Last year for Christmas, my parents surprised our entire extended family with a trip to Disney! We were all so surprised and excited to be going back and all together as a big group. Our little family visited Disney for the first time last year, so we were seasoned in the big travel experience. Still, there were many new travel essentials we had to get and places we hadn’t visited last time. So here’s a full recap of our trip, along with answers to some follower questions, for anyone visiting soon or currently planning a trip!
Where We Stayed
Disney Contemporary Resort. I would recommend it. It has easy transportation’s to all the parks and early access to get in before the crowds come in.
The Best Places To Eat
Rainforest Cafe, Be Our Guest Magic Kingdom, Space 220 Epcot, Nomad Lounge, Cinderella’s Royal Table, Cheshire Café, The Plaza Restaurant, Hollywood Brown Derby, Hollywood & Wine, The Garden Grill, Steakhouse 71 at Contemporary
The Best Rides
Magic Kingdom: Tron, Space Mountain, Peter Pan, Seven Dwarfs, It’s a Small Word, Dumbo The Flying Elephant, People Mover, Haunted Mansion
Epcot: Guardians of the Galaxy, The Seas with Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean, Test Track, Spaceship Earth, Frozen, Soarin’, Kali River Rapids
Animal Kingdom: Avatar the Flight of Passage, Safari, Everest
Hollywood: Tower of Terror, Star Wars, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Mania, Slinky Dash
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH THE DAY?
Know your rides you want to book on Genie+ the night before. Try to look for rides with the least amount of wait time in between your fast passes. There is so much to do – not just rides so remember that going in. The parades and shows can also be so fun! Find a good restaurant to sit down to eat and DRINK at least once per day – book these in advance!
HOW DID YOU MANAGE USING APPS FOR RIDES?
That is the hardest part – you do need your phone to book rides throughout the day. My sister was amazing and would wake early and try to book our day via the apps and then we wouldn’t have to make sure to bring an extra charge for booking any rides later – I guess that is just the beast of Disney. Personally I would prefer paper tickets – I am so old school, go with the flow.
HOW DID YOU KEEP THE LITTLES OCCUPIED?
I feel like Harrison was so entertain just being in the park itself. Another thing we got him which was totally worth it, was the toy bubbler machines that Disney sells. The littles loved it!!
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST AGE FOR DISNEY?
All ages. Littles love the characters. 6-8 girls love the princesses and boys get excited about the cool rides. And the bigger kids love all the amazing, more advanced rides.
HOW DID YOU DO DISNEY WITH A TODDLER?!
So for most of the rides, the littles (under 3) we had fast passes for. However, there were a few where I waited an hour in line for and it just was not worth the wait in my opinion. Waiting in line for a ride it was hard to entertain them and they would have just as much fun walking around the parks. The littles loved seeing the characters. Many rides were totally worth it but definitely requires researching the right rides for them and then booking fast passes or scoping out the Disney characters.
WILL IT BE MISERABLE WAITING IN RIDE LINES WITH AN 18 MONTH OLD?
I feel like that is an easier age to wait in line. They dont know they are waiting. My older ones seemed to be less patient on lines than Harrison at age 2!
VIP OR GENIE+ ?
We used Genie+ for the entire trip!
DID YOU BRING ANY RAIN GEAR JUST IN CASE?
I am so glad you asked because we didn’t and it did rain all day one of the days and we all had to buy $35 ponchos which could have cost us $5 on Amazon. Here’s a pack of 10 on Amazon for those who plan well!
ANY OVERALL SURVIVAL TIPS?
Just be prepared to go go go! Try to book at least one sit down restaurant a day – you can chill for a moment and get a much needed cocktail. Pack lots of snacks and a big water bottle for the whole fam. I went into the trip knowing it won’t be the most relaxing but it will be the most rewarding for the kids.