So, since I have now been to Disney World twice I believe I am a EXPERT in this category.
I am by no mean any sort of expert on this topic but, I do believe I learned a lot from our most recent trip that I can share!
Our first time to do Disney was last year for Spring Break, Preslee had a cheer competition there. We had to plan most of our agenda around her cheer schedule so, it wasn’t as full out Disney as it could have been. It was still a amazing trip though!
We knew for sure we would have to go back, especially because baby Rush was only a few months old! Right when we came home from that trip the Avatar rides were released, the commercials were on non-stop. The kids were begging to go back! They haven’t quite grasped how much time and money go into a trip to Disney. I mean we live in Lubbock, Tx… the park isn’t just right down the street for us.
A few months went by and our company released a incentive trip, we get a new one every 6mths or so. Anyone can earn these trips, it’s just a matter of doing what it takes to earn it. Ricky and I have been to Italy, Hawaii, the Biltmore in Arizona, and other places because of these incentive trips. So, not long after arriving home, our new incentive trip was released. Guess where to?
We put Mickey Mouse up everywhere in our house, we told our kids about the opportunity to earn this trip, and then we made the decision to earn it. For those next months Ricky and I worked harder (especially Ricky) than we ever had. Our kids held us accountable everyday, asking where we were in the standings and what else we needed to do. Who we were helping, etc. Without them I know we wouldn’t have earned the trip. They truly helped drive us when we were ready to give up. Earning the trips isn’t easy but, it’s worth it.
With the incentive trips, everything is paid for plus spending money when you get there! The only money we spent on the trip was to pay for 2 extra days of the hotel! The rest was all covered! We actually came home with leftover money! The incentive trips are always something that allow us to not only experience a trip but, on a whole other level that we wouldn’t be able to otherwise.
At the Biltmore we went hot air ballooning, in Italy we had all kinds of excursions we wouldn’t have had any other way, Hawaii; Ricky played on the best golf course, and Disney we had top-notch Character meals, a private breakfast at Epcot before the park even opened and our trip concluded with a private party and insane firework show on the beach. You just get to do things on a whole other level. It’s absolutely amazing!
So, here’s somethings we learned this time around and just some tips I have for you as you prepare to “Do Disney”
- Book a agent to schedule all your meals and plans! We used our sweet friend Leisha, she is seriously AMAZING at what she does! She made both of our trips SO easy! She set up character meals for us and kept everything so easy and simple! We couldn’t have done it all with out her! She also knew what was best for our children based on their ages so, she booked our Fast Passes based off that! You can look her up HERE!
- Rent Stroller(s)- This was something Leisha thankfully did for us! If you have young kiddos, HIGHLY recommend this!
- Take colored ponchos! Order them RIGHT HERE!
- Get on HERE and order snacks and cases of water! You can have it all delivered straight to your room!
- If you have younger kids I HIGHLY recommend staying somewhere that offers the mono-rail! This was a BIG difference for us from our first and second trip! Our first trip we stayed at a resort that did not have this, it wasn’t awful by any means but, now knowing what we know, we would totally stay where the mono-rail is. With the buses you have to break your stroller down constantly, which means waking sleepy babies! With the mono-rail you just push it right on! WE LOVED THIS! The mono-rail does not go to all parks but, I promise it’s worth the few that it does go to!
- So, with the new Avatar rides… it’s hard to book fast passes for them because everyone wants them! SO… everyone had told us, “Get there right when the park opens and you can get in line” WELL… here’s a HUGE tip!!! DON’T DO THAT! You will still have to wait 1-2rs at least because everyone’s doing that! Want to know the secret? GO RIGHT WHEN THE PARK IS ABOUT TO CLOSE! Ricky and our older kids went around 9pm one evening and if you are in line, they have to let you get on! They waited MAYBE 15-20min and ended up getting to ride it 2x in a row because they were just pumping people through those lines! It’s closing time and they’re ready to go home so, the liens move quick and majority of people are LEAVING the park while you are getting in line! Seriously.. best tip I could give if the Pandora rides are on your to-do list… and they should be!
- Have your agent book you a meal plan! Made our first trip SO easy! Buy the refillable cups too! You can use them your whole trip (saves money) AND your kids can bring them home as a souvenir! WIN WIN!
- Take a light jacket! It can get cooler at night time, especially if it does end up raining! Our first trip we didn’t take jackets and ended up having to buy everyone one! This last time, we took jackets and thank you Jesus we did! Our last day there it poured and the kids were freezing all day!
- Take multiple pairs of shoes! You will be walking and running like you never have before! Make sure you break all your shoes in BEFORE you go! Make sure the kids do the same! Blisters and sore feet are for the birds!
- Give yourself a day to see Disney Springs. This is something great to do if you have a flight that gets in mid afternoon or later. It’s SO fun for the kids and the shopping is LEGIT. They have a Free People and a Zara! Oh and they have some really cool restaraunts and a awesome LEGO store and Toy Stores for the kids!
- Do the “Chef Mickey” Character Meal! Worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY if you have younger kids! The food is seriously out of this world and all of the “Fab Five Characters” (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto) are there! Each character comes around to your table and so, the kids get their autographs (GET A AUTOGRAPH BOOK.. CLICK HERE for some great options) and you’ll get some great pics PLUS knock out all the “major” characters in one sitting!
- When booking your trip I highly recommend getting the “Park Hopper Pass” this allows you to go from park to park everyday instead of having to just stay at one park per day. I do recommend giving yourself a full day at each park, especially with younger kids. You may bounce between them all but, you’ll want to have enough time to do all you want to do so, knowing you have one day for each park will give you plenty of time.
- We LOVED staying at the Grand Floridian this past trip! It was so nice, the pool was amazing for the kids… I recommend giving yourself a “relaxing” day too! We had a day where we just chilled at the hotel. The Grand Floridian had games spread out everywhere for the kids, swimming was top notch, you have great views of the firework show at Magic Kingdom and at night they play movies where you can sit outside on the grass and watch! (This is where you will want those jackets)
- Here’s a BIG TIP! So, our first trip I bought the family matching tees for like everyday! Great and fun pics BUT, we came home and literally the kids never wore those shirts again and I sold all of mine and Rickys on a local BTS page! SO… this second trip I took a different approach! I highly recommend doing one day of matching tees, you’ll want that pic! You know the “Mom, Dad, Kid 1, Kid 2, etc” type pic but, if you want to be able to come home and use the clothes again try this… So I went with “theme days” Here’s a HUGE plus to this.. we have four kids! I need to be able to look for 1-2 colors and know “that’s my kid” so, I still kept the “matching theme” without everyone completely matching. If a kid strayed I knew, Ok, I am looking for pink today. Make sense? Helps ya keep your ducks in a row in my opinion!
- Magic Kingdom- It’s all about the castle so, we went with bright colors this day. Pinks, blues and greens. The kids all had a matching shirt this day but, it was one they would wear again!
- Animal Kingdom- I had everyone in Safari Colors. So we all wore something this day that was either khaki or olive.
- Epcot- There’s some “space” rides at Epcot that our kids LOVED so this day we went with all matching NASA tops.. which our kids have worn a ton since we have gotten home!
- Hollywood Studios- We went with a red, black and white theme. No reason really, we just had some of those things already so, saved me some money to not go buy something everyday BUT… a great option for this day would be STAR WARS GEAR if you and your kids are into Star Wars! OR Toy Story! I feel like those are the two biggest attractions in that park!
- The biggest tip— HAVE FUN! Don’t stress over all the details! Just enjoy the trip! I promise there’s nothing more important than just watching your kids faces and reactions to all the things! I cried numerous times! Ricky & I had never been to Disney until we were 32. It was just as magical for us as it was for them. There is truly NOTHING like it! And after you’ve done Disney… well everything else kinda seems lame LOL. Just being honest. There’s NO place in the world like it! Do whatever you can to get your family there, it’s worth it friends!
Feel free to comment below or shoot me a email if you have any questions or tips that you recommend!
Oh and here’s where I recommend looking for all your attire- Just click the word and it will take you to that retailer, I linked all their Disney selections! Thanks for shopping my links too! Means more than you will ever know!
AMAZON– so many great things and accessories… like the autograph book and ponchos!
- OLD NAVY– had a GREAT selection for all the kids!
- H&M– One of my FAVORITE places to shop for the kids! Everything is affordable and trending!
TARGET– Got all our Nasa tees here and found stuff for Ricky and I here as well! They recently stepped up their game with all their Disney apparel!
Enjoy your trip and tag me in a pic if you roll with something from above!