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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. 

A castle with water in front of a lake

  • 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:
    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. A Disney Character holding a little girls hand with a castle in the distance.
  • 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.A girl holding a pair of tennis shoes decorated with Disney characters.
  • 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.)

    Disney tip - put your kids in bright colored clothing 3
  •  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!Cinderella\'s castle at night with fireworks in the background.
  • 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.A picture of Epcot with palm trees around it.
  • 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:i'm lost beaded bracelet
  • 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.”A little girl playing with Frozen character toys.
  • 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!

    how to go to Disney at half price


    A blue square frame with text in it.


    disney costumes

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. Wonderful tips! Especially about the strollers and husband wearing cargo pants.

    1. Thanks- It was SO nice to have dinner ready when we got back (tired & hungry!) 🙂

  2. Great tips! I kept a very small, flat backpack clipped onto the stroller. In it was my wallet, our fancy camera, and my nursing cover. Then when we went on rides, I could throw it over my shoulder and go. This was really great if I decided to nurse the baby on a slow ride or in a restaurant. And I definitely never wanted to be without my wallet or camera.

  3. Thank you so much for this! We’ll be going in October for the first time with our 3 kids (ages 2,5,6) and these tips are great. I’ll definitely be sharpie-ing my cell number on their arms, haha. We were actually thinking of getting shirts made for the whole family in all the same bright color so we don’t lose eachother. How did you get the crock pot meals there? We’ll be taking a 3 hr plane ride, so I don’t know how that would work, but it would be amazing if we could do that.

    1. I love the t-shirt idea. 🙂
      The crock-pot was a LIFE SAVER (& a money-saver!) We drove, so we had everything with us. We brought what we need already assembled in a big freezer bag (ziplock) so we could literally just dump it into the crock-pot, but not sure how to tell you to do that if you are flying?
      Have fun!!!

    1. No, we didn’t. We found a great deal with travel-zoo, so all 11 of us stayed in a hotel for $250 for three nights. It was a great deal & a nice hotel. We had free transportation to Disney, the only downfall was that the last bus left at 10, so we couldn’t stay for the late-night things (because we had to start getting ready to leave by 8:30 to catch the different things that led us back to the bus that took us to the hotel).

  4. Don’t leave after the electrical light parade. Everyone in the park is trying to leave and no one was riding rides. We were able to ride so many rides and many of them let us just stay on and not get off. It was great. Then when we left we didn’t have to leave with a mass crowd.

    1. Oh SUCH a great tip!! I will remember that one next time we go. Thanks!

  5. That was amazing!!! Such great tips!!! Makes me want to go to
    Disneyland! I love your safety tips! Thank you! ❤️

  6. Did you know that freezing the water bottles can release toxins into your water from the plastics? Just a tip that I recently learned. We used to freeze ours also but we stopped!

  7. I absolutely love all your tips for maximizing a visit to Disney. In addition to the list, Disney also gives out free buttons at their City Hall and some of the attendants have them. They ask you a trivia question or two to receive a button. The buttons are cute and a free souvenir item to keep. Having children wear bright t-shirts makes a lot of sense. Especially when there is a crowd of other kids and adults in the park. Thank you for all your tips!

  8. I have never seen the “uh oh” bracelets. Very good idea. I especially liked the break down of ages. We have stair step kids and I want to go when the youngest and oldest can both enjoy it. Our oldest will turn 7 just after our youngest turns 4 so I’m guessing that fall we’ll go. Thanks again!

  9. As an added tip, you can leave the water bottles at home too. Every counter service restaurant or snack location will give you free ice water any time. I do sometimes pack cheap travel cups from the dollar store and transfer the water to those, but if you don’t want to pack heavy water bottles or cups, just ask for the free ice water!

  10. When it comes to the souvenirs if you ask the store they will keep your purchase for you and you can pick it up when you’re ready to leave. Just make sure you remember what stores you shopped at. If you’re staying on site they can even have the items taken to your hotel. Another great option is go to the dollar store to pick up glow sticks etc. Great for the parade or other shows and they won’t coast you an arm and a leg. One of the best pieces of advice I got was buy blister block. Put it all over your toes and heals then put on your socks. Doing this will help reduce the chance of blisters. If you’re there with little ones you can do the parent switch off for the rides so the older kids can ride twice . Another thing we did that helped was we took a disneyland map and I had each person circle their top 2 rides/places they wanted to go. We then broke up our days so we each got to go do the things we wanted.

  11. we also only bought our souvenirs on the last day but if my daughter found something that she really wanted I would take a picture with my cell phone and told her that at the end of the trip she had a certain amount of money to spend and on the last day could go over all the pics and choose what she wanted.

  12. Great tips! We actually did a lot of these too but it was just by accident. Then we realized how smart it was! Ha! Eating meals while you’re in line is the BEST! We actually took a trip to Walmart the first night we were in Orlando because we decided to grocery shop (because we were being cheap). When we got to the park and realized how much time we actually saved by not waiting in lines for food AND eating in the lines, we were so happy we had done that. I love the ideas of the running belt and the cell phone carrier. Perfect post!

  13. Love these tips! Turtle Talk with Crush is hilarious and can so easily be overlooked! The absolute best tip on this list is dressing your kids in bright shirts. Disney is so unbelievably busy even during off season and it is so easy for your kids to take two steps away from you and you not even see them! And washing the shirts at night is a great money saver. I love that even the Value resorts at Disney have laundry mats on the resort property. Can’t wait to use these tips on our next trip.