3 things we bring to Disney to make it a happier place for us & them

It's the happiest place on Earth. Thanks to three things that we do to prepare for Walt Disney World, it's an even happier place for us and our daughters. 

Playing with Minnie Mouse beauty set

1. We purchase a gift - whether toy, book or puzzle - BEFORE the trip. I've found when we give them something to play with on the road, it makes the car ride go that much faster. With a toddler and preschooler, that's important and already starts our trip on a happy note. The gift for this particular trip was a Minnie Mouse beauty shop from the Disney Store. You can see them playing with it in the picture above at the car dealership before we hit the road.

2. We purchase a Disney-themed night light (to be used on subsequent trips). The one we chose is Minnie Mouse from Dollar Tree. Our preschooler has a hard time sleeping in a separate room from us while on vacation. She does fine at home. But doesn't like being in a strange place. Who can blame her? Enter Minnie Mouse night light. I told her Minnie would keep her safe all night. She could turn the night light on at night and off again in the morning, just like at home. Guess what? It worked for all four nights of our trip. Happy girl, even happier parents!

3. We let them purchase one souvenir to remember our family vacation. They can decide whether to buy their keepsake on the first day or the last day, but they only get one item. We also limit the dollar amount to teach them about money and how to spend it wisely. On this trip, Monkey carefully looked at each gift shop which is oh so conveniently placed at the exit of each ride in Fantasyland. After much thought, she selected a Minnie Mouse camera. Lil Tank immediately grabbed the first stuffed Minnie she saw and never let go. These hand-selected souvenirs brought them joy during our trip and still do at home. 

So there you have it. The three things we do to make a trip to Disney happier for us and them. What about you? Do you do anything special in anticipation of a Disney vacation or how about while you're there? We'd love to hear about your traditions.