Parents’ guide to surviving a Disney vacation
A trip to a Disney resort may be every kid’s dream, but just as easily it could be every parent’s nightmare. Simply imagining an overly crowded Main Street, busy parade routes, and endless queues for rides is enough to make even the most intrepid adult blanch at the prospect. Never fear, there are ways to manage a vacation visit to a Disney resort that work for everyone – parents as well as children – and a little bit of advance planning goes a long way towards making the whole experience fun for all. Here are some essential tips for having a great time at any Disney resort.
Ask a consultant
Disney consultants really do exist and what’s more the service is free, so there is no reason not to ask the experts. These kind folks know the parks really well and can give extremely useful advice as well as making reservations for dinner and helping with a suggested itinerary. They know where the queues will be, and when, and can also help with pre-purchasing Disney tickets for the attractions the family will really want to see.
Forget the luggage
No need to worry about carrying a lot of bags and suitcases on arrival at Disney World, especially if there are babies and toddlers in the party. Disney provides a Magical Express service, again absolutely free, which will ferry luggage directly to the hotel and allow guests to hop on a bus straight from the plane and travel to their hotel in comfort.
Rent a set of wheels
Disney resorts are huge and families will cover a lot of territory during a vacation visit, especially if they choose to travel between a number of parks. Even if young children don’t make much use of a stroller normally, it is worth considering a rental if they are still young enough to want or need a nap during a busy and fairly exhausting day.
Another great tip for adults as well as children is to use the Disney transportation to get about. Disneyland has a railroad, the omnibus, and horse drawn carriages while Disney World has monorail, walkway, boat, and bus options. The railroad and monorail trips are a great deal of fun as well as an excellent means of transportation, and will take guests all around the parks, visiting some exciting areas along the way.
Grab a FastPass
To avoid the interminable queues for rides, it pays to grab a FastPass ticket at the beginning of each day for the rides everyone really wants to go on. These are prepaid timed tickets that reduce waiting periods for popular attractions to between 15 and 20 minutes; however, only a limited number are issued each day and the total number per person is restricted, so it is best to get it as soon as the family arrives in the park.
Prepare to have fun
Disney is all about having fun, and the more relaxed parents and children are, the better their vacation will be. It won’t be possible to do absolutely everything there is to do, so plan for what is most important in the knowledge that a successful trip means a repeat visit is all the more likely in the future.