You’re lying if you’ve been to Walt Disney World and don’t think it’s the most magical place on Earth. It breathes magic. You can feel it from the moment you walk through the gates, and long after you leave. But planning a trip to Disney World can be a bit chaotic.
Have you ever been to Disney World? Are you thinking about going?
I’ve been four times, and about a month out from our next trip. This will be our kids’ first time and we could not be more excited. Our kiddos are 4.5 and nearly 3. They have no idea we’re going and we’re not going to tell them until we get to the airport. (We figure once we get to to the airport, and everyone on the plane is going to Orlando, it will be pretty hard to keep it a secret.)
My favorite ride is the Haunted Mansion. It makes me feel like a kid again every single time, and I can’t wait for my own kids to experience it.
Tell me your favorite ride in the comments. I love chatting Disney!
Planning a trip to Disney World
I wanted to share some things I have learned along the way, since it is our first Disney trip as parents. (Well, not including the time my husband and I went by ourselves when our oldest was 10 months old. Ssh. Don’t tell her.)
Make it a surprise for little ones
This has been so fun. Yes, it has been hard to keep it a secret. Yes, I want to tell them SO bad. But I can’t wait to take a video of their reaction at the airport when we tell them where we’re going. They have been asking for ages and will be so excited!
Try to surprise them if you can. Keeping it a secret might be a challenge but it will be so worth it!
Money money money
A trip to Disney World costs some serious coin. If you have a date in mind to go, I would start saving now. Set aside what you can each month. Every little bit helps.
Sure, you can stay economy and pack your own snacks, but at the end of the day: Plan to spend at least $2500. Those are just facts.
Pro-tip: Ask for Disney gift cards for Christmas and birthdays!
Use a travel agent
This is so worth it. Especially if they are experienced in booking Disney vacations. If it is your first time, they will be able to find lesser known perks for you. They can help you select a resort, a dining plan, and arrange transport to and from the airport, for starters. They might also be aware of discounts you don’t know about.
Spring for the memory maker pass
This is a really neat service Disney offers. Basically, you pay ahead of time, and get all your pictures! You pay a flat fee in advance (about $200) and then any time you get your picture taken it uploads to your account and you get to keep it.
$200 sounds like a lot, but when you think about A) how many photo opportunities you have at Disney (character meet and greets, and attractions/rides) and B) the STAGGERING cost of buying all the nice ones individually, that $200 is gonna sound really cheap all of a sudden.
You are going to be tired
In my opinion, Disney is the most amazing experience you can have for the money, but it is A LOT. You will be walking miles a day and be constantly stimulated by sights, sounds, and smells.
Take some time each day to really soak it all in, and then get a good night’s sleep. You will need it!
Crowdsource for tips
Disney is such a popular destination that your Facebook friends list could very well be a huge fountain of knowledge for you when you are planning your trip. Make a post asking for advice and you are sure to get a lot of helpful feedback from people who have been there, done that.
Pre-package kids outfits
This is a GENIUS idea I saw on a Facebook group for people planning Disney trips. If you are going the cutesy route like me, and putting your kids in matching outfits each day (or some similar plan), pack accordingly!
This tip suggested that when you pack, using gallon bags for each outfit with accessories. That saves you time each morning digging through suitcases, and makes getting ready less stressful.
Finally, kids will be kids
Your kids are going to have public meltdowns. It’s like a scientific fact.
They’re gonna be overstimulated.
They’re gonna have a sugar rush.
They’re going to want ALL the souvenirs.
Try to be patient. After all, they don’t always know how to properly express excitement. They are trying to soak every moment in, the same as you!
Remember: Have a good time
At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a perfect vacation. There are going to be mishaps. And stresses. And you will forget to pack something. But follow the tips above and I guarantee your Walt Disney World experience will be amazing.
Are you planning a trip to Disney World? Tell me about your upcoming (or past) Disney trips! What tips did I forget to include?