Welcome Kat to The Mouse For Less Blog, who shares this fun and unique article.
You have planned out every last detail of your perfect Walt Disney World family vacation. You have the dining reservations (dinner at Be Our Guest – score!), the Fastpasses scheduled, the perfect resort reservation. You have been working for a year to make sure you have created the detailed plan, the perfect experience, the magical memories for your entire family.
And now, here you are – finally standing on Main Street USA… with a screaming toddler, a whiny preschooler, and a grumpy husband muttering about the crowds in the happiest place on earth. Your dream vacation has gotten uglier than Ursula from “The Little Mermaid.”
Here are a few tips from some favorite Disney songs to make sure you don’t become one of those Poor Unfortunate Fools:
- “Let it Go” – Remember, it is about quality, not quantity. It is better to enjoy the things you do accomplish than to rush through every single attraction. Allow each person in your party to choose one thing they would really like to do that day and make it happen. You could possibly make those things your Fastpass+ reservations. Anything else you get to on top of that is a bonus.
- “Mine, Mine, Mine” – Shop smart. Decide what time/location will be designated for shopping. There is no shortage of shopping opportunities at Disney: most rides empty into shops, Main Street is one long store. If you don’t set limits you could easily spend your entire day shopping. Have you ever seen a happy toddler (or happy husband) after a full day of shopping?
- “Dig a Little Deeper” – Slow down. It is tempting to rush from one place to another, but in doing so you miss the details. Look for Hidden Mickeys. Play one of the park games (Magic Kingdom – Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot – Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure). Check out the flowers and bushes. Sing a song as you walk from one attraction to another. Some of our favorite memories are of things that we never could have planned and might have missed if we were in a hurry.
- “I’ve Got No Strings” – Step away from the phone. Our devices are quite handy and can keep us in the loop on everything from work email to the score of the latest game. None of that is as important as the family standing right in front of you.
- “Be Our Guest” – Eat. Try to stick to a dining schedule similar to the one you follow at home. If your children are accustomed to dinner at five but the only Be Our Guest reservation you could get was for 8:45pm, make sure you take a break earlier for a healthy snack. No, popcorn and cotton candy will not suffice. Too much sugar and broken routines make for grumpy kids (and adults!) Character meals are a great way to take a food break and get to see a few favorite characters without waiting in line.
- “Go the Distance” – Divide and conquer. Just because it is a family vacation doesn’t mean you must do everything together. If your toddler wants to see the Disney Junior Live show and your husband wants to test his freight factor on the Tower of Terror, do them at the same time and make a plan to meet up afterward.
- “Reflection” – Take pictures. Not just the posed pics where everyone lines up with Mickey and says cheese for the photographer. Try to capture the glee on your child’s face as he rides his first roller coaster. Snap the look of anticipation as your daughter is next in line to meet Anna and Elsa.
- “Perfect Isn’t Easy” – Breathe. There are going to be long lines, you might not accomplish everything you wanted, you might not encounter the friendliest people. Take a breath, relax, and enjoy the ride.
- “Bare Necessities” – Just say no. It is tempting to give in to every request your children make. You are on vacation, after all, why not go overboard? Kids still need limits to feel safe. They do not need every sugary snack and souvenir you come across. Give healthy food choices. Set a souvenir budget.
- “Hakuna Matata” – No worries. You may just discover that the happiest place on earth is simply wherever your family can relax and have fun together. You can take that magic with you wherever you go.
Intro: “Poor Unfortunate Souls” – The Little Mermaid
- “Let It Go” – Frozen
- “Mine, Mine, Mine” – Pocahontas
- “Dig a Little Deeper” – The Princess and the Frog
- “I’ve Got No Strings” – Pinocchio
- “Be Our Guest” – Beauty and the Beast
- “Go the Distance” – Hercules
- “Reflection” – Mulan
- “Perfect Isn’t Easy” – Oliver and Company
- “Bare Necessities” – The Jungle Book
- “Hakuna Matata” – The Lion King