Anyone with a toddler knows the truth – that they are amazing, adorable, fun, funny, and also sometimes frustrating to the max (hey – it was nicknamed the “terrible twos” for a reason!). While it may sometimes seem smart to just keep them inside until they start kindergarten, I recommend you be brave – take them away on vacation with you to Disney World! They will love it – and as for you – well – here are some tips for dealing with toddler life while at Walt Disney World:
Packing: Now is not the time to travel light – as you will want to make sure you’re prepared for those meltdowns, snack times, and tantrums. Favorite blanket/stuffed animal, plenty of snacks/drinks/toys, sunscreen galore, spare outfit(s), wipes, diapers – these are all things you will want to make sure you are bringing not only in your suitcase, but also along with you when you head out to the Disney Parks (I recommend a backpack for toting it all – it’s the most comfortable/easy to carry!)
Don’t Skip Naptime (Or Mealtime!): When you’re away from home it can be pretty hard to stick to your toddler’s regular schedule – but I highly suggest you at least TRY. Try and make sure mealtimes are at approximately the same time (a snack might hold them over for a bit but don’t wait too long or else you risk meltdowns!), and if your toddler still takes a daily nap, DO NOT skip that while you’re at Walt Disney World. Take a break and head back to the hotel for naptime – after a morning of walking, rides, shows, and characters – everyone can probably benefit from a little downtime (not just the kids!)
Researching: Find out where and when they can meet up with their favorite character, what rides they are tall enough for, what shows they might like, what rides might scare them – and do it all ahead of time so you don’t waste time once you arrive at Disney. You can start by checking out all the great info here on Chip And Co, and you might want to invest in a good Guidebook too. You know your toddler better than anyone, so make sure you’re taking their likes/dislikes/limitations into consideration when you plan out your days at Disney
Bring Reinforcements: I already mentioned the blanket/stuffed animal and snacks/drinks, but another thing you might want to consider is more bodies to help out with the kids. Bring along someone they know and trust – like the grandparents, or a family friend/sibling to help share the work of caring for little ones – it never hurts to have another set of hands, and while it may be an added expense for you to bring them along, it will likely be worth it in the end
If You Need A Stroller, Use It: If you think there is even the smallest chance you might need a stroller – bring one. Or rent one – whatever works best for you (FYI – Kingdom Strollers is a top choice for us here at Chip and Co – they offer free pickup and delivery!). Bringing your own from home might seem like a pain, but if you know your toddler is comfortable in it, it might make them more willing to use it. A day at Disney = MILES of walking, so even toddlers who don’t use a stroller at home at all will likely tire by mid afternoon, and you’ll be glad you brought one for sure (your back will thank you too – less carrying!)
Bonus – you can stash your backpack full of toddler essentials in the stroller storage/on the handles
Bottom line is – bringing a toddler to Walt Disney World is totally do-able, and shouldn’t be something you avoid, you should embrace the chance to take them to experience all the magic that Walt Disney World has to offer – they will love the characters, sights, and sounds of it all, no matter what their age!
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Image copyright Disney.