The most magical place on earth is truly magical, but behind that magic are parents slinging snacks and preparing for an epic adventure! We braved Disney this past March with a newborn, a 2 year old, a 5 year old, and 7 year old and lived to tell about it! These tips are perfect for Disney or any other theme park you're braving in the near future!
1. Don't think you can do EVERYTHING
Chances are there are going to be some rides, a show, or even an experience you may miss out on, but that is completely fine! Prioritize with your family what are the most important things for you to focus on that trip. For example, my daughter loves Ariel so riding the Ariel ride at the rope drop was an easy decision. My husband loves Star Wars so we made sure to make Lightening Lane reservations since standing in line with 4 kids for hours would be a nightmare.
2. Book through a Travel Agent
It will be the best decision you make because not only do they help you get special deals, but they also help ensure your trip is successful by asking about your or your children's interests and booking additional experiences for you. For example, one of everyone's favorite parts of our Disney trip was eating breakfast at Toppolinos. The food was amazing, but getting to dance with Mickey, Minnie and the gang was so special for my kids.
3. Bring Grandparents
Seriously this is a tip for all vacations, but let me tell you why grandparents are so wonderful at Disney or other theme parks! Grandparents offer not only an extra set of hands, but they allow you to get one-on-one time if you have multiple age ranges. My 7 year old and 2 year old can't always ride the same rides or have the same attention span so it was nice to have Grandparents take the little one to play at a playground for a bit, while we road Slinky Dog with our big girls. Plus Disney date nights are just better and if you get the kids to bed the Grandparents can keep ears out while you and your hubby slip out!
4. Plan a Pool Day
Honestly park days are so, so fun, but they are tiring if you do them right so plan one day somewhere in the middle of your trip to just chill poolside. Chances are your resort has a great pool setup and the Florida weather can let you swim so many months out of the year.
5. Plan Matching Outfits
First of all it's just fun, but it's also convenient to know what each adult or kid in your party is wearing that day! You can spot each other and especially kids in a crowd quickly.
6. Finally, Don't forget to pack these essentials:
- Comfy walking shoes for all!
- Stroller! I recommend one for anyone under the age of 8. Seriously, any theme park is a lot of walking and even my 7 year old enjoyed spending some time just being pushed around. It also helped when we were trying to move quickly between Disney Lightning Lane reservations.
- Sunscreen! An essential anytime you’re in the sun!
- Cooler with water and snacks! Yes, you'll grab a Mickey Ice Cream bar, but if you want to be time and budget-friendly it's best to have some go-to snacks for littles. We packed pirates booty, yogurt tubes, applesauce pouches, and goldfish to keep our crew happy between special snacks and meals.
- Mouse Ears! Buy these prior to getting there! First of all, it's fun to have for photo ops while walking in and you'll save money. One of my girls left hers on a ride and I didn't worry because we hadn't invested much at all.
- Ponchos! It rains unexpectedly a lot at the most magical place on earth!
- Cell Phone + Battery pack - If you follow my tips then you will need this to work the Disney Lightning Lane. You'll be taking tons of pictures and videos too so the battery pack will keep you going all day. Also ordering food ahead of time is another perk with the Disney app and a lifesaver with kids!
- Changes of clothes! Accidents happen and sometimes Splash Mountain is extra splashy so it's best to tuck these away in your diaper bag.
- Diapers, Wipes, and any other baby essentials! We found that a little chargeable fan was perfect to keep our littlest cool while we waited in between rides and shows.
Most importantly, live in the moment! Disney and other theme parks are truly magical when all your planning and preparation have paid off! Even when not everything is going to plan, try to focus on all the happy moments and make the most of your trip because it will fly by!