How To Survive A Family Vacation, Disney Edition
In the past, I’ve taken a fair number of solo trips to the World of Walt, and while the idea of navigating the massive property might prove daunting to some, these have been among my favorite trips. There’s nothing better than being able to do what you want, when you want. That said, few of us actually have that option, with family vacations being among the top reasons people head to Orlando.
Theoretically, a family vacation to Walt Disney World should be about as awesome as French fries dipped in a chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s. (Trust me… try it. You can thank me later). But in practice, they often wind up turning into traumatic experiences. So how can you avoid meltdowns and crying jags? Read on for a few tips!
Don’t try and spend every moment together.
Talk about your rookie mistakes! The key to a successful family vacation is to make sure not to spend all of your time as a unit. Find time to subdivide into smaller groups. Maybe mom and her daughter do their thing while father and son do theirs. The bigger the group you’re traveling with, the easier —and more important — it is to subdivide. Then, when you come together at the end of the day, you’ll actually have something to talk about over dinner!
Watch for signs of a meltdown.
This is especially true if you’re traveling with kids. We always, always, always recommend staying on property so that when it looks as if your Mini-Mi’s are nearing the point of exhaustion, you can head back to the resort for nap time. Heck, this is a good time for the grown-ups to recharge, too, whether in the room or by the pool!
When taking a solo trip or going with one other person, it’s pretty easy to just wing it. Grab food when you want, where you want, for example. But even at Walt Disney World — home to approximately a gazillion restaurants — it ain’t easy to walk into a dining venue and snag a table for 12. Going to Disney isn’t like going to the beach. You aren’t going to just pop an umbrella in the sand and let the relaxation begin. The less planning you do — whether it involves meals or FastPasses — the more stressed out you’ll be.
Let kids rule the roost.
Want to see your trip go from awesome to awful in 15 seconds flat? Try and drag your child away from the fountain he’s playing in because you’ve got a lot of ground to cover. We’re not generally big believers in letting children dictate things, but assuming you came to Walt Disney World at least in part because you want your kids to have a great time, follow their lead. Some of the most magical times in the parks come not from riding Peter Pan’s Flight, but from watching the look on a child’s face as they play with the various time-passing, interactive elements found in the line.
Don’t try and do it all.
This is true whether you’re traveling with two people or twenty. Walt Disney World is huge, and getting bigger all the time. Some of us have been there literally dozens of times and still not experienced everything there is to see and do. The quickest way to ruin your family vacation is by going in with delusions of grandeur about what you’ll be able to accomplish in a week. Think of it this way: The things you don’t get to ride/eat/drink/see/do this time will be there waiting when you return!