by Disney Magic Diva
While many adults choose a Disney Park as a vacation destination (and rightly so… an adults only trip can be fabulous!), the vast majority of guests are families. As parents, we want to share the magic of Disney with our children, and do whatever is in our power to give them the perfect vacation. We spend hours and hours planning, researching, reading and strategizing to create the most magical trip we can. But if it’s your first trip, or if your child hasn’t experienced that Disney magic, it might be hard to decide what to prioritize on your trip. Which activities, attractions, or character meals would your children most enjoy? Naturally, that will differ based on the age, interests and personality of your children.
So what’s a parent to do? Well, it may be helpful to seek advice from an expert. And while all the writers at Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos have expert tips for you, (click here or here) none of us is a child. What would a child advise?
My husband and I have had the pleasure of sharing Walt Disney World and Disneyland with our grandchildren. Our oldest granddaughter is a third grader, and has been to Disney World 10 times, and Disneyland once (a fact she frequently reminds us of – need to plan another trip soon!) So what would she advise? Here are Disney Magic Princess’s tips for visiting Walt Disney World Resort.
What advice do you have for someone’s first trip? Don’t be afraid. I was kind of afraid of all the crowds, but the other people don’t talk to you that much, and it’s really, really fun. The workers there talk to you sometimes, but they are really nice. The characters are fun too. Don’t be scared of them. I think the best ride for a girl is Under the Sea-Little Mermaid, for a boy is Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and for older kids is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
What should you pack? Sunscreen, electronics, stuffed animals, summer clothes, swim suit, flip flops, sunglasses or a hat, spending money, and an autograph book. You should also bring a smile because you will have lots of fun!
How old should you be before you go to Disney? I think you should be at least two years old. A 1-year-old wouldn’t have much to do, and might cry a lot, and then someone would have to take him/her back to the hotel. If you have a toddler, strollers are a really good idea because your feet will get tired. But if you’re five years old or older, you should be okay, because you can rest while you’re on the rides.
What are your favorite attractions at each park?
Under the Sea-Little Mermaid
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
It’s a Small World
Parades – Festival of Fantasy and the Electric Light Parade
Winnie the Pooh
Pirates of the Caribbean
Tomorrowland Transportation Authority PeopleMover
Frozen Ever After
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
World Showcase (I asked her, “Really?” You like walking all the way around there, visiting the different countries?” She said, “Yes! It’s really fun to explore! You meet characters and look in the shops, and sometimes see little shows.”
Grand Fiesta Tour
Flights of Wonder show
Playing with the drums (This is at Muziki, across from Tamu Tamu restaurant)
Frozen Sing Along
Toy Story Midway Mania
Is it hard to wait in lines? What do you do to help pass the time? Just talk to your family. It really helps make the time go faster. You can also think about what’s going to be happening on the ride. And sometimes there is stuff to do while you wait and things to play with. At Haunted Mansion you can play music, and at Winnie the Pooh there are lots of games in the line. I like that stuff.
What’s your favorite resort? I really liked the Grand Floridian because there was a lot to do there. You could go to the lobby and listen to music. And I really liked taking the monorail or boat to Magic Kingdom. A room with a kitchen would be nice too, because you can make your own food. (Note: Our most recent trip was when we stayed at the Grand Floridian, so this may have influenced Disney Magic Princess’ choice of resorts. We typically stay at Pop Century or, less frequently, Port Orleans – Riverside. She also loved the Royal Guest Room at Riverside and the Little Mermaid room at Art of Animation.)
Do you like the fireworks? Yes! They are really fun! You get to stay up late and they are so pretty. But it is a little noisy, so maybe not a good idea for babies.
Do you recommend going to character meals? I love those! You’re eating, and characters come by and say “Hi!” and you get to get their autograph. Just having dinner is boring, but a character can make it a lot more fun.
What’s your favorite character meal at each park?
Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Royal Table because it’s so special to be inside the Castle. And you get your picture taken with Cinderella, and a wand if you’re a girl or a sword if you’re a boy. And the princesses come to your table to visit!
Epcot – Garden Grill because it’s so cool that the restaurant spins. It’s spins really, really slowly, though. It was fun to see different things as you eat, and Chip and Dale were funny.
Animal Kingdom – Tusker House because I liked meeting Mickey and Minnie in their safari outfits.
Hollywood Studios – Hollywood and Vine, but it was a long time ago. I remember meeting the Little Einsteins, and that was really special because you rarely see them.
What’s your favorite food to have? Mac and cheese. And I really like the buffets, because you can get your own food when you want and not wait and wait.
What did you think of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique? It’s lots of fun! And it’s for boys and girls. Some people may think it’s just for girls, but boys can go too. They do your hair and you get to wear a cool costume. And if you wrap your hair in a towel when you sleep, the hairdo will stay for days.
What’s the most important thing you would like to tell people going to Disney World? Just enjoy yourself and have fun!
Excellent advice, Disney Magic Princess! A Disney trip is, above all, a chance for your family to make priceless memories. If you’d like help planning your family’s Disney vacation, be sure to contact Patricia at All for Dreams Travel! And don’t forget to relax, know that not everything will go as planned, and just enjoy your time at The Most Magical Place on Earth!
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