What it Takes to Survive Disney as a Family

Disney World can be a magical place…if you do it right.  I’ve found it brings out both the best, and the worst in families.  A few words of advice for those who are planning on taking their families some time soon.

You’ve got to have:

  1. A plan.  Tackeling these parks randomly can be catastrophic, causing lots of fights and arguments.  Thanks to Lindsay for all her help with this!
  2. A little rest every day.  Unless you are Rob, who never stops, and insists a rest is not included in Lindsay’s plan for our days at Disney.
  3. A stroller, even for bigger kids.
  4. A lot of pain medicine for when you have to piggy-back ride the kids who don’t fit in the stroller.
  5. A lot more money than you thought you needed to feed your kids whose Dad made them walk more miles than they had ever walked before.   They were starved the whole time they were there!

Here are some fairly wretched things I observed people doing who obviously didn’t know What it Takes to Survive Disney as a Family:

  1. Maddie and I saw a Dad whose kid was screaming, actually pick up his kid’s shoes, and throw them at his wife.
  2. While Belle was dancing, waiting for the fireworks at Epcot, a mean, grumpy lady said to her daughter, "Don’t encourage her."
  3. A small boy tripped and unplugged an animated character at a restaurant.  His family did what they thought best for their growing, learning son..they left their food and ran out of the restaurant so they wouldn’t get in trouble.
  4. On one occasion, a man and his 3 kids snuck in line under the rope at the Nemo ride right in front of me.
  5. The next day, another Dad was trying to sneak his stroller in front of mine to get his family in front of ours in the bus line. 

The funny thing was that Maddie saw both those Dad’s do that.  She knew her Dad would never do that, and it was a great opportunity to talk about integrity.

It is always amazing to me to watch people in stressful situations.  Many do the right thing, a lot don’t.  I hope our kids catch us doing the right thing more often than not.  I can’t imagine the kid who tripped on the cord and broke the animated character reflecting back on his Disney trip 10 years from now…."My parents took off when I did something bad."  Or the kids whose Dad cut us in line. "My Dad likes to cut in front of little girls…I think that’s cool, and I’m going to do the same."

These little choices matter so much.  The memories we create for our children are the memories that will last them their whole lives.  Their memories are the foundations of the rest of their lives.  Boy, I hope we’re doing this right!  Scarey stuff!

2 thoughts on “What it Takes to Survive Disney as a Family

  1. Papa says:

    Michelle and Rob-
    Speaking as an experienced dad and grandfather,I can say you are doing it exactly right.

  2. MCC says:

    You’re right! You MUST have a plan at Disneyworld, including rest time. =) We did see quite a bit of cutting in line as well. The worst was at the HS Musical pep rally. Moms were shoving us out of the way because we were first in line and would have gotten the best seat. Underline the words “would have.” =(

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