Sheila Gallant-Halloran

Made-to-measure travel; please, go away! :-)

Guest blog: Client, Joanna Helmer, Gives Advice-Disney w 2 yr old

I often have had guest bloggers. This week, I got an email from one of my clients who returned from Disney World with her 2-year old son. Joanna had some great tips based on her family’s experience .  I asked her permission to share them on my blog, and she kindly agreed.

By the way, Joanna is a financial advisor with Dundee Securities. If you’d like to contact her for financial advice, please see her contact details below.


Hi, Sheila!

Thanks so much for all your help…it really made the difference.

 A couple tips for people travelling there with small children….I learned these the hard way… 🙂

 1. Bring your own headphones for the plane (not ear buds…you’ll find yourself with very tired arms since they don’t stay in the little ones’ ears on their own)

 2. There is a shocking lack of juice and milk in the parks…I prefer my guy to not drink a whole lot of coke and such, so we ended up bringing our own (line ups at the restaurants were very long, especially if you only want juice or milk)

 3. If you have restaurant reservations, ask a bus driver approximately how long it will take to get there the day before…we were late a couple times because we underestimated the size of the place…but we were accommodated both times (thankfully)

 4. If you want to go to Toy Story, get to the park early…stretch…when they drop the rope, RUN (it’s easy to find..everyone else is going there too)  You can take the cards for your whole party and get fast passes…if you’re not there within the first half hour or so, you will (hopefully) get a fast pass for suppertime.

 5. If at all possible, try to avoid having your 2-year old barf when you’re only 3 people away from the security gate…it really slows you down…but people are surprisingly sympathetic (others in line…not the security guards)

 6. Also, your fast pass is good ALL DAY…not just the times on the pass…those times are just indicating when you can get your next one (Note from Sheila: if it’s busy, Disney cast members can enforce the times on the pass – but they generally will honour usage.)

 7. If you plan to switch off with another parent (one ride, the other wait with the child til they’re done), you can each get a fast pass for 2 DIFFERENT rides (kind of cheating, but I can live with the guilt)

 8. Bring your own stroller…don’t even think about it…just do it…The ones you rent are only for use in the park…it’s quite a hike from the park gates to the buses…not to mention, you get to use yours when on the resort, the airport, shopping, whatever…and the ones you rent all look the bloody same, and can take quite a while to find (the attendants will move them to make room for more, as others are taken). They also look incredibly uncomfortable for those riding in them (molded plastic, no padding).  Bring your stroller with you to the airport, and use it there…our guy fell asleep in line 3 times (we thanked the Lord for ours several times)…then give it to the attendant as you’re getting on the plane.  It’s the best thing ever, I swear.

Just some thoughts…your advice made such a difference..we literally would have been lost without it….the reservations were great…especially Hoop De Doo…even the 2-yr old loved it.


Joanna Helmer

cell: 613 913 8575


twitter: @JoannaHelmer


January 27, 2011 - Posted by | Lush Life Disney, Lush Life Guest Bloggers, Lush Life Kids


  1. Great post Sheila (and Joanna) – Having just gotten back from Disney myself w/ my 2 1/2 year old I completely agree with every point mentioned above. My stroller was my saving grace and in regards to juice/milk – we purchased a Disney Cup and I always had it filled with water. Thanks again Sheila for all your great tips/tricks that allowed our first of many visits to be amazing!

    Comment by Christiane Lafleur | January 27, 2011 | Reply

    • Thanks, Christiane. It’s always wonderful to have my client’s views. While I’ve visited the parks with my kiddies when they were 2 (and younger), now that they are 5 and 11, my perspective has changed, and some of the things at the parks have changed. I think asking my clients to write guest blogs is definitely a win-win for everyone – I get different views and takes (cause everyone’s family and experiences are different), and everyone can learn from each other!

      Awesome to hear that Joanna’s experiences mirrored yours – that only reinforces the strength of her recommendations!

      Comment by Sheila Gallant-Halloran | January 27, 2011 | Reply

  2. Well written Joanna. I laughed out loud several times as you described some of the experiences. Anyone with young children has experienced first hand at least one of them. For example, anyone who has run the “Toy Story Dash” knows exactly what you were talking about. I am sure your description brought back images into their minds. Good tip about the stretching!

    Comment by Bill Halloran | January 27, 2011 | Reply

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