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Sunday, July 14, 2013

This Mom's Disney World Tips with Young Children:

The very first time we went to Disney World, right after we had gotten married, and it was just me and my love. It was truly magical.  Years passed and we had 2 children and we wanted to take them to Disney World for their first time.   We were so excited. They were just 3 and 7 at the time.  And this was a whole new experience.  We learned a LOT by mistakes we made and here are the major tips I gleaned from the first experience.


 If you are going to be at Disney World for long enough to break up visiting the parks - DO SO! Believe me, you will want to thank me the next morning.  Going to a Disney Park ALL DAY is fun and exciting and magically, BUT it is also totally exhausting and draining, and the next morning it is increasingly difficult to force yourself out of the bed to do it all again.  Not to mention the tole it takes on small children and how easily they transform into sleepy, cranky, little people the next morning.  If at all possible, schedule your time like this:
Day 1-Parks
Day 2- Pool (or Putt Putt)
Day 3- Parks
Day 4- Pool
Day 5-Parks
Etc. Now, after you have launged around and let the kiddies play in the pool on your "off" days, sometimes it is VERY nice to go into the parks in the early evenings if possible for just a few hours.

 This is a huge factor of the Disney Magic.  If your child is easily frightened, please do your research on the different rides and shows before you go.  Disney World is supposed to be Magical and Totally fun for kids - not sprinkled with terrifying experiences that your child will take hours to recover from.  Many books review ALL of the rides (I personally LOVE the Unofficial Guide to Disney World - a new one is published each year) and they rank them in likelihood to scare children.

 If you are going to take the time to take your family to Disney World and spend the money for that kind of trip, then spend your time wisely!  Have a plan before you go to each park.  Don't just roll up into the parking lot, willy-nilly, and stroll into a Disney World park going from attraction to attraction as you pass by.  If you do, you will end up spending MANY MANY more hours in lines and not getting to experience near as much as you could if you had a plan.  As I mentioned above, I am a big fan of the Unofficial Guide to  Disney World or (same people).  They provide wonderful plans for your family to follow to make the most of your time in the park.

Tip #4- DO CHARACTER DINING (if possible)
 We have taken our kids to Disney World twice in the past 3 years and are going back in the spring of 2014. Each time we have gone, we have stayed on Disney Property and get the dining plan.  I know that there are great debates on if it is financially better to get the dining plan or just pay as you go.  But in my personal opinion, it is so much more a vacation to walk into each restaurant and order whatever we wanted, not even looking at the prices (which, let's face it - are HIGH is Disney).  Plus it was a total gift to us that we could use our dining plan to pay for Character Dining!!  We would have Character dining almost every night!!  This way, we would eat our meal, while a selection of Disney characters came around and each hugged our children and had their picture made with them.  Not only was this a highlight each day for our kids, but it totally alleviated their need to go and wait in line to hug each random character we passed in the parks!

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