Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cloth Diapering at Disney...we did it again!

Would I continue to cloth diaper my children while at Disney World? Absolutely!  My wash routine has changed some from the last visit.  You'll find that below, along with a few tips to make sure cloth diapering is just as easy at the parks as it is at home.

I packed enough diapers for two days (18 diapers).  My precious stash was stowed in our carry on luggage, just in case we ran into problems with Magical Express or on the plane.  Nothing worse than being stuck somewhere without clean diapers!  Also packed were two medium wet bags, Eco Nuts, and disposable wipes.

We stayed at Port Orleans Riverside.  I requested a room near the laundry facilities, and we ended up just one building over from where they were located.  Usually, laundry is located near the swimming pools.  Signage to the pools is more plentiful than signage pointing to laundry, so that's what I typically look for.  You must have a Key To the World Card to access laundry.

Eco Nuts
Once inside, I picked a washer, noted the posted wash and dry time and got to work.  While away from home, my laundry soap of choice is Eco Nuts.  They take up a lot less space in luggage than a bag or box of detergent would, and can be used multiple times.  Just place 4 - 5 nuts in the bag, and throw them in the washing machine.  These are not the same as regular nuts; those with nut allergies should not worry about these causing allergic reactions.
Agitation speed and wash temperatures are the only options available on the washers.  I selected "Normal" agitation speed and "Regular Heavy/Hot" wash temperature.  At home, we normally run a rinse cycle first, but a standard rinse cycle is not available on these washers.  You can get away without the rinse cycle if you are using disposable liners in your diapers.  The posted washing and drying time is 30 minutes.  That was just enough time for me to walk from Port Orleans Riverside to French Quarter and get an order of beignets.  It was a great walk, and I do recommend it if you are staying at either location.

Freshly Washed
Upon return, I pulled my laundry from the washer and moved it to a dryer that also had a 30 minute cycle.  This is where I really compromised my normal wash cycle.  I rarely, if ever, dry my precious stash on hot, but I was worried that the 30 minute cycle wouldn't be long enough to get the diapers dry before we headed to the park.  I was running pretty low.  My Bum Genius and Tiny Tushies pocket diapers would be OK, but my Goodmama's are always washed and dried using cooler temperatures, so I waited nervously outside the building, praying that the diapers inside the dryer would not spontaneously combust.

Inside Dryer

In thirty minutes, everything was not completely dry, but I was not chancing a second dryer cycle.  Truth is, I was ready to head to the parks and did not want to walk all the way back to the General Store, to get change for a $20, to put dollar bills in the change machine in the laundry room and wait nervously outside again.
Clean Diapers!
  • Keep count of how many diapers you have with you, so you don't leave any behind.
  • Bring more than one wetbag.  We left one in the room and emptied the dirty diapers into it, taking the empty bag back with us to the park.
  • Even if you don't normally use liners, bring them with you on vacation. No rinse cycle on the washers means an extra $2 for an entire cycle to get poop off.  You can just flush the poop with the liner after you change baby.
  • Don't bring more than you need.  Diaper bags get real heavy, real quick.
  • Laundry facilities are open 24 hours.  Use them on off hours.  This one was surprisingly busy during early morning hours.
If you are already cloth diapering at home, there is no reason why you shouldn't do it on vacation.  Would we cloth diaper at Disney again? Of course!  It gets easier and easier each time we do it.  My washing and drying time gave me some much needed "Mommy Time" with the nice stroll and snack.  Washing before 7:00 am, is definitely my preference.  I can't wait to go again next summer, and pair a cute, fluffy booty with some great Disney shirt, baby legs & mouse ears.  I'd love to see some of your diaper clad dearies at the parks, or read some of  your vacation washing tips and share other readers.

Stay crunchy, friends!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

2012 Trip Recap

There were a lot of things I said I'd do and eat on our last vacation.  Did I get to them all?

Dole Whip Float at Aloha Isle, Magic Kingdom – Yes!  After hanging my head in shame after being at the Magic Kingdom at least once a year for 10 years and never having one, I don't ever miss it.  Unfortunately my daughter declared it "nasty."  Oh well, here's hoping our second child will have tastebuds like mine and not her father.
Mac & Cheese Truffle Oil Hotdog at Fairfax Fare, Hollywood Studios – Yes.  The bread was a little dry and I really couldn't taste the truffle oil, but bacon with macaroni and cheese on a hot dog is an awesome idea.  Kogel viennas are still my favorite hot dogs.
Cupcakes at Starring Rolls Café, Hollywood Studios – Yes!  The red velvet cupcake is amazing!  The cream cheese frosting isn't overly "cream cheesy" and the toffe topping adds the perfect amount of crunch.  I think someone told me that all Disney food has zero calories, and that's great because I didn't share one bite of that cupcake! 
Lobster Roll at Columbia Harbor House, Magic Kingdom – Yes. After my last pregnancy, mayo has become one of the most disgusting things on the planet.  The lobster roll was more mayo and celery than lobster.  It was OK...not sure I would order it again.

Lobster Roll at Hops & Barley booth, Epcot Food & Wine Festival – Yes.  This one was so much better than the one at Columbia Harbor House.  All lobster, no fillers! This one I'd definitely order again.
White Chocolate Elephant Cupcake, Kisafini Coffee Shop, Animal Kingdom – No. We didn't make it to Animal Kingdom this year.  Since the kids were really enjoying it (and hubby was loving "Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom") we opted to spend our last day at Magic Kingdom instead.
Beignets, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, Port Orleans French Quarter – Yes! While I waited for my diaper laundry to finish, I took a stroll over to Port Orleans and ordered beignets.  Hubby and kids knew I'd been snacking when I returned because I was covered in powerdered sugar.  They take a while to prepare, but they were hot and fresh and awesome.
Earl of Sandwich, Downtown Disney – Yes. The first night we were there, I stopped by and it looked like we would have a shorter wait in the stand by line for Soarin'.  We tried again later in the trip and the line was still quite long, but I heard that it moved quickly.  It does!  The low prices and good options make me understand why it's a crowd favorite.  I would definitely return for a quick lunch or dinner.
LeFou’s Brew, Gaston’s Tavern, Magic Kingdom – Yes.  It was a little too sweet for my liking, and my daughter declared it "yucky."  I could be much happier with a glass of cold water.  Though the souvenier cup was cute, we didn't purchase one.

Country Bear Jamboree - No. Does it count that we saw them performing outside, just before the Christmas parade?
Voyage of the Little Mermaid - No. Our daughter went all "fan girl" on us when she saw the Disney Junior characters.  We never even got near the queue for this attraction.  She did really like "Under the Sea" at the Magic Kingdom later that week.
Water Parks & Resort Pools - No. It was so cold you could see the steam rising from the heated pools.
School Bread - No.  I totally forgot!  There was even a list of things I wanted to try saved on my phone, but this wasn't included.

Tonga Toast - No.  Sorry...I know many of you think I'm not a true Disney parks fan if I haven't had Tonga Toast yet.  We went to the Polynesian for lunch, not breakfast, and missed this.
Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party - No.  Hurricane Sandy caused us to postpone our trip.  We traded the tickets in for Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.  It was awesome!  Even with a sold out crowd, we were able to ride Dumbo (and other rides) over and over again with no wait.  The fireworks and parade were amazing, as was the hot chocolate and cookies.  Totally worth it!
Food & Wine Festival - Yes! We've got the cookbooks and t-shirts to prove it.  I ate so much food I thought I would  still be full the next day.  As long as I live, I will never miss the Food and Wine Festival again.

Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure - Sort of.  Impossible to do during the super crowded, last weekend of the Food and Wine Festival.  We'll try again in the spring.
Liberty Square Riverboat & Tom Sawyer Island - No.  Missed them again, but at least we know where they are now.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom - Yes.  Hubby is totally hooked.  You need at least 5 hours to complete this.  I hear that it saves your progress so you can pick up where you left off on subsequent trips, if the computers don't crash between visits.  We only made it through the first level.

Myuki’s Candy Art - No.
Karamell-Kuche - Yes!  I already had far too much to eat while at Epcot, so I hid my $4 candy away and ate it after we got back to Michigan.  The carmel corn was yummy; it didn't make it out of the park.  The candy tasted great a few days later at home.

Afternoon naps - Sort of.  We never left the parks. The kids slept in the stroller.

Stay crunchy, friends!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Instant Friends


“Look for the afro with the yellow bow, that’s me!”  Minutes later, I finally had the pleasure of meeting, Amy from Growing Up Disney, in front of Gaston’s Tavern, part of the New Fantasyland.  Amy is the owner of one of my favorite Disney related blogs.  We’ve tweeted back and forth over the past year about children and Disney and cameras.  Due to a short postponement of our vacation, we just happened to be at the Magic Kingdom at the same time.  While it was truly a pleasure meeting her, the real pleasure was watching our children. They were instant friends.

The world would be a much better place if we could set aside our preconceived notions and trepidations of people we have not met.  These two girls started hugging immediately, as if they were old friends.  I reveled in their childhood innocence and was quite happy that CJ would have someone her age to pal around with, at least for the next couple of hours.  After some introductory chit chat, the Crunchy Disney Ma and Growing Up Disney clans headed over for a ride on Under The Sea.  Amy and her family had already ridden and pointed out a few things in the interactive ride queue that weren’t working.  That just meant that we would have to ride again.  Honestly, I’m glad Scuttle could only be heard and not seen, because that gave me a chance to pick Amy’s brain about the business of blogging. 

Amy rode with the girls, my husband rode with her husband, and I rode alone with Ava, who was tucked safely away inside my Moby wrap, sleeping.  Alone time is a good thing, especially when experiencing Disney awesomeness for the first time.  The attention to detail on this attraction was amazing! (More on that later…)  I can only imagine the conversations going on inside the girls’ clam shell.  Both emerged from the ride as excited as they were when they boarded.  The guys seemed pretty chatty, too. I bet they had some good conversation about their Disney loving wives!

Next, we visited Gaston’s Tavern.  We tried in vain to get the girls to take a photo together in Gaston’s chair, but Amy’s Tink would have nothing to do with it.  CJ, dressed as Princess Belle, happily hopped into what she would later call her throne, just before she declared LeFou’s Brew “yucky.”  Under the amazing antler chandelier, our families snacked and chatted until it was time for us to catch up with another friend who moved to the area from Michigan, who we planned to meet for dinner at the Polynesian. 
CJ still asks about Tink, especially when she see pictures from our latest trip.  She certainly asked when we returned to the Magic Kingdom just before we boarded the plane back home.  I bet she'll be looking for her when we go back early next year.  Amy later tweeted that she spotted us leaving the park, but would have had to run like a crazy woman to catch us.  I'm kind of glad we didn't see them; that would have made leaving harder than it already was. 

After we parted, my husband decided that I should have t-shirts, advertising my blog, just as Amy had.  I’ve been thinking a long time about what my logo would look like, just then it hit me…an afro with a yellow bow.  Thanks, Amy! I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll see you again real soon.

This is an original Cruncy Disney Ma post and should not be copied for use on any other blog without consent of the owner.