Tips For Traveling With Young Kids at Disney
1 – Plan the Trip Around Your Children
While this probably seems obvious and makes sense, a lot of people first-timing it with children forget that the trip needs to be planned around them. If they have fun, you have fun (and you can still sneak in your own wants, too). More info in further tips…
2 – Prepare Your Children
Before going, make sure your kids are familiar with the characters they will meet at Disney. If they haven’t experienced a parade, fireworks or other loud shows, determine if you think they’ll be able to handle it before getting a front row seat to Fantasmic or Festival of Fantasy. YouTube has thousands of videos of the attractions, fireworks, character interactions, restaurants, etc. that can be great to familiarize your children with unfamiliar aspects of the trip. Disney also has a free Trip-Planning DVD available on their website.
3 – You Will Not Be Able To Do Everything
Know before you go that you will not be able to do everything. Some shows may be too late, too long, too intense or too busy.
4 – Your Child’s Schedule Comes First
You know your child better than anyone else. Are they more energetic in the mornings or afternoons? Are they a napper? Can they fall asleep in a stroller? ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations) are great, and can help you pick the best meal times.
5 – Strollers? Yes!
Definitely use one. Little legs will get tired quickly walking around parks, and carrying your child can get very tiring. Commercial airlines will gate-check your stroller if you’re flying to Orlando. If you are driving and space is limited, renting may make more sense.
At the parks, there are stroller parking areas that can get full, and Disney will move strollers around as people come and go, so make sure yours is clearly labeled to make it easy to find.
Use the parking: you can leave your stroller at the carousel, for example, and go to it’s a small world, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mickey’s Philharmagic, 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, etc without having to move it.
6 – Keep Your First Trip Memorable
If you are only going once, wait until your children are old enough to enjoy and appreciate it. If you plan to go multiple times, this is not as important, but you’ll want to make sure your kids are at an age that they’ll have a good time (and you will too).
7 – Picking a Resort – Options for Kids
There are many activities for kids of all ages at the different hotels. Some have better pools, some have more activities (Fort Wilderness Lodge has trails, bikes, horses, archery), some have better food options and others have various daily activities (Animal Kingdom has animals to see). If you’re unfamiliar with the Walt Disney World resorts, do your research beforehand. In general, the value and moderate resorts are more geared toward children, but the deluxe resorts can also be fun.
8 – ADRs (Advanced Dining Reservations)
When making these, you need to include your kids in the numbers, it is based on how many seats you’ll be taking, not how many people will be eating. Every restaurant has foods for kids, but it’ll be up to you to determine which places would work well food-wise, price-wise, and entertainment-wise for your family.
what additional tips do you want to share? Please leave them in the comments below!