Having not been to Disney in about 10 years, I was pumped to head back. I was even more excited to share the experience with my children! We started planning our Disney experience almost a year ago…and I am glad we did! There are 2 different ways to do Disney. The first way is to plan…plan some more…and then have a back up plan. Planning for Disney helps to ensure you get to ride all the rides, meet all the characters, and experience everything you want without having to wait hours in line! Then, there is the second way to do Disney…show up and hope for the best. My personality doesn’t really allow for the “show up and hope for the best” method. Plus, we only plan to do Disney once maybe twice with the girls…so I needed to make the best of the trip! Here are my tips and tricks that can help you!
Get a Planner
I don’t mean a planner as in a book….I mean the person. Get yourself a Disney Planner! Why are Disney Planners better then you doing it all yourself? Well, first of all they are free for you to use. Second, they are extremely knowledgeable about Disney. And third, they may have instead tips and tricks that can help you with your trip! Our Disney Planner was great! Here is her link if you want to use her! Jill planned everything for us. She was also great with explaining things to me. She knew we wanted to take the girls on the Frozen ride…but when our window opened to FastPass, there were NO TIMES available. Not sure how she did it, but about a week before we went she was able to get us a time slot! She also woke up at 6:00 am on a Saturday to book all of our FastPass times…if that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is! So, get a Disney Planner…you will thank me later!
Bring a Stroller
Our girls are 6, 4, and 2….we brought 2 strollers that recline all the way back and were also light weight. If you are staying in a hotel that provides buses to the parks, you will need to fold up the stroller every time you get on. So, bring something that is quick and easy to fold up! You’ll also want something that is comfy for the kids to nap in. Both of my younger girls slept in the strollers each day for about an hour or more.
We opted for a Disney Character book instead of the classic Autograph Book. I am so glad we did! Not only will this book be better in the long run BUT it was great at keeping our oldest occupied while waiting on line. All of the girls enjoyed flipping through the book and looking at the pages. It was also fun to find the characters page in the book for them to sign! Click here to purchase this book on Amazon.com!
Yes, you can bring food into Disney! I love this about Disney. We brought a backpack filled with snacks from home to the hotel….granola bars, chips, pretzels, breakfast bars, small boxes of cereal, and other snack packs. The snacks were great on the plane and in the hotel. Each morning, I packed the mesh bag on the stroller with enough snacks for everyone. This was helpful while in line and while just walking around the park! The girls knew they could help themselves to the snacks at any time. The last day we bought them all a Mickey Ice Cream Bar and it cost $4.25 each…not cheap…so yeah, pack snacks!!
You can get a pack of glow necklaces at your local dollar store. These are great for keeping track of your kids at night in the parks. Plus a bonus…your kids won’t ask you to buy them an over priced light up necklace…well, hopefully they won’t. And if they do, just tell them they already have one on!
Get one of those portable phone chargers…and make sure it is charged and ready to go every day! Between using the Disney app, taking pictures, and looking stuff up, our phones were dead half way through the day! The phone chargers were clutch!
Map it Out
Every night, my husband and I sat with the Disney app and a map of the park we were going to the next day. You will want to make sure that you do all the rides near your FastPass selections. Disney parks are HUGE…nothing worse then having to walk from one side of the park all the way to the other side and then back again. Each night we circled the rides and attractions that we wanted to do and mapped out our day. As we went through the day, we were able to make sure we were seeing and doing everything we set out to accomplish!
The days will fly by! Take lots of pictures and remember to enjoy your time at Disney. There will be moments of awfulness…but they will be shadowed by the happy times! Good luck and God speed!