The toddler was screaming, throwing a tantrum while strapped in to her stroller.
It was the witching hour, which for a theme park hits right around 2pm. It's the time when parents fade and kids go for the jugular. Snacks, bribes, the Hall of Presidents... we pull out all the stops.
Which brings us to the question: Is there a perfect age for Disney trips?
The answer: Maybe.
Here's my experience, and then I'll give you my professional advice. First, I love having my entire family together at Disney. Seeing my kids meet their favorite characters, trade pins with Cast Members, riding rides and having character dinners together are all some of my favorite things.
We schedule breaks, in the afternoon and one day in the middle of our trip, to give the kids time to enjoy the pool and a chance to relax between activities.
My advice: take the trip!
There is no perfect age. With effective planning and using strategy to minimize time in lines and allow for downtime, you'll get a variety of ways to avoid meltdowns. Plus, ages two and under are free!
If Disney is on your radar, early planning is key. Dining reservations open up six months before your travel date, and getting great restaurants is part of a well-organized trip, allowing you to sit down, enjoy some great food and drinks and maybe even meet a few characters.
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Strategic Fastpasses also play a part in a smooth Disney Day. For Disney World, the dates open two months before you travel, and if we have everything in place I'll make these bookings for the short line on your behalf, based on what we've chatted about and avoiding the longest lines at the park - another key element to avoiding meltdown!
For Disneyland, the Fastpass structure is a little different, but strategy comes into play here as well. Plus, if little legs are a part of your vacation, Disneyland is a great choice.
Toddlers, babies and now teens, we've been to Disney with them all. The best advice is to be flexible and adjust your trip to your child's age and interests, bringing in elements mom and dad will love too!
Some key elements for planning with littles:
I love planning Disney trips, and I'd be delighted to help plan the vacation of your dreams with babies, toddlers, tweens or teens.
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