We just finished a fantasy vacation at Walt Disney World. Granted, there was the usual amount of temper tantrums, neatly doled out among grandparents, parents, and baby in attendance. There was a bit of constipation and diarrhea, typical for any family vacation. And there was an altercation with an aggressive six-year-old who pushed my one-year-old out of Pluto’s view on the dance floor at Magic Kingdom. Still, overall, the vacation was a dream. And I learned a few tricks for parents thinking about taking their infants to the happiest place on Earth. Here goes:
Do the Dining Plan – The Disney Dining Plan, which is available to those staying at Disney resorts, makes it cheaper and easier to plan your meals. We do the Deluxe Dining Plan because my husband and I enjoy eating at the finer restaurants in the evening and taking in the character breakfasts in the morning. You will spend more on tips and alcohol on Deluxe Dining, but it is still far cheaper than buying these meals without the plan.
Stay at the Value Resorts – Disney offers a range of resort experiences, but the cheapest ones are the value resorts. We stayed at the All-Star Music, and we have stayed in the past at the Pop Century resort, all of which were wonderful. While they don’t afford the luxury of the monorail (like deluxe resorts, Polynesian, Contemporary, and Grand Floridian), they include bus transportation to the parks and the rooms are pretty much the same size and layout as the ones in the more expensive resorts.
Go in January – January is the slow season for Florida and Disney. People flock to the parks to see the decorations and activities during the holiday season and once the kids get off for winter break in February, which means January is the sweet spot. We barely ever had to wait in line more than 10 minutes. When we did, we simply got a fastpass and bypassed the line, which is necessary when traveling with a one-year-old.
Bring the grandparents – My parents traveled with us. They were a big help, and we made beautiful memories that we will all keep in our hearts forever.
Listen to Your Kid – Baby Boy is not talking much yet – especially with the two languages – but he let us know when he was tired or hungry and we made his schedule our schedule. That’s the best way to keep him – and all the rest of us – happy.
Savor Every Smile – The one above was one of my favorites of the trip.