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Traveling to one of the Disney Parks is a bucket list item for a lot of families. A lot of families plan and plan and plan to make their vacation memorable! Last summer, we took our first (of many to come) vacations to Orlando to say hello to Mickey Mouse and his friends.
At the time, Lola was just shy of two and Malone was six. We also brought my mother in law with us, it was a three generation vacation! As a party of five, there were a lot of logistics and multi-level needs to concern ourselves with! Out of everyone in the group, I was the only one who had been to Walt Disney World®. I wanted to make sure everyone had a magical time, especially because we were only able to visit the parks for two days!
I am happy to report that no one in our party (including the toddler) experienced a meltdown while we were at Walt Disney World.
How To Make Sure Your Vacation To Walt Disney World is Meltdown Free
Research ahead of time.
As I mentioned above, there were three generations on our vacation. It was just as important to me that my mother in law had an epic time as it was that my kids did. We only had two days, so before our vacation we spent a lot of time on the Disney Parks planning website researching what parks we wanted to visit and which attractions/rides were can’t miss. Which brings me to the next way to make sure your vacation to Walt Disney World is meltdown free….
Do not over plan your visit and follow your child’s lead.
There is so much to do and see at Walt Disney World®! If you over plan your visit, you’re going to be grumpy because you’re not on schedule. This is one of my top tip’s follow your child’s lead. If they want to ride Dumbo over and over and over again, indulge them for a bit. You won’t be sorry.
It’s okay to split up and divide/conquer.
Because we only had two days to spend at the parks, we spent a day in Magic Kingdom Park® and a day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. On the second night, Malone wanted to go back back to Magic Kingdom Park® to ride a few of his favorites from day one. Instead of pushing Lola beyond her bedtime limit, my mother in law and husband went back to the hotel room. They had an early night themselves.
Make sure everyone is properly fed and hydrated.
Did you know that Walt Disney World® allows food to be brought into the park? You can bring snacks and water bottles. Instead of packing a ton of water bottles to lug around with us all day, we refilled ours out of the water fountains located all over the park. Nobody wants to be hangry (hungry and angry), and especially not on vacation! We kept granola bars, grapes and cashews in our bag with us.
Take a thoughtfully stocked backpack or bag with you.
Here’s what we had in our bag:
- Ponchos x 4 in case of rain.
- Snacks (see above).
- Water bottles x 2 (we all shared).
- External cell phone chargers.
- Cell phones, cash and credit card (I kept these in a smaller bag that I brought with us on the rides).
- Empty baby bottle (I filled it with milk as needed while we were inside the park).
- Diapers and a spare set of clothes for Lola.
- Huggies Natural Care® baby wipes.
From wiping bums to cleaning up sticky cotton candy hands, our Huggies Natural Care® baby wipes were the backpack MVP. I adore the gentle ingredients and knowing that they’re softer for sensitive skin. Both Lola and my mother in law have really sensitive skin, so having a hypoallergenic, fragrance and alcohol free wipe are important to us. They also have a touch of aloe and vitamin E and feature a simple formula.
Aren’t those TripleClean* layers amazing?
Take a break.
Each afternoon, we went back to the hotel to rest and swim for a bit. It gave us a chance to recharge our batteries before hitting the parks again. Again, follow your child’s lead. If they’re getting impatient from waiting in line at the park, head back to the hotel for a bit.
Set your souvenir expectations ahead of time.
Inside the parks and hotel gift shops there are tons of beautiful Disney merchandise for sale. For this vacation, we decided that everyone could bring home one souvenir to remember. This caused everyone to think really carefully about what they wanted to buy. We talked a lot about what the best choice might be. Malone picked a build your own lightsaber while we were in Disney’s Hollywood Studios®. This lightsaber has been played with every single day since we got home.
I have a friend who loves to give each of her children a pre-loaded Disney Parks gift card to spend. I think that’s a great idea too! No matter what you choose, setting a limit will help keep the meltdowns to a minimum because the limit is clear.
Practice walking with your children long before you get to the parks.
You’re going to cover a lot of surface area while you’re on your vacation. Make sure that everyone’s used to walking long distances. We used a stroller for Lola, but Malone walked almost the entire way. Before our vacation, we started walking and hiking together as a family in preparation for long days on foot in the park. We started slowly and built ourselves up to three miles.
While we were at the park, we made sure take rest breaks! In addition to thrilling rides, there are a lot of rides and attractions where you can rest while you enjoy them. One of our favorites at Magic Kingdom® was Country Bear Jamboree.
When it comes to stocking up on Huggies Natural Care® wipes and backpack snacks BJ’s Wholesale is our go to. Our wipes are found in the diaper aisle.
BJ’s and Huggies® are all about family firsts, including one family’s chance to experience the magical firsts of Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. Every Huggies® purchase gets you another chance to win a 4-Day, 3-Night Walt Disney World® Experience!
It’s easy to enter:
- Buy Huggies®.
- Upload your receipt
- Visit BJsHuggiesSweeps.com for more details.
For more information on planning a Walt Disney World® vacation with a preschooler, visit their website.
Looking for even more inspiration? Check out this social hub full of great tips!
I like the idea of giving the kids a pre-loaded gift card! #client
NJ, I love your blog so, so much (and I don’t even live near Western MA). I think your ideas for a Disney trip are amazing. My husband and I used to live in theme parks before we had AJ and now that we are getting ready to leave Japan, we are thinking about going to Tokyo Disney as our last hurrah. I needed these tips, big time. Now that I think about it, we took AJ to Universal Studios Japan and it was good…but I wasn’t prepared. I will totally refer to this before our trip. While my daughter is small enough now not to be concerned with souvenirs, I know so many people have issues with expectations at parks. I plan on sharing this post out because it is so useful. You rock! Oh, and I love my reusable huggies wipes pouch, too. That thing is a life saver.