First trip to Disney, how do I not go crazy...


Earning My Ears
May 21, 2019
... with three kids? Let me start off by saying my wife and I are more than excited about this trip. We have 4 year old twin daughters and a 1 year old son. I realize we are going to have our hands full during this trip. We are trying to make sure we don't over do it during the trip for the kids but also have a lot of fun. What are some suggestions that you have for us especially me? We are doing 6 days in the park and staying at the port orleans riverside princess room. I have scheduled our fast passes and the dessert parties and made reservations to eat. Any advice is appreciated!
  • SG131

    DIS Veteran
    Apr 3, 2017
    I’m not sure what your stroller situation is, but if you are renting, practice folding it up before you’re standing at the front of the bus line with 3 kids trying to get everyone and everything into the bus!

    Know where the play areas are and don’t be afraid to miss a fast pass if your kids would rather be playing there. FP system is great, but there may be a day you just aren’t getting to the park in time for your first fastpass and that’s ok. It’s not always worth rushing and starting the day off stressed.

    And if it’s summer, make sure they drink tons of water even if it isn’t their favorite thing to drink.


    DIS Veteran
    Jul 13, 2017
    Don't feel like you have to spend everyday in the parks to get your money's worth of your overall vacation. You'll be staying at a nice resort so take the time to enjoy the surroundings of the princess room:). Six pools, campfire marshmallow roast, horse carriage rides, probably an outdoor movie or two- enjoy that too.
    Want to justify the financials? Don't buy a 6 day pass-a 4 to 5 will be fine.

    where are some good places with air conditioning?
    The Child Centers located in every park; look on the park maps located on this forum to find them.
    Pretty sure every TS (table service) restaurant at MK (Magical Kingdom) has A/C; also breakfast and lunch quick service (QS) at Be Our Guest. All shows such as Philarmagic (sp?). Also some rides like "Under the Sea".

    You'll also find A/C spots at all the other parks. I'm only specifying the ones at MK because I've a pretty good idea you'll be there, LOL. I'm sure other posters can fill you in on other park's options:).

    Taking a stroller? No need to load down the handles and storage areas with souvenirs and purchases. Walt Disney has a free service that allows your purchases to be shipped back to your hotel.

    Have fun!
  • rwalker1304

    Are we there yet? Calgary, Alberta.
    May 28, 2014
    Mid-day pool time!

    Character meals are a great way to get a lot of characters in one shot.

    The Living Seas in Epcot is a nice spot for A/C (or to hide from a thunderstorm) and lots of cool, brightly colored fish for everyone to look at. My DD (now 10) loved it when she was 1.

    Bonus, there's a Nemo ride to get you into the space.


    Earning My Ears
    May 21, 2019
    Thanks for all the replies. My kids all do really well with going strong and will sleep about anywhere. We are excited about this trip! I hope we don't loose one of them, haha!


    All that fresh air over the years has done me good
    Jul 12, 2010
    My favorite either my toddlers was the TTA People Mover. Not air conditioned but a nice breeze, long ride and pretty quiet. If it is slow they let me go around without getting off. Still my favorite of all. Carousel of Progress is good too.


    Aug 8, 2017
    Don't miss naptime. The parks wear kids out fast. And parents! (SO much walking!) Be flexible with your plans. Use a lot of hand sanitizer. Familiarize your kids with the characters before you go.
    Be prepared for blisters, colds, cranky and overtired kids and don't push too hard.
    We took our nephews years ago and they had a blast the first day. When we got them up early the next morning to head to another park they both said, "What, we have to go again?" It's a marathon.
  • Anthony Vito

    Jan 16, 2017
    We've done trips with our kids when our son was 4 and daughter was 2 yrs, 4 months; 5 and 3 yrs 4 months; 5 1/2 and daughter's 4th birthday; and then we're going this summer for our son's 7th birthday, daughter will be going on 5 1/2.

    Some redundancy here with what others have said:
    - don't be afraid not to do something and to scale back;
    - try to do mid-day breaks/naps/pool time
    - try to get to the parks early, break (we usually headed back to the resort) for naps and even some pool time, then head back to the parks for the evening - you avoid the hottest and most crowded part of the day and everyone gets a chance to recharge;
    - only have a few things that you are trying to do, then anything beyond that is a bonus (e.g., we'd have the couple FastPass rides we wanted to hit, then anything else we'd have time for is a bonus);
    - again, a little redundant, but don't push too hard.

    Additionally, what we've found works well for us is to plan the mornings more, and have more flexibility in the afternoons/evening. Also we've found planning more, but then not being afraid to drop plans and scale back.

    Also, with dropping plans, etc., keep in mind that dining reservations are supposed to be cancelled a day out to avoid a charge. However, I think with a lot of the restaurants, if you cancel in person, they'll give you some more leeway. We've done it a couple times - one year our son got sick while in DHS (threw up all over the floor of the gift shop - that was fun :() and we had a dinner reservation at Sci-Fi later that day. I went to the hostess a few hours ahead and explained - they cancelled it no problem with no penalty. Also, was told at Whispering Canyon that if you cancel a reservation at a restaurant in person, they can do it without charging you whereas if you call Disney Dining to cancel day of, they are more likely to charge you the cancellation fee. So keep in mind if you have an in-park reservation for dinner but it's looking iffy, if you're in that park early in the day, you may be able to just go ask in person to cancel, and you'll have a good chance of being okay.


    Aug 27, 2014
    I agree with the previous posters. Our last trip was in late 2017 with 4 boys (5, 3, 16 months and 3 months). People thought we were crazy, but it honestly couldn't have gone any better than it did.

    Our #1 rule is Be Flexible. There is so much that can happen over the course of a week or two, so be ready to change your plans.

    We also like to plan out the mornings and leave the evenings for some flexibility. If we want to swim, we swim. If we want to sleep, we sleep. If we want to go to Epcot instead of MK, we go to Epcot. Loose plans are good, but spontaneity is fun. Another idea is to split to group up in the evenings if you are open to that. There were some nights that some of the kids were worn out, but not all of them. I would take some of them back to the parks and my wife would stay at the resort with the other kids.

    My final recommendation - If your spouse is open to it, head back to the parks late in the evening by yourself after the kids are sleeping. I did MK until 1:00AM by myself and HS at close by myself one night. You can accomplish a lot in the hour before closing if you're alone. So have fun, and be flexible :tongue:


    Boardwalk owner since 1999
    Jan 13, 2012
    Great advice from so many people.

    Since you said they sleep anywhere, we use to walk the Countries at EPCOT while they slept in stroller, it gave my Wife time to shop and also gave us time for an adult beverage.



    May 13, 2010
    At 4, we were shocked how scared of rides my son was 😥 but we had a blast getting character autographs and we still talk of the trip we rode small world 30 times. Not the trip we pictured but so fun and by time we went back he wouldn’t even look at a character. He also loved magic kingdom so much we skipped AK that trip for a third MK day.

    We also found midday breaks exhausting so hot there at open and left by 3pm for swimming, dinner and not to late sleep. We figure we will catch evening shows when he is older. You can use the pool at French quarter too so one afternoon we did that.



    Earning My Ears
    Jul 24, 2017
    At 4, we were shocked how scared of rides my son was 😥
    My son was 4 on his first trip, and we were also surprised by what he was scared of. He was totally freaked out by some things (Haunted Mansion probably scarred him for life). Yet, strangely, he thought Splash was the best thing ever. Go figure. So I guess I'm saying don't be surprised if your kids have different plans than you :)

    Also, at the risk of being super redundant: naps. Lots of naps for everyone.

    Have a great time!


    DIS Veteran
    Jul 26, 2012
    I have triplets and we bought DVC in 2012 and went to WDW every year from 2013-2017, so ages 4 through 8. The key is to not overdo it and not get mad when they don't want to do things or when things aren't going as planned. Too many people in the parks going commando style and just making their kids miserable. To some degree I get it because for many going to Disney may be a once ever experience or at the very least something that's a major chunk of some folks budget. However, if don't don't have to run everyone ragged, don't do it.

    Our kids probably have enjoyed being at the pool just as much or even more than going to the parks, so that's another thing to not let eat at you.

    Just be prepared to be flexible and go with the flow.


    Earning My Ears
    May 21, 2019
    Just an update. I took most of this and went with it. We had an excellent trip. We definitely tried to have naps every day and the days that we didn't we still did really well. Our trip was in the middle of June and the heat wasn't too bad for us, but we felt it a couple days. One thing that I think that I would add to this is that when you stay on property you can drive to the parks and not have to pay for parking. I didn't realize this until after the first day. It really saved us so much time with not having to fold up the strollers to get on the bus and unpack the bags and make everyone wait on us to get out of the way with our 3 kids. That is my advice to anyone going that is in the same situation we were in. The walk after parking wasn't ever that bad and it took so much stress off of my wife and I each day.

    We are currently looking to book another trip this next summer and already getting excited about it!


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