Tuesday, November 17, 2015

For many adults, Disneying
is not a choice.
It is something one does for the children they love—and if those children
have access to television, you're likely to end up in Bay Lake, Florida
sooner than you'd hoped.
Just because you're vacationing with your entire
family in tow, however, doesn't mean the trip has to be a carnival-colored
daymare.
Finding the cure for never-ending lines, cotton candy dinners, and
sunburns galore is easier than you think.
Get ready to glide by glassy-eyed parents and crying children because
we've already solved every panic-stricken part of the trip you're
dreading.
Here's how to tick everything off your kids' dream Disney list
in the most sane, manageable way possible—and maybe even have some fun
yourself while doing it.
"The Whole Character Thing Just Freaks Me Out" If the idea of waiting
in line for 210 minutes so your son can meet Princess Elsa sounds like
purgatory, you're not alone.
Luckily, there are two options to save you from
the slow-moving meet-and-greet line.
Set a FastPass+ reservation as soon as
possible, which will get you in and out in a reasonable amount of time.
No
time slots available to meet Mickey Mouse? Opt for an in-park character
meal.
Breakfasts and lunch are expensive but similarly priced, and since
children aren't likely to eat $30 worth of scrambled eggs, opt for a late
lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table, Tusker House Restaurant, or Akershus
Royal Banquet Hall instead.
You'll be so wiped from a day at the park that
you'll be happy to sit down, whether or not it's surrounded by Goofy and
Donald Duck or a gaggle of princesses.
"Can't I Just Wing It?" You can be spontaneous on-site, but it's
only going to work if you have solid plans in place, so lock down the
basics.
Restaurant reservations open 180 days in advance at Walt Disney World
and go quickly, so research if the Disney Dining Plan is for you and and
commit to which day you'll spend at what park. Each visitor's three FastPass+
reservations can be made 30 days in advance, or 60 if you're staying at a
Disney hotel.
When your trip is approaching, select your Magic Bands and set
up Disney's Magical Express with your flight information.
If this sounds
confusing, it is—prepare to spend some time on Disney's customer service
hotline—but embrace it! A helpful human is much simpler than navigating the
online labyrinth of advice-filled mommy blogs.
Once you're there, download
the My Disney Experience app, which serves as a virtual vacation folio (and
even lists ride wait times) as well as the Shop Disney Parks app, which is the
best way to find everything from detergent to a second BB-8 toy so your twins
will stop fighting over the one they should be sharing.
"Great, I'll Have To Eat Chicken Nuggets All Week Long" Food at
Walt Disney World can be fresh, healthy, and delicious, but you need to know
where to look.
There is pre-packaged (albeit pricey) fruit available
everywhere, and nearly every hotel has hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, and salads
available all day long.
Disney is obsessively accommodating restrictive diets,
especially at table-service restaurants: so tell them what you can eat and
they'll do their best to make it happen.
(I've seen steamed salmon and
vegetables come out of the kitchen at a fried-chicken-only dinner, so
anything's possible!) The parks can be a bit trickier, but if you're
health-conscious, Grilled Chicken Skewers at Animal Kingdom's Harambe Market
and the platters at Tangierine Cafe in EPCOT's Morocco pavilion are
must-haves, along with salads served at neighboring countries.
The Fixins Bar
at Pecos Bill's at Magic Kingdom turns any meal into a vegetarian's dream,
and the falafel at Mr.
Kamal's in Animal Kingdom is to die for.
Gluten free?
Don't worry—between allergen-friendly stands, clearly marked menus, and
Erin McKenna's baked goods across Disney property, you're practically in
better hands than back home.
"The Kids Are Asleep! Too Bad I'm Stuck In A Children's Paradise"
You probably never noticed while growing up, but you can drink alcohol across
most of Walt Disney World property, so hire a babysitter and get ready to
rage. EPCOT's World Showcase is typically open until 9 p.m.
and 11 p.m.
one
night each week.
The Rose & Crown Pub in the UK pavilion and La Cava Del
Tequila in the Mexico pavilion are always a party scene.
Don't have park
tickets? Trader Sam's Grog Grotto and Tiki Bar in the Polynesian Village
Resort, the California Grill atop the Contemporary Resort, and Territory
Lounge at Wilderness Lodge are well worth the cab over.
And while Disney
Springs' recent rehaul isn't as legendary as your parents' late nights at
Pleasure Island, the Indiana Jones-inspired Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar will
be worth bragging about to your friends back home (especially if you nab a
seat in the private diving bell).
"I'm Using All My Vacation Days.
I Want To At Least Have Some Fun!"
You can still have a blast, even if your toddlers aren't ready for Rock
'n' Roller Coaster.
Animal Kingdom's Expedition Everest and EPCOT's
Test Track, each park's most thrilling ride, quietly offer single rider
lines which allow you to zip through without keeping your family waiting for
too long.
If your child is this close to the height requirement, Disney's
Rider Switch program ensures both adults get their fill of Space Mountain and
fifteen other fantastic rides across park property so that no thrill-seeking
sibling or parent gets left behind.
How to tick everything off your kids' dream Disney list in
the most sane, manageable way possible — and maybe even have fun yourself
while doing it.

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