Want tips on taking a toddler to Walt Disney World?
I’ve heard it all, don’t take kids to Disney until they will remember it. You will regret taking your toddler to Disney. They won’t appreciate Disney until they are older. I couldn’t disagree more.
I have researched and taken lots of vacations with a baby and a toddler and I think Disney is one of the easiest, in part because of how easy it is to get there when you fly and use Disney’s Magic Express. My eight month old and two-year-old just had a MAGICAL Walt Disney a World vacation. You just have to plan it around the schedules that they keep.
Rest in the afternoons – don’t overdo it, and DON’T skip the nap!
Try going to the parks in the morning, then come back to your hotel for lunch. An afternoon dip in the pool or trip to the splash pad is just as much fun as one of the parks for most toddlers. Don’t skip the nap! Not overdoing it with young ones is essentially THE key to a successful Disney trip with toddlers. Take a relaxed approach while in the park. When your toddler shows signs of being tired or over-heated or over-stimulated, head home to cool off.
You will appreciate this the summer months especially when it is blazing hot, and most afternoons feature an afternoon rain shower. If you have the energy, you could head back to the parks in the evening. But if you have very little ones, that half day might be more than enough. A character dinner after nap at a Disney resort is a great way to round out the day without overdoing it.
Checkout these recommendations for the best rides and attractions for your toddler while you are in the park.
Plan Character Meals with Your Toddler
This is a great way to meet the characters without having to wait in long lines during the ride times. They also will give you a chance to get out of the sun, sit down, and re-energize. This is by far the most restful way to meet your favorite character or princess. In my opinion, this is the bestIn my opinion, this is the best way to meet the characters without having to wait in long lines during the ride times. They also will give you a chance to get out of the sun, sit down, and re-energize. This is by far the most restful way to meet your favorite character or princesses they will come to your table. Just have your autograph books and camera out!
If it’s in the budget, staying on the Monorail makes taking a toddler to Disney World MUCH simpler
These are all Walt Disney World Deluxe hotels, the Contemporary, the Polynesian, and The Grand Floridian. So, yes, they can be pricey. But if it’s in the budget, being able to get around by monorail is a godsend with toddlers. You can roll your stroller RIGHT onboard, kids, diaper bags and all. This is really helpful if they melt and you want to leave quickly, or you plan to head home for afternoon nap.
Pick toddler friendly rides for your FastPasses
If you are heeding our advice to do half days with toddlers, this advice is especially important because your park time is limited. Use your FastPasses to make a toddler-friendly ride reservations. Check out some of our recommendations for the best rides for toddlers here. This means that once you were in the park, you will get quickly on the rides of your choice, and your little ones will not have to wait in long lines.
Bring your stroller or rent a good one
My kiddos feel at home in their own stroller, so we always bring ours with us. Ours can fit both our kiddos and has lots of storage. For us, it’s worth lugging it to the airport, especially since once we check it in we won’t see it again until it arrives via Disney’s Magical Express in our Disney hotel room. If you prefer not to do that, try a stroller rental service that has nice strollers. These can be delivered to your room on your arrival day, and most will have a label with your last name.
Buy a stroller balloon for your toddler
What? Well, those $8 balloons that are sold at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom can be fabulous when it comes to finding your stroller throughout the day if you tie it on your stroller. There will be stroller parking by each ride, but Cast Members (Disneyspeak for Disney employees) may move your stroller while you are visiting an attraction in order to keep all the strollers well organized. Having a balloon tied to the handle makes it EASY to spot from a distance! Even though you have planned in advance to do this, you can play it off as an exorbitant surprise for your littles or as a reward for good behavior.
Disney truly is great for all ages, it’s just important not to overdo things with your toddlers. They will have a wonderful trip, and so will you.