Some of my most cherished childhood memories are from traveling to Florida to visit my grandparents and spending a few days at Walt Disney World. Now that I am a mom, I am super thankful that my parents were able to give my sisters and me those priceless memories! I also appreciate their willingness to do so year after year! Taking toddlers on a Disney vacation is fun, but it can be highly stressful and exhausting! Nevertheless, I have done it a couple of times and learned a few valuable lessons through trial and error. Here are my tried and true tips for traveling on a Disney vacation with little ones.
- Bring all the snacks! Snacks, snacks, and more snacks– you cannot have enough. They will be your saving grace from the plane ride to the car/bus rides! I suggest shelf-sustainable snacks because most standard rooms at Disney hotels have a small beverage cooler. Did you know you can even pack your food to bring to the parks? Bringing your sack lunch is a great way to save a little money and avoid a hangry meltdown.
Beverage Cooler Photo
- You might be thinking- Where do I get these snacks? Schedule a grocery delivery right to your hotel! Most delivery options (i.e., Amazon, Shipt, Instacart, etc.) will allow you to purchase food and other necessities like diapers and wipes. This will save SO MUCH room in your luggage.
- Invest in Genie+ and/or Individual Attraction Selections. The new feature was added to the My Disney Experience app and made available to guests at the end of 2021. This will help you access Lightning Lanes (similar to its predecessor- Fast Pass) and cut your time waiting in lines way down because we all know that patiently waiting is not any kid’s forte.
- Your My Disney Experience account will be your hub for information- attraction wait times, Lightning Lane reservations, mobile food ordering, dining reservations, resort check-in, photos, room keys, etc. It is super convenient, but it will also drain your phone battery. So be sure to pack an external charger to help get through the day. This is also an excellent time to remind you that there is no shame in giving your tot some extra screen time on that phone to keep them happy during travel or while waiting in lines.
- Disney hotels are designed with families in mind. But I always find myself missing three things that are essential to keeping things clean during the trip. First, remember to pack or purchase a travel bottle of dish soap and a sponge or bottle brush to clean pacifiers, bottles, cups, and more. I will not stay at a hotel without bringing my hand soap bottle with a pump! My kids are not used to using a bar of soap, and I want to do everything I can to make sure those little hands get cleaned.
- One thing I never considered bringing to the parks was extra shoes for my little guy, who would spend a lot of time in the stroller! Bring an extra pair of shoes everywhere you go. When my son was one year old, he decided to take off his shoe and toss it off to the side without my husband and I noticing. Luckily a lovely guest chased us down to return the missing shoe; otherwise, he would have been running around barefoot at Magic Kingdom.
- One thing I never knew existed until I took my first baby to Disney is the Baby Care Centers. There is one located in each park. They are a great place to cool off, sit down, feed/nurse, change a diaper, and even pump without the hustle and bustle.
- Many people have asked me if they should bring their stroller or rent one in the parks. They both have advantages, and it depends on your preference. If you plan on renting a stroller for your little ones, you can save money by opting for the “Length of Stay” rental ticket. You can prepay the number of days that you will require a stroller. Upon entering the park, you will show your receipt and grab your stroller at the rental location each day. There are also several off-sit stroller rental companies if you’d prefer to go that route.
- Whether you plan to bring your stroller or opt for renting one from Disney, you will want to buy an all-weather stroller shade for nap privacy, sun protection, and waterproofing your stroller seat while it’s parked. Florida is famous for those 5-minute showers. Trust me when I tell you that it is entirely possible for your family to hop in line for It’s Tough to Be a Bug at Animal Kingdom with the sun shining brightly and walk out to find your stroller soaked! Babies and toddlers do not like to be wet, so make sure you come prepared! (In a pinch, use a poncho as a shield!)
- The absolute best tip I can give anyone traveling with kids is to BRING REINFORCEMENTS! It takes a village to raise a child, and we love to travel with our town! Grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, and anyone who can help wrangle the tots while mom and dad enjoy the big rides or even a date night! Multigenerational trips are so much fun for everyone involved!
Disney is the perfect vacation for families. Remember, they are never too young. They may not remember it, but you will! Plus, guests under the age of 3 are free since they do not require a theme park ticket. Start making memories today!
Ashley and the Magic
(800) 670-4312 x171