Planning a Disney vacation for your family is exciting, but it can seem like a daunting task if you are bringing young children.
Here are 10 tips that will help your whole family have fun on your Disney vacation.
1) You Don’t Have To Do It All
CoolMomPicks reminds vacationers with children not to try to cram everything into your trip. It can be easy to feel like you have to experience everything, but this can lead to exhausted children and stressed out adults. Instead, plan ahead with your kids.
If they are old enough to decide, ask them to pick one or two things they really want to do. For kids too young to make that decision simply pick the few things they will love the most. Make those few things happen and then fill in the rest of the time as it happens with whatever is fun and easy.
2) Take Advantage of Mornings
Children are usually at their best in the morning. Wake up early and get a good start. Take brakes in the afternoon to nap at your hotel, relax on a bench or go for a swim.
Don’t try to push your kids too hard to fit more in or everyone could get crabby. This is easiest if you stay at a resort on the property. You gain earlier access to the park and it is convenient for coming and going throughout the day.
3) Character Breakfasts
This tip comes from The Disney Food Blog. You can place an advance dining reservation or ADR for popular Character breakfasts. If you cannot make the reservation without 24-hour notice some restaurants subject you to a 10-dollar per person fee.
It is easiest to risk this fee at breakfast because you know your children are more likely to be well rested and eager to enjoy the characters. Chef Mickey’s, 1900 Park Fare and ‘Ohana are three restaurants that take ADR’s for character breakfasts.
4) Rest Days
If you are staying for more than a few days, plan to take a day in the middle to rest and relax. Commenters on the Disney Tourist Blog suggests that you should hang out by the pool, sleep in, and enjoy your hotel. You kids will feel refreshed and ready to get to the park again after a day of rest.
5) Set Expectations Ahead of Time
You don’t have to be overbearing, but let your kids know what behavior is expected of them while in the park. Also, let them know what you plan to do about souvenirs and treats.
For example, they can choose one souvenir while in the park, and they can choose one special treat like ice cream or cotton candy each day. Helping your kids know what will happen and what they can and can’t have in advance will cut down on whining, tantrums and disappointment.
6) Mark Your Stroller
Whether you bring your own stroller or rent one, you will have to park it when you get in line for rides. Onesmileymonkey recommends a brightly colored scarf or other unique identifier tied to your stroller will help you find it quickly when the ride is through.
If you decide to rent a stroller, Destination Mickey can arrange it. Our rental saves money over Disney’s rental and is more convenient. You can use it outside of the parks, so you can use it to and from the resorts. Initial pick up and final return of the stroller is at your resort.
7) Save the Fireworks
Fireworks are spectacular, but they happen late in the evening. Save this event for a night before a rest day or the night before you leave, then you won’t have overtired, cranky kids in the park the next morning.
8) Use an App
Download “My Disney Experience” the official App from Disney. This app is free and includes interactive park maps, ride wait times, FASTPASS® return times, park hours, restaurant menus, entertainment schedules, character appearances and more. It can be very handy throughout your day especially when you are trying to locate the restrooms or baby care center.
If you don’t want to install an app try Disney’s Mobile Website for Walt Disney World. Much of the same information is available.
9) Eat Early
Avoid long lines by eating meals early. Eating early will also help your kids fight fatigue and stay energized throughout the day. You won’t risk hunger inspired tantrums while waiting in a long line for lunch.
10) Expect the Unexpected and Have Fun
No vacation ever goes exactly as planned, especially vacations that include young children. The more willing you are to go with the flow and find fun in everything, even lines and crowds, the more fun your kids will have.
What tips do you have for making a Disney vacation with you children enjoyable for everyone?