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12 Truths Parents Should Know About Visiting Walt Disney World

Most of us would love to have our Fairy Godmother travel with us to Disney World to ensure that our children have an unforgettable vacation. Since that won’t be happening, how can parents prepare for a trip of a lifetime? Walt Disney World doesn’t have to be a ton of work or a frustrating experience for you parents out there, especially if you plan ahead.  Here are 12 truths that you should definitely know before visiting Walt Disney World:





 

12 – Plan for nap and/or pool time.

It can be a lot of the kiddos to walk or ride around the parks all day.  They get tired and cranky after being in the heat and getting so tired.  It is definitely a good idea to plan nap and/or pool time where they can relax and move around without all the hustle and bustle of the parks.  You will definitely get more of sanity back and the kids will be happier, too.

11 – Everyone needs comfortable walking shoes.

You definitely need to make sure that the entire crew has comfortable walking shoes, even the little ones that you don’t plan to do a ton of walking still need to have comfortable shoes.  You will be standing in lines and walking from place to place where you may not be able to bring your stroller, so you definitely want to make sure everyone is comfortable.

10 – If in doubt, don’t skip the stroller.

There is a lot of speculation and differing opinions as to when you should ditch the stroller.  My general rule of thumb is that if you have any doubt at all that you should still bring it.  You definitely don’t want to end up with miserable kiddos because you don’t have one, and they are very expensive to rent directly from Disney.

A boy naps in a stroller at Disney World

9 – Plan ahead for the weather.

You will want to check what weather to expect during your trip.  Unless you are traveling in the winter months, you can likely expect it to be hot every day, so you will want to have comfortable, breathable clothing that will hold up when sweating or if you encounter any rain during your trip.

8 – Make use of the Baby Care centers if needed.

There is a Baby Care center at each of the major theme parks. You are able to buy diapers, formula and other supplies from the center.  You will also be able to utilize the feeding areas and rocking chairs in the air conditioning so that you can feed your baby and in a quieter, comfortable place.  These are definitely great to take advantage of if you need a break from the parks.

7 – Learn how to use Rider Swap.

Rider Swap is a great feature for guests that are traveling with small kids.  You have your party show up to the standby line and tell the cast member that you will need a rider swap.  Only part of your party will have to wait in the line and then they will get rider swap passes for the rest of the party (up to 3 people).  Then you can trade of the kiddos and 3 people can ride by going through the FastPass line so that they don’t have to wait the full time.





 

6 – You don’t have to pack a ton of stuff to tote around with you.

You may think that you need to come prepared with everything you can think of to tote around the parks.  We haven’t found this to be so.  We typically make sure to pack light ponchos, sunscreen and water bottles, but we find that we can get most anything else we might need in the parks.  We find kid-friendly snacks, even healthy ones, in the parks so that we don’t have to tote that around.  We like to try to stick to one small bag (and hopefully none as they get a little older).  Buy travel size in anything you do need so that you don’t have large containers to carry around with you.

5 – Be sure to make use of FastPass+.

FastPass+ can save you a ton of time.  You are able to make your FastPass+ selections starting 60 days in advance of your stay if you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort.  You can make them 30 days in advance with valid theme park admission if you are staying off property.  FastPass+ allows guests to enter the FastPass+ line for a shorter wait than what would be experienced in the standby line.  This can be a huge time saver.

4 – Read up on the attraction warnings and height requirements.

You definitely want to check out the warnings and height requirements to you can plan ahead when making FastPass+ selections and planning around your day.  You won’t want to talk up an attraction to your kiddos if they won’t be able to ride it.  That would just cause upset that could be avoided.

3 – Don’t be afraid to do the family shirts and outfits.

The family shirts are such a fun staple at Walt Disney World.  You will definitely be among friends with fun, brightly colored shirts with your family name and fun images on them.  We always plan vacation shirts for each of our stays and get a ton of comments on them from cast and other guests.  It is so much fun!

2 – Memory Maker is amazing!

We definitely think that Memory Maker is an add-on that is worth the cost.  The add-on is around $150 and you get unlimited downloads of every single one of your PhotoPass photos.  This includes special dining photos and ride photos, too.  You get all the photos, plus you can have everyone in them instead of someone constantly missing out in order to hold the camera.

1 – Be sure to plan ahead.

You will definitely want to do your research and plan out your vacation in advance.  This planning can help your family to have a better trip and alleviate frustration and confusion once you are there.  You don’t need to over plan the trip, but it is definitely a good idea to have a basic itinerary.



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About Christy Caby

Hi! I’m Christy, and I am a wife and mother of 2 young boys (ages 5 and 2). I first fell in love with Disney when my mom took me when I was a child. After that I proceeded to go to WDW for my senior trip with my friends, and I completed a year in the Disney College Program (working in merchandise at Mickey’s of Hollywood at Disney’s Hollywood Studios). I shared my love of Disney with my now husband and sucked him in. He proposed at Disney, we honeymooned at Disney, we started bringing our boys before they were born and then as early as 8 weeks old. We then continued to vacation to Walt Disney World 2-3 times per year. We decided that what makes more sense than just moving to Orlando so that we could live the Disney life and be here for all of our favorite events and seasons every year. That is exactly what we did! Now we are at the parks a couple times a week and go for most events and major holidays. We can’t get enough and get to experience Disney in a whole different way. I love to share this love and passion for all things Disney with the world and hope that I can help others appreciate the magic that Walt Disney World has to offer!