Six Ways to Make the Most of Walt Disney World as a Family

There’s a reason that Walt Disney World is one of the top family vacation destinations in the world. There is something there for everyone. The problem is that it is too easy to get caught up in the hype. There is so much to see and do, and chances are that you are going to want to experience as much as possible. Remember, though, that trying to do too much with a family can hurt your vacation. Here are six tips that will help everyone in your family to have the vacation of a lifetime.


6) Involve the Kids When Planning

Unless you want to surprise the kids with a trip to Central Florida, get them involved with the planning. This is especially important if they have never been to Walt Disney World before. Order the free DVD from the Walt Disney World website and watch it together as a family. Let each child pick a ride and a restaurant that they would like to try. Watch the classic Disney movies that have attractions based on them. Walt Disney World is gigantic, and it can be overwhelming for an unprepared child. Get the kids involved when the time for the trip is growing near, and everyone will have a better time.

5) Reserve a Character Meal

There are plenty of chances to meet characters in the parks. The problem is that the time with them is often limited to a hug, an autograph, and a quick picture. A character meal will give your family a chance to spend more time with the characters. The characters will visit each party and there is a lot of interaction. An added bonus with such a meal is that most of them are all-you-can-eat. Character meals are on the expensive side, but they are worth it. At the meal you’ll make priceless family memories.

4) Don’t Skip the Water Parks

Kids love the water. Unfortunately, too many families decide that a day at one of the two Walt Disney World water parks isn’t necessary. For many kids, the water park is the highlight of the vacation. There are play areas for the smaller children, and family rides for everyone. A nice feature about the water parks is that your whole family can hop into a wave pool. The kids will have a blast, and you’ll enjoy the fact that you don’t have to wait in line. The water parks are also a great place to cool off from the Florida heat, which can be a little bit much for small children.

3) Take a Daily Break

Walt Disney World is exhausting. A day in a park from open until close can wear out even the toughest adult. Imagine how tired your children are going to feel! Take a break each afternoon. If you can make it back to your hotel without too much difficulty, go back and take a nap. If that is not feasible, take a break within the park. Find a shady bench and sit down for a few minutes. Go on a slow ride a couple of times. Get ice cream at an indoor location. A few minutes off of your feet and out of the heat will help everyone in your family to recharge.

2) Plan an Off Day

If you are going to spend several days in Central Florida, plan a day off from the parks in the middle of your trip. Sleep in, and then spend the afternoon at the hotel pool. Check out the various Walt Disney World resort hotels. Rent a bike and go for a ride as a family, or take a carriage ride. An off day may be one more day that you’ll have to pay for, but it will give your family a much needed break. They’ll then be ready to hit the parks at rope drop the following morning.

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1) Don’t Schedule Every Moment

It’s not a bad idea to head to Walt Disney World with a plan. With FastPass+ Disney has made it more important than ever to schedule parts of your vacation. There is nothing wrong with setting a schedule, but don’t be afraid to stray from it. Kids live in the moment, and when they see Duffy they are going to want a picture immediately. They won’t care that you planned to make it to Lotus Blossom Cafe before the dinner crowd arrives. Make sure that you hit all of your family’s must do’s, but be ready to leave your original schedule from time to time. Your whole family will feel less stress, and you might even find a gem that you hadn’t planned on trying.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.