Life-Hacks, Fashion tips & Packing Tricks for Your Trip to Disneyland

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Hi there, friend! 

Are you one of the lucky many who gets to travel to the magical world of Disneyland this year?  I went last summer with my oldest two children on a special trip with some of my extended family, and as I prepared for the trip, felt so much pressure to find the right pieces to wear, both cute & practical!  As a wardrobe stylist, I FREQUENTLY have clients ask me to help them for their trip to the Magic Kingdom, so I decided to take some notes (and pictures) of things I’d packed, as well as photos of random strangers I met there that were dressed smart-cute for the park… I hope this has some great suggestions for you to not only last the entire day but feel cute doing it, especially since you’ll be “cheesin'” it up for so many pictures!

***If you haven’t planned your trip yet but want some expert advice and guidance, book with Deann Samuel, an experienced travel agent specializing in Disney Vacations that I know and trust.  She works hard to make sure you have a great time within your budget, and her services are free!  You can follow her on Instagram too!***

Deann & Goofy

Deann Samuel, travel planner, specializing in Disney vacations.

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Tips for the Park…

  1. Firstly, check out the weather for the days you’ll be there, and write it down with your outfit ideas for each day… bring this organizer with you to help you remember on those early, foggy-brained mornings.  I did this for the first time this year and it was SO HELPFUL, and if you have kiddos you’re packing too, it’ll help a lot.  This is what my chart looked like… I took inspiration from a blog (which I can’t find now, I’m so sorry if it was you!), and adapted her form slightly to my preferences.  This was helpful so I didn’t forget some of the outfits I’d packed and was able to have some variety in my wardrobe.  You’re welcome to use it (pictured below, downloadable .pdf here: Travel Packing Planner)Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 11.02.54 AM
  2. Secondly, be prepared with easy layers!!  At Disneyland (Disneyworld is a different climate!), the mornings and evenings are anywhere from 15-25 degrees F cooler than the afternoons, so you’ll need them! They have day-time lockers that are $7-$10 a day and are well worth the expense, especially so you don’t have to lug around extra (or dry) clothes all day! (See #6 for more on the lockers)
  3. PHONE re-charge BATTERY PACK…Disneyland had these available in a type of vending machine to rent for the day but they were $30/day… yikes!  Save some money, plan ahead, and if you don’t own one, find one at Amazon or even pop into places like Burlington or Marshall’s for a discounted one before you travel.   I bought a great one at Burlington for $12.99 before our trip. (Tip: the lockers at California Adventure had chargers built in so you could lock up your charging phone).

 

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  1. Thirdly, WEAR GOOD SHOES!!  We walked an average of 10-12 miles each day, and all of us were feelin’ it, young and old!  Wearing good sneakers with quality arch support is my preference because it’s no fun being miserable at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Suggested styles:

  • Sneakers
  • Toms flats with memory foam
  • Hiking sandals
  • Supportive slides or flip-flops

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  1. FIRST AID necessities:
    • Hand Sanitizer.  Duh- I know.  But seriously.  My son returned from his first trip to Disneyworld during Christmas break (with friends) with a strain of the flu, putting his fever over 106 on Christmas morning.  Don’t forget the sanitizer!
    • Neosporin and bandaids.  Above said son also developed blisters on his feet from the rub of his shoes from all the walking when I took him to Disneyland in the summer… Disney first aid office has this if you don’t, but it’s easy to carry and will save you the long walk to their first aid office.
    • EMERGEN-C vitamin packets!!!  Take these before bed (or at breakfast, but I prefer bedtime so it can work on the immune system while we sleep) to keep your immune system high, as well as your energy.  Remember, you’ll be eating more treats most likely, and while that’s fun, it also lowers the immune system for hours… while you’re surrounded by thousands of people.  So, play it safe, bring these packets to easily add to water… my kids love them!  They’re safe to take morning AND evening if you just want to double up.
    • IBUPROFEN… for the achy-ness of walking so much!
    • WATER.  You’re allowed to bring bottled water into the park (as long as it’s sealed), and you can easily store it in a locker.  In the heat and fun it’s easy to overlook staying hydrated but this is very important… you don’t want dehydration, nausea and dizziness to ruin a good day!  (Also discovered by above-said-son… he was apparently delicate this summer LOL)
  1. LOCKERS!!  We do this every time as they’re so useful for those extra layers you won’t need till closer to 5 pm, or for dry clothes in case you hit all the water rides… walking in wet jeans causes major chaffing… no fun!  We also kept our extra water-bottles, snacks and souvenirs in the lockers, which conserves energy not having to lug it around all day.  img_1141
  2. PONCHO disposable rain coat.  I believe they sell these at the Park at California Adventure near the River Rapids ride.  But, you’ll spend a fortune buying theirs.  I suggest this 6-pack on Amazon, or hitting up your local walmart to grab a disposable plastic poncho in case of rain, or if you really want to hit the super wet rides without staying wet all day.
  3. SNACKS!!  You’re allowed to bring these in too, and I recommend keeping a stash in your locker, as well as a few munchies in your bag for those long lines that get you stuck when your tummy starts talkin’.  This helps keep your energy (and spirits!) high to get the most out of your day.  No one likes a “Hangry” friend at Disney!
    • Snack ideas:
      • Belvita breakfast crackers (sustaining and easy to eat)
      • Trail Mixes
      • Apples/Oranges/Grapes
      • Beef Jerky
      • Cheese sticks
      • Apple Sauce pouches
      • Granola Bars
      • Protein Bars
      • Other easy-to-pack snacks (avoid crumbly items, they’ll get crushed in your bag on the rides)  Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 11.06.02 AM

If you’re traveling with really young kiddos, there are some great blog posts with ideas for traveling with littles.  Mine were 10 & 12 so they were pretty easy to do the park and festivities with, but here are some great blogs for traveling with the young ones!  

 

Now onto CLOTHES!!

 

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PACKING for DISNEY

When I style clients for a Disney trip, I think of a few staples:

  1. Poolside clothingBathing suit and a cover up, which a Kimono is wonderful for as it can double over a tank and shorts for an outfit during the day; you might not wear this at the park (unless you’re hitting the water park at Disneyworld) but you’ll definitely use it at the hotel or nearby beach!  For guys, opt for “hybrid” shorts that can go from swimming to lunching and air-dry really quickly.
  2. Sneakers or flats for walking around the park, or super comfortable sandals.  Memory foam/arch support is essential!
  3. Shorts!! It’s warm in the afternoons.
  4. Jeans/joggers… it’s chilly in the evenings. 🙂
  5. Tank tops or lightweight knit tops in fun colors for fun pictures.
  6. An outer layer, like a hoodie, denim jacket or warm cardigan… any of these can be thrown on over anything, even a dress, and still look cute.
      • Denim jacket
      • Chambray button up top (looks like a denim button up, but is lighter, great for layering and tying around the waist)
      • A hoodie/sweatshirt
      • Pair of jeans/pants for the evening
      • A hat can be great in the afternoon for keeping the sun off your face.
  7. A chambray or flannel shirt (this kind of top isn’t quite warm enough for the evening if it dips to the 50’s, but is great for keeping the sun off your arms and easy to throw on over a dress or tank for a lightweight extra layer if the temps are in the 60’s.)
  8. A dress when it’s really warm out!  A knee-length fit-and-flare or shift dress, or a fitted knit dress, can look adorable with sneakers that coordinate… capturing a little of that girly yet athleisure style that’s popular right now.
  9. img_7722**Pro-tip:Try to avoid 100% polyester ANYTHING for wearing at the park… it doesn’t breathe and will have you sweating (and stinking!) all day long.  Opt for cotton, linen, and rayon blends to keep cool and dry-er, although be forewarned that 100% in any of those tend to wrinkle easily.  For best options, a blend of any of them, including spandex, can hold up better to all day wear.  Stretchy knits are your friend to avoid wrinkles and stay comfortable.**
  10. A Backpack or Cross-body purse to stay hands free.  I personally prefer a back pack because it keeps the weight centered and helps keep you from feeling lopsided during the day while you tote snacks, water, wallets and the like around the park.  My sister tried a cross-body messenger style bag and ended up sticking it in the locker because it was too burdensome… I, however, never wore out from my back pack.  Also, when picking a back pack, try to avoid leather or vinyl/nylon… they’ll have you sweating!! Find something breathable like a sturdy knit fabric or denim.  I chose mine in a print that complemented every outfit I wore too, so it became a fashion accessory as well… bonus!

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    My twin sister and I in Cars Land, California Adventure park at Disneyland with my striped backpack that matched everything!

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Morning: high waist shorts + cropped tank + sneakers + Long cardigan to keep warm.        Evening: Swapped for jeans + Denim jacket instead

 

When I got dressed every day, I planned for a warm afternoon and a chilly evening (it dipped into the 50’s/60’s when I was there in early June).  There are people there dressed as Disney characters, dressed in Disney themed colors (think blue, yellow and red for Snow White), dressed in next to nothing… dressed like they walked out of a fairy tale… dressed like they got ready with their eyes closed… and like they just came off a magazine cover… so basically, sky’s the limit!  But if you’re like me, I like to look cute when I know I’ll be in lots of pictures because, well, I just like the pictures better when I feel cute.   And of course, any experience is more enjoyable when I feel good about how I look.  Maybe that’s uber female, maybe that’s human nature, maybe you’re the same way or maybe you aren’t, but either way, I kept my eyes peeled for various styles of dress that were both cute and functional, and had fun capturing these sweet souls so you’d have some ideas to spin off of.  If you’re gonna get dressed, you might as well make it cute!!

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Day 1: Channeling Minnie!  Day 2: Same 😉 Day 3: Rockin’ that crop top/high waist shorts!   I wore jeans in the evening with each of these, and my denim jacket or a hoodie to keep warm. (And, I’ve never worn Mickey ears at Disney… one day I will!)

I took the above photos to give you some ideas of what I wore but I also wanted to capture the various styles we saw while there, for various body shapes and ages (and genders!). My sister and I had a blast stopping people and complimenting their outfits, asking them if they’d be willing to be on my blog.  So, shout out to you lovely people who were willing to stand and smile so I could capture your fashion genius… thanks so much!!

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Thanks for reading! I hope these tips make preparing for you trip easier, and more stylish for all those photos you’ll be snapping! 

Don’t forget, if you need help planning your trip, I recommend Deann Samuel (my sister-in-law) who can be found on Facebook at @DeAnnSamuelKTTW and has been helping family’s have their dream vacations since July 2017! 

Also, for more styling tips and advice, come follow at @jenileesamuelstyling on Instagram!  

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For those Mommas who just, well, MISS the Lord

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At a friend’s encouragement I decided to write this down hoping it would serve to breathe life into some of your precious momma-hearts like it did mine when the Lord shared it with me…

I don’t know how many of you have, like myself, found yourself in the midst of raising young children, chasing toddlers, cleaning house, tending to cooking and caring for a husband, found yourself just plain MISSING your time with the Lord like you used to know it. I miss the days of 2 hour quiet times if I just felt like it. I could close my eyes, get lost in worship, in the Word, hearing his voice, and get heaven and his heart downloaded to me any given day I chose it. Then I became a momma… and my quiet times are far from daily (as I would have defined it before), far from “uninterrupted”, far from 2 hours long, and just plain not like it was before. After I first had children (specifically, more than one child. Judah was easy and I still got lots of time with the Lord then… it was the second child that sped my life up so drastically!) I really wrestled with condemnation, guilt, sadness, a sense of loss and frustration over my struggle to find time with the Lord. I would constantly hear zealous phrases I’ve heard in the past whispering “If you want it bad enough, you’ll do what it takes to get alone with Him.” (ironically, always made by well-meaning men or single women who’ve never been in our shoes) or the comparative guilt trips of “I bet so-and-so still has awesome times with the Lord.” Even still, those old voices of comparison and guilt would sneak up to rob me of what meager times I MIGHT get with the Lord. So, in attempt to remedy the feelings of guilt, I would “do what it takes” to try and meet with him. And wouldn’t you know, those early mornings, late nights, or isolated nap-times for the boys would be the times they conveniently woke up early, stayed up late, or struggled to take a nap. I ended up more frustrated and sometimes, honestly, resentful at my children, for “stealing” my relationship with the Lord from me.

THE EPIPHANY…

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege, thanks to my generous husband, of being able to take a trip with some of our college students to a Hillsong concert in Houston. While there, the room was dark, the worship sweet, no one was asking me for juice or had snot running down their chin, so I just sat down and enjoyed being still and quiet with the Lord. And I found myself, as I have sooo many other times, approaching him immediately with my “I’m sorry’s”… I’m sorry I haven’t had time with you like I want. I’m sorry I haven’t made time for you. I’m sorry I haven’t woken up early, stayed up to pray, read your word, etc… and the list goes on. Except these weren’t apologies led by Holy Spirit’s gentle conviction, these were apologies, though sincere, that came more out of guilt and insufficiency. Then the Lord kindly interrupted me. He said, “Jenilee, stop, Darling. Stop apologizing. I see your life. Just take the moments of love when they are available. Seize the moments of love when you can, and enjoy it. Enjoy Me.” I began to explain myself, still feeling like somehow that was unfair to Him, given my apparent lack of devotion indicated by my lack of disciplined quiet times that I used to enjoy. And he went on in His Wisdom: “Jenilee, I want you to think of my servant, David. He is the only man acclaimed to have a heart after mine. The only man I said that about, in scripture. And often the picture is of him having ethereal, blissful, spiritual moments in the quiet fields with no one to interrupt him, but look closer. He was a shepherd, as you are. He shepherded sheep, you shepherd your children. He may have wanted to close his eyes and get lost in hours of blissful worship, as you do, but he couldn’t afford that. He had many little sheep that needed constant attention. He had to bring them to water, bring them to food, keep them corralled, chase them down when they wandered, keep a constant eye out for wolves, bears, lions, and then kill the beasts when they challenged the safety of his lambs…. much like you do. You have to feed and nurture your children, keep them in safe places, watch constantly that the enemy is not attempting to prey on them, and then you must stand up against the enemy when he dares to touch your child. You must constantly be alert, as a shepherd, day and night. There are moments of quiet, but even in those moments of quiet, you are watching, listening, caring. Just like my servant David. yet, he took the moments of love. He sang while he watched. He listened to my voice, while he scanned the herd for wandering sheep. He drew on my strength and wisdom when he fought beasts. He grew to know me, though his times with me did not look much like what you used to experience, or what he experienced in his own younger days, yet he knew me and sought my heart, even amidst the distractions, the constant watching and tending. And, though shepherding was a very simple job to the outside eye, I saw what it created inside him, and I saw him worthy to be established as a king. You will shepherd children for many years, and it may feel somewhat aimless at times, and even like you’re giving up much of your greatest potential in order to just wipe noses or scrub behind ears, and it may feel that there is greatness within you just lying there, waiting, untapped. Yet, at the right moment, those years of FAITHFULNESS, COMMITMENT and FIERCE CARE are laying a foundation for you to step into the “kingship” seasons that you sense resides quietly inside. When you feel your parenthood is an obstacle, the menial tasks of raising children “pointless”, remember my servant David, and continue on in your faithfulness, encouraged that it is not a waste, it is not fruitless, it is not wasting an ounce of what I’ve placed in you. The greatest king of Israel spent the majority of his young life raising sheep… and yet he made a great king of Israel because he seized the moments of love when they were available and allowed me to build him into a King. Don’t apologize. Just seize the love when you can, and enjoy me when you can, and realize this season of your life is bearing more fruit in you than most would see or appreciate. But I see. I know. And I love it. Thank you for shepherding my children to love me.  Thank you for doing the great work that may feel insignificant.  This great work will raise your children into great people, leaders, who’ll also leave a legacy for me.  Your faithfulness is your greatness.”

That’s all it took. That’s all I needed to hear. I hope it encourages you as it did me. Truly, the Lord knows the word that sustains the weary, and I’m so grateful for it. 🙂

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