It’s a fact that for many people in the world, when they hear the phrase “I’m going to travel with my kids” they immediately think Disney.
For good reason.
Disney sets the standard for theme parks, cruises, and tours. It is not only obviously child friendly, it is also adult friendly.
It’s not pet friendly, though, sorry dog owners.
I made a conscious decision to never write directly about the Disney theme parks on this blog. As a former Orlando resident, I’ve probably been to the Disney World Resort parks over 80 times. My laid-back approach to visiting Disney would not interest many people. “Five EPCOT center lines that are better than the ride” — no one wants to read that post.
I also don’t write about their cruises and tours because I haven’t done them – yet. As soon as my kids meet the minimum age requirements I’ll be signing us up and writing about it right here.
While many people are against Disney, against tours, and thus against Disney tours, I’m a fan. Disney tours aren’t just child-friendly, they are child-focused. Child-focused! How nice does that sound?
Until my kids are old enough to go on the Disney tours, though, I’m going to take a few tips from the entertainment masters.
Here are three things I try to do on every trip.
Find the hidden Mickeys. Everyone knows that Mickey heads are hidden throughout all of the parks. While we don’t need to be on the lookout for him while on vacation in Austria, we can still look for something. For those of us that are too lazy to come up with a destination-relevant item – no worries. Create a generic scavenger hunt list that can be used on multiple trips. (Come back for letter S and I’ll tell you all about it.)
Be an active participant. Going to museums, parks, and shows are all fun. However, I think the best experiences are those that get people involved instead of passively watching things happen to them. An easy answer is visiting a Science Center, they always have hands-on displays. A better choice is to find the experiences unique to the destination. Perfect your gelato recipe in Italy, learn how to shoot arrows from bows in Scotland, practice calligraphy in China.
Upgrade the memories. At the end of every day Adventures by Disney guests receive a branded pin specific to something they did that day. It’s something to look forward to and speculate about before hand. It’s also a souvenir. Find a way to surprise your young ones with a recap keepsake from your day, every day of your vacation. Perhaps a collection of metal pins will work for you, too. Or just a simple postcard that the child can use to record their reactions from the day. It’s a small token with a huge impact.
My Southern Gypsy friend is gearing up for a year of travel and is also participating in this A to Z challenge. Go check out her blog!