How to Avoid Meltdowns at Disney

How to Avoid Meltdowns at Disney World 2024

Are you planning a Disney World vacation? Disney World vacations are family vacations that are often cherished and looked back at fondly. However, there is a dark side to Disney World vacations. Meltdowns and tantrums are common with kids. Adults also have meltdowns at Disney World. Even the most level-headed adults have meltdowns at Disney World! I recently went on a Disney World family vacation with my husband and two kids and we had meltdowns. I’m sharing with you what I learned from our recent Disney World family vacation and what I could have done to avoid these meltdowns. Here are my tips for families on how to avoid meltdowns at Disney World.

Here is my video of How to Avoid Meltdowns at Disney World. Below is the article that you can read. 

1. Don’t Wait In Line

Waiting in line is difficult for both adults and kids. At Disney World, waiting in line is a common cause of meltdowns. You can easily wait in line for an hour or more just to ride a 6-minute ride. And to make it worst, oftentimes, you have to wait in line in the heat and everyone is tired and hungry. These are recipes for disaster, meltdowns waiting to happen!

The good news is you can do something about it. You can prevent meltdowns from happening by not having to wait in line at Disney World! The trick is to buy Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane every day while you are at Disney World! With Disney Genie+, you can make ride reservations in advance. Then all you have to do is go on the ride during your Lightning Lane ride reservation window. 

Disney world Magic Kingdom

During my most recent Disney World family vacation, we purchased Disney Genie+ every day. It is $15 per person per day. So for my family of four, I paid an extra $60 per day to have Disney Genie+. I must say it is so worth it. We barely had to wait in line. We just showed up at the rides during our allotted time and we pretty much went straight to the ride. I was worried that I would be on my app all day, trying to make Lightning Lane ride reservations but it was pretty effortless. Once you get the hang of it, Lightning Lane reservations are easy to book. Do know that there are some popular Lightning Lane rides that sell out so there is a bit of strategy involved. 

Check out my park-by-park Lightning Lane strategies: Epcot Lightning Lane Strategies, Magic Kingdom Lighting Lane Strategies, Hollywood Studios Lighting Lane strategies, and Animal Kingdom Lightning Lane Strategies

Just to give you an example, during the days we were at Magic Kingdom, we were able to ride 6 rides one day and 8 rides on our second day at Magic Kingdom through Lightning Lane reservations. My kids got so spoiled, that they basically didn’t want to have to wait in line if the standby line was longer than 25 minutes so we rode almost all the rides using Lightning Lane. It was so easy. We didn’t have meltdowns from waiting in line. It is worth it for everyone’s sanity.

2. Stay Cool 

Disney World meltdowns are common when the weather is hot. Summer in Orlando can get unbearably hot. So hot that walking from one Disney World attraction to another Disney World attraction can be a struggle when you are walking with kids. If your kids are like mine, they will complain and complain in the heat. If you know you are going to Disney World in the summer when it is hot, you need to plan ahead so your family stays cool. Fortunately, staying cool is possible at Disney World. Here are 4 strategies for staying cool at Disney World.

Disney world Magic Kingdom

How to Stay Cool at Disney World

1. Stay hydrated with ice-cold water. 

Did you know you can get free ice cold water from any Disney quick service restaurants? You don’t need to bring your own ice-cold bottles of water to Disney World. Just stop at any quick-service restaurants for free cold water. You will usually get your water in a small kid’s cup. If you are extra thirsty, ask for water in big adult cups and they will happily give it to you. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for water for the entire family. 

2. Use Hand-held Water Misters to Stay Cool at Disney World

Orlando can get so unbearably hot that you need to spray your face with water just to stay cool. Disney World sells ice-cold water misters for $22 each which I think is way overpriced! If you want to save some money, buy water misters outside Disney World and bring it into the park with you.

3. Frozen Treats are Necessary to Stay Cool at Disney World

Be prepared to buy frozen treats for the family. One of the best ways to minimize meltdowns is to buy frozen treats for the family. When you are planning your Disney World vacation, add in 1-2 frozen treats per day to your Disney World budget. When it’s really hot, you just can’t help but spend $6-8 per Dole Whips or Mickey Ice Cream bar. 

Just buy one treat for the family to share. Don’t buy a treat per kid, that is just too expensive. Plus it ruins their appetite. I find that one treat is enough to alleviate potential meltdowns at Disney World. When I sense a potential meltdown, I immediately stop to buy one Dole Whip. I ask for 4 spoons. My kids happily share. Meltdown eliminated- the best $6 I ever spent! 

4. Go to Air-Conditioned Shows to Cool off at Disney World

In between Lightning Lane ride reservations, plan to stop at air-conditioned shows during the day. You will have time to kill in between rides so instead of standing outside in the heat, I suggest cooling off at air-conditioned shows. There are some attractions that run continuously at Disney World with little to no wait. For example, at Magic Kingdom, my go-to air-conditioned shows are The Carousel of Progress if I’m near Tomorrowland or Mickey’s PhilharMagic if I’m near Fantasyland. 

3. Don’t Make Dinner Reservations

Don’t make dinner reservations on the day you are visiting Disney World theme parks. Disney World vacations are hectic enough. Don’t add additional stress to your day by overscheduling. Especially when you are traveling with kids, the last thing you want to do is to have to rush to your dinner or lunch reservations. 

Besides, you want to be able to leisurely enjoy your lunch or dinner. It’s no fun to have to rush through lunch or dinner just to make your next ride! Plus you will be all sweaty and tired at the restaurant! Lunch or dinner at Disney World is expensive enough, you want to have time to savor your dinner or lunch. Enjoy it. Don’t rush it!

I suggest, just eating at quick service restaurants when you are at the theme parks. Make your sit-down restaurant reservations during the days you are not visiting theme parks. That way, you can be relaxed. You will even have time to get ready and dress up for dinner.  You can leisurely enjoy your lunch or dinner.

4. Order Ahead with Mobile Order

When you are ordering food from quick service restaurants at Disney World, use the Disney app to order ahead. It will save you time waiting in line. With mobile orders, there is no need to wait in line to place your order and no need to wait in line to pick up your order. Just show up when your food is ready. It will save you a lot of precious Disney World theme park time. What I usually do is place my mobile order before we get on a ride. Then after we finish our ride, our food will be ready for pick up. It’s easy and a major time saver. 

5. Don’t Go to Disney World Theme Parks Every Day

Don’t go to Disney World theme parks every day. I suggest giving your family a break from Disney World. Spending a day at a Disney World theme park is physically demanding and can easily lead to meltdowns. It’s too tiring to go to Disney World theme parks every day consecutively. Go for two days, then give yourself a break and do a pool day. If you don’t have many days in Orlando, try your best to break up your theme park days with pool days. It will keep everyone sane and you will avoid meltdowns!

Disney world Magic Kingdom

6. Wear Comfortable Shoes 

Comfort is key to preventing meltdowns at Disney World. Make sure everyone is wearing comfortable shoes since you will be doing a lot of walking. Wear sneakers. If you have space in your luggage, bring 2 pairs of sneakers per person. That way you can switch out your shoes to prevent blisters from forming. The last thing you want is your kids in pain because they have a blister! During my recent family vacation, we walked 20,000 steps at Magic Kingdom in one day! Good thing we all had sneakers. No meltdowns from blisters! 

Also, it rained so hard one day while we were at Hollywood Studios that all our sneakers got soaked! Luckily I packed 2 pairs of sneakers for everyone!

7. Buy MagicBands for Everyone

You will find that at Disney World, your tickets will be scanned multiple times throughout the day- at the main theme park entrance, at every Lightning Lane entrance, and every time you have your photos taken by a Disney photographer. Save yourself from the stress of trying to find everyone’s Disney tickets. I suggest paying that extra $20-$40 per person on a MagicBand so you don’t need to have to keep track of Disney tickets. I personally think it’s worth buying MagicBands for my family because it saved me from the stress of having to rummage around my purse looking for our Disney tickets every time we checked into a Lightning Lane ride. MagicBands are worth it for my sanity!

I hope you find my Disney World tips useful.

You May Also Be Interested in These Disney Vacation Articles:

20 Ways to Save on Your Next Disney Vacation

Should You Hire a Disney VIP Tour Guide? (Pros and Cons)

How Much is a Disney Vacation: Check out our Disney Vacation Calculator

Where to Buy Discount Disney Tickets

What to Splurge on at Disney World

Is Lighting Lane Worth It at Disney World?

How to Avoid Meltdowns at Disney World