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You Can Survive Disneyland and Disney World

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Disneyland may be called "The Happiest Place on Earth," but it can be one of the most miserable for moms. Use these tips to give you and your tots a fun, safe and organized time!

10 Tips to Help You Survive a Trip to Disney

Arrive Early

Plan to arrive to the parks early and take a break in the middle of the day for lunch and afternoon naps (for parents and tots). Head back to the theme parks in the late afternoon after everyone is well-rested and ready for more fun.

Get a Room

Baby Services locations are ideal for moms with infants. Located at all four Disney theme parks, the private rooms offer rocking chairs and low lighting for nursing mothers, feeding rooms with highchairs, bibs and plastic spoons, plus diaper-changing rooms.

Need an Extra Binky?

Baby-care products such as disposable diapers, pull-on rubber pants, formula and teethers are for sale.

Pack Light

No need to pack up all the baby gear for a trip to Disney. In-park stroller rental ($15 a day, $13 a day for length-of-stay rentals) makes traveling through the theme parks easy. Reserve cribs in advance at one of Disney's resorts. Bed guardrails are available upon request.

Looking for a Sitter?

In-room babysitting services or resort-based child-care programs such as Mouseketeer Clubhouse or The Neverland Club are a great option for parents looking for a night out without the little ones.

Don't Wait for Rides

A theme-park "rider switch" policy gives both mom and dad a chance to enjoy the latest attractions without the double wait. A parent who waits with a young child while the other parent rides the attraction can get on the ride with minimal wait time once the first parent comes off.

Choose Your Rides Wisely

While youngsters are typically captivated by all of Disney's attractions, be sure to seek out activities that are appropriate for little ones. (Some attractions may be too spooky for tykes.) Sure hits: "The Seas with Nemo & Friends," The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, it's a small world, Dumbo, the Flying Elephant, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, "Mickey's PhilharMagic," Mickey's Toontown Fair, "Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage," "Jim Henson's MuppetVision 3-D," "Festival of the Lion King," TriceraTop Spin and The Boneyard, plus daily parades.

Look for the Exit Sign

If available, choose a seat located near the back or side of attractions for a quick exit.
There are baby-changing stations in all bathrooms, including men's and family rest rooms.

Kid-Friendly Dining

Most Disney restaurants offer children's menus, plus crayons and coloring books to keep kids entertained. Character dining -- where a cast of characters visits your table while you eat -- is a great way to introduce little ones to Disney characters.

Prep for the Sun

Bring extra sunscreen, a hat, umbrella, plus a sweatshirt for chilly, air-conditioned theaters.

next: Stay-at-Home Mom Does Not Equal Free Babysitter
3 comments so far | Post a comment now
tennmom March 16, 2010, 9:32 AM

Most of these tips are for parents with very young kids. How about tips for parents with non-stroller-bound kids?
At my daughters’ ages, we found it better to sleep in, hit the parks about mid-day, break for a nice dinner, stay until the parks closed.
Both girls, my husband, and I had a small backpack. Things we included were: a water bottle, small snack, camera, rain pancho, ziplock bags, cell phones. I also carried a small bottle of sunscreen & SPF lip balm & a tiny first aid kit.
We would grab a fast pass for a ride & hit another ride with a short line until enough time had gone by until we could get another fast pass.
We stayed at a DisneyWorld resort both visits. The first time we hit the nearby Walmart to stock up on drinks, simple meals & snacks. The 2nd time we paid a very reasonable fare to have a taxi take us to a nearby, large convenience store.

The Disney Dad March 16, 2010, 12:55 PM

The number one tip in dealing with a trip to Disney World is to be prepared. It can be a great family experience starting with planning together.

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