In just a few days, we depart for the “Magical World of Disney.”   I don’t want to sound like a party pooper but…I am kind of stressed about it.  I can barely survive a trip to the grocery store with my three-year-old.   But my husband has a work conference in Orlando next week so we had to take advantage of this tremendous opportunity to travel together as a family.   Besides, I made a vow to myself after my daughter made it through the infant phase that I would relax and enjoy motherhood more.   The great unknown doesn’t always have to be stressful.   Every new adventure can actually be…FUN??

To my daughter, this is the Happiest Place on Earth!  To me, it's like climbing Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen.

To my daughter, this will be the Happiest Place on Earth! To me, it’s like climbing Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen.

To alleviate some of my fears, I turned to friends who have been there and asked for some advice.   Here are some tips they provided that I thought I would share for any Disney rookies like me who will be making the trip:

Bring your own stroller.  I was planning to rent a stroller once we got there since my toddler would rather walk through fire then sit in hers.  I thought, “What is the point of lugging one on the plane when I could rent one when we actually needed it?”  When I stated this to a mom friend who has conquered Disney several times with THREE kids in tow, she laughed in my face.   She proceeded to tell me that I needed it not only to survive the airport, but that the average miles walked around Disney parks are NINE MILES.  OH.MY.  I could barely walk down the street with my toddler so, I probably should bring a stroller.

Download theme park apps.   Thank goodness for these free apps that provide a schedule of the day’s events for each of the parks/resorts, a guide map, and average wait time for the rides.   How cool is that?

Let's hope this will help.

Let’s hope this will help.

Schedule of Events

Apparently, the right time to go to "It's A Small World" is right NOW!

Apparently, the right time to go to “It’s A Small World” is right NOW!

Bring our own stuff. While all the basic necessities can be purchased at the parks, we should avoid paying the premiums and definitely bring our own snacks, beverages, sunscreen, medical supplies (you never know ), etc.  and use the stroller to store it all.  Also, you are saving yourself the $15 for single strollers and $26 for doubles.

Start at the back of the park and work your way forward.  We (along with the rest of the world) plan to arrive at each theme park as early as possible.   If we walk to back of the park first, the less crowded it will be.   As wonderful as this may be in theory, I am wondering if this is possible since my daughter will likely be distracted by everything on the way to the back.   If anyone has had success with this strategy, please let me know!

Think positive thoughts and have fun!  Fortunately we will also be traveling with friends of ours who have a three year old daughter too, so I know these girls will have a blast.  Most importantly, my daughter will remember and cherish this trip for the rest of her life.  The good moments will certainly outweigh the stressful ones.  Every day I am psyching myself up to be fully present in the moment and just relax.

Ok, I am excited now! 

Are there any tips you could share with this Disney rookie mom?  Any must see attractions?  Thanks for your help!

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