We’ve all been there. It’s a pretty day and you’re out enjoying the day with family or friends. Then in a not-so-far-away distance you start to hear it. The whine of a small child. Pretty soon that whimper becomes a wail, and then a full blown tantrum. A few of us may even be guilty of saying “that will never be my child”. But alas, it is. It happens. Only now, you’re standing in the middle of a crowded theme park and there are hundreds of people staring at you. What should you do?
My name is Katie and I’m not only a travel agent that specializes in Disney Destinations, I’m also a mom. Not too long ago, my husband and I started traveling to Disney World and fell in love with it. We spent a few years doing adult only trips before we started our own family. Now we have the joy of sharing our love of all things Disney with our children. There have been some magical times…and some not so magical times. Yes, even in Disney… There WILL be temper tantrums!
I’ve put together a list of how to avoid the dreaded temper tantrums, for children and adults alike.
- Start at the beginning! Put together some entertainment kits for your plane ride or car ride. When we flew last time, I brought our laptop so my daughter could watch her favorite movie. Be kind to your neighbors though and bring a headset. Your neighbors may not want to hear Ariel singing about being “A Part of Your World”. Pinterest is loaded with ideas of games to pass the time in a car ride. Check out your local dollar store or Target Dollar Spot for mini games or toys. These are great to give to the kids as you cross a state line or every 2 hours.
- Keep a routine! If you have babies or toddlers, try to keep their same routine. We were lucky with our daughter and she would nap anywhere. On her 1st trip in 2010, I just found a quiet corner and rocked her to sleep. Take advantage of the Baby Care Centers. There is one located in every park. They offer a private facility for breastfeeding moms, a changing room, highchairs, a kitchen, and even a play area for little ones to crawl around. We often take a mid day break back at our hotel room. Some times we nap and some times we swim! But most importantly, we break from the crowds and lines to have some quiet time.
- Bring Snacks! Disney can be an expensive vacation. Cut costs by bringing your own snacks. If your flying, there are lots of local services who will do your grocery shopping for you and have it waiting at the hotel when you check in. Luggage Services will refrigerate whats needed at no extra cost & deliver everything to your room for you.
- Beat the heat! Florida is HOT! And Oh my is it HUMID! Unless your traveling in January, plan on drinking lots of water, invest in some battery operated fans, and misters too. They even sell them on clips that you can attach to your stroller.
- Depending on when you travel lines can be long…or short. We had friend just spend a week in Disney World this September. They reported most waits were walk on and the more popular rides were 15-20 minutes. If you have to travel during the busier seasons, have a plan for the lines. Make up games or bring hand held games.
- Characters are a BIG reason we go to Disney. My daughter walked into the room to meet Belle, with about 100 people in front of us and yelled “Belle!” Without missing a beat, the princess turned, waved, and said “I can’t wait to meet you!” It was one of those moments I dreamed of! One of the ways we combat character lines is to schedule Character meals. Those allow us time to escape the park, eat our meal, and have the character come to us! Have your autograph books & cameras ready!
- To save money, I purchase small souvenirs before we go & hide them. Tinkerbell always leaves a special gift for my kids over night to get them excited about the day. I also bring glow in the dark sticks, necklaces, and toys for the night time activities. Disney sells these in the parks but you will pay a pretty penny for them! We also share them during the parades and fireworks & spread our own pixie dust!
- Save your sanity and those around you. When waiting to get on the Disney buses have your strollers folded and ready to load. Disney security guards will also check your bags when you enter the park. Have all your zippers open and easily viewed. This will help you get to the fun just a few minutes faster!
- Set spending limits. Our kids each get a gift card for souvenir money. When its gone, its gone. Every ride exit will dump you into a souvenir shop so if your child knows before hand, then it will help them when making decisions about whether or not they really want that stuffed Mickey or the Castle playset.
- Most of all, take cues from your child. Only you know if they can handle 12 hours of go go go in a theme park. This isn’t limited to your children either. Even grown ups occasionally need a “time out”.
Have you been to Disney before or travel often with your children? What are your suggestions? If you’ve been thinking about planning a Disney Vacation, I would love to help. I offer concierge service to planning your Disney Vacation from picking dates, to choosing your hotel, and itinerary planning. If a special comes out after you have booked, I have it applied & will notify you of your savings before you can say Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo! The best part? My services are FREE to my clients! Contact me for more information!
Disney Prize Pack Giveaway
Katie at MouseHunters Travel has donated a 2013 Birnbaum’s guide to Disney World for Kids and a $25 Disney Gift Card to giveaway to one lucky winner. The winner will be chosen at random on November 5, 2013.
Winner must be in Middle Tennessee.