If you’ve spent any time at a Disney Park, you’ve seen it. The moment where the family trip goes haywire and the melt down starts. Sometimes it’s the toddler, sometimes the older child, and sometimes it’s the parent. Not only have we all seen them… more than a few of us have experienced them. And we’ve come up for some tips on how to stop meltdowns in your family before they start.
Yes, you’re on the dining plan. Yes you get a snack every day and have your meals all planned. But trust me, you’ll want another snack at an inopportune time and you’ll put it off because it’s not the right moment. Offset this and bring a couple small snacks with you. Granola bars are great for this as are nuts, crackers, etc. We’re not looking to fill someone up, just get something in their bellies so you don’t have to deal with the hunger crisis.
You will not be able to do a week straight open to close at the Disney Parks. It’s just not feasible. For our family, we can make it a day easily and two if we push it. By day three if we try to do the parks open to close someone is not going to survive the day. For some people it works to plan mid-day breaks. For others it works better to get to the park late or leave early. For our family we need full days off. We do one or two park days, then take a pool and resort hopping day.
Let Your Kids Play
This is a big one. You’d think those little legs would get so tired walking around Disney and seeing all the rides and everything, right? But they’re still kids, and kids need downtime. Whether you visit one of the many Disney playgrounds, let them play in a sprinkler, or just find a quiet corner and let them run and hop around a bit, play time is a necessary for kids a certain age. In my experience, this is most important for the three year old to eight year old crowd.
Before we go to the park for the day we always double check to see if there’s something someone in our group REALLY wants to do. We try to hit everyone’s top item(s). Trust me, there’s nothing that feels quite as bad as a trip to Magic Kingdom when you’re five year old turns to you at the end of the day and says “But aren’t we going to see Mickey?” This is still a possibility, but a discussion before hand of what everyone wants to do can definitely be helpful.
Keep the Sleep Schedule the Same
Okay, so this one is a little unrealistic. But still, try to keep everyone’s sleep schedule as close to it is at home as you can. If you are all early risers at home, don’t think you’re going to make it til 3am. If you’re night owls, don’t make a 7am dining reservation. If your kids still nap, planning a mid day break at the hotel can be a life saver.
This one is more important for those with young kids. Once we got into a FastPass line that for some reason had a hold up and our wait ended up being about a half hour. Luckily we had a couple small toys that kept our kids entertained… and a mini beach ball that we gave to the two year old boy in front of us who started melting down midway through the way. Something little can go a long way towards calming a grumpy toddler. But do be sure it’s something that you don’t mind if it gets lost, as that is prone to happening at Disney Parks.
Know Where You Can Find Quiet
This is especially important if your child suffers with anything sensory. Know where the quiet spots are around the park so that you can take a break and a breather if they start getting overwhelmed.
Stop When the Fun Stops
If nothing else has helped and a meltdown is immediate, don’t try to force the fun. Take a step back to a quiet spot and try to assess what’s going on. Hungry? Sleepy? Just need a breather? Take it. It’s better to lose an hour letting everyone calm down than to make a trip miserable for everyone involved.
Want some more tips on the above information? Contact us today so we can help! We’re experts at meltdowns… having suffered more than a few of them!