Planning a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth this spring break or upcoming summer vacation?
Whether you are heading to the original Disneyland in California, or Disney World in Florida, here are seven tips to help you spend less time stressed out and more time making memories with your family.
Find Lodging with Convenience in Mind
Staying on the Disney property has many perks, but it comes at a premium price. If you don’t have room in the budget to stay at a Disney property, look around for an off-site hotel that offers competitive amenities designed to make your Disney vacation easier for your family. These off-site properties are competing for business, so you might be surprised to find shuttles to/from the theme park and other perks Disney properties offer families with a much lower price tag.
If your budget has room, staying at a Disney property is definitely helpful when trying to plan a low-stress Disney vacation. The convenience of being able to easily go back and forth between the hotel and park for nap times, a cheaper lunch in your hotel room, or a swim to cool down before heading back to the park for the evening is extremely valuable.
Skip Peak Times
If you haven’t already booked your Disney trip, save yourself some stress by booking your trip in the off season. There are always going to be plenty of people roaming Disney whenever you go, but some days are noticeably slower than others. Weekdays do tend to be less busy than weekends year round as well.
Save yourself some stress, and spend more time having fun instead of waiting in line, by booking your trip during these slower, off peak times. You might actually save some money, too!
Head to the Park Early
Your family will be too excited to sleep the night before heading to Disney anyways, so get up early and be there right when the park opens. Getting in as early as possible means you can head for the most popular rides before the lines get too long.
Take Advantage of FastPasses
Use FastPasses to essentially reserve your spot in line for a specific attraction at a specific time. This allows you to ride other rides, get something to eat, or rest at your hotel while you wait for your turn on a popular ride instead of spending two hours waiting in line.
Make a Plan
Spend some time planning out your days at the park ahead of time. Decide what sections of the park you want to go to each day, what rides your family absolutely can’t miss, and determine what the best use of your FastPass will be for the day. Be sure to plan time to take a break in the heat of the day, too.
Hydration is important, and if your family starts to get dehydrated in the hot California or Florida sun, your magical vacation can turn ugly really quick. Ice water is free throughout the parks – don’t waste your money buying bottled water, ask for free ice water at any quick service counter to cool down and stay hydrated.
Plan a Day to Relax, and a Day to Recover
If you are staying at Disney for several days, plan a day in the middle of your trip to relax. Sleep in, eat healthy to reset your body after all those Mickey Mouse ice cream bars, and spend plenty of time at the pool.
Disney can be a bit of a sensory overload, and taking a day to refresh will give your entire family (especially mom and dad) a boost to enjoy the rest of your time a little more. Make sure the littles know this is the plan ahead of time, and remind them of it periodically the day before, to avoid meltdowns from an overly exhausted child who doesn’t understand why they can’t go ride the Peter Pan ride today.
It’s also a good idea to plan a recovery day before getting on the plane back home. If your family is exhausted, sunburnt, and bummed about leaving Disney, the flight home won’t be fun for anyone. Sleep in, relax a little, talk about your favorite memories from the trip, and catch up on rest before heading to the airport, and hopefully your trip home will go much smoother.