There is one word that keeps popping in my head when I am asked to describe our trip to Orlando last week to attend the 2016 Disney Social Media Mom’s Celebration conference: MAGICAL. In true Disney style we were sprinkled with Pixie Dust everywhere we went and we had an amazing few days. A truly unforgettable experience and a great way to visit Disney World for the first time ever.
We have been to Disneyland in California a few times but Disney World was a totally different experience. The Walt Disney World Resort is an entertainment complex housing several themed parks including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. During out short stay we were able to visit all of the parks but I only wish we had booked some extra days to explore everything with more time.
During the Disney Social Media Mom’s Celebration we were also treated to some exclusive sneak peaks including a behind the scenes of the making of “Alice Through the Looking Glass” and the first 30 minutes of the upcoming “Finding Dory” film. All I have to say for both movies is that we are dying of anticipation and looking forward to the opening dates. We can’t wait to watch them both. Stay tuned for a few other posts highlighting some other exciting news and sneak peaks from Disney.
5 Tips For Visiting Walt Disney World With Young Kids
O.k. Now that we have experienced Walt Disney World here are a few tips to make your next trip easier when traveling with young children 5 and under:
- Stay at a Disney Resort Hotel When Possible: We had the opportunity to stay at Disney’s Beach Club Resort Hotel during our visit and this made a huge difference in our ability to visit all of the parks and take full advantage of our short visit. Staying at a Disney Resort Hotel has some great benefits that will help lots when vacationing with young children. Some of the exclusive benefits include: Complimentary transportation from and to Orlando International Airport, Extra Magic Hours for Disney Resort Hotel guests only, FastPass+ Planning Access, Complimentary Magic Bands and Proximity to the Parks, this last benefit is SO important when you are at Disney World!
- Plan Your Days with Plenty of Breaks: Full days at the parks can be pretty overwhelming for everyone but specially for young children. Plan your park days by waking up early, taking advantage of Magic Hours if possible and heading back to your hotel for naps or downtime by the pool or in your room. After a good rest you can all go back to the park fully recharged for more adventures. If you are going to visit Disney World for a week or more you can also pick one day in the middle of your vacation to be your relaxing day and spend the day at the pool, taking it easy before heading to the parks the next day.
- Use PhotoPass and Purchase Memory Maker: This time I left our heavy DSLR at home and took full advantage of PhotoPass and the complementary Memory Maker purchase we received. Carrying a heavy camera around my neck all day at the park didn’t sound like fun so we tried to find as many Disney PhotoPass Photographers at the parks as we could. We got some awesome photos including some great Magic Shots and we got everyone together in the shot! Highly recommend this if you want to capture all of your memories. Also, purchase Memory Maker before you arrive at the park to receive the advance purchase rate!
- Download The “My Disney Experience” Mobile App: I dowloaded the free App before our vacation and ended up using it all the time every day while at the parks. The parks have free WiFi and through the app you can see a list of attractions with live wait times, maps, character locations, dining options, manage your reservations, PhotoPass and FastPass+. It was SO useful to have it on my phone, great when you have to find and rush to the bathroom with a little one. During our entire visit I didn’t need to use a paper map at all. I even used the app to find PhotoPass Photographers at the parks.
- Don’t Force Little Ones To Go In Rides They Don’t Want To Do: Being at Disney is all about having a magical time and for everyone to enjoy the vacation. Never force your little one to go in any rides if they don’t feel like it or if they are scared. The same goes with character photos, some kids are terrified and they don’t like getting close to the characters, if that’s the case then don’t force the photos. I personally don’t want to have lots of photos of my terrified screaming children, I rather see their happy smiling faces! I went with the flow this time and allowed my son to decide what he wanted to do. We had a wonderful time and I am sure we will do the rides we missed next time we visit.
I am forever grateful to have been invited to the #DisneySMMC event and for all of the amazing perks and magic we experienced. We are also already looking forward to our next Disney vacation!!
Disclosure: We were invited to take part in the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration conference. Tickets/passes, accommodations and other associated perks and discounts were supplied to us as part of this events. However all opinions and views on this post are our own.