Still thinking about that fabulous vacay to Florida? To ensure an enchanting vacation is to seek a travel agent who specializes in Disney Vacations, and I’m not just saying this because I am one. I wish I had used someone on my early trips. We are trained and experienced in how best to schedule your precious holiday family time. We consider your interests and ages of family members and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo… we are wizards and fairy godmothers who can get those impossible reservations that fulfill all your wishes! Here are some more tips I wish I knew on my early trips!
#5: Don’t let your kids fly off to Neverland: Be sure to have the “what to do if you can’t find mommy and daddy” chat. Nobody wants to think about this, butbe sure to have a plan if your child is distracted and loses you for a bit. It happens to the best parents. Disney has amazing protocols in place for this, but YOU should also make sure your kids know what to do and say. TIP: Write your name and cell phone number in Sharpie and cover with clear nail polish on the inside of their magic band. There are also Etsy shops that sell safety ID stickers. Getting lost can be a bit terrifying and your child may not remember the carefully practiced and memorized phone number.
#4: Better than a magic wand to make the perfect attire appear: Don’t forget to coordinate and pack those cute matching Disney shirts — and pack smart! A packing tip I swear by, is inserting one outfit a day for each kid in a large zip-lock bag — Underwear, shirt, shorts —label and squeeze out the air. I also have extra zip locks with spare outfits in case of accidents, ice cream spills, and more. This trick also helps you keep clean and used clothing separate.
#3: Just whistle while you work and use My Disney Experience: Get familiar with My Disney Experience before you leave for your vacay. Download the app and learn how to navigate the various tools and resources. My Disney Experience enables you to manage your dining reservations, change around FastPasses, check wait times for attractions and shows, and gives you the ability to download your Memory Maker pictures right to your phone. Ask your travel agent to help you with this before you go!
#2: Don’t get lost heading to the ball: Have a dining reservation in a park, or at another resort? This is where you need to do planning. Dining reservations are made 180 days out — especially to secure those coveted ones such as, Be Our Guest or Cinderella’s Round Table. You should also know how to get to your dining reservations. You cannot take transportation from resort to resort — Know what to do to get there, so you don’t miss that sought-after reservation. Rule of thumb is to schedule in at least two hours travel time — especially during peak weeks like Spring Break or Christmas.
#1: The sky’s awake, so I’m awake: Hit the parks early and enjoy the pool in the afternoon or better yet, plan a pool day. Parks are most crowded during the hottest part of the day — and that’s when toddlers are exhausted and parents go into full melt down mode. If you’re staying on site at a Disney Resort, be sure to check for Extra Magic Hours for each respective park — Remember it’s your R&R too and so it’s important to have fun, relax, and take a break. Disney really is brilliant at accommodating the needs of adults, such as a Baby Care centers, spas, and drinks at the pool — Adult time is non-negotiable. Take advantage of Disney babysitting services… cause you know they have the perfect nannies! Work this into your trip — and follow through. You can always head back to the parks for fireworks.
BONUS TIP: Even Jack Sparrow needed a map: As a Disney planner, I tend to plan my client’s vacation better than my own. Because we have been to Disney multiple times, we have learned to acclimate to high crowd times. Every time I’m there, I look around and see anxious parents diligently reading itineraries and micro-managing their day. “We have to get to the next FastPass NOW!” Those are not the Disney vacation memories you want to bring home. Cast members are everywhere and are more than willing to help. The most important message is Hakuna Matata…You MUST enjoy the time as much as your children!
Check out my website:My3peasinapod.com for more Disney tips and articles, as well as other articles and content on parenting and life.
Here are links to some of my favorite shops to order those adorable matching Disney shirts!