Disney is made for families of all sizes and ages! But sometimes you’ll see parents stressed out in the parks… That doesn’t have to be you! Here are some tips to make your family Disney trip the very best it can be.
10. Go Early – If you’ve got little ones, chances are they’re up with the sun, so getting to the parks at opening is a breeze. Older kids may want to linger in bed on vacation, so entice them with the probability of shorter wait times and lower temperatures, which are bound to be the benefits of early arrival.
9. Hydrate Often – In the Florida heat, drinking water is not just leisurely – it’s necessary! Make sure everyone has a bottle filled with ice water at the beginning of the day, and refill them all often. In summer months there are water refill stations outside counter service restaurants, or just walk up and ask for a cup of ice water to go at any time of the year.
8. Pre-plan – Having a general idea of what you’re going to do each day helps kids of all ages anticipate what’s going to happen. Show them the map, and point out what attractions you plan to visit before you get started. Not only will it help build excitement, it also gives kids ownership in the process, which is something they value.
7. Pause to Rest – Running your family ragged is never a good idea for the long haul. If you notice your kiddos getting legitimately tired, allow time to rest in the shade. Small children will often fall asleep in their stroller—maybe that’s a great chance for the rest of the family to sit and eat an ice cream? Or maybe a nap at the hotel is the best idea to recharge for late night fun.
6. Pack Snacks – Kids seem to be a bottomless pit when it comes to snacks. (And for little ones snacks are often a tried-and-true distraction tactic.) Be sure to pack plenty of healthy, non-perishable snacks in your park bag to keep everyone’s blood sugar up. Disney allows you to bring all kinds of food into the park (except alcohol).
5. Line Diversions – Even if you are the master of FastPass+ there are bound to be a few rides that you’ll have to wait for. Pack some entertainment to make the time go by quickly. For little ones: small toys, bubbles (for outdoor lines), music, hand-clap games, and of course, snacks. For older kids: travel games, paper pad and pencil, and interactive apps (charades or guess who).
4. Meltdown Plan – Hopefully the magic of Disney will enthrall children well past sundown. But in the event that one of your precious ones just caaaaaaan’t maaaaaaake it, have a strategy to diffuse the stress. For instance, perhaps you’ll want one adult to separate that child from the rest of the group until they calm down. Perhaps you’ll want to secretly pack a lovey. Or perhaps you’ll want to scope out quiet spaces for those who are over-stimulated.
3. Late Souvenir Shopping – There is SO much cute stuff at Disney! To avoid the constant “can I have that?” discussion, promise children that they can pick out one souvenir at the end of the day. Encourage them to watch for their favorite item throughout the day, and make it a special shopping event in the evening.
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2. Consider Character Meals – Character meals are a little bit pricey, but they make such great family memories. Younger kids love characters no matter what, but a casual encounter at a meal may be one of the only times that the “cool” older kids will pose for a character photo. 😉
1. Stay Flexible – Having a flexible and positive attitude goes a long way with kids. If you’re upbeat and non-plussed, they’re likely to follow suit. Allow for a change of plans, if necessary, and keep smiling. Remember, you’re ALL there to have fun!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!
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