Planning on going to Disney World with toddlers? Today let’s chat through the 7 things you must know before you head to the happiest place on Earth!
Taking your children to Disney World is something you may have dreamed about since your little one was born.
One common question is: Is my child too young for Disney World? You absolutely can bring your toddler or preschooler to Disney World and have a great time!
If you are heading to Disney World with your toddler, there are some things you really need to consider before setting foot in the Land of Mickey.
These will prepare you to have more magic and less frustration in the Magic Kingdom. First of all, know how to visit each of the parks. We have a run down of how to visit the parks with toddlers and preschoolers here:
Disney World With Toddlers? 7 Must Know Things!
There are several other important things you need to take into consideration before packing your bags for vacation. Here are 7 things you must know before heading to Disney!
You will need a stroller! We know, your child moves around the house at light speed and has more energy than TIgger.
Now imagine tons of people, hot weather, and walking 9-11 miles in one day, and your child is not on his normal nap and sleeping schedule. Let us say it again, you WILL want a stroller! What are your options:
Option 1 – Bring Yours
Bring your own stroller from home. We recommend this if you don’t mind traveling with it.
Why? You and your child know it best. It will easier to maneuver, set up and take down and most importantly, identify it in the sea of strollers parked outside each attraction and restaurant.
Two important notes about your personal stroller:
- You cannot have a stroller wagon. Disney has a policy that you cannot have anything in the parks you pull, only what you push.
- Your stroller must not be larger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long.
Option 2: Rent a stroller
Costs are: $15 a day for a single stroller, $31 a day for a double stroller.
Sneaky Money Saving Tip: You can save some money by pre-paying the number of days you will require a stroller and save a few bucks.
When you get to the theme park, show the receipt to the rental place and receive your stroller for the day. Check out our other tips for saving money on your vacation here!
Option 3: Buy a stroller in Orlando
Buy a stroller when you arrive. Depending on how many days you are going to be at Disney World, you may consider buying an inexpensive stroller to use for your vacation. Whether it’s in a Walmart, Target or an Amazon purchase, it will be worth looking into for the cost of purchasing vs. renting.
At the end of your vacation you can bring it home, or, make someone’s Disney experience super magical and gift it to another family that is waiting in line for a stroller as you are leaving the park on your last day.
We have good news about hotels with your toddler…we recommend you stay at the cheapest place at Disney World!
3. Know Height Requirements
It’s a good idea to figure out what attractions your child can go on before you get to the parks so there is no disappointments!
There are plenty of attractions that have no height requirement so don’t worry about not having things to do. Feel free to use our Disney World height chart for reference:
4. Plan Differently!
It doesn’t take too long reading our material to realize we are sticklers for planning your Disney World trip in order to make it great. That being said, we realize that it is nearly impossible to keep a rigid touring schedule with toddlers.
You must plan your trip with this in mind. We can’t tailer make your trip for you but you can tailer make it for yourself by knowing how your family operates best.
Are your children early risers? If so, try to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours.
If they are not, you may want to let them sleep and not try to hit rope drop.
That being said, you can’t “wing it” when you get to the park so you do need to plan out your meals and fast pass+ reservations accordingly. You must plan ahead in order to avoid lines and eat meals with characters.
Trust us, you do not want to wait in line for 90 minutes with a 3 year old. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – we have a helpful planning guide to take the stress out of this part of planning.
You will probably not stay at the parks all day. Possibly head back in the early afternoon for a nap and quick swim and then go back to the parks at night for the fire works and few more attractions. Because of this, seriously consider staying at a Walt Disney World Resort if your budget allows. Slow it down to your pace!
If you are traveling primarily with toddlers we do recommend spending more time at Magic Kingdom than the other parks because of the kid friendly attractions. This leads us to number 5…
5. Stay Extra Days
Stay extra days if you can. We know what you are thinking…yeah, I’d love to stay a long time but we have this little thing we call “work” that we need to do and it’s hard to get away from it. We get it!
Here’s the deal. With teens and older elementary age kids you can fly through the parks at a much quicker pace than you can with toddlers.
With older kids you only need a few hours of sleep and then they can get up and do it again. With toddlers you can’t get through the parks so quickly. If at all possible, stay longer to spread out your visit and give yourself extra days,
6. Pack For the Day
Pack a backpack and throw it in the stroller! You know what’s best to bring for everyday but here are some items you might not have thought of that will help on your trip:
- Favorite snacks, new snacks, food pouches, meals and cups
- Disney costume or Disney clothes. Buy these before you go and save money!
- Sunscreen, hat and rain protection for the stroller and toddler
- Battery operated fan. If you going in the summer, consider a clip on fan in the stroller
- Fun surprises. Glow sticks, sticker tattoos, Mickey ears etc…
- Change of clothes, sweatshirt, towels and disinfecting wipes
7. Adjust Your Expectations
Your Disney Trip Will Not Be Perfect! Let’s just get it out there!
If you are dreaming of the Disney World commercial where you and your family are the only ones at the park and Mickey and Minnie come running up to you as your child gives them a big group hug and takes you into the castle, I need to wake you up right now…this is only a dream…it won’t happen. That commercial is so annoying, isn’t it?
The reality is there will be a massive amount of people! It will be hot! You will spend time standing in lines!
You will see Mickey and Minnie but your child will run away in terror instead of giving them a hug! Katie’s daughter hid under a table at Chef Mickey’s when she saw Goofy and started crying – it happens!
Here is what we want you to do. Plan for the worst. Plan for 100 degrees, massive humidity, 2 hour lines, crying children and no characters to be seen anywhere.
If you keep that scenario in mind, we guarantee you that you will have an amazing, magical vacation. Because here’s the deal – you are in Disney World. With your child you love. And you have planned ahead. It is going to be amazing. Plan for the worst – and we promise you, it won’t be that way.
Bottom line is, take it easy. Have a plan but be willing to relax and change it at the last minute if you have to.
Life will go on and you and your child will have wonderful, magical memories for a lifetime!
Next, click over to read our 3 expert tips for taking toddlers to Animal Kingdom!