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Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge just opened at Disneyland! And if you were anything like me you were stalking various Instagram stories and social media posts to see what it’s all about. If you’re even more like me you may have also been browsing your calendar and vacation dates to see when you and your family can take a trip. Or maybe you’re saving your coin and counting down for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to open at Walt Disney World. Perhaps you already have a trip planned and it’s just before the opening. Or your looking for other ways to get your Star Wars fix right now.

Well my friends, I’m today I’m going to share about a little something called Star Wars Guided Tour. It will take you to a Galaxy Far, Far Away, right at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and give you the fix you need while you wait for Galaxy’s Edge to open.

Captain Phasma on stage on the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Star Wars Guided Tour

First, here’s a two minute video of most of the experience. I think it sums it up pretty well, especially if you’re short on time and want to get a feel for what it’s like.

When we attended Disney Creator Days in March we had the chance to participate in a Star Wars Guided Tour so we could see what it’s all about. I hadn’t ever tried one before but I was raised by a huge Star Wars fan and was excited to give my kids an up-close look at what it’s all about. My kids are 6, 8 and a baby and they don’t know much about the movies yet but they do know some of the characters. They were super pumped that the tour included Jedi training and many other surprises. You can read everything that is included in this 4 1/2 hour experience here, but I’m going to break down our five favorite parts. And make note of a couple of things that may be intense for sensitive kiddos.

Lunch at Backlot Express

So I must admit we were rushing to the tour and I had no idea what we were walking into. I hadn’t researched it before. Cast members handed us some headphones and passes and we followed two cute ladies with microphones and a lot of Star Wars information. When we walked into lunch at the Backlot Express our food was already pre-ordered for us (based on our earlier requests). And we were seated in a private area of the restaurant. This was nice because our kids had some space and I was less stressed about them being loud or disturbing.

It felt really casual and the food was all absolutely delicious. It isn’t super easy to get great burger at Disney World but this place has some really good ones (as does the Sci-Fi Drive in in case you were wondering). We were in for a fun surprise when Storm Troopers showed up to give us a hard time. As we finished up we enjoyed some special blue and red lightsaber churros. And we got some cute Darth Vader souvenir cups.

VIP Spot in the March of the First Order

From eating next to Storm Troopers to getting a front seat at the March of the First Order. And by front seat I mean you’re actually in the march. They didn’t tell us this before so one minute we are walking over to watch the little parade and the next thing we know we’re marching right behind them. At first I thought we were just following them. Maybe rounding out the show. But after a minute or so I realized we were actually in the march. As in all the spectators watching us. We got a kick out of it and had a lot of fun seeing it all go down as close as you can get.

The First Order March on the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Following the march we had VIP seating to the Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away live show. Our tour was a little shorter because we were on a tight schedule but yours may include VIP seating to the Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular show. Both shows include some fireworks. Less during the day and our tour guides gave us a warning. But still, my son didn’t have his headphones so he was pretty started by the booms. Especially being so close. He did enjoy the rest of the show until then though.

Riding Star Tours The Adventure Continues

So this time around I didn’t get to go on the ride because I was holding Lee Lee. But my Mother in law rode with the big kids and they had a good time. Lil’ J came off slightly shell shocked but just yesterday she asked me if we could go on it again, which says a lot. Riders need to be 40in or taller to go on this 3D flight simulator and it’s SO. MUCH. FUN. Though I didn’t go on it this trip I did before and plan to again. It’s a ride you don’t want to miss.

Up Close and Personal with Chewbacca, Kylo Ren and BB-8

Family meeting Chewbacca on the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Family meets Kylo Ren on the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Little biracial girl meets BB-8 on the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios

My personal favorite part of the tour was watching my kids’ reactions as they met each of these characters. Chewie mesmerized Lee Lee. Kylo Ren startled Lil’ J and BB-8 delighted both of my big kids. Lil’ J brought a sparkly flash drive to show him. It was truly magical.

Jedi Training

Ok now this is where it gets really interesting. So Lil’ J was really excited about Jedi Training until she saw an earlier show and noticed that all of the kids were up on stage in front of a crowd. I told her they were just in front of their parents, and that she’s performed a bunch in front of audiences during cheer. This calmed her down a bit but next she worried about getting “dropped off” in the training area (where they got dressed and learned he rules). But that wasn’t the case at all. At least one parent stands by the whole time and as they march to the battle area. When she realized I wasn’t going anywhere she was able to enjoy learning the rules and diving into the experience.

Kids participate in Jedi Training on the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios

When they were all dressed and ready to go the kids marched to their performance area while chanting: “Here come the Jedi. Here we come!” Big smiles all the way. On stage they learned some cool moves from Jedi trainers. Suddenly fog appeared and the door started to shake. Of course my eyes were on my kids and I was near tears watching their reaction to all of this. The kids were suppose to use the force to open the door. But when it started to shake and fog appeared you could see their mind shift. My son covered his ears, in anticipation of a loud noise. My daughter backed up. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go.

When Things Got Real

One of their trainers got sucked into the hole and two bad guys came out. Kylo Ren and Darth Vader. This was when Lil’ J lost it realizing she was suppose to battle him. Her turn came up pretty quick but she was in tears and opted to pass. When it was Big T’s turn I had no idea what he’d do. He hesitated for a moment before a Jedi trainer gave him a push into the ring. Surprisingly he did as he was told and he won! Poor Lil’ J started crying again watching her brother battle Darth Vader, worried he would get hurt.

Little biracial boy battles Darth Vader on the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Afterwards she told me she was a little embarrassed but mostly just glad everyone was ok. I absolutely love how she sees the world so vividly. Her imagination is so strong and though she wasn’t brave enough to battle Darth Vader this time, I think she will be the next time she gets the chance.

If you’re a big Star Wars fan you’ll love all the behind the scenes looks at the saga-centric exhibits showcasing replica props, models, concept art and artifacts. Your kids will love all of the up close and personal action with the Star Wars story, and all of you will have a lot of fun along the way. Anyone can add this experiences to their vacation but you do need a park ticket to get in. Then each ticket for this experience is $92.95 a person. Make sure you call ahead of time to get a reservation.

I cant wait to give my kids a true schooling on all of the movies then bring them back for another guided tour along with a trip to the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! Opening August 29th at Walt Disney World!

Little biracial boy battles Darth Vader on the Star Wars Guided Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studios

For more on planning your Walt Disney World visit make sure you check out some of my other posts!:

  1. Don’t wait to take your infant to Walt Disney World
  2. Best Age to Visit Walt Disney World
  3. 13 Tips for Planning a Stress-Free Trip to Walt Disney World
  4. 10 Lessons I Learned After My First Trip to Disney World
  5. Disney World vs Disneyland Which is Better for Kids?

 

 

 

 

“What do you want to do today?”

A simple question that leads to so many answer depending which member of our family you’re addressing.

“Go to the pool!” My daughter will tell you.

“Ride our bikes!” My son would say.

“Hang out at home,” my husband would reply.

“Is anything off the table?” I’d want to know before leaping into a slew of suggestions.

My idea of a good time before kids was taking Snoop to go kayaking on the lake, or dragging my husband to a dance club. After kids I’ve slowed down a little bit. My ideas of what was fun took a backseat while everything my kids wanted/needed came to the forefront.

I enjoy watching my daughter practice cheer. But that’s her thing. I enjoy watching my son build his extravagant train track bridges. But that’s his thing.

Now, I’m not in a hurry to run back to the dance club, but I do want to find fun beyond a game of Candyland for the umpteenth time. I deserve that much, right?

On our summer bucket list one item I wrote down was going kayaking. All of us. Together.

To be honest I wasn’t sure this would happen. It would involve careful planning around my husband’s days off, my work-from-home schedule, rush hour, making sure we have enough cash, finding parking, etc etc.

It’s not a long drive to the lake to go kayaking by any means, but it can feel like a whole trip by the end of it. Not because it’s a hassle, but because we never push ourselves to do these things. Teaming up with Shell has helped give me the extra motivation to follow through. It started as a fun idea to plan some summer adventures and blog about them, but it’s really allowed me to open up about the things I enjoy, and encourage my family to try new things together.

I told you a little about the *Fuel Rewards® program before. It’s a free rewards card to save on gas. On our last trip we saved $.15/gallon. If you scroll through the #FuelRewards hashtag on Instagram you’ll see the incredible savings people are finding at the pump (seriously, stop what you’re doing and go look, some people even got gas almost free).

If you’re on the road often you should look into signing up for the Fuel Rewards® program. When you become a Fuel Rewards® member, you will earn 5 cents off per gallon (up to 20 gallons/visit) for as long as you maintain Gold Status! We weren’t driving as far this time, but because I procrastinate my tank was on E and we made a quick stop at Shell to fill up and double check that we had everything we needed.

Plus, once you’re signed up, you can send your referral link to friends and family so they can join the Fuel Rewards program. The first time a friend uses the program by using the link you send them and earns a reward or uses their card at a participating Shell station, you will instantly earn 25¢/gal. And there’s no limit to how many friends you invite or how many times you earn.

When we got to the lake I quickly realized we were overdressed. Everyone else had on sandals and bathing suits and we were all dressed up in socks and sneakers which were sure to get wet in these boats. But there was no turning back. We were doing this dangit.

As expected, my daughter was pretty terrified to get in. My son wanted confirmation that there were no sharks, but he was easy to appease. I did make the mistake of giving him a paddle of his own (he insisted). So the entire time I was paranoid he’d let it go to be forever lost in the lake.

Once we got going my daughter calmed down, my son laughed, squealed, and flirted with every girl we paddled past.

They were having fun.

My husband and I took photos of each other across the way, and we smiled. A lot.

We were having fun.

I was having fun.

Becoming a parent doesn’t mean we need to give up on our goals, our hobbies or other things we enjoy doing. We are going to cherish the memories we have with our kids. Even thinking back to that day you played Candyland 12 times in a row. You’ll laugh about that some day. But you deserve to enjoy the time while you’re going through it too. It’s for you and for them, because guess what I learned?

When mom is having fun, there’s a good chance everyone else it too.

So what’s something you’ve been dying to do that you can bring your kids along for?

*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards® member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to 3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards® program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit fuelrewards.com/gold or call (888) 603-0473.

This blog post is sponsored by Shell, for which I was compensated. But the story, experiences and opinions are all my own.

I’m beginning to realize that traveling and vacationing with kids are two totally different things. I enjoy both for different reasons so it’s hard comparing one over the other. But today I’m going to share a recent road trip we took with our kids, and why it most definitely was not a vacation, yet it was rewarding all the same.

Family vacationing to Schlitterbahn

With my husband’s job he works four 10-hour shifts a week, then he gets three days off. Those days off rotate every month. This can make planning for things very difficult. The positive side however, is when he has weekdays off instead of weekends; we can escape for a quick getaway and usually experience less crowds.

We’re always saying we want to go places but sitting down and planning those trips is another thing. I had just gotten through a slew of deadlines for my blog, my husband had a weekend free of trainings and overtime and I had just received my first Fuel Rewards® card in the mail and I was itching to use it.

I sat down to my computer and booked a night at a waterpark and resort between Austin and San Antonio. We’ve gone together pre-children but had never taken the kids. They aren’t thrill seekers at all (I mean, my daughter cried on the People Mover at Disney World because it was dark) but I crossed my fingers I could persuade them to try something.

We told the kids we’d be heading to the water park the next morning and staying at a hotel (they love hotels). My daughter immediately started packing. My son had more questions.

As soon as the word “ride” came out of my mouth, both of them started gasping and asking for clarifications about what kind, how fast, and “do I have to go on it?”

As we hit the road down to the resort we stopped to fill up at a Shell station. I whipped out my new Fuel Rewards card and got excited when I saw the price drop by $.15/gallon. I’m not the best a couponing but when a discount is as simple as swiping a free card I’m all about it. Sign up for the Fuel Rewards program here and start saving with Instant Gold Status. It’s free, takes less than 60 seconds, and you can have your own Fuel Rewards card mailed straight to you!

My daughter on the other hand… Not feeling so excited, but a little anxious about what was ahead. The questions kept coming.

I told them we wouldn’t decide which rides we’d be doing or not doing until we were standing in front of them.

When we made it to the park my son surprised me when he saw a huge slide and immediately said “I want to go on that one!” And pointed way up at the top.

Yea, I’ll believe it when I see it. I thought.

My daughter was all “Nope… Nope… No… Not that one either…”

She went straight to the wave pool and was in her happy place. But I was hoping we could try something new as a family, not sit in a pool like the one in our neighborhood.

I bribed, begged and pleaded. I asked a lifeguard what slow water ride she’d recommend for non-thrill-seeking kids and she said the Congo ride. Great. We had a winner. Almost.

vacationing with kids

Problem was, that ride was full of mist, eerie music, and wildly obvious pretend animals that still had my over-imaginative daughter completely freaking out.

She hysterically asked to get off when we turned a corner and she saw a black tunnel. My husband exited with her and I kept going with our son.

After a semi-steep drop he was surprisingly giggly. So we kept going further down the ride into more drops and a river of sorts. He LOVED it. And I knew my daughter would too. Or at least I thought she would.

It took me a while but I realized that what she doesn’t enjoy about rides isn’t necessarily the thrill level, but the amount of thematic creepiness. She doesn’t like tunnels, non-happy music, dark spaces (hence her freak out on the People Mover when we go through Space Mountain).

I asked another lifeguard if we could enter the Congo ride AFTER the dark tunnel and he escorted us to where the little rapids started. She was extremely hesitant at first, but finally got on.

AND SHE LOVED IT!

vacationing with kids

She continued to surprise me as she’d get on more slides and rapids much more thrilling than the last. Hooting and hollering with delight the whole way down.

“Thank you for bringing us here mommy,” my daughter said, as we walked back from a slide.

Going on trips with kids may not be a relaxing vacation by any means. But the rewards come through in other ways. From watching them conquer a fear, witnessing their joy, and hearing their gratitude. I may be even more tired when I get home, but the time spent together makes it all worth it.

vacationing with kids

I’m teaming up with Shell and the Fuel Rewards® program this year and it’s inspiring us to fuel our fun. I signed up for a Fuel Rewards® card and got “Instant Gold Status” which basically means I can save at least $.05/gallon at the pump – up to 20 gallons/visit (we saved $.15/gallon this trip!) and additional savings other places when I used the card. It’s not a credit card and doesn’t cost anything to sign up!


*Restrictions apply. To qualify for the Gold/Silver Status offers, you must be a Fuel Rewards® member and swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID when you fuel at a participating Shell station. With Gold Status, you will receive 5¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings on every fill-up. The 5¢/gal reward for Gold Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. If you are an existing Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status from 6/5/2017 through 12/31/17, the “Existing Member Introductory Period”. If you are a new Fuel Rewards® member, you will receive Gold Status for the initial month you join through the last day of the month, 6 full calendar months later, the “New Member Introductory Period”. The last 3 months of the Existing Member Introductory Period or the New Member Introductory Period (collectively the “Introductory Period”) is the “Qualification Period”. You will retain your Gold Status during the Qualification Period, but you must make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to qualify for Gold Status for the next 3 months, the “Benefit Period”. During the Benefit Period, you must continue to make 6 qualifying fuel purchases to maintain your Gold Status for the next 3-month Benefit Period. A qualifying fuel purchase is any fuel purchase at a participating Shell station in which you swipe your Fuel Rewards® card or enter your Alt ID and fill up with at least 5-gallons of any grade of fuel. For example, if you are a new Fuel Rewards® member and register on 6/15/2017, you will receive Gold Status through the New Member Introductory Period (i.e., 12/31/2017). You will need to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the Qualification Period (i.e., 10/1/2017 and 12/31/2017) to maintain Gold Status during the Benefit Period (i.e., from 1/1/2018 to 3/31/2018). Thereafter, if you continue to fill up with at least 5 gallons of fuel at least 6 times during the successive 3 consecutive month Benefit Periods, you will retain your Gold Status. If you do not maintain your Gold Status, you will receive Silver Status. With Silver Status, you will receive 3¢/gal in Fuel Rewards® savings. The 3¢/gal reward for Silver Status will be combined with other rewards in your Fuel Rewards® account. Redeem Fuel Rewards® savings with your Fuel Rewards® card or Alt ID at participating Shell stations. Fuel Rewards® savings are limited to 20 gallons of fuel per purchase, per vehicle, or fraud limits placed by Shell and/or limits placed on your financial card by your financial institution, each of which may be lower. Fuel Rewards® savings must be redeemed in a single transaction. Once you begin to dispense fuel using your Fuel Rewards® savings, you must dispense to the 20-gallon limit or you forfeit any remaining discounted gallons of fuel. For example, if you only pump fifteen (15) gallons of fuel, you would abandon the remaining five (5) gallons of discounted fuel. If you have a rewards balance greater than the current per-gallon price of fuel, the price will roll down to the maximum capability of the fuel equipment, and your remaining rewards will be saved for a future fuel purchase. Dispenser may require a price of up to 10.9¢/gal. It may not be possible to combine multiple discounts and/or rewards in a single transaction. For purchases of $75 or more, please go inside to pay. Unbranded diesel and alternative fuels may not be eligible. The Fuel Rewards® program is owned and operated by Excentus Corporation. Offer may be modified or discontinued at any time without notice. Not valid where prohibited by law. Please see fuelrewards.com for complete Fuel Rewards® program details and Terms and Conditions. Other restrictions may apply. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. To learn more, visit fuelrewards.com/gold or call (888) 603-0473.

I am a huge planner. I enjoy it. But nothing has been as fun to plan as our trip to Disney World. I literally planned more for this last trip than I planned for my entire wedding.

Granted, it’s not saying much cause we had a super small uncomplicated wedding, but still. I was probably just as excited for our Disney trip as our wedding (kidding honey!)

MK_MSCINEMA_7187794929

Although there are tons of Disney blogs all over the internet, I’m going to give you my informative yet simple and concise take on planning a Disney Vacation. Hopefully this will help make it as easy as possible so you can enjoy your vacation once you get there.

1. Choosing the “best time to go”: Although we were there in early February when crowds are relatively “low” it’s still crowded. I mean, it’s always going to be busy, so don’t expect NO lines on a slow week. That’s just silly. But the lines will definitely be much slower (and it may not be as hot, so that’s a perk!) Consider checking out a crowd calendar if you have flexibility for your trip.

2. Figure out where you want to stay and consider a dining plan: We stayed at a relative’s timeshare during our visit, but if that wasn’t the case (and next time we go) we’d probably stay at a Disney value resort or splurge and stay at the Animal Kingdom. That way we can be close to the parks, get free transportation to/from the airport, and possibly get a discounted dining plan (especially if it’s on a discount for your trip).

mickey-mouse

3. Consider using a travel agent: Authorized Disney Vacation planners don’t charge you a thing and can help you find the deals, and book all of your reservations for you in advance. I had WAY too much fun planning each and every detail myself, but if you hate this kind of thing, feel overwhelmed, or just want someone to bounce ideas off of, consider using an agent. I’ve been using with Matt from Wish Upon a Star With Us to help us plan a Disney Cruise vacation and he’s been extremely helpful answering all of my questions, giving me cost comparisons, and answering my emails at the strangest time of day. It’s been nice having someone to bounce ideas off of, who knows all sorts of things I’d never know about the parks and resorts.

Interacting with Snow White at Disney World. 13 tips to planning a Disney World vacation without all the stress! love these tips. #5 is great!

4. Six months out book your dining reservations: Before that, decide where you want to eat and when. There are SO many restaurants, but the popular ones go fast. Which ones are popular? Pretty much any of the ones you can make reservations for, especially the character or themed dining meals. I’d recommend Akershus (in Epcot) or Cinderella’s Royal Table (in Magic Kingdom) if you want to dine with princesses. There are so many options though, so have fun researching which ones you think you’d like before, then 120 days out book it online. You need a credit card to hold your reservation but you’re not charged until you eat. This is another task an agent could help you plan if it’s too overwhelming.

Toddler enjoying toy story mania at Disney World. 13 tips to planning a Disney World vacation without all the stress! love these tips. #5 is great!

5. Book your FastPasses: This is your ticket to skip the long lines for popular attractions. Whether it’s meeting your favorite princess, or riding a popular ride. Everyone gets three each day and they’re free, so there’s no reason to skip this! It may seem like over-planning, but you can always change it while there. And trust me, with amount of people at Disney World these days, it’s wise to have reservations just in case, to save yourself from standing in line for hours.

Toddler enjoying toy story mania at Disney World. 13 tips to planning a Disney World vacation without all the stress! love these tips. #5 is great!

6. Don’t quit trying for reservations: If everything is booked when you are trying for a reservation, don’t get discouraged. Keep checking or calling, something will open up. I called for a Bibbity Boppity Boutique reservation at least a dozen times. The night before I got one at Magic Kingdom and my daughter had a blast. Same went for FastPasses to meet Anna and Elsa (the most popular attraction right now). Don’t give up! Keep trying.

Toddler enjoying toy story mania at Disney World. 13 tips to planning a Disney World vacation without all the stress! love these tips. #5 is great!

7. Rent a stroller locally: Don’t worry about packing your huge double jogger, there are several companies locally you can rent a stroller from. Disney World also has stroller you can rent, but they’re more expensive and less comfortable in my opinion. We used Orlando Stroller Rental. It was the first thing that popped up in google and they ended up being fantastic! They dropped off the stroller to our resort, we used it for a week, then they picked it up from the bellboy as we headed home. It was so nice that they could recline and take naps during the day, and Lil’ J definitely rode more than she walked. There’s also handy stroller parking all over the place, so don’t worry about them getting in the way of lines. It’s SO organized.

packing-for-disney

8. Pack light: Make a list ahead of time to decide what you want to bring. Disney Resorts all have pack n’ plays you can rent for free. The timeshare we stayed at did as well. If you’re bringing a baby or toddler, call your hotel ahead of time and ask if they do too (most do). I probably over-packed on the kids’ outfits, but they had plenty to choose from while we were there, and backups in case of messes.

9. Buy Memory Maker: If you do it ahead of time you’ll save about $20, and if you’re traveling with friends or family you all can link accounts and share a photo package (only one fee!).

Toddler enjoying toy story mania at Disney World. 13 tips to planning a Disney World vacation without all the stress! love these tips. #5 is great!

10. Download the My Disney Experience App: It’s free, and it gives you access to park wait times, the maps, and your FastPasses. As well as your dining reservations, and other things I’m probably not remembering.

11. Make a countdown: Because what better way to get excited for your trip? I just used an app on my phone, but if we hadn’t been surprising our kids the day of, I probably would have made a fun Mickey Mouse paper chain or something.

Toddler enjoying toy story mania at Disney World. 13 tips to planning a Disney World vacation without all the stress! love these tips. #5 is great!

12. Join some FB groups: This was probably the single most helpful part of planning my trip. I joined a Disney World Junkies group, and asked several questions that were answered almost immediately. The a woman saw my questions and invited me to a Disney World February 2015 group (yes, I know it sounds like a birth club). It was a smaller group and everyone was so helpful and informative. I found out about fastpasses and reservations others visiting the same time as us were giving up. Super helpful if you’re trying to book a trip last minute! Search and see if you can find a social group visiting the same month as you.

Toddler enjoying Tigger at Disney World. 13 tips to planning a Disney World vacation without all the stress! love these tips. #5 is great!

13. Be flexible: As much planning as I’ve touted in this post, it’s important to be ready and willing to go with the flow as things arise. I had to change almost every fastpass and ended up canceling two dining reservations the day before because plans changed.

Whether you’re planning for a vacation you’re dreaming to take years from now, or you decided to go on a last-minute road trip, keeping these things in mind will make your trip less stressful, and even more magical.

Let me know if I’ve forgotten anything you have questions about! Or if you’ve been and have more tips for first-timers who are reading this please share in the comments!

Disney-World-2015_0308-copy

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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Inspiring Moments Positive Parenting Spreading Joy
How My Husband Inspires Me to Give Back
Here’s a Fun Way to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth
I’ve Been Trying to Drink More Water for Years and Now I Finally Am
Family Travel Food & Culture Homeschooling
Here’s What’s New at Toy Story Land
From Homeschool to Public School – We Made It!
Tips for visiting Walt Disney World with an Infant, a happy baby riding a Walt Disney World ride.
Don’t Wait to Take Your Infant to Walt Disney World
Creating With Kids (DIY) Disney Motherhood Pregnancy & Baby
Everything You Need to Know Before You See Toy Story 4
Here’s What’s New at Toy Story Land
From Homeschool to Public School – We Made It!
Interracial Marriage Multiracial Parenting Our Family History Photography & Videos
You need to do this with your kids this mother’s day
Zoom in and Count Your Blessings: A Beginner’s Guide to Macro Photography
18 Moments I Never Shared From 2018