Photo Courtesy of Disney Parks Blog
The bags are packed, the Ears are in the carry on, the kids are ready for all the magic. You are thiiiiiiis close to a Walt Disney World vacation. You just have to survive the three hour flight.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that on the way to a vacation time seems to grind to a halt, while the return journey is over in the blink fo an eye. And if your kids are like mine, then they just want to BE there. They got no time for flights. This makes them a little crazy during travel time. All that anticipation before arrival turns into nervous energy, and that nervous energy becomes frantic energy, and they just can’t waiiiiiiiit! (Bonus if you burst into “Just Can’t Wait to be King” when you read that.)
Turn squirrely Mousketeers into perfectly behaved princesses and princes by making your travel Disney centered, too! The magic doesn’t have to begin once you touch down in Orlando. Turn your flight into part of the fun with these tips.
Brush up on Your Disney Trivia
Disney’s Junior Encyclopedia of Animated Characters is a favorite keepsake many families bring into the parks to get signed by characters. But you don’t have to wait until the parks to bust it out. If your children are reading age, take turns quizzing each other with info from the books. If you’ve got littles, read to them from passages of their favorite characters.
Dive Into a Disney Page Turner
Speaking of reading material, Disney publishes books for all ages about a cornucopia of topics. You can get fiction, board books, non-fiction, all for a variety of ages.
My current favorite are their books about Disney World attractions. Available for both non-readers and readers, these gorgeously illustrated tomes detail the stories behind some of your favorite Disney rides. Consider slipping one into your little traveler’s carry on for some themed reading on the flight.
I will totally be grabbing this Jungle Cruise board book for the Teacup’s first trip!
Keep your little haunts happy with this gorgeous book AND cd!
Get Crafty Disney Style
This can be as simple as a Disney coloring book and some new crayons. Or you can go the distance and pack some travel specific crafts. There are a ton of options out there that are high on amusement and low on mess. You could do a magnetic puzzle set, a Magic Ink Pad, or a sticker set.
Your kids not the crafty type? Grab a travel game like Disney Uno or Disney Eye Found It. These activities can also be played in the hotel during downtime, if the Magical Express hits traffic, and on the way home! A terrific investment.
This would be a great line diversion in the parks, too!
Binge Your Favorite Disney Show
Before you hit the skies, make sure a few of your child’s favorite Disney stars are waiting for them on your tablet or other media device. You can purchase a new movie or a few favorite episodes from iTunes, and Netflix has a download feature than enables you to save some content offline for up to 30 days! Eligible titles are always changing, though, so be sure you check Netflix before you make promises to your kiddos.
Take advantage of all those digital codes in your Disney combo packs by loading up your Movies Anywhere playlist with Disney movies you’ll encounter during the park!
Talk about Your Disney Plans
This one is a current favorite my five year old, who asks 2 million questions for every conceivable scenario. What if there are no pink teacups open?? We’ll ride a purple one. What if there are no purple teacups open? What will Jasmine do when I see her? Will the Beast remember me? What snack will I get for the parade? Which bus will we ride?
Sometimes the best way to combat the crazy pre-Disney energy is to just lean into it! Ask your squad what they’re most exited about. Make predictions on what will happen with this ride or that character. (Within reason here. Don’t make promises the Mouse can’t keep, but it’s fine to assure them with general stuff: “Yes, Jasmine will be so excited to see you! Maybe you can ask her about her carpet!”) Relive great memories from past trips. State goals you each have for this trip. This is a great way to understand what your child is looking forward to on this trip, what their expectations are, which can play a big factor in diverting meltdowns or disagreements when you’ve been in the sun for 8 hours and your feet hurt.
Make getting to the Disney World vacation part of the fun and you’ll build new family memories before you even step foot on property.
Do you use any of these tips when you travel to Disney? Did we forget one? What’s your best Disney travel story? Tell me in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!