We recently took a lovely family vacation down to Orlando, Florida, stopping at all the stops — Legoland, Universal Studios, and (of course) Disney World.
It was his first trip to see the Big Mouse in his hometown, and so he wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it would be chaotic (bright spot-in-the-crowd clothing!), exhausting (comfortable shoes!), and packed with things to see (download this app!), but he has a few words of advice to share, as well.
Here are 10 tips for visiting Disney World in Florida, straight from a 5-year-old’s perspective.
1. “Call Bippity Boppity Boo Boutique”
So there’s a backstory to this tip, and a reason why he ranked it as at #1.
The only thing he wanted in Disney World was a Queen Elsa gloves-cape-and-crown set. Desperately. And so we went from shop to shop because surely Walt Disney World would have it, if anywhere. And yet. I’m not sure if you know this, but Frozen is spectacularly popular, and so even WALT DISNEY WORLD was sold out of Queen Elsa gear. All except for the Bibbidy Bobbidi Boo Boutique, which is located underneath Cinderella’s castle.
He didn’t care that it was a beauty salon for little girls to be turned into their favorite princesses — he wanted in. Except we were told that you typically need a reservation SIX MONTHS in advance, so be warned.
2. “Some of the rides are scary. It’ll be okay.”
Our first stop was the new Fantasyland in The Magic Kingdom, and our first ride was “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure,” which had him a little spooked. The robots are incredibly life-like (AMAZING, actually), and parts of the ride are dark, but it’s more spectacular than anything I remember seeing at Disney World as a kid. Seriously, check this one out.
3. (Speaking of rides) “Don’t wait on lines that are too long.”
No patience, this kid. Here’s where I plead with you to get the FastPass because oh dear heavens, the lines. OR…
4. “Don’t go when it’s crowded.”
Because he’s still in preschool and we aren’t bound by any strict academic timetable, we’re able to avoid the summer months/vacation periods — except we unknowingly booked our trip during spring break. But apparently the best time to visit Florida is in MAY, so lucky you. Just in time to book your trip.
5. “Eat ice cream with Mickey Mouse ears.”
6. “Get a good seat for the parades.”
Like on dad’s shoulders, perhaps.
7. “Go to the Magic Kingdom first.”
If you have a little one, and you can only pick one park, MAGIC KINGDOM WINS EVERY TIME.
8. “Bring water spray for the hot days.”
I don’t know if you know this, but Florida can be unbearably hot in the summer months. Luckily, because we went in April, we had only one super-duper hot day that doesn’t even register as “hot” compared to July and August temperatures. (But seriously, MAY, you guys. Go in May!) Still, packing a water squirter (and plenty of drinking water) is a good idea.
9. Kids: “Bring your own camera.”
Give them their own disposable cameras and teach them what the world was like before you could see a digital photo instantly.
10. “Find a way to go inside the castle.”
And then report to him, please and thank you. (He was absolutely gutted that he couldn’t go upstairs into Cinderella’s castle.)
We get it, kid. We’ve all wished the same thing, at one point.
Do you have any tips for traveling to Disney World? Share your experiences below.