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Going to Disney World with small children

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Disney World is the height of theme park heaven for many kids.  It is the chance of a lifetime to see all their favourite characters come to life in a magical fantasy environment that is packed with amazing sights and rides at every turn.  A visit is not cheap, but most who indulge say the experience is priceless.

Yet the sheer scale of the visual and physical stimulation of Disney World can see kids’ excitement levels rise towards meltdown, and sobbing youngsters are not an uncommon site around the park.  To ensure the whole family makes this most of a visit to the magic of Disney World, here are some simple tips to keep emotions on the level and help stave off the onset of theme-park-fatigue.

Be Prepared

When you are going to Disney world with small children give them an advanced warning, an impending trip to Disney heaven will allow them to enjoy the anticipation and the whole family can enjoy planning the trip in advance.  Remember though that small children have little concept of time, and telling them too soon can lead to frustration and over-excitement.

On the day, pack a day bag that is comfortable to carry and big enough to accommodate everything you need.  Check the weather report and pack sun cream and/or waterproofs as required, and ensure everyone is dressed in appropriate clothes on the day.  Sensible footwear is a must – the park is big, and you will cover a lot of ground.

Other sensible things to take include:

  • Changing things – for babies and toddlers
  • Camera and spare batteries
  • Baby wipes – these invariably come in handy, whatever the age of your kids
  • Water
  • Snacks, and food if you are not planning to eat at the park (which can be very expensive)

Flexibility is essential

Any parent of young children knows this anyway, but it is worth reminding yourself before you enter Disney World.  There is so much to see that you will probably have wisely planned an itinerary of what to see and do, and when.  All good stuff, but on the day your kids may have other priorities.

Keep in mind that you are all there to have fun, and curtailing your kids’ enjoyment of one thing to shoot off and see another that they may find less fun defeats the object.  Be realistic, relaxed, and counsel your kids in advance that there are simply some things you may not be able to fit in.

Time Out

Plan in time to sit back and soak up the atmosphere. Take a break a few times during the day.  The tickets for Disney World are expensive, and it can be tempting to cram as much in as possible.  Taking time out is a great way to remind yourself that you are there to have FUN!

disney world and children

Wait a Minute …

For many of the rides there will be a waiting time.  They generally flow people through fairly swiftly, but at busy times for popular attractions you can end up in line for 1-2 hours.  This is a good point to take a Time Out.  Make sure your kids know there will be these periods of hanging about, and have a few ideas up your sleeve for keeping them distracted.

Fast Passes are great way to reduce waiting times if you can acquire them early in the day, as they do get snapped up and there are a limited number.  Check out the Disney World website for how they work.

Character City

The larger-than-life Disney characters that wander the park can either leave kids excited and keen to meet them, or frankly, terrified.  Prepare your children for the fact that the characters will be around, and it can help for young kids to show them pictures in advance so they know what to expect.

Shop to Drop

Your trip to Disney World is going to be one to remember, so indulge your kids with a visit to the Souvenir store.  Setting a budget in advance is a good plan, and you can encourage kids to help out around the home in advance of your trip to earn a little extra spending money.  You won’t want to carry bulky toys around the park with you, so maybe let your little ones make a small initial purchase to satisfy their excitement early on in the day, and save the proper shopping until shortly before you are planning to leave.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

Your children will always notice any stress you exhibit, and reflect it back to you in spades.  Even if the day is wearing thin try to follow the Disney ethos and put a smile on your face.  The happy memories will shine through once your day is over, and the time spent in this magical place with your child will be sure to stay with them, and you, forever.



About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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