11. Make your Disney World bucket list.
Remember those discussions you had with your children about your upcoming trip? Now it’s time to take the information you gathered from those talks and write out a bucket list of all your family hopes to experience during your trip. It can be a show someone hopes to see, a dessert someone hopes to enjoy, a ride or attraction someone wants to experience—thanks to the magic of Disney, the sky is the limit!
12. Buy Disney gift cards and pack your park bag.
Visit www.disneygiftcards.com and load a gift card of your choice with most any amount you’d like, and it will be shipped to you in only a few business days. If you live near a Disney Store, you can also buy gift cards there. Target sells Disney gift cards, and if you’re a Target RedCard debit or credit card holder, you will get 5% off each card, which means that for every $100 you purchase in gift cards, you’ll only pay $95. At this point in your planning, you also need to purchase the items you’ll be packing in your park bag—rain ponchos, sunscreen, a reliable portable charger, an extra pair of socks for each member of your family, snacks, gum and other items you want to have on hand and at your disposal as you are exploring the parks.
13. Plan for odd weather.
Central Florida can be a strange beast when it comes to weather and weather forecasts. That’s because you might look at the forecast in the morning, and there’s no rain anywhere on it. But a few hours later, you find yourself in the middle of a downpour. The good news is that the rain showers in central Florida don’t usually last for very long (not usually); however, what they lack in duration, they can often make up for in intensity. Be sure to have your ponchos, extra socks and umbrellas with you anytime you are in the parks—just in case!
14. Communicate with your banking institution or credit card companies.
This may sound a little overdone, but it can often help to let your bank and credit card companies know you’ll be in Florida and that you may be making a few larger-than-usual purchases while there so that their fraud systems aren’t alerted unnecessarily. It isn’t the end of the world if it happens to you, but it does take time away from your vacation and your family when you have to stop, verify your purchases and make a request to reinstate your card’s use.
15. Know that meltdowns and tantrums can sometimes be a part of the experience.
Depending on how young your children are, you may find yourself working through some periods of fussiness—or perhaps a full-blown tantrum. And if we’re honest, even older children can become overwhelmed with everything there is to see and do in the parks. It’s really a perfect storm for such an occurrence—excitement at a whole new level about being at Disney World, waking up earlier than usual, staying up later than usual, lots of walking, nap schedules gone awry, hunger, fatigue, elements of the weather and shops, carts and kiosks full of every possible kind of souvenir a child would love—all at once. While many kids handle the excitement very well, it’s still possible that one of yours can have an episode of fussiness, and if you know this, you’ll find yourself better prepared.