I have always been a huge fan of Disney World. My first time to Disney World was so magical, and you know what? It is still just as magical as an adult. I get teary-eyed at all the fireworks and seeing the true magic when a child sees the Disney characters walking around. It took our first trip with the kids to learn how to plan. Yep, after the actual vacation.
Planning a vacation.
Planning for any type of vacation has always been easy. Note that I said easy, not stress-free. I am one to over pack and bring things from a first aid kit to an extra packs of flushable wipes. My Type A personality is all about being over prepared. Then planning for Disney World came along, and I learned real quick that what I thought I needed or didn’t need wasn’t quite accurate. Here are the things I learned from our first trip to Disney World.
Staying on the grounds is a plus.
Wrangling 3 kids while trying to make sure you have everything you need for the day at Disney World can seem like a task, let alone figuring out the transportation to the parks. Staying at an Official Disney World Hotel/Resort saves so much on the stress of getting to the parks. We knew the shuttles’ schedules, and we made a point to be downstairs when it was time to depart to whatever theme park we were visiting that day.
Another great thing about staying at an Official Disney World Hotel/Resort is that you can take advantage of all the Disney World perks. You know what else? You don’t have to spend a ton to stay on the grounds either! We stayed at the Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista, great hotel minus the big fee.
You can read more about our stay here! https://thesoutherlymagnolia.com/disney-world-trip-with-kids-more-value-with-wyndham-garden/
Pack your own snacks and reusable water bottles.
I can’t believe I missed out on this important bit of information. You can bring your own snacks and drinks into the Disney World Parks. Not only will this save you time for standing in any lines, but you will also be saving money! Have 1 or 2 backpacks that are designated for food and snacks.
Take advantage of that 60/90 Day Fast Pass booking.
Did you know that you could book up to 60 or 90 days in advance for any ride or make restaurant reservations? Yep! If you are staying at an Official Disney World Hotel/Resort, you can book up to 90 days in advance. Others who get tickets early will have 60 days. This is so important if you are wanting to plan any character breakfasts or want to make sure you get on a certain ride one day without a long wait.
I learned the importance of planning out those Fast Passes real quick!
Not into all the planning of the rides, etc.?
If you are not all about stressing over booking the Fast Passes or trying to figure out what you should do during a certain time of day, then you can get a personal tour guide to do it all for you. No, I am not joking!
We booked Elite Orlando VIP Tours for our first full day at Magic Kingdom. Y’all, it was amazing! We didn’t have to worry about anything: no long waits, no stressing over the map on where to go, and happy kids. The last thing small kids (or any kids for that matter) want to do is stand in line for over an hour. Elite Orlando VIP Tours took all the stress out for us and had the entire day planned!
We were guided to all our rides, basically walking right up to get on. The kids LOVED this! For it being their very first time at Magic Kingdom, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. I learned so much from that one day with the tour guides. This is where the importance of those Fast Passes was quickly learned.
Using My Disney Experience to your advantage.
Booking all those Fast Passes and restaurant reservations can all be done through the My Disney Experience app. This app is amazing! Not only can you make reservations or even order a pick up food order, but you can also see how long the wait time is at all the different rides. Knowing which rides normally take longer, we would book our Fast Passes for them.
Stroller is a must for littles!
We rented a stroller while we were at Disney, and it was a life saver! My 3 year old was able to ride and even napped while we walked around the parks. Plus, it is a great way to keep all those bags, etc in one place. For a single stroller, we paid $15. It was well worth it not having to pack one on the plane!
Don’t try and do it all in one day.
Lastly, don’t feel like you have to do it all in one day. You and the kids will be completely worn out! I would say take it easy and enjoy Magic Kingdom one full day, and possible split up the day for the other parks if you are wanting to park hop between 2 of them. Overall, Magic Kingdom is a one day thing.
Let the entire trip be magical!
It is so hard not to get overwhelmed or stressed when vacationing with kids. Don’t let this get in the way of enjoying the magic of Disney. Look over the Disney World Map before going and decide what rides would do well for your kids and which ones your kids can actually ride. Then decide on if you are wanting to eat at any of the restaurants while visiting the parks.
Do all of the research before going to Disney! I promise, it will be well worth it! Maybe even check out Elite Orlando VIP Tours if you aren’t wanting to stress about any of the planning whatsoever. Happy planning, y’all!