I’ve just returned from a journey like no other. My family and I were even given a pin to reward our guts and glory. The pin read, “First Time Visitor To Disney World.” Throughout my adult life, I’ve managed to navigate my way through NYC, explore
Las Ramblas in Barcelona and scour the racks at Loehmann’s, but when it came to visiting the Magic Kingdom, others didn’t need to notice my daughter’s pin to know we were Disney amateurs. From planning and packing to boarding the plane to reaching our final destination, “Where dreams come true,” my vacation quickly went from calmness to chaos. With a chance to reminisce after four days of non-stop action, a load of pictures and memorabilia I can honestly say, “I’ll be back,” but only with a new and improved traveling strategy. Here’s a list of tips that can reduce family drama when doing Disney the first or in my case, second time around.
Pack A To-Go Tote
When we arrived at the hotel, our room wasn’t prepared and neither were we. Our food was stuffed in one bag, kids clothes thrown in another, lotion and sunglasses hidden in my pocketbook. It made me realize a bag needs to be pre-packed for the park and ready to go at a moments notice. The tote should be filled with lotion, snacks, water, wipes, diapers (if needed), sweatshirts and change of clothes.
Divide And Conquer
Most of our visit consisted of bursts of excitement or major meltdowns depending on the kid and time of day. After two days of insanity my husband and I decided our love couldn’t conquer all. We had to devise a plan that would keep the whole clan happy, but not always together. Next time we will pair up, one child per one parent. This will help create a smoother trip and give parents a chance to see Disney through their child’s eyes.
You Can’t Compete With Mickey and Friends
Never and I stress never, stand in your child’s way from getting their Disney idol’s autograph. Although the character meet and greet may seem a little boring to an adult, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for your little one. If the line is running too long, try to stay flexible and rearrange some plans. You certainly don’t want to be remembered as the evil parent who made your child miss a high-five from Goofy or a hug from Sophia the First.
Take a Minnie Break
From the time you first step into Disney, all the fairytale sights, parades, shows, and stores enchant you. Your adventures turn into full day excursions and before you make it to dinner you’re exhausted and the kids are ready to crash. Remember, to take a break and unwind from the excitement. Schedule time to chill out in the room, pool or go for a spa service. It gives parents time to rest and kids a chance to re-energize for the next voyage.