Thursday, August 27, 2009

Walt Disney World

This week's Travelin’ Thursday will tackle the big challenge of taking kids to Walt Disney World. We made this trip last December right after Christmas and I spent about 2 months preparing. At the end I'll provide links of a few pages I found helpful.

Let's first talk about packing. I found this on another site, but it was a God sent during our trip. I put each of my children’s clothes into a Ziploc baggie. I labeled each baggie with the date and the child’s name. It was perfect! I just pulled out the baggies for the next day each night when we were so exhausted we couldn't even think and we were ready to go. In addition we had our son with us who was 9 months old. The baggie clothes helped because we were able to through in backup clothes into the backpack easily. Each baggie included a complete set of clothing, bib, outfit, underwear, etc.

Our second "ingenious" idea had to do with food for our son. At the time he was on cereal mixed with formula. We bought the Take and Toss bowls with lids from Wal-Mart. Then we put in the premeasured amount of dry cereal and formula into each bowl. You can find water anywhere, so we would just mix to the consistency that was good for our son when he was ready to eat. It worked out GREAT and made feeding our son so much easier!

Now let’s look at tackling the parks. I first went to the Disney website and figured out which parks had extended hours on which days. We were bound by time and could only spend one day at each park, so I wanted to maximize the time we had at each park. Once I determined which park we were going to on which day, I found the specifics on the park.

I found maps of each park, and researched the Fast Pass, standard wait times, and general flow of the rides in the park. Here is a link that talks about the Fast Pass

I put all of this into an Excel spreadsheet with several tabs. Each park had three tabs. One tab had the park map, the next tab had the ride order I thought we should use while at the park, and the final tab a list of places to eat, what they served and rough pricing. I would also note show times and try to work that into the schedule.

I just realized this is a HUGE topic. For the next four Thursday's I will focus in on each park and give my top picks for rides, how to navigate them, and specific links of sites that talk about each park! To finish off here are a few pieces of advice.

1. I would recommend 2 days or more for each park. It is tough to get it all in one day.
2. Get the whole family involved in planning. Figure out what each person wants to do and make sure you make that a priority. There is nothing worse than going and missing out on the one thing someone wanted to do.
3. Even if your child is 5 or 6 years old, be prepared to either bring or rent a stroller. Our daughter was nearly 6 and walking and walking was just too much for her. Plus it gave her a place to take a nap to rejuvenate.
4. Fast Passes are a BLESSING! For those rides where the wait times are crazy, get a Fast Pass. Also if the wait time is not too long right now, but you know you want to ride twice. Leave someone line for the ride and have another person go and get Fast Passes for the rest of the group for a later ride.
5. You can only get another Fast Pass every 15 - 30 minutes, so keep that in mind while you are navigating the park.
6. Use child swap to ride the “grow-up” rides. Don’t miss out on your favorite ride!

Here are a few links:

Hope you enjoyed this blog! Got questions...just ask I'd be happy to answer! Have a GREAT Thursday!


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