Going to Disney has the same affect on a person that giving birth does. During the experience, it is painful and tough…there are moments that you are not sure you are going to survive. Tears and sweat flow from your body uncontrollably. There are also magical and joyful moments. During the whole thing, you think to yourself (and may even shout to your partner) “I will never do this again”. But once it is all over, you forget. You forget the tears, the sweat, the anxiety, and the pain…you look at the pictures and smile. You remember the happiness that went along with the moments and forget the bad. This…this is Disney. Disney will do this to you. It did it to me. I am only a few days Post Disney Vacation and I have already started to plan our return visit. So, here they are…what you should know, but no one tells you!
You will walk a lot
This is probably the understatement of the year! Looking at a Disney park map, it doesn’t look so bad. Everything is only inches away from each other. Well, those inches aren’t really inches! On one of the days, my pedometer said I walked 12 miles. 12 miles! That is insane…between walking to the buses, around the park, around your resort, and where ever else you are going to go…you are going to walk, a lot! Bring comfortable shoes! Not cute shoes! A friend told me he had just gotten a cute new pair of boat shoes and he wore them to Disney. Big mistake…he said the sole was completely worn down. He ruined his shoes. Go for comfort!!
Your kids will melt down
Yeah, you heard me. Disney has a way of breaking down even the most well behaved child. After day 3 our oldest had a meltdown. Now, if you know our younger 2, you can understand how they had meltdowns several times a day. My husband and I were not surprised by the younger girls melting down…it was expected. But, if you know our oldest, this information would send your head spinning. Nicki is super well behaved! But, after 3 long days in the most magical place on earth, Nicki succumbed and cried…while having breakfast with Sofia the First. Happens to the best of them…and it will happen to your kids!
You will lose your shit on your kids
Yeah, you and every other parent there! This goes with the one right above. Kids freaking out every 5 minutes will inevitably lead to parents losing their shit. If you are about to lose your mind on your child, stop and look around…chances are, someone else is yelling at their child too! Don’t feel bad…happens to the best of us!! And kudos to you if you have mastered the “smiling yell”….you know what I am talking about. It’s when you smile at your child and threaten them without raising your voice. This is great to do in line or when you are out to eat. Your kids know you mean business, but everyone else just thinks you are super happy!
You will need a drink…a real one!
One of the best things about Disney is being able to walk around with alcohol. After the kids have had their millionth meltdown, you will need a drink! If there was a kiosk selling mimosas in the morning, I was ready for one! And everyone needs a beer after waiting in line for over an hour to see a princess! Also, keep in mind that you can get your alcoholic beverages To-Go after you finish a meal. One night we didn’t finish our carafe of sangria and we wanted to walk around, so we got it to go!
You will spend a lot of money
Be prepared to spend a small fortune. Do yourself a huge favor and just give in to it. Looking at the price of everything will just drive you insane…trust me! I am scared to see our credit card bill when it comes. Knowing that we could have redone a bathroom instead of going to Disney gives me heart palpitations!
You will wait on lines
The lines…oh the lines! And yes, we FastPass’d stuff! There are moments when you wait on a line just to get to yet another line. No, really this happens! You get super excited because you are nearing the front of the line….you are finally going to meet the princesses…then you are whisked away to another room…only to wait in yet another line! Know how to combat this? Free WiFi…yup, it is all over Disney! Download YouTube on your phone and hand it to your kids! YouTube and the Disney Junior app saved us from extra meltdowns!
You will meet mean people
Oh, mean people go to Disney too. Don’t be fooled. A friend of ours was there the same time as us and they had their VERY expensive stroller stolen. Just because it is the most magical place on earth, doesn’t mean it is filled with the best people! Whenever you stuff thousands of people from all over in one location, you are bound to have a few bad apples. Almost once a day we ran into a mean person…you know the ones, trying to cut the lines or run you over with their stroller. No really, there was one dad in Epcot that was pushing a double stroller through a crowd of people so violently fast I had to check behind him…thought maybe something horrible was chasing him. Nope, he was just being a huge jerk! So be careful with your stuff and your kids! Remember, it is a theme park…yes it is Disney…but it is also a crowded theme park!
You will probably catch something
Everywhere we went the familiar sound of people coughing filled the air. On the bus, in lines, everywhere! We were waiting online to see a princess and behind us was a mom that kept feeling her daughter’s forehead. The daughter looked awful and kept saying “I don’t feel good mom.” She was probably about 7. I get it…you spend a lot of time and money planning your trip and one sick kid isn’t going to stop you from having the best and most magical family vacation ever! Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands a lot!
You can get a kid’s meal
If you are NOT on the meal plan and looking to save money, remember these words “order from the kids menu!” Yes, it says you have to be under 9, but we never had an issue. Who is to say that my kids didn’t want 2 meal each? Kids meals are great! A kids meal is half the cost of an adult meal and comes with a drink and 2 sides! So, head over to any quick serve food place and order yourself a kids meal!
You can get free water
Yup, just go to any stand that sells fountain soda and you can ask for a free water cup. I will warn you, some of the water taste like it is from the toilet. But, there are some good spots for getting free water. Avoid the food carts and go directly to buildings that serve food.
You will cry…at the magic
Crying comes with the territory. When the welcome show at Magic Kingdom kicked off I started to tear up! It was magical and my daughters were so happy! Just seeing my kids happy makes my eyes water!
Remember kids, Disney is not for the faint of heart! It is also not the place for a vacation. Disney is an experience. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy your family, go to a resort! But, if you are looking to spend a lot of money, yell at your kids, fight with your spouse (at least once), and leave a broken and beaten person…then sign up folks…Disney is waiting! But, remember to take a lot of pictures! Because, you will look back and only remember the happy moments. And that makes it all worth it in the end!