Doing Disney with a toddler can seem overwhelming. Fear, not moms and dads. It can be done! And bonus they get in free!! Yes, something actually free at Disney! You can successfully have a trip with your little ones to the happiest place on earth. With a little planning and patience, you got this! First of you need to make sure they still have designated naps. A cranky toddler in Disney is no fun for anyone. Plan to head back to the hotel for a break and some downtime, or find a calm spot in the child care center to allow for a nap. Utilize these child care centers. They are great assets. They have nursing rooms and usually a seating area with a Disney movie playing. It has changing stations and supplies if you run out of something to buy.
Be reasonable about the plans and expectations for the day. You know your child and how much they can handle. Plan with that in mind. Pick rides, shows, character experiences you know your child will enjoy. Definitely do a character meet and greet, if your child likes the characters. It is such a wonderful interaction to see your child with their favorite characters. I highly recommend a character meal for the little ones.
If there is something you really want to do utilize the baby swap system. While one person takes your toddler to do an attraction they like, or for some downtime go on the bigger rides and then switch out. To use this system simply go up to the fast pass entrance and speak to a cast member and let them know you would like to do child swap. They will then give you a return time for the second parent and up to two additional guests to go through the fast pass line after and go on the ride.
Get your fast passes ahead of time. For those must-do rides that you know have a long wait time try to get fast passes. It can be tough on littles to wait that long in a line. So also come prepared. Bring lots of snacks and drinks for them that you know they enjoy, and give them to them when you are waiting in line. Bring some activities you know they love, or that are new to them. Favorite toys, bubbles, Magna doodle, or coloring books can be a great way to entertain them in line.
I strongly suggest you bring a stroller or rent one there, Their little legs can’t walk 10 miles a day, I mean its tough for us sometimes. But give them time to run around and get some energy out. There are little playground areas and interactive or water areas for the kiddos to roam around and play with. Let them explore. Plus bonus then the stroller can carry the diaper bag for you. Also as you can see I bring the grandparents or relatives, whenever possible!! The extra hands are so helpful and they get to make these memories together, which is so special.
Be prepared with plenty of diapers, wipes, formula, food, water, snacks, change of clothes, etc. Also, don’t forget to plan for whatever weather conditions. It rains a lot and can get pretty cold at night, and bring a hat and sunscreen. I strongly suggest you invest in one of those stroller fans or a spritzer water bottle if you go during a hot season. You can buy them ahead of the time cheaper. If it is hot make sure they stay cool or have time to cool off and keep them hydrated. Getting overheated can be serious, especially for these little guys.
If you plan to stay for fireworks and know your child is sensitive to sound a pair of noise-canceling headphones would be a good investment. Even some shows and rides can have loud startling sounds, or they can be useful if they are napping at the park. A tip, bring a nice fuzzy pair of footy pajamas for at night before you leave, change them and put them into those to keep them comfy. Most will fall asleep on the monorail or bus ride back to the hotel. Then they are already ready for bed!
Always remember you are on vacation. Go with the flow and have fun. Are they going to have meltdowns? Probably. What kid doesn’t? But it’s not the end of the world. Regroup and meet their need at that moment, and return to having a great time, and making memories with your little ones. They will only be this little once. Take tons of pictures! The memory maker can make that easy for you to capture all these special moments!
Check back with Disney Addicts for more parenting tips and advice in the parks. You got this parents! Yes, you can do Disney with a toddler!
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