Are you joining your children and grandchildren for a trip to Disney World? Will you be taking your grandkids on a magical vacation they will never forget? Below are some ways that you can make that trip wonderful, and unforgettable in a good way.
1. Get the My Disney Experience App and use it to make reservations before your trip
Disney makes it easy to have a relaxed trip with your grandchildren to Disney World by giving you lots of planning tools. You can skip lines, check ride wait times, and make dining reservations. With a little planning, you can cut down on time spent standing in line waiting for the things you want to do. Get the My Disney Experience mobile app and also familiarize yourself with all the information available on disneyworld.disney.go.com.
2. Use a Magic Band
If you are staying at a Disney resort, you will get a Magic Band. You can also buy one if you are not. A Magic Band is a special Disney bracelet that you can use to do almost anything. It is the key to your resort room, linked to your credit card to make purchases at restaurants and stores, your park ticket, and the way to get into FastPass lines! There will be a Mickey icon on the band that you match to a another Mickey at checkouts and lines. Be careful, it’s so easy to spend money using your Magic Band that it can add up fast! Photographers throughout the park will also take photos and then scan your Magic Band, linking them to your online Disney account and mobile app.
3. Plan Ahead – Make Dining Reservations
To get into the most sought-after Disney activities, reservations should be made long in advance of the first day of your trip. For example, to meet Cinderella and have a meal in the castle with the princesses, you will need to make an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) 180 days in advance of your first day at Disney World. Here are the basics of Advanced Dining Reservations as well as some tips for making the hardest Advanced Dining Reservations.
4. Don’t overdo it
This advice is good for everyone going to Disney World. Trying to do too much, especially in the heat, can be a recipe for disaster. Kids and adults alike need to remember to take breaks, hydrate, and cool off as necessary. Don’t discount how strong the Florida sun can be. Make sure you bring sunscreen, and reapply often. A sunburn is a quick way to ruin an otherwise wonderful trip.
Consider buying a Disney guide to familiarize yourself with what to expect if it’s your first trip. It also helps to review a map of the park you are heading to the day or morning before you head there. For example, the night before you head to Animal Kingdom, take some time to look over a map of Animal Kingdom, paying special attention to the locations of attractions you plan to check out or where have FastPasses. Which attractions should you checkout at each park? More on that below.
5. Stay on Disney property
Staying at a Disney resort is one of the best tips for making your vacation as stress-free as possible. Disney provides transportation to the parks from all of the resorts. Depending on where you stay, you can get to the parks via bus, monorail or boat! Parking at Disney World can be difficult, and staying at a Disney property means you don’t have to worry about traversing the long parking lots and finding your car amidst thousands of others. There are multiple categories of hotels to choose from within every price range. The Contemporary is one of the Deluxe resorts that is located on the monorail and it is just two stops to Magic Kingdom. Strollers and wheelchairs can be rolled right onto the monorail and into the park.
6. Pack some Disney stuff
When you get to Orlando, you will see that a large percentage of the people are wearing some sort of Disney gear – shirts, hats, ears, etc. They grandkids will want autograph books and pens, tradable pins, bubble guns, glow sticks, and more. You can save some money by buying in advance as opposed to paying park prices.
7. Know which rides, attractions and parks are best for the ages of your grandchildren
This is key to enjoying Disney World, and it’s what we focus on here at Disney by Age. If you know which rides and attractions your grandchildren will enjoy at each park, everyone will be able to maximize their fun. There is a lot of ground to cover here. For example, if you have a preschooler and a school age kid in your group, they will enjoy different activities at each park. Check out our information on each age group to get the most out of the trip and look like a seasoned Disney expert.
8. Consider a dining plan
There are multiple Disney Dining Plans available to Disney guests. It can end up saving you A LOT of money if you use it well. There are multiple tiers of dining plans available depending on how you plan to eat at the parks. Some people will eat more from quick service restaurants, and some will enjoy more of the of the table service options. There are dining plans that cater to both as well as one offering a mix of both. You can prepay everything but gratuity and alcohol. If you are traveling in a party of six or more, gratuity will be automatically added at 18% at most table-service restaurants. When you order off the menu for your prepaid entree, be aware that the gratuity is calculated based on the price of the dish if you were not on a dining plan.
With a little planning ahead, a Disney World trip with your grandchildren can be an absolutely wonderful experience, filled with magic and memories.