Disney with Kids

How We Prepare our Kids for a trip to Disney World

Days spent at Disney World are unlike days at home. There is so much stimulation from the attractions, extra sugar from the out of the norm extra goodies, with so much magic and fun all around it can be overwhelming. This is why we like to prepare our kids for our trip to Walt Disney World. Here are a few ways we gear up for our vacations to our home away from home.

Walking

A trip to Disney World is going to involve many miles being walked each and every day. Even the days you don’t hit the parks, you’ll be walking around your resort, maybe doing some shopping at Disney Springs. Each day is going to be filled with lots of time spent on your feet. Since our kids have been 2 and up, as a trip to Disney World approaches we go for family walks. Training their bodies for the mileage they’ll endure during the trip. About a month before a trip to Disney, a couple days a week, we take walks to give our bodies a strong base for the vacation ahead. This alleviates sore legs and feet for those back to back park days.

Meal Planning

We try to lead a healthy lifestyle, eating out minimally and planning healthy meals. During our trips to Disney World we try to keep the pizza and fries choices to once a day, which is already a lot for our kids. Ahead of our trip we discuss with our kids our expectations of the food consumed during our vacation. That what is chosen at a restaurant needs to be eaten. To get them ready for this, we have some meals that aren’t their favourites and practice eating their fill. This keeps the complaining to a minimum during our vacations.

Spending

With shops at most attraction exits, gift shops in resort lobbies, merchandise that is one of kind, the desires of spending money on things to bring home is hard to resist. During our vacations to Disney World, our kids get a certain amount of money that they can spend on whatever it is they choose. We do try to remind them of setting some funds aside for the entirety of the trip. Not spending it all at once. But we’ve also learned that if you see something you really want in Epcot, you may not find it again. We encourage them to purchase things they really want, if they change their minds they can return it at the resort gift shop. By having a set amount of money to spend it sets the stage to limiting what can be bought.

Behavior

Safety has always been a big concern of mine during Disney World vacations. When the kids were really young, I was worried about them running out during a parade and getting hurt by a float. I was worried about them running off into a crowd. Now, my concern is more about being thankful and behaving their best. The days at Disney parks can be very tiring, which can make people snarky. We don’t put up with this. We expect our kids to be kind and loving, intolerable behaviour does have consequences. Whether it’s no dessert at dinner or having a time out, we don’t hold back on following our normal rules even though we are on a special vacation.

Planning

I’m a firm believer in letting our kids be a part of the planning process. Each vacation we get the kids to put together a list of must dos. Characters they want to meet, food they want to eat and a ride they don’t want to skip. We use all of our must dos to create the blueprints of each of our days. It’s actually made us go to places at Disney World we’d never explored. I find having them a part of the planning process reminds us all that our trip is for the whole family, that we each matter. We are going to carve out time during our vacation to do the things that each of us desire. And when we’re doing those things, no one complains because it’s that person’s moment. It has saved us negative comments about being bored or not wanting to do something.

Now no trip to Disney World is perfect. No matter how much we prepare our kids, there are always mistakes made; for more on that click here. But we do our best to set ourselves up for success instead of leading us into failure.

For more tips on taking kids to Walt Disney World, check out these previous posts:

Rides our Kids Loved but We Hated

What I Forgot about taking a Baby to Disney World

Strollers and your Disney World Vacation

4 Reasons to Take Your Kids to Disney World Before they’re 10

What To Do If Your Kids Had to Pee in Line