Ever think of taking a little one to Walt Disney World, only to hear from your friends what a crazy idea that is? Well, a Disney trip doesn’t have to be about tantrums, tears, and sore feet. With careful planning and a little flexibility, you can have an amazing vacation without the tears. Here are five tips for visiting Walt Disney World with Toddlers.
Spend two days at the Magic Kingdom.
The Magic Kingdom is “Disney World” to a lot of people, despite the fact that Walt Disney World includes four theme parks and a wealth of other entertainment and recreation options.
But for a toddler, the Magic Kingdom is the mothership. Cinderella Castle, Disney characters everywhere, slow-moving rides like “it’s a small world,” The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh, and Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, plus parades, shows, and fireworks: the Magic Kingdom is an explosion of sights and sounds that will bring their imagination to life at every turn.
Planning on two days here allows you to space out all this fun with some afternoon naps, and add some flexibility to your day if your FASTPASS says you should be at the Jungle Cruise and your toddler believes you should be meeting Jasmine and Aladdin instead.
Don’t rent a Disney stroller.
Many people leave their strollers at home in order to avoid airplane hassles, or perhaps don’t even use one in day-to-day life. But you’ll be walking and standing a long, long time at Walt Disney World. Even the toughest pedestrian kid is going to be worn out, and they just seem heavier late at night when you’re carrying a sleeping kid back to your resort room. All the Disney parks offer day rentals of strollers, but Disney strollers are unwieldy, hard, and easy to lose in a sea of the same color and model. If you don’t want to bring your stroller from home, a rental service like Kingdom Strollers will deliver a much more modern and comfortable stroller to your resort for the length of your stay.
Let them get wet.
Every Disney park has water-play areas, and the Magic Kingdom has just opened a fun new location called the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station in New Fantasyland. True to its name, this is a great spot for kids to cool off and just plain get soaked. But wet clothes aren’t much fun, and wet sneakers are worse. Be prepared for your little ones to get wet by bringing water shoes and a change of clothes.
Bring Post-It Notes.
Office supplies in the most magical place on earth? Of course. They’re for the restrooms. Nearly every public restroom at Walt Disney World features automatic-flush toilets that have a reputation for frightening toddlers when they roar to life while a person is moving around in the stall. Some children simply refuse to use the restroom at all, which can lead to an uncomfortable day. Post-It Notes are an easy solution: stick the paper over the sensor above the toilet, and the toilet won’t flush until you’ve removed it. If you forget Post-It Notes, ask a nearby Cast Member for Mickey stickers – they work the same way.
Everyone, Take a Nap.
No matter what your age, an afternoon nap should be part of your Disney vacation. Early mornings and late nights take their toll, especially on toddlers. Late afternoon at the Magic Kingdom is filled with the sounds of angry children who didn’t get their naps. Make sure that isn’t your family by leaving around lunchtime and heading back to your resort for some relaxation and nap-time for everyone. Just make sure you leave early enough – children like to start their naps on the way back to the resort, which could leave you out of that relaxation loop!
Walt Disney World with a toddler can be one of the most amazing experiences you have with your little ones. Watching children take in all the fantasy and imagination at a Disney park, or meeting Mickey Mouse or Cinderella for the first time, is truly magical. Like anything with little children, it isn’t necessarily easy, but that doesn’t mean that with a little planning and patience, you can’t have a great time.
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