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10 Tips to Survive Disney World with Babies & Toddlers
We recently went to Disney World with my extended family which included a 6 month old, 10 month old, and two two-year olds. Good thing is we had eight adults to help, thank goodness! The toddlers were so excited for this trip and loved every minute!
We did a lot of planning for the trip by planning out each day, buying necessary supplies, and researching helpful tips. We only had four days so we chose to do a different park each day, allowing us to visit every park. This did make each day very busy and it would have been nice to have the ability to relax in the afternoons. We did make it home most days by dinner time which allowed for some relaxation. Naps did not happen for the toddlers but they didn’t nap every day at home anyways. The babies were able to nap in the strollers or carriers which was good.
Disney World is so magical and it was special to see it through the eyes of a two-year old. I have come up with 10 tips to survive Disney World with littles that I found to be what helped make our vacation turn out great!
My sister and I both brought our double strollers and it was worth it. We drove and parked each day, but because we got there when the park opened we walked to the entrance most days so we didn’t have to fold up our stroller. A great purchase was a clear shower curtain from the Dollar Tree and it was used as a rain cover (it rained everyday). I also had a leash (yes I am one of those moms but it was nice to let her walk freely and I love it for errands too so I can keep her close). We love our stroller because it has several cup holders, but if yours doesn’t they sell attachments. They were handy to keep our drinks handy and hands free.
If you have an infant then using a baby carrier is super handy! I used mine everyday for nap times and to make riding rides easier. I have a Lille Baby and my sister used an Ergo Baby.
If you want to rent a stroller there are options at Disney World or through rental companies such as Orlando Stroller Rentals. My friend used the rental company and had a great experience!
9 Sippy Cup
So if you didn’t know already, water is free at Disney World. You can ask at any counter service station for a cup of ice water or just ice if it’s really hot out. I packed a cheap sippy cup for my toddler that I was able to easily refill and it sat in her cup holder, allowing her to have access to a drink at any moment without needing to ask me.
My husband and I used the insulated cups with our coffee in the morning (brewed at our rental house) and then with water the rest of the day!
Bring lots of snacks! I packed all different kinds and age appropriate ones as well. I tried to balance sweet and salty options as well because I always want something sweet after eating something salty and vice versa. Our favorites were: apple sauce pouches, Mamma Chia pouches for mommy, Natures Bakery fig bars (raspberry and brownie are our favorites), pretzels, veggie straws, and some candy as well. Avoid anything that would melt in the heat.
Disney World is full of delicious snacks! Some of the ones we loved were: mickey pretzel, ice cream cone, macaroon ice cream sandwich, popcorn, and churros. I am drooling as I type this 🙂
7 Ziploc Bags
These were a lifesaver with the amount of rain we had. We used them to store all our essentials in the stroller, including anything we didn’t want to get wet. You could pack one with a change of clothes, diapers, and extra swaddle blanket. It also made loading and unloading the stroller easier. I would pack an empty one as well for anything you purchase or just for emergency purposes.
6 Baby Care Centers
These can be found in each park and were great for a dry and cool place to nurse the baby. They have a t.v. with a Disney movie playing so it was nice for the toddler too because she could chill and rest for a little bit.
I would love to see these remodeled in the future and possible even a couple per park.
For locations and more information visit: http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/baby-care-centers.htm
5 Character meet and greets
These were the highlight of the trip for my toddler. She loved meeting her favorite princesses and spending a few minutes with each. She was in awe and so happy! I would definitely recommend taking the time to see as many as you can because I feel like those are the moments she will remember the most.
We also were able to enjoy the Princess Breakfast at Akershus in Epcot. It was a cool experience, but felt rushed and didn’t allow adequate time for eating and interacting with the princesses. I have decided I will probably not do that breakfast again and just make sure to do all the meet and greets my kids are interested in.
There are so many creative ways to display the character’s signature. We chose to do two things. We had them sign 4×6 cards to be displayed in a photo album alongside the corresponding picture. The other thing we did was have them sign a picture frame mat that we will display on the wall with a family picture in it.
We booked our fast passes for those rides we deemed most important. Some of these rides were just for the adults and some were for everyone.
I would suggest picking a ride to do first thing each morning, especially if you plan to arrive when the park opens. This way you don’t need to use a fast pass first thing and the crowd shouldn’t be too bad.
We unfortunately had to see the fireworks in the rain so it made it harder to enjoy with little ones. They were all wet and tired. We probably should have gone another night without the kids, but I am sure without the rain it would have been better.
The Happily Ever After show was awesome though and the toddlers did love watching it.
One of my favorite things we did was purchase princess dresses and trinkets ahead of time. We went to the Dollar Tree, Walmart, and the Disney Character Warehouse store to find some things we could gift the kids each morning or have when they requested things at the park. I did let my toddler pick out a toy and her relatives bought her some things, but having fun things for them each day was helpful. The best deal are the princess barbie dolls you can get for less than $10 at Walmart or Target. If you remove them from the package they easily fit in a bag and can be hidden for a fun surprise at some point.
My mother also got quarters and pennies ready for the penny stamping machines. There are tons of them all over the parks and the girls loved turning the wheel and getting a character stamped coin. Cheap and quick souvenir!
The other thing I recommend purchasing ahead of time are some glow toys and/or bubble toys. During the day the bubble wands are everywhere and at night the light up toys are fun for the kids. You can save like half the price buying them ahead of time.
Letters for My Daughters
My Little Princesses,
Seeing Disney World through your eyes was a special experience. I am so happy we got to take you on that trip and I hope it can happen again in the future. Isabella your joy and energetic outlook each day spread to those around you and even the characters loved interacting with you. Disney World is a magical place and I am glad you experienced some of that magic by getting to ride the carousal with Cinderella’s step sisters and also getting to skip the line to see Cinderella herself.
It was a special trip getting to enjoy it with extended family too. These will be fun memories and pictures to share with you and your cousins as you grow up together.
Trips like this can’t happen all the time unfortunately, so hold on to the magic and spread that joy!
Love you forever,
Queen Mommy 🙂