How to Do Disney


Making decisions as a family about what to eat and where to eat is a difficult task at the best of times, but when on vacation (with so much more to choose from) the task becomes even more of a challenge.
While we were at Walt Disney World last week for the Resort Showcase, the boys and I enjoyed a number of different dining experiences, from breakfast in our own kitchenette, to quick service and signature restaurants for dinner. To avoid dining hassles, we found that opting in for the Disney Dining Plan made sense. Your room key, otherwise known as “The Key to the World”, is all you need to access your Quick Service Plan, Disney Deluxe Dining Plan, or Disney Premium Dining Plan at over 100 different restaurants. There is a plan for every budget, with savings from 20-40% off of what you would be spending if you didn’t have the dining plan. But most importantly for the kids, there was no wasting any valuable “theme park” time deliberating about what to eat.

Transportation can sometimes be a hassle when you don’t have your own wheels so we were glad to have had a reserved spot on Disney’s Magical Express. It is a free roundtrip transportation and baggage delivery service for guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Attach the special Disney’s Magical Express bag tags to your luggage at your departure airport and you won’t need to worry about them again until you unpack in your room. The Disney’s Magical Express bus will pick you up at the airport and take you and your bags to your hotel. Upon arrival, your bags will be delivered to your room. You will save time standing in line to check in, waiting at baggage claim, and checking in luggage on your way out. How nice is that?

Spending a full day in a Disney theme park is very tiring, so after experiencing it myself, I would recommend taking advantage of the Disney’s Extra Magic Hours to anyone with small children. Extra Magic Hours are extended theme park hours for guests staying at select Walt Disney Resort Hotels. With Disney’s Magic Hours, you can start your day up to one hour earlier in the theme parks and end your day up to 3 hours later at no extra charge. My recommendation would be to hit the parks nice and early, when the kids have the most energy, stop and have lunch, then recharge everyone’s batteries in the afternoon by heading back to the hotel for naps, quiet time, or a swim in the pool. Have an early dinner and then extend the length of your day by using the extra evening Disney Magic Hours. If Disney’s Wishes Fireworks is on your must-see list, then you really should give it a try. Otherwise, your little ones may never stay awake late enough to see the fireworks.

Another tip I have for anyone planning a Disney vacation is to bring along one day pack that can be worn on your back. Ensure the backpack is large enough to carry a few basic essentials and any purchases you may make throughout the day. Bring sunscreen, hats, hand sanitizer, Kleenex, sippy cups or water bottles, and wipes for wiping down tables and messy ice cream faces. (Speaking of ice cream, with so much to see and do, it is sometimes hard to get children to sit down and eat a nutritious meal. I was pleased to learn that all of the restaurants within the theme parks offer carrot sticks, celery, grapes, or apples as side dishes with children’s meals.) To supplement the meals, you may want to keep a stash of your children’s favourite non-perishable snacks on-hand as well. And, don’t forget re-sealable bags to enjoy leftovers later on.

Stay tuned for more of my Disney discoveries in my next post. In the meantime, I would love to hear of any tips you’ve discovered on your own trips to Disney.


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