Getting ready for Disney- The Quick and Easy Version

We are going on our first Disney vacation with our 2 kids in a few weeks and I am super pumped!! My husband and I both love Disney, we went together with his family before we were married, went there on our honeymoon and once after we were married but before kids. I know it will be quite a different type of Disney vacation than we have had in the past but this will be a whole new type of excitement. Seeing our kids faces when they spot characters they know and see the castle for the first time...ahh I just can't wait!!

I am sharing how I have been getting ready for our trip because I looked at other blogs that were extremely helpful when it came to this stuff, packing, schedule, etc. and thought I might be able to help someone else too. 


The best resource I found for WHEN to plan our trip was over at Easy WDW. They provide crowd calendars of each month with all the information you could need all neatly organized on each day of the month long calendar including costs, high and low temperatures, crowd levels, etc. They also have information on each resort, restaurant, park and really anything else you need help with while planning your trip. 

I booked our trip during a promotion they were having for Disney Visa cardholders which gave us at least a week before general public to book our trip with a free dining plan. Yay, already saving some money! This was roughly 6 months prior to our trip even though I knew we were going to book a trip over the past year,

FLIGHTS- 5 months out

Next I waited until I could find good prices for flights, I found Southwest was having a sale on flights each way so I booked those 5 months before the trip. One reason I chose Southwest is because your first 2 checks bags per person are free! They have family boarding between the A group and B group during boarding so I am not worried about getting split up from the other members of our family.


With the 2 major items planned, I patiently (not!) waited until I could book our dining reservations for a character meal and one at The Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney. Do not delay booking these!! I waited until the following morning at 6am and one place I wanted to go was completely reserved for our whole trip. In hindsight I think the T-Rex restaurant would have been too scary so I am glad I didn't end up with that res.

FASTPASSES- 60 days out

Then booked our Fastpasses. Having two toddlers makes Fastpass selection much different from what we were used to, but I am excited for them to experience all the things I remember loving as a child. 


We just got our MagicBands in the mail and now it feels real, like we are really going to leave in just a few weeks. So on to the packing. I am following the most extensive Disney packing list I could find which I got over at WDW Prep School.

One of the major items to pack or not pack is a stroller. We only have single and double jogging strollers which are too big for a plane trip or Disney bus, so the questions was do we buy or rent. I had all the rental places priced out and figured if I could find a used double stroller on craigslist over the summer I would buy it for about the cost of renting one which was around $80. All summer long and nothing turned up. So then I started doing some research on whether a double stroller was really what I wanted to go with and it is about 50/50 on bringing a double or two singles. Our kids are almost 2 and almost 4 years old and I decided to purchase 2 easy fold but higher quality umbrella strollers. They are Kolcraft Cloud umbrella strollers from Walmart and are $29.00 each.  

Some of the features I liked about them are shown on the picture of the box below. All of these are awesome to have for a simple umbrella stroller.

Here is my almost 4 year old sitting in it with plenty of head room under the canopy. I am about 5'-7" and can comfortably push these without tripping over them like normal umbrella strollers.

The basket under the stroller is not big by any means but it will be able to fit our diapers and wet wipes under one and water bottles or extra clothes under the 2nd stroller. Those are the things I wont mind leaving in the stroller when we go on rides. 

I love that the back of the seat fold up to uncover mesh which will be perfect if the weather gets warm during the trip. 

I also wanted to show you what I have packed special for each of the kids since we will be flying. 
Most of this stuff I got at the Dollar Tree where everything is a dollar or Walmart. I got each a little diary that we can use as an autograph book if they understand what that is when we get there, A photo album, a collapsible water bottle then a small pencil pouch filled with little goodies for the plane ride. 

I will post a trip report on how the umbrella strollers worked at Disney and gate checking them for the plane ride vs. if we would have rented one in Florida. 

With so much information to search through on the internet about planning a trip, I hope you find this to be a quick and easy start to your planning.  

When are you going to Disney and what other questions do you have?