The smiles are still fresh on our faces from our few days at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. When pixie dust arrives in your inbox and the opportunity to hear the genius behind all things Disney, the reply is most definitely, yes! While my kids would need to miss school, I knew that we could find plenty of educational attractions at the parks (they just had 2 weeks off for Passover). When I advised their teachers about our scheduled trip to Walt Disney World, they were actually very excited for us. I was very relieved to hear that as well. We made certain to get any homework assignments and have them done when we returned. I really tried!
I know that must people dread packing for a trip. Well, that is definitely not how I feel about the task at all. I treasure every moment because travel is my passion, especially to places like Walt Disney World.
Ever since my first visit in 1973, it has been a place of joy. As we were preparing our days at the parks, we also planned our day of unplugging too. Is it possible or even necessary to do such a thing while at the most magical place on earth? In our regularly scheduled week, we always have Shabbat. It is our ebb and flow, our ying and yang, and our bodies are set to the Shabbat clock. It is the most amazing feeling and no matter where we are, we make it work. Yes, even at the busiest, most exciting place on earth.I was incredibly grateful to have received an invitation to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Conference for a second year in a row. The content, networking, and behind the scenes Disney experiences are not to be missed. One part of this trip that we had to prepare for in advance was that it fell over Shabbat (Friday night thru Saturday night). When we signed-up, we knew that we would have to bring certain food items to make our Shabbos away from home as much like home as possible. Whether your vacation or conference plans extend over Shabbat, here are some easy tips to make it as meaningful and manageable as possible.
Prepare Your Family
Even though we just finished answering the four questions, the fifth question might be about Shabbat away from home. We had addressed this with the children in advance so that they knew what we would be doing from Friday night until Saturday after sundown while staying at Walt Disney World. We told them once Shabbat was over, we would go to Magic Kingdom for the extra hours. Since they are already accustomed to unplugging every week, this was not an issue at all. There was not one complaint. After all, we have spent Shabbat in places with a lot going on around us in the past. These kids are old pros by now!Since we love our own Shabbos food; we packed a suitcase with all the ingredients to make a cholent. What to cook it in? We shipped a crockpot to the resort in advance and it was delivered to our room. In order to make certain it was not an issue to plug in a crockpot in our room, I checked with the hotel in advance. They must have had this request before because it was not an issue at all. We packed in a large suitcase (frozen solid and wrapped in towels) beef for the cholent, Turkey slices, lox, cream cheese, challah rolls, bagels, potato kugel, and grape juice. We also had a sweet potato, GoGo Squeez, and rice cakes. We had a bottle of barbeque sauce that was supposed to be in the suitcase. It didn’t quite make it, but we got creative and added a can of coke and apple mango GoGo Squeez to the crockpot. It was actually quite good!
Bring Your Own Plates
In terms of plastic plates and cutlery, we packed that too. I went to Dollar Tree in advance and found plenty of these items (for a 1$) there. I also purchased a knife, potato peeler, and a serving spoon that I could either take back in the suitcase or throw out.
I was able to find electric tea lights at Dollar Tree and they worked out perfectly for Friday night candle lighting.
So, what did we do during the day? We rested. The kids really enjoyed sleeping, eating a leisurely breakfast of bagels, lox, and cream cheese) and rice cakes with peanut butter. Since the Magic Bands connect everything (entrance to the parks, pool, and hotel room) either my husband or I myself stayed in the room. The weather was warm, but absolutely beautiful. While my husband rested, I took the ids out and walked around the boardwalk about 3 times, went on a swing near the beach, read on the porch (the kids packed a bunch of books), and just sat and looked at this view (taken before Shabbat)!
If you stay at a Walt Disney World Resort like Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, you are able to enjoy extra hours at the parks. As soon as we saw 3 stars, made Havdalah (separation between Shabbat and the regular week day), we caught the bus to Magic Kingdom.
We were on the Haunted Mansion with an hour, saw the fireworks, and even enjoyed some ice cream (well, the kids did) before we boarded the shuttle bus back to the Yacht Club Resort. They now have Rice Dream and Tofutti available at the ice cream stores at the parks. We caught the bus back and were back in our room within an hour. The kids were so excited and energized; they wanted to watch the Disney Channel. However, we had a big day ahead of us so they all went to bed peacefully.
We are so incredibly grateful for the world class staff and amenities we were able to enjoy. We were provided a special conference rate for our stay at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Disney World has plenty of options, whether your budget is big or small.Last year, we had the most wonderful stay at a Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, a moderate resort option. There was so much to do onsite, and the grounds are very beautiful. While the family slept in, I ran around the scenic 1.2-mile promenade encircling shimmering Barefoot Bay.
How do you unplug at the busiest most magical place in the world with kids? Do you feel it is important to include a type of #sabbath or #unplugged time during your vacation?