I freely admit that I am a bit of a grump when it comes to Disneyworld. I respect that it is a very special place for lots of people, but waiting in long sweaty lines with lots of sweaty people just is not my idea of fun. Layer in anxious and exhausted kids, and I’d call it a recipe for disaster. So, when we decided to take a sorta last minute trip to Florida earlier this month I chose to divide our time: two days on Sanibel Island and two days at Disney.
While Disney promotional materials and chatter in the pick up line at school might make us assume that a week at Disney is a minimum requirement, the fact is that a day or two is just fine. Fun, actually! Our two days didn’t turn into a long, expensive slog. We were efficient, but not rushed. We didn’t focus on what we couldn’t do, but rather we really amped up what we could do.
Halfway into the first day, Mack asked to go back to the hotel pool. And by the end of the second day we ALL were dragging. Two days was just enough for us to get our Disney fill and check the Disney box off on our “to-do” list. Here are my tips for treating kids to a Disney Lite experience:
1. Sign up for FastPass and use it wisely. I put all six of us on the same FastPass itinerary, even though Vivian and Ben were much too little for the rides. Chris could take Evie and Mack on Space Mountain while I kept the little ones busy. But, I could also take them on Space Mountain right after, so they had two fun rides in a row with no waiting. This “double dipping” was a great way to maximize our time without lines.
2. Temper expectations. Don’t tell the kids that some people stay for seven days. Just be matter of fact about the duration of your Disney Lite stay. It is what it is, and its just fine. At the end of our two days, our kids never asked for more. They were so happy with what they got!
3. Use the Disney app to manage wait times around the park. Once we used up all our FastPasses, Chris checked wait times on the app to determine our next best bet. We never waited more than 25 minutes for a ride!
4. Find the rides that offer fun in the lines, and the kids won’t realize they are waiting. This was especially true for the Flying Dumbo waiting room, which was way more fun than the actual Flying Dumbos.
5. Don’t push it. While it could be tempting to spend 14+ hours at the park on a Disney Lite experience, there’s no sense it making everyone miserable just to eek out every last bit of entertainment. We got into the Magic Kingdom at 10 am, and we were on our way back to the hotel around 5 pm. We left when everyone was still in good spirits, so there aren’t any bad feelings about our limited time there.
6. Skip Epcot if you have little kids. It was so boring. Just my humble opinion.
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