Disney World may be the happiest place on earth but Parents Surviving Disney World? Not the happiest people in the world. Until now, with our Parents’ Survival Guide to Disney World
Taking on Disney World, with the lines, the crowds, the gift shops, the lines, the long days, the weather, the lines; did we mention the lines? – is not for sissies. Mom’s and Dad’s have to be battle ready but we hope with our tips they can feel a little of the magic too.
Top 10 Tips for Parents to Enjoy Disney:
1.Pack lunch and snacks.
The food is expensive and limited in scope. Impromptu hunger can lead to long line waits, unwanted food and cranky kids. The park lets you bring in a cooler/backpack etc as long as they search it.
2. Use the Fast Pass system.
You can reserve your rides/attractions and activities online, all before you even set foot in Florida. Go to My Disney Experience and build your profile. Download the app on your phone with your account info so you can access it while you are in the park. You can only book 3 Fast passes a day so pick the in demand ones first. Make the 3 reservations for the morning and then you can select 1 more for afternoon At a kiosk once you have used your 3. Order your magic bands in advance online.
Magic Kingdom is a dry (cocktail free) park so if planning to stay day to night, we’ve heard of some over-21 visitors bringing their preferred libation in an empty water bottle. Lemonade slush with a splash of vodka is delish!
4. Bring a stroller for the cooler no matter how old the kids are! Tag it with your name so it doesn’t get mixed up with anyone else’s. Strollers look the same packed like caravans, you don’t want someone else accidentally taking yours.
5. Check out one of the online crowd calendars for the parks. If possible avoid the red crowds seasons, but if you do go then see item 4 above.
6. No matter how much fun you are having, how perfect the weather is, or how quick the lines are there will be some point (or points) during the day when you have just had enough (and this usually is around the same time or slightly after the kids have had enough) Take a breather and seek out the in-park playgrounds for the kids to have some freestyle running around and where you can sit and relax. (See item number 4
These parks are great for a much needed time out:
Hollywood Studios: Next to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure
Disney’s Animal Kingdom: The Boneyard in DinoLand USA
Magic Kingdom: Behind Dumbo the Flying Elephant
7. If on a budget….buy glow sticks, light up items or Disney items before trip. Local Target, dollar store or disneystore.com are great resources for less expensive souvenirs. That way your kids have have their glowy things without having to break the bank.
8. Depending on where you live and how long you will be in Orlando, an annual pass might be the way to go. And annual passholders get all kinds of perks, including discounts at many retail locations as well some restaurants. Always ask if they give a discount before you pay.
9. Staying for the fireworks? Pick a spot closest to the exit if park closes right after the show to make a quick getaway.
10. If your child still naps, pop them in the stroller and wait in line for a character “meet and greet” while they snooze.