Where to stay: Florida Villa or Disney Hotel? There are two obvious choices of where to stay for your Disney holiday. You can stay in a Florida villa and hire a car or book into an on site Disney hotel. Having a villa gives the parents more space to relax while the kids were in bed. The advice from our mums was to:
- Look for villas with steps into the pool and a shelf so the kids can sit in the shallow water.
- Check out the safety guards at the villa before you go by contacting the villa owner directly.
- Check which have free use of highchairs, buggies and cots.
In Florida, all doors are alarmed by law, so children can’t get out of the villa without you knowing. For those that want to lap up every Disney minute there are the Disney Hotels. They are a magical experience with fantastic pools and play areas and perhaps a chance to meet some of the Disney characters at breakfast. One mum who stayed at the Disney World Yacht Club loved the pool area with it’s safe parts for toddlers. Their room also had a balcony overlooking the lake, so a great place to sit and relax while their toddler slept and recharged the batteries ready for the next day of excitement. One mum stayed at the Disney Regal Sun Resort. She also liked the pool with its fountains, jets and slides but was particularly impressed that the hotel provided games and toys for children.
Preparing for your day at the parks
Make the most of your Disney holiday and prepare well. Here are our mum’s tips for planning your Disney day:
1. Take an aerial topper or buy one there (a ping pong ball for your car aerial), it makes your car easier to spot in the huge Disney parking lot and ALWAYS write down which row you parked in.
2. Take snacks and water into the parks. Freeze your bottles of water the night before so they stay cool in the Florida sun. Food and drink can be expensive and not so great in the parks so store snacks in a cool bag under your buggy. Refill water bottles form water fountains in parks BIG MUST, high factor sun cream, it’s very hot in Florida in the summer months and drink plenty water.
3. Plan your day- where you’re going, decide what time you’ll be up and out, where you’re going to lunch, etc. If you get to the Disney parks early, you can spend all morning there then pop back to the villa for lunch, swim, nap and go back to the Disney in the evening.
4. Try and plan the rides and shows you want to do, you won’t get to do them all and lines can be long.
5. All of our mums implored ‘take a buggy’ to Disney even for those children at 3 ish who don’t really need it any more as they may well need to take a nap in the afternoons and you are going to cover a long way on foot. If nothing else, it gives you somewhere to put your lunch!
Disney Thrifty Tips
Pick up coupon books, loads in the tourist info booths along the 192, these books give you discounts on attractions and restaurants.
One mum’s husband and toddler enjoyed some bonding over the HUGE video game arcade “it would have cost the three of us $50 to enter”, but it is on the multi park ticket so we got in for free, and all the games are free too.
One mum told us that she took her own seats on their Disney holiday as she found out that it can cost £100 to hire 1 seat for two weeks. Most airlines will take car seats for free in the hold but do check with your airline first.