August 20, 2015

Why Disney Is the Happiest Place on Earth for Families

Dear reader Jenny from Ohio asked how we manage Disney World with a large family.  I have gotten this question many times in the past but never had the time to really post about it.  I still don't have time to post about but I love to share Disney with others.  Aside from our favorite beach spot and a mountain resort near our home Disney world is our favorite family vacation destination.  There is a lot of stuff out there on planning a Disney vacation but lets face it not so much for the larger than 2.5 kid families.  We have successfully managed 5 trips with our family so I feel somewhat qualified.  Perhaps by the time Allen and I have taken jobs in the Kingdom to pay for the annual trek with our grand kids (yes, this is officially part of dear hubby's retirement plans) we will have figured it all out?

When we go to the beach for three weeks each fall we toss a bathing suit and some books in a suitcase and leave.  A successful Disney trip definitely takes more strategy.  It is ridiculously overpriced and it takes a lot of effort and planning to have a great Disney World vacation but if you ask me it is well worth the effort. 
What makes Disney a great vacation spot?

~Disney is a safe place for the whole family.  You don't need to worry about drugs, drinking, sex, violence etc... I swear Disney is simply good, clean, family fun.

~Disney is not just morally safe... it is secure.  I recently heard in Disney's 34 year history they have never failed to reunite a child with his parents.  And despite the fact there are buggies laden with all kinds of hand bags, cameras, diaper bags, and gift store purchases left just about everywhere, I have never had anything come up missing. 
~It's clean.  I am not a particular germ phobic sort of person but...  one time we went to Great Adventure on a homeschool trip.  The place was so filthy I didn't even want to sit on the benches and the boys were scared to use the facilities.  At Disney World I have never seen a piece of trash on the ground.  Don't believe me?  Go sit on a bench for a few hours.  And speaking of benches... they are so clean (and plentiful) that one time when I was pregnant with Addison and feeling particularly tired  I stretched out on a bench and napped for an hour while Allen and the kids rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad a few times.     

~Disney is truly a family friendly spot.  Back to that trip to Six Flags.  It cost as much as a day at Disney World.  Kids tickets were only discounted by about $5.  Disney does not discount children's tickets very much either.  The big difference is at Great Adventure/Six Flags there were only 2 attractions the little guys could take part in.  And they were on par with carnival rides.  At Disney World there are very few things that the entire family can not take part in.  Disney goes out of their way to make all attractions work for the entire family with baby swap passes and nice benches. 

~And while we are on the topic of babies... Disney goes out of its way to cater to kids and family as no other place we have ever been.  There are places to breast feed and change diapers within a few steps of every single attraction.  You can purchase baby supplies at every park if you should forget something.  The employees have been well trained in how to help families with buggies, diaper bags and other baby paraphernalia get around with as little difficulty as possible.  Each attraction boasts a place to leave your buggy.  There are buggies available for rent but personally I do prefer our own. 

~Helpful and friendly employees.  When you talk to a Disney World employee you get the feeling they actually like their job.  They say hello.  They smile.  They go out of their way to find a way to make your trip better.  You don't get that very often in this world.  And when something goes wrong they will do anything and everything to help make it better.  On one visit to Disney World Nathaniel lost his back pack.  We retraced our steps and searched high and low but never could find it.  He had a tag with his name and mailing address inside.  Do you know when we returned home there was a box from Disney World containing his backpack?  Another time Emma had bought a Cinderella doll in one of the gift shops.  We weren't home for a few days before the head popped off.  I wrote a letter and she received a new doll in the mail.  On another trip, Elisabeth came down with a fever while we were visiting Epcot.  I took her to guest services where they provided us with a children's Advil.  Be it counter service or a five star Disney restaurant your special dietary needs ranging from a milk allergy to a special diabetic diet will be met with the utmost of care and attention.  Let's face it folks, you don't get that kind of service anywhere else that is crawling with kiddos.   
The bottom line is when we went to Six Flags/Great Adventure (and on other similar family outings) at the end of the day we were all exhausted.  Not in the "we just had such a great time we wore ourselves out" kind of tired but in the "why on earth did we do this" kind of tired.  Almost always when some other trip comes up the kids will say, "No, can we put the money we would spend on that aside for a trip to Disney World." 

So, yes, Disney is expensive.  And I may be a complete sucker.  But seeing three year old Elisabeth meet Rapunzel was priceless. 


  1. You are making me want to go to Disney again! Haven't been since I was 8. It's nice to see you blogging more too. When you have a chance I was hoping you could write more on dealing with sibling squabbles and issues. Your kids seem to have grown up to be such friends. My three love each other (Arabella says 'I love Danny and Sammy sooooo much!) and love to play together but they bicker over the silliest things, like who gets to play with the bunny or having a little fit because someone touched 'their' high chair. Or tattling. How do you deal with things like that? It seem rather small but that's what makes it harder to know what to do- I don't want to overdo it but I know it stems from selfishness and needs to be nipped in the bud before it grows worse. Thanks and hugs!

  2. Thank You!! We love Disney also. The customer service is unlike anything you'll find elsewhere. We are a family of 6 and yes, it's a different story then if we were just 4, but the extra planning and expense is sooooo worth it! And honestly, I think planning is half the fun....just builds the excitement!

  3. thank you so much for writing all of this! I do hope to be able to go someday. And these tips are so so helpful. It truly does look like the happiest place on earth!