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9 Ways to Avoid Major Meltdowns at Disney

When you have spent a lot of time and money on your Walt Disney World vacation, the last thing you want is to have a meltdown to ruin the magic. Walt Disney World is magical, but it is also overwhelming and stressful and can lead to breakdowns.

Although meltdowns will probably happen no matter how prepared you are, we have nine steps you can take to help avoid some major breakdowns. Take these steps to avoid meltdowns during your Walt Disney World vacation proactively.

Every trip and family is different, but these tips come from experience. Know that meltdowns happen and that not only kids have them. Let’s look at how you can be prepared.

Breakfast Pancakes

1. Start with Breakfast

We have all heard that breakfast is the day’s most important meal. At Walt Disney World, this is the case when it comes to preventing meltdowns. Start by getting something in your body before rushing around the Parks. By having some energy ready to go, you can help everyone be prepared for the day.

At all Disney Resorts, there are areas where you can grab breakfast. If you are a big breakfast fan, book a fun character breakfast at Chef Mickey’s or Topolino’s Terrace. Not a huge fan of breakfast? Consider having small granola bars or other items delivered to your Walt Disney World Resort.

Related: Disney Restaurant that Offers the Best-Value Breakfast

Even if you usually don’t eat breakfast, ensure everyone has something to eat before starting the day in the Parks. This is a big step in preventing meltdowns.

Caribbean Beach

2. Plan Breaks

Breaks are essential to preventing meltdowns during a Walt Disney World vacation. During your vacation, schedule breaks not only during the week but also during the day. Head to your Walt Disney World Resort to hit the pool or nap.

Taking a break allows you to get off your feet, freshen up, and prepare for a great evening in the Parks. You can also take breaks in the Parks. Have a sit-down meal or enjoy a show during the day. This gets you off your feet and allows everyone to rest.

For those with a more extended vacation planned, consider taking whole break days. Schedule a day to enjoy your Walt Disney World Resort. Enjoy a slow start to the day, and then enjoy the pool and other amenities.

No matter how you choose to relax during your Walt Disney World vacation, make sure you slow down and take those breaks. That will help you all avoid meltdowns from being overwhelmed and tired.

Ice Water
Photo Credit: Popsugar

3. Stay Hydrated

It is essential to stay hydrated at Walt Disney World. The heat, humidity, and miles of walking take a lot of Guests. Making sure that you are staying hydrated is vital to preventing meltdowns.

Make sure you have a plan for keeping everyone hydrated. Bring your refillable water bottle or have water delivered to your Resort. Either way, know how you will have water daily in the Park.

We also recommend looking into hydration packets. These are a great way to refuel those electrolytes throughout the day.

Every time you are standing in line, make sure you are taking drinks to stay hydrated. Dehydration is a significant cause of meltdowns at Disney. Be proactive by keeping everyone hydrated.

Disney's Polynesian Village Lobby, Main Street, Magic Kingdom Magic Shot
Credit: Disney PhotoPass

4. Dress Smart

We love the adorable Disney clothes and Disney bounding (dressing like our favorite Disney character), but it is essential to be comfortable. Putting your little one in a hot, itchy, and uncomfortable outfit will cause them to get crabby.

Ensure everyone is dressed in comfortable clothes that allow them to move quickly in and out of the rides. Consider if it will be hot, cold, or even rainy during your trip. Dressing accordingly to the weather can keep everyone happy.

Also, ensure you don’t try to break into new shoes during your vacation. You won’t want sore feet during your trip. Bring comfortable walking shoes, and consider bringing more than one pair. This will keep your feet happy and prevent blister-related meltdowns.

Finding Nemo the Musical

5. Find Shade

A great way to prevent meltdowns in Disney Park is to focus on the shade. A lot of breakdowns come from kids and adults getting overheated. Prevent this by hopping from the different air condition areas.

Stop into shops and shows daily to enjoy air conditioning and cool down. Meal time is a great time to get into the air conditioning. As we mentioned, shops and shows are other options when you need a break from the heat during the day.

Knowing this will significantly impact your emotions when it is hot and humid. Be proactive by taking time for those shaded and air-conditioned experiences.

Baby Care Center
Baby Care Center

6. Find Quiet Areas

Not only can being hot cause meltdowns, but being overwhelmed can also cause meltdowns. Know where you can find quiet areas throughout the Parks. Each Park has a Baby Care center. These quiet areas provide an excellent spot with changing rooms and a great place to escape crowds.

Use these quiet areas when your little ones are overwhelmed and need a break. The crowds, excitement, and fun at Walt Disney World can combine to cause meltdowns. Take time for kids to have some quiet time. This will help them be ready for the magic in the Parks.

Family at Disney
Family at Disney

7. Read People

As you begin your days at Walt Disney World, make sure you are constantly checking in with everyone. Be aware of how they are doing throughout the day. Check that no one is hungry, tired, or thirsty. Paying attention to this will keep you being proactive.

Also, if you notice that people are fading or getting grouchy, allow yourself to adjust and change your plans. Forcing everyone to do things because it is the plan doesn’t make it enjoyable.

Don’t be afraid to adjust your plans as needed.

8. Distract People

Another tricky way to prevent meltdowns with little ones is a distraction. Be okay with using the phone or toys during meals and wait times to avoid meltdowns. Having a tech-free experience is essential at Disney, but be OK with using it to avoid major meltdowns.

Consider bringing small toys for kids that can be entertaining during long waits or meal time. These are when we see lots of meltdowns. Having a plan and strategy for when they start to show up can be critical.

Disney Quick Service Dining Plan
Credit: Disney

9. Plan Ahead

Our final tip for avoiding meltdowns is to plan. When it comes to your touring plan and food, you will want to have an overall plan. If you plan to have meals in the Park, you must have a strategy. Even if you don’t wish to table service meals, you must know about mobile ordering and be prepared to do so during the day.

If you know what is on everyone’s must-do list, you can enter the Park with a goal for the day. This will help prevent meltdowns if something is skipped.

Meltdowns at Walt Disney World will happen; however, it is vital to take action to prevent as many as possible. Use these tips to help avoid significant meltdowns during your trip. By being proactive, meltdowns will have a minor impact on your overall experience.


Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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