Disney Tantrums…Not just for kids

So I am sitting here watching my son (age 4) throw a fun little tantrum and thinking…thank goodness we are NOT at Disney, lol. Yep it happens; kids get tired, overloaded with sweets, too much stimulation, need more sleep and they aren’t the only ones.  Adults get hungry, hot, tired and CRANKY too…so much fun, right – NOT. Unfortunately when at Disney…tantrums can still be a thing…but luckily there are ways to AVOID them. Perhaps not 100%, but at least bring them down to a tolerable level.
Dealing with a tantrum at Disney seems to be a common worry or concern of many of my clients and I try my best to walk them through the steps to avoid such an event. With 2 kids, both in the tantrum age zone…it’s something I try my best to avoid as well. I have been to Disney more times than I can count and have taken my kiddies several times, at various ages and have learned a few things.
First…kids will be kids. Just because you spent your hard earn cash on what is supposed to be the BEST VACATION of a life-time…doesn’t mean your toddler is going to change. You know you kid(s) the best. You know their triggers, limits and issues. And you need to be honest to yourself about it. This is also where the adult tantrums come into play, lol. As an adult, we want to see and do stuff too. We want to stay up late and watch the parade/fireworks and do the special Holiday party. We want to have a few adult beverages and relax. We want to ride the coasters and do some thrill rides. BUT…we also want to see the magic in our kid’s eyes, see their faces light up with wonder and delight…but It can come to the point where we need to decide, what is more important? OR find a happy mix; a healthy medium. This is something I have developed over time and each and every trip gets better and better; as kids ages change so does the experience.

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BIG kid in stroller; she is happy & entertained while WE get a break.

Things to consider, thoughts to ponder about YOUR child: LIMITS…
• Walking – Strollers are NOT just for toddlers…if your older kid isn’t a grand walker…consider a stroller
• Sweets – Some kids have a limit, some can’t handle it at all. Giving them a limit WILL help.
• Sleep – Some kids NEED sleep, some can handle a little less than normal…but sleep is a MUST.
• Length of Day – Some kids crash out early, some are night-owls…some with a mid-day nap can flourish
• Food – Some NEED to eat at normal times, some can snack until a BIG meal…but DON’T push it off.
• Lights, Sounds, Stimulation – Some kids are ok with all the action, some kids are overwhelmed (consider breaks, head-phones, distractions)
• Heat – some people are ok in the heat, some people just can’t function (same with crowds). Know this and prepare.

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Dole Whip; nice treat, but LOTS of sugar – try sharing.

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Mickey Pretzel…my FAVORITE snack.

Be honest…if your kid tends to throw more fits after a birthday party (SUGAR) or after a long day at the zoo or fair is burnt out…then consider that at Disney. It’s OK to miss a few things, especially if it prevents a melt-down. Consider cutting back on the treats (we allow ONE per day), consider NOT doing the night-time fun every night (perhaps every other), consider packing or renting a stroller for an older child to prevent (my legs are tired whining). Pack “distractions” for kids who get easily bored (waiting in line) or overwhelmed. Consider saving an experience for “next” time. For us…this is the Holiday Parties…I am dying to take the kids, but when the time is right.
With all these trips under my belt you would NOT believe what I have witnessed (not that this will be you); parents forcing crying kids on rides, kids climbing on chains, bars and displays, kids having over-tired meltdowns during the evening parade, kids begging for more and more treats/toys, parents yelling, screaming and dragging kids along. It’s hard…we ALL want to see and do it all…but we ALL have our limits. Some kids are scared of certain rides, some are just hungry, some are dehydrated and need to drink more water and EVERYONE needs to make sure they get plenty or rest…PLUS parents need breaks too.

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LOTS of healthy options at Disney…

For us…as long as I try to keep it healthy (packing healthy snacks/bars), limit sweets, provide LOTS of water (not milk, juice or soda) and make sure we ALL have plenty of sleep…our Disney vacations have always been 100% Magical and Amazing. But I also keep it real…I know my kids. And I know me. I know what I need to walk for a week straight, to deal with kids and a husband and to keep everyone together. I know what my husband needs (evening adult drink, lol) and I know what makes sense for us, for NOW, for THIS trip. I have dealt with a tantrum or two (not just from the kids) and although they weren’t that bad, I did learn from them. Disney is amazing, but it’s also BIG, long, loud, crazy, FUN, filled with sweet treats, shopping AND people. One needs to learn to adapt and “go with the flow” while also tending to all the needs of the group.

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Don’t forget to take time out for “play”…its NOT all about the rides.

I know some of this seems generic, but it’s about YOU, not what your friend did, your neighbor did or even what I did…it’s about what is GOOD for YOU. This is something I help all my clients with. I will have long chats about concerns and worries and help plan the best vacation per THEM, their needs. Each and every client/trip/family is different. It’s not something you can compare or copy…every trip is unique. One family’s favorite or ideal resort might not be yours, same with restaurants, rides and other activities.

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This TOY camera saved our trip last time…He took LOTS of “pictures”.

I post this…not as a deterrent to Disney, but as an honest account. This is something to think about and plan for…to have guidelines and back-up thoughts…to “practice” before you travel. To prepare and learn about all the “quiet” spots, children play areas and best resorts for a mid-day break (if needed).  To know when to push and when to alter your plans, lol.
**As a Travel Agent specializing in Disney vacations…it is my job to know the parks, resorts, restaurants, rides and attractions. It’s my job to see and do it all…it’s also my job to help and give advice to the best of my knowledge and expertise. Consider putting your trust in an agent whose FULL-TIME job is Disney, someone who knows more than just ONE resort. My services are 100% FREE if you book with me and as a Disney Vacation Planner…I book directly with Disney. Check me out – http://www.facebook.com/wordofmouse

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7DMT – Friend or Foe?

One of the biggest things to happen to Walt Disney World in 2014 was the Grand Opening of the “Seven Dwarf Mine Train”.  News, Updates and Rumors had been circulating for months leading up to the final day when everyday peeps could test the ride for themselves.  The best part to me was the “recycling” of some of the original props from the scary Snow White ride that once resided in Fantasyland; I couldn’t wait to discover their new homes.

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This new coaster was labeled a “Family Coaster” so I figured I could handle it and if not it’s only like 45 seconds long…so for 45 seconds I thought I could deal with whatever was headed my way.  For the record I have a HUGE issue with Motion Sickness…something I have been battling with since a child and something that seems to have gotten worse since having babies…but I thought…what the heck…I’m gonna try this thing…and even better…I’m gonna bribe my 5 year old to join me, lol.  It also should be noted that I refuse to go on anything too crazy…no upside down things for me.

So in preparation for this ride…as you should all do if you’re slightly hesitant or have coaster “first timers”, aka kids – I purposely fastpassed on our LAST Magic Kingdom Day and I purposely selected a time hours after our meal.  And like I said…I bribed my kid to join me…we walked past this ride several times before going and she felt that she could totally do this thing…plus the idea of getting a prized souvenir helped.

For those doing the stand-by line…there is an awesome interactive queue to enjoy and experience, but I needed quick and painless…the thought of getting further anxious while in a long line wasn’t happening.  For fastpassers…you walk right in and practically on.  I had done a little research before this day and concluded that riding in the front had less “rocking” motion as each individual car rocks back and forth like a real mine car.  So front row we got.  To see a Video…go to my FB page and click videos – http://www.facebook.com/wordofmouse

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As you can see…we were terrified…turned green and were lucky to not lose our breakfast.  I couldn’t walk for hours after and kept needing to “sit” down and rest.  My equilibrium was totally off and sitting was the only way for the floor to stop moving.  DD was ok and wasn’t as affected as me, but to this day talks about the “worst” ride ever.  I slowly recovered and was able to continue on with our magical day…but I will never go on that ride again, lol.  So should you give it a try?  Sure, why not, lol.  If you look at the people behind us…they were all having a blast and screaming happy screams.  I will say that my favorite part, other than getting out, was the fun animatronics you see mid-ride and the finale – At the very end of the ride…you witness Snow White singing and dancing with the 7 Dwarfs.  Just watch out for the front door 😉

So for those that are going to give this a go…good for you.  I found the ride to have fun theming and loved the decor and surrounding atmosphere.  I just wish I could keep my head up long enough to really see the magical efforts of Disney Imagineers, sorry guys.  In the end I am glad I did it, because now I can say I did…but I do wish I could get those few sick hours back…Disney you owe me, lol.  A Mickey Pretzel and a bottle of water calmed my nerves and after enjoying Country Bear Jamboree for a spell…I was back on my feet and ready for more Magic.  And for those that are wondering…it is a lot like “Thunder Mountain”…just shorter and slight calmer (I think)…and Yes I have ridden Thunder Mountain (at both WDW and DL) many, many times…sometimes with success and a few times…not good.

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The Seven Dwarf’s Cottage

For those that would love the help of someone with motion sickness – I’m your gal.  I know all the tricks and what rides to avoid and which ones to cling too and ride over & over again.  Heck sometimes the mini hill on Pirates gives me that not so good feeling, but I just close my eyes, hold my stomach and wait for the mini splash, lol.  I have also heard of people taking Dramamine in preparation for such situations, but I have never done that outside of rides in the car.

Enjoy and Make sure to “Whistle While you Work”…I know I do or would if I could whistle.

A “Napper” at Disney…

So…as a Mother of two little ones I have vast experience with this…not to mention it’s a very popular question amongst my clients.  Now…this post isn’t about the importance of napping, quiet time or resting…it’s about the “how to”.  And PS – Napping is highly RECOMMENDED; especially for younger ones and families doing an “All Day” experience.

In my opinion there is really only 3 ways to “nap” at Disney; in room, in stroller or my new favorite…on Mamma (or Dadda).

  • Napping in room, aka your resort room is the obvious choice…but is it the best?  First you have to leave the park, take a bus (or hop the monorail) then quiet down the fam, close the curtains, turn off the lights and hope & pray the kid(s) nap.  Now…this option is awesome when everyone wants to nap and will nap.  It’s perfect for families who travel often and are use to sleeping in one room or families that co-sleep.  It’s also great when a young family only has one kid.  The family with one kid can put the baby (tot) to nap while mom and dad sit out on the patio and discuss the day.

We did this one vacation and I can honestly say it worked out great.  Did I want to leave the park, NO…Did I like missing out on a few hours of potential play time, NO…but did it ruin my vacation, NO…my then 2 year old slept everyday like a champ and was then ready to tackle the evening for a few more short hours (we are early sleepers).  Now what saved us was not sitting and waiting around for 2-3 hours (everyday)…I packed her pack n’play tent (see pic), her baby monitor and we were able to walk the grounds a bit, grab a snack and return to the patio knowing she was safe.  Many people saw us and wondered where the baby was, asked if we had “grandma” with us…I mentioned the monitor and everyone was in awe.  So that’s my secret…enjoy.

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Pack N’ Play (provided by resort) – Tent I packed…Keeps kid safe.

Of course some could nap, some could play (swim)…but unless that napper is really, really tired…they might not want to miss out on any fun…so beware of that.

  • Napping in the stroller; I must confess that I have never done this but after several trips to Disney and watching other parents…I kinda have an insight.  First the perk is…you stay in the park, you don’t have to leave thus you can enjoy more rides and more park fun…however…if you have a napper in the stroller someone either needs to wait with the napper while others play or you wake the grumpy napper.  In my opinion this option doesn’t seem totally convenient, but if you have grandma with you who really doesn’t want to ride the rides or the parents switch off – it can be done.  But beware…hot sweaty kid in hot stroller might equal some unpleasant results…so remember sunscreen, get a shade and hydrate when awake.

Of course you could take that time to shop the air-conditioned stores and get your spending on…but do you want to do that everyday – just something to think about.

  • Napping on Mom, aka baby wearing; this is my new favorite way to nap at Disney…why?  One major reason…you can still ride the rides, that’s right…if the kid can ride it awake, you can ride it when “wearing” them.  This was basically our only option this past trip…the older kid didn’t want to leave (neither did I) and the napper was never going to nap in the room anyways (not a napper at home)…so I brought the baby carrier and hoped for the best.  He napped everyday for 2-3 hours…on me.  It was hard to use the restroom and getting in/out of the rides reminded me of pregnancy, lol – but it was awesome.  We still enjoyed ourselves and he had an awesome nap.  For the record he is 2.5 and about 32lbs.  I wasn’t in pain, my shoulders didn’t hurt and no…I did not trip.  I was able to ride Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise and other similar rides, no rollercoasters obviously.  In fact I joke because he fell asleep in Mexico and woke up in Canada…he slept through the entire World Showcase, lol.
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Napping in front of Beasts Castle

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A Mermaid Experience…

Guess who just came back from “the Happiest place in the World”…Me, Me, Me!!  So I have LOTS to blog about, but I thought I’d start off with a post about the inspiration for this blog…My Favorite Princess.  Are YOU thinking about one of the Frozen Sisters?…nope guess again, lol

Ah…you got it…Ariel.

Thanks to the creation of NEW Fantasyland…Ariel has a proper place in Magic Kingdom.  Amongst Eric’s Castle you will find a clam shell ride (Under the Sea – The Journey of the Little Mermaid) featuring many of Ariel’s friends and one majestic Ursula.  Ursula totally steals the show; in my opinion…she was amazing.  I found the rest of the attraction to be a little quick and had wished Ariel had as much animation as Ursula did…but still the ride is a must and I wish I could have experienced it again and again.

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As you exit “Under the Sea…” you are just a few steps away from meeting Ariel herself.  Now this is Ariel the Little Mermaid, not Ariel with “human legs”…but Mermaid Ariel has always been my favorite so I was just as excited or perhaps more than my 5 year old.  We entered “Ariel’s Grotto” hoping for as much theming and amazement as the rest of the area (which is very cool)…but sadly I found inside her grotto to be a little lax in decor.  I had wished for more fish, seashells, seaweed, treasures a trove, something…but I digress.

We waited an amazing 20 minutes to meet the wonderful mermaid.  My DD, of course, beamed from ear to ear with excitement but still thinking my smile was bigger.  Ariel and I had the most in-depth discussion regarding our favorite accessory.  We both agreed that no mermaid should be without her “dinglehopper” and suggested that I always keep one with me at all times…for which I showed her mine, lol.  She also gave me strict directions to an under the sea store where I can purchase her favorite Jellyfish gel, apparently this product is the reason her hair is so fluffy and doesn’t deflate in the Florida sun.  So…as soon as I get my mermaid fins…I’m there.

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Meeting Ariel was beyond Magical for me and my 5 year old.  Out of all the characters I (we) met this trip, she was the most talkative.  Anna was a close second (stay tuned).  I could have spent more time chatting but this land mermaid had fastpasses to get too.  But as Arial said…”Us redheads need to stick together”, so my new bestie and I will hang again soon.

And for those that want to know…we had fastpasses for “Under the Sea” at around 10am…directly after the ride we entered the grotto and as I said only waited 20 minutes.  I am not sure how long the wait usually is, but we had to walk through a few lines of chains before hitting the end of the line.  I found New Fantasyland to be rather crowded as the day progressed…so I would suggest hitting it first.  As a mom…I had planned out this experience (knowing to go early), but kept it underwraps as I didn’t want to disappoint the kids if Ariel was overly-popular that moment…so to my DD this was a total surprise, she had no idea what we were even doing until we saw the amazing mermaid…so my advice…go with the flow (but with a plan) and if the moment is right…strike and enjoy the memories.  Nothing is worse than a mini-mermaid melt down, lol.

Walt Disney World is an amazing place and truly magical…but the smarter you go, the better time you will have – saves time and money too.  Check out my “about Nina” section to contact me.