Maybe it is my generation, but so many of us do not travel with kids to “kid places” because we want to capture the fun, with booze, and not be responsible for small beings. My cousins just did this in October, left the babe at home, and enjoyed the crap out of Star Wars “Galaxy’s Edge” without being chained to diapers and nap times.
However, there are plenty more of us that feel obligated to drag along the kiddos to our Disney trip, and this was especially true when I went for the first time. I honestly believed that you SHOULD have a kid along when going to theme parks and that it was almost a sin not to.
The kids benefited, and I benefited, and the trip was a little different but much more fulfilling than going by myself. Here are the few things to keep in mind with the young people in your life.
My cousin’s little girl is 5 and when the opportunity showed up that we could go to Disney, there was no doubt that Miss Ivy needed to be with us! I already knew my stepdaughter was going to be going, but time with a 5-year-old is always special as most things in the world are VERY NEW and THRILLING.
Being that Ivy is 5, this also meant we needed to get creative with our planning. Luckily my aunt, Ivy’s grandma, came with us, so I had extra adult monitoring for the double kid day. I suggest this for everyone, however, both Ivy and Miss Lily (my stepdaughter) are exceptionally well-behaved and polite. Lily is even super helpful with Ivy and in ways they have grown up like sisters, which makes life much easier for the adults involved.
Like with any kid, plan ahead, here is the vital items we packed for the day.
- Matching Outfits/Ears
- It sounds “extra” but 1) it was so cute to have the kids in matching Disney Bound outfits (Minnie Mouse) and 2) it was easier to spot the brunette white kids in the crowd.
- This also adds fun to the day, the little one was enamored to be dressed as her cool “teen” cousin, and Lily was excited to oblige the little kid fun.
- At first, I was cautious on the stroller, unsure if it was necessary, but I am so very grateful my aunt rented one. Not only do little legs not move very fast, it kept her entertained as we had to wait for things or move across the park.
- Beyond kid monitoring, this makes the perfect push cart for ALL the crap one accumulates during the day.
- I am about as pasty as they come, I don’t leave the house EVER without sunscreen stashed in my purse or car. However, I have friends and relatives that don’t burn in ten minutes and may not think about it. However, Disney is so open (at least the Magic Kingdom) that you will likely get burnt or have too much exposure. With sensitive little kid skin, slather it on!
- Spray & Fan Bottles
- This was another “but why” and now I get it. These bottles may not do A LOT in cooling down when at the parks, but they do offer a lot of satisfaction for kids. Point being – the kid won’t care they’re hot if they can play with a spray bottle.
- Removable clothing layers
- October is Russian Roulette on heat and rain in Florida. Thus, we had no idea what Disney would be like the day we went. Thus, the outfits with the kids had multiple optional layers and options for taking off or putting back. In the end, both were out of their dresses/tutus and in biker shorts and a t-shirt. It was just as cute, and very comfortable.
Tweens/Teens are often their own beast. My stepdaughter is a truly great kid, and her attitude is usually mild. I am in fact very grateful that she is so positive and easy to travel with. However, she does need a few extra things that I could have been better about. Live and Learn eh?
- Basics Kit
- I think this should include some sanitary pads, dry shampoo, a brush, hand sanitizer, mirror, sunscreen *see above, chapstick, and lotion.
- I brought a few of these, I failed on a few.
- Comfortable Outfits
- While what we picked was cute, as I mentioned above, the kids ditched the “cute” part and ended in t-shorts and bike shorts. Lesson: less is more, and comfort wins!
- as most kids do, my stepdaughter loses everything. I mean everything. She lost her wand at Universal Studios and then we bought NICE Minnie ears at Disney and they were also lost (maybe in the rental car?).
- My idea for next time is to have one bag where everything lives and then have the most responsible person in charge (ME).
- However, if you have a responsible kid, let them have their own bag of stuff. Depends ENTIRELY on the kiddo.
- Check List
- What I should have done is made a check list of everything we went in with and everything we bought. THEN when we left the park I could account for all the things. However, the disappointment in lost mouse ears made a pretty good lesson on keeping tabs of stuff.
- Comfortable Shoes
- fun fact, when your stepdaughter is taller than you, she can’t ride in a stroller. Thus, make sure those long teens wear good shoes. I personally love Chaco-like sandals, but we landed on tennis shoes as we didn’t do much with water rides.
What surprised me the most of the whole day was that Ivy (who is 5) wanted to ride all the wild rides she was tall enough and my stepdaughter (12) was totally freaked out. I had prepared for opposite fears with each child and was pleasantly surprised at Ivy’s bravery!
At moments the girls were conflicted on what to ride, Lily was dragged reluctantly on Splash Mountain (I wanted that photo DAMMIT), and Ivy held me so tight in Haunted Mansion I though she might break my arm. We skipped the Seven Dwarfs, but had a blast with Pirates and the Barnstormer. All around, the girls were awesome!
While my experience was maybe different or better than most families, I think little kids are often brave because they don’t know they shouldn’t be. Also, many don’t have the dizziness and nausea that us lame adults do, so they don’t mind the thrills and chills of a wild ride. Read more below on planning the best Disney Day or vacation!
- Disney Planning – How to Plan
- Disney Planning – Getting Started
- Disney Planning – How to Save
- Disney Planning – What are we eating?
- Disney Planning – Do I Need This?
- Disney Planning – What Are We Riding?
- Disney Planning – What Are You Wearing?
- Disney Planning – Which Disney?