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By Pink Diva

You have planned and saved for months.  The reservations are done, FastPasses scheduled and you are finally at Disney!  In your mind you have prepared for the most magical vacation you can image.  Your kids can meet their favorite characters, watch the parades, and ride all the rides. What you haven’t prepared yourself for are the meltdowns.  And there will be meltdowns.  Everyone will yell, get mad and you will be left confused and irritated.  I have seen it over and over in the parks.  I’ve also deal with it as I have a 4-year-old girl and a 1 1/2-year-old boy.  Now that we have gone to the parks a few times, I have found a couple of tips and tricks to make the experience a joyful one.  At least most of the time.


Watch out for the meltdown! Ok, she was actually very excited in the photo and showing off her shirt, but from this angle she looks very upset.

Stick to your kids’ schedule.  This one can be easily done with prior planning, but is extremely important when smaller children are involved.  If your kids like to get up early, take advantage.  Schedule character breakfasts instead of dinners.  Try to eat around the same time every day.  We have found that lunch is the biggest culprit we need to schedule.  Breakfast and dinner can be off by a little bit, but not lunch.  It’s before nap time and key to a successful rest of the day.  Would you take your toddler to the grocery store at nap time?  Not if you can help it.  So don’t schedule to visit a particular attraction at that time.  Keep in mind time zones.  Disney may not be in the time zone you are used to.  If that means you eat breakfast at 10, lunch at 3 and dinner at 8 then go with it!  It will probably be less busy then anyways.

Let them sleep.  Kids need naps.  There really isn’t a way out of this.  Some families go back to the hotel for lunch and a nap or rest period.  If you have different age groups some can go back while others do rides the little ones can’t.  Then there are the hard-core families.  Growing up we were a hard-core family.  Wake up, eat, and go, go, go!   We didn’t go back to the room until it was dark.  However, my parents always made sure we took a nap.   We would eat lunch in Liberty Square then head over to the Hall of Presidents.  Between the air conditioning and educational animatronics my sister and I would be asleep in no time.  I’m pretty sure my husband and I did this on our honeymoon as well.   My little guy can sleep anywhere, anytime.  He has fallen asleep during Scar’s song during Festival Lion King, parades and on the PeopleMover.  The latest was during Fantasmic.   My four year old generally doesn’t sleep until we leave.  She falls asleep in the stroller on the way to the car.

HS 18

Third park in three days. They both fell asleep so we found some shade and relaxed.











Have a plan for souvenirs.   You can’t help but notice the giant balloons on Main Street.  The vendors during parades and nightly entertainment twirling and showcasing all of the glowing merchandise.  Most rides exit into a themed gift shop.  Along with the regular gift shops scattered around.  And don’t forget the ears!  This is just in the parks.  Don’t forget your hotel which will have a gift shop.  Not to mention the other children in the park carrying their favorite Stitch stuffed animal or wearing a princess dress.  Know how much you want to spend and STICK TO IT.  There are lots of ways to deal with souvenirs.    Whichever route you decide to take, make sure the kids understand how and what they can take home.

Snacks.  Lots and lots of snacks.  Most of our snacks are ones they are used to and will eat anytime.  Goldfish, Mini Club Crackers, raisins, and fruit snacks are some of our staple snacks.  The rest of the snacks are fun, new and Disney themed.  I have found Disney themed jelly beans, dried apple slices, and fruit snacks.  You can always put a Mickey sticker on something and your kid will think you are the greatest parent ever.  Suckers.  Did I mention suckers?  Bring suckers.  Lots. Of. Suckers.  If your child is old enough for suckers then go buy the largest bag of Dum Dums you can find.  These are the most versatile tool you will bring with you.  They have the ability to last a long time.  They won’t melt.  They can be used to make long lines or waits go faster (or at least, quieter).  They won’t ruin an appetite.  They are lightweight and don’t take up much room.  Always have suckers with you.  And wipes.  If you are giving kids a sucker you may need a few wipes as well.  Trash cans are everywhere so be sure to properly dispose of all wrappers and sticks.

Nick and I

A blue sucker kept him busy while we waited for Elsa to ice the castle.


Seriously, go buy the suckers.












E Firworks 11

Glow sticks are great to find your stroller in the dark as well as entertain the kids!


Bring your own.  Kids like their own cups.  If your child drinks from a bottle or sippy cup make sure you have it.  You can fill it up all day and the child can have it with them.  Make a stop at the Dollar Store and pick up glow-in-the-dark items.  Not only will you pay less for these items, but you can buy more and your kid can have them as soon as it gets dark.  If your child has a specific item, lovey, toy or anything else they don’t go a day without, bring it with you.  Comforts from home go a long way in making your child feel safe and happy.  My kids each have a blanket they sleep with and have in the car.  When we go to Disney it’s the same thing.  They have it in the car or if we stay in the room.  If you bring the lovey to the park, check periodically that you still have it.


She insisted on wearing the leg warmers even though it was in the 80’s. She had to have been hot, but she was happy and never complained.


Dress comfortably.  Those princess dresses are adorable, but you child may not want to wear it all day.  Brand new Cars tennis shoes?  Please have your kid wear them in a little before the big day.  Be flexible in your expectations.  You may have bought or made specific shirts for each day of your vacation and your child isn’t cooperating.  It’s not worth the fight.  If your child is uncomfortable in their clothes you will have a miserable day.  If you buy Mickey ears for the kids have room to carry them.  Most little kids will not wear them long.

RELAX.  You are at the happiest place on Earth-enjoy it.  You can plan and schedule everything, but something will come up.  No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to see and do everything in one trip.  Your kids want to ride the teacup three times in a row because there is no line?  Let them!  They would rather watch a show or parade instead of the FastPass you have booked?  Do it!  Your kids aren’t going to miss what they didn’t see.  They are going to remember what they did do and if that means spinning in a teacup over and over, it’s probably worth it.  Slowing down and enjoying the time in the parks with your family is more important than dragging everyone all over and not experiencing anything.  Disney is in the details.  Slow down and enjoy the magic.


Look around you. You never know where magic is hiding.