Best Tips for Doing Disney with Little Ones
First I have to tell you we are into Disney. I grew up in Melbourne, FL and still some of my best memories are filled with trips to Disney. My husband who grew up in Cleveland, Oh also had a trips of his own to Disney growing up. These memories are magical for both of us. Thus, we started going to Disney at a young age with our youngest. I have learned something new each time we go. Here are my top tips on Disney with Little One’s.
1. Have a Plan & Be Flexible – It is important to have a plan when you go to Disney if you don’t you might not get to eat at certain restaurants (Which Disney Dining Plan is Best?) or you may not have the fast passes you want (Disney Fast Pass with Little Ones‘). But you need to be flexible there were times do to a cranky baby or toddler we had to change or cancel a reservation, and or move a fast pass. Also, unless weather does not affect you then you will need a back up plan for hot afternoons & downpours (June), weird below normal temperatures(December) and the need for naps. If, not you will learn what a cranky child in Disney is like (meltdown city).
2. Try to Keep to Their Schedule – Do we get to fit everything in, no. If this is your once in a lifetime trip Then I do recommend packing your day, but I would use some downtime throughout the day (Best Places for Downtime at Disney World with Little Ones). But for us we try to keep to our childrens schedule. Our schedule tends to be the following:
1. Get to a character breakfast or Park Early (disclaimer my children are early risers 6-6:30 am) 2. Use up our Fast Passes early(during peak times), so we can get more later 3. Come back to Resort for Snack or Lunch (swim, nap, & explore)….we have one late afternoon worked in so that we can see the Festival of Magic Parade 4. Eat at Resort (quick service or Reservation) then head back to the Park in the Evening (we go til the kids start to show signs of tiredness then we head back to the Resort). I should mention the following if you are there in the summer Happily Ever After does not start til 9 pm and most of the time you will have to do some waiting to get a good spot. I highly recommend a later nap for this night. Our first time visiting we made the mistake of going all day with a 2-year old and 11 month old and by the time we got around to waiting for parade and fireworks (my children had a full-blown meltdown).
3. Use the Baby Care Centers – One of the first things that made doing Disney with a toddler & a baby much easier was having the Baby Care Centers. These magical places have restrooms, changing rooms, extra diaper & wipes, baby food, sunscreen whatever you may need if you forgot it or ran out (blowout diaper in the middle of a downpour & stroller was with Dad on the other side of the park!), nursing rooms, and a cool or dry place to escape the weather. You might be wondering how nice they are… so here it goes Animal Kingdoms is the nicest, Epcot’s had a remodel, Magic Kingdom is in a great location (right next to Crystal Palace on Main Street) & Hollywood Studios is the smallest one with little room on a busy crowded day.
4. Have a good Stroller & Park Bag – When we do Disney we have the following items with us at all times ….. Our City Select GT Double Stroller (this baby fits in all ADA compliant doorways, it’s also easy to fold up). Places to Rent Strollers around Disney (Kingdom Strollers). Our next item is our Diaper Bag aka Park Bag… 10 Items for Your Disney Park Bag.
5. Be Ready for Security – (Navigating Disney Security with Little Ones)
6. Pick the Best Resort for your Family – This has been huge for us, first I will say I absolutely Love staying on Disney Property it comes with great perks. On our first trip we stayed at Art of Animation this is a great resort for little kids and value, but not as close to magic kingdom so depending on transportation it can be difficult to come back and take breaks. After staying at different Disney Resorts we have fallen in LOVE with Wilderness Lodge, we like the ferry rides and the secluded feel also they have some great options when it comes to rooms. (Disney’s Wilderness Lodge). Things you want to consider budget, proximity to the parks, and whether you want a theme to the resort or special pools.
7. Bring a Baby Carrier – The first time we went to Disney we had a 2-year old and 11 month old, so we didn’t end up using our baby carrier. The second time we went we had a 3-year old, 2 year old, and 7 months old. I had gotten the Lumiere 360 Ergonomic Baby Carrier it has been the best baby carrier for our lifestyle and Disney.
8. Bring your own Snacks and Food – Depending on how you get to Disney this may look different for everyone. We drive, so we pack everything in the car (it’s crazy how much room we have in the van when we head home). But even if you are doing the Disney Dining Plan I still recommend having your own food and Snacks. Grocery delivery services (Garden Grocer) that deliver or you can schedule amazon to be delivered. But items I like to bring our cereal bars, protein bars, applesauce packets, baby food pouches, bottle water, cereal, animal crackers and cereal bars.
9. Pack Wisely – The first time we went to Disney I over packed. We now have it down to a science. Packing for Disney with Little Ones.
10. Splurge on Memory Maker – Memory Maker Is It Worth the Money?
I hope this helps you realize that going to Disney with little ones is a magical experience. If you would like more information. Feel free to comment or send me an email.
Til Our Next Adventure,