Tips and advice from a survivor
1. Don’t be hungover. After all, parenting is basically a giant hangover without the fun of drinking cocktails on a yacht. My daughter decided to be the definition of awake the night before Disney and we only got a total of 4 hours of sleep. If I had been drinking (while she explored the hotel room at 3am,) our trip would have just been me drinking Gatorade and eating a $24 burger while she watched her iPad in bed.
2. Consuming a tiny bit of ADD medication is a good idea. However, don’t take too much. You don’t want to suddenly need to have life talks with every one on the monorail.
3. If you stay at a Disney resort you’ll be given a Magic Band aka Disney Fit Bit. It’s your hotel room key as well as a great way to charge things to your room while you’re at the park. Instead of letting you know you’ve walked 20,000 steps (which you will) it lets you know that you spent $612 on bottled water, ice cream, face painting, mouse ears and a very realistic looking foam rock.
4. Be Gen Y. The best way to “Do Disney” is with the Disney App. You can plan your fast passes, book reservations, keep track of photos and find out where your kids’ favourite characters are. It’s very well designed and will make your time there much more enjoyable. (Definitely make lunch and dinner reservations!)
5. Bring your best friend. While you hold both of your children (one in a carrier on your back and the other asleep in your arms) in a 70 minute line for the Peter Pan ride, she’ll work her magic on the Disney App so that between the two of you — you get six fast passes and never have to do that kind of strength training again.
6. There will be bugs. (The kind you can’t see. I’ve been peeing out of my butt for a week now.) You also need to accept the fact that your two-year-old will lick every handrail and wet sink basin in a very public bathroom. (Note: make sure said friend has a very strong immune system. My friend doesn’t have kids so she wasn’t conditioned for the kind of fluids my children can excrete.)
7. Wear a fanny pack. (aka bum bag). I know that they’re predominantly used by obese people in the United States and festival goers in Australia and Europe, but I swear they’re legit for mom life too. We were constantly parking the stroller and leaving it unattended to go on rides. It just makes sense to keep your phone and wallet on your body.
8. Meet Mickey. The moment your toddler looks at Mickey and excitedly compliments his shoes and gloves and tells him that her dad lives in Australia will make your mild stomach bug completely worth it
9. Have a doctor appointment booked for when you get home because almost every family member will need antibiotics. (And then toys and yogurt so you can bribe your child to take the pills you’ve crushed and laced her yogurt with. This ear infection will be more expensive than your entire trip to Disney.)
10. Expect magic. You’ll dance in the street with Olaf and dine with Daisy Duck. You’ll meet people from all over the world who also want to experience the allure of Disney. You’ll watch your kids’ eyes light up and try to process the fact that they just talked to Mickey Mouse. They will spin around in giant tea cups at the Mad Tea Party and “fly” on a magic carpet with Aladdin. You and your children will leave feeling inspired and wonderstruck. You will also feel like you need a shower, glass of wine and a Costco-sized bottle of Pepto Bismal.
Still keen to Do Disney? Plan your trip!