I’m writing this post from sunny California where I’ve been since Saturday. While I’m wearing my work hat now, I landed in Orange County wearing my mom jeans, kids in tow. After a ten hour travel day, we grilled out by the hotel pool and explored Downtown Disney before settling in for the night after being awake for 20 hours! We spent the entire next day at Disneyland waiting in lines, enjoying all the attractions that my kids
wanted to were willing to ride, smiling with characters, overspending in the gift shop, and surviving on corn dogs. The next day of our trip we started off at Santa Monica Pier where I cleared my coin purse on games and rides at the arcade before we headed off to the Hollywood Hills. Somewhere along the way my five year old asked, “How come we’ve never lived in a mansion?” I responded with, “We go on more vacations then anyone I know. We spend our money on experiences.” How can you argue with that?
There is something magical about Disney and if Orlando and Anaheim are out of reach right now, that Disney magic can be found this week at Verizon Arena during their Disney on Ice show. If you’ve thought about going, here are some of my “Know Before You Go” tips.
1) Bundle up.
Okay, bundling up might be a bit extreme, but dress in layers. One for the temperature you might encounter from parking lot to arena entry and a whole different temperature when you are just yards from the ice covered floor. You will be so glad that you brought that cardigan or light jacket. I have even seen families with blankets.
2) Set yourself a spending limit.
Decide before you go what you are willing to spend on Disney on Ice swag and talk with your kids before you ever walk in the door. There seems to be no shortage of vendors just waiting to convince your kid that a snow cone can only be enjoyed in a souvenir cup. Fancy toys your kids will play with for a week, plushies you just can’t say no to, and mounds of pastel cotton candy. Prepare yourself. For our last Disney on Ice experience, I actually gave my daughter a brand new Elsa doll right before we walked in and she couldn’t have been more content. She was happy, my wallet was happy, and everyone won.
3) Leave your bags in the car or at home.
Remember that for the security of its patrons at Verizon Arena, no backpacks are allowed and bags can not be larger than 14x14x6″ size (one per person). No pocket knives are allowed, and you are asked to bring only necessary items. I like to wear pockets to hold my drivers license and credit card and leave the rest of my purse at home.
4) Be present in the moment.
I am really bad about the need to Instagram (@therockandafunplace) my whole life, but I would encourage you to take your shot, post your pic, and move on. The reason why we choose to fund experiences over
mansions things, is because nothing brings me more joy in life than to try and experience the world through the eyes of my children. I bet you one $12 snow cone that you will get as much joy out of Disney on Ice watching your kids eyes light up as you will watching the performance itself.