Do you find it hard to meet your family’s needs while on a Disney World Vacation? Does one child want to run off to meet the princesses, while the other wants to ride Dumbo? Maybe we’re crazy, but at some point we decided that a teenager and a toddler in the same house was a good idea. Trying to manage a toddler’s needs and a teenager’s wants at Disney can be a challenge. Not to mention the expectations for the only princess (yours truly) in the group!
The secret to managing your families varying needs and wants comes down to two simple words: Be Prepared! (Are you singing along yet?)
First, we learned to set reasonable expectations, both for the trip and the day. Gone are my “Disney commando” days of yore. We quickly learned that with a toddler in tow we would not get as much done as before, and that is ok. We get an extra day of tickets so we can see everything and we slow down and enjoy the ride.
We also pick and choose our activities wisely. Each day I plan a park to visit and we ask everyone what they want to do most. By prioritizing our wants and needs we’re able to guarantee everyone gets something they want and everything else in between is icing on the cake!
With a toddler we found that taking breaks is important! By heading back to the hotel for his afternoon nap we all got to decompress and get ready for the fun that the night held! A well rested toddler and mommy equal a much happier family!
Carve out time for each child. Both my husband and I made a point to ride the “big” rides with our teenager. We’d let him pick or I’d volunteer since I can’t pass up a good roller coaster! Then the other parent would find a “kiddy” ride or a character to meet with the youngest. My oldest and I even explored the hotel grounds together one afternoon while the little one napped. We took silly pictures and refilled our mugs. It’s the little things that make the difference!
Bottom line, Disney is magical! There may be bumps along the road, but with a little planning, and a little pixie dust, you’re sure to have a magical trip whether your kids are two years apart or ten!
Gretchen loves helping everyone accomplish their mission of a Disney vacation. You can find her tips and tricks to make your vacation dreams a reality at facebook.com/operationdisney or on Twitter at twitter.com/operationdsny!
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