Next month I’ll be hanging out with Mickey and Co. along with several amazing bloggers for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. The best part about the trip is that I get to bring my family along. This is the first time that I’m going to Disney with a toddler, so I’ve been planning our trip with this fact in mind. So today I’m sharing some simple tips to help you with your own Disney trip. Even if you don’t have it in your plans anytime soon, these tips will hopefully help you when that time comes.
Flights, hotels, tickets, etc.
As soon as you know that you would like to go to Disney (either one of them!) start looking at prices and places that you would like to stay, airlines you would like to fly with, etc. This will allow for one of two things; either you will decide that you need to save more money before doing this, or it will allow for plenty of time to plan and find the best deals. I was able to lock in some great rates for our extended stay by doing a little research and booking our rooms as early as possible.
Have a detailed, but flexible plan.
If bringing young children…
You will need to book hotels and flights permanently, but the rest of the trip should be planned in a lighter fashion. When traveling you should always take into account that things can and will happen to set your schedule back. Someone may not feel well, you might need to take several potty breaks with little ones or everyone might get hungry sooner than expected. Things WILL happen. Make a plan of where you want to go each day that you are at Disney, what rides and attractions you would like to visit (use your FastPass!), but for everything else you may just have to play it by ear. Allow a few minutes between things and don’t schedule activities too close together. Be sure to allow for adequate time between longer activities for things like bathroom and snack breaks.
Strollers are a must! Even if your child is 5 and doesn’t ‘want’ to sit in a stroller, after five hours of walking around, they will sit in one. Trust me. They also come in handy to carry things in large parks. Drinks, extra supplies (diaper bags), snacks, sweatshirts, etc., if at all possible, plan to bring/use one. You can also skip the stroller and bring along a child carrier if you don’t plan on hauling too many things around.
Take breaks often. When making a schedule, plan breaks frequently for everyone to reenergize themselves, especially the little ones. No one wants a cranky toddler in Disney! Also, bring water bottles that you can refill at the park and snacks to keep you satisfied between meals. I also feed my kids breakfast in our hotel room so we don’t have to buy a meal right away.
Try to to stick to a “normal” schedule
If your child has a certain schedule, try to stick to it as much as possible. If they always nap at a certain time of the day don’t assume they won’t nap just because they’re at Disney. There are many ways to use their nap time to your advantage. One of them is to acquire a rider switch pass and use it during this time. They allow one parent to ride a ride while the other parent tends to the child, and then you simply switch places without having to wait in line again. *Bonus tip* The second parent can ride with two other guests, so the older kids can ride again without waiting in line again! You may also want to consider going back to your hotel room and taking a nap or resting for a couple of hours. You will all wake up feeling refreshed and ready to experience some more Disney fun.
Remember that Disney is about creating memories and enjoying your time together, so don’t get caught up in all the little details. Although, it’s easy to get caught up in planning and mapping out every detail of your trip, you truly need to let it go (that was intentional) and just enjoy yourself. That’s my plan, to keep my plans to a minimum and enjoy the Disney magic with my kids.
What are some of your favorite Disney travel tips? I would love to hear from you!