Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome To All!

(This post was last updated on September 24, 2012)

Hi, curious onlookers. Thank you for stopping by Take The Monorail!

As a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, I've had to make the transition from "adult traveler" to "parent traveling with small children," and I found myself seeking lots of advice before I took that first step with my children. There are many sites out there with bits of information on it, but none suited my style very well, so I ended up learning a lot on my own.

So, I give you a place to discuss the real ins and outs of taking a trip to Disney. What do you really need to pack? How valuable is a stroller? Where should we eat? Should we drive a car, catch a bus, or Take The Monorail?! My posts will focus on planning trips for children and families a great deal. But I won't limit it to that. Sure, we'll cover the basics, but hopefully we can branch out into the minutia that those of us who are seasoned Disney travelers have already learned the hard way.

This blog was started in 2009. It was designed by April Baker of the Land of Melted Clocks blog, and although she is a huge Disney fan, I recommend you check out her other blogs devoted to toys and crafts as well. 

You will see us update and republish our previously published material and then add new content regularly. We are partnering with Spins The World to bring you some insider tips on the parks from folks who live there. We also will invite guest bloggers to post from time to time on areas of their expertise. 

We'll use labels to identify age groups for our various posts (Toddlers, Young Preschoolers, Early Readers, etc.). We'll also try to delineate the basics from more advanced, detailed ideas that may be less important for those taking that first or second trip and more relevant for those who travel regularly and are looking for new ways to make their trips special. Those just starting to plan or working on their first trip, might want to stick with the "First-Time Wand Wavers" posts. These will be devoted to early planning tips and essentials for anyone's basic trip. To then add some special, simple extras to your trip, check out the "Amping Up The Pixie Dust" posts. Finally, for the more advanced planners in the room who have experienced Disney Vacations several times now, the "Ultimate Magic" should give you some even lesser known secrets to enhance your next trip.

Our index in the sidebar should help you locate exactly what you need.

And this is intended to be interactive. We are hoping some of our veteran Disney Community fans as well as anyone just stopping by for the first time will comment and participate in posts so that we can all benefit from many points of view. Leave your comments and questions freely... they may inspire future posts!

And just who am I?

I am a traveler who is also a wife and mother. I enjoy all kinds of travel, but Disney Destinations are a particular favorite of mine. I have been to Disneyland in California twice, Disneyland Paris once (many years ago), Hong Kong Disneyland once (recently), and the Walt Disney Resort in Florida more than twenty times. I have been a passenger aboard Disney Cruise Lines four times and have also visited Disney's Hilton Head resort a number of times. After working in libraries and library management for twenty years, I hung up my hair bun and comfortable shoes to open my own travel agency called Outlander Travel. I am not employed by the Walt Disney Company or its affiliates. The opinions and advice in this blog are mine and those of my guests and readers.

Let's just see where this leads us, shall we? Grab a seat, Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas, and join us as we Take The Monorail to a wonderful Walt Disney World vacation! We look forward to riding the monorail with you...



Greg said...

Ah, the first comment. Congratulations on your new blog. I look forward to stopping in now and then.

NEO said...

Elizabeth and April!
This is great! Keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

Are we allowed to bring food and drinks with us?

Elizabeth said...

Only in sippy cups.

Unknown said...

I'm excited to see what great tips and advice gets dispensed on this blog. It couldn't have launched at a better time with Nancy and I going from zero kids to two in one fail swoop

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your new really is awesome!

jen said...

This is terrific--congrats, you guys! I can't wait to see all the info and advice (and pictures!) posted here as your blog develops. I'm planning a Disney trip (next year, maybe?) for my whole family, including a niece and nephew the same age as your kids, Elizabeth--I have no doubt I'll find this an indispensable resource as the planning progresses. Great job!

Unknown said...

My college-aged daughter is reading over my shoulder and insisted I add this piece of advice to your wonderful weblog: Expect and be prepared for the inevitable "Disney meltdown."
It happens at least once to all members of the family while at Disney and when you know the warning signs you can allow it to happen respectfully and quickly and with compassion. In her words, it happens to children at the point when sensory overload combines with sugar-induced buzz bottoming into a trough meets with a simply-phrased request which tilts the brain into overload.
Her advice is to step out of the queue or restaurant or wherever you are. Hold your child lovingly and closely. Speak in soothing tones about how it's ok to be overwhelmed while reminding him or her that you love them so very much. (In other words, this is not the time to match the child's meltdown with that calculation that at Disney rates, her 10-minute outburst cost the family $126.74 based on what you've shelled out for this vacation.) Sing that song you sing him to sleep with, or just hold your child and gently rock him until he regains compusore at his speed. (This is no time to multitask. And besides, you're modeling excellent behavior for all the other parents.)
Choosing to stray from the plan or return to the room is cast in the light of a great idea for everyone, not a punishment for Little Miss Crankypants' outburst. (We have found that each park has a place or two where the family can enjoy a measure of peace and quiet...for instance, in the Magic Kingdom the little theater tucked behind the Kodak area is an excellent place to sit, cool off, and even watch cartoons until composure has been regained.)

By the way, this middle-aged dad and his college-aged daughter did the Magic Kingdom this past July 4 from opening (8am) until closing (1am) and found that the little cinema is still a great place to head to when nerves are on edge and too much sun has been absorbed and stimuli are too stimulating. She napped for over an hour, as did I. Refreshed and recharged, we ventured back out happier and ready for more adventures.
It's great to have a plan and even better to respect everyone's need to stray from the plan whenever necessary. :-)

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for your wonderful comments, ptsjr! We have a plan for an "inevitable meltdown" post in the future, and I will most likely lift your comments here to be placed there as well, with credit, of course. I couldn't agree with you and your daughter more. (If you would like me to credit you with more than your Google ID, please email me at elizabeth at takethemonorail dot com.)

Kelly H Russo said...

What a great blog!

Sherrie Bandy said...

Dear Elizabeth and April

My kids really want to go to Disney World, so we created this little project to earn our way there. We are making crayons that look like little cars. We are all proud of what we made. We are just finding it hard to get the word out about them. Just being a side project we don't really have a advertising budget. We'd love it if you could take a look at them.

Thank You (Love the blog)

Thinkcook said...

That's a great blog. Thank you!

My Site said...

thank you to share with us :)

cookwarelab said...

Nice blog. Thanks for sharing!

Post a Comment