My husband and I love Disney World. He went every year since he was 3 years old. I went a few times growing up, but went a lot with my husband before children. The company I worked for gave employees a discount that allowed us to travel there prior to kids. When my daughter turned 3 we decided to take her to Disney World before she started preschool. It seemed innocent enough, but it turned out to be a pretty stressful trip. We had the right intentions, but there are a few things that can make for a stressful trip to Disney.
First, the initial day of traveling is exhausting. Our flight was delayed and I didn’t anticipate sitting on the Disney express bus for as long as we did to travel from the airport to the hotel. By the time we checked into the hotel, D needed a nap and time to settle in. However we had dinner reservations with my in-laws. This trip we get in around 10:30 and I did not book anything till around 3 to allow time to rest after travel.
Also, we were in the middle of potty training. Disney has self-flushing toilets. To this day my daughter won’t use a self-flushing toilet. The security guys at Disney got a good laugh out of me with the little toilet seat and a little potty in bottom of our stroller. “We’ve all been there” was the best response I received. My advice is to wait till your child is few months into potty training to attempt Disney because it’s not easy to constantly go back to the hotel to use the restroom. There were at least two mornings where we got all the way to the park only to turn around to go back to the hotel.
The next thing we didn’t take into account was the heat. Florida is HOT in August. D was not used to being in that hot of weather without a pool right there. We brought an umbrella stroller, but the stroller had NO cover. I think my fear of the airport not allowing a stroller on the plane forced me to buy the cheaper version. Always bring an umbrella stroller with a cover to protect against the sun and provide a cooler riding experience for your child. Also, fans and those misting sprays are great for kids to hold while walking through the parks.
Speaking of weather, did you know it rains A LOT in Florida? Most of our trip was either dodging rain storms or sitting in restaurants listening to thunder. I already started packing ponchos from the dollar store, rain proof coats, umbrellas, and a waterproof stroller cover. Also, we are all bringing an extra pair of sneakers in case the other pair needs to air out. We are prepared this trip to walk the parks through the rain.
The last trip I planned an amazing itinerary. The type A in me planned every second of the day, but I didn’t plan breaks from the parks. With a three year old full days at the parks with the heat just isn’t a good idea. Coming back to the hotel for pool time or just breaks is really important. This trip we are either going to start at one park in the morning, take a break at the hotel, and head back out at night. Or, stay at the hotel for half the day swimming. Also, I book a ton of dining reservations to get the full Disney experience and will re-asses each day. Disney is very kind about canceling reservations because other people are always trying to get in without reservations.
Disney employees are extremely understanding of every family’s situation. Every time I called to cancel a reservation due to D being overtired or just overwhelmed, they completely understood. Every rep told me how overwhelming Disney is for most children, and once I mentioned D’s Sensory processing disorder they helped give recommendations or ask how they could help.
Life with kids is never predictable. On the last trip the days did not go according to my perfectly packed schedule and I kind of freaked when we missed a fast pass or reservation. However, this trip is to give my daughter quality alone time. Any time spent together whether at the pool, or hanging out at the hotel is time away from the distractions at home. We will not be those people arguing as my husband throws a water bottle in the fountain at Epcot(true story)! I’ll keep you posted!
Thanks for reading,