It has happened to all of us. You’re in the grocery store, and you hear a child having a tantrum. Perhaps it’s your kid on the floor screaming; because you didn’t agree to buy the Lego set that is so conveniently located right in the check-out line. Now you’re heading to Disney World, and you’ve heard it’s the “happiest place on earth.” Is it possible that this Disney magic you’ve heard so much about is going to prevent this from happening on vacation? What about yourself? Are you going to be able to handle the crowds and the chaos without losing your cool? Let’s hope all goes smoothly, but just in case, here are some tried-and-true Walt Disney World tips for avoiding meltdowns by the young and old alike.
- Manage Expectations - We’ve all seen National Lampoon’s Vacation, right? Nothing will kill a vacation quicker than unrealistic expectations. Walt Disney World is enormous; about the same size as San Francisco. You wouldn’t expect to see everything a large city has to offer in a day or a week, so give yourself a break. Create a reasonable touring plan to follow, and then try to relax and enjoy each moment. When looking back on your vacation, it won’t be about how many attractions you experienced, but rather about the special memories that you made.
- Stay Hydrated and Nourished - Fatigue and irritability can set in fast if you let yourself get overly thirsty or hungry. Take a few minutes to refuel and try some of the tasty food and beverage choices that Disney World has to offer. This will help give you the energy you need to keep going. And did you know that our mobile app, Lines, has a menu search to help you find the closest Mickey bar or cheesy pretzel?
- Take a Break – After a few hours of touring, give yourself and your family the chance to take a break. Whether you head back to your room for a quick nap or check out one of the many shows with comfy seats and air-conditioning, set aside a few minutes to cool off and rest your feet. You’ll feel refreshed and maybe even have a second wind.
- Get your Sleep - Several days of going from rope drop to the last firework can wear out even the most hardy theme park tourist. Give yourself permission to get a full night’s sleep at least a couple times during your trip. Need help finding a quiet hotel room? Use our room finder for all Disney hotels.
- Take a Deep Breath – From time to time you may encounter rudeness even in Walt Disney World. On my most recent trip, my boys and I were entering the queue for “it’s a small world” when a woman began shouting at us that the line was behind her. There was no line behind her. We had arrived at the entrance about a half of a second before her entering from the left as she was entering from the right. We just stopped, smiled and let her and her child go ahead of us. It was only 10:00 AM, and this poor woman was clearly in need of some pixie dust. Now in your regular daily life you might be thinking that you would never tolerate something like that. Remember how you handle these situations will leave a lasting impression on your children. So take a deep breath and follow the wise words of one of our favorite Disney movies and just “let it go.”
- Do Random Acts of Magic - Because we are all at Disney World to have a great time and make some magic, why not join in on the fun? Congratulate the couple wearing the cute bride and groom Mickey Mouse ears, thank a cast member for the job they do, or offer to take a photo for a family so everyone can be in the shot. You never know. Your kind gesture just might help someone else avoid a meltdown of their own.
So there you have it! With these few simple tips, you are well on your way to a magical and less stressful Walt Disney World vacation!
What about you? Do you have any helpful hints you follow to keep your group happy and having fun? Please let us know in the comments below!
Please welcome Kristi Fredericks to the TouringPlans blog team. Kristi lives in Colorado and has been visiting Disney parks since she was an infant. See more of Kristi’s work at www.disneyworldenthusiast.com.