Mom’s Perspective on
Doing Disney with Kids
Part 1 Don’t
Be a Packhorse
I am a single mother
of 3 girls and have taken my family to Disney world on several
occasions. Here is what I told a friend of mine who is preparing
for her first trip to the world with 2 children, in August.
Hot! Hot! Hot! Get prepared.
You can average walking about 10 miles a day, so get in shape.
They, the kids, have more energy, move faster, and are a lot
of fun if you can keep up with them. Wear good supportive
shoes, plan sit down meals in air conditioning, and rise early
with a scheduled trip back to your resort in the afternoon.
The best ride at the world is the bus, trust me. The days
in the world are really 2 days long if you can get that break
around 3 pm. I have had glorious fun with my kids in the
world, I have had other times when I was the glaring pack
horse following them around. The key is to strike a balance
here, like we do every day, where I am the Mom in charge,
but I can still have fun with my kids and act a little silly
sometimes. We want to be safe, comfortable and each family
member should have a good time, including Mom.
fan – you can purchase these at the world, but if you remember
to take one from home you’ll save yourself about $20, each.
I found that if each child has their own (especially in the
summer months) my life was easier. I didn’t need one for
myself because they get a big kick out of making me squeal,
and I often was carrying someone else’s anyway. Establish
rules for spritzing the very first morning – don’t spritz
anyone in the face, do not twirl it with the strap and risk
smacking some stranger with it, and make a game of spotting
the water fountains for refills.
rain ponchos are .88 at Walmart, $8 at the resort. I packed
2 for each family member and we were always prepared for that
afternoon downpour, and were able to keep moving through the
parks on any drizzly days. We spent a glorious drizzly day
at MGM one year when everyone else left the park because of
rain. They also come in handy on water rides and sitting
on Main Street for the parades. They are folded so compactly
that you can carry one in your pack, and I even used one to
wrap the wet clothes in till I could get back to our room
after a particularly active afternoon.
– It helps, I promise. Of course, this is probably easier
with girls, but it protects from sunburned lips, thirst, and
gives them something to do when standing in line. A mirror
is also good for those middle school aged girls! It can entertain
them for hours!
just made me feel better, and I found some tiny bottles that
were easy to carry in their pack.
Strap – These can be found from some of the drink vendors.
I found mine on Main Street. I quickly learned that if the
kids are carrying their own drink, they will drink more.
Keeping everyone well hydrated is important at the parks in
A hat. One
that protects from the sun and heat.
or SMALL backpack – the first time I took the kids, I carried
everybody’s stuff. Wrong. Strap something onto the ones
with all the energy and you’ll stand a chance of keeping up.
I put all the above items on my kids on the next trips and
the whole family was much happier.
Now, you may not
realize it, but you have an activity pack strapped to each
of your children. Get in line for Space Mountain, Test Trak,
or Soarin. Its shady, there’s a little breeze and you are
going to be standing here for about an hour. These have been
some of our best family moments. Use this time to talk to
your kids, they aren’t going anywhere. Refresh your sunscreen,
sip your water, grease your lips, talk about boys, choose
a college, write a poem. I carry a backpack of items that
no one else has just for these slower, more relaxing times:
or gummies have been the favorite over the years. They are
sweet, individually packaged with a variety of flavors
packs of some salty treat – peanut butter crackers, pretzels,
nuts. Chips don’t work well because I usually smash them
in my backpack somewhere between Big Thunder and that Yetti.
advil, nail clippers – I’ve always seemed to need those daily
good stuff. You have to carry this because it needs refreshed
during the day. Do everything you can to avoid living with
a kid with sunburned shoulders and nose. We don’t want anyone
to be miserable on Day 2 of the trip! Just take it with you,
and use it.
shoes. I learned quickly that if I can change my shoes my
legs last longer. I usually start out in socks and sneakers,
but by mid morning, I’m ready for my sandals. The kids switch
to sandals earlier than I. And I don’t know how, but those
girls of mine could walk around Magic Kingdom all day in flip-flops,
not me, and I wouldn’t allow them to do that until they were
old enough to deal with the consequences of such radical behavior.
I wouldn’t trade
our family vacations at Disney for anything. They are some
of our most precious memories. It has also been the scene
of some of our more trying times. Over the years, we have
learned how to reduce those tense episodes. Include rest
in your itinerary, go with the knowledge that there is no
possible way to do everything, and when Mom starts to lag
behind, stop and have an ice cream.
Cindy Welch is a huge fan of Disney World and all
it has to offer. She practically raised her kids
there, and continues to visit at least once a
year. She is now a member of the Disney