If you’ve ever visited Disney World with your family in tow, whether you know it by now or not, you possess within you a unique skill set.
Let’s face it, as much fun as it can be to go to Disney World, it’s also A LOT to handle. You’re on your feet all day in the unforgiving Florida climate with hungry kiddos and heavy crowds. If you’re like us, you’ve probably developed some coping skills that you could really use to win this war right about now!
But really, we’ve been thinking A LOT about this lately. In some bizarre turn of events, a typical day for us now isn’t that far off from what an average day at Disney World FEELS like. There are moments of sheer panic, moments of bliss, moments of wanting to pull your hair out, and moments of happy tears that are impossible to hold back.
All the tools, techniques, (and even a few tricks) you’ve picked up from managing your Disney vacation stress levels while trying to cohabitate with your kids in the confinements of a modest 2-queen bed Disney World guest room are already there within you — now’s the time to call upon THEM!
Getting Up Early
We get it — rope dropping your kitchen and living room isn’t as exciting as rope dropping Magic Kingdom, but getting up early to start another exhausting day is the new name of the GAME! And just like it is when we’re at Disney World, our kids’ boundless pre-dawn energy and endless enthusiasm for the day ahead isn’t quite equally matched by our own, but that’s why coffee was invented.
Only you know for sure if your family is still observing the standards of proper everyday hygiene and attire (don’t worry — this is a judgment-free zone!). You’ll want to skip ahead if such rules no longer apply to you and your clan! But since many of us are now trying to get ready at the exact same time as everyone under our roof, it’s just like being in a standard Disney Resort guest room with only ONE bathroom!
That’s why we’re observing a strict 10-minute in-and-out rule! That’s all the time each person in our family has to shower, no exceptions! 😉 Plus we’re brushing up on our hair braiding skills which cuts down on the “getting ready” time even more! And of course, showers are still optional on most weekends (as they always were and forever shall BE!).
Feeding the Troops
If you haven’t set up your kitchen like a Disney World Resort food court or quick service grab ‘n go location, DO IT. DO IT NOW. Otherwise, a Henry Ford assembly line much like Disney’s kitchen brigade system is the next best thing.
For breakfast, have one person handle the eggs, put a man on the toast, get someone else to set the table, and assign whoever else is standing around a task! No one gets benched at mealtime! It’s all hands on deck!
If you’ve already mastered the art of scheduling FastPasses with the right combination of advance dining reservations thrown in, you were born for balancing homeschooling with work life. Trust us — multi-tasking and allocating time has now officially become a major part of your genetic makeup. Next time you feel overwhelmed, try tapping into the Disney itinerary lobe of your brain for guidance.
And as for the actual lessons you’ll be teaching your kiddos, take some inspiration from the stuff you’ve already learned at Disney World!
You can reference The Hall of Presidents to teach American History or Animal Kingdom’s “it’s tough to be a bug” to learn about Natural Science! You may not even realize how much knowledge you’ve picked up from Disney parks because of how much FUN you were having!
Much like Disney World, the confinements of your current situation will test your patience. You may feel like you’re being pushed to the brink of your sanity — but you GOT THIS! Take a deep breath and instead of telling yourself you’re trapped like a desperate animal in a cage that’s being rattled every five seconds, send yourself this message of hope: you’re spending more time than you ever thought would be possible with those you love.
So often, a vacation is the only time we have to spend with our families without responsibilities and distractions from the outside world intruding on us. See this experience as more of an opportunity to enjoy quality time by keeping all things in perspective.
Remember how you walk AT LEAST five miles every day you’re at Disney World — and that’s on a relaxing day?!?! Make sure you’re giving yourself and your fellow inmates some time out in the yard.
Throw a frisbee around like you would on the sandy beaches at Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resort. Or go for a family bike ride MINUS the surrey bike you’d normally rent at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn! Go for a walk outside where it isn’t crowded.
You can’t stay cooped up all day or you’ll go crazy. Exercising helps relieve stress and you’ll probably even sleep a little better — once your muscles are no longer sore that is.
This probably goes without saying, but since you’re exercising, you’ll have a built-in excuse to consume EVEN more calories like you would on a normal day at Disney World! We’re always up for matching our daily caloric intake at Disney World, which usually consists of carbs, cheese, carbs, and MORE CARBS!
If Disney World has taught us anything, it’s that when all else fails, there’s always bribery. One of the sharpest tools we have as adults have is currency, and we’re not talking about cash money, honey. Sometimes we ALL need a little extra motivation to push us along.
Recognize what you need right now to get through this and give it to yourself. What would normally take the shape of a Mickey Pretzel or Dole Whip could just be a nice bubble bath or a handful of chocolate chips for finally organizing your sock drawer. Hey, whatever gets you through the day.
Bribery works great on kids too. It can be a healthy snack, a favorite toy, or extra screen time for completing their lessons. While we don’t think it’s a good idea to ALWAYS bribe someone, be it ourselves or our children, sometimes we all just need a little extra something to do what we need to do.
A Moment of Reflection
At nighttime, once you’ve finally arrived back home at your “Disney World Resort” a.k.a. master bedroom and sprawled out on the bed after another most-exhausting day of your life EVER, think about the things you and your family did that day.
Even if you’re not into keeping a journal, maybe jot down a few notes either on paper or on your phone. That way, someday, when this is all over, you can remember how bittersweet this bunker life is and how every day wasn’t really that different from some of your most memorable moments at Disney World.
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What are some of the superhuman powers you’ve acquired at Disney World that you find yourself drawing up now? Share them with us in the comments below!