large family coming out of Cinderella Castle
  • On May 26, 2019
    Julie from MI Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Traveling July 5-12, 2019 with children ages 4, 9,10 and 11 for the first time. How do you suggest we order our visits to the parks? How can we stay cool? How do I keep track of my children? Do we need to split up since we have a 4 year old? Activities?

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, Julie! Although we love helping all Guests plan their trips to The Most Magical Place on Earth, helping someone with their first trip is super magical!

    For my family, what works best is arriving early (at least 30 minutes before Park opening) and then heading back to our Walt Disney World Resort after lunch to take a mid-afternoon break. If you are early risers, consider attending Extra Magic Hours if you are staying on property. I know you'll be tempted to stay the whole day, but trust me on this one! Go for a swim with the kids and enjoy the resort pool, and then take a nap before returning to a Park for dinner, evening entertainment, and attractions. Many Guests like to save Magic Kingdom Park for last since it's considered to be the most iconic. For us, however, it's always the first Park we visit. Consider purchasing Memory Maker before your trip because you're going to want to capture the looks of amazement the first time you see Cinderella Castle!

    To beat the heat, you'll need to stay well hydrated. I use a grocery delivery service called Garden Grocer for bottled water and sports drinks. We each load up a drawstring backpack with beverages in the morning before heading out. I'd also recommend bringing a small, handheld fan for each child- they're readily available at Walmart and Target. Lastly, pack ponchos for everyone and a stroller cover because there are often pop up thunderstorms in the summer.

    When my youngest Mouseketeer was a preschooler, we'd sometimes split up so my husband could take the older boys on thrill rides, while we rode attractions such as "it's a small world" and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. You can even schedule different FastPass + selections if you choose to do this. There are plenty of rides though that the whole family can enjoy together. One of our favorites is Toy Story Mania! in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Although it involves a good amount of "trash talking" between my teenagers, this ride never fails to put us in a great mood!  

    My biggest piece of advice, Julie, is to pace yourself. Take time to smell the roses in Canada's Victoria Gardens in Epcot and eat a few Mickey Ice Cream Bars. Between four theme parks, two water parks, and Disney Springs, it's nearly impossible to do it all. That's what keeps me coming back yEAR after yEAR! 

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Meet the Panelist: Eean, Pennsylvania

Hi, I'm Eean from Pennsylvania!  I may have an unusual name, but my passion for Disney is not unique.  It’s amazing how many people you can find who love talking about, "The Most Magical Place On Earth!"  I'm that mom who always has her ears perked at PTO meetings, in the grocery store aisle, or at middle school basketball games waiting for an opportunity to give someone a planning tip to help make their vacation even more magical.


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