I shouldn’t start out with the word “survived” but it truly was a battle of great proportions. Between kids, heat reaching an average of 95 per day, 100% humidity, lines and lines of people and kids for rides, etc. we came, we saw, we conquered (for the most part).
Looking at the numbers:
95 Degrees was the average daily temperature
4 Kids ages 2-11 years old
3 Number of park days (2 Disney and 1 Universal)
7.8 Average miles walked each day (total of 26 miles over 4 days)
20 Hours in a car, with my kids, driving through the night (OMG)
10 Number of rides ridden at Disney World and 6/7 rides at Universal
Any parent, I am sure, will tell you that Disney World or Land is months of prep, research, planning, packing, etc. But great memories are made and there is something very magical about Disney World that brings out the inner child in you. To see the excitement that a child has when meeting their favorite character, makes all the sweat worth it.
My kids are a little older ( 8 and 11) and wanted to do rides, lots and lots of rides. Thank God for fast passes!! We had fast passes for 3 rides but managed 8 rides which is pretty awesome. The Disney park app also provides you with current wait times for rides which was helpful in planning and running all over the park to hit rides with lower waits times.
We went to Universal for one day and it was so worth it! The Harry Potter themed parts of the park were amazing and the new Harry Potter ride in which you get to fly (or feel like you are flying with him) was the best ride I rode on over the past couple of days (and we rode a lot of rides). The butterbeer was also amazing. Waiting time for rides as much shorter (15-30 minutes).
A few lessons learned along the way:
NOTHING and I MEAN NOTHING prepares you for 95-degree heat and 100% humidity (unless you live in it every day). We would search for shade and we traveled with lots and lots of water. But it was just down right hot and we don’t mind heat, we like the sun, but we still struggled.
Walking: we walked, on average, 7.8 miles a day at the parks. You cannot do this in flipflops. Your feet will hate you but let’s be honest, your feet are going to hate you either way between the walking and the heat.
We did fast passes for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, and made reservations for dinners and lunches. That was very helpful with timing of fast passes.
Universal had more rides and attractions my kids wanted to see. But they would tell you that they liked the Harry Potter ride and the Animal Kingdom’s Yeti roller-coaster (Expedition Everest) which was pretty thrilling.
At the end of the week, we loved the pool, the pool bar (lets be honest here), and the time together as a family (and everyone survived lots of family time). Would we do it again, yes! Still lots to see and rides that we didn’t get too! Do we need a vacation from our vacation, yes!
To all the parents and grandparents out there that brave Disney World and any other theme park, hats off to you! May your ride lines be short, the heat index below 90 degrees and your time with your family be great!