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When we first went to Disney, we were given a lot of never before seen tips from friends & Disney natives. I love passing these things on to you because it can seem overwhelming when you are planning your trip, but it should be FUN, not overwhelming.
We love going to Disney- we love the rides, the characters and I LOVE going to the Magic Kingdom at night. It looks like you are right in the movie.
- Stay at Disney until it is dark– because it looks really pretty! It actually looks “Magical” at night (especially Main Street)
- Pack all of your food if you can. We packed two coolers and hooked them on our strollers (I take a bunkie board and put it on the back of our stroller to hold a cooler). We filled them with sandwiches, water bottles, granola bars and little snacks.
- Take Crock-Pot ready meals (in freezer bags) on your trip. We had three families, so we each picked a night to make a meal. We brought everything from home, in freezer bags. We brought a crock-pot from home. Every morning, we woke up and put a meal into the crockpot (it was easy – just take it out of the bag & put it into the crockpot). It would be ready for us to eat as soon as we walked in the door from a long day at Disney.
I have two favorites:
1- french dip sandwiches
2- Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken
- Expect to pay a lot for snacks. The average ‘quick’ meal is $15. The “slushies” are $4 each, so we bought those for an afternoon snack for our kids. We ate there one time (for a meal) every day and in my opinion, it wasn’t worth it. It is hard to eat out with kids, to begin with, but the food wasn’t even very good. (Maybe if our kids ate all of it I would be saying something different) I preferred our crock-pot meals (above). On our second trip & from then on out, we ate breakfast in the room, packed lunch & snacks and had dinner at home.
TIP-> Many of the characters can be seen at restaurants, so if you are going to go to a dinner at the park, base it on which character you want to see.
- Pack water bottles, but FREEZE THEM the night before- they are now ice packs & melt as you will need them.
- Eat lunch while you are waiting in line (Most of the lines are outside, so just grab your sandwiches out of your cooler before you get into line. You will have to finish it before you get inside… not a problem because you will have plenty of time!)
- Even a 5-year old’s legs will be tired. A stroller is not easy to push through Disney, but your child may need it. Ours did. We took one stroller and let the kids take turns using it. Oh- and have your children wear COMFORTABLE shoes. Flip-flops won’t cut it. They will have tired legs if they are walking with flip-flops all day long.
- Pack sunscreen, even when you don’t think that you will need it.
- Have your husband wear cargo shorts to carry things.
- Put your kids in bright colored clothing. We put each of our boys in the same colored bright-green shirts. (We ended up just washing them every night & using the same ones every day because we found that it was much easier to have them in the same colored shirts.)
- Go to the Talking Crush Ride – it was HILARIOUS and probably my favorite thing (ps- it doesn’t even move!)
- Do not have a stroller at the electric parade at night, if you can help it. Try to park it somewhere near the entrance or if you can leave it at home or at a hotel, that is even better. It was very crowded and a stroller was next to impossible to push. It made a fun experience much more stressful.
- Speaking of the electric parade, leave before it is over (or sit near the entrance of the park) to avoid the ENORMOUS rush of people that will be trying to leave. It took us much longer to leave after the parade!
- Buy something like the Fitletic Running Belt. It is supposed to be for running, but it is actually the perfect thing for a trip with kids. It held our cash, room key & camera. It is super discrete and extremely handy! We just wear it under our shirt, because you can’t tell and then I could keep my valuables in it and no one knew where it was (you would not want to take a purse in those crowds. We kept everything hidden.) Here is a pic from their website of someone using it because I didn’t get any pictures of me with it on. (Mine has a gray zipper)
- The same company ( Fitletic) offers these Running Belts for Phone. Again, it’s for running, but we were able to use it for Disney. We chose this option because we were afraid that our phones would break if we had them in our pockets on the rides. (My dad cracked his cell phone screen by keeping it in his back pocket, with his keys.)Here is a picture of what it looks like: (We didn’t have headphones). We used our phone to find each other after we would split up.
- Visit Epcot in the day- we went in the evening when it was busy with people drinking (not many families, more adults & people on dates) in the evening. Then again, we went during the food & wine festival, so that may be why it was this way.
- Make sure your kids know your cell numbers. Have a plan for separation- we lost other grown-ups, but thankfully we were able to pair one child per grown up, so they were always safe. We did see lost children and they were scared and crying (not to worry- all kids were found by their parents quickly).
- Have a plan for your kids if you get lost. We told the kids to find another mom, WITH KIDS, and to ask her to call us or to go into a store or ride and tell the worker to call us.
- Make your kids bracelets (let them help). I saw this on Pinterest & love it!
- I found this on Pinterest (I can’t find the source). It’s so simple:
- Get the Find My Friends App on your phone, if you can. It will help you locate each other. (Do this ahead of time – it takes a few minutes)
- Save your souvenir purchases for the end of the last day– you don’t want to have to carry things around all day long and your child will surely see many more things along the trip, so if you buy on day one, you will be buying again on day two, three, etc… We told the kids before we started: “You can buy one toy on the very last day. If you ask us today, we will say No. If you ask us tomorrow, we will say No. You will get a chance on the last day. We will let you look around in a very big store and you will have $30 to spend on whatever you want.”
- Buy a few Disney things at home, before you go, and take it with you. (Disney magnets, shirts, etc…) Your kids will be excited about the prize and you will have saved yourself a lot of money by buying it outside of Disney.
- There you have it. My best Disney tips for kids all in one post for you! I really hope that was helpful for you!
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