While having kids is certainly not a pre-requisite for visiting Disney World, is one of the top destinations for family vacations—many parents look forward to creating happy memories at what has been deemed the “Happiest Place on Earth.”No matter where you are going, traveling with kids can present its challenges and cost a pretty penny.
A bit of planning will make for a much smoother trip and more enjoyable experience for all. Here are some tips for planning a family trip to Disney World.
Consider “No Expiration” Passes
While some people may just visit Disney once, many often go back again and again. There is so much to see and do and, you can easily go back several times and have a different experience each time. If you know you’ll be going back again next year, passes that don’t expire can be a great investment. Depending on the type of pass you are buying, you could save hundreds of dollars.
Do Your Homework
While you do not need to plan your trip with military precision, it is important to have a general idea of what you want to do each day. First things first, you want to check age and height requirements for different rides so that you know when not to even bother; the same goes for checking if any rides or attractions will be closed while you are there.
Deciding Where to Stay
When it comes to deciding where to stay, there are many things you need to take into account such as convenience, travel time and cost. You have several options within the resort itself ranging from campgrounds to deluxe villas. When traveling with kids, being within walking distance of major parks where you can easily bring everyone back for a mid-afternoon nap and dip in the pool, can be a god-send. Staying in the resort also gives you a chance to enjoy the parks a bit more—each day there are “magic hours” for resort guests only when one of the main parks opens an hour early and another stays open up to three hours later.
Of course, convenience comes with a price tag. If you are thinking about visiting other attractions in Orlando, staying off-site may be the better deal; your money will also go a lot further in terms of meals and accommodations—in some cases, you may be able to get a multiple bedroom accommodation off-site for the price of one room in Disney.Ultimately, you have to see what budget you are working with and what things you value most.
Stock Up on Disney Gear Before the Trip
While strolling through the parks at Disney, your kids are going to see lots of stuff that they must have—of course you want to get some souvenirs, but these items are ridiculously overpriced. Before you go on your trip, check out local Disney stores and stock up on some goodies for each day of the trip. Pack them away and each day, give your kids something. They will have no idea it came from home and you have satisfied their need for a gift at a fraction of the cost.
Save the Magic Kingdom for Last
The Magic Kingdom is without a doubt, the cream of the crop when it comes to Disney World. For this reason, it may be a good idea to save it for last. If you start off the trip with this park, kids may expect all the rest to have the same concentration of fun rides and general awesomeness. The other parks may pale in comparison and they will not enjoy them as much. And the last thing we want is bored kids complaining they would rather be somewhere else.
Your trip to Disney can be one of the most fun times you can spend with your family; you just need to do a bit of research and planning.Start checking on those flights to Florida and get to it!
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys discussing all things travel.