The most magical place on earth does not come without stress. We just came back from a trip to Disney in October and I slowly realized that we had to go about navigating our trips a little differently. While neither of my boys have been diagnosed with anxiety by a doctor, they do have anxious tendencies. Going into that situation completely unprepared can make for a stressful situation for both parent and child. If you are planning a trip to the parks, here is some useful information on how to handle anxiety at Disney World.
Most people think Disney and think princess. It’s not that hard to correlate the two especially when Disney has amazing initiatives like Dream Big, Princess. And it really surprised me that when I performed a google search the other day to plan out our October Disney itinerary it was a struggle for me to find a post specific to taking your little boys to Disney World. There are plenty of articles about Disney with kids, but sometimes I just want to find something specific and non-princess related and I feel like that shouldn’t be a struggle. When we see princesses at Disney RJ makes sure to make it a point to point them out and say “look mommy YOUR favorite girls!”. My boys love a good Disney film but they could care less about meeting a princess in the parks. Yet and still there are plenty of things to do at Walt Disney World and Disney Springs that aren’t princess related at all. I’m here to provide you with the ultimate guide to Disney World with boys.
If you are looking for a park that everyone will love but the princesses are few, Animal Kingdom is it. Animal Kingdom is full of experiences that the whole family will love a. This park is also a big hit with our little boys because there are several dinosaur related attractions and well… little boys and dinosaurs. Here are a few of the must see experiences at Animal Kingdom, and this list only touches the surface of all there is to see and do.
Must Ride Attractions at Animal Kingdom: Avatar Flight of Passage, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Expedition Everest
Favorite Shows at Animal Kingdom: Festival of the Lion King, Rivers of Light, Finding Nemo – The Musical
Must Visit Interactive Spaces: Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Gorilla Falls, Maharajah Jungle Trek
Light Shows: Rivers of Light: We Are One, Tree of Life Awakenings
Epcot is a favorite park among adults for many reasons. This is the best place to eat and drink around the world. Still, the experiences are plenty for kids and children 3 and under enter Epcot for free.
Epcot Character Spot: If you happen to come across this post before September 8th 2019, then the best place to meet some of your favorite Disney characters is at the Epcot Character Spot. Here you can meet Mickey, Minnie and Donald. You can also meet Joy and Sadness from Inside Out, Baymax, Pooh and Chip N Dale are usually close by. This space is due to close on September 8th 2019 due to the exciting new additions coming to Epcot, but I’m sure the characters new locations will be announced soon.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends: An entire section based off of the Finding Nemo franchise can be found in Epcot. Turtle Talk with Crush lets children talk to characters from the movie. There is also a huge aquarium and ride based off of the movie.
Epcot’s World Showcase: This is where you eat, drink and shop around the world. You can probably spend an entire day visiting Mexico, Japan, Italy and France. There are restaurants, shopping, live shows and entertainment all within the park.
Fireworks Show: Prior to fall 2019 IllumiNations is Epcot’s amazing fireworks show. After 2019, Epcot Forever will be the show at Epcot before a new show arrives in 2020.
With Toy Story Land, Galaxy’s Edge (opening soon) and Animation Courtyard this park (while under some construction) has some super fun experiences that your guys will love. If you are a mom of little Disney lovers Hollywood Studios is the best place to see all the Disney Junior characters!
Must Ride Attractions at Hollywood Studios: Slinky Dog Dash, Toy Story Mania!, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Must See Shows at Hollywood Studios: Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, Disney Junior Dance Party, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Light Shows: Fantasmic!, Wonderful World of Animation, Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
Magic Kingdom is easily the most magical part of Disney World. The castle is amazing and it is one of my favorite places to take pictures in the parks. It’s pretty much a MUST see when you’re visiting the parks. Gaston, Goofy, and Donald Duck are some of our favorite characters to meet in greet while in this park. There are countless parades, shows and endless characters to meet in this park. Magic Kingdom is also the park where you’ll find Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, and A Very Merry Christmas Party. So other than these ticketed events what are our favorite non-princess related attractions?
Must Ride Attractions at Magic Kingdom: Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Tomorrowland Speedway, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Mad Tea Party, etc etc.. I could really go on forever in Magic Kingdom
Favorite Shows at Magic Kingdom: Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, The Muppets Present Great Moments in History, Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It! Street Party
Must Visit Interactive Spaces: Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade, A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasure of the Seven Seas
Fireworks/Light Shows at Magic Kingdom: Once Upon a Time, Happily Ever After
While Disney Springs is more of a restaurant/shopping area and not a “park” there is a TON of things to do that will burn off the never ending little boy energy. We usually go at the end of the day so its a pretty busy space and I wouldn’t be able to tell you much about what it’s like early in the day. Here are some of our favorite places to visit in Disney Springs.
T-Rex Cafe: Because I said boys and dinosaurs right? T-Rex cafe is a huge dinosaur themed restaurant. Animatronic dinosaurs fill the restaurant and of course our boys favorite spot is the Paleo Zone. Your little ones have the chance to dig for dinosaur bones and stones/gems in the huge sand pit located at the front of the restaurant.
NBA Experience: New to Disney Springs, the NBA Experience boast 13 different interactive experiences in their location. I’m sure the combination of NBA and Disney magic is something to be seen.
The LEGO Store: My boys want to go into a LEGO store no matter where they see one but as you can imagine the LEGO store at Disney Springs is huge and there are tons of spaces where kids can get hands on with the bricks.
Making the Most of Your Experience
Planning ahead is SO important for your trip to Disney. If you think you can go in and freestyle it, you can’t. Especially with children it’s important to have at least a soft plan that you are willing to make small adjustments to. While princesses are magical for all there are a ton of experiences that will make your trip to Walt Disney World with little boys just as magical. Since you don’t want to waste time figuring out your day, check out these 6 Apps to Make Your Walt Disney World experience MUCH easier.
What are you little guys favorite things to do at Disney? Have you ever done Disney with boys?
Fall is by far my favorite season and while it may be July, Halloween is already on the brain here. This year the week before Halloween we are going to be at Walt Disney World for the first time during a holiday. That means we all will be experiencing Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party together for the first time. If you’re a MNSSHP newbie like I am, then you probably found your way here because you want to know all the things. I took the time to compile an all inclusive guide for us, so that we know all there is not know about joining one of Disney World’s most exciting ticketed events.
If you’re looking to rustle up some grub this summer then Animal Kingdom is definitely the place to do it! You guys know (if you follow me on social) that snacks are my jam! So when I saw that Animal Kingdom was releasing a whole bunch of new snacks inspired by this summers release of the new live action version of The Lion King I HAD to share. The new offerings will be available all throughout the summer to help celebrate the release of the movie later this July. Check out all of the new Lion King treats now at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom.
Lightning McQueen made his Hollywood Studios debut yesterday (March 31st) with Disney’s new attraction, Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. The new attraction, on Sunset Blvd at Hollywood Studios is a 10 minute long, interactive performance. It will give visitors a chance to get up close with Lightning McQueen himself. You will also get a chance to see Mater, Cruz Ramirez, Sally and some other cars from the film on screen during the show. Visitors will also have the opportunity to meet and greet Cruz Ramirez outside of the theater in the courtyard.
Last week my family took their first trip to Disney World and not to sound cliche but it was MAGICAL! The boys are still young and we had a bunch of other things planned for our trip so we dedicated a day to Magic Kingdom and we got their EARLY. I think being from New York none of us were prepared for the intensity that is … the Florida HEAT. When you’re a nursing mama, that amount of heat means your baby is going to want to nurse WAY WAY more than usual and I KINDA was prepared but I just wanna give the breastfeeding moms a few tips so that you’re more prepared than I am.
5 Tips for Breastfeeding at Disney World
Know The Park
With a place that is as huge as Disney that seems impossible but for real, I’m telling you… utilize those maps! It makes it so much easier when you know where you’re going, when you’re going to be stopping, and what you’re going to be doing. Everyone will be way less aggravated if you don’t feel like you’re wandering aimlessly. You can easily access maps to any of Disney’s parks HERE and you can filter it by activity, age, thrill level etc etc.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
More than you have ever hydrated before! ESPECIALLY if you aren’t used to the southern heat because neither I nor my kids were prepared. Keeping yourself hydrated will help you with milk production and you’ll be able to keep your baby hydrated. Also, if you’re nursing a toddler realize they are HOT and that is why they’re nursing like a newborn again. It’s perfectly OK to give your toddler water, they NEED it. The great thing about Disney is that there are water fountains a plenty and you can ask for a cup of water at any concession stand.
Utilize the Baby Care Centers
Each park has a Baby Care Center that is perfect for moms with little ones. Each center has an air conditioned seating area, space to nurse, pump, changing stations and any supplies that you may have forgotten when you were in a rush to leave your hotel room. These rooms are perfect for taking a break from the beautiful chaos. And you can cool off while you tend to baby. Make sure you familiarize yourself with where the centers are located in each park, and don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Ditch the Nursing Cover
Or use a very very very lightweight cover. Trust me when I say…. it’s too hot for all that. The fight to cover Zayn alone would result in us losing 20 pounds each from sweating. Nursing two kids for over a year I’ve come up with all kinds of discreet and quick ways to nurse without drawing attention to us. And honestly this far into the game, I don’t care anyway. Plus, it’s a family park. I didn’t run have that fear that anyone was going to boob-shame me out there, if anyone even noticed.
Nurse on the Go
When all else fails, when your kids are in that long line waiting to ride It’s a Small World for the 5th time in a row, when the Baby Center feels like it’s 100 miles away, when your baby JUST CANT WAIT…. there are plenty of shaded areas where you can sit on a bench and peacefully nurse your little. There was plenty of seating near stroller parking areas and I nursed Zayn by a few. It wasn’t bad at all.
When the day came to an end I was super proud of my nursing experience at Disney. I didn’t once feel overwhelmed or confused and I kept things super simple. Knowledge is power so the more you know going into the parks, the better. Breastfeeding at Disney World definitely does not have to feel overwhelming. Remembering these 5 tips could make your day 10x better!
Have you been to Disney with your nursling? What was the experience like for you?