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Disney Family Travel

Awesome Tips for Disney Every Mom Should Know

The first time we went to Disney, I searched the internet for weeks for realistic tips for Disney. I found all of these unrealistic plans to get through the entire park in one day and all sorts of other things that I knew would drive me and my little family insane.  After visiting few times, I made note of what worked and what didn’t and came up with these tips for Disney that every mom should know.

After our trip to Disney, I came up a few tips that every mom needs to know for Disney

Awesome Tips for Disney Every Mom Should Know

awesome Disney tips for moms



Disney is…WONDERFUL! It is full of excitement, fun, joy, food, rides, characters, the list can go on and on. BUT with all that excitement, I think we forget that we have little people with us, who just like adults, get cranky, tired and hungry too. When we went to Disney, I observed a few things, practiced a few more and came home with my best tips for Disney that every mom should know. Because sharing is caring guys. And I want you to ENJOY your time at Disney.

Stay on Property

My first tip for Disney to to stay on Property. One of the main reasons is the transportation on Disney Magical Express


Listen: It’s expensive.

But when it comes to Disney and small children, convenience is the name of the game. Staying on property gets you transportation from the airport to your resort  on Disney’s Magical Express. You don’t even have to worry about your luggage: you go straight from the plane to Disney transportation. Your luggage is tagged with special Disney tags and they transport it to your room for you. With a small child, I can’t tell you how priceless that is. We had online check in about a week before our trip and the day of, they texted me my room number when it was ready. Thanks to those lovely magic bands ( that you can use for every single thing, including your room key),we were able to get into our room with no problems, without even stopping in the lobby.

Transportation between disney resorts and parks is a great reason to stay on property.

You get FREE transportation to and from the parks on special Disney shuttles that move between the resorts and the parks. And that my friends, was magical. Because no one, after walking 6-7 miles a day, wants to get on a shuttle to get to the parking lot, then the little tram to your car…finally arriving at your car, only to drive back to your hotel, fighting Disney traffic at 11 pm at night. Nope.

Now, the buses can be crowded at peak hours,and you may find yourself waiting just a bit. But we never waited for more than 10 minutes for a bus and the ride was not long and we were dropped off within short walking distance to our room.

The resorts are nice, they have their own dining hall for quick service meals( breakfast lunch and dinner are served)and some like ours, even have their own table service restaurants( sit down meals).  There are activities galore, like pools, bike riding, and fishing. And one last perk if you stay on property: Disney Magic hours! Every day, one of the four Walt Disney World  parks opens one hour early or remains open up to 2 hours after regular closing time. This is really helpful for those folks who have early risers or just want to avoid the heat in the summer time.

Get The Dining Plan

Tips for Disney: eating at Disney, take advantage of the Disney Dining Plan to eat at Chef Mickey's



We had the Regular Dining Plan which each day, included: 1 table-service meal, 1 quick-service meal, 1 snack and 1 refillable mug.  For our family of three, the total for that meal plan was $139.31 a day. And we stayed  4 days. So basically, two meals a day, a snack, and free refills in your cup.  Let me put it in perspective for you: each one of our table service meals averaged about $120. On Thursday night, we ate one of our table service meals at Boatrights Dining Hall at Port Orleans Riverside. On Friday, our first full day at Disney, we ate Breakfast at Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort which is another character meal. We ate a quick service meal at our resort for lunch which was about $85. We THEN had dinner at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom which was another character table service meal.  The meal plan paid for itself by breakfast Saturday morning. We had budgeted to pay for ourselves ONE meal a day. We didn’t need to use those funds until Sunday at lunch time when we had exhausted all of our MEALS on the Disney dining plan. And we STILL had snacks.

If you are going to do character dining, this plan is SO WORTH IT. And if you have kids under 10, you WILL DO THE CHARACTER DINING. Don’t fool yourself!   You will never be hungry because Disney stuffs you at every single meal. We were NEVER hungry. EVER. I swear to you I woke up full.

And don't forget that you can use your disney dining plan snack credits for Starbucks coffee

Oh and one tip that I learned for my fellow coffee lovers: ANY DRINK ANY SIZE at Starbucks is covered as a SNACK on the Disney Dining plan. Did I mention that when I found this out, I still had 9 snack credits left?????? #win

Use Fast Pass

One of my best tips for Disney is to get the Fast Pass!


Some of the rides at Disney have wait times of an hour or more at peak times. When you have small children there is NO WAY you want to wait that long in one place and try to keep the children entertained. Enter the Fast Pass. You can choose up to three fast passes at a time for the most popular rides at any of the parks right in the Disney app on your phone.

One of my tips for Disney is to get the fast pass so that you can ride rides like Buzz Lightyear over and over again!

For example: Pookah loved the Buzz Lightyear’s Spaceranger Spinning ride. He wanted to ride it over and over and over.  Not only was the line for the ride wrapped around the building, the wait said 65 minutes. I had a fast pass and our wait ended up being 10 minutes from the time we scanned our bands until the time we actually got on the ride. Magic I tell you. A lot of times, we just walked right in and got on a ride with fast pass.  When you use up your first 3 fast pass choices, you have to find a kiosk in the park to choose more. It’s not inconvenient at all, because they are everywhere. If you stay on property at a Disney resort, you can choose your Fast Passes sixty days before your visit while off-site guests may do so thirty days before arrival.  People change their plans all of the time ( I know we did) so if you check on the fast passes regularly, you will find that there are plenty of cancellations and rides open up. I was able to get many fast passes the day of for rides.  Like I said when I was there: fast pass is bae.

Sleep In…Every Day.


I know what all of the books say. I know what all of the websites say. I know what every single Disney touring plan says: get there when the park opens and ride everything in quick succession.

No. Just no.

When you have small kids, waking up at the crack of dawn for 7 days in a row is a recipe for disaster. What child under 10 can do that? What ADULT can do that? I saw many a child having massive melt downs by noon, all because they have been up  having “fun” since the crack of dawn.  If your children sleeps past 8 am at home, what makes you think they will be ok waking up at 6 am so that you can make it to the park 45 minutes before it opens so that you can be one of the first inside?

My number one tip for Disney: sleep in.


Yes, if you wait, the lines will be longer. But that’s what fast passes are for. That’s what taking the train through the park is for. That’s what going in those shops and buying ice cream and souvenirs are for. That’s why Disney has all those lovely spots for you just to park yourself and take it all in.  If you rush your child from attraction to attraction all in name of having fun, they WILL become little cranky beasts. And in turn, so will you.

And then no one is having fun. And that’s when you see parents jumping up and down having a fit because their child is taking too long to choose their breakfast side. I let Pookah sleep in everyday. Which was usually no later than 830 am. We only had one near meltdown. And that was me. Because I hadn’t had coffee.

Disney is open some nights until 1 am. You’ve got ALL DAY to experience the magic. Trust me.

Plan a Free Day

Take a day off, it's one of the best ways to enjoy Disney


Because Disney is hard.

It is non stop stimulation and walking. We were there 4 full days and according to my fitbit, we walked over 27 miles.  That is an average of 15,000 steps a day. You need rest.  Your hotel or resort will have a pool, cable, wi-fi.   If you are staying at a Disney resort, I PROMISE there are a ton of things to do at that property. Ours had fishing, bike riding, playgrounds, pools, an arcade…the choices were endless. Take that break from the parks so that you can be ready to tackle Disney full strength another day.

Take a day off, it's one of the best ways to enjoy Disney

So there you are my friends, my best tips for Disney that every mom should know. Because I want you to enjoy Disney. I want your kids to enjoy Disney. And I want you to avoid meltdowns of any kind( parent or child).

Any questions about Disney or do you have your own tried and true tips for Disney? Sound off in the comments!

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Headed to DisneyWorld for a family vacation? Check out these 5 awesome Disney tips for moms #disneytips #disney #disneyworld #familytravel
  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 7:37 am

    I wanna go right now. How were the bathroom and changing table situations…if you noticed.

    • Reply
      December 8, 2015 at 7:42 am

      The bathrooms at the parks were very clean. I was surprised. I DID notice a changing channel in one bathroom in the magic kingdom. It LOOKED ok from a distance, but I know they have them in all of the bathrooms.

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Let me get my calculator out……………you said basically 140 for the meal per day *scrolls back up* I assume that’s for a family of 3 okay yes you said family of 3. That’s over 500 bucks….Well I don’t think Disney world will see me until I win the lottery until then I will wave at it from my TV. Glad you all had fun and this is a good break down of stuff for those who are going to be traveling there soon. I like the breakdown of stuff cause I need to know what to spend and what not to spend.

    • Reply
      December 8, 2015 at 8:29 am

      I should have pointed out that Disney is NOT somewhere you decide to go to at the last minute. Unless you are rich…which we are not. LOL. We planned for this trip all year, so we knew how much we were going to spend and saved accordingly! It was so worth it!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 9:51 am

    Great post!
    Hubby and I were thinking of taking Neriah to Disney next year! This post is right on time. Thanks for sharing !

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 9:54 am

    I always wondered why people were so adamant about getting there early. No man! Even when we went without kids, the hubs and I strolled up in the parks whenever we rolled out of bed, had breakfast and choked for a bit. Why rush the magic? We rush all year long, slow down and take it all in.
    Two things I didn’t know: character meals being included in the meal plan and that parks stay open later for guests who stay on resort.
    I am thinking we will go in 2018 when Z is 5 and E is 3. I can’t see either of them cooperating before then. LOL.

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Girl you got me ready to book my trip to Disney now! This post is one of the best tips for Disney I’ve ever read!!!!!! I’ll be using this for next time we go back to Disney because each time my family and I go, we do it all wrong!!! LOL!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 10:09 am

    We’ve been twice and I do plan on taking the back in about a year and a half. We did start early but we also left at noon to go back to the room, get lunch off site, and rest a bit before heading back when it cooled off and that worked great. When we came back in the evening seemed most kids were melting down and tired and mine were rested again.

    I can’t stress the fast pass enough. Such a breeze to deal with. Will never go again without this option. We didn’t dine onsite or stay on property which we will be doing next time.

    These were great tips. Like you said planning is key and to be honest we spent a lot but to give my children the liberty of being able to say they’ve been to Disney is so worth it to me. If it takes 3 years to plan Disney is always a good idea!

    • Reply
      December 8, 2015 at 10:15 am

      We did the same. By noon or 1 pm, we were headed back for lunch or the pool. And back after dinner. Even when sleeping late( and most of the time, that was 8 am for Pookah!)

  • Reply
    dea winfrey
    December 8, 2015 at 10:40 am

    I don’t have any babies but after reading this I REALLY WANT TO GO TO DISNEY WORLD 🙂

  • Reply
    K. Elizabeth (YUMMommy)
    December 8, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Thanks for sharing these tips. I’m in the process of planning our first Disney trip. We’ll definitely be using Fast Passes because my little guy is not very patient. Also, it’s nice to know that there are other entertainment options besides the actual parks because my little will get overwhelmed by the huge crowds after a while. It’ll be nice to explore less crowded areas like the pool or an arcade room. Plus, Moo has been asking to go fishing for forever. It’ll be really magical when she has her first fishing trip at Disney!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm

    Gahhh, now I wanna go! My husband is anti-Disney because of the cost, but he’s crazy if he thinks we’ll never go. We WILL go! lol We talked about going to Disney World to get a better experience (if we’re going to spend the money), instead of going to Disneyland here at home.

    • Reply
      December 8, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      you have to go at least once!

  • Reply
    Tammilee Tips
    December 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I love all these tips!! It really is amazing how much is covered by the dining plan from Disney, it really is the way to go. I can’t imagine being in the park that early with kids I would be exhausted myself. Looks like you had an amazing trip to Disney!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    The perks of living in Cali is that we have Disneyland. I’ve been enough times that its magical and all that but it’s tiresome. Jas has been 3 times in 5 years and she’s had fun all 3 times. I have no plans or desire to be at disney world but if it ever happens I’m using these tips, especially the fast pass because neither of us like waiting in lines lol.

    • Reply
      December 8, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      CDub wants to come to DisneyLand one day soon! Of course, I have NO objections!

  • Reply
    Beena Bandwalkar
    December 8, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Amazing tips! I’m not a mom yet but love going to Disney! I’ll share this with my mommy friends!!!

  • Reply
    Barbara Burns
    December 8, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    I love these tips, and your perspective. However, it’s like the exact opposite of my tips. 😉 BUT my kids wake early naturally (unless it’s a school day, of course!), so we are up early anyhow. But we don’t try to race to the park to get there first thing in the morning. My in-laws live an hour north of Orlando, and some years we just drive there and back for the (very long) day. OR we find a Groupon deal near the park – one year we did stay on site, and it really was nice and convenient.

    As for food, well, we are cheap. We pack a (soft-fabric) cooler with frozen water bottles and sandwiches. We will typically purchase one meal during our day at the park, but try to just utilize the snacks and cooler-ed food we brought with us. I do not bring my purse with me, but instead carry a drawstring backpack with me. (You know the kind: they’re a great freebie at conferences and such!) BUT, I do love the idea of not having to worry about food or meals at all.

    I keep a pack of baby wipes in there, and plenty of quick and easy snacks. Oh, and we splurge on the double stroller. Even though both my kids are not stroller-aged anymore, that thing comes in super-handy while we are trekking through the park during the day.

    Thank you for your tips. It was nice to see a fresh perspective. 🙂

    • Reply
      December 8, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      I love that everyone has different tips for Disney! I think everyone has to work with what’s best for their family. My son is only an early riser when he has not been worn out the day before. He is a 7 am type kid normally. I think if we lived closer and went more often, we would be more like you! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 3:49 pm

    Oh! I have o save this for when we take a trip to Disney! I can’t wait until our kids are old enough to enjoy it! I went once before we had children and there is so much wonder and excitement!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I’m so glad that I pinned your post because we plan on traveling to Disney with our boys in the next couple of years. I’m so glad you broke down what was easiest for families, from the fast pass to the meal plan. And we always love planning a free day to recoup and just hang out–it is good for EVERYONE!

  • Reply
    Felicita Moncada
    December 8, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    We went to Disney for Thanksgiving weekend and it was fun, fun times! We try to go at least 2-3 times a year and I definitely agree with all your tips. We didn’t stay at a Disney resort but stood at a Hotel that offered Disney amenities – transportation, Mickey waffles, even a Disney store inside the hotel! We park hopped and that was exhausting but we had so much fun! Can’t wait until Spring to do it again!

  • Reply
    December 9, 2015 at 12:18 am

    I can’t believe you walked over 27 miles! That’s so crazy! These are great tips, we used the fast passes last time we went and it was a total game changer

  • Reply
    Katalina @ Peas & Peonies
    December 9, 2015 at 12:40 am

    I love your great tips for having a stress free and enjoyable Disney vacation. I want to take my son to Disney next summer, so I will keep hem in mind, I think to stay on premisses is so smart with young children, and also that fast pass is a must have.

  • Reply
    December 9, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I LOVE Disney. I totally agree with you to stay on property, get the dining plan and schedule a free day but I don’t agree on sleeping in. Some of our best times at Disney have been the Extra Magic Hours or fist thing when the park opens. It is never as crowded and not as hot depending on when you travel. Thanks for the other tips though!

  • Reply
    Crystal Lopez
    December 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    We would love to take our entire family to visit Disney some day. Planning family trips can be a real headache when you are running on a budget and taking along a lot of people. I love your tips for this type of trip and will certainly keep them as a reference!

  • Reply
    Allison Jones
    December 10, 2015 at 12:11 am

    I was just at Disneyland Tokyo earlier this week and the fast pass works wonders!!!! These are some great tips! I love that you plan a free day because Disney cane hard work.

    Allison Jones

    • Reply
      December 10, 2015 at 6:28 am

      Ohhh I want to go to Disneyland Tokyo! And Disneyland in Paris! I’m jealous!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    All of this! We have only taken the little guy to the DL Resort and we stayed on property. Although the parks are a 10 min walk at the most from the hotels, it was worth the stay simply for the magic hours! I loved being able to take advantage of that. Also because I have a little one, it was nice to be able to rush back to the hotel quickly when the little guy crashed for a nap. We would leave everyday around the time he fell asleep and go back to the hotel to freshen up and nap ourselves if we needed it. That way later we could hit the pool or sit down and relax and go back to the parks later one when all the lights were on. Which was our son’s favorite time in the park. I think he would crash just so he could wake up and see all the lights.

    Also for military when you stay at the WDW there is a military hotel on property called “The Shades of Green”. Although, it is the last stop on the free shuttle Disney will still come and pick you up from the airport and take you there and it’s still a nice place to stay at during your visit to Disney. A lot more affordable than a Disney Hotel, although a bit of the Disney Magic is lost since it isn’t actually a Disney Hotel.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    I’ve never been to Disneyland, just to Disneyworld as a kid. I would love to visit Disneyland.

  • Reply
    Vashti (
    December 10, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    These are some of the best Disney tips I’ve seen. I have never been but it’s definitely on my list.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I am looking forward to taking my daughers to Disney soon.

  • Reply
    December 10, 2015 at 11:54 pm

    Great tips. It’s been a long time since I have been to Disney but next time I go, definitely getting on board with the fast pass.

  • Reply
    Valerie Robinson
    December 11, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Nice summary!!! Enjoyed and totally agree with the tips and photos! We took the kids last Spring and I have been slow on a recap because Disney was truly overwhelming (in a good way)!

  • Reply
    Christine @MomsNCharge
    December 11, 2015 at 8:10 am

    Wow what an amazing trip and love the tips! My hubby and I have been to Disney numerous times but all before kids (and then I spoke at Niche Parent Conf in Disney last year). I LOVE Disney World and can’t wait to take the kiddos. We will definitely be staying on property. lol

  • Reply
    December 11, 2015 at 8:42 am

    I would highly recommond the Fast Plan too! Get on the line and ride the rides quicker! I would love to revisit Disney!

  • Reply
    December 11, 2015 at 8:53 am

    This post has me cracking up but it’s so true! I don’t know why parents torcher themselves when Disney makes it so easy. It may be a little more pricey but if you plan for the added expense then you’re good.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    That is so awesome about Starbucks. I won’t be using it as my snack every day, but it will definitely happen more than once!

  • Reply
    December 12, 2015 at 3:02 am

    I remember the days of Disney World. It is a shame it is so expensive now and so inaccessible because of cost. But I would definitely stay on property if I went.

  • Reply
    Mimi "MimiCuteLips" Green
    December 13, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    We plan to take a trip in the next couple of years. I’m waiting to my almost four year old to turn five. I want her to at least remember some of it. We took our son six years ago but didn’t stay on the property. I want that experience this time and I would totally get the dining pass.

  • Reply
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