As a twin parent there are very few things that I only do one time. My days are spent on repeat, as I care for one twin, and then do it all again for the next. But when it came to taking my kids to Disney World, I wanted it to be a one and done trip. I am by no means a Disney expert, and I wouldn’t even classify myself as a Disney fan. However, we had a really fun trip and it wasn’t super stressful or expensive (by Disney standards) because I spent some time planning and prepping before we left. I’m sharing my best tips with you today. First, here are the specifics. We took a 5 day trip to Disney World in Orlando, FL. We visited all 4 parks, with whole days spent at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and a split day at Hollywood Studios and Epcot. We went in the Fall and our twins do not need a stroller or naps anymore.
We flew into Tampa International Airport and rented a car, then drove to Orlando. Disney no longer provides complimentary shuttle service from the airport, so you have to arrange and pay for this yourself. It was cheaper for us to fly into Tampa than flying into Orlando and it was nice to have a car to pick up groceries and other supplies as needed. Our return flight was out of the Orlando airport. We reserved day 1 and day 5 of our trip for travel with no park plans on those days. After we arrived at the hotel, we headed straight for the pool, and made it an early night to prepare for our first park day.
We stayed on property at the All-Star Music Resort, in a Family Suite. This allowed us to have two separate sleeping areas and a full size refrigerator, kitchen, and microwave. The suite also had 2 bathrooms which made the morning rush and bedtime easier. Even though this resort is considered on the “value” level, it had every convenience we desired and had short bus rides/wait times to the parks. In fact, once we even had the whole bus to ourselves. I also requested a late check-out to allow for a little swimming before our flight out, and it was readily accepted.
We made it through the whole trip without making a single dining reservation. Our twins are selective when it comes to eating away from home, and we didn’t want to waste an hour or more of our park time sitting down and eating a meal that not every family member would enjoy. So instead, I stocked our suite’s refrigerator with breakfast and lunch foods. We ate breakfast in our room each morning, and then packed a lunch for the kids and snacks for everyone. My partner and I used the Disney app to order a quick meal at the park. As a whole, we were not impressed with the meals at Disney, but some of the snacks were tasty. We also brought frozen water bottles into the park with us each day. They served as ice packs to keep lunches cold and then as they thawed, more drinking water. Also, ice water is free from any restaurant at Disney, but they only have paper straws. So bring your own if your kiddo requires them.
Disney App/ Genie +
If you are trying to do all the things in one trip, you must spring for the Genie +/ LightingLane options. I think it is ridiculous that on top of paying hundreds of dollars to simply enter the park you must also pay extra for Genie +. But without it, we wouldn’t have been able to ride and see all we wanted to in three days. It’s worth it to not have to wait in line at attractions and shows. I had packed activities to keep the twins busy as we waited in line, but we didn’t need them as we never waited more than 20 minutes. My main tips with Genie+ are to get used to the app before your trip, and keep refreshing it. There were several times we were able to get Genie+ times at the most popular attractions by simply refreshing over and over. And don’t forget to bring a portable charger, as all that refreshing will drain your battery.
What I Packed
Each day we brought a backpack and a small shoulder/waist bag into the park. Sometimes they searched our bags and other days they didn’t. In addition to our phones, money, and our Disney Ticket Cards…here is what we brought.
Are you planning a trip to Disney with your twins anytime soon?