We made our first Disney World trip in March, with 4 adults and seven kids, ages 12 to 8 months.  We have a few people in our family 😉 and thought we could pass on some of the things we learned that made our trip more fun:

Old Key West Resort (source)

Hotel stay & dining – if you can afford it, stay at the parks.  I am pretty cheap, but it was worth for us to have the extra park hours, the free shuttles from our hotel to all the parks, and all the fun stuff (heated pool, games, outdoor movie nights, dining plan resturant at the hotel).  We stayed at the Old Key West Resort and thought it was great.  The suite we had was spacious, with two bedrooms and a living room.  It was quiet and was close to the bus stop so we never had to wait very long to catch a bus.  Read: low stress. The staff at the resort office was great, when my son lost his lanyard with his pins, key card and fast passes in it, they totally helped us out with new cards, fast passes and fun little toys for my other little ones while I filled out paperwork.  When someone turned it in and we finally got it back we found he had a few more pins than before. 🙂

We got the quick service plan for our group because we aren’t big sit down resturuant people anyway.   It was WAY more than I would have spent, and we would have tried to figure out a cheaper way to do it if we had more time to plan.  It was way to much food for us.  Loved the refill cups at the resort!

Stroller – If you have small people in your group, you need one.  You will do SO much walking.  We brought our stroller (cause I LOVE it and I wanted one to hold three kiddos), but you can totally rent one for not too expensively.

Photopass – If you are not much of a photographer (like me) or just don’t want to lug around your camera, the photopass is a great way to make sure you get lots of cute pics without much hassle.  It actually helped me seeing the photographer remember that we needed to take a picture.  Also they can do some fun things (like adding Tinkerbelle to your picture) that the kids will love!

Daily gifts – I was so happy we did this!  My kids loved it and it saved us from the “can-I-haves,”  while we were there.  Yeah!  We did let them bring their own spending money, and most of them bought one or two little things, but they were much more selective knowing they would be getting a fun prize everyday already.

Pinning – Not all my kids got into this, but if you have a collecter in your family they’ll love it.  If it had just been hubby and I, I would have totally picked out a few for myself 😉

Pressed Pennies – One of my kids already had a pressed penny collection.  So it was a no-brainer that we would get some at Disney World.  We used a mini m&m container to hold our quarter’s and pennies (as seen here).  We actually found it to be a little too heavy and will probably use something smaller next time.


Divide and conquer – If you have a spread of ages, this is the best way to make everyone happy.  We split up in the mornings, so everyone could ride the rides more suited to them (best time to get fast passes!) and they got a little more personal time with the adult they were with (parent or grandparent) After that we got back together for lunch.  Nobody felt left out and there was a lot less complaining than I expected.

Midday rest – If you have little ones this will make your vacation so much more fun.  We tried to skip it the first day, and they made EVERYBODY tired.  It was good for me to have a little braeak as well.  When you spend so much time walking, it’s nice to relax for a while, even if you don’t go all the way back to your hotel.  Then everyone is refreshed and ready to have some evening fun.

Have a list – Make a list of each persons “must see” attractions. This should steer your itenirary, and you won’t miss the main things you wanted to see and do.  We didn’t have a “schedule” like some people, but we got to do almost everything we had planned by having the list.

Be flexible – Be prepared to throw the list out the window. 🙂  We had one grumpy morning when my three year old had a fit.  We left her with Grandma at the hotel and she came later when she calmed down.  We were all happier that way instead of having dragged her kicking and screaming to the park when she needed a little down time.

We had a blast at on our first trip to Disney World and can’t wait to go again!


Have you ever been to a Disney theme park?  

What did you do that made your Disney trip magical?

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