Big families at Disney World
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How do you manage Disney with all those kids? We get this question a lot. There is obviously a huge upfront cost to purchasing annual passes for seven people. We understand completely that this is not something that all families can afford. However, once you have committed or been gifted with the ability to get into the parks, how can you manage all of the children? How can you afford snacks? How do you manage not to lose them? Believe it or not, once you have whatever tickets you will be using for entrance, you can spend very little money. With our pass, parking is included. We bring our meals, and thank goodness Disney World allows this. Not all theme parks have such open and welcoming outside food policies, and we are so thankful that Disney has nearly no restrictions on bringing your own food. This is a game changer for our crew. We bring snacks, drinks, and entire meals. My children know better than to ask for those adorable Mickey ice cream treats. Of course, there are special occasions when we make an exception or when we are blessed by generous and loving friends and family. But this is the exception rather than the rule.
For the question of how we physically navigate the parks with five children, that is answered by a more overall parenting philosophy and discussion. We try to train the older children to help with the younger ones. Our children listen quite well. They are not perfect, but they rarely blatantly do something they know they shouldn’t do. Practically, we also have a life saving double stroller that has seen thousands of miles. Four children can fit on board! That’s not the manufacturer’s recommendation, but it’s worked well for us for years. When I take all 5 kids to the parks by myself, sometimes I end up just walking on my own because my oldest likes to push the stroller and the 4 youngers like to sit. Knowing your limits as a parent is key. If you enjoy theme parks, and going on adventures with your kids that may not always turn out perfectly, you’ll be fine. Things may not always go as planned, but if you mange both your expectations, as well as your children’s, you can have a wonderful experience, whether you have one child, or ten.