This article is all about dropping some truth bombs on the moms preparing for a magical Disney vacation. Get ready for a fun vacation and prepare for the magic with this top ten list of truths that every mom should know before visiting Walt Disney World.
10. Weather Will Wear You Down
Expect the weather to take a toll during your days in the parks. During the summer months the heat can seem unforgiving. Guests traveling in winter may find it surprisingly chilly and windy and the Florida pop up storms can leave you drenched. The best way to deal with these uncertainties is to come prepared with appropriate weather gear and plenty of sunscreen. Prepare your kids for the weather with personal fans, rain ponchos and gloves for cold weather and remind them that you will have fun in the parks regardless of the weather.
9. Great Shoes are a Must
You are almost always walking or standing on pavement during a Disney vacation. This means that great shoes are a must. Shoes that support your feet without rubbing blisters are perfect for a day in the parks. In the way of sandals and flats I personally prefer Chaco sandals or comfy flats like Tieks if I am looking to cover ground in the parks without tennis shoes. Footwear tips carry over to kids as well. Plastic character sandals or princess shoes may be cute in the store but often are not practical for park walking.
8. A Stroller is a Great Idea
When in doubt about your child’s ability to walk all day in the park, go for a stroller. Even children older than toddlers may have a difficult time keeping up during a park day. Save the little ones a few steps and save yourself the whining and exhausted kids and opt for a stroller when you are spending an entire day in the park.
7. Kid Friendly Foods are Abundant
Lucky for you, there are plenty of kid friendly foods all over the property. Even adult favorites like Citricos and California Grill have kid’s menus with traditional foods that kids love. Expect to find plenty of mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, fruit cups and chocolate milk among other kid favorites at counters and table service restaurants across the property.
6. Take Attraction Warnings Seriously
In the interest of having as much fun as possible, take the attraction warning signs seriously. Obeying height and health advisories is imperative to guest safety and satisfaction. If you question whether or not your child can handle a rough or scary ride, I would advise to skip the attraction until the next vacation. After all, a motion sick or scared and sad child is not what you want to remember from your Disney vacation.
5. Rider Swap is Mom’s Best Friend
Looking out for your kids does not mean you should not get to enjoy every ride. The Disney rider swap program was created with this in mind. The concept is simple, adults and children wait in line for the attraction together, the guests notify cast members they are looking to rider swap, and both adults take turns riding the attraction while the other adult watches the children. This eliminates the need to wait in line double the time and enables adults to enjoy rides that may be a bit too rough for kids.
4. The Walt Disney World Witching Hour is So Real
Have you ever heard of the Walt Disney World witching hour? This is jokingly discussed among repeat guests and parents as the afternoon slump kids hit when they are tired, hot and over the stress of the park. Midafternoon often finds kids throwing tantrums, falling asleep in strollers and getting agitated with siblings. You may choose to return to the hotel for rest or some pool time during the afternoon to break up the park day. Some moms choose to escape the park and enjoy cooling off while kids nap in strollers at resorts on the monorail line. Enjoying indoor attractions like Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree or The Enchanted Tiki Room are all great attractions to enjoy while kids nap in The Magic Kingdom.
3. Planning is Key
Planning attractions, fast passes, kid’s outfits, meals etc. really cuts down on the stress and guess work during the vacation. Study up on Disney transportation, your resort layout, park operation times during your stay and park maps. A plus side of planning, is that you can discuss the plans with your kiddos and get them super excited for the vacation by learning about resorts, restaurants and attractions together.
2. Family Shirts Galore
So many family shirts, so little time! But seriously, if you have visited Walt Disney World in recent years you have seen the trend of family/group shirts. These range from DIY shirts with family names in a matching color to incredible Etsy creations sporting favorite characters, seasonal colors and quotes. Know that you will not be alone if you choose to sport family shirts in the parks. I think they make the vacation that much more magical.
1. Your Vacation Rhythm is Unique
Resist the urge to get so caught up in blogs and the advice of friends that you forget your own unique vacation rhythm. It’s great to learn from the experience of others and gather as much information as possible. However, feel free to make the park and vacation plan that best suits your family. This may mean full days in parks, no table service meals, as much time at the pool as the parks or it may mean fast passing and re-riding your kid’s favorite storybook ride 5 times on the same trip. Feel free to experience the magic your way Mom!
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!