Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sane Mother's Guide to Disney

So we've finally done it. We took the littles: pixie and little man to the center of fantasy - Walt Disney World! We were working around work and school schedules so needed to travel over spring break.
"Oh what a horrible time to travel!" People said. "It will be so crowded!" We cringed. Our family prefers small town, country even. Crowds aren't really our thing. But life happens and you work with what you've got right?

We booked reservations at Shades of Green the Disney military resort. Then I headed out to the book store. I purchased: The Unofficial Guide to Disney with Kids This book was a very valuable resource, even if not used completely as intended. It has tons of info to include touring plans to see everything important within the time alloted. Sort of a dash here, dine here, grab fastpass, double across park and ride this sort of thing... not really our style though.

We are on vacation. We won't be taking days off to recover from vacation... this is it. So we are going to enjoy ourselves. After all, even with the book I've come to the conclusion that NO ONE EVER SEES IT ALL. So in the grand scheme of things does it matter if I see 10% less than the average as long as we hit our families important stuff? It helps that our littles are still too small for thrill rides. That cut out tons of time right there...

Anyway, enough chatter, bullet points for a Mother's Disney survival:
*Make a list of the most important attractions to your family. Visit those first.
*Have breakfast in your room. Something easy and filling.
*Take a picture of kids in what they have on for the day. Never needed it but gave me great piece of mind :)
*Arrive at park before it opens. Check off list of most important attractions.
*If a line is over 30 minutes get a fastpass if available.
*Go back to room for sandwiches and a nap around 12:30
*Return to park around 4... it'll still be crowded a bit but it will start to dwindle.
*Stay late. Provided everyone has had a great nap, let them live it up - it's vacation!
*Alternate heavy/light days - to allow for down time. Parks like Animal Kingdom that close early should be sandwiched between late Magic Kingdom and epcot visits

We had the best vacation ever. We are a bit sleepy, but nothing that a lazy Sunday afternoon can't fix.
By the way, I did see one other family with the book. They had papers and reservations sticking out and were range walking from the buses. I passed the Dad later on his cell coordinating their meet up in another location. I'm guessing they were using the book to it's fullest. I never asked because I know how important forward progress can be. No doubt they fully enjoyed their vacation and squeezed out every ounce of fun available. Kind of cool that the book was so useful to various styles of travel.

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