Mom And Son Spaceship Earth
  • On Mar 17, 2011
    Natalie from MI Asked

    Hello, we will be visiting WDW the 1st week of April. We have an 8 year old and a 4 year old and grandpa will be with us. The last time we did this trip it was end of June 6 yrs ago, and we were all cranky. How do we avoid family meltdowns? Any tips?

    Hi Natalie:

    I understand your concern. I'd guess most families may experience some crankiness during a vacation. The best tips are to take breaks, stay well-fed and well-hydrated, and follow-your children's and grandpa's pace.

    Standing is line is when crankiness tends to set in. Like other theme parks, you’ll likely encounter at least some long lines during your trip to Walt Disney World. But here’s the upside: if you are going to wait on a line anywhere, the best place to do it is at Disney World where the queues are well themed, entertaining and full of distractions.

    But as entertaining as some queues are, we all get faced with the impatient toddler or child. While every family is different, my first line of defense is to play a good old-fashioned word game, such as 20 Questions, I-Spy, and Rock, Paper, Scissors. I’ve also found that small surprises from the dollar store at home, like a toy figure or glow stick, can help pass the time. Consider spending some time in line searching for Hidden Mickeys, which are images of Mickey Mouse concealed in a Disney ride or attraction. Snacks, such as fruit, goldfish or granola, also help prevent toddler melt-downs on line.

    During a kid melt-down or whining session, try to think of creative ways to get your kids engaged back in conversation. I usually hand my kids a park map, show them where we are in the park and ask about other attractions they may want to see later that day. I’ll also tell my boys what they may expect on the ride we are about to get on. As a last-resort, I bring out my smart-phone. The boys enjoy when I take pictures and shoot a short video and show it to them. We even pretend to write Mickey e-mails on the phone. If nothing else works, I start making silly-faces and otherwise make a fool out of myself, which always cracks my kids up and distracts them (and others in line) for a bit.

    Enjoy your vacation.
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Meet the Panelist: Jonas, New York

I am a family man and huge Disney fan raising two awesome and rambunctious boys.  As Disney Vacation Club members, we travel to Walt Disney World often. Learn More About Jonas

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