2017 · single mom · travel

how to survive 14 hours at Walt Disney World

disney oh, hello

Last week, RomCom and I had the incredible opportunity to visit Walt Disney World on our seven-day, kid-free vacation. If you haven’t gone, I’m telling you YOU HAVE TO GO. It was honestly everything I dreamed it would be, and then a little more. Not kidding.

I promise, my tips on hitting Disney as a grown-up are coming soon.

Because we only had a day to Disney it up, we knew well in advance we’d be putting a lot of miles and many hours on our feet in order to do the things we wanted to do. Here’s how we survived 14-hours of non-stop Disney fun:

Accept and stand by your planning (or lack thereof)

We planned as much out in advance as we could, like which park we’d hit first (we had Park Hopper passes) and the attractions we wanted to see, but we knew we’d have to grin and bear it if landed in long line-ups or lost on a gamble for a restaurant or particular ride.

 

Disney Passes
Make sure you take maps with you so you can find your way around the parks with ease. 

 

As we made our way from Animal Kingdom to Magic Kingdom around dinnertime, we passed by many couples mid-fight over what restaurant to try to get into when the one they wanted was full or only had stand-by seating available. When you cram thousands of people into a park, you have to expect long wait-times and occasional misses, which is why planning really is key (or being prepared to go with the flow, at the very least).

Although we would have honestly stayed at Animal Kingdom much later, we’d booked our FastPass+ for rides at Magic Kingdom, so we stood by our plans and hopped on the bus to follow-through. We weren’t disappointed.

Eat and drink, and do this often.

Disney is fun. Dehydration is not. We brought water bottles in our backpack and refilled often. Luckily, there are restrooms around almost every corner (and drinking fountains!)  for my fellow wee-bladder owners.

Also, remember those fights I said we encountered? Hangry is a very real thing. When you compound the excitement and busyness of Disney with hunger and tired legs from walking (and possibly squawking children), it gets ugly – fast. If you’re carrying a bag (like we were), stuff a couple of protein bars, fruit, trail mix, or chips in there so you can keep the big, bad hunger pangs at bay. We snacked on protein bars and Lays in lineups, and grabbed lunch and dinner at Disney cafés.

 

hungry-romcom
RomCom, about to mow down on some yummy beef nachos at Peco Bills Tall Tale Inn and Café.

 

Bonus: If you have Lays Stacks, you can use the container to keep your phones dry. We did this on all the splashy rides and it worked like a charm!

Stash a second shirt.

Rent a locker or carry a backpack with a spare shirt, seriously. We didn’t do this and we were sorry. The temperature took a sharp nose dive after dusk, and the wind picked up leaving us huddling together to stay warm as we sipped hot coffees and looked for a spot to watch Wishes. (which was actually pretty OK because I love RomCom’s snuggles).

 

coffee-snuggles-disney
Look at the Mickey ears RomCom got on his cup! We’re FROZEN.

 

A lightweight sweater or long-sleeved tee would have been just perfect, plus it’s nice to have a dry top post-splash mountain or to help protect your skin from UV rays.

Leave a little early.

I know, no one wants to leave (I sure didn’t!), but if you want to avoid the unavoidable mass exodus of tired people, slip out a few minutes before the end of the light show. We had to leave early for two reasons: a long drive home and I was practically hypothermic because #wuss, but we were glad when we walked directly onto the monorail and then onto a tram, making it back to the car in minutes with virtually no wait.

And my last piece of advice? Buy the  Mickey / Minnie ears. You’ll be glad, I promise!

 

Birds-Disney
How amazing was this Owl during a Bird Show in Africa? Beautiful! (Animal Kingdom)

 

 

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