The things you do for the love of your child…most parents are doomed to Walt Disney World Resort during the younger years: don’t fight it; embrace it – it comes to us all. To soften the blow, the only way you can protect yourself is to prepare.

Planning

Where possible, pack for every eventuality. If you have to shell out any money at the resort, you’ll be paying extortionate prices, and this holiday will be expensive enough as it is.

Download a map off the Disney website before you go and mark out where the kids (and you) would like to go. If you want to skip the parades, take the opportunity to go on rides then, as the queues will be smaller. It’s worth spending extra cash on a fast pass.

Little Ones

Children under the age of four are unlikely to enjoy any of the theme park rides, so take advantage of the babysitting services on the resort. Make these arrangements before you leave. There are Baby Care Centres for infants, so work out where these are before you book your tickets.

All your kids will be looking forward to seeing their favourite characters, but younger children may find the real life characters a little intimidating…especially the big, cuddly costumed Disney figures. Don’t force your small ones to give them a hug; otherwise, there might be tears. Respect their boundaries.

Getting Lost

If your kids are old enough to have their own mobile phones, make sure they keep in touch with you every few hours, so you don’t pull your hair out with worry. Arrange for a safe meeting area where everyone can reconnoitre, if someone wanders off. Encourage your child to approach someone in uniform and wearing a name tag, if they get lost. Employees have a lot of experience reuniting lost kids with parents.

Food

It may be ridiculously overpriced but a meal and some fluids will stop tempers from fraying. There’s nothing worse than traipsing around a resort and waiting for hours in queues in ridiculous heat. Get to where there’s air conditioning and get take on water (not Coke, for goodness’ sake). Take twice as much money as you think you’ll need for nosh and souvenirs.

Protect Against the Sun

You really don’t want to end the day with painful sunburns. Make sure everyone has plenty of sun cream on, plus sunglasses and hats. There are misty showers available to cool you down, but ultimately listen to your body and take a break when you need one. Days out for kids can be draining, so pace yourself, or you won’t last the day.

Protect Against Pickpocketing

Leave everything you can safely in your rooms: your passport, travel insurance, etc. Only take the money you need with you and don’t store it in your back pocket. Instead, stow it somewhere safe, such as a fanny pack or money belt. Be hyper-aware in crowds and don’t flash lots of cash in public.

This post has been written by Zoe, a lifestyle and travel blogger, on behalf of Knowsley Safari Park. For an alternative fun day out for all the family, why not take a ride on the Baboon Bus and say hello to some furry friends?