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Can we talk about Disney planning yet?? I know we’ve only been back from Alaska for a few weeks, and school is now in session, but we are already avidly talking about our annual Walt Disney World vacation. I simply can’t wait, and I know my kids share that sentiment. Des asks me every single day, “Is it winter yet?” And that’s because he knows that winter is when we go to Orlando. Every year we learn something, or a lot of new things. I think that’s why our vacations get better every year – because they build on each other – with each new experience, wonderful moment, magical family first, and much more.
We are avid travelers, or at least we’re on our way there. When we went to Alaska last month, I was so confused by traveling with just Cassidy. We each checked one bag. We each brought one bag on the flight. There were no strollers to fold up, car seats to stow, or kid items to have on board – like extra snacks, books, and Pull-Ups! As much as it’s more complicated to travel as a family, it’s also priceless, and every single extra thought is worth every moment we have together – seeing the magic of Walt Disney World. There’s something new each time. I love learning as we go, and learning as we grow. Together.
Like all good things, a family vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort requires planning, but perhaps that is a big part of the fun. There is nothing to me quite like seeing our dreams come alive. And then making them align as a dream family vacation.
How To Rock Your Disney Vacation Like a Pro:
1. Plan for more than one, or two, days there. We finally got to Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the beginning of this year, and when we go in a few months, we will finally hit Disney’s Hollywood Studios. As far as the Magic Kingdom, easily both kids’ favorite, there are times (often) in which we want the flexibility to be able to head to EPCOT for those incredible attractions. It’s also worth heading there for the ferry boat ride alone, and for getting to have a princess lunch at Akershus. You never know who you’ll meet!
2. Get to the park early! In truth, you will not be let into the park until the gates open at the designated time, but there’s an area you can gather in the morning. And you do not want to miss the train pull in with Disney characters! I remember our first time seeing that show, and seeing Anna and Elsa in the back of the train waving to us. I felt a full gasp go up through my body, and my daughter’s smile when that happened can still bring tears to my eyes. Don’t miss it!
3. Collect everyone’s bucket list dreams! This is the fun part of vacation-planning. We all have different desires within the Disney Parks but making those dreams come true together is FUN. If you give yourself ample time to plan, and plenty of time in the parks, you will be able to do everything you desire. You can make your vacation uniquely yours with the MagicBands and FastPass+, used in conjunction with each other. It’s so much fun to choose the colors and characters of your bands, and then to set your FastPass+ preferences, and watch the magic unfold.
4. Use the My Disney Experience Mobile App. Ah, I LOVE this app. It’s a time-saving, private-planning mobile app that will allow you to schedule and/or change FastPass+ selections, always know the wait times on all your favorite rides, look at Disney Parks menus, and view photos immediately. It’s not to be missed! Just like this:
5. Stay at one of the Disney Resort Hotels. We stayed at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort earlier this year in a Finding Nemo suite. Well right after that visit, Des got OBSESSED with the movie Cars. So now I can’t wait to stay in a Cars Suite. Staying on property is fun and convenient and there is so much to do, with parties, poolside movies, campfires and s’mores, and the convenience of being close to the parks. I can’t wait to go back! Same with this kid:
6. Take advantage of everything the parks have to happen. Did you know you can get free cold water all around Walt Disney World? Or that there are baby care centers for nursing moms sprinkled all throughout the parks, where moms and babies can relax? There are also charging stations for mobile phones, first-aid centers well-equipped to handle most problems, and incredible stroller rentals. Isn’t it so nice to be able to enjoy yourself, knowing how well-covered you are?
7. Furthermore, there is Rider Switch. If you have one child (and one parent) who doesn’t love certain rides, or isn’t old enough for them, Rider Switch allows guests to take turns waiting with little ones, then they switch with their partner without having to stand in line twice. It’s awesome!
8. Find your happiness in inclement weather. Is rain on the forecast? Head to Disney Springs for shopping and entertainment galore. Is rain not on the forecast, but still happening? There are reasonably priced ponchos throughout the parks.
9. Looking for healthier foods on your Disney Parks vacation? Disney has healthy, balanced meals for everyone. Look for the “Mickey Check” On any menu at the parks and you will find fruits/veggies/protein.
10. Be prepared! (like that song in Lion King) Disney Parks have pretty much anything you can imagine, but there are comfort items and necessities you will need too. I also pack extra socks for the kids if they get wet. I pack extra snacks. I pack extra Pull-Ups, because I have traveled to Walt Disney World with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in my adult years.
Pull-Ups are a no-brainer for us. They have improved day & night protection, and now more coverage for a comfortable fit. They have an underwear-like design and are a great teaching tool for putting underwear on and taking it off. The designs fade when wet, and there are easy open sides for when you really need it. The Disney designs are a huge plus! Des gets so happy about his Cars Pull-Ups, and can’t wait to wear them in his Cars Suite at Walt Disney World Resort.
For more information about Walt Disney world planning, visit this wonderful link. And for more information on traveling to Disney World with a preschooler – like we’ve only ever done (and loved it, really!) – visit this helpful link.
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