Preparing Your Child For a Walt Disney World Vacation: 7 Things To Do To Get Your Kid Ready to Go! - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
WDW Planning Articles
A Treat for the Senses
A Year at Walt Disney World
Arrival Day at Walt Disney World
Baby Steps
Budget Disney World Lodging
Budget Disney World Souvenirs
Budget Disney World Tickets
Budget Disney World Transportation
Budget Your Disney Trip
Counting Down to Disney (Part 1)
Counting Down to Disney (Part 2)
Disney + Disabilities = Magic!
Disney Dreaming
Disney Dreaming With Kids
Disney Tech Primer - Part 1
Disney World 101 Quiz - Part 1
Disney World 101 Quiz - Part 2
Dreaming of Disney World
Emergencies While at Walt Disney World
Enjoying the Peace at Disney
Finding Answers
Finding Relaxation at Walt Disney World
Five Tips for a Trouble Free Trip
Getting There is Half the Fun
Greener Walt Disney World
Helping Plan A First Trip to Disney
How to Catch a Deal at Disney
Last Minute Planning
Lessons Learned
Making the Most of Walt Disney World
Mickey Mouse as Motivation
Mickey Mouse's Masterpieces
My Disney Mistakes - Part 3
Packing for Winter Weather at Walt Disney World
Planning Makes the Magic Happen
Planning Your First Trip to a New Park
Planning Your Walt Disney World Vacation
Pregnant At The Mouse House
Pregnant at Walt Disney World
Preparing Your Child For a Walt Disney World Vacation
Pros and Cons of the Magic Your Way Premium Plan
Safe Disney Travels with Kids
Saving Money for Disney
Season Survival Guide
Taking a Toddler To Walt Disney World
Taking a Toddler To Walt Disney World
Taking Kids Out of School For a Disney Trip
Taking the Grandkids
Taking Toddlers to Walt Disney World
Taming the Beast
The Art of Packing
The Disney Rumor Round-Up
The FASTPASS System
The Kids Are In Charge
The Magic of Slowing Down
The More, The Mickey-er
The Never Land Club
The Reluctant Mouseketeer
There's an App For That - Part 1
Tips for a Disney 'Newbie'
Tips for Traveling
Toddlers to Teenagers
Using Technology to Plan Your Disney Trips
Walt Disney World for Veteran Visitors
Walt Disney World With Teens? Absolutely!
What - No Parks?
What Keeps Us Coming Back to Disney?

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
Visit Forum

Preparing Your Child For a Walt Disney World Vacation: 7 Things To Do To Get Your Kid Ready to Go!

Walt Disney World photo
by Leanne Phelps, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 1/30/2009
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Planning  

Are you taking a child to Walt Disney World? A daughter, son, grandchild, or neighbor? Maybe it is his or her first trip and you want to make it magical. Here are a few ideas about how to make the trip (and the anticipation of it!) extra special.


Breaking the news is the first step! Telling your child that he or she is going to Disney World can be lots of fun all by itself. Many people like to share the news by giving their child a Disney stuffed animal, wrapping up a Disney World map, showing a Disney video, or sending a special Disney postcard or letter to the child. For older kids, you could share the news by giving them their own planning guide and a pen. Some people even surprise children by packing their bags in secret and revealing the trip right as they board a plane or jump in the car. However you choose to do it, your child will be thrilled!

If you are involved in the PassPorter Boards Community or another on-line Disney community, you may hear of someone who is going to Disney World before your trip who would be willing to send your child a postcard. When an online friend was at Disney a month or two before we were going, she sent my niece a postcard from her favorite Disney characters saying they couldn't wait to see her soon. My niece was so thrilled! (Editor's note: We call them Fairy Godmailers! Find one in our "Making More Magic" forum.

Countdown the Days -- To help your child know how many days are left before the big trip, you can make a "countdown calendar." This could be in the form of a paper chain where you remove a link each day or it could be a special calendar where you place a Disney sticker every day until you leave. Any type of countdown will not only build excitement, but it might also cut down on the number of times you answer the question, "How much longer until we go to Disney World?"



Inside the ESPN Club. photo
Inside the ESPN Club.

The ESPN Club at Boardwalk. - photo by rescuesk

Get the Kids Involved -- To keep everyone excited while you are waiting for your big trip to start, get everyone involved in the planning! Everyone can contribute ideas for where to stay, eat, and play. Older kids can look at a Disney World map or at your PassPorter and start making a list of "must do" attractions. Some parents give each family member a highlighter of a different color to highlight things that are of special interest to them. Younger kids may enjoy seeing a picture of an attraction and giving it a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down."

Do Some Reading -- It is also fun to make a ritual of reading about a different Disney park, ride, show, or restaurant each night before bed or sharing Disney trivia as a family. To keep the Disney magic in the front of everyone's minds, you can take a family trip to your local Disney Store, check out Disney's web site, or go to the movie theater to see the latest Disney release. There are also some great Disney games like Disney Monopoly or the new Disney Scene It! that are fun to play.

Take In a Movie -- For young kids, watching Disney movies can get them familiar with the characters they'll see. You may also need some time to prepare the smaller children for what the characters will be like at Disney World. While watching the characters in the movies or when you see them in photos, you can tell your child what it will be like to see them "in person." Ask your child what he or she might say to Cinderella or Peter Pan. As for Mickey, Pooh, and Goofy, describing how big they will be or that they will not speak out loud might make your child more comfortable when you actually encounter them at the parks. Make note of who your child is most interested in meeting at the parks. Once you arrive at Disney World, check for a schedule of where to find a particular character. You can ask for the schedule at City Hall in the Magic Kingdom, Guest Relations in any park, or at the "Tip Board" near the center of every park.

Kids of all ages will enjoy the free planning video or DVD put out by Disney. You can request one by going to http://www.disneyworld.com or you can even watch it online. This is an excellent planning tool! It will also come with a full color brochure that is fun to look at as well.

Get Dollarwise -- Children that are old enough to manage money will enjoy receiving Disney Dollars as a gift or compensation for chores. I've heard of families who give their children's allowances to them in Disney Dollars for weeks before a trip. That way, once they arrive at Disney World they will have their own "money" to spend (they can't spend it before they get there!) and you won't have to constantly give a yes or no to every request. They can decide what is important to them and use their Disney Dollars accordingly.

Give Goodie Bags -- To add to the anticipation (and to give your child something fun to do in the car or plane) you could prepare a goodie bag to give to the child. This could be given right before you leave or even as a way to "break the news" about your exciting trip. Possible items to include are: Disney coloring book and crayons, autograph book and pen, stickers, candy, sunglasses, disposable camera, wallet with Disney Dollars in it, small puzzles, pins to trade, small stuffed animal, lip balm, mini flashlight, etc. If you have Disney maps, you can include them, too!

Whether you use some of these tips or use some wonderful ideas all your own, by the time your special child arrives at Disney World he or she will be more ready than ever to experience the magic that only Disney can bring! Congratulations on embarking on an exciting adventure. Few things are as rewarding as seeing the "World" through the eyes of a child.


The ESPN Club. photo
The ESPN Club.

The ESPN Club at Boardwalk. - photo by rescuesk




About the Author:
Leanne Phelps has been enjoying Disney World since college. She and her husband now enjoy visiting with their children.

Related Links:
Disney + Disabilities = Magic! - Enjoying Disney World with Disabilities last updated 11/07/2008
Saving Money for Disney - Tips and Tricks last updated 2/25/2011
Baby Steps - Six Sanity Savers For Baby's First Trip to Walt Disney World last updated 3/7/2011
Disney Dreaming - Book Excerpt from PassPorter's Walt Disney World last updated 1/16/2009
Walt Disney World for Veteran Visitors - Finding New Things To Do last updated 1/16/2009




Reader Comments:


So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 1/30/2009 - Article #54 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 

RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - 13,14,15,16,17,18
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discussion forums about Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel provided by PassPorter Travel Press, the ultimate Disney travel guide and book series.


I got Disney Mail!!!
by NurseLesley
21 Jul 2014 at 3:11pm
I was reading new posts and getting very excited and I decided to run out and check my mailbox :) I not only got my airport documents with luggage...
(click title above to view replies)

Most ironic song at Disney World
by MMator
20 Jul 2014 at 6:36pm
Country Bears singing "Davey Crocket" "..killed a bear when he was only 3." (Line changed to "had a fox..." Or something. )
(click title above to view replies)

A "taste" of Disney before our trip
by Jambo
20 Jul 2014 at 4:34pm
Our family vacation isn't until August, but Dh and I got to sample a little Disney before heading down to Naples, Fl for his annual work conference...
(click title above to view replies)




Total Visits: 11984


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.