By Guest Blogger Kristin Rusboldt
We are the family that drives back from Disney planning our next trip to Disney. We did this as single adults and then as newlyweds. Then we started having kids. We had already fallen in love with the Disney lifestyle and now we knew there was no turning back to introducing our kids, as young as they were, to the magic that Disney brings our family. I’m a mom to a 4-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy. Combined, they’ve been to Disney 13 times! The best thing about Disney is that at every stage of our kids’ lives, they have been to Disney and enjoyed it. But it’s not just about them, it’s about how awesome it is to go as a parent of a young child and see the magic through their eyes!
So, how do you take toddlers to Disney World without losing your mind? That’s where I come in. I’ve come up with some basic Disney + Toddler Tips to creating a magical vacation with young kids.
1. BE FLEXIBLE. This is maybe the most important advice I can give as a parent (or just a normal guest) at Disney. Disney is more popular than ever, so there are going to be crowds at all times of the year. Plan your day out before you go with plenty of time in-between tasks to be able to change your plans when one kid has a diaper blowout and the other one drops their Dole Whip ice-cream they just got at Adventureland. Everyone will feel more relaxed if you try to maintain your go-with-the-flow attitude all parents have mastered 😊.
2. MOBILE ORDERS FOR FOOD. This is a game changer. The MyDisneyExperience App gives you the ability to place mobile orders at Quick Service Restaurants. When you want to maximize your time for rides and parades, this is the best option to skip wasting time in food lines during busy seasons. They have a separate pick up window for the mobile order and it takes a fraction of the time.
3. UTITLIZE BABY CARE CENTERS. At each of the four Walt Disney World parks, there is a Baby Care Center at or near the entrances to each park. These are one of the single best places for moms and dads with little ones. They offer a quiet, air conditioned, clean space for parents to change diapers, breastfeed or pump in a private & quiet room, or buy supplies that you told yourself you wouldn’t forget at the hotel (extra diapers, formula, pacifiers, sunscreen, etc).
4. BRING YOUR OWN WATER AND SNACKS. Everyone knows Disney’s food can be expensive, but not everyone knows that you can bring your own drinks and food. My toddlers tend to eat the entire day, so we have a soft cooler full of food just for them!
5. RIDER SWITCH. This allows parents that have kids too small for the larger rides (think Space Mountain, Big Thunder Railroad, Expedition Everest, Flight of Passage, Test Track) the chance to experience the ride while another adult in your party watches the kids.
6. BUY A SPRAYER FAN. If you are going to the parks in the hot months, the spray fan is an absolute life saver (and entertaining for 3-year-olds!). We’ve been using the same Disney themed spray fan since our VERY first visit with the kids. This is a MUST HAVE item for us to make it happily through a hot day.
7. BABY’S FIRST HAIRCUT. If you are looking for a unique and fairly-priced experience for your toddler, check out the Harmony Barber Shop in the Magic Kingdom. They even offer a Baby’s First Haircut package that comes with their first Mickey Ears (only $25)! Feeling like you need to get your ears lowered? They even offer haircuts for adults!
8. BRING THE KIDS SWIMSUIT & TOWELS. Disney has various places within their parks that act as Splash Pads. The best one is at Magic Kingdom in Storybook Circus and is a great way to cool off with young kids that love to be squirted by circus elephants! Our kids LOVE this – but parents beware, be ready get squirted yourself as you fetch your kid out of the fun!
9. IT IS POSSIBLE TO HAVE NAPTIME AT DISNEY. This item is usually crucial for a long fun-filled day of magic making. If you are staying on property, being able to head back to the hotel after lunch for some downtime and napping (by everyone!) is a great option. This gives you the chance to be refreshed for the nighttime events and your kids might even make it to the fireworks! If you aren’t staying on property or at a hotel within a close driving distance, my suggestion is to find a quiet place to let your kids nap in the stroller (and maybe grab an adult beverage while you wait).
10. DON’T WAIT IN LINES. If you can “rope drop” (what us Disney Nerds call getting to the parks before the opening) you will have the ability to get on a lot of rides before the crowds arrive. We know how hard it can be having toddlers wait for anything. We tend to book fast passes later in the day so that if we want to ride the kid-friendly rides again, we will be able too without a line. In addition, there are some awesome rides throughout the parks that make the waiting not so bad. Dumbo the Flying Elephant is the BEST at this. If you do have to wait, the best part about this ride is that there is a play place for kids as part of the line!
There you have it. At least ten ways to make it through a magical trip with toddlers. Want to follow our family through our Disney adventures? Head on over to our Instagram page @DisneyRents for some more fun-filled activities with toddlers!
To see more TMoM Disney blogs and tips, click here! Be sure to keep clicking on “older entries” to see even more!
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