While on our most recent trip to Disney, I got a lot of DM’s through Instagram asking me how we do it. We are by no means Disney experts (even though I grew up going to the parks regularly), but we do feel like we have what works for us down. That may not work for you all, but sharing is caring and it just might improve your visit in one way or another!
This year, Luna turns 3, which means she is no longer free at the parks (sniff). I already bought her annual pass and she has her first ever magic band waiting for her, so look out for a lot more Disney content over the next year, which is going to be tons of fun. Before I jump into our tips and tricks, I get a lot of people asking me not only how we do it, but why. It’s viewed as a very stressful vacation for parents, but we look forward to our trips just as much as Luna does. Why? Disney to me represents magic and dreams. It’s everything that is beautiful about childhood, and I want Luna to grow up feeling those things. As most of you know, I haven’t really lost that childlike feeling of wonder, and it’s definitely awakened whenever I see Cinderella’s Castle, the characters or Mickey-shaped treats. I want Luna to experience those feelings of magic and imagination, and I want her to hold them close as she gets older, and to me, it all starts here.
With that said, here is what we do to maximize our stay;
- We come in to the parks late; unless we have an in-park breakfast reservation, we don’t roll up to the parks until 2 or 3pm. It helps us avoid the really, really steamy part of the day, and helps ease the crowds up (a bit). It also gives us time to explore the other things Disney has to offer like Disney Springs (or the hotel pool if it’s a summer visit)!
- We just say no to fireworks; Luna watched her first fireworks show earlier this year, but since then, we’ve used them as a time to hustle to all our rides/experiences. There are little to no wait times during both fireworks shows at Magic Kingdom, and during our last visit, we were able to meet SIX princesses and go on a ride with zero wait times. Earlier this year, we walked right in to see Mickey, and since no one was behind us, Mickey played and interacted with Luna for almost 20 minutes! It’s really a stress free way to do the busier parks.
- Stay until closing; if your kiddo is old enough, or just a party animal like ours, use the last hour of the park being open to get to those rides as well. We were able to ride all of the new Toy Story rides without too much of wait (considering they were new) that last hour.
- Personal fan; I have to thank Disney instagrammers for this one! I bought myself a cute personal fan before our trip and it came in clutch. Legit: without it, all of us would have turned into puddles this August. It’s also how my makeup stayed in tact, for all of you that were asking that burning question as well. 😉
- Pack light; I am not a heavy packer to begin with, and with every trip, we have lightened our load more and more. Granted, Luna is also getting older, but see what you really need and only bring the essentials. You honestly don’t need a whole lot while at the parks. We just bring our umbrella stroller and a backpack/diaper bag.
- Have a go with the flow attitude; This helps being an annual passholder as I know I’ll be back soon enough to experience something I haven’t yet, but don’t hold on too tight to those expectations or itineraries. This especially holds true if you are traveling with a toddler because all plans usually fly out the window. We have our fast passes, but sometimes we miss them. If we do, we just hustle to go on that ride during the fireworks, as mentioned above.
- Don’t forget a fast pass for you!; This thought just came to me this time around. I was always too preoccupied with getting fast passes for rides Luna can ride that I forgot my husband and I can take turns and ride things we haven’t been able to in a long time. This time around we got fast passes for Rockin’ Rollercoaster and it felt amazing to go on one of my favorite rides after years of not doing so! Extra bonus: our fast passes lined up with Luna’s nap time. Score.