If you’re a mom planning a visit to Walt Disney World Resort, there’s a pretty good chance you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed as you sift through the mountains of information out there. It’s great that you’re planning ahead, but if you are stressing out about how to do Disney “right”, it’s time to take a step back. Disney is meant to be fun, and by heading in with a few key pieces of information, you can have a super fun time without all the stress. Below are our favorite tips for moms who are taking their little ones to Disney World soon. Keep these important thoughts in mind and you’ll be good to go.
1. Book FastPasses
No kid likes to wait in line, and moms especially don’t enjoy the experience of trying to keep their kids happy while waiting for 30 minutes or more. Luckily, Disney has set things up so you can wait less and have more fun by using their awesome FastPass+ system. Just be sure to book any FastPasses you really need as soon as you’re allowed.
2. Make Dining Reservations
Another thing you’ll want to plan in advance are your dining experiences. Sure, you can walk up to any quick-service place and grab a burger, and I’m sure your kids wouldn’t mind at all. However, as a hard-working parent, you deserve to enjoy your meals as well, and with so many table-service selections in the Disney Parks, you can certainly do that. Besides, your kids are sure to adore the awesome themed dining and character dining options. The best dining options tend to book up quickly, so be sure to call as soon as you can (up to six months in advance) to get what your family wants.
3. Pack a Bag
As a mom, you are likely well aware that kids need a lot of stuff. While Disney is magic, this fact doesn’t magically go away while in Disney World. In fact, kids tend to need even more while spending long days in amusement parks. Be sure to pack plenty of wipes and diapers and an extra change of clothes. Since Disney World does allow outside food in their parks, you may also want to pack snacks or even a light meal to help keep the kids fed and happy.
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4. Bring a Stroller
Obviously, you’re going to want a stroller for a baby, but even if you have a slightly older child who doesn’t need a stroller normally, you may want to bring one for this trip. Disney World is huge. For this reason, we recommend anyone with a child under the age of 6 considers bringing or renting a stroller. After all, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.
5. Look for Baby Care Stations
If you have a tiny baby to care for, you may also want to keep an eye out for the baby care stations. Each of the parks has one, and they give families with kids a great place to escape the hustle and bustle, sneak in a nap, change diapers, and nurse before hitting more attractions.
6. Know the Height Requirements
Because not all kids are tall enough to ride everything in Disney World, it is important to go in knowing what your children can and cannot ride. This will give you time to prepare your kids for the disappointment of missing a particular ride, and will help prevent meltdowns.
7. Use Rider Swap
If you find that your children are too short to ride something you’d like to experience, be sure to educate yourself on the Rider Swap option. This is great for those who are traveling with two adults, and gives both adults the opportunity to ride without requiring both to wait in line. Best of all, if you have older children who are tall enough to ride, they can ride twice—once with each adult.
8. Take It Slow
Many people feel that in order to have a good vacation they must see and do everything Disney World has to offer. However, there are so many things to do on this property that doing it all in one go simply isn’t possible. Moreover, attempting to do so with kids is a recipe for disaster and disappointment. Instead, slow down and let your kids enjoy the simpler things in between the bigger attractions. You might be surprised just how fun blowing bubbles with a Cast Member or watching the resident ducks can be.
9. Give Yourself a Break
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that this is your vacation too. Find time to give yourself a break. Check out the onsite childcare at Disney’s Contemporary Resort and spend an evening in your favorite park with a friend or your significant other. Better yet, use the time to visit one of the many spas on property, or dine at a signature restaurant.