The girls and I spent the day at Animal Kingdom, and the more we are at Disney World the more I realize there are some very important do’s and don’ts to make the trip more enjoyable for everyone. It is common to see happy and excited families first thing in the morning, and tired cranky families at the end of the day. We follow a few simple do’s and don’ts to help everyone in my family avoid those end of the day meltdowns and have a great time throughout the day.
- Arrive at the park 45 mins or more prior to opening, this ensures that there is time get a map/show guide, and get in line for when the park opens.
- Fast Passes – Sometimes fast passes are hard to come by, this is especially so for some of the larger attractions such as Soarin’ and Test Track at Epcot, Seven dwarfs mine train and visiting Elsa and Anna at Magic Kingdom, and Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios, if we want to visit high crowd attractions and cannot obtain a fast pass, we go there first thing in the morning. Arriving at the gates early we ensure a shorter wait at the first major attraction of the day.
- Take a nap – Let’s face it, being at Disney is wonderful but it is also physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting. We are constantly bombarded with new and exciting things, and Disney’s footprint is huge. I use a step counter daily and we average 8-10 miles per day. We always nap or have some downtime during the middle of the day. Ride times are often highest during the middle of the day. It’s far better to take a couple of hours off in the middle of the day to relax, than to try to push through.
- Swim – We always take time to swim. We live in Kentucky and the girls usually only get to go swimming during the summer. One of the first things Susie always wants to do at the hotel is swim, and I can’t blame her. Swimming is a great way to keep the girls happy, and lets mommy and daddy relax as well. There is nothing like some time in the pool to make everyone happy.
- Hydrate – Make sure to stay hydrated and fed. There is nothing like hunger or thirst to make anyone cranky. Have the water bottle and snacks easily accessible, so that they are easy to reach while navigating the park. I like using my Mommy Hook and carabiners to hook everyone’s water bottle to our stroller.
- Return to the park after dinner – We always go back to the park after nap and an early dinner. Ride times usually start to decrease by 7 p.m. as the crowd that has been there all day is completely exhausted and ready to leave. We arrive refreshed and rejuvenated, and have successfully avoided high wait times.
Every family has to find what works for them, these are just a few of the do’s and don’ts we have learned throughout our many Disney adventures that keep meltdowns to a minimum and smiles on everyone’s faces.