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{Travelogue} 10 Tips for 1st Time Walt Disney World Visitors with Kids (Part II)

In Part 1 of 10 Tips for 1st Time Walt Disney World Visitors with Kids, I’ve shared 3 tips and this is beginning to get exciting.  Before long, you and your family will be on your way to WDW and I hope these tips will come in handy.

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7. Stroller – Your kids are never too old for this 

Just admit it, WDW is not just a park built for kids, it’s for the parents to enjoy too.  We’re all humans – naturally, with daily packed itineraries, everyone gets tired.

Tip no. 7 – don’t forget the stroller. Who cares if she’s too old for stroller!  It’s my lil’ one’s refuge during our day out at the parks.  The parks are big (don’t be fooled by the map 🙂 ) and shuttling from one end to another within the park is exhausting.  With the stroller, my lil one can rest while we zoomed from one attraction to another and waiting for that firework or parade to start.

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Of course, if you decide not to bring, you can rent them at the park for additional cost.  But why pay when you already have one?  The stroller also serves another purpose when the whole family decided to go for that Peter Pan ride and you had too many shopping bags (not valuables) to carry around. You could leave them in the stroller and it’s still perfectly safe.

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6. Sit the Ride, Use Child Swap 

Don’t be disappointed if your child does not meet the minimum height requirement or is too young. It’s not doom time yet – use Child Swap. Basically, both parents will wait in line together and when you get to the front of the line, tell the cast member that you want to “child swap” so one parent can stay with the child and the other can ride.  Once the first parent has finished with the ride, the second parent can go on the ride without queuing again.

Best part is, most attractions in WDW offer Child Swap so now, you can ride that dare-devil roller coaster even when your child can’t 🙂

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5. Disney Dining Plan – to buy or not to buy 

Many people have mixed opinions about The Disney Dining Plan (DDP).  Some say it’s good, some say it’s not.  So, this point is purely based on my feelings and opinion.

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DDP is an optional dining program offered to WDW resort guests where you get a set amount of meals in the form of points (breakfast, lunch, dinner & snack) per day per person at participating restaurants around the park and resorts.  The restaurant ranges from snack carts to diners to five star restaurants and depending on the restaurant type, a certain amount of dining points will be deducted upon usage.  The dining points are given according to the number of nights stay at the resort.

Reservations open 180 days before, so, if you want to nail that favourite five star restaurant, make reservations.  Most five star restaurants and character meals get filled up really fast.

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We opted out of the DDP and decided to pay out of pocket because:

5. Lil’ one gets cranky when she’s tired. She just want to have a quick meal and sleep.

4. To optimise the dollar in DDP, I want to dine at mostly five star restaurants. But this can’t be happening every single day because I’m tired and I don’t think I will enjoy a 1.5 hour meal.

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3. Most five star restaurants are located in resorts. This makes travelling very long as the bus don’t shuttle between resorts.  To get to other resorts, you need to head to the parks and take another shuttle to the resort and vice versa.

2. If you must eat promptly at lunch or dinner time, be prepared – for most diners at this time will have long queues.

1. Both of us are small eaters and DDP comes with choice of appetiser, entree & dessert (if you pay more) or entree & dessert.  Couple with huge American portions, we just felt it would be a waste of good food.

Sometimes, Disney include DDP into the resort package as part of their low-season promotion.  If that happens during my travel period next time, I wouldn’t mind using it.

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And that’s 3 more tips to help you plan your First Unforgettable Family Vacation to Walt Disney World.  Don’t miss the other tips in Part 1 and the final episode in Part III.  If you have other wonderful tips to share, I would love to hear from you 🙂 .

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