Surviving Disney World the Forever Freckled Way!

Hey Everyone!

This week I am going to take a small detour away from my usual fashion blogs. In honor of our upcoming 4th annual trip to Disney World with the kiddos, I thought it would only make sense to share with you some of our favorite tips and secrets to help you make your next trip to Disney that much easier. In addition to my love for shopping, I have always cherished the time I get to spend taking my nieces and nephews to Disney World. Growing up in Florida we frequently visited Disney as a family. It really is the one place you can turn off all your worries and just have some fun. The innocence of Disney gets to you even as an adult and makes you feel like a kid again. Well at least for a few days 🙂

Since Mason was 2, we have been taking him to Disney World during Halloween. By far this is the best time to go in my opinion. Schools are in session, the weather is not scorching, and most importantly, the crowds are not too overwhelming. Every year we take the kids to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This is such a blast! Magic Kingdom is covered in beautiful decorations for the holiday- Pumpkins, villians and candy! It brings a fun new excitement to the park! What people don’t know about the event is that even though it says it begins at 7pm, the park will allow you to enter much earlier than that (around 3:30pm or 4:00pm). When you enter the park you are given a special event bracelet to wear and a trick or treat bag to collect candy that is being handed out throughout the park.

Below are some of my favorite tips and tricks to make your trip a little better:

1. The most important thing about planning a trip to Disney World is the time of year you decide to go. I have probably visited Disney over 30 times in my lifetime, at all different times. And planning a trip in the dead of the summer is brutal. It’s hot. It’s BEYOND crowded. And it will most likely rain. Do yourself a favor and go in September or October if you can. School is back in session and the weather is starting to cool off. For me this has always been the best time to go.

2. Another huge perk to going during the fall is the added bonus of the Food and Wine Festival. Everything at Disney is for the kids, but this part is mostly for the adults. My family and I always have a blast this night. We buy a park hopper ticket for the day and head over to Epcot around 5pm to enjoy the food, drinks and fireworks. We don’t bother making any dining reservations because traveling to each country to try the foods is what it’s all about! Oh and drinking your way through it too.

3. A great spot to view the amazing fireworks in Epcot is in front of Japan. Perfect view of the entire show!

4. When you get up in the morning, I highly recommend eating something for breakfast before you go. I have always grabbed a bagel and coffee prior to getting to the parks. The only place to get coffee in the park is the insanely crowded Starbucks.

5. Get to the parks early. Even if it says Magic Kingdom opens at 9am, they usually let you in earlier than that. That gives you prime time to get to the busiest rides first. If you are staying at a Disney Resort, they offer Extra Magic Hours so you can attend the park earlier (or later). Make sure to take advantage of that!

6. The parades are great don’t get me wrong, but if you are a big rider and your kids want to hit everything the park offers, going during the parade is the KEY time to hit the rides. The lines die down and you can usually check off a few major attractions.

7. I have stayed at many hotels at Disney World. For both the value and the quality of the hotel, I have always loved staying at the Coronado Springs Resort. If you are going with a couple, they have theses great two room suites that aren’t too expensive. Request the view of the gorgeous lake when you check in!

8. One of my favorite tips is the “Baby Swap!” For us, this has been really helpful and a way to get extra fast passes. When you get to the ride and the line is rather long, the trick is to go up to the attendant and tell them you want to baby swap. They will hand you an all day fast pass ticket for you to use later in the day. We always pretend to jump in line and sneak out when the attendant isn’t looking. It is sneaky yea, but the fast pass ticket they give you can be used at any time, which is a great advantage!

9. When entering the theme park, head to the back of the park and work your way forward. Everyone starts at the front. You’ll be working against the crowd which is good!

10. Disney still does offer a disability access cards for those who need it! If you truly have a disability you can get this access card at guest relations. It will allow you to get fast passes for rides throughout the day.

11. Two years ago my sister Katie was still nursing her daughter Charlee while we were at Disney. We were in need of a place for her to pump breast milk and luckily Disney has a great baby care center in each park to accommodate moms who are nursing. Looks like this year I’ll be the one taking advantage of that!

12. FastPass+ reservations can be made 60 days in advance and dining reservations can be made up to 180 days in advance. Both reservations are necessary, so plan accordingly!

13. There’s a good chance this may happen…if you accidentally break a souvenir or gift, Disney will replace it for free. Just go to the nearest store that carries the item and you’ll get a new one.

14. Get a Dole Whip (frozen blended treat) at Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom. They are just that good and worth the wait, if any.

15. This tip really works for our family- we always go back to the hotel midday to take a nap. We get a ton accomplished during the first half of the day, head back to the hotel to relax for a bit, and then go back out the parks. This will make your evening that much more enjoyable and the kids will be rejuvenated!

16. Blizzard beach is a great place to take the kids! The water parks are overlooked sometimes but they are fun and can be much more relaxing if you’re in need of that kind of day. Oh and bring your own towels.

Hope this was helpful. We will be heading to Disney in couple weeks and will make sure to post some cute pics of us and the kids.

XO, CG

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