Sunday, May 15, 2016

Disney Trip Wins

It's been a week since we got back from our Florida trip and it was a really great trip, and the drive worked out fantastically with the wireless router and some planning ahead.  The kids were such troopers and so good. So just some observations and things learned along the way:

  1. If you are driving and have kids and are looking to keep them occupied for all those hours, and they have tablets, maybe this will help.  
    1. Set up a local wireless network in the car.  In my prior post, I bought a $10 travel router with a USB slot.
    2. For another $20 or $30 I got a 64GB microSD card and had a USB adapter for that already.
    3. The format of the card might make a difference. For me it had to be NTFS, not FAT32 or some other format.
    4. I used a program called MakeMKV to pull the kids movies off DVD
    5. I  then used a program called Handbrake to convert to mp4
    6. This seems like a lot of work, but it wasn't too bad. The DVDs did have to be done one at a time but Handbrake will queue up everything in a folder so you can convert to mp4 in a batch.  May take awhile but on your computer you can start it and check in on it until it's done
    7. The kids have android tablets and I used ES File Explorer to make the connection, the instructions in the travel router recommended this although the password to the router had a typo. Had to hit their website to figure that one out.
    8. It takes time to set up so test it but this was an absolute winner and didn't require any data plan. Basically your wireless network in the car is projecting a shared storage, no internet.
  2. At Disney, T-Rex was so loud and so painful and the food was meh. It caused us to rethink all of our dinner arrangements because it took so much time and that is the most valuable thing there. We canceled them all and either ate on the fly or at the resort. This ended up being a great decision.
  3. Want to save some money? Get a CapitalOne rewards card and start saving points. They have a feature called expense eraser, which wipes out certain travel related expenses. I wiped out ~$300 in Hilton hotel room charges for our overnights on the way down and up. Had I had enough points I could have wiped out the room charges at Pop Century.  Really good information to know for the future.
    1. Now if I could only figure out how to pay my mortgage every month via credit card so I could get points for that....
  4. If you're at Disney, plan one day to get away and go to Kennedy. Its totally changed and the Space Shuttle Atlantis is mind blowing.  However it's not a cheap day anymore. Wow, serious money now but holy crap was it awesome. Highlight of the trip for me!!
  5. At Pop Century: Kids meals for adults.  Get the drinks, and the snacks, and the portions are not HUGE and the price is so much more reasonable.  
Thanks Nan and Pop!!