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Vacation Planning Tips & Tricks Discuss Tips for traveling with 3 kids in the Vacation Planning forums; I'm starting to plan our October 2013 trip and this will be the first trip without any grandparents to help out. Five of us are spending 8 days; my wife ...
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    jevx's Avatar
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    Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    I'm starting to plan our October 2013 trip and this will be the first trip without any grandparents to help out. Five of us are spending 8 days; my wife and I, a 10 year old daughter, 8 year old daughter, and a 4 year old son.
    Any tips or suggestions for our planning?
    Thanks!
    -Eric

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    I'm a widowed dad with 3 kids, ages 12, 9 and 9.

    Hotel-wise, with 5 people I'd either rent some DVC points and get a 1 bedroom villa, or get a family suite at Art of Animation.

    Trip planning wise, we do less, and enjoy it more. We like doing mornings in the parks, eat an early lunch, then head back to the hotel afterwards. Depending on the weather, and how the kids feel, we usually spend afternoons at the pool or having a nap. Then we go back out for our dinner, and either back to a park or back to the pool.

    The main thing is to get the kids help in teh planning early. Let them pick out a table service restaurant and help with the hotel selection. Also, take the time to go slowly and enjoy the details. It's not about the attractions, but about the memories.

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    I would suggest buying little Disney items to leave on their pillows, at night, so you don't have to buy everything there.

    Also, take your own snacks and water bottles, I mix dried mango and smoked almonds, and carry a separate nuts and pretzels mix, and we take and refill water bottles.

    I took bubbles and a small (dollar store) coloring pad with a few crayons when my daughter was 5 and again at 7, so she could entertain herself in long lines.

    Carry a 3x5 sized spiral notebook to keep notes of precious moments, magical moments or the order of things for the day for scrap booking later.

    Just my suggestions.
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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Stock up on patience, and remember they are looking at the parks at a lower level than you are looking. While you may see the buildings they might see butts.

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Great tips, thanks for sharing.
    Eric

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Wow, your in a very similar spot to us back in '01!
    Youngest DD was 6, DS was 8, and oldest DD was 9, but turned 10 while we were there.

    Yep, have the kiddos involved with the planning from the get-go. It gives them some "ownership".

    We also took a backpack with snacks, drinks, panchos brought from home, etc., into the parks. It made for a quick and easy way to take care of all those little thirsty, hungry times for them.

    And, as was stated above, don't worry about trying to "do it all". Have a general plan, but we tended/tend to do a bunch on the fly, as well. But, mostly, try to take it easy and enjoy all the details and Magical memories!

    BTW...
    Congrats on the trip!
    Last edited by mickeytoo; 09-19-2012 at 06:24 PM.
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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Quote Originally Posted by jevx View Post
    I'm starting to plan our October 2013 trip and this will be the first trip without any grandparents to help out. Five of us are spending 8 days; my wife and I, a 10 year old daughter, 8 year old daughter, and a 4 year old son.
    Any tips or suggestions for our planning?
    Thanks!
    -Eric
    Leave the kids with the in-laws and make it a trip for two.
    “The trouble with quotes on the Internet is one never knows if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    No more ketchup cup shots for you...!
    I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.
    ~ you know who

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Something to think about. If we left the kids with in-laws, that would leave 3 more ketchup shots for me!

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Quote Originally Posted by mickeytoo View Post
    Wow, your in a very similar spot to us back in '01!
    Youngest DD was 6, DS was 8, and oldest DD was 9, but turned 10 while we were there.

    Yep, have the kiddos involved with the planning from the get-go. It gives them some "ownership".

    We also took a backpack with snacks, drinks, panchos brought from home, etc., into the parks. It made for a quick and easy way to take care of all those little thirsty, hungry times for them.

    And, as was stated above, don't worry about trying to "do it all". Have a general plan, but we tended/tend to do a bunch on the fly, as well. But, mostly, try to take it easy and enjoy all the details and Magical memories!

    BTW...
    Congrats on the trip!
    Kids are already looking at the different pools. My 7 year old really likes the idea of sliding out of the mouth of a clown at Boardwalk.

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Quote Originally Posted by MartianCrab View Post
    Leave the kids with the in-laws and make it a trip for two.
    He's back! Miss ya.
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    but they still bring a smile to my face when I push them down a flight of stairs.

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Big things I remember my parents doing when my sister and I were young were
    1) get to the parks at opening and leave at lunch time
    2) rest by the pool or in your room in the afternoon and go back to a park at night
    3) pay attention to how your children are acting if they seem tired its best to leave then force more time in the park
    Seems like everyone that posted above seems to be giving advice around these ideas mainly because they have been tested over and over again lol
    ’94 WL, ’96 DL, ’99 DL, ’00 OKW, ’01 DL, ’01 GF ‘02 VWL, ’03 DCL Western Magic & CS, ’04 OKW, ’06 Poly
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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Wow, these are very good tips for those who have to go there with thier kids. My 5 did most everything except Rockin Roller Coaster wasn't there then but sure she would not have done it, Mission Space was off boundaries and she didn't like some of the very noisy reveals.

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Ride Partners
    Some attractions only allow you to ride in pairs. (ie: TSM, RNR, EE, Buzz, Spaceship Earth, etc . . .) Note, I have sat between our two youngest on Buzz before. But, it wasn't any fun for me because I didn't have a laser gun! LOL! Make sure you have it figured out who's riding with whom before you get to the loading area. I do feel bad, because our oldest rides by himself sometimes. But secretly, I think he enjoys it too! There are some attractions where you can fit three to a row. (ie: Dumbo, HM, PP, etc . . . ) Also, there are many attractions where it's not even an issue. (PoTC, GMR, IASW, TTA (Peoplemover) etc . . .)

    Rider Switch Pass
    With our three kids, there sometimes comes a time in the parks when we need to split up. Either the youngest isn't tall enough (RNR) or too scared (PotC). We've now learned not every attraction appeals to all our kids. A Rider Switch pass might come in handy in times like that too. So, don't be afraid to ask for one!

    Relax at the Resort
    We visited WDW three times before we even "relaxed" by the pool. I regret that now. My husband would complain he was exhausted returning from our WDW vacations. But, we had to see and do everything. I had the mentality, we can sleep when we get home! My plan now is to get to a park at rope drop, head back to the resort after lunch to relax, get refreshed and head back out in the evening to enjoy fireworks, shows or an EEMH. There have been times when the youngest fell into a deep sleep while back at the resort relaxing and I just sent my husband to the parks with the older two or I took them back in the evening.

    Snacks and Drinks
    Looking back at our first few WDW trips, we spent an unbelievable amount of money on in-park snacks and drinks. I thought you couldn't bring in snacks and drinks. Now I know . . . You can't bring in glass containers or alcohol. Everything else IS allowed. Now, I pack a water bottle for each person and snacks. (gummies, granola bars, muffins, etc . . . ) You can refill the water bottle throughout the day. Ask any quick service location for a cup of ice water. It's FREE! The water fountains taste "off" to me. We don't deprive our children of the full WDW experience and we DO get popcorn and Mickey bars in the parks. But, it's not every day.

    Have a Plan
    I've now relaxed a bit and toned down my itineraries as more of guidelines than a "plan". But, you still have to have a tentative plan in place to make the most of your WDW vacation. If you've made ADRs and picked out parks due to their hours, you're ahead of more than half the people visiting. We still sit down with our children and let them each pick out one attraction in each park they "must" experience. Anything else we accomplish is bonus. This is a great way to get the children involved in the planning of the trip too! Same with a restaurant. Sit down and look at the WDW website to see what your family is interested in.

    A few of our children's favorite WDW restaurants are:
    Downtown Disney
    Quick Service - Earl of Sandwich
    Sit Down - T-Rex
    Magic Kingdom
    Quick Service - Cosmic Ray's
    Sit Down - Crystal Palace
    Epcot
    Quick Service - Yorkshire County Fish Shop (UK Pavilion)
    Sit Down - Les Chefs de France
    Disney's Hollywood Studios
    Quick Service - Starring Rolls
    Sit Down - Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater
    Disney's Animal Kingdom Park
    Quick Service - Flaming Tree BBQ
    Sit Down - Tusker House (Character Breakfast w/Mickey)

    Party of Five Room
    We are DVC Members mainly due to the fact that we are a family of five. We've squeezed into one of the old trundle bed rooms at Port Orleans Riverside and it was not fun! We've stayed in a Beach Club room where our daughter slept on the daybed. We just didn't have enough room or privacy for our family's taste or size. The new rooms at Art of Animation have been made for your family and ours. However, it comes at a price! Like previously mentioned, a cheaper alternative would be to rent points from a DVC Owner. We've even done it. On certain sites, it's safe and surprisingly cheaper than through Disney.
    One reputable site is: David's Vacation Club Rentals

    I hope this helps. Have a magical trip!
    Jennifer Bill (DisneyTaylors) Will (12) Emily (10) Cole (7)
    2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH(DLR), POR, SSR, BWV, POFQ; 2010: BWV (2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) ~ DCL(Wonder); 2011: BCV, AKV (2xs) ~ MNSSHP ~ MVMCP ~ F&W ~ DCL(Dream); 2012: BWV, AKV, BLT ~ F&W ~ MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy);
    Upcoming Disney Trips:
    2013:04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ Flower and Garden Festival & Expedition Everest Challenge, 12/VGC (DLR)
    2014: 06/DCL ~ Alaska (Wonder), 10/DCL ~ Southern Caribbean (Magic)


    "Sparkly"

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    Re: Tips for traveling with 3 kids

    Out of curiousity, I checked how much a Dasani bottle of water is at Walt Disney World . . . $2.50
    (prices can vary on property though)

    $2.50 x 5 = $12.50 x (days at WDW) 7 = $87.50

    You could possible spend "at least" $87 just on water bottles alone!!!

    This doesn't even take into consideration sodas which can run from $2.50 - $3.00.
    When at sit down meals, make sure to ask for a drink "To Go".
    That can save on money too.

    If you aren't driving and are looking for a grocery delivery service, there are many out there that service the Walt Disney World resorts.

    Some of my favorites are . . .

    Garden Grocer

    and

    Shop the Magic

    Jennifer Bill (DisneyTaylors) Will (12) Emily (10) Cole (7)
    2004: CBR; 2006: BC ~ DCL(Wonder); 2007: BCV,YC,BC,SSR,ASMU ~ MVMCP ~ DCL(Magic); 2008: VWL,BCV,SSR,BC,POR,FW(cabin) ~ DCG, PPP,MNSSHP & MVMCP ~ DCL(Wonder); 2009: DLH(DLR), POR, SSR, BWV, POFQ; 2010: BWV (2xs), AKV (2xs) ~ ABD CA ~ GC (DLR) ~ DCL(Wonder); 2011: BCV, AKV (2xs) ~ MNSSHP ~ MVMCP ~ F&W ~ DCL(Dream); 2012: BWV, AKV, BLT ~ F&W ~ MNSSHP ~ DCL(Fantasy);
    Upcoming Disney Trips:
    2013:04/AKV, 05/AKV ~ Flower and Garden Festival & Expedition Everest Challenge, 12/VGC (DLR)
    2014: 06/DCL ~ Alaska (Wonder), 10/DCL ~ Southern Caribbean (Magic)


    "Sparkly"

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