Monday, March 25, 2013

Planning Together for a Disney Vacation

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You've decided to take a trip to Walt Disney World, whether it's your first trip or your 100th trip, a WDW vacation takes planning. If you may spend hours checking out websites, maybe pick up a few Disney planning guides, or listen to some podcasts, you'll surely talk to friends about what you should see and do while you're there.

So consider this, it's your first day in the parks. You've decided to start at Magic Kingdom. Now imagine you and your family with huge smiles, skipping down Main Street. When you picture this in your mind, it's jump right in line and have the time of your lives. All those hours of planning have paid off.

Now consider what sometimes
happens with families. You make your way over to Frontierland,your kids take one look at that long drop on Splash Mountain and say, "NO WAY!". This continues with other rides as you go along. You think, "Why did I spend all that time planning if they won't ride the rides?".

As parents we may not consider this idea when planning our trip. We think about airfares, accommodations, packing, menu
choices, and which parks will be the most fun to visit. You may not consider that your kids won't want to see and do ALL WDW has to offer in those parks.

As a parent, travel agent, and former educator my biggest tip is to never force a child to ride something they are not comfortable with. I made that mistake on my daughters first WDW trip. Snow Whites Scary Adventure (which is no longer open) was our first stop on our first day at Magic Kingdom. I thought she would love it, but to her 3 year old mind she was not excited to ride 1) a ride she couldn't "see" (since it was an inside ride) and 2) a ride based on a story she knew had a scary character in it. I pushed and pleaded, promising everything would be ok, and we loaded up in the ride car. She was not happy and let us know all through the ride and at the ride exit. This put a damper on each ride we approached from then on as she was more than hesitant to trust our advice. Which made for a rather difficult vacation.

With a little planning, you can help to ensure that the stress levels for you, the parent, and your kids are kept to a minimum. How?...PLAN TOGETHER!

There are so many resources for planning that parents and children can get ideas about what each attraction about before they ever set foot in a park. YouTube is a great resource. There are many videos that actually take you through the entire ride so you can really get a sense of what the attraction is like. So there are no surprises.

Make a list with your kids of the attractions that they want to see
in each park. Ask what attractions they don't want to see. This is a good time to ask why and do some more research. Ask specific questions about the type of rides your kids do and do not want to ride; like spinning rides, dark rides, thrill rides, etc.

You will put a lot of thought and effort into making your family time at Walt Disney World a magical experience. So with some pre-planning and conversations with your kids, you can work together to make the best decision for your family in terms
of ride choices... so when you get there you'll have put everything in place to have a magical vacation.

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