Bringing your family to Walt Disney World is a big undertaking – the booking, planning, packing, preparing – it can be a lot of work! I can’t speak for every family, but I know in my house, it’s me who ends up taking care of most of the vacation planning – and while I love living that #DisneyMomLife, I know that it can be a challenge to pull it all together. Lucky for you all, over the years I have collected some tips to help manage the chaos that is a Disney Vacation:
Know Before You Go: Whether this is your first WDW vacation or your 10th – you should still be smart and do your research ahead of time. Read a guidebook or two, and of course make sure you’re checking out Disney Addicts and Chip and Co’s websites every day for Disney updates. There’s a TON of Disney World information out there, so I would start the research part well in advance of your trip (like, as soon as you book it!)
Plan Ahead: While you’re reading up and doing that pre-trip research, start to formulate plans in your head – of what things you might want to do at which Parks, where you might want to eat, etc – and then take those plans and turn them into a rough Itinerary. It doesn’t have to be perfect or followed to the minute, but it’s good to have an idea of how your days are going to look before you arrive
Pack Smart: Another fun task that usually ends up falling on the Mom is PACKING – and not just packing for ourselves – no – but packing for us, the kids, and sometimes even the husbands! It’s a lot to handle and this part can easily get overwhelming, but I like to combat that with plenty of LISTS – lists of what to pack for who – clothes, snacks, things to do, etc – and I color code it all in a nice spreadsheet and everything. Excessive? Maybe – but my thoroughness means I hardly ever forget anything important for me and my family, and that to me is worth the time spent making lists! If you’re not sure where to begin with the packing, check out my article on Packing for WDW
Take a Break! (Or Two): When you’re at the Parks, many people’s instincts is to GO GO GO so you can cram as many rides/shows/characters into a day as possible (to get you money’s worth, right?) – well – I can speak from a wealth of experience on this topic – and I say – resist the urge to do it all – you will burn yourself out within the first half of your first day! Make sure you hit your “must-do” rides/attractions, but between those – take breaks, sit down, have a snack, stay HYDRATED, reapply sunscreen, and remember – you’re on VACATION – there’s no medal for riding every ride, so take the time to enjoy not only the things at the Parks, but the overall Park experience and the Disney Magic that is all around you
Be Flexible: This one sort of goes hand in hand with taking breaks – and it’s just a matter of being aware of what you and your family need – if you see everyone starting to droop mid-morning, then switch up your plans, and head to an indoor (air conditioned!) show, or grab a popsicle or Mickey Bar. Or if you spot a character with a short line, hop in it! Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous – Disney is all about finding that perfect balance between structure and spontaneity!
Following these tips will help make sure everyone is on the same page, and overall will lessen the load on you – the Disney Mom – as they will help keep chaos and confusion to a minimum, and fun to a maximum!