It is so different going to Disney World as a grandparent…It is wonderful! Don’t get me wrong, I have wonderful memories of taking my children to Disney.
But somehow this is sooooo much better!
One of the great things is…..it’s not our problem! My daughter and son in law had to think about all the stuff to pack, we just threw in a few things and went. The same went with planning. My daughter did all of the research and planning, and I have to tell you , she did a great job.
She decided that we would go to Animal Kingdom the first day. Her thinking was that she wanted to go light the first day. Kind of get the kids use to the crowds and the idea of standing in line. I can’t tell you for sure if that is why both days worked so well for us, but they couldn’t have been better.
If you haven’t been to Disney in a while, you may not know about their newer systems. If you create an online account with Disney ahead of time and make travel plans, they will send you “Magic Bands” in the mail. Each one comes in your favorite color choice with your name on it. Knowing what I know now I would have made them all the same color so you wouldn’t have a problem with kids that are upset about wanting someone else’s color. We didn’t have that problem, but I could see it happening with an older child.
I suggest you make your “Fast Pass” selections online as soon as you make your travel plans. We waited until a week before, and some of the time spots were already full. We were shocked!
The Fast Passes made for no more waiting…Well let’s say almost none, in Disney time. I think the longest wait over two days was under 40 minutes. To me that is amazing!
The first Animal Kingdom stop for us was the Safari ride. We had been told to do this in the morning because the animals are up and moving more then. It was wonderful! We had bright eyed toddlers the whole ride.
If I had to chose between parks I would pick Animal Kingdom for toddlers. They know what a giraffe is. My one year old grand daughter jumped for joy when she saw her first one. She could care less the next day that Mary Poppins was right in front of her. The overall experience was so much more low key.
We got to meet Mickey and Minnie at Animal Kingdom. We decided to use one of our Fast Passes for this, and it was great!
Here are some “mom tips” for the trip.
1. Instead of a diaper bag, bring a backpack. It is so much easier to keep track of, and the one we used had lots of compartments making it easy to find what you wanted.
2 Put a change of clothes for each child in the back pack. My daughter packed a complete outfit and put it in a ziplock bag. Even if an accident doesn’t happen, sometimes just changing into fresh un-sweaty clothes can make all the difference to a child.
3. Bring some food for your child. My daughter made up some sandwiches for the kids. This made it easy for us to find some shade and feed them before going to the restaurant.
4. Set up a schedule…we didn’t do this, but I could see where it would be good to have an alarm on your phone for re applying sunscreen, changing diapers, and drinking water. It is so easy to lose track of time at Disney, and life runs so much smoother if you don’t forget these things.
5. Get started early. The parks get busier and busier as the day goes on. By the time the 3:00 parade was done, so were we….it was wonderful!
6. Find the changing station. Both the Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom have them. It is the best kept secret in the parks.
They even had a little store to buy whatever you might have forgotten.
They had private nursing rooms, and a wonderful room to cool off in and take a time out to watch a movie.
It was just what this Amma needed.
7. My daughter was brilliant on this idea…She decided to gather all of the Disney things that they had around the house and bring them. He had his Buzz Lightyear drinking cup…
they had ears, pajamas, Mickey and Minnie dolls. They felt no need to get the I wants, because they were surrounded with it all. The best part is 99% of their stuff came from Goodwill.
There is nothing better than slowing down to see the world thru the eyes of a child
One final tip….When we got to the park first thing in the morning, the line was already long for customer service. My daughter wanted to go and get the kids the buttons that you get for free if it’s your first time at Disney. We decided to wait until we were leaving and that was a great call. We walked right up to the counter and got them.
A few good choices and you can actually leave Disney with a smile on your face.