We traveled to Disney recently and are here to help the next family along with some hacks to make your next Disneyworld Trip a bit easier and even more fun! Don’t get us wrong, we had a total blast, but had we known a couple extra things in advance it would have made things a bit easier and that’s what we’re all about - making things easier and less stressful for families. See below our Top Six Tips for your next Disneyworld Vacation.
To start, we should probably paint a picture of our family travel situation for our readers. You'll definitely want to adapt our tips for your family. In our group, we had mom (me) and dad, a boy (age 4), a girl (age 1), aunt and grandpa all in the group. I know, LUCKY for us. Those extra hands with aunt and grandpa along DEFINITELY made it onto our list…. Really things were sooooo much better with their help. Ok, here goes, our top tips!
- Fly Direct. We totally get that our blog reaches people near and far, but if you happen to be in our hometown of Milwaukee, WI and are headed to Disney, flying direct is totally worth it with little kids. Not only will you lessen your overall travel time, you will also lessen the tantrums, the meals in the airports, the diapers changes in public areas, and more. There are just so many benefits. We flew Southwest. I’ve heard that people either LOVE Southwest or hate it. Oddly, I think we were somewhere in between. Loved the fact that they had direct flights, not so thrilled about the fact that you pick seats after you board. It’s a bit stressful even when they say families board sooner, you can still opt for a priority boarding status that goes before families. Plus, when you're traveling to Disneyworld from Milwaukee, you're not all that special when you have family travel status. Everyone is traveling with little kids. Next time, if we choose to fly Southwest, we would absolutely pay to get that status to be the first to board.
Bring All The Snacks. Everyone knows this travel hack by now, right? Pouches, goldfish, Puffs, granola bars, a banana, etc. Each kid got their own ziploc with their name on it. One ziploc traveled in dad's backpack, one in mom's backpack. That's also another great tip. Divide and conquer, if you can. No one person should be in charge of all the snacks. You can never have too many snacks in too many places.
- Bring the Stroller AND the carrier. The carrier was a lifesaver especially since I’m breastfeeding. Yes, I could stop and sit on a bench in Disneyworld and breastfeed, but there’s just so much to do and see I really didn’t want to have to stop, especially also with a toddler in our crew. I just nursed my daughter right in the carrier and then when we were good to go, she could go back in the stroller with her brother. Speaking of strollers, we did bring one from home which was great for use in and around our hotel, but when it came to the theme parks, we actually chose to rent a double stroller. The commute to/from Disney made it super annoying to lug a stroller on and off the buses so we would rather have the kids on our backs or in the carrier, but when we arrived at each park, we’d pay $15 to rent a stroller for the day. There were double ones that were fun for the kids, too. It was so fun to see them side by side enjoying Disney together. It just made most sense in our family doing it this way, but obviously do what works best for you.
- Make reservations for dinner. Do you know that some people make their food reservations weeks and months before the trip? When I heard this I thought it was kind of crazy. But it’s true! I'll be the first to say that we were not your typical Disney people and booked this last minute. I don’t recommend that. Do it in advance so you get more options for reservation times. We ended up having a lot of 8pm dinners, which was a bit late. Also, leave for dinner early. If you're staying at a Disney property they tell you to legit give yourself 1 hour to get to dinner. Sounds insane right? It's not. It's true and everything takes awhile.
- Make it a family affair: The whole trip. Yes, we were a family of four going to Disney, but truth be told it wouldn’t have been possible for us without grandpa and Aunt L. Meals were easier, potty trips were easier, waiting in line was easier, the monorail was easier, rides were easier….. pushing the stroller was easier. It was all just, easier. We also created family memories together that were so incredibly special and hilarious that we get to hold onto for a lifetime.
- Wash clothes in the sink (bring detergent). You can actually pack lighter when you wash clothes in the sink. No need for 24 pairs of underwear…. Just wash them! Many hotels have those clothesline things in the bathrooms and you can always drape them to dry on the towel bars. Lots of people also swear by the Tide markers for travel. We were fans of travel size Meyer’s soap.
Happy Spring Break all! I hope those tips help you or someone you know. Here's to travel with kids and not losing our minds! 🙂