1. The toilets are loud in Walt Disney World: I realized that the toilets in Disney are extremely loud for some small children. A child in the middle of potty training could certainly be set back by this, my daughter was! Using the bathrooms became a very big deal because she refused to go in because of the sound. As the week progressed her fear definitely started to disappear, but be prepared if you have a child who is potty training!
2. Don’t let your guard down because you are in Disney: Walt Disney World may be the happiest place on Earth, but that certainly does not mean you can keep your eye on your children any less than in any other place. Every morning before leaving our room, I took a picture of the kids so that I would know exactly what they were wearing in case at any point they became lost. This came in handy when my son was three and lost between Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain (of all places, right?).
3. Pack the Palmolive: Don't forget to bring the dish liquid! I forgot this on my first trip as a mom, which made cleaning the pacifiers, bottles and refillable mugs quite an ordeal. This is the first thing I pack every trip.
4. Do your laundry in Disney: I always thought my mom was crazy for doing laundry in Disney, but now I can see why she did, and I do laundry every trip. The stack up of laundry from five of us on return from vacation is just too much. Besides, since my parents travel with us every trip, my kids are spoiled the entire week with Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bars and other delicious treats, which means a lot of melted chocolate and ice cream on clothes. Those stains are much easier to get out if I do laundry while in Disney than at home. But even better, since I know I will be doing laundry in Disney, I can pack less and leave more room for souvenirs!
5. Budget for souvenirs and make them meaningful: Souvenirs are one of the things that we work hard to contain each trip. I swear we step on Disney property and we become spending fools! It is hard to resist the princess dolls for the girls or the Buzz Lightyear laser for my son. Add to that the Disney themed clothes and scrapbooking materials. Each trip we designate certain “must have” souvenirs for the kids, which include a pin for each child representing the one thing on the trip they tried for the first time or just something they loved. The second souvenir is one ornament and, same as the pins, it has to represent one thing that was really special for them on the trip. Finally, we let them each choose any one item they really “have” to have.
What is your best lesson learned while vacationing in Walt Disney World with children?