You’re planning a fantastic Walt Disney World vacation, you have the flights, hotel and tickets – what else do you need to know? Plenty! If it’s your first time going to Disney and you have little ones, there are some things you really want to consider before you go.
On episode 99 of the Pixie Dust Fan podcast, we chatted with our friends Amy and Kimberley about things that they have learned over the years that helped them travelling with kids to Walt Disney World.Â These guys know what they’re talking about, they have tons of experience between them.Â They were gracious enough to put together a top 10 list that we discussed in depth on the podcast, and I’m sharing that list below.
1 – Bring a Stroller
Don’t underestimate how much walking there is to do in the parks and how valuable a rest is to the little ones.Â Having a spot they can sit and relax (and maybe have a little nap) is critical. It’s also a great place to store your purchases, hold your bags and your drinks!
2 – Get Memory Maker
You’re busy making memories on this trip, it’s important to capture the pictures with EVERYONE in them. And don’t forget the magic shots and attraction pics, those are priceless!
More info on Memory Maker can be found in this post here
3 – Have snacks and water handy
The last thing you want is a meltdown because they’re hungry or dehydrated. While there are snacks available all over the parks, sometimes it’s good to have a familiar snack from home – something you know they like that won’t be an argument to have them eat. Also a good idea to have some for the adults too – no one is happy when they’re hungry.
4 – Have a souvenier strategy
The masters of marketing, Disney knows how to display merchandise so that we want to buy everything! Now imagine how the kids feel when they see everything they want to buy. If you have a strategy for souvenirs before you go, it makes these debates a little easier. Plan in advance what they will be allowed to buy. Do they get a set dollar amount? Or can they just choose one thing? So much will also depend on their age, but it’s never a bad idea to set those expectations with them before you go.
5 – Pack a pharmacy and insurance
Have typical medicines from home that you know work well with your child are so important. You can’t always get the same over the counter cough syrup or ear drops that you do at home. If your child is prone to needing certain allergy medications – bring it with you so you’re not testing a new brand while on vacation. The other thing that is crucial is making sure BEFORE you travel that you have some medical insurance for everyone, including the kids. On the podcast Kimberley explained one of the trips where her son was ill and ended up in Emergency – scary stuff, it’s always best to be prepared.
6 – Expect the unexpected
You’ve planned the absolute perfect trip – down to the hour with dining reservations, itineraries and matching outfits, it’s all fantastic until it isn’t. Be prepared that your plans may (and probably will) change. The weather, unexpected closures or even a meltdown (kids or adults) can mean a big diversion from your meticulously planned day. Roll with it, don’t sweat the small stuff, it will still be magical.
7 – Ask the kids to help you plan
Asking for their input while you plan gives them the opportunity to be involved. It helps build the excitement and it’s a good time for you to walk through the details. It’s their vacation too – if they’re old enough, get them involved in deciding the ‘must dos’.
8 – Plan for a rest
The parks at Walt Disney World are magical, but can also be exhausting! Make sure you’re planning a day to relax, enjoy the resort, maybe do some swimming and chill. It’s really important to rejuvenate during the week so that you don’t burn out. It’s also a great time to explore all that Walt Disney World has to offer outside of the theme parks.
9 – Don’t wait
Don’t wait until your kids are ‘old enough’. They are never too young for YOU to remember their first time. Those memories are just as important to you, and seeing Disney through their eyes is something pretty special. There’s also a small window of time when they’re little that you don’t pay for them – so really it’s a win/win!
10 – You can’t do it all
Go with the plan that you can’t see and do it all. Seriously.Â I have been going all my life, multiple times per year – I haven’t seen it all. Make your list of ‘must do’ items, and be realistic about what you can get through. Don’t overplan because there will never be enough time anyway. Prioritize what is important to you and your family and let the other stuff just happen. It takes the pressure off, after all – it’s vacation right? It shouldn’t be stressful.
Using a Disney travel agent can help guide you through all of the steps for planning your trip.
Have you been to Walt Disney World with little ones?