Travel Advisory

When your 5 year old has a meltdown at 9 am, to include phrases such as “I hate Disney,” it is probably an indication that said child needs a day off.  Be thankful that he did it before you left the hotel and not at the park.

Note: the 5 year old has been happily playing with his older brothers’ LEGOs all morning, the ones they have nastily told him he may not touch, and neither he nor his 3 year old sister seem to mind at all that they are “missing out” on the “Magic.”

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When your 3 year old cries at 2 am, and you groggily get out of bed and imagine that the blurry path between you and the bedroom door is a queue with a feather pillow as a swinging gate at the end, it is probably an indication that you need a day off.  Or at least more sleep.

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There is no single food kiosk at Disney that will please the palates of all 8 members of my family.  Besides the obvious parent food vs kid food dilemma, the selections are generally so limited at the fast-food restaurants that somebody is bound to be unhappy.  Better luck might be had at the sit-down restaurants, but the cost would be enormous.  Fast-food eating with sharing of fries and drinks runs us $55-$65.  The nicer places would cost at least $200.

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Staying in a suite with a full kitchen and bringing a cooler packed with home-cooked meals, lunchmeat, and even convenience food saves you big bucks.  And honestly, a ham and turkey wrap followed by cheap store-bought chocolate chip cookies is healthier, yummier and more filling than fried food or popcorn.

But splurging on ice cream is always worth it.

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I love having a washer and dryer in my hotel room, even if they are so tiny I can only wash one outfit at a time.

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When looking at an extended forecast, remember that it is only a forecast, a prediction.  Pack for temperatures ten degrees up or down.  Just as it would be annoying to not be able to use the pool when the temps were unexpectedly mild, it is equally annoying to be freezing one’s nether regions off because the temps are cooler than predicted. 

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If I’m not paying for it, I like the heat to be set at 74.

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There is no way to see everything at the Magic Kingdom in one day, at least not if you have little children in tow.  Little children can only handle about 5 or 6 hours at an amusement park before becoming overwhelmed/exhausted/insane.  It’s best to get out before the meltdown.  If you want to see the fireworks at 8 pm, do not go to the park until long after lunch and maybe naps.

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Gifting your children with souvenir/snack money is a great way to eliminate older children’s begging for stuff.  It’s amazing how stingy they become when it is their own cash they have to cough up for that really-cool-thing-strategically-placed-right-where-they-will-see-it.  And the snacks brought from home taste much better than the ones sold at the park when the ones in the backpack are “free” and the cost of the ones at the kiosk induce heart-attacks in otherwise healthy people.

Note: this plan does not work with 3 year olds at all.

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Packing beer, gin, and tonic water is prudent on so many levels.

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10 thoughts on “Travel Advisory

  1. The LEGOs part was very funny. The first thing my littles do when the older kids leave is to touch the untouchables, and being the bad mom I am I, sometimes I let them just to enjoy a few moments of silence.

    The plan not working on three year olds gets a big 🙂 too.

  2. Is this your first trip to Disney? Is it your last trip? 🙂

  3. Jessica, I did accuse myself of being a bad mom re the LEGOs too…and have had to caution the kid several times not to crash the LEGO plane because I don't want to get caught…

    Beth, we did Disney 7 years ago with 4 kids 5 and under. It was the worst vacation ever. This one is not as bad, but it just may be another 7 years before we do it again…or maybe 3 or 4. The 7 and up crowd is doing better (although the 7 year old has her moments).

  4. We did Disney 2 years ago. All in all, not a bad experience, but we were “lucky” and had a special needs pass which puts you at the head of many a line. It saved us. My son would never have been able to handle the lines or the waiting even at age 10.

  5. I think I'm just a DisneyLAND girl at heart. I'm glad most of you are having fun much of the time!

  6. Thank you for this. We are headed to WDW next week for little man's 5th birthday. Reminders about limitations gave me hope that we can still have a great time even if all doesn't go as planned. And you definitely helped me to remember to smile through it all.

    Thanks,
    Michelle

  7. You are a brave, brave woman….!! My kids go to Disney with their grandparents, when they turn 6. It's their trip by themselves with Namma and Grampa. More power to them!!

  8. If you are really in need of food for everyone, try the Land (at Epcot in Future world – it's down by Soarin') – a lot of people don't know about it. Though still expensive, it has a huge variety of meals and snacks. Also, if you are in the World Showcase at Epcot, the France bakery sells ham and cheese baguettes for $5. Best value in the parks!

    Good luck surviving! 🙂

  9. I am able to laugh at your descriptions because I have
    a) been to Disney with two children ages 3 and not quite 2
    b) refuse to go ever again with anyone under the age of 10…maybe 7…maybe

    You are a brave soul and I think you should remind your children how loving and generous and kind you and your husband are at every turn so that when school starts up again you have all these chips to play. 🙂

    Enjoy FL!!

  10. WOW! such an adventure! wish i'd have known you were in florida! it'd have been great to get to see you and the family!

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