Professional Tips on How to Have a Magical Disney Trip

Walt Disney World castle at night with fireworks

Professional Tips on How to Have a Magical Disney Trip

As a mom, I vividly remember the first trip we embarked on as a family. It was a disaster that screenwriters in Hollywood would pay me to retell, and four years later I am finally able to have a sense of humor about the whole trip. Family vacations are kind of my specialty, and in my mind, one of the best places in the “world” to create memories with your family is Walt Disney World. Disney makes it so easy for families to be comfortable at their resorts and it truly is the happiest place on earth.

While planning my family’s first trip to see the mouse, I could not contain my excitement and I still feel that way even though I visit him multiple times a year. With each trip to Disney World, I try to make our time a little better than the last; flowing a little better, trying new things and being more flexible. Here are my top eight ways to have a Truly Magical Vacation:

1. Choose your timing wisely.

If you have children in school, note that when school is out of session, the already busy parks will be even busier. Consider going in the fall; with the weather cooling down and the lavish décor of fall harvest transitioning into holiday lights, the parks are truly spectacular.

disney world fall

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disney

For the foodies, the Epcot Food and Wine festival, held September through November, is one of the best events I have ever had the pleasure to experience. If you make it to this festival, make sure to take note of all of the specialty meals, demonstrations, and parties that are held in conjunction!

READ MORE
10 Travel Essentials for Baby

disney food and wine festival

Disney Food & Wine Festival

2. Plan ahead.

Disney definitely favors the Type-A personality people. People plan trips to see the Mouse years in advance, but I typically advise visitors to plan 7-12 months in advance. Planning ensures that there will be little stress to securing reservations for the perfect resort room, breakfast at Cinderella’s Castle, or that ever-important pass to skip the 3-hour line to ride Frozen Ever After.

3. Carefully consider what is important to you when choosing your resort.

Is it convenience? Or maybe price, theming, or luxury is the most important thing? There are so many options for accommodations at Disney and in Orlando that this decision can be overwhelming. Something to consider is that the bus travel time between parks and resorts is typically 1-hour to 1.5-hours, and with little ones and naps this can certainly narrow down the choices for you. Maybe your children love animals (Animal Kingdom Lodge), maybe Mom wants a place that is quiet, more relaxing, and true luxury (Four Seasons Resort), or maybe you need a large room on the best budget (Art of Animation Family Suites). There truly is no “best” resort at Disney, it is simply what is best for you and your family.

disney castle

4. Book a few character meals.

Eating with the characters is a great way to see your favorite Princesses or Mickey and the Gang without waiting in line. I always suggest 1-3 character meals per stay depending on which characters are important to your family. I also like to heed a warning that only a few of the Character meals serves really great food and all character dining is expensive, so know that you are paying for the experience and not the buffet.

READ MORE
The New Mom Vacation Checklist

character dinner

5. Go VIP for the Fireworks.

To me, the fireworks are the best way to end every day at Disney. They make everyone forget about the long line for Toy Story or the fact that you probably paid more than you would have liked for that Elsa doll your daughter just “had to have” this afternoon. Disney has so many ways to view their three spectacular fireworks shows; the most famous being the Wishes fireworks in Magic Kingdom. From an array of cruises, fine dining with private viewing, dessert parties, and more, there are so many ways to have a unique viewing experience for the world’s most famous fireworks display.

Disney fireworks

6. Consider having a date night.

After all of the walking and long days I think it is so nice to have a parents night out. Ride the rides that maybe your children are too little to enjoy, eat dinner at a signature restaurant, and wander around Epcot. Become a kid again. After all, it is your vacation too! Disney has several Kids Clubs that are reasonable in price and so much fun. My daughter begs to go to Lilo’s Playhouse instead of having dinner with us!

disney dinner

7. Enjoy a day away from the parks.

There is so much to do outside of the Disney Parks that you could fill an entire vacation without ever stepping into Magic Kingdom. From marshmallow roasting to tea parties to movie nights, character dining, fabulous restaurants, boat rentals, family games and activities, some of the best pools you will ever experience, and more, you might even decide that one day away is not enough!

READ MORE
Traveling with Baby 101: Traveling By Car

8. Book your vacation with a travel advisor that specializes in Disney.

There are so many things to know about the ever changing world of Disney and a professional agent should keep in the know and create a seamless trip, which is so important when traveling with children. When interviewing agents, ask what services they provide, if they charge a fee (many agents do not, their services are paid for by Disney or the resort), and how often they visit the various Disney properties. A great agent will help you navigate your trip and can even save you money by applying discounts where they can and save you from making costly mistakes.

disney world

About the Author /

Kaleigh Kirkpatrick is a wife, mom, and luxury travel advisor with Glass Slipper Concierge.

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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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Instagram post 17934950050319412 EXACTLY! 🙌 I wish more moms knew this and didn't feel pressured to say yes automatically to guests--of course, unless they want to! 😊 But you can always say no and not right now. Take your time to bond with your new baby. If you want people to come over, great! But don't feel bad if you don't and want more time alone with your family. People who love you should understand. ❤️⁠
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