Make family memories to last a lifetime with these tried and true tips for experiencing Walt Disney World® Resort.

Aug 12, 2014
 Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida
After spending four days at Florida’s Walt Disney World® Resort with my husband, parents and two sons, I discovered a few basic rules for getting the most out of the experience.

Let the kids lead.

I’m a Disney fan. I love the movies, and I cherish my own memories of visiting Magic Kingdom® Park as a child. For my kids, Disney is the coolest place imaginable. Everything is geared to their enjoyment, and choices for entertainment abound. That’s why, on our trip, we let the boys rule. They chose the rides, where to eat and what to do—a real break from the school, homework, chores routine of home.

Visit during the “Golden Age.”

When we visited Disney, my kids were 8 and 5—both in the midst of the “Golden Age for Ears,” as I call it. They were tall enough to enjoy every ride (for the more exciting rides, kids must be at least 44 inches tall), young enough to believe in the “magic” and old enough to remember the experience. Riding a roller coaster for the first time with our boys and seeing the thrill (bordering on panic) on their faces was priceless for us. And for our kids to hear their mom screaming with laughter at the drop of the Splash Mountain® attraction reminded them (and us) that we were once kids, too.

Stay in the park.

If you are going to Walt Disney World® Resort, reduce the stress and increase the fun by staying in the park itself. This has been the best option for anyone visiting the parks since the first Disney resorts opened 40 years ago. For the ultimate experience, stay at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort, situated inside the gates of Walt Disney World® Resort.

The Resort features several dining options, a luxurious Spa, celebration spaces, and acres of recreational pursuits such as golf, tennis, basketball and water slides. But for little ones, the best part is Explorer Island at the heart of the Resort. The 5-acre (2-hectare) playground includes a 7,590-square-foot (705-square-metre) family pool with a lazy river winding around a “ruined” mansion, a climbing wall, water slides and the Kids for All Seasons club.

Relax . . . or skip the lines.

Kids can be oblivious to all of the things that bore and annoy adults, such as lines, or people hogging tables at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café. Childhood goes by so quickly, and kids need to be kids: They deserve to be wild and scream and laugh—a lot. Disney’s the perfect place to celebrate all that’s fun about being a child, and kids will love it even more if they don’t have to wait in line. With a FastPass+, reserve access to your favourite experiences, such as the Space Mountain®attraction, before you even get to the park.

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