So, we did it! We took our girls to Disney World! We had great fun, made great memories, and wish someone would have realigned our expectations just a bit before we left. Below are ten tips this sarcastic mama wishes someone would have shared with her before this trip of a lifetime.
(Disclaimer: there are TONS of great Disney blogs out there with valuable resources. This post is a sarcastic, anti-crowd mom’s perspective. Enjoy!)
There are people. Everywhere.
And they will stop to take pictures of everything. Anywhere. Even if they are in the middle of a sidewalk and you are immediately behind them. Get used to it.
There is no such thing as a not-crowded Disney.
There just isn’t. We followed the crowd calendars and planned our trip during mid-May, a “green dot” week, and it was still crowded. People asked us when we returned if it was crowded. What a silly question. Of course it was!
You will need a date night upon your return home.
You love your kids. You made great memories. It was the trip of a lifetime. But still, you will need wine, a quiet and dark restaurant, and your significant other. Plan this night out even before you leave for your trip. You’re welcome.
Do your homework on your meal plan before you go.
A wonderfully helpful food service worker saw the lost look on our faces on day one and tried to help us with a meal plan strategy. She said, “sharing is caring” with regards to meals. She is right! You get A LOT of food with the meal plan. However, trying to plan how to use your credits in the middle of a crowded cafeteria when your family is hangry is NOT a good plan. Do some research from the Disney dining experts on the best way to plan your meals and snacks.
Character meals are a great idea, in theory.
I thought my youngest (who is terrified of costumed characters) would do well with a character meal because she would have time to warm up to them before they approached the table. Wrong. She was terrified the. whole. time – on edge because she saw them coming. Ridiculously stressful for everyone involved. Next time, this family is avoiding the character meal experience so we can all sit and relax during our meal. Oh, and add in the princess pictures with dirty dishes in the background to make me realize that character meet and greets in the park are the way to go.
You’ll only be in your hotel to sleep.
I’m so glad we didn’t spend the extra money on a bigger room. We were literally only there to sleep. And we were all so tired, it didn’t matter that we were all crammed into one small space. Everyone was out as soon as their head hit the pillow.
We didn’t swim.
Not even once, and we were there for six days. Every afternoon when I thought we’d take a break from the parks to visit the hotel pool, we would have a family discussion that usually ended with “We can swim in Ohio; we can’t meet Pocahontas there.” And off we would go to find Pocahontas. Next time we will plan more days in the hotel than park tickets to force ourselves to relax a bit.
You’ll be “that” family at least once.
Everyone is hot, tired, and waaaay overstimulated. There will most definitely be a meltdown or three, so just roll with it. And, be nice to the other families who are having “that” moment.
Just because they can ride doesn’t mean they should.
We drug our 18-month-old on every ride without height or age restrictions. There were way more than I would have anticipated. She hated most of them. See above about being “that” family with an overstimulated kid. Also, no matter what your husband says, taking your super-sensitive five-year-old on Tower of Terror is not a great plan. Don’t let him win that debate. (This may or may not be experience talking…)
One, non-sarcastic piece of advice:
Try to live the experience through your kid’s eyes. It really is magical 🙂
What woulda-shoulda-coulda tips would you add to this list? We would love to read your comments below!