Going to Disney World can (and should!) be one of the most magical experiences you ever share with your child. But when you’re a busy, business-owning mom, the thought of successfully navigating the potential pitfalls of a Disney trip (with a little one in tow) can make you feel more stress than joy. Well, I’m here to tell you that it can be done… in fact, I just did it! Here are my top 5 tips for having a trip full of Disney magic:
Go With a Plan
One of the best things that you can do before your trip is to spend some time planning. Even if it’s a little time-consuming… consider it an investment into your vacation happiness account! There are vacations where you can head out with minimal planning, but the truth is Disney is just not one of those places. The good restaurants fill up fast, so you need to book reservations. The lines can be long, so you have to schedule FastPasses. Taking a little time to plan on the front end of your vacation will save you time and frustration once you’re actually in the parks.
Go With the Flow
This may seem counterintuitive to the first tip, but they honestly go hand-in-hand! You can do all of the planning possible before your trip, but things will never go 100% according to plan every day you’re at Disney. When my daughter and I were at Disney, we had FastPasses for Winnie the Pooh (a ride my daughter was SO excited to go on!). Just as we got to the ride, I realized she’d fallen asleep in her stroller. Now, I could have adhered stringently to our plan and woken her up to go on the ride. But, the truth is, she probably wouldn’t have enjoyed it anyway. So do you know what we did? We left and went back to the hotel! I decided it was better to go with the flow and miss our FastPass than power through with the original plan
Take Time to Relax
Remember that story I just told about my daughter falling asleep in her stroller and how we left the park to go back to the hotel? Here’s a secret… sometimes, at Disney, that’s the best thing you can do! You don’t have to be a toddler to be exhausted by Disney… it happens to all of us at some point. Between the heat and the constant walking and the waiting in lines, it’s easy to get tired out. And when that happens, the best thing you can do for you and your child is to listen to your bodies and REST! Let them take a nap. Go to your hotel and relax by the pool. Get refreshed in your room and have a nice dinner at Disney Springs. With all of the hustle and bustle at Disney, you have to be willing to stop and relax regularly. It’ll make everyone happier!
When you’re on any vacation, but especially a Disney vacation, it’s so easy to let all of your regular rules go out the window because you want your kids to experience all of the non-stop magic! And while it’s okay to ease up on certain habits and schedules, it’s also important to remember that the rules at home are rules for a reason. During our first vacation day in Disney, we wanted to soak up all of the magic! So when I realized my daughter was getting a little tired and cranky, I tried ice cream as a quick fix. And then I was quickly reminded why I would have given her a snack with some protein if we were at home. Cue the full-scale meltdown! Having to carry a screaming toddler from Disney is not a fun experience. The good news is that you can avoid moments like this (for the most part) by trying to stick to your regular habits and rules as much as possible.
Enjoy Disney YOUR Way
And here is my final and most important tip… you can read and plan and take all of the advice from your seasoned Disney friends, but once you’re actually in the parks, you have to do Disney in the way that works best for YOU and YOUR kids! There are a million things to do across the four theme parks and two water parks in Disney World, and there are just as many ways to do them. But the important thing is that you do what’s going to make your children (and you!) happy! We didn’t get to even half of the attractions in Magic Kingdom during our two days there, and we ended up doing the same things multiple times. Why? Because those were the things my daughter liked and was really excited about! I could have dragged her all over the park trying to hit every attraction and landmark… but we wouldn’t have had nearly as much fun as we did. Because we did Disney OUR way, focusing on the rides and characters that my daughter loves. After all, you’re in the happiest place on earth… why not do the things that make you the happiest!