Prepping For Disney World 2020

In ONE week we’re surprising our kids with a trip to Disney World!!!  I can’t believe we’ve kept this a secret since last summer.  So many times I’ve wanted to scream from the roof tops “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY!”  but I’ve  miraculously kept my lips sealed tight.  It’s been a LONG TIME, ok try almost THIRTY YEARS since I’ve been to Disney world.  My parents took my brother and I when I was in third grade.  I dug up a couple old photos to show with you.  Now all this time later, I’m taking my own kids and it’s so exciting!   For this post I thought I would share some tips that other avid Disney go’ers have been kind enough to pass on to this newbie, either on Instagram & IRL friends.   I’m also going to share how we plan to surprise them the morning of the trip as well. 

Me and Cinderella Circa 1990

Let’s start with the whole planning of this trip.  Clearly I haven’t been to the parks in so long, to say I’m a little clueless.  I can not take credit for of any of the planning.  I’m a planner to a certain extent but I get easily overwhelmed with things I’m unfamiliar with, like giant amusement parks.  For this trip I hired a friend that specializes in Disney Vacation planning, it was money well spent, trust me!   Keriann at Practically Perfect Vacations planned everything from our families itinerary, the meal reservations, kids experiences, to the fast pass selections and answered any and all questions I had through out the planning process.  I had no idea that so much had to be planned SO far in advance.  She compared it to planning a wedding and at times it really did feel like that.  Lots of decisions! 

I was so happy we spent the money to have her help us.   Another thing to note, we are so grateful to be renting my best friend’s family time share at Orange Lake Resort.  We’re so appreciative!!   If (when) we go back in the future we will definitely stay at one of the Disney resorts to have that immersive Disney experience as well.  But for the kids first time and to ease into the sticker shock of a Disney trip, we felt this was a great way to ease into it, and the kids won’t know the difference between staying on the property vs. off.

Tips for Disney World:

I would love to to say I’m a Disney Pro and I have it all figured but clearly based on the above I’m not.  But I do have a few peeps that have shared their wisdom with me.  I wanted to pass them on. Below I’m sharing some of the best money and time saving tips I’ve received so far:

Tips for Packing for Disney:

Other Great Tips from my INSTAGRAM Friends:

  • Pre-purcahse each kid a gift card at Target using your red card or BJ’s where they are discounted and each kid can have a specific amount of spending on “extras” at the park.  This way they have to really think about each item they want to get. 
  • At Magic Kingdom take the train from front of park to the back and start from the back most start at the front.
  • For the new Star wars ride as soon as you get into Hollywood Studios check app and get into the boarding groups -ASAP
  • Once you use your three fast passes go on the app and you can get another three!
  • If you are making any purchases in the park that you don’t want to carry, they will have them delivered to your hotel or to the front entrance to the park so you don’t have to carry them all day!
  • The Walmart outside of the park have tons of Disney gifts/toys/clothes for fraction of the price
  • For great non-crowded pictures in front of the Castle go to the back of the castle
My brother and I meeting a ninja Turtle circa 1990 (Look I match him lol)


I will definitely update this once we surprise them. I’ve been going back and forth with so many ideas. There are so many great ideas for surprising your kids. I looked all over Pinterest too to get inspired. The best ones you’ve shared on Instagram are:

  • “We’re Going to Disney” puzzle
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Setting up the suitcase for when they wake up and telling them as soon as they wake up
  • Serve a Mickey pancake breakfast when they wake up
  • Having Mickey and Minnie mail a letter inviting them to come down for a visit
  • A box with a balloon inside

Okay so I’m still figuring out the details. Our flight is taking off at 11 am so we don’t have to wake them up at an obscene hour, thankfully! We plan to act as if it is a normal morning and that they are going to school. I was thinking to pack their back packs with all their disney stuff instead of school stuff with Mickey and Minnie balloons that float up when they open their backpacks. I may have a letter from Mickey attached to Balloon or something that says “no school today we are going to Disney World”. I haven’t figured out the exact details. We thought about telling them the day before but then they won’t sleep and we want everyone rested!

Right now this is what I have to put in their school backpacks:

  • wrist bands
  • autograph books
  • minnie ears
  • mickey hat
  • brother/Sister Mouse shirts
  • water bottles
  • suitcases with Mickie and Minnie Suitcase tags
  • Disney Gift Card



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