10. Go for a week (at least)
Shorter trips might work well if you’re local and visit the parks more often, but if a trip to Walt Disney World is a once in a year, or once in every five or ten years, sort of experience you’ll want a good amount of time to spend there. Even with staying at Disney for an entire week, it will not be possible to experience everything you want to do, simply because the resort has so much to offer. Going for only a couple of days might put too much pressure on you and your family in that you’ll feel that you won’t have enough time to even get close to doing everything you want to do. And this scenario only gets worse with the bigger the family going on the trip is, with more differing opinions, and things each person wants to do on the trip.
9. Stay at a Disney resort
I always recommend staying at a Disney resort over staying off property, however this is especially true when traveling with your family. Disney resorts are the most convenient in terms of going to and from the theme parks, and they encompass the Disney magic you experience in the park throughout your entire stay. In addition there are plenty of activities for guests of all ages at Disney resorts, like clubs for the kids, pool trivia, and bars for adults.
8. Embrace the rain
Most families who visit Walt Disney World head back to the resort the moment it starts raining. It would actually be towards your family’s advantage for you to stay in the park during and after a rain storm. Most storms in Florida pass relatively quickly, but many guests leave the park. If you choose to stay in the park, you’ll experience shorter wait times, and so you’ll be able to experience more of your must-do attractions than you would have anticipated before the rain hit.
7. Take midday breaks
Walt Disney World can be an exhausting vacation, so you’ll want to take some breaks during your trip so you don’t find yourself, and the rest of your family, completely worn out. I recommend hitting the parks early, taking a midday break, and going back to the parks later. This method generally allows you to avoid the most crowded parts of the day, while still enjoying many of your favorite attractions and giving yourself a chance to relax.
6. Splurge a little
A family vacation is a very special occasion, right? If you’ve been considering splurging on a once in a lifetime experience, now is the time to do it! Instead of trying to figure out a way to justify spending the extra money on something like the Wild Africa Trek, just go ahead and do it, it will be worth the memories you make later on, and you’ll be happy that you did it.
5. Plan fun dining experiences
Walt Disney World is home to some of the most fun themed and entertainment dining experiences. Get the whole family together for a dinner show, like the Spirit of Aloha at the Polynesian, or the Hoop De Doo Musical Review at Fort Wilderness. And don’t forget about restaurants like Be Our Guest, or character dining experiences as well.
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4. Stick to a budget
One of the most difficult things about traveling with the whole family can be sticking to a budget. This can mean something different to everyone. Whether it means giving the kids each a gift card, so they can’t go too nuts with souvenir shopping, or looking up restaurant prices before your trip, creating a budget and sticking to it can save you a lot of stress later on.
3. Avoid meltdowns
Meltdowns are definitely the number one cause of stress on any family trip to the parks. To avoid such meltdowns, don’t wear yourselves out. Take breaks in the middle of the day, or spend a day relaxing by the pool. If the meltdown is the result of everyone wanting to do different things, then allow your family to split up. Tell everyone they can split up, and just meet back for dinner. While you might be tempted to spend all your time with each family member, it will be much less stressful to just let everyone do what they want to do for a good amount of the day.
2. Take lots of photos
This might sound like common sense, but on your Disney vacation with your family you’ll want to make sure you’re taking lots of photos. I’d even go a step further and say make sure you’re taking a lot of photos with a Disney PhotoPass photographer. Even if you don’t want to purchase the photos from Disney, the photographers can take the photos with your camera.
1. Treasure every moment
Each Disney vacation is different, even if you repeatedly visit with the same family members. There is a huge difference between trips taken when your son is three and when your son is twenty three. Chances are both trips will be equally as enjoyable but in different ways. You’ll want to treasure every moment of your time on vacation with your family, and be able to look back on these experiences for years to come.