Florida's theme parks and attractions are amongst the best in the world – with many visitors making yearly trips. If planning just a day or two at Disney, a little research can both save on ticket prices and mean 'less queuing, more doing'. Seemingly dozens of ticket packages exist for every attraction that follows – if the choice overwhelms at first, simply hop on to a theme park forum or Trip Advisor for advice – someone in-the-know will gladly steer you right. "Doing Disney" is an expert's field, many of whom happily share their insight. If you'd rather skip the research, note that in almost all cases you can save a little by buying your tickets online.
Special events (and rocket launches)
When to go? If you do nothing else prior to your day-trip, do check the online event calendar at any attractions of interest. You'd be mighty disappointed to arrive at the Space Center to find out that a rocket launched yesterday, right? A well-timed special event could become a trip highlight and a lifelong memory. (But don't blame us if your kids start nagging about Space Camp...).
Getting the most out of a large theme park
Show up to 'the happiest place on Earth' – and then what? "Mom, Mom, Mom!" "Can we do this, and that, and go there?!" Nobody's promising a relaxing day – but it should be supreme good fun. Whether you tend towards O.C.D., color-coded schedules, or something a bit more spontaneous, it's good to have a few stops in mind. If you can check off every family member's top choice in the morning, the afternoon is open for exploration. So, peruse the map today! Who wants to go where?
Safety, and happy kids
Many rides have height restrictions. Better to break the news to your shorty in advance than suffer a meltdown at the ride's entrance. (More details online). As for crowd safety, talk through a plan that suits your kids' ages.
What to bring with you
Three top tips! Snacks, like granola bars or bananas, can save the day if you find yourself starving in a long line. (Same goes for bottled water). If it's hot, many parks sell cooling spray bottles – but you'll find them cheaper at any local drug store. Plastic ponchos and waterproof disposable cameras are also nice to have at water parks.
Resource websites and special requirements