“Are we there yet?” Does that sound familiar? Long road trips can be challenging for adults, let alone kids! I’m personally not a fan of being confined to my seat for long periods of time. Kids in particular can get cranky when sitting too long. Fortunately for my family, it’s only about a 90 minute drive to Disneyland, so we often drive up and back in the same day. But if you have a longer road trip adventure ahead of you, it’s helpful to have a bag of tricks ready to occupy and entertain the kids when driving to Disney!
Here are my kid-friendly road trip tips for driving to Disney!
1. Reward Good Behavior
In the days leading up to our vacation, I use a “Disney Dollar” system to reward good behavior and pay for jobs done that are above and beyond the usual chores. The kids can use the Dollars earned on souvenirs during the trip. Cash prizes speak to everyone, don’t they?! Whining and fighting in the car doesn’t have to be the norm, especially if you give incentive towards good behavior.
You could incorporate this tactic on the road, handing the kids Disney Dollars that you print at home as reward for appropriate behavior. Whining or fighting may “cost” them their cash. Kids can then cash in their faux money for the real thing at the end of the road. Bribery? Maybe…but if it gets you a few hours of peace, so be it!
2. Feed ME!
There are lots of fun Disney dining ideas to use in the car, from sippy cups, plates, snack bags and water bottles. Stock up on Disney-themed food snacks in the store or online to feed the kids on the road and it makes the anticipation to your destination all the more fun!
3. Draw Me a Picture
I converted this empty Chick-fil-A salad container into a self-contained art box. We dine at Chick-fil-A about once a week and I always order my favorite, the Cobb Salad with Avocado Lime Ranch dressing! So why not upcycle those sturdy salad boxes into something useful? I decided to turn my boxes into a road trip art box.
My kids could entertain themselves for hours with drawing so having an art box for a road trip is ideal. But I don’t want crayons melting between the seats or markers making their way to the floor so it’s best to have everything contained in one box per child (no fighting over the art supplies this way either!)
I gave my son a sheet of Disney themed stickers to decorate his box and filled it with drawing implements. A good supply of blank drawing paper, printable Disney coloring pages and activity sheets attached to a clipboard is sure to keep him occupied in the car!
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4. Play a Game
One of our favorite travel games is “Guess Who I Am”. One person gives three clues about a Disney character and the other people in the car have to ask questions until they are ready to guess. The game would go like this: “I am yellow, I like honey and I live in the woods”. Then the other people could ask yes or no questions about characteristics, like “Do you wear clothes?”, “Do you talk?” or “Do you have fur?”. The game goes on until someone is ready to guess, “Winnie the Pooh!” Obviously this game can be played to the child’s age with more recognizable or obscure characters.
Or try the Alphabet Game and take turns naming Disney characters through the alphabet, like “A is for Aladdin, B is for Bambi, etc”
5. Answer the “Are We There Yet?” Question
Mouse Ears Mom has this perfect printable countdown calendar to use in the days leading up to your vacation. What if you took this concept into the car? Tape the pieces across the inner door frame of the car or across the ceiling (someplace where your child can see it) and move the Monorail to count down the hours until you reach your Magical destination!
You could also print out a map and slip the paper into a plastic sleeve. Use a wipe-off marker to show kids how far you have gone on your route.
6. Give them Early Souvenirs
Everyone loves a present! Stock up with a few fun things that you can wrap and surprise the kids with on the road. Coloring books, the new Disney LEGO figures, a character t-shirt and glow-sticks (for them to use in the parks at night) are all fun & cheap.
7. Stories and Songs
I’ve never been able to read in the car (I get motion sickness!) but toting books in the car can occupy the time nicely. If you can’t read, consider a story on disc that everyone can enjoy along the way. And of course Disney music from the parks and soundtracks will get everyone singing and in the mood for the wonderful times ahead!
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Summer Travel Tips Loop:
- 1st Stop – Frontierland Station | Beat The Crowds At Walt Disney World
- 2nd Stop – Magical Mickey Tips | Beat the Heat at Walt Disney World
- 3rd Stop – Home is Where the Mouse Is | 10 Best Lifehacks for Your Day at the Beach
- 4th Stop – Saving Up for Disney | Kid-Friendly Road Trip Tips for Driving to Disney
- 5th Stop – Trips with Tykes | The Beginner’s Guide to Summer Air Travel (With Kids!)