With the overcrowding of the parks as of late I have noticed this phenomenon occurring more and more. Admittedly I have fallen victim to the Disney Meltdown Mode myself on at least one occasion. As much as WDW is the most magical place on earth, it is also among one of the most stressful. A large part of the stress comes from bringing small children. While much of the “World” caters to these little ones it is the time between activities that most of the drama happens. And personally I can’t say I blame the poor kids. If you go anytime other than mid January you will likely deal with 85+ degree weather and your Princess or Pirate will succumb to heat far more quickly than an adult will. I would be fussy too if I had to ride around in a stroller that added 10 – 15 degrees in direct sunlight. Thankfully Disney plans for such occurrences and they have areas designed specifically to escape the heat and help everyone reset.
One of the best has to be the storybook circus tent back near the train station in Fantasyland. We recently discovered this little gem and it has quickly become one of our favorite wind down spots. Once the children have calmed down there is usually another meltdown brewing and it can just as bad, if not worse, than the children. The parental mental break….
There are several things that can trigger this but the main one is sheer exhaustion. If you are like me you are not stop go.. go.. go.. when you are at Disney. It doesn’t matter if your stay is one day, one week, or one month, you are constantly moving and taking care of the group. Not to mention the sound of CHA-CHING that keeps ringing in your ears every time you stop in a store or by a food vendor. It is enough to weaken the most resilient among us. Here are my two favorite options once the parental mental break happens- A: Let them leave and go take a nap. Or B: Hop on an air conditioned dark ride. Both of these options will relieve any tension that has built up and will essentially reset everyone’s emotions.
Whether it is immediate family, or a large group, we must remember that everyone feeds off of one another and just one person who is on the path to meltdown mode can bring down the whole party. So when you or someone in your party starts to get irritable just remember to breathe and re-assess the situation. Maybe then you can avoid your own Disney Meltdown.