Going to Disney is a dream trip for many children. No matter how old your children are, a trip to Disney will become a life-long memory that they will cherish. However, traveling with small children can be a challenge, and when you combine that with all the energy and intense feelings that Disney elicits, you can end up facing meltdown after meltdown — creating a trip that is memorable in an entirely different way.
Going to Disney with small children requires a little more planning to make sure that you have an enjoyable trip. Here are a few tips for how you can survive a long day at Disney with small children:
Don’t Try to Do it All
There are so many things to see and do at Disney, even if you just stay in the main park and don’t try to see any of the sister parks like Epcot or Hollywood Studios. Trying to fit all the rides, exhibitions, character meetings, parades and shows into one day is a recipe for disaster. You and your children will both be utterly exhausted and won’t be able to enjoy your time. Either plan for a longer stay or focus your visit on the main rides and attractions you really want to see. Plan for the other stuff to be fun bonuses if you have the time.
Small children need a lot of gear to make sure they have everything they need. Make sure you come prepared. You’ll need a stroller, snacks, wet naps for messes, sippy cups, sunscreen, and small toys for when you’re waiting in line. Consider bringing along any other items that will make your children comfortable but that won’t weigh you down unnecessarily, such as a small blanket or a favorite lovie.
Hit the Popular Rides First
A large part of your day will be spent waiting in line. The longer you wait in line, the more chances there are that your children will become bored or frustrated and have a meltdown. You can cut down on your wait time by going to the popular rides first, when the lines are shorter in the earlier part of the day. If this isn’t possible, or if you run into long lines anyway, you can consider buying fast passes to help you jump to the head of the line. The cost will be worth it.
Stay on Site
Your children are going to need to take naps at some point during the day — and if they don’t, no one’s going to have a good time. Some children may be content to nap in a stroller, but many children need a quiet, soothing place to really recharge. By staying on site, you can ensure that you can go back to your room quickly for naps and then get back out in the action as soon as possible. Having a room you can reach quickly will also be handy for accidents or if you forget something important.
Take Plenty of Breaks
Despite their seemingly boundless energy, little kids need a lot of breaks. They become overwhelmed and over stimulated quite easily. When that happens, they become cranky and have meltdowns. Make sure you plan to take plenty of breaks throughout your day to give your children a chance to rest and recharge. You can go back to your hotel room, or you can simply enjoy some quiet time together on a bench or in a cafe.
A trip to Disney is a dream vacation for many families. Make sure you make it a memorable one for you and your children by using these strategies for success. You’ll create treasured memories that you will keep with you for many years to come.
Amber Satka writes on financial topics, such as her look into low interest car loans. Amber is a former office manager and current mother and writer.