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McDonald’s – Not My Kinda Place


Fast food restaurants are notorious for their cheap eats.  You’ll find $1 hamburgers, cheap chicken nuggets, frugally priced french fries – things that would be a value deal for most families.  The one thing that never made any sense to me in this “fair deal” environment was the price of sodas at these fast food places.  For what they charge for a large soda, you could easily buy a 2 litre soda at the grocery store, take your fast food home, and drink the flavor soda you like.

I do not drink soda, and as a result, I almost never buy soda for my house.  My kids act like it’s Christmas when, after a party or a houseful of company, we have soda left over that I let them finish off.  You will almost never be able to go to my refrigerator and grab a cold soda, because even when I have company, I buy bags of ice and keep the valuable fridge space for important things, like my mother’s potato salad.  As a result, my lazy children, who will go get themselves a can of soda, are used to drinking it at room temperature because they are never motivated enough to fill a glass with ice and pour the soda over it.  Where did these kids come from?

Whenever I take my kids out, they order their drinks without ice.  They’ve grown to prefer it that way – Granuaile especially.  She hates ice in her soda, probably more so because she often leaves her drink and comes back to it later, when an ice filled drink would now be watered down and nasty.  When you go into places like McDonald’s, you can get your own drink, so it never occurred to me that my kids were in some way taking advantage of good old Uncle Ronald by grabbing soda without ice.  I mean, you can go back and refill your drink to your heart’s content.

But did you know that if you go through the drive through of a local McDonald’s and ask for your kids meal soda without ice, they will charge you EXTRA?  It’s .10 more for a soda without the ice in the drive through, even though a kid can refill a cup inside a dozen times without paying any more.

Who instituted this policy?

This is certainly never going to break me.  It’s a dime. (although, I have learned that it goes as much as .89 upcharge to order a drink with no ice).  But honestly, it’s a principal thing at this point.  Why are you going to charge me a few extra pennies to get a full cup of soda in the drive through, but let me get as many full cups of soda as I want inside without penalizing me?

We are always talking about making our last fast food visit really our LAST fast food visit.  This may be just annoying enough to motivate me to stick with it this time.

It’s Too Hot to go to Walt Disney World!

Bite your tongue!  Some people – including those of us with school aged children – are bound by school schedules, sports schedules, and even work schedules (says the teacher-to-be), and a vacation to Walt Disney World has to be done during the hot summer.  When it’s hot.  And humid. And did I mention hot?

Summer, though, is the best time to have your cake and eat it too!  You will want to arrange your day to beat the heat, but that will give you a chance to maybe do some of the Disney things you never have time to do!


My best theme park tip for the dog days of summer is to hit it early and hit it hard.  Be at the park at rope drop, and if you can take advantage of morning extra magic hours, DO IT!  As soon as you arrive, snag a FastPass for your absolutely must do attraction, then get in line for your second must do.  Chances are, you’ll have both of those attractions done pretty quickly, and can move on to your next FastPass and your next attraction.

If you are doing FastPass+, schedule your attraction choices for early in the day or later in the evening.  This will not only help you avoid the hottest part of the day, but it also might help you miss the typical afternoon thunderstorm Central Florida is known for.

By lunch time, you’ve probably melted to a puddle bodily fluids.  You’re ready for something cool, comfortable, and away from the theme parks – something you might not think about if you were there when it was cooler.

Now is the time to take advantage of the OTHER side of Walt Disney World!  Check out Downtown Disney for some shopping and a nice lunch.  Head to the AMC 24 at Pleasure Island, where you can do a Fork and Screen movie/lunch show, enjoying the hottest first run movies in cool comfort.  How about the so hot it’s cool Splitsville for a game of bowling and one of the best burgers at Walt Disney World?


Have you ever done DisneyQuest?  A hot afternoon is the perfect time to visit this gaming mecca, with virtual reality, arcade, and video games galore.  You can grab a quick bite to eat here – and save room for some of the great desserts!

Take the afternoon off to take a dip in the pool.  Pop on the monorail for some resort hopping afternoon shopping.  Or enjoy the heat of the afternoon in a spa getting your nails done!

disney spa

A hot afternoon is a great time to enjoy some of the Walt Disney World attractions you may typically overlook, so when the heat index is rising, split your theme park day in half.  With an attraction packed morning and an afternoon cool down, you’ll be ready and refreshed to shut the parks down at the end of the day!