really liked it. You can park your car for the week and it never leaves the parking lot...you can ride the bus, or tram, or monorail, or boat or whatever to the different parks. Sometimes there are special hours before or after for "on property guests". I know many folks who say they won't go if they can't stay on property, buy their meal tickets, etc. Kinda silly to me, but to each his own. We stayed in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, condo, 5 minutes from the front gate. We didn't have any trouble getting in or out of the parking lots. For the 6 of us to go and stay on property, we would've had to have 2 hotel rooms and our costs would have skyrocketed. I've done it both ways...and I like both ways. Might want to take the RV down there and camp "on property" at their campgrounds sometime.
10. Make sure everyone gets to do what they want in each park. Our last couple of days were spent strolling and having a calm time. Katie, Amy and Will each had ample time to ride whatever they wanted and some rides more than one time. Will and Greg really liked "Test Track" at Epcot and rode it 3 or 4 times. Katie even joined them the last time. The Fast Pass is great and a really good way to ensure that you ride what you want. We got them for both rides on Splash Mountain and it saved several hours of line waiting time.
Have fun, wave to a mouse, enjoy your family, leave your worries at home, watch a parade, bite the mouse ears off an ice cream sandwich, fly over Neverland, take a Viking ship through Norway, eat your way around Epcot (we did twice - super yum).