I’m a believer that there is no such thing as ‘too young’ or ‘too old’ for Walt Disney World; there is truly something for everyone. As an added bonus, children 3 years of age and under are free at WDW! This past November, my family traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort and we took our 15-month old for his first visit. Here are some of my learned tips and tricks to help your vacation run smoothly.
These top tips for going to Disney World with a Toddler are from guest contributor, Kristen Dundas, from the blog North of the World
Top Tips for Going to Disney World with a Toddler
Schedule Rest Days. Incorporate ‘rest days’ into your itinerary: a theme park every day can be a lot of stimulation. Our little guy needed the time to play with some toys, use the pool and get back to his ‘schedule’- naps, bedtime, routines etc.
Bring a Park-Friendly Stroller. Any of the Disney parks are way too big to expect a toddler to walk in all day. I recommend a stroller that reclines back a bit and offers them some shade for naps or to have a break. Just don’t go overboard with something too large, as busy park days mean big crowds and it can be hard to move a stroller around.
Bonus Tip for Kids! Disney is a lot of walking, especially for little ones. Consider renting a stroller even if your preschooler is getting too big for one. I recommend Kingdom Strollers. Kingdom Strollers is a small family-run business and is loved by the Disney Parks Moms Panel.
Utilize the ‘Baby Care Center’ in each Park. Every park has one of these rooms which is air-conditioned and has a few rocking chairs. It is a nice quiet, cool place to change a baby (or toddler) and take a load off for a few. There is an on-site ‘shop’ for changing/feeding related purchases you may require (there is no fee to use these rooms), microwaves, highchairs, sinks, washrooms etc.
Make a Toddler-Friendy Disney Initerary. Don’t try to follow an intense itinerary: Toddlers don’t need to experience the big attractions to be happy- our little guy’s favorite thing seemed to be the fountains of water at EPCOT. He watched them and played in them for a long time. He also really loved the cool off stations and splash pads that aren’t even ‘attractions’. If you follow their lead a bit, you may find a whole new Disney you hadn’t discovered before!
Don’t Forget to Bring Snacks. Bring snacks and refillable drink cups for little ones: I love all the food options at Disney, but portions are large and so are prices typically. I don’t find that a toddler gets their money’s worth. You are allowed to bring your own food into the park, and it’s a great way to save a few dollars!
Choose Accommodations that Work Best for You. We rented a house off resort when we took our 15-month-old so that we could darken a bedroom and set up a crib with his sound machine to allow him to have naps during the day and keep his usual bedtime without confining us all to a hotel room. We were still only a 10-minute drive to the WDW front gate!
Baby carry! My little guy doesn’t always like being a stroller, but he loved being in the carrier, either on my front facing in for some quiet comfort or on my back looking around. A ring sling is also a great idea if your toddler is a bit bigger/older- it won’t hold them completely, but it will help distribute the weight for you while you’re carrying them either in lineups or watching parades and shows
Last but not least, take photos for sure, but also look up, and be present: they aren’t little long. Enjoy every minute of your vacation together!
About Kristen and North of the World My name is Kristen and I started North of the World to help inspire others in their Walt Disney World trip planning, especially fellow Canadians. I have a 2-year-old son, and am expecting our second child this August! As soon as baby #2 is old enough, I can’t wait to get us all back to Disney World. Follow North to the World on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Have you ever gone to Disney World with a toddler? What other tips and tricks do you use to have a stress free family vacation? Sound off in the comments below!
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