Happy Kids + Happy Parents = Best Vacation Ever
So let me introduce myself for a second. My name is Lauren, and I’m Taylor’s actual blood related sister. I have been married for 8 years and have 4 amazing kiddos. My husband and I love all things Disney, and LOVE to vacation there. We often get asked how we do it and here’s a list of our best pieces of advice.
1. Pack snacks
Disney is full of food but not full of snacky food that the kids really like. I often pack snacks to hold us over until we stop to eat a meal. I pack little packs of nuts (lots of protein), raisins, granola bars, fruit leather and fruit snacks. These snacks are simple and relatively small to pack and not completely full of sugar which is good. You’ll fill up on plenty of desserts so it’s always a good idea to have snacks with less sugar. You and your family will be walking and moving all day so you will be burning a lot of calories and that can make for some very hangry kids and parents. If you keep up with eating and drinking through out the day the whole family will be a lot happier.
2. The more days you Disney the better
I’ve heard of so many people that didn’t like Disney because they felt rushed. When my little family goes we give ourselves 5-6 days to enjoy it all. That way we will give ourselves time to slow down and take everything in. If we didn’t get to do something one day we could do it the next. We had time to let our kids go back to the hotel and nap (SO NEEDED) and we were all happier and so much less stressed when we gave ourselves the time to enjoy the parks.
3. Go in with a plan
Disney trips require a lot of thought before hand. If you put in the time to plan you will enjoy yourself so much more. Take advantage of fast passes and magic mornings. Eat early meals and you’ll be able to experience lower wait times for rides. The rides will be a lot less packed during 12-2 and 5-6. Be smart about the rides you wait in line for. Use the Disney apps to tell you wait times for rides. And be ok with last minute changes if something comes up (i.e. weather, ride shuts down unexpectedly, a kiddo is having a melt down).
4. Watch the shows and parades
We often wait 30 minutes to an hour for parades and shows and it’s a nice break for our kids to not be waiting in line or cooped up in the stroller. It’s a good break and the parades and shows never disappoint. Seeing the joy in your kids eyes is pure magic. On this same note if you have already seen a show or parade take advantage of the times that shows and parades are going on and go on rides during this time.
5. Pack all things, but also pack light
Pack your diaper bag and stroller for any and all things but also pack light. Decide what the weather is going to be like the morning of and plan accordingly (i.e. hats, coats, gloves, umbrellas, ponchos, etc.). Pack snacks, drinks and sunscreen and leave everything else at the hotel. Only bring what you need but also don’t catch yourself unprepared. If you have too much packed you feel like you can’t leave your stroller anywhere. If you pack too little you will find yourself having to go back to your hotel lots and that’s stressful too.
6. Learn where every bathroom is in the park
The Disney apps help so much with this! And know where the mothers rooms are. Yes, they have mothers rooms and they are the bomb. There are bathrooms for little toddlers here (i.e. little toilets that can fit their little bums). You can nurse there, feed your baby (they have chairs or high chairs and microwaves). There are changing tables and if you do find yourself unprepared or in a pinch you can buy diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, baby food or juice there. If you know where bathrooms and mothers rooms are then you’re not in a mad dash trying to find something fast and can prevent an accident from happening.
Going to Disney with your family is so much fun. Some of my best memories with my littles are at Disney. It's definitely not a stress-free vacation, but I would choose it every time, to be able to experience the magic.