Listen up, folks! Disney is the happiest place on earth, but for parents it can be miserable…if you’re not following my DisTips. As an AP holder and regular at the parks, I’ve seen way too many parents hauling around sad faces and miserable kids. you don’t need to feel this way! Let me highlight some of my best tricks to making magic on your Disney day.
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You’re taking too much crap with you into the park. Keep it simple. You really don’t need to take everything but the kitchen sink into the parks with you to feel like you have everything you need. You’re a parent, not a pack mule. An essential is a great backpack. This keeps you hands free for photos and handholding and just general ease and comfort. You’re going to want something fashionable, yet functional. Not too big, yet not too small.
Instead of spending money on bottle of water or hauling around cups with no lids that spill and make messes (Disney has a not lid policy) try investing in a good collapsable water bottle. Ice water is free at the parks and you can just fill up one of these babies and go about your merry way without spending your money and creating more waste.
Only pack the “bear necessities” (see what I did there) in your bag. You’ll need hand sanitizing wipes, a small wallet to carry cash, your credit card and your AP card for the discounts. Sunscreen sticks are perfect for easy application and lip balm is always a must. Ponchos can be purchased online or in the parks and a reusable plastic pouch for stashing phones on rides that have water (think Splash Mountain) is a great little thing to have on hand. Do yourself a solid and pack 3 regular sized bandaids for each member of the crew, too. You just never know when someone is going to skin a knee or something random.
I highly suggest getting a Disney Visa through Chase and linking it to your Magic Band. Carry some cash for tipping servers and drivers (more on this below.)
Let’s real talk about strollers… Ditch them! If you don’t need the stroller, don’t take it! They are a serious hassle and let’s face it, too many older kids are being pushed around while parents are legit over it before the adventure even begins. They’re a bitch to get on the tram and monorails, you can’t just park them anywhere with all of your belongings, and why is that kid napping in the stroller when they can do that at the hotel in the A/C! Either wear the the kiddos or have them walk. If you chose not the heed this advice or just can’t go without a stroller, at least take one that simple, small, and easily toted from place to place.
Think about what you’re wearing. First of all, comfortable shoes are a must but don’t forget SOCKS! I have seen many busted up feet at Disney. Remember those strollers we talked about? We’ve been victim to a few stroller vs. heel accidents, hence the bandaids. Also, face the fact that maybe chub rub is a thing. Don’t feel attacked. Hear me out. Hours of sweating and walking in 120 degree heat and the typical Florida humidity will cause almost all of us to have some chaffing or discomfort, I’m just honest enough to tell you about it before it happens at the “happiest place on Earth.” There are solutions to the problem, but do yourself a favor… wear low maintenance clothes that breathe and fit. You can still serve looks and still stay comfortable.
Learn when to leave. If you are expecting to do a Disney day from rope drop to closing with a happy and complain-free crew tagging along behind you…think again. Everyone needs a break. Plan on heading to the parks when it suits you. And by plan, I actually mean plan. Get fast passes, know what you want to do for the day, know where you want to eat all the snacks (because Disney and snacks is a must) and know when you want to take a break. Sometimes starting early in the morning is great (have you heard about Extra Magic Hours in the morning) and sometimes you just want to head to the pool after a good breakfast and hit the park in the afternoon when it cools off and you can catch fireworks. I can’t stress this enough…don’t feel pressure to go balls-to-the-wall all day. Disney has a lot to offer, even f you’re not riding every ride and seeing every character. Disney Springs is a good chill spot that parents will enjoy, too.
Take the Skyliner! Trust me, its a great break from the noise and chaos of the parks. The breeze moves thought these mazing gondolas as you take a smooth rid through the air with beautiful views and some back stage, behind the scenes looks at new projects coming to Disney! Also, it’s FREE!
GroPros for video or capturing cute moments are an added bonus and I highly suggest investing in one! I like to clip mine to my kiddo to get his perspective. It’s so fun to go back and watch these videos! We have some awesome footage of rides, character meetings and fireworks from our GoPro! They are also sure easy to stow away in your backpack.
Don’t forget those Disney threads created by Disney fans for Disney fans! Some of my favorite small shops are: Hundred Acre Hood, GladRacket, Lemony Oswald and Jacob’s Goods Supply. All of these shops offer the dopest Disney gear on the market!
Bonus tip: Download the Lyft App and use the Minnie Van option to get around the Disney properties and to and from the airport! Car seats are provided and there are specific waiting areas for the Minnie Vans. This is a faster, easier way to get the whole family from place to place. (You can use my Invite code WENDY76379) You can tip drivers both on the app or in person with that cash I mentioned above.