We recently made a brave voyage to Disney World with six children in tow. Maybe it was more crazy of us than brave, but either way, it was an adventure! An adventure that I don’t recommend taking on the fly. Disney is amazing, but you need to be prepared!
Here are a few things to think about as you prepare:
- Keep your expectations LOW. We all know that any plans involving children have a 50/50 shot of being amazing…or being disastrous. Going into a Disney trip with an open mind, flexible schedule, and loose expectations rather than a rigid schedule and set-in-stone expectations will make your trip so much more enjoyable. You cannot control the crowds. You cannot control the weather. You cannot control the meltdowns. So mentally prepare yourself and know that Disney can be a magical trip no matter what happens.
- Know your family. Disney is not just any ordinary trip. If you’re going to take this trip, you are carving out time, money, and energy to take on a massive experience. Because of your investment, you need to keep your family’s likes, dislikes, and habits in mind. Do your kids have to have a nap? Plan to make time for naps during the day. Does your five-year-old still want to be carried a lot at home? Plan to rent or take a stroller. Does your son hate loud noises? Research the rides ahead of time to know which ones he may not enjoy. Taking these things into account will make your Disney days go much smoother.
- Prioritize what each member of your family wants to see/do/ride. Unless you plan to be in the parks from sun up to sun down (which is possible and we did do a few times), you may not be able to do every single ride, show, and experience available. With this in mind, look over the list of rides and shows available at each park. Let each family member pick one or two for each park and make your agenda based around those experiences. Then, once you’ve accomplished these, anything else you get to experience is just icing on the cake!
- Prepare for all seasons. Weather seasons, that is. Depending on what time of year you are visiting Disney, you may experience all the seasons in one week! For example, we visited in January. During our one-week stay we had 80 degree weather, 45 degree weather, sunshine, and rain. You can always check the weather ahead of time to know how to pack, but be prepared with a jacket, ponchos, and warm weather outfits! You won’t regret overpacking, but you’ll definitely have a hard time keeping a smile on your face if you’re freezing or wet.
- Remember: magic is simple for kids. Disney is one of those places where moms want everything to be perfect. We want every line to be short, every meal to be amazing, every child to be smiling 100% of the time. We want transportation to be simple and our Pinterest boards to come to life all while staying within our budget. But our kids? They don’t care about any of the detailed planning we go into to make it happen. A trip to Disney will be made magical with one simple glance at Mickey Mouse, a stream of bubbles coming from the kid walking in front of them, or the popcorn that they get to eat every day for a snack. Remember the simple things and don’t fret over the big plans you have.
Have you taken a family trip to Disney? Give us your favorite Disney tips!