7 Tips for Avoiding Melt Downs on a Disney Parks Vacation
Are you thinking about a Disney vacation this year with your preschoolers or young children? Even at the, “Happiest place on Earth,” meltdowns do happen! Our sponsor, Sabrina Tinius, of The Enchanted Traveler, has some must-read tips to help you avoid tantrums and tears.
- Make dining reservations for each day. There’s next to nothing worse than hungry children being told they have to wait a long time to sit down to eat! Planning for one sit down meal each day gives your family a time to take a break, kick back, relax in some air conditioning and enjoy a fun atmosphere and good food. But do not assume you can just show up at the stand and be seated! Many restaurants are completely booked before you get there, and others will have hour or longer wait times. Get those reservations done (or better yet, have your Disney expert do them for you!) so that your kids aren’t waiting a long time when they get hungry!
- Know where to be and when. Timing is nearly everything when it comes to a smooth and easy Disney vacation. Know when the park opens and get there beforehand. Before you go, find the show times for the shows and parades that matter most so that you can build your day around them. And, find out which park is the best park to be in each day for the lowest crowds (a great Disney planner can arrange all of this on your behalf).
- Plan for snacks ahead of time. Food again?! Yep, because we know that empty bellies can lead to cranky kids! Disney will allow you to bring in snacks in your purse or a backpack or a soft sided cooler (no hard sided coolers or glass bottles). Pack some snacks to have on hand mid morning or in the afternoon for when the kids are getting antsy. Alternately, there are some fabulous snacks to be had in the parks! If you are going to Disney World and using the dining plan, you’ll have snack credits to use.
- Plot out the family’s priorities. If your child is going to be devastated if you don’t meet Anna and Elsa, or if Radiator Springs Racers or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train or any other big ticket item is their make or break it thing of the trip, you want to figure out when you’re going to do it before you get there. When you know which attractions matter the most to your family, you won’t feel as bad if you miss seeing some of the other rides along the way.
- Get ahead of the “I want to buy it!” tantrum. There are things to buy everywhere in the parks! Many rides exit directly into a gift shop. Discuss shopping with your kids before you go. I find it best to let kids know that any shopping will be done in the evenings (rides should be the priority in the morning). Another great way to limit the buying demands is to have a gift card with each child’s name on it. Put the amount you are willing to spend on the card, and then have the child use that card each time they make a purchase, showing them how much is left after they pay.
- Avoid the lines as much as possible. While many people assume long lines are just how it is in the Disney Parks, this is actually far from the truth. The truth is that with a very carefully laid plan, you can eliminate the super long lines and enjoy a much more efficient and relaxing vacation. The very best way to do this is to work with a Disney expert. But should you decide not to do that, at the very least arrive early, know ahead of time which rides have Fast Pass options, and devote some time to understanding crowd patterns in the parks.
- Take a break to make it to night time shows. Disney days can feel long, with their early starts and tons of walking! The parks are the most crowded in the afternoon anyway, so head back to your resort to swim and take a rest (or nap, depending on the age of the kids) and then return refreshed for the evening and the fireworks.
Sabrina Tinius is a specialist in planning Disney vacations for families who want less stress and more time making memories that last a lifetime. Meet Sabrina and get ready to experience just how amazing a well planned Disney vacation can be at www.theenchantedtraveler.com.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post with provided content. I will absolutely be using Sabrina to help plan our next Disney trip! Don’t think you can afford her help? I Promise you can, and she will save you hours of planning and help you spend your vacation having fun, instead of standing in line! Do let her know you saw her on Sounds Fun Mom when you get in touch with her at 253.256.5041 or via her website!
Photo is courtesy and property of Sabrina Tinius, and not to be used without permission (It’s also her kiddo hamming it up-I promise)!