How To Rock Your Disney Vacation Like a Pro

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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!

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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:

  1. 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:

  1. 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?

Disney Parks

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

Where do we get our Huggies® Pull-Ups? BJ’s Wholesale Club! We have an awesome one right near us:

Des was thrilled about the free backpack in his box of Cars Pull-Ups because he just started nursery school!

Scarlet used to wear the Doc McStuffins ones!

vacation

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.

Disney vacation

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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Comments

How To Rock Your Disney Vacation Like a Pro — 53 Comments

  1. What great tips and advice. You know ho much I love Disney and already have our summer vacation booked for next summer now. I wanted to get involved with this campaign, but no more pull ups here for some time so couldn’t apply. But still you nailed it my Disney loving friend!! <3

    • Oh boy, I know. We used to do St. Augustine for a few days and THEN Disney. Now we have learned to do Disney first and then literally do nothing in St. Augustine. A break after a vacation, of course.

  2. You sure shared some great tips here and loved them. We’re already booked for next summer and will be there for 2 weeks in July and we’re super excited. We have no more need for pull-ups over here but if we did, that’s exactly what we would have been using.

  3. you already know that as a Disney pro I agree with ALL of it! I am especially in love with the Disney mobile app. Probably one of the most intuitive and helpful apps ever.

  4. I am jealous. First you are already planning your trip and both your kids can fit in a car cart! Hopefully someday we can make out to Disneyworld and not just Disneyland. Long live Pull-Ups!!

    • ha! They are pushing it with the car cart, though. They like to pretend they’re still my babies and toddlers but I know better! Scarlet is so petite, though. We can still get her into five and under things. Not that.. uh.. we try.

  5. Oh, my goodness. Des in his ducky poncho. Scarlet staring out the window. So many cute moments, captured on film <3 Thank you for sharing… Also I really REALLY want to go back to Disney. I had a BLAST with my brother and his gf last October, when they lived there briefly. My bro's gf was a Disney pro and knew which rides to go on when so we never had a line. EVER! It was amazing.

    XOXO

  6. I had no idea Disney had rider switch. That’s good to know. 🙂 As thankful as I am for Pull-ups helping both of my kids transition to being 100% potty trained. I’m even more thankful that we are past that stage and we no longer have to buy them anymore.

    • The Rider Switch is so helpful. Although it’s mostly that Cassidy and Scarlet want to go on rides together, and not Cassidy and me!!
      Pull-Ups rock. We’re still in that stage but probably not for very much longer.

  7. I’ve really enjoyed our Disney theme parks! The Disney organization really does a wonderful job for the most part. Since Orlando is not that far away, there have been several times when we’ve even driven there just for dinner at Lake Buena Vista.

  8. I LOVE the Mickey check. We were at Disney and year ago and I was excited to see fresh produce being sold at the parks. I think rider switch is genius, too. WDW really does have amazing customer service.

    • I’m relatively new to it, but it was helpful to us two years ago (even when we weren’t staying on property) and last year when we were. They are always making it better too!

  9. The last time I went to Disney I was crammed in the back of my parents mustang with my siblings. One was puking, the other kept throwing his bottle at my dad. Good times.
    Our son hasn’t even mentioned once about going to Disney *husband laughs maniacally as he grasps his wallet*
    These are great tips though in case he ever catches the “magic” bug 🙂

    • Oh boy – carsickness? Out of the five of us, my sister got it, but never enough to puke. Just enough to make sure none of us got the “good seat” in the giant car. Punk.

  10. Wow I didn’t know you go every year! Nice! I’ve been meaning to the kids to Disneyland. And I also didn’t know the characters drove up in a train at the beginning. How awesome!

    • We started four years ago, and I guess it’s just become a thing. And every year we say we won’t do it, because of the money, but we find a way because escaping a New England winter is really important!!
      The morning train is something I’ve learned not to miss!

  11. Your photos are stunning and it looks like you guys had a magical time. I love this post so much because I was clueless on our first Disney trip. Getting to the parks early is so key!

  12. Wow, it is amazing how much more technically advanced Disney has become since I was last there (in 2002!). Charging stations and mobile apps to plan your trip? I will most certainly be referencing your post whenever I finally get down to Disney.

  13. I can’t wait to go with my family to Disney World…someday. This is all fantastic information that I will have to come back to when the time comes!

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