Tip Time: When we invited my mother to accompany us on this trip, we realized that we were going to need a little extra space, so we opted to book a larger room on the Club Level at Disney's Beach Club Resort. When you book a room at Club (or Concierge) Level, you have access to a private lounge that offers a daily continental breakfast, afternoon snacks, and an evening cocktail service. Although it was a fun experience, I would probably not stay on the Club Level again. Unless you plan to be at your hotel to take advantage of the afternoon/evening offerings every day, I don't think that it's worth the extra cost.
Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a "Breaking News" bulletin flashing across the television screen in the corner of the lounge. The bulletin was followed by a gigantic radar image of Hurricane Isaac, barreling on a trajectory that was now certain to graze the east coast of Florida. Although Orlando would not sustain a direct hit from Isaac, forecasters were warning that the storm would bring sustained, torrential downpours to the area, beginning the next day...the very day that we were planning to depart Disney World and drive east to Vero Beach for two days of relaxation before heading home. Nevertheless, I'd made a commitment several days earlier to enjoy every day of this vacation, hurricane or no hurricane. I will admit that it is against my very nature to "go with the flow", but I knew that, in this case, I was going to have to adapt to whatever came our way.
|Sadie and Rapunzel|
Tip Time: Although the fundamental purpose of a family vacation is to spend time with family, do not be afraid to split up occasionally at the theme parks, especially if you have children of different ages and genders. Parting ways for a few hours allows all family members to enjoy favorite attractions that may not appeal to others in the group. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for each parent to spend quality time with one or two children.
|Our first visit to the Pirate's League; note the happy expression|
Tip Time: It's easy to get caught up in the moment and overspend at Disney World, so set clear expectations for what you will and will not pay for...before you even leave home. We give our kids $20 each to spend how they wish on vacation; if they want to purchase a more expensive souvenir or book a pricy "experience", they must save their own money (weekly allowance, birthday money, etc.) to pay for it.
|Our second visit; note the change of attitude|
Next Up: Pirate Peril, Part Two
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