Disney World and Disneyland with young kids is the ultimate family vacation for many across the world, but it can be very stressful to manage your time and expectations when you are at the happiest and most magical places on earth. Keryn Means of WalkingOnTravels.com is here to help you avoid the stress and get the most out of your Disney vacation.

Disney with Young Kids

Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

A stress-free trip to Disney with young kids is the dream, right? Parents plan their trip for over a year. Money is saved and spent. Bags are packed. Planes are boarded. And then a meltdown occurs. You are not alone. Disney, just like any other vacation with your kids, can and will have its highs and lows.

We are here to help you get ahead of those low points so you can have more highs, less tears, and a whole lot more happy when you go see the Mouse and all his friends. Oh, and perhaps get a little rest for yourself, too. After all folks, this is a vacation for the whole family, not just the kids. Don’t forget to sneak in some relaxation time for you too, parents.

Disney with Young Kids

Photo by Heather Maguire on Unsplash

Plan Your Rides in Advance

Gather the kids around and start strategizing before your trip. Every park has key rides you don’t want to miss. Plan out your attack so you don’t miss them. If you only have three days in Disney, know what parks you want to go to first, especially if you are headed to Disney World.

Photo by Keryn Means

Maximize Your Fastpass+

You get a certain number of Fastpass+ with your ticket, package or Annual Pass (last we checked it was three per day, but check the rules because there are a lot of ways to grab more). Use these very wisely. If you have six days at Disney, you can hit all of the parks, but you will still want to make sure you can get to your favorite rides at least once so no one is disappointed.

Disney with Young Kids

Photo by Luke Tanis on Unsplash

Hit the Parks in the Morning

Mornings are the best time to go to the parks as a family. If you have little ones, this is when they are at their best. Grab a healthy, protein packed breakfast as soon as the kids are up and be at the gate when the park opens. This way you can maximize your time before nap time hits.

Photo by Keryn Means

Grab Healthy Snacks

Disney is a sugar-addict’s wonderland. Don’t get drawn in. Yes, everyone in the family deserves a Dole Whip, but that can’t be all you and the kids eat throughout your trip. Thankfully, Disney also has plenty of fruit and veggie carts, yogurt available and other healthy, protein packed options that can give you real energy, not just that sugar rush that will have you crashing all too soon.

Photo by Keryn Means

Don’t Ignore Naptime

If you are traveling with a child who still naps, do NOT skip nap time. This is the best time to go back to your hotel, put your feet up, let the older kids hang out in the pool or at the arcade, and catch your breath. Let everyone cool off, getting the rest they need. The park is open late. If you get rest now, you might be able to make it to that fireworks show you have been dying to catch at the Magic Kingdom without a total meltdown.

Disney with Young Kids

Photo by Derek Thomson on Unsplash

The Pool is Your Friend

Parents, welcome to your vacation. Many pools have bars. Embrace the fact that your child is just as happy at the pool as they are in the parks. Grab a mojito and a lounge chair. All the cool parents are doing it. Visiting Disney outside of winter means that it is hot. Take the time to cool off in the pool during the midday hours. It is OK to not spend every second in the park.

Disney with Young Kids

Photo by Travis Gergen on Unsplash

Embrace the Starbucks

Here’s a little secret just for mom and dad — there is a Starbucks hidden in every single park (at least at Walt Disney World). That’s right. Your Venti Triple Shot Carmel Frappuccino is just waiting behind the doors of that Main Street bakery, safari café and Hollywood cantina. Yes, you can now keep going on that Ariel ride again and again. Caffeine and cake pops to the rescue!

Photo by Keryn Means

Remember it is a Vacation!

Disney is a dream vacation for most families, but the one thing they often forget is that it is a vacation. The point is to relax. So, while you do want to get your money’s worth out of this trip, if your child is melting down, that is your queue to slow down. Step back, look at how much you are pushing everyone, and then go back to the hotel to veg at the pool. When in doubt, the pool is the place to be. Ask your kids right now. They will certainly agree, even the baby.

Keryn Means of Walking On Travels

Travelocity compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site; such compensation may include travel and other costs.

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