Disney World is my happy place. It’s my dad’s happy place too so growing up a lot of our family vacations were spent in the sunshine state despite being in the Midwest. So many memories! Now I’m creating memories with my kids too. We were there in June with a 7, 4 and 2-year-old and we had a magical time!

My first tip, especially if you’re staying on property, use a travel agent. Disney travel agents are FREE! Let them take the stress out of planning so you can focus on the fun details. Whether you’re a Disney novice or an expert on all things Disney, I think using an agent can be beneficial. They can give you suggestions on accommodations, restaurants, attractions and any special experiences you might want to try. They will also wake up early to make your dining reservations and book your fast passes! Mornings are generally hectic in our house, so it was awesome to not have to worry about it.

Good shoes. I wish I learned this earlier. On our most recent trip, I brought 3 pairs of quality shoes and sandals for 5 days in the park. They key is to rotate them. First trip I had without blisters. My feet definitely thanked me. This is a piece of advice I will follow from now on.

Often times the weather can be HOT. It’s crucial to stay hydrated. At Disney World, you can bring in drinks, snacks etc. Take advantage of this. You can also get FREE ice water at any quick service counter. While we’re talking about weather, let’s remember that it rains a lot in Florida. Bring ponchos along. Way cheaper than having to purchase them in park. The good news is those summer rain storms move through pretty quickly so don’t let it dampen your fun.

If you’re traveling with young kids I highly recommend using a stroller. Even if you think your child is too old for a stroller, you might want to reconsider. Disney is a whole different level of exhaustion. Plus, it gives you an additional place to store items- like those drinks to stay hydrated. You can bring a stroller with you, rent one there or even buy local when you arrive. Your travel agent can give you more rental information if that’s the route you choose to go. We bring ours from home (but we drive and have plenty of space to do that). I would also recommend a stroller fan and a rain cover. I also personally believe that 2 singles are better than a double. You can split up if needed, a single stroller is a lot easier to maneuver through crowded parks and the kids won’t be able to pick on each other. Not that my kids would do that!

Other essentials I like to pack are smarties– they can easily distract a child (or myself!) when a meltdown is about to start. They’re cheap, small and don’t melt. I also bring wipes. They work great to clean up melted Mickey ice cream bars or to wipe some sweat away. You’ll be hard pressed to find gum sold in the parks. If you’re a gum chewer, plan to bring some along. I also bring Ziploc bags to keep my phone dry- in case it rains or you go on a water ride. And speaking of phones, you might want to consider an external charger. Sunscreen is a given. A cute Disney hat will protect your face from the hot sun and you’ll fit right in. Bonus if it has ears. We always bring glow sticks. Super fun to have at night during the fireworks and then your kids won’t be as likely to beg you for light up trinkets sold at the parks. Bring extras and hand them out to other kids and spread some of that Disney magic.

Disney certainly can be stressful. It’s hot, crowded, and you’re experiencing long days and nights on your feet that you’re probably not used to. Expect meltdowns. Hopefully, not many! But it can be so incredibly magical too. Focus on that. Have a plan but be ready to change it up if something grabs your attention. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. Cast members are so helpful and they want to help make your vacation magical. Smile and have fun!


Alissa Kay

Alissa was born and raised in the Midwest and currently calls Wisconsin home. She's happily married to her college sweetheart and she's living out her dreams of being a stay-at-home mom. Although, let's be real, she's hardly ever home. She's the mom to 3 kids who all came to her via adoption. A boy (8) and 2 girls (6 and almost 4!). The kids keep her plenty busy, but when she has free time she enjoys a night out with friends or curling up with a good book.