It was like a dream come true—taking my kids to Disney World for the first time! I quickly found though that if you didn’t put the right amount of planning into it, this was a trip that could turn into a nightmare. I had tips flying at me from every direction, but I was almost feeling overwhelmed as most of those tips conflicted. So what’s the best way to take on Disney as a first timer? In a thought—plan ahead and make it your own.
The first thing to consider is the age and personalities of your kids. We were taking a 6 year old girl and a 3 year old boy, and so I truly valued the double stroller that we rented. Though they love to walk, they were quick to tire out too. We rented through an outside company and got it for the entire week at a deep discount. They even delivered to our condo—score! Think through things like this so that you don’t end up with overtired and over worked kids!
Focus In On What Works Best For Your Kids and Family Makeup
I also recommend thinking through which parks or attractions may appeal to your kids the best. We did spend one day at each of the parks, and we got a pass in advance at a deep discount from an outside site. We spent the bulk of our time at the Magic Kingdom, but by getting a 5 day pass we had the flexibility to check out any of the parks that we wanted to. I didn’t feel it necessary to get the Park Hopper pass, again with the age of my kids, one park a day was more than enough!
You do want to plan out your days, but you also want to leave a little wiggle room. You can Fast Pass up to 3 rides or attractions per day, and that tends to plan out your day. You are given times to go back and bypass the lines, which is awesome!
It also means that you can plan around those time frames and hit the other attractions nearby. We also built in plenty of time for meals and snacks, walking, and just down time with ice cream or relaxing. If you over-plan you will have miserable kids and not get to nearly enough.
Do Your Homework and It Will Really Pay Off
There’s a big debate about staying on or off property, but for my first time the three bedroom three bathroom condo off property was great. We had tons of room, a nice pool for the kids, and the ability to just relax and detach from Disney for a bit. At some good advice from a friend, we even had groceries ordered and delivered right to our condo. We brought in our own waters and snacks, and even packed lunches a couple of days.
You can’t hit it all, so know your pace. Consider your budget, your family makeup, and what you want to get out of the trip. If you try to squeeze it all in, then you will all be exhausted and unhappy. So find a pace that works for you and think through what’s really important to see and do.
Even taking a day or a half day off from the parks is a good idea as you are sure to need the down time. A little time at the pool or in Downtown Disney really broke things up and allowed us to all feel like we were on vacation rather than on a never ending mission for fun!