I see you Momma! I see you spending hours planning what you hope to be an incredible trip that your kids will love and hopefully remember forever. But when was the last time you had a vacation? Because I know family vacations aren’t often the vacation you need. You are worrying about all of the details, whether everyone is having a good time and if someone needs more sunscreen or a snack. You feel guilty about going away without the kids or spending money on yourself. But remember taking care of yourself is taking care of your kids. You can’t fill their cup if yours is empty.
One of the things I insist my travelers do is to consider themselves. I know you are excited to share the magic of Disney with your children but it is really important to me to remind you that it is your vacation too! I want to encourage you to plan a little something for yourself. Here are some ideas for building some Mommy-time into your Disney Vacation.
Book a Suite
The great thing about Walt Disney World is that they have some incredible budget-friendly family suite options at Art of Animation, All-Star Music, and The Cabins at Fort Wilderness. These suites are designed to accommodate larger families but even if you only have one or two children they are a good option. The family suites have two separate areas, a master bedroom and a living area with murphy beds. Having the two distinct spaces allows you to have your own oasis. You don’t have to sit in your bed in the dark trying to be as quiet as possible when the kids go to bed. You can enjoy your room, watch tv or enjoy a glass of wine to unwind after a long park day. If it is in your budget you may want to consider a one-bedroom villa at one of the Deluxe Resorts so you can enjoy added conveniences and amenities.
Single Rider Line
If you need a break from your family, ride one of your favorite attractions using the single rider line. Leave your partner with the kids and jump in line. The Single Rider Line is used to quickly fill attraction vehicles if an odd-numbered party is riding, they simply pull someone from the single rider line to fill the last seat. It moves MUCH more rapidly than the regular line and can actually save you a lot of time even if you are riding with someone else, just know you will be separated on the attraction. There are some attractions that my husband just doesn’t enjoy so I will leave him to feed my daughter lunch in a nearby air-conditioned quick service location and enjoy the wait and attraction all to myself.
Book a Restaurant YOU want to try
How many times do you book a restaurant because you know your kids will love it? Don’t lie to me, I know you don’t want to eat the overpriced food at a character buffet or the Rainforest Cafe. Plan at least one restaurant that YOU want to try. If the kids don’t like it, too bad. They can have snacks at the hotel later. Let them know in advance that this meal is for you and if they complain or give you a hard time they won’t get to do something they want to do later. When I am planning European trips I like to help families plan a day for each person. Your children are usually much more likely to go along with something someone else has planned if they know they had their day or it is coming up. This is a similar theory, have each member pick a place they want to eat without worrying about everyone else then each person will have a meal that they know they are going to enjoy and most likely will find something they love at the other places as well.
Fireworks View Room
If you have a toddler who still naps and goes to bed on the earlier side, I highly recommend embracing their schedule on your trip. I plan our itinerary around my daughter’s schedule and it highly reduces the number of meltdowns. But just because my daughter goes to bed at 8 doesn’t mean I want to miss the fireworks. That is why Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort is my favorite hotel when traveling with a baby or toddler. You can walk to the Magic Kingdom, save time by going through a security line just for hotel guests AND you can see the park from your window. Spring for a theme park view one-bedroom villa, put your child down for bed and enjoy a glass of wine and the fireworks from your balcony.
Skip An Attraction
One of my favorite things to do is to grab a snack (usually a dole whip) and sit and soak in the atmosphere and people watch from a park bench. Let the rest of your family enjoy an attraction and sit with the stroller and enjoy a few quiet moments alone.
Book a Massage
This is my favorite on this list. You deserve to indulge yourself!! If you are staying at one of the resorts that offer massages this is a little bit easier because you can leave your partner in the room during nap time or at the pool with the kids while you enjoy some pampering. I usually like to do this in the middle of a trip to soothe those aching muscles and get you ready for more insane walking in the days ahead. If you aren’t staying at Coronado Springs, The Yacht Club, Grand Floridian, or Saratoga Springs I would recommend taking an Uber or Minnie Van to your appointment.
Bring a Family Member
I am extremely fortunate to have a mother-in-law who loves Walt Disney World as much as I do. She appreciates that sometimes we need to enjoy a vacation as a family, but she is ALWAYS up for joining us. When she comes with us we always plan a date night. She stays in the hotel with the baby when my husband and I go out to enjoy an evening together. We also plan a night where she and I have a girls night and go out to dinner without my husband and kids. I find this much more refreshing than date night!!
Hire a babysitter for a date night
I know from experience that not all mothers-in-law are as amazing as mine is. If you don’t have someone who is willing to travel with you or that you don’t enjoy traveling with, Disney does have babysitters for hire. They are called fairy godmothers and they come to your hotel room with a bag full of incredible activities to keep your children entertained. They are professionally screened and vetted so you can feel safe leaving your children. Use it for a date night and enjoy time reconnecting with your partner OR hire a babysitter to watch your kids while you hit the spa and your spouse hits the links for your own mini-vacations.
Even if none of these ideas work for you I hope I inspired you to think about yourself when you are planning your vacation. As a Mom, you are a chef, chauffeur, referee, maid, and teacher… YOU need a vacation, at the very least you deserve to enjoy your family vacation.
I understand how you’re feeling, I know all too well how easy it can be at the beginning to start researching online, just to find yourself 3 hours down the line more confused than when you started. But don’t panic! I can help you plan your dream Disney vacation without any of the stress of hassle – starting with the ‘A Disney Trip without Overwhelm, 5 Easy Steps’ Guide. These 5 steps will help keep you focused on organizing the best trip ever, while giving you peace of mind that everything will be done, and nothing will be left out.
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