Disney – Tips and The Trip

My in-laws, Tutu and Pops, took our Mae and us to Disney in February.  Mae had a blast, and I cannot thank them enough for giving us such wonderful memories to hold onto, they will be ever-present in her memory for a long time to come.

Our first two days were kind of hard, Mae petered out quickly and got pretty upset easily.  It was hard to be around an almost four-year old having a meltdown at noon when at the most magical place on Earth.  I mean c’mon kid, keep it together.

By day three we were on to it, what to do.  So I thought I’d share tips from the trip, tips that helped us keep our sanity for the rest of the time we were there.

Disney Tip #1, feed your kids.  That’s right.  If your kiddo is anything like mine, it means they eat a crap breakfast before you leave for the park.  What it also means is that by the time you get to the park and are having fun, and said kiddo is completely enthralled with princesses and castles, you kind of forget the time. 

This is why, on days one and two, we ended up melting down shortly after noon.  She was hangry, so hangry that we couldn’t calm her down – she was quite snotty.  By day three we were quite aware of our issue, so when we got to the gate, we handed her a baggie of dried cereal.  She started eating and ate every time we put her in the stroller.  Here sit, we would say, and have some chips, or have some crackers, water/fruit/etc….it made our lives so much easier.  And to be honest, she needed the fuel.

Keep reading for more tips, but here is the result of day one:

Disney Princess Alert – found in Magic Kingdom (these are the ones we visited):

Snow White
Merida (who we didn’t get to see, sniffle, she’s my favorite)

Rapunzel was the best really, she was so active and engaging.  I think I might have teared up on this one.  And she made Ariel laugh, which was a prize moment for me.

Psst.  If your child roars loud enough in Belle’s Enchanted House, she’ll select them to dance with…Mae, of course, wouldn’t.  Dang it.

On day two we went to Epcot, probably the most boring place for a child her age, EXCEPT for Frozen (Epcot is my personal favorite).  We got there early and rushed to the Frozen ride – practically walked right onto the ride, and then got to meet Elsa and Anna.  It was funny watching her meet Elsa, the amount of shyness that happened was so cute…I’m pretty sure they smile alike hahaha 🙂

Shortly after, we had lunch, thanks to our amazing guide Darrell, from Michael’s VIPs (he seriously knew what times to go where, and how to get us into places we couldn’t find spots for online), at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.  This is the lunch where a set of princesses come to the table – and let me tell you, when we got into this amazing place, Mae was in a ROYAL snit.   Hangry again, darn it. I grabbed bread for her and missed her meeting three of the princesses, but luckily her Tutu grabbed the photographs for me.  I think she devoured the bread in three seconds.

Her meeting with Mulan was special.  She didn’t want to visit with any of the princesses, but Mulan asked her to come closer and empathized with Mae that sometimes being a princess was one of the hardest things to do.  Mulan earned a real smile after talking to her, and it seemed to settle her down for a bit.  So special thanks to Princess Mulan – who is another of my favorites.

Disney Princess Alert – Found in Epcot:

Alice in Wonderland
Mary Poppins

Disney Tip #2 – Take a break.  It’s just that simple.  Her grandparents took her to the hotel to have a relaxing afternoon, and we got to stroll around Epcot at our leisure.  This tip played into day three as well.

Disney Tip #3 – The ice cream in France is incredible (Thanks Darrell for that tip).  So get some soft serve in France.  That might be the best tip of all of them 🙂

Finally, we came to day three of our trip, Animal Kingdom.  The best day.  Darrell had us get there super early, and the two of us waited in line for an hour and half with about three hundred other people to be the first to get to the Avatar ride.  Which brings me to the next tip…

Disney Tip #4 – Get to Epcot at 7:30AM and stand in line to go to Avatar, just follow the crowd.  It’s incredible, and if you don’t have a fastpass you can wait in line for hours and hours and HOURS.  It’s one of the best virtual reality rides I’ve ever ridden, it didn’t make me sick (like those rides usually do), in fact I was completely enthralled that I didn’t even notice…for real.  By the time we got off the 5 minute ride, the line waiting time was 3+ hours.  Crazy huh?

So anyway, Animal Kingdom was a hit.  From dancing in the street, to seeing animals on the safari, watching Simba and the crew do a show, digging in the boneyard, and finally meeting Pocahontas, we just had the best time.  It was so much fun.  We made sure to feed the hungry kid whenever possible.

Disney Princess Alert – Found in Animal Kingdom:


We came home for the afternoon, I would say around 2pm, and spent the next four hours in the pool and taking naps.  When nightfall hit, she wanted to do fireworks again, so while everyone else was pooped, I said yes.

We drove to Magic Kingdom, her and I, rode the ferry over (which takes way longer than the monorail), and hit all the rides, which is the next tip.

Disney Tip #5 – Go ride the rides while people are trying to get good spots for the fireworks.  Get there at 6:45PM.  Ha…we rode everything in that area (Dumbo, Goofy’s Roller Coaster, Teacups) at least twice but sometimes three times with a very minimal line (under two minutes).  It was magical.  It was exactly what the Magic Kingdom should have been on day one – her eyes as she and I were spinning in the teacups, under the lights, it was just so perfect.  It was one of the happiest moments for her – I just wish everyone else had been there to see and experience it.  Seriously, if you usually have a bedtime that’s pretty early, like we do, just remember that a couple of nights isn’t going to hurt anyone….

As we left the park the fireworks were just finishing up so she stood on the stroller backwards as I pushed through the crowd, watching them.  Such a good ending to our trip.

We love you Pops and Tutu, thank you for giving us such an incredible gift.


Meg, Mae, and Geoff

Disney Tip #6 – If you go for a week (seven days or even five) think about doing a park one day, and then the pool the next and so on…the break in the action is a great tool for resetting the busy mind and body. 

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