Tag Archives: DIsney Planning Tips
As you might have guessed, we here at Chip and Co love Disneyland! As a newer writer here, I have imagined some of the questions readers may have. One that I struggled with personally was what’s the right age to visit Disneyland? I imagine some of you may have the same concerns.
So my wife and I discussed, with some trepidation, taking our toddler son with us right after his 3rd birthday. We wondered what’s the right age to visit Disneyland? Additionally, we were feeling slightly guilty over the number of trips we’d taken since his birth to Disneyland without him. So we said Hakuna Matata and off we went. This was an especially good trip for his first visit. We were fortunate enough to have my Sister in law and her family with us, including our 6 year old niece. They were visiting us from Stockholm for a few weeks, so off we went. It was both kids first visit!
I know many, many parents have asked me what’s the right age to visit Disneyland? I’m not fully sure there’s a correct answer. Before going we felt 3 may have been too young. In some ways we were right, mostly we were wonderfully surprised at his enjoyment, wonder and curiosity over the whole magical experience. Were there moments of time that we wanted to rip our hair out, yeah… Quite a few moments. Were there just as many, if not more moments of looking at each other with pride in our kid who was loving Disney as much as we were… Absolutely.
Top Reasons to bring your toddler to Disneyland:
Want to take the kids to the Disney World, but money a little tight? With this economy who’s budget isn’t tight…With a little planning it can be done: here are ten ways to save on your next Disney World Vacation.
- Stay at a Disney Value Resort Hotels - While on property you still get all the extra’s as someone staying at the larger resorts. Such as Disney Transportation, extra magic hours, Disney Dining Plan, and much more. The rooms might be a little smaller but your just there to sleep right?
- Stay at a resort or vacation home off Disney property. If you have to there are plenty of decent hotel rooms available all around Lake Buena Vista. If you have a larger family (more than four people), the savings are even greater. You can get a vacation home with a private pool for a week but remember you will need your own transportation.
- Watch for Disney Promotions. Who doesn’t love free food? Lately Disney is almost always running some sort of discount on their website. (Keep in mind Chip and Company constantly keep you up to date on current Disney promotions so check back with us often) Also Disney is known to send out special promotions via postcard and email. How do you get them to send you one? Its a mystery, but signing up to receive one of their vacation planning videos and registering at www.disneyworld.com will help. Read my previous article on the elusive Pin Codes here.
- Purchase a dining package. Disney offers dining packages to guests staying at their resorts. These packages have to be booked in advance and you can save 30% or more on your dining if you buy one of these plans. Essentially the dining plan is a meal plan that you pay for in advance. Sorta like a lay-away. Check out this article talking about to Meal Plan or Not To Meal Plan.
- Travel during the “off” season. Disney resort and dining prices fluctuate depending on what time of year it is; the same trip over Christmas week will cost you a whole lot less the first week of December. There is much debate when the off season is. One guideline to follow is when school is out it will be busy. If you check on a Disney Cruise you will see the same trip almost double for Spring Break or in the Summer.
For many of us the trips we plan to Disney are about making memories, family time and good old-fashioned fun. For our kids it’s about all that…and the souvenirs. Let’s face it Disney is pretty good at tempting us adults too! They have exclusive Park Only merchandise and the cutest little sweatshirts, stuffed toys, trading pins…OH MY! I could go on and on. They have not been in business for this long without knowing how to merchandise. Here are a few tips to keep your wallet happy as well as your kids (and you).
1. Buy Before You Go. Check out the Disney Store or Disneystore.com for small gifts you know your kids will enjoy. The key here is small as you are going to bring them with you on your trip. Little princess cell phones, McQueen bouncy balls, stuffed Tiggers are all good ideas. Looking for these items on sale is the objective. Even other stores like Target, Kohl’s or Toys R Us carry Disney items. Pick up what you can and put it aside. Tip: If you are flying and have so much of this stuff that you require an extra piece of luggage, you probably aren’t saving money. If it makes sense you can also mail packages to your resort ahead of time. Again weigh the cost here of shipping.
While a vacation should be relaxing, it can also be stressful! Disney World is meant to take you back to the days of carefree childhood where magic and adventure is real and possible; but when trying to make flights, keep schedules, count cash, and haul strollers, a vacation can be anything but relaxing.
So today I have some suggestions for how you can have a carefree Disney vacation. Enjoy!
5. Take Breaks-While some guests many not have the time and flexibility to take a break during their days at the park, we highly suggest that those who can definitely should! The Florida heat can be intense, especially after walking most of the day. Being hot and tired, especially with kids in tow, is a recipe for disaster; so don’t set yourself up for stress, take a break during the heat of the day!
4. Get Up Early-Many Disney guests argue that since they’re on vacation, they should sleep in and relax; but what they fail to realize is that waking late and hitting the parks several hours after opening is anything but relaxing, especially during peak season. So hit the parks early and take a nap later for a more carefree Disney experience.
The decision has been made; your next vacation will be to Disney World! Congratulations! Now comes the fun part, planning! No, really, it is fun! I’m here to help you plan your trip. Maybe you’ve been before or maybe this is your first time. I hope everyone can find information to help plan a most magical trip!
The first step is to make the big decisions: when will you be going, where will you be staying, how many days will you be there, who all is going/what are their ages and most importantly, what is your budget?
Step two would be to fill in a few details such as: are you going to drive or fly, do you have someone in your party with special needs (wheelchair, dietary needs, medical concerns), are you going to use Disney transportation only or will you have a vehicle, what are the dining options, should you add the Dining Plan, are you going to purchase park hopper tickets, should you add the parks and more option?
Once these decisions are made, then it’s time to customize your vacation to your individual needs. What park are you going to go to on what day? (Crowd calendars can be a great tool to help with this decision. Touring Plans Crowd Calendar has been my source for this information since 2008. They are fantastic!) What attractions do you want to see? Which table service and counter service restaurants should you go to? What is Disney PhotoPass? These are just a few of the items I will be writing about.
And then there are the ultra-fun add-ons. For example, we make our own matching shirts every year. Some guests decorate their room or their windows. Sprinkle some extra pixie dust on your children by scheduling a visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or to the Pirates League. You can plan the basics, or you can plan every detail, it’s all up to you.
These are some of the first steps in planning your Disney World vacation. So let’s start with one of the most asked questions, “When is the Best Time to go to Disney World?” There is no one answer because it depends on several factors:
- Are you taking children?
- Are they in school?
- Do you want to go while they are on vacation (Christmas Break, Spring Break, Summer)?
- Or are you going to take them out of school?
Do you want to be there during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) the Epcot Food and Wine Festival or another special event?
If you can go any time, then are you interested in the lowest rates, best temperatures, or lowest crowds?
In short, there is no “best time” to go to Disney World. I’m sure if you ask any Disney fan, they would tell you, “anytime is the perfect time!” For a month-to-month comparison, check out What Month Should You Travel to Walt Disney World.
Amy is a Disney Addict and stay at home mom who loves to craft, cook and plan Disney trips. She’s been known to shed a tear at the end of Wishes and has to walk out of the room when Mufasa dies.
- You might be a Disney Addict if (chipandco.com)
- Things You Thought You’d NEVER Hear a Teacher Say…”Have Fun at Disney!” (chipandco.com)