Oh, god… I don’t even know where to begin with this post! But may I say, this is a great idea!! haha
Most of my tips will be about bringing the kiddos (6 and under) along, while still balancing what the teens and adults want to do! I can’t think of too many right now, but I know I have tons! We are constantly improving the way we do things at the World, year after year!
#1: Leave for the Parks a little later, like 11 am and be on the buses by noon. We usually wake the kiddos up at 11am, adults up at like 9, except for my dad, who on vacation still gets up at 6am… lol. We usually slowly make our way to the food court, grab a quick snack before the parks (we aren’t big breakfast eaters…), and then head off to the park of our choice! We’ve found that the kids last SO MUCH LONGER, without ANY meltdowns. This way we cut out the ridiculously crazy morning crowd, and we don’t have to leave the parks for naps, or pool time. Our kids don’t want to leave until it’s closing time!
#2: EMBRACE EXTRA MAGIC HOURS! Especially with little ones, you have to move at their pace, you have no say in the matter! lol. So, when the time comes for the park hours to end, and extra play time to begin, generally my parents take the little ones back with them, and us teens and adults play into the night! (Atleast some of us do, usually my sister goes back with my parents.) This way you can run around, from ride to ride, like a mad man, repeating the rides as many times as you want!
#3: PERFECT YOUR COACH BREAKDOWN! haha. Anyone with children knows how annoying it is to pack up your stroller and then have to unpack it for buses, repack it, and then unpack it AGAIN for bag check! We carry a lot in our strollers. And being prepared to have everyone grab stuff and the kids for easy and quick onboarding and offboarding saves a lot of time and frustration! lol.
#4: DON’T SHOP TIL THE END OF THE NIGHT: Waiting until the end of the night allows you to have obviously much more time playing in the parks, and the kids will be so tired by the end of the night that their case of the “gimmes” will be basically non existent. As many parents know, kids want everything! lol. Who can blame them! Everything’s so cute! And especially since like on Main Street the Emporium closes after the parks do, it’s a great way to create some extra time. But really, it’s a useful tip!
#5: Use eating as a break: We have 12-14 people with us at all times, so it’s safe to say we are moving, constantly. And with having atleast 3-6 kids under 6 in the passed 4 years, you know they need breaks from walking, and from the heat. Obviously, strollers are godsends, and air conditioned attractions and queue’s are like heaven for the little ones (and adults, let’s be honest!) But with so many people, you have to try to accommodate all, even though the kids needs are often more important, and more listened to! lol. When you stop for lunch and dinner, we take plenty of time to rest, relax and talk with each other. Taking it slow for a little while before we go back into the parks!
#6: ADR for the end of the night: Now this works for us, because we like to eat late anyways, even at home. But a great way to not interrupt your time at the parks is to plan your ADR’s for 8 or 9 at night, right before closing. This is great for us, especially since we eat a later lunch (2 or 3pm) The kids get time to relax and wind down before heading back to the hotels. Also, we always get a nice stroll through an empty park. Which is a beautiful sight! AND, since we dine right before parks close, the lines at the bus stops are barely any line at all because everyone else left the park hours ago! And anyone whose had to stand up on a moving bus with a sleepy and/or SLEEPING toddler knows what a blessing a nice SEATED ride home is like! lol :laugh:
That’s all I can think of for right now, but I know I have plenty more!