This spring my family and I took a magical trip to Disney. I did months of research and weeks of packing for this trip. I decided to make it a little easier for a mama out there, and come up with my top 10 tips. So, my son was 2 ½ years old and my daughter was 9 months old when we went to Disney. We stayed at Port Orleans for a night, and then boarded the Disney Cruise “The Dream” the next morning. Disney will do everything they can to make the stay easier and enjoyable for you. Here are my top 10 tips.
1. Call Disney ahead of time, make reservations
If you need it Disney has it! All you have to do is call and reserve it. Disney’s customer service is top notch. I was able to reserve pack n plays for the hotel room at Port Orleans, and on the Cruise Line. We arrived in the evening, and the Pack 'n Plays where setup ready to go in the room. For the cruise I needed a lot of stuff. I reserved Pack 'n Plays, bottle warmer, diaper gene and bottled water!
2. Labeled Bags
Before we travel anywhere I make a detailed list of everything we will need. Once I figure out what clothes we will be taking (warm, cold, swimsuit, etc.) I start making labels. My personal preference is doing it by day. So, I will have "Day 1 Caroline" & "Day 1 Davis". I will then put clothes, swimsuit, coverup, bows, etc. all in that bag. I will continue doing that for each day of travel. Then at the end of the trip, I have a "just in case" bag labeled with extra shorts and t-shirts for each kid. After each day, I put the empty bag in the suitcase and then reuse them for the next fun trip we take!
3. Laundry Bag
I know this sounds crazy and super boring, but it will make your trip so much more peaceful and organized. Staying in a hotel room or a stateroom on the cruise can be tight, and clothes will be everywhere. The laundry bag was so nice to have.
4. Send food ahead of time with Amazon
Our 9 month old needed baby food and snacks, and traveling with that much baby food is never a good idea. 4 days prior to leaving I got on amazon prime and ordered snacks, baby food, and individual packed Goldfish for my toddler. I put the Port Orleans address down with our Name, reservation number and date of arrival; the package was at the front desk when we arrived! The reason for the individual packed snack is because the port at the cruise doesn’t allow opened food packages onto the ship.
5. Disney Magic Express
Ok, we travel quite a bit. We have taken both car seats, we have rented car seats, but oh my gosh the Disney Magic Express is amazing! As soon as we got off the plane in Orlando there are signs taking you to this nice, comfy coach bus. You don’t need any car seats. Yes, you heard me right NO CARSEATS! They have cartoons, and a video showing you all the fun things to do at the park. At the end of your trip they will pick you back up at the hotel or cruise line and take you back to the airport. The other nice perk with this service is the baggage tags. Before leaving for the airport at home you place the Disney tags on your luggage. Once you drop it off at the airline you don’t have to do anything, and it will be delivered to your room. Trying to manage the airport with 2 little ones and luggage makes you want to pull your hair out. With the Disney Magic Express you don’t have to worry about it!
6. Stain stick & Air freshener
Once again simple little things, but if your kids are like mine you will need them! I get the travel size stain stick from Target. I keep it in the diaper bag the whole trip. The air freshener I put up in the room as soon as we unpack.
7. Day bag for when you land and your room isn’t quite ready
One of the labeled plastic bags says “travel day to Disney”. This bag should be placed in your carry on item, because once you check in your luggage at the airline you will not see it again until your room is ready at Disney. It should have at a minimum clothes, swimsuit, a small container of sunscreen, PJ’s, and a hat. Having the day bag allows you to start enjoying Disney as soon as you arrive.
8. Make a schedule for the day
I am a planner and love to schedule for the week ahead. This is absolutely necessary if you are traveling with young kids. If you want to see everything, and your kids to be in a good mood then a schedule is best. Try and make sure they have a good nap in the afternoon, and schedule around that. One tip for the cruise. Try to board the ship first! You have a mandatory drill at 4pm. If you want your kids to have a nap you will need to board first, eat lunch and then put them down so they are up before the drill starts.
9. Fast pass and Magic Bands
At first I thought do we really need these? Yes, yes you do. First off my son loved his and still wears it. You don’t need your wallet or huge purse. You just need to place your magic band on the Disney sensor, and you are good to go, no credit card, hotel key, or receipts. If your like me I thought Ok but what if it’s stolen or your child buys all the toys he wants. Disney knows what they are doing and you set up a pin before arriving. So it works just like a debit card.
10. Bottle brush for sippy cup and bottles
This is something I never travel without, especially with out two little ones. Caroline was still taking bottles throughout the day so at night we needed to clean them. I bring with me a mini anti-bacterial soap, so at the end of each night my husband or I will be able to thoroughly clean the bottles and sippy cups. This is one extra way we try and keep them healthy while traveling.
Disney provides the magic, but a little planning ahead adds a little faith, trust and pixy dust!