Last month we took a “bucket list” vacation! We went to Disney World along with Universal studios in Florida for 10 days. It was awesome, and exhausting, but mostly awesome. We went with our two boys (5.5 years old, and 18 months), along with my parents and 5.5 year old nephew also came.
I spent a lot of time planning, researching, and preparing for this trip. It was a long(er) vacation than normal for us, and with young kids, and long HOT days I wanted to make sure that things went as smoothly as humanly possible! These are my top tips of things you need to do BEFORE you go to Disney World for an awesome Disney vacation!
Disney World – Before You Leave:
- Grab The Free DVD- When Planning your vacation the Disney vacation planner DVD is pretty darn fun. Greyson watched this DVD over and over again. It got him so pumped and excited for the trip. It also helped him focus his excitement – and gave him the ability to feel like he was helping to plan the vacation as well. Just click the video below to grab your free DVD!
- Purchase the Memory Maker- I know that this add-on was around 150.00. It certainly adds to the amount of your overall trip, but it is SO worth it! It allows you to get all of the photos taken on rides, from the photographers walking around the park, meet and greets with characters, and the character dinners . It was really easy to use, and I absolutely love having hundreds of photos to help make our photo book even more amazing. Note- Hudson had his first haircut at the barber shop at Disney, and a professional photographer came and took photos of the whole thing! It was fantastic.
- Save Money By Shipping Snacks- I ordered a whole box of snacks from Amazon, and had it shipped directly to our hotel. I called the hotel and asked them what information they needed on the box, and just placed the order via Amazon (we have Amazon Prime). When we arrived we had a whole box of snacks for the kids (and us!). I packed snack in their Bentigo boxes everyday. It saved us a truckload of money! Some of the snacks I shipped were:
- Granola Bars
- Dried Fruits (Banana Chips, Raisins, Strawberries, etc)
- and SO much more – including shampoo and conditioner. It saved on luggage weight, space, and I did not have to worry about it spilling or busting open mid flight.
- FastPasses & Park Maps- The FastPasses are great, if you do it right. This is where the planning really can make or break your trip. You’ll want to book your FastPasses the day they become available (10 weeks before your trip!). Sit down with a park map, and plan your daily route. The parks are HUGE, and you do not want to waste time and energy running from one end to the other, and then back again.
Looking at the map, determine the first ride you want to go on. If you get there when the park opens (or withing 45 minutes of opening) it is likely you’ll be able to walk right onto the ride. If you get there when it opens you might be able to walk right on two maybe even three rides!
- Plan your first FastPass for an hour after you arrive at the park.
- Have that first FastPass be near the ride you are going to go straight to
- Have Fastpass two and three close to your 1st FastPass
- Get all three of your FastPasses scheduled BEFORE lunch.
- Once you use all three of your FastPasses you can you use My Disney Experience App on your phone to schedule a new one!
- Plan Out Your Meals- Along with booking your FastPasses, you’ll want to plan out your meals. We purchased the basic dining plan. I’ll admit the Quick Pick lunches, were really gross. However, the sit down lunches and dinners were phenomenal! When we go back when Hudson is older, we will definitely purchase the deluxe dining plan – and have sit down meals for both lunch and dinner. We (as a family) really enjoy eating out, and having excellent meals. We do not do it a lot (almost never) so when on vacation, it is an extra special treat for the whole family. So to us it is worth the extra time and money!
My personal recommendations: The Sanaa, The Hoopty Doo Revue, and The Coral Reef!
If you do these few things before you head on your Disney trip – I promise it will make it even more memorable! Plan – Plan – Plan before you go, so once you arrive you can enjoy all of your hard work!