Getting The Kids Involved In Planning The Perfect Trip

Aleisha M. (NDM#150) (47 Posts)

Growing up inn the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Aleisha has never let distance stop her from enjoying Walt Disney World vacations. From an early age, whether it be on a family vacation or tagging along with a friend on her vacation, she fell in love with the magic and the joy that Disney brought. Now making her own memories as a DVC member with a Star Wars obsessed little boy, she tries to capture the same magical feelings into every day life. She has quickly established a reputation with friends, relatives and coworkers as a real-life Belle. Always with a book in her hand and available to help others plan their magical Disney vacations. Beyond Disney, Aleisha is a lover of all genres of music; craves a good concert from time to time, considers her food allergies a blessing rather than a curse and can be seen at the good old hockey game during the NHL season.


 

park map overall

image via the official Disney website

Here’s a question: Is it more fun to plan a Walt Disney World vacation, or actually go on a Walt Disney World vacation? If you are like me, it’s a toss up. Because as much fun as it to go, part of what brings out the magic is planning. Even more so now that my son is old enough to help plan the magic.

Yes that is right; he helps with just about every aspect now and I love it.

From the moment he finds out we are going again, which is usually the moment we are leaving property from the then ending trip, his little mind is racing. Admittedly there are some things beyond his control in which we step in and plan such as when to go, how long and whether to do the dinning plan or not. But I must give him credit for what he does help out with.

Well let’s just say he becoming quite the little planner.

Two years ago, right about the time he started distinguishing the differences between the resorts, we started letting him have a say in which one we would pick. As DVC members we are not always guaranteed resorts that are not our home resort, so he always get what he wants. His current favorite would probably be the Boardwalk Inn & Villas as he likes the “clown pool.” The Wilderness Lodge also seems to rank right up there.

Around the same time, he’ll start planning out his perfect Disney World day. He picks out the park, the rides or the parades and we’ll go along with it. I think we get just as much joy watching him decide which attraction he wants to hit up and then debate which of us he wants to ride. We realized how simple yet fun this was from the very first time and now we make sure to incorporate it in every trip. Even if it mean riding five times on Star Tours, or Toy Story Midway Mania! Because watching him light up each one of those times is pretty priceless. Thankfully, Fastpass+ has helped a lot as we are now guaranteed to get to ride what he wants and to a five year old? That’s like handing him a golden ticket.

Last but not least, we have dining. My son happens to be a lot like me, allergic to dairy. What he’s discovered about Disney dining is that the chefs will make accommodations for him so he finally can get the special ice cream that doesn’t hurt his stomach. We’re now moving past the picky eater stage and reached the point where he loves to help with our dining decisions. I will say he isn’t that big into character interactions at the park, but when he dines? It’s a totally different story. He’ll pick one character meal a trip. Does he have favorites? Of course he does. It’s hard not to have a favorite dining place on property; the only issue is choosing just one. He currently has two favorites: For dinner he loves Garden Grill and for breakfast, well, you can’t go wrong with Chef Mickey’s.

So if you’re heading down to Disney World any time soon, remember to get some assistance from your little ones. Spend some time roaming the official Walt Disney World website; it’s as always a great place to start. If your kid is unsure of certain rides, YouTube has an endless amount of ride-along videos to help ease the anxiety. Of course use your resources. Whether it is friends, Twitter or even the Disney Parks Moms Panel, which has a lot of great suggestions and they’re always willing to assist in helping. After all, part of the magic of a Walt Disney World vacation is the planning!

  • Letty Nardone

    I don’t think a day goes by without some time spent daydreaming a trip to the world. I’ll even go so far as opening a spreadsheet to compare per night rates and breakfast menus. Some might think I’m crazy. I just think of if as magical math: if a plane leaves new york and arrvies in orlando what time does the park open? something like that.