Deployment is hard on the whole family!
The service member is separated from everyone and everything they know and love, the spouse who’s at home is trying to hold everything together, and the kids are just playing a balancing game to figure out how they feel about the whole situation.
For the last million months, or so it seems, my soldier has been deployed, and myself and our 3 kids have just been trucking along. It’s taxing on all of us. I know from my position as the spouse left behind that my mind is a constant to-do list, life still needs to go on and households need to run. Children need help with their homework, practice for music, and a ride to baseball. On top of everything, major things always break during deployment. It’s a rule written somewhere. I was drained and missing my husband. My kids were feeling the same grind.
So, I decided to take the kids to Walt Disney World!
Disney World is the most magical place on Earth! It is joy, fun, and the one place where mom can say “yes” more than she says “no”! Also, from a crazy but practical position, I had one week where I didn’t wash a single dish, vacuum any crumbs, fold any laundry, or scrub any messes! I got to be just a mom who is enjoying her kids and not the nagging unpaid maid that I felt I was becoming.
To save money and stress levels, we opted to drive to Florida. Flights are seeming less and less reliable as they cancel and reschedule so frequently these days, and even factoring in the rising cost of gas, it was still much cheaper to drive with 3 kids.
MOM TIP: We purchased basic Kindle Fires from Amazon, along with a bracket to hold them to the headrest for an affordable, easy way to keep kids entertained while on the road.“
The Disney tickets for the military can be very confusing, read all of the details here . One fact that many do not know is the SPOUSE can also purchase tickets in the name of the soldier (sailor, airman, marine, guardian, coastie). You will need your Dependent ID card and will need to purchase them through your base MWR, ITT, or through Shades of Green. Once at the parks, the spouse can activate them with their Dependent ID. As the spouse, in many ways you are serving, too. Disney understands this and shows their appreciation for the family sacrifices through great discounts.
You can Purchase Long Distance.
When it comes to taking more than one child to Disney World without the help of another adult, it is really important to know how tall your children are and what the height requirements are through the park. Since I have a 2, 7, and 13 year old, we stuck to the Magic Kingdom because it has the most rides without height requirements of anywhere in Walt Disney World.
A child must be 14 before they can sit in a ride vehicle by themselves or accompanying a child 7 or older in a ride. Any child under 7 must be with an adult 18 or older in a ride vehicle. I am fortunate because my oldest can accompany my middle child, while I take the youngest. Talk about some fun, but vicious family competition on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin!
BONUS: Complete List of Family Friendly Rides in Walt Disney World
We define family friendly as rides with no height requirements, so everyone can ride, including pregnant women and infants.
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- The Enchanted Tiki Room
- The Hall of Presidents
- Haunted Mansion
- “It’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- Liberty Square Riverboat
- Mad Tea Party
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mickey’s Philharmagic
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Tom Sawyer Island
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- The American Adventure
- Frozen Ever After
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Disney Junior Place and Dance
- Lightning McQueens Racing Academy
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Toy Story Mania!
- Vacation Fun – An Original Animated Short with Mickey and Minnie
- The Boneyard
- Fossil Fun Games
- It’s Tough to be a Bug
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Na’vi River Journey
- Triceratop Spin
- Wildlife Express Train
Many people would think I was crazy for taking the kids by myself, but those same people probably haven’t spent cumulative years away from their spouse. This was an amazing vacation that allowed all of us to take a breath and enjoy each other! We rode the rides, met the characters, ate all of the food, even enjoyed root beer floats BEFORE dinner! My kids are amazing people. Taking time to spend with these tiny humans that I created in such a carefree environment really gave me the opportunity to appreciate them. When my husband is back we will be thrilled, but this time alone with my kids was precious in a lot of ways.
Go on, mama! Take the kids. Say yes to popcorn for lunch. Skip down main street. If there’s one thing we know about Walt Disney World, it is that dreams come true!
Over to You
Do you have tips for taking the kiddos solo to Disney? Share them in the comment section below!
This MDT Post By: Erin Schreiver
Erin is a MilSpouse who loves going to Walt Disney World with her family, pin trading, and collecting Minnie ears and coffee mugs! Check out her bio.
Planning a Disney Trip? Want to get the best military discounts that are available? Feeling a little confused? See Our Great Disney Discount and Planning Info:
- Disney Veteran & Military Discount Eligibility Guide
- The Military Family’s Walt Disney World Comprehensive Vacation Planning and Preparation Guide
- Military Disney Tips Disney Packing Checklist
- Disney Military Tickets – Your Start to Finish Guide
- Resorts/Hotel Overview Page
- Dining Overview Page
- Transportation Overview Page
- Technology Overview Page
- Shades of Green, WDW’s Military Only Resort
Military Disney Tips' Recommended Disney Travel Agent
Ears of Experience Disney Only Travel Agency. Military family owned and operated! They know all the ins and outs of Disney military discounts!
Lea Hartman says
Yes and yes! Another military mama here and I love WDW. I’m taking my kids during my spouses upcoming deployment as well. They’re much older (during our trip this November, I’ll have one who is a month shy of 17, a 15-yr old, and a 12-yr old) and it might be the last opportunity I get to enjoy the magic with them before my oldest is off to college. I’m very much looking forward to it!