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Walt Disney World with Little Ones

mickeys-houseThink Walt Disney World is too much for a toddler? Think again!! Our 2-1/2 year old loved every minute of the 5 days we spent there!! And we don’t have a little princess, we have a prince. We saw characters from Winnie the Pooh, Little Einsteins, Cars, Playhouse Disney Live, all his favorite shows. He was in heaven! My little guy still talks about the Peter Pan ride.
The key is finding things just their size. Each of the parks has attractions appropriate for the under-5 set. We really utilized the Magical Beginnings website and maps. We didn’t even try for the bigger rides, but if your kids are older and more adventurous, you can check height requirements online, too.

Some WDW tips I learned from other moms, online research, The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids (Unofficial Guides), and being there I’ve condensed here for you.

  • Get there as early in the morning as you are allowed.
  • Take a nap during the hottest part of the day. And come back for the late afternoon and evening.
  • If your child doesn’t nap, this could be a good time to relax and take a breather back at the hotel pool.
  • Bring a small cooler with frozen juice boxes and non-perishable snacks. (cafeteria lines are long)
  • The cafeteria food is tasty, has some healthy options, and is reasonably priced. Just go before everyone else is eating. Go between 11 and 11:30 am for lunch, and 4:30 and 5pm for dinner.
  • Bring your stroller. They have rentals, but bringing your own is free. Just make sure it collapses to no thicker than 6″ to fit on the tram in the parking lot.
  • Bring a shade for your stroller. We use a Radio Flyer umbrella. I saw some that were more collapsable. One by Rayshade I ended up buying when we got home.
  • Try to bring only one bag in… we used a backpack or duffel. They check the contents of every bag upon entry which makes for long lines.
  • When in lines, stay to the left. In some cases, the lines on the right were crazy long, and there were lines on the left that were empty. (In this case, it pays to be a bit ‘left of center’)
  • We bought our tickets through Travelocity and they were $20 cheaper than buying online direct from Disney.  So shop around.  Picking tickets up at the will call booth was faster than waiting in line with those who were buying tickets at the gate.
  • Use FastPass.
  • Pick up a park map as you enter each park. Also pick up a times and events card and check it frequently. This will list the showtimes for your little ones’ favorite events, like the next Playhouse Disney Live show, Character signings, the parade, etc.

Speaking of parades… check out our little video of the Animal Kingdom Parade! It’s getting some good reviews on YouTube!

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