I’ve been desperate to return to Walt Disney World Resort for years now. I think I last visited when I was about 18 and I’ve been craving my Disney fix ever since. However, before having children we couldn’t really afford (or justify) it and since having children we definitely couldn’t really afford it but I kept trying to justify it. We hadn’t previously been abroad as a family – we took Flynn camping in Devon last summer but I was 16 weeks pregnant, it rained (a lot), and we were in a tent which Flynn struggled to sleep in so I wouldn’t exactly call it a holiday. I wanted to take advantage of being able to go away before Flynn starts school in September and also before Kit started weaning as I knew how much easier it would be if I could just plonk him on the boob whenever he was hungry. Jonny had already booked two weeks off work in June and we were umming and ahhing about what to do and where to go but eventually we just thought “sod it, let’s go to Disney!”

Safe to say we had a blast! It was HOT (and VERY humid) and it was VERY busy (the Americans had already broken up for Summer) but we loved every second. Flynn was completely overwhelmed with everything – there was so much for his little three-year-old brain and senses to take in! He went on near enough every ride, bless him – his favourite was Space Mountain. And Kit was good as gold. He was dripping in sweat but was fairly content just chilling in the buggy or lapping up the attention in the carrier.

Oh, I should mention the flights! They were, by some miracle, absolutely fine. The flight out was during the day and although Flynn got a little bored and restless and refused to watch any one programme/film for more than 10 minutes, he did pretty well considering. And during the night flight home both boys slept pretty much for the entirety, meaning Jonny and I could finally relax and watch some films.

For anyone considering going to Disney or with tickets already booked, I thought it might help for me to share my top tips with you. We learnt A LOT from our first holiday abroad as a family so this is me passing on my newfound knowledge in the hope of making your trip even more amazing:

1) Take a double buggy. I hadn’t even really considered taking one as Flynn hasn’t used a buggy for years but the lady in the travel agents mentioned her six-year-old still uses one on holiday and it panicked me into purchasing one. BEST DECISION EVER!! Even if Flynn hadn’t used it, it would have been useful enough for our bags, water bottles, the carrier etc but when he got tired…or we got tired of telling him to walk faster/hurry up, stop dilly dallying…he would just jump in the buggy and off we would zoom. There’s buggy parking everywhere so you’ve always got somewhere to leave it if you decide you want to go by foot and whilst it was a little cumbersome during the transfers to and from the parks each day, I believe it was $30 a day to hire a double in the parks – so WELL WORTH taking one with you if you can pick one up at a reasonable price beforehand (I recommend scouring Facebook marketplace for a second hand option).

2) Take LOTS of snacks. We had a hand luggage sized suitcase full and it was pretty much empty by the end of our trip. They kept Flynn satisfied and occupied on the flight and they were a lifesaver during long queues in the parks. It also meant that we could tide him over until we found somewhere we wanted to eat/less busy than other places and it saved us a fortune as food in Disney is not cheap!

3) Download the My Disney Experience app to your phone before you go. It covers everything – queue times, parade schedules, your Fast Passes, ride closures and maps of the parks as well as giving you access to photos taking by the professional Disney photographers.

4) If you have a young baby, take a carrier/sling. Buggies aren’t allowed in the queues so for family rides we chucked Kit in the Baby Bjorn. It was also useful during the bus transfers as you have to fold your buggies so we would carry him in there, leaving spare hands for helping Flynn, carrying bags, holding on (if we didn’t get a seat) etc

5) We went in June because that was the only time my husband could get off work. Would I recommend it as a time of year to visit Disney? No, probably not. As mentioned, it was very hot and fairly busy! We went there knowing this so it certainly didn’t ruin our trip but if I had the option, I would opt for a quieter, slightly cooler time of year – especially with the kids. I’m told that November and February are good times to go (if your kids aren’t yet in school, of course).

6) Flynn is super tall for his age – he’s just over 1.1 metres! Which was lucky because most of the decent rides required you to be 44 inches tall (or 1.11 metres). He’s probably one of the only three-year-olds to have ever been on rides like Tower of Terror and Fast Track – a) because most kids that age wouldn’t be tall enough and b) even if they are, they’d probably be too scared to go on them! Had he been too small to go on them, would the trip have been a bit of waste? Yes, personally I think so! Either Jonny and I would have had to parent swap for every ride, leaving Flynn out which would have been pretty unfair on him, or we would have felt guilty and not bothered doing them – which I think would have resulted in me feeling disappointed that I had gone all that way and not been able to go on any rides for myself.

7) We stayed in the Art of Animation hotel – a Disney partner resort. It was great. We had a Little Mermaid room which was small and cosy (2 doubles and a travel cot) but we knew we wouldn’t spend a lot of time in our room so opted to save money by sharing one space rather than getting a family suite. Flynn loved the cheesy decor and there were lots of big character statues for him to look at (and ask us about….every time we passed them….multiple times a day) on the short walk to our room from the bus drop off point (by the way, transfer buses to the parks are included in your hotel package.)

8) Fans! Normal ones and water spraying ones! Take them! They’re a godsend in the heat. I got mine in either Poundland or Tiger here in the UK for a couple of quid – they were selling them in the parks for $20+! Also ponchos! We went during “the wettest month of the year” and we had pretty crazy thunderstorms most afternoons. Again, the cost to purchase proper Disney ponchos was extortionate whereas I got ours here for £1 each.

I’m sure there’s more but I’m starving hungry and need to put my dinner on and my brain has gone dead – I mean, it’s been pretty mushy in general since having Flynn but it’s particularly bad at the moment as Kit decided to wake up at 2.30am and not go back to bed until 7am and Flynn refuses to sleep past 5am most mornings so it’s safe to say I’m rather sleep deprived. If I think of anything else, I’ll update the post and likewise, if you have any questions, please ask – I would be happy to help in any way I can!

P.S. This photo of Flynn on Expedition Everest cracks me up! haha.