Published Jul/Aug 2006

Plan ahead, take breaks
and use kid-friendly amenities say the experts.
By AAA National

et’s face it–traveling with a preschooler can be challenging. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, close relative, or friend, it’s difficult to relax and enjoy your vacation when the preschooler in your group is bored, tired, or just plain cranky.

The experts at Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida has these vacation-planning tips to help you create magical memories for your preschooler and a less stressful trip for the rest of the family.

• Schedule the vacation when school is back in session (late August through September) to take advantage of seasonal savings. With Magic Your Way packages offered by AAA Vacations®, you can put together an affordable and flexible vacation that fits your family’s interests and budget.

• Pick a child-friendly hotel. Themed pools, children’s activity centers and larger-than-life icons are a few of the benefits of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. Check out the new Disney’s All-Star Music Family Suites located at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort. It features a kitchenette, two bathrooms and sleeps six people — perfect for extended families traveling together on a value budget.

• Before leaving home, review guide maps, attraction descriptions and height requirements, then create a “must-see” list to reflect your child’s interests. Outside the theme parks, young princesses and youthful pirates will enjoy the all-new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Adventure Room at Downtown Disney® Marketplace. Plus, both Disney water parks feature special play areas just for little ones.

• Set a reasonable pace. Schedule some time for young children to rest. Visit a theme park in the morning, take Disney transportation back to the resort for a nap or dip in the pool, then return to the theme park for more fun. Take advantage of Disney’s Extra Magic Hours. Each day, one Disney theme park opens one hour early or stays open up to three hours later for Disney Resort hotel guests. (Valid theme park ticket and resort ID required.)

• Make mealtime fun. Make reservations for at least one Disney character dining experience. Youngsters love meeting their favorite friends up close, and you’ll treasure the photographs. Also, you can relax knowing meals are paid for in advance with the Magic Your Way Package Plus Dining. The plan includes two meals and one snack per person, per package night, at more than 100 select restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort.

• Use family-friendly amenities. Disney’s Magical Express service takes the hassle out of flying by letting you bypass luggage claim at Orlando International Airport and relax on motor coaches that take you to your Disney resort. During your visit, leave the driving to Disney by using complimentary monorail, bus and boat transportation. And if you need an adult night out, babysitting services are available.

Traveling with preschoolers may be a bit of a challenge, but the rewards are tremendous. Watch those little eyes light up with wonder as they see favorite characters and stories come to life for the very first time. Savor the smiles, laughs, hugs and precious time you spend together. It’s what magical vacations at Disney are all about.

Above: Disney theme parks in Florida know how to make the under-five set happy.

Before You Go
For more vacation planning advice or information on Walt Disney World Resort, contact your AAA Vacations® travel professional. Be sure to ask about special AAA Vacations® benefits.

Stop by your nearest AAA service office for maps, reservations, TripTiks and TourBook guides. View a list of offices.

Order free information through the Reader Service Card online. Click on Reader Resources.

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