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A Mom’s Survival Guide to the Theme Parks

Walt Disney World, the “Most Magical Place on Earth”, land of princesses, fairytales and fun! While a day in the parks can build wonderful memories to last a lifetime, it can also bring temper tantrums, exhaustion and stress for those who arrive unprepared. As an annual pass holder and mom of two, I have had my fair share of wonderful days, and not so wonderful days in the park with my four year old and two year old in tow. Here are my top 5 tips to keep your day happy and full of magic.

1. Stay Hydrated & Cool

Concierge Tip:

Buy a battery powered clip on fan to keep
little ones in the stroller cool all day!


In the summer months, Orlando temperatures can average around 90 degrees and 75% humidity, yikes! It’s super important to drink plenty of water as you walk through the parks to avoid dehydration. Thankfully you have plenty of options. There are numerous stand alone snack carts and retail locations that sell bottled water, as well as many quick service locations offering free cups of ice water. You can also bring your own refillable water bottle to use at the many water fountain locations throughout the parks.

For a quick air conditioning break when we need time to sit and cool off throughout the day my favorite three attractions are all classics, the Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress and the People Mover. 


 2. Bring Plenty of Snacks 

Concierge Tip:

Disney Dining Plan Snack credits can be used on so many fun treats in the park. View the dining plan options here!


Nothing will stop the Disney Magic in it’s tracks like a hangry child (or grownup)! I highly recommend bringing a backpack or smaller cooler to keep snacks around throughout the day. Not only will this keep the tantrums away, but it will also help you save money. Disney only restricts families from bringing in loose ice, so it’s a good idea to invest in a few ice packs. 

Disney also has some delicious and unique desserts to try! Make sure you try the popular Dole Whip found at Aloha Isle in Adventureland or a classic Mickey Mouse Ice Cream bar which can be purchased at most snack carts throughout the park.

3. Have a Souvenir Shop Game Plan

Concierge Tip:

Start a collection! Disney has so many cute and collectable items. From Minnie Mouse ears to trading pins and popcorn buckets, there are so many things you can choose to collect to remind your family of their time in the parks.

In true theme park fashion, almost every attraction exits through the dreaded gift shop. No one wants to be “that” family that has to drag an upset child out of a gift shop after hearing the word “no” (trust me, I know this)!


A trick that works wonderfully for my four year old is to take a picture with the toy he wants. This way we can remember what he was interested in and where it was found, then at the end of the day, he can pick which toy he would like from the pictures taken. I find that if you set the expectations at the beginning of the day, you can breeze through a gift shop without incident. Luckily, many of the items found all over the Magic Kingdom can also be located as you exit the park at the Emporium, Disney’s largest souvenir and gift shop.


4. Take a Mid-Day Pool/Nap Break

Concierge Tip:

For a quicker ride back to your resort
try taking an Uber or Minnie Lyft.


Disney’s regular “base” ticket allows you to come and go from the same park as many times as you would like that day.

Growing up, my parents would make sure we arrived at the park before it opened to enjoy the attractions in the morning. Once lunchtime and the midday heat arrived, we would escape back to our resort to nap, relax or cool off in the pool. Once our batteries were recharged, we would then return to the parks and spend the rest of the afternoon exploring and end the day enjoying the evening most magnificent fireworks.


 5. Hire a Disney Planner 

Concierge Tip:

Dining reservations can be made starting 180 days prior to your resort check in date and fast passes can be booked 60 days in advance (if you are staying at a Disney Resort). Hiring a Disney Planner before these dates can ensure you have the best possible options to choose from.

The Walt Disney World Resort covers approximately 40 square miles, which is about the size of the city of San Francisco! With four theme parks, two water parks, two mini golf courses, twenty five resorts, ninety table service restaurants and countless characters, attractions and experiences, planning a Disney vacation can be daunting to say the least.

A Disney planner can help you make sense of it all by booking your resort, purchasing tickets, making dining and fast pass reservations, simply maximizing your trip, so all you have to do is build amazing memories with your loved ones. A theme park plan takes the stress off mom’s plate and allows you to step back and enjoy your experience.


At My VIP Tour we specialize in building better memories, whether that be with a VIP guide, or by providing you with a game plan to tackle Disney and create the most wonderful family vacation. A Disney World vacation is supposed to be magical – let us do everything necessary to ensure that it is!


About Me
Hi everyone! My name is Kara and I am so excited to help you plan a magical Disney vacation. My love of Disney started during my very first trip there in March of 1994. Disney quickly became my family’s “happy place”. There was never any question, when it was time for a vacation, we packed our bags and headed to the most magical place on Earth. Nowadays, it is extra special for me to experience the Disney magic again through the eyes of my 4 year old son, Liam, and 2 year old daughter, Jennie. Seeing their eyes light up when Mickey and Minnie pass by and seeing their faces all sticky from Mickey ice cream bars make special memories that only Disney can bring. I can’t wait to help you build those memories together as a family!

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