Disneyworld… it’s pretty much a child’s dream come true! And in my case, as a 30-something-year-old adult (cough, cough), my dreams came true right alongside my almost 3-year-old daughter just a few weeks ago. I’m so happy and grateful we got to experience Disney together for the first time. I’m pretty sure I was way more excited than she was — my husband can account for this. Now that we’re home, still unpacking, and we have countless pictures and memories, there a few things I would do differently if I could have a do-over. Or maybe for a Disney trip next year??? (fingers crossed)
Tip # 1 – Plan your trip at least a year in advance. Do your research and make the reservations! I didn’t do this, but plan to do this the next time around! We booked everything last minute so we couldn’t take my daughter to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique for a princess makeover. We also couldn’t dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table. I’m pretty sure I was way more bummed than she was. Had we planned in advance, we probably could’ve set up a lot of cool reservations! They are an extra expense, but would’ve been so worth it! Maybe next time!
Tip # 2 – Do NOT forget the sunblock. Make sure to reapply at least three times a day, especially for the little ones. My daughter has fair skin and burns very easily. I learned that the hard way during spring break this year. I used the spray sunblock for her body, the lotion sunblock is so greasy and messy. I also used a sunblock stick for her face. Made a world of a difference applying it to her face, no tantrums, super quick and it didn’t run down her face and irritate her eyes. Make sure to apply sunblock behind their little ears too!
Tip # 3 – Take a portable phone charger with you! It’s very hard to find an outlet somewhere, plus who has the time to wait for a phone to charge when there’s still so much to do and see and so many princesses to meet! If you’re like me, you’ll be taking a photo of your little ones every and any chance you get. So your phone battery is bound to run out, quick! I didn’t have a portable charger until the second day at the park, so that first day was so hard! I kept looking at my phone and trying to figure out which photo would be my last one for that day. As I walked to the car I had 4% left. Barely made it!
Tip # 4 – Don’t forget the band-aids! No matter how broken in your shoes are, due to all the walking you’ll be doing, and I mean excessive walking, your feet are bound to get sore, tired and achy. In my case, I had blisters all over my feet since day 1! It wasn’t until a nice lady hauling two kiddos in a stroller saw my tortured face and my equally tortured feet, and offered me some band-aids. She was a lifesaver! I guess since I’m a mom of one, I wasn’t aware of the band-aid necessity rule. Take the band-aids, trust me! Disney themed band-aids are a bonus!
Tip # 5 – Buy the magic bands! If you stay in a Disney resort you get the magic bands for free. We didn’t stay in a resort so I bought them online at the Disney store two weeks before our trip and they got in just in time! Although I probably should have gotten them sooner, procrastination is a flaw of mine! The basic magic bands cost $12.99 and they’re super convenient. You can link your tickets, your fast pass attractions, your credit card info, and even your photo-pass, which leads me to my next tip!
Tip # 6 – Invest in the photo-pass! It’s such a good investment! After four days and three different parks, we had almost 800 photos linked to our photo-pass. At just under $170, you get to take unlimited pictures with Disney photographers at every park. They also have photographers at every meet and greet with characters so you don’t have to waste your battery or use your phone to capture the moment! Our photos came out really great and I just printed out close to 300 of them to start on a Disney Vacation Scrapbook. Plus If you have a big group going with you, they can all be linked to the same photo-pass and you could split up the cost! So worth it! It’s like having your own professional photographer following you around the parks!
Tip # 7 – Stay hydrated. The Disney parks give you free water in a styrofoam or paper cup, which is great!! You don’t need to take your own water bottles. But on a hot sunny day, that water, no matter how much ice it has, will turn hot really quick. If you’re like me, cold water is the only water I drink. I didn’t think of this then, but I should have brought my own empty insulated water bottle to fill up with water and keep it cold. With all the walking you’ll be doing, you’ll definitely need to keep you and the little ones hydrated and refreshed.
Tip # 8 – Pack an extra T-shirt/outfit, for you and your little one. Although we went in late September, the heat was on high blast. I can only imagine what it’s like during the summer, which also happens to be the busiest time of the year! My poor daughter was sweating more than me! So halfway through the day, I would change her into a new outfit so she wouldn’t have to sit in her sweaty clothes all day. It made her feel a lot better! Plus our photo-pass pictures have her wearing a bunch of cute Disney themed outfits!
Tip # 9 – Bring the stroller! My daughter was just days away from turning three years old, but we still used the stroller a lot! They have strollers available to rent there too, but since we drove, it was easy for us to take it! She spent most of the time in the stroller, she got out and walked a bit too, but the stroller was definitely a lifesaver. She even napped in there too! There’s also stroller parking at almost every corner. You can even leave your items and belongings in there and come right back to them, intact. It’s so crazy I know! At first, I was hesitant about leaving all our stuff behind on the stroller when we got on a ride. All I could think about was someone was going to steal our things, but after a few times, I began to trust this super easy and convenient trick.
Tip # 10 – Get a good spot for the nightly firework show, Happily Ever After, at the Magic Kingdom. The first night we were there we showed up with only about 10 minutes until the show started and we had a really bad view. Luckily for us, we returned to the park the next day and this time we found our spot almost an hour ahead and had the best view of the show! It was super easy for us because my daughter was sleeping that whole hour, so it wasn’t a big deal. I also left to get snacks in case she woke up and I’d have something to distract her with. If you’ve already seen the firework show, then this happens to be the best time to go get on all the rides you missed out on! Since the majority of the crowds are gathered for the fireworks, there are close to no waiting lines at all the popular rides.
These are just a few tips to keep in mind when making plans to visit the magical place of Disney World. Have fun, make lots of memories and buy a souvenir or two! Meeska Mooska Make it happen!