10 Tips from Real Moms

Disney State of Mind: 10 Tips From Real Moms

Last week, I gave you the ins and outs for planning your trip to Disney World. Now, I’m going to give you 10 tips from real moms who are also Disney experts.

Let’s be honest, travel “experts” give advice that isn’t always practical for real people, especially when children are involved. So, I thought it would be worth asking “real” moms what their best advice for first time visitors to Disney would be. A lot of these tips are good for travel in general, not just Disney.

Tip #1 – There’s Free Stuff at Disney!

Gina Chance Young from Money Savvy Living: Make sure to get the FREE celebration buttons at the Disney parks. If it’s your child’s first visit, a birthday, anniversary, etc. you can get a free pin, which is a great souvenir.

Amber Aldeguer: Get a free chocolate at Ghiridelli (in Disney Springs)- a quick hit of sugar never hurt anyone!

I heard recently that a lot of Cast Members have stickers that they will give out if your child asks for one. Since we are unsure my son will want to do character meet and greets, stickers sound like a nice alternative to collecting autographs in his autograph book.

Multiple sources have also pointed out that tap water is free throughout the parks. Any restaurant that has a fountain sodas has free water for anyone who asks. Bring a refillable cup and ask for water when you stop for food to stay hydrated.

Disney State of Mind

Tip #2 – Utilize Free Delivery Services

Lauren Marie Veenhuis: Another tip is to use amazon prime Now Or other grocery delivery services to have items in your hotel room! This is so helpful when you don’t have a car on vacation & then can save money on food!

Shelly Salazar: There is also a pharmacy that will deliver to your hotel (for a small fee) so if the hotel store doesn’t have what you need there is always that option too. 

Tip #3 – Save Money on Food

Nikki Rue She Saves She Travels: Pack food to take into the park with you! It’s expensive to eat inside, but not many people know about this trick! It will save you loads of money. 

Tip #4 – Have a Daily Plan

Gwen Leron from To Disney With Love: Make your daily plans realistic by leaving your plans semi-loose. Plan some must-do things for each day, but leave a part of each day open to do something you didn’t plan, to spend some time at your resort, or to just take a few hours to rest your feet by lounging by your resort pool.

Disney State of Mind

Gwen Leron from To Disney With Love: Make your daily plans realistic by leaving your plans semi-loose. Plan some must-do things for each day, but leave a part of each day open to do something you didn’t plan, to spend some time at your resort, or to just take a few hours to rest your feet by lounging by your resort pool.

Tip #5 – Get the Most Out of Your FastPasses

Caitlin Cancellieri Patoka from Real Mom Recs: For 4th Fast Passes and beyond, you can repeat one of the attractions that you already FastPassed and you can choose a different attraction from the Tier One category. Just remember these are subject to availability so it’s not incredibly likely that those will be available. People do change plans and cancel Fast Passes last minute however, so it’s worth checking.

Disney State of Mind

Tip #6 – Take Breaks

Gwen Leron from To Disney With Love: Enjoy your resort, sleep in some days, start the day slowly, spend only part of the day in the parks, and most important…take cues from your kids. If they are tired, don’t push them to keep going.

Tip #7 – Bring a Stroller (or Rent one)

Kim Seghers from This Ole Mom: If you’re visiting Disney World with small children I highly recommend using a stroller… Even though my son had outgrown using a stroller at home, using the stroller at Disney when he was tired was very helpful.

Tip #8 – Know Your Family’s Unique Needs

Devon Weaver from MamaCheaps: There is so much to do in Disney World, sometimes you need to remind yourself that there is absolutely no way to do it all. You HAVE to pick and choose and you MUST keep the kids’ energy, interests, naptime, mealtime, etc in mind.

Tip #9 – Utilize Ride Switch

Beth Higgs from A Little Knick A Little Knack:   (O)n the rides the little ones can’t ride be sure to ask about rider switch which is available for many rides. Typically we already had a fast pass for the rides but rider switch allowed another member of our party to ride the ride again with the person who waited. So how in essence here is how rider switch worked:

Before we got in line for a ride we had a FastPass for (like Slinky Dog Dash) we would approach the cast member at the front as a group (with my husband and youngest ) and ask for a rider switch pass.

The Cast Member would swipe my husband’s card and my 6 YO’s magic band giving them each an additional FastPass for that ride.

Me, my sister, and my 6 YO would ride the ride using our previously booked FastPass while my husband waited.

Then my sister and I would watch the little one while my husband and 6 YO rode the ride using their Rider Switch  FastPasses.

Tip #10 – Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

For Many of us, a Disney World Vacation is a once in a lifetime trip. Enjoy it. Have a general idea of what you want to accomplish each day. Don’t be afraid to veer from the plan. If your kid wants to go on Buzz Lightyear three times in a row, let him. If she wants to hunt forHidden Mickeys even though you planned to be in Pandora, let her.

When I was single and went to Disney with my friends, we played a game every day on the bus. We would try to find the families who were at the start of their vacation and those at the end of theirs. The ones at the end were always snapping, angry, and overexhausted. No one was having fun. Don’t be one of those families.

Next week: Disney State of Mind: Easy DIY Ears

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