This is a whole monster in itself! I got to experience it firsthand when I tagged along for my niece’s birthday trip. Mind you, my sister lived in Orlando and she has basically become a Pro at this. I wasn’t as seasoned in this area of ass whooping yet.
Let me start by saying, I will never experience Disney the same. We had my 3 year old niece, 1 year old nephew and 8 month old daughter! I know, why take babies to Disney?
They actually enjoyed every bit of it and though they won’t remember, I’ll explain to you a little later why it’s all worth it in the end.
Let’s get right into it!
First thing I recommend, if you are a Florida resident, is to get Disney pass holders. Shout out to my sister for getting me my pass! There’s different options but the silver one is only $34 a month and $140 for the down payment with very few blockout dates. You can go as many times as you want, to any of the parks. A ticket alone is $109. Park hoppers is $160. If you will go to Disney often then it’s well worth it. With pass holders, you will have the opportunity to leave the park and come back later. Which is a hell of a good idea when you have a hot, sleepy and cranky baby.
You also get stuff like free parking, extra park hours, fast pass, hotel discounts, 10% off food, and 20% off merchandise. Pretty cool!
Pack accordingly! This will save you a ton of money and hassle. Snacks are key!! My sister has a whole “Shut the fuck up” bag for her kids. I’ve seen fruit snacks calm any storm! Rest stops and park food can be over priced so just bring a good amount of your own snacks from home. Fit a cooler in the trunk if you can. You are allowed to bring your own food into the park so pack some Smucker’s PBJs and juice boxes. Not even trying to sound cheap but you pay $15 for that same Uncrustable and Juicy Juice at Disney World.
Also, you might want to buy Disney accessories beforehand. The kids ARE GOING TO WANT that bubble machine and those Mickey ears. Don’t spend an arm and a leg at the park.
The same one they sell at Disney but $10 less on Amazon!
There’s also some great small businesses like Vivalamouse that custom make your Mickey ears for a great price!
If it’s summer time, pack your park bag with some rain ponchos from dollar tree, before you end up paying $9 for each one. Sunblock is $20 at the park too! Someone also mentioned to pack play cards for the kids while they wait in line or for parades to start. I brought my baby’s favorite toy and tied it to the stroller with a long piece of yarn.
You really just have to think one step ahead when you have kids. They are going to get hungry and bored, even at the happiest place on earth! You’re not there for you anymore. I’m sure you can do without the Disney merchandise but not the tiny humans. Being prepared is what’s going to save you money and tantrums!
Another very important topic is comfort! Strollers are your friend and foe! I’ve never loaded and unloaded a stroller so much in my life! You can’t take them in the rides and shows so you have to park them and carry your belongings along with your 20+ pound child! At the same time, if you don’t have a stroller, you stand no chance. We had 2 strollers and 3 kids so we didn’t last very long before we went back to the hotel. The kids WILL get tired of walking and your arms WILL fall off! You can rent a single stroller for $15 and $31 for a double but save yourself the huge line/money and just bring your own.
Prepared or not, you’re a real champ if you can last the whole day at the park with your kids! This is where the pass holder comes in handy. You can leave in the afternoon and always come back when it’s not as hot as the devil’s asshole. If you’re from out of state, I recommend pacing yourself so you can enjoy the fireworks at night. It’s beautiful! You won’t want to miss that.
There’s a Disney app that tracks wait times, showtimes and park hours.
Staying in a Disney hotel is another great tip! They have buses that take you back and forth from the hotel to the very front of the park. They are completely complimentary.
The hotels make you feel like a kid again and you really get that Disney feel. The little ones probably won’t even mind leaving the park early to enjoy movie night with free popcorn, the arcade, pools and other fun activities. They have a bunch of bar stands too! Margarita on these types of vacations are necessary!
You will always find good deals if you book with enough time. For my daughter’s birthday this coming November, I booked a room at the Disney’s All Star Movie Resort for $120 a night.
Side note! My sister and I didn’t grow up with much so to be able to experience Disney World like this is really a blessing! This isn’t a possibly for some but I think that if you pick and choose your battles, like saving money on food and planning ahead, you can definitely afford a memorable trip.
Time with your kids is everything! Even though they’re little, YOU will remember that time with them forever. I still recall staying at the Red Carpet Motel on our trips to Disney growing up. We’d fit 10 family members in one room and I just thought we were having one big ass sleepover before we went to the happiest place on earth! It doesn’t matter how or where as long you enjoy that quality time together. Memories will be made either way! I just hope I can alleviate a couple headaches.
If you have any other tips be sure to let me know! Until next time mommies!
Make sure to check out the @LoveThatMommy Instagram see how our trip went!