Keep Kids Happy, Hydrated, and Occupied at Disney

Tips for Disney Theme Parks - from Military Disney TipsNavigating the Disney parks with kids can be a challenge. The long days, constant waiting in line, and often high temperatures can send the little ones over the top and cause the infamous Disney Meltdown.

Everyone has had enough, your child is crying and you’re thinking. “But this is the happiest place on earth!” There are lots of tips to prevent this including mid day breaks.

I receive lots of emails from readers with questions and I enjoy answering them, but I really love getting emails from readers telling me how their trip went, interesting things or news they discovered, and tips to share with others.

I just received a great tip in an email from a reader who has just returned from a great disney vacation with her grandkids. She came up with a fantastic strategy to keep the kids satisfied and occupied all day while in the Disney theme parks.

Keep Kids Happy, Hydrated, and Occupied at Disney World

Here’s her great tip:

Before leaving for Disneyworld, I bought my 5 grandchildren each a small camelbak backpack, they were very lightweight. When we left for the parks in the morning they each packed their healthy snacks in the backpack and we filled the water containers with water.

When they ran out of water, we went to the Disney food stands (waiting for slack periods so there were no lines) and they each got a large cup of ice water to refill their camelbak reservoirs (free at stands that have fountain drinks).

We never had a kiddie meltdown because of dehydration. They always had water available to take a drink on any ride or in any line. The straw sipper on the camelbak was just a turn of their head away to quench their thirst.

There was no having just bought drinks and then having the ride operator tell us to throw them away before we could get on the ride. They fit on all of the rides and only on a few did they have to take them off and store them during the ride.

The kids didn’t ask for food and water all day because they had water and were able to pull nuts, trail mix, small cookies, dried fruit and PB&J sandwiches or granola bars from their backpacks when they wanted. It was ideal.

I can’t tell you how many people saw the Camelbaks and asked where we got them.

The only small problem is that we discovered that after every ride we then had to use bathroom as a group because they were constantly drinking. But that actually was a timesaver because we didn’t have to stop seven different times for one of the group to go to the bathroom.

The kids (ages 4-9) never became dehydrated and we saved hours and hours of standing in line or trying to carry water bottles (and losing them). They enjoy being in charge of whatever they wanted to eat from the camelbak backpacks and not having to keep track of a water bottle.

Now that we are home they bring their camelbaks on every hiking outing we have because they love them.

I thought this was a fantastic idea! Empowering the kids to choose what snacks to put in their pack (from your healthy selection of options) and what to nibble on when will give them a sense of control during an overwhelming day. Keeping them hydrated can only improve their mood too.

Has anyone else tried this?

Share your tips in the comments below! 

Here ia another great free activity that the kids will love: The Night Vision Goggle Safari

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Steve Recommends
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Military Disney Tips Gear

The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World - Best WDW Planning book in my opinion

The Best Ever First Timers WDW Book The Easy Guide to Your First Walt Disney World Vacation

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Simple Stroller Rentals - Beats WDW's prices, plus they offer a 10% Military Discount - The website of the Unofficial Guides - Crowd Forecasts, Pre-made Touring Plans, plus lots of other detailed info

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  1. Stacy says

    We have used this method on our past 2 Disney trips. We are planning another visit this summer and will be taking our camelbacks! Best idea ever!

  2. Barbara says

    We too bring backpacks with each of us for a water bottle and a snack. But I just buy some small and inexpensive ones at Walmart. The first trip I brought a Camelbak cup for each of us to fill at a water fountain. Turns out that we didn’t like the taste of the Florida water. So the second trip I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a case of individual bottles. That worked out much better. Plus we then had the waters for in the room when someone was thirsty or needed to wash down snacks or meds.

  3. Emily Murray says

    My dad is retired army, so we always stay at Shades of Green when we visit Disney and we look for ways to save money every chance we get. We always carry around a small backpack filled with waters, snacks, and small sandwiches that don’t spoil in the heat, too. We’ve saved heaps of money doing that! You don’t generally have to worry about losing your backpack on rides either, because most Disney rides aren’t intense enough for it to fall out.

    • Steve says

      Thanks for the comment Emily!

      It is important to find ways to save. Disney can get expensive and bringing your own snacks definitely helps.

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