Bringing your toddler to Walt Disney World for the first time is an amazingly magical experience – there is so much for them to see and do, and while it may seem overwhelming to try and plan for/execute the trip, it’s WELL worth it in the end! Check out my Toddler Guide To Disney for some help on getting through it:
Must Pack Items: I wrote at length about what you should pack for your toddlers when heading to Disney – but to summarize – a few key items you will want to bring include – a stroller (read more about the options for that here, SNACKS (ALL of the snacks ever – seriously. If you think you have enough – pack more.), stroller straps – like these are SO useful – you can attach them to their favorite toy, their water bottle, their snack cup – and they help ensure you don’t lose them even when your toddler decides to drop them! Toys, water bottles, plenty of sunscreen, a tablet or DVD player loaded with their favorite movies for the plane/car ride – these are all high on the must have list for toddlers heading to Disney World
Once you’re packed and ready to hit the Parks, you’ll want to use my Tips On How To Tackle The Days:
-Start Early: Most toddlers I know are ready and full of energy early in the morning – so take advantage of this and head to the Parks early (taking advantage of early Extra Magic Hours, of course!) – do as much as you can early on in the day when they are awake, alert, and excited!
-Hydrate: May seem like a simple and sort of obvious tip – but – it’s SO SO important for the toddlers (and everyone, really!) to make sure they are getting enough liquids, especially when it can get SO hot at the Parks. I know toddlers shouldn’t drink a lot of juice or gatorade or things like that – but when we were at Disney I let my son drink both of those as he wasn’t really into drinking a lot of water, and I figured as long as he is getting his liquids – I don’t care what it is (better than getting dehydrated, for sure!)
-Protect Them From The Sun: Use the sun shade on your stroller, make sure they are wearing a hat, and for the love of God USE SUNSCREEN – even if you don’t normally use it when they play outside at home (which you should, but I know it doesn’t always happen), USE IT AT DISNEY – apply it often and generously – hourly is best. If they don’t like to sit still for it, I recommend the continuous spray kind. I also recommend you bring your own from home – multiple bottles – as it is available at the Parks for purchase, but it is about twice the price of the kind you can grab at home at your local Wal-Mart or Target.
-Take It SLOW: Don’t try and do it all – don’t rush from ride to ride – take your time and let them ask all their questions and enjoy their surroundings. It is likely going to give them sensory overload the first time, so give them time to adjust and notice the little things
-Know When To Take A Break (And do it OFTEN!): Even though you’re taking it slow, you will still need to stop often for breaks – for the bathroom, drinks, snacks, or simply to relax in the shade for a few minutes. I also highly recommend a break mid day from the Parks – heading back to your Disney Resort for lunch and a nap or some pool time can be really beneficial – and will help avoid the dreaded toddler meltdowns, and will help keep the adults from melting down, too!
Top Toddler Attractions: Luckily for us, my 3 year old son loved pretty much every ride and show we took him on at Disney World (except Dinosaur – that was a bit much for him!), but there were definitely some rides that he preferred over others. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Journey Of The Little Mermaid, and Dumbo The Flying Elephant were a few of our top picks (and ones we rode over and over because he loved them so much!) – but check out Disney Addict’s Top Toddler rides at each Theme Park as a guide to what your little ones might enjoy!
Many people shy away from bringing their littler ones to Walt Disney World – but I personally think the 2-4 age range is a GREAT time to bring them – they can really get a lot out of it, and with some advance planning/research, you can help ensure your toddlers have a fantastic time, too!