Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Disney World: Tips & Tricks

With Tatum's age, I tried not to have too many expectations going into the trip but luckily we had no major tantrums or flip outs.  Occasional fear but so much happiness and excitement.  His favorite characters were Mickey and Minnie and he actually learned how to say Mickey and Minnie while we were there!

We booked our trip just over six months in advance to be able to get dining reservations right when they opened up.  Many people plan even more in advance of this but also even closer to their travel date and are still fine!

I'm sharing a few tips and tricks that I learned throughout the months of planning and experienced during our days at Disney...

Things to Get Ahead of Time:
We went just as summer had ended so I was able to easily get some inexpensive Mickey shirts for Tatum to wear - I found a bunch at Gap, Kohl's, Target and Amazon - I don't think any shirt was more than about $8-$10.  Take snacks with you, I packed anything we'd need for our stay in a carry on so we didn't have to worry about wasting time to buy there (though I did notice the 24 hour store in our hotel had most of what I needed - pouches, little snacks, etc. so I might consider that next time!)

I also got a few fun little extras like an autograph book, Mickey stroller tag (which is actually a luggage tag so I can use it on Tatum's suitcase on future travels) and a monogram shirt from Etsy.

Disney Dining:
Definitely make in advance if you can!  I cancelled our lunch at The Crystal Palace we had planned for the first day in case our flight was delayed and regretted it the second we walked into the overly crowded quick service lunch.  If you're staying on site, you can make your reservations 6 months in advance and have up to a day before to cancel.  

For some days I made multiple for breakfast or dinner just to get them and then decided which we'd prefer later.  If you can't quite find the time you want, take what you can get and work on modifying it later.

On the day your reservations open up make your choices in order of preference, not chronologically. Things go fast so this will help!

Fast Passes:
These open up two months ahead if you're staying on the property.  If you have a little little like Tatum, aim to grab these between 10am and 1pm.  You'll be able to hit some rides right when the park opens and things are quiet but still get back to the hotel for naps during the afternoon hours.  I tried to get ours mostly back to back (with the exception of an evening Mickey Meet and Great) which is beneficial as I was able to pick up a couple more some days once we used our three.

Constantly refresh the Fast Pass app (especially when you're waiting in lines) because different ones are always popping up.

Traveling with a Toddler:
Try not to have too many expectations!  Some people will say two is "too young" but I thought it was a great age!  He was old enough to get excited and really enjoy things but young enough to not notice if we missed something or cause us to wait in a super long line for something he just had to do.

Go with the flow - he slept through a few things and we just went with it even though I wanted him to see or do them.  We got to the parks early, spent the morning and took a nice break at the hotel in the afternoons before going off somewhere for dinner and that schedule worked really well for us!

Get out before the fireworks.  You can beat the crowds and if you're staying on the monorail line you can just watch from your hotel and still hear the music from the show.  If you really want to watch there then watch right outside the entrance by the monorail to get out quick.

Prep for the Next Day:
During our afternoon break I'd usually clean out the park bag and refill anything like diapers, snacks. I'd charge the iPad and backup phone chargers and also lay out our clothes for the next morning.  That way when we woke up we just had to get ready grab the stroller with the bag in it and go!

Memory Maker:
I think this is 100% worth the price if you're going with a group of family, staying more than a few days or just love pictures.  The quality of the photos the staff members get is great and they snap a ton!  They will also take the pictures on your phone or camera as well so that's another option.

1 comment:

  1. Love these tips especially about dining and not setting too many expectations. Oooh and getting out before the fireworks end is key <3

    Green Fashionista