“Rules of Vacation” By Guest Blogger, Nancy Kriescher


First off, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Nancy Kriescher, sister to fellow guest blogger John Leever. After reading all of John’s previous blogs, I decided it was time for me to blog.

There are many of us who have been blessed to have John include us on his Disney adventures. We are a close-knit group of family and friends who have a common love of Disney. We have traveled together so often that we finish each other’s sentences, laugh over a joke with only mentioning the first couple words and when hearing a catch-phrase, immediately can recall the trip when the phrase was coined.

Over these years, we have developed our Rules of Vacation. I know what you are thinking, “vacation rules, seriously?” Yes we have vacation rules. Without rules there would be chaos, anarchy if you will. These rules have evolved over many, many years of vacation. Some have been modified and others have been completely dropped due to changes in park technology.

“Always get your hand stamped.” is a rule that is no longer valid. In years past, when you exited a park, say to go back to your resort for an afternoon swim, you would get your hand stamped. A valid hand-stamp and a park ticket were necessary for same-day re-entry into a park or when entering a second park in a day when park-hopping. The rule to “always get your hand stamped” even on what was thought to be the last day of a vacation, was necessary as we never knew if John had decided to extend our vacation and we were staying another day. When WDW added the finger scanner to the entry gate, the days of hand-stamping for re-entry ended. Since you no longer need a “hand stamp” for re-entry into a park, this rule is on the retired rule list.

What follows is a list of some of our rules.

~You MUST have fun. (This is mandatory and there are no exceptions to this rule.)

~The word “HOME” is not mentioned unless you are referring to the hotel.
Lemonade is yellow. Have you ever seen a pink lemon? (Actually this is not just a vacation rule, it is a life rule.)

~You are not on vacation until you see a Palm Tree.

~The total maximum capacity on the TTA is 3 passengers. (You need a place to rest your feet. Seating arrangement: two riders on one seat with the third rider in the center of the opposite seat with room for everyone to rest their feet. Optimal capacity is 2 riders per car sitting facing each other in opposite corners to allow for room to rest your feet.)

~Never go to the 1st restroom when getting off the plane. (Everyone gets off the plane and immediately heads to the nearest restroom. This creates lines. Walk to the 2nd restroom and no lines.)
The “B” (bomb) word is NOT permitted in the Airport, on the Airplane or in the general vicinity of the Airport or Airplane. (We will leave you with the air marshals, FBI, TSA, and local authorities because we will have forgotten you existed.)

~A last night gift is mandatory, or any future trips to Disney may be in jeopardy. (On our first visit to WDW with my son in 1993, on our last night, my brother told my son to pick out a souvenir as it was our last night in Disney. My brother then went to WDW in 1994 with his goddaughter and her brother. He had them each pick out a last night gift. He went again in 1995 with everyone getting a gift, and has gone every year since. The last night gift is his guarantee that he will be going to WDW again. Everyone picks one out and he purchases the gift for them. You are encouraged to purchase your last night gift as soon as you find it as many times, what you can find in the Magic Kingdom may not be available in Epcot. [Plus you may not remember 3 days later where you saw that really cool hat, t-shirt, book etc.] It has almost turned into a contest about who can find their last night gift first with some of us picking out our gift before we’ve even left Chicago.)

~The hotel pen shall be awarded to the winner of the Monorail Color game or any other game as determined while traveling down from Chicago.

~Keep up or be left behind. (Vacation is serious business.)

~Never leave the hotel without your Park Pass/Magic Band, just carry it with you at all times.
Keep your pass on you, however do NOT keep it near:
– Cell Phone
– Credit Cards
– Pool or Bathing Suit
– probably near any other electronic device
Pretty much just hold it in your hand and walk with it straight out in front of you without taking your eye off it. (After having to get 4 or 5 [I lost count] replacement annual passes due to the aforementioned events, my niece came up with this rule.)

There are also things we do which fit more into the “guidelines to a vacation” category than actual “rules”. While I am an early riser, not everyone is of the same mindset while on vacation. We don’t ever seem to make it to a park for morning extra magic hours. Since we don’t get there early enough to enjoy them, we avoid the morning extra magic hour park because in our experience, that park is the most crowded. We also try not to over-schedule our meals. The length of a trip determines how many dinner reservations we will make. On our trip for the Rock Your Disney Side event Memorial Day weekend, we only had one dinner reservation. We opted to visit counter serve restaurants for most meals so we could be freer with our time on a shorter trip.

Abiding by rules and guidelines just makes a happier time for everyone.

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

Michele has 6308 posts and counting. See all posts by Michele


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