Saturday, August 13, 2016

Tips for Traveling to Disney World With Your Children

Cinderellas Castle at the Magic Kingdom
Cinderella's Castle
Disney World is one of our most favorite places to visit.  I pretty much know the place like the back of my hand because just I alone, have probably visited the “World” more than thirty times in my lifetime and only nine of those times were with Nadia. I am going to try to share some tips I have picked up along the way, to help you plan an enjoyable trip to Disney with you and your family. 

All Star Music Resort at Disney World Fun!
All Star Music Resort
When we travel to the Disney World Resort, although expensive, I prefer to stay on the Resort.   Here is my opinion why: When I arrive, I park the car and I do not get back into the car until the day we leave to go home.  Remember you are here to have as much fun as the kids, but I can’t say that you still will not have some stress, we are parents and we are doing this all on our own.  It is a good idea to lift some weights before you go on your trip to be able to carry all the bags :) Also, check the Disney website often for special deals to try to make your trip more affordable.

Boat transportation from Ft. Wilderness to the Magic Kingdom
Picture of the boat transportation at the resorts
 Anyways, here are my reasons why I like to stay on the property:
  • You get issued a magic wristband.  This wristband is your ticket, hotel room key, fast pass and more.  It is so convenient to use.
  • You get free bus or boat (if available), or even monorail transportation depending on which resort you stay at to the Theme Parks.
  • You do have to wait awhile sometimes in line for the next bus or boat to come by.
  • You have to stand and hold onto the rail or strap, if you were not able to get a seat on the bus.  This can be fun if your child is old enough to hang on.  Most of the time a nice person will give up their seat, so your child could sit and be more secure.  If you are carrying a lot of bags, you will wish someone would give up their seat for just your bags. :)
  • You do not have to fight traffic.
  • You do not have to worry about getting lost
  • You do not have to worry about fighting traffic and other people driving who are just as lost as you are. – Trust me on this.
  • You do not have to worry about parking and not being able to find your car late at night after being at the park all day.
  • You get Extra Magic Hours at a certain park (Whichever Disney has scheduled that day).  So for example, You have your tickets for The Magic Kingdom and it opens at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, but there are Extra Magic Hours scheduled for that day, so if you are staying on property, you could visit the Magic Kingdom at 8:00 a.m. or it could work at night, The park can close at 11:00 p.m., but there are Extra Magic Hours until 2:00 a.m.  The parks would still have crowds at this time, but not as much.  This works out great if you plan well, because if your ticket is a Park Hopper, you could spend the day at Epcot and then take the Monorail over to The Magic Kingdom, for the rest of the night.
  • If you get tired during the day, you can take the bus back to your resort and take a nap or swim in the pool.  When you are done, just take the bus back to the park and finish your day.  I have not personally done this.  I do not want to leave.  I run full steam ahead, carrying those bags from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. or later if we can both make it.  I want to be able to see everything and I usually only have enough tickets to see each park once.
  • Most of all, you get the friendly Disney Customer Service.

Captain Jack Sparrow at the Magic Kingdom
Captain Jack Sparrow Skit at the Magic Kingdom
Now when I am planning our trip, I fortunately get to use the Florida Resident Discount.  I also check out AAA Discounts too.  I usually book our trip through the website.  If you promise to use a credit card responsibly, you should sign up for the Chase/Disney card.  You earn Disney Dollars, which you can use for paying for your Resort, Tickets, Souvenirs and Food.   One time when we visited, I had $65.00 in rewards.  Hey, that paid for food.  Any little bit helps and I am taking it.  Another time, I was able to purchase our tickets with the Rewards. 
Even though we may stay for a week, I do not buy tickets for each day we are there.  I usually get a 3 day or 4 day ticket with the Park Hopper. Here are some ideas to do with your free days, which do not cost a lot:
  • Take a bus ride to Disney Springs and walk around and treat your family to a nice meal. – They used to have an overpriced McDonalds there, but now I hear it is a Pollo Campero. A quick service restaurant that serves Latin chicken and plantains.  Sounds Yummy!
  • Hang out at the Hotel, swim in the themed pool.
  • See what activities are scheduled at your Resort that day for the kids.
  • Take the bus to Disney Springs and then hop on a bus to another Resort.  I always wanted to see what the Polynesian Resort was like.  So we took the bus.  It was very pretty.  You can visit other resorts, but you cannot swim in their pools.
  • You can take the bus to Disney Springs and then take a boat to the Port Orleans or French Quarter Resort and walk around.
  • Take the bus to Fort Wilderness and go horseback riding, canoeing, or do the Chip and Dale Sing a Long and take in the movie by the campfire and make s'mores.
There are ways you can visit on a budget here; you just have to think creatively.  

Sunset at the Fort Wilderness Beach Campground at the Disney Resort
The Sunset at Ft. Wilderness Beach
Remember, it may take you three years to save up for your Disney Trip, but it is worth it in the end.  At least Nadia and I think so.
  • One more tip, I started taking Nadia at 18 months, because children are only free until two years old.  Adult Tickets start at age 10!
  • So, yes, it is taking us pretty much up to three years to save for our next Disney Trip, But good things come to those who wait! - Enjoy!