I am often asked how young is too young for the Disney Parks and while I say it’s never too young to enjoy Walt Disney World, there’s special magic when it comes to preschoolers and Disney. Here are some tips for enjoying that magical time with your little ones!
- Use a stroller. Even if you preschooler is past the age of strollers at home, being a Disney World is a whole new experience with more walking than they’re used to and lots and LOTS of excitement. There are a few great stroller rental companies that service the theme parks for less than what you’ll pay at Disney. Contact me for information
- Utilize the Rider Swap (or baby or child swap as it used to be called) on select attractions your little doesn’t want to ride. You only wait in line once for both parents to have a chance to ride, each taking turns waiting with the little. Ask the Cast Member at the entrance to the attraction for details!
- Stay in a nearby Resort so it’s easy to return for naps. The monorail resorts (Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary) are all good choices, as is Wilderness Lodge (a quick boat ride from Magic Kingdom) or the Epcot resorts (Beach Club, Yacht Club, and Boardwalk). While you may feel you need to rush around and “see everything” you’ll all be much happier with a child (and maybe Mom and Dad?) who’s taken a nap and is now refreshed enough to handle the evening.
- Make a safety plan. Lost children are usually taken to the Baby Care Center (there’s one in each park) but be sure your child knows they can ask a Cast Member for help. We told our daughter to look for people with nametags. Consider using these temporary tattoos from SafetyTat.com – write your cell phone number on the tattoo, stick it in a visible place like an arm or a less visible spot like their tummy, just in case. I have also made an ID card for our daughter that I put on a lanyard along with a tiny version of her blankie. It makes lines much easier with a lanyard and her ID Card has our cell numbers and what Resort we’re staying at and that she’s allergic to Penicillin. I figure if she has the lanyard on great but the SafetyTats are even better!
- Try the Child Activity Centers at Deluxe Resorts (ages 3-12) or in-room childcare through Kids Nite Out (ages 6mos – 12yrs) for a little Mommy & Daddy alone time. You don’t have to be a Guest of the Resort to use the club and reservations are highly recommended. We can do that for you!
- Take a dip in the kiddie pool or water play area! All Disney Resorts have a kiddie pool and some even have water play areas like splash zones as well.
- If your little one is still in diapers order them from Garden Grocer so you don’t have to pack them in your luggage. Luggage space is a premium these days!
- Forget something? Need to cool off out of the Florida sun? Just need a quiet place to nurse? Visit the Baby Care Centers. Located within all 4 theme parks, Baby Care Centers provide a convenient place to feed, change and nurse little ones. Offering more than just privacy, Baby Care Centers are fully staffed and feature a host of helpful amenities for parents with infants and toddlers. Open during regular park hours, each full-service facility is complimentary to use. We sat in one watching cartoons and coloring when my daughter was 2 and everyone else in the group rode rides she couldn’t. We cooled off and were more comfortable than sitting on a hard bench waiting for the rest of the group.
- Watch YouTube Videos of the park rides and even the characters to get your little one familiar with them. Some little ones are afraid of the characters. I know from experience that if you watch the videos they can tell you all about the ride before they’ve ever been on it!
Since I have taken my daughter to Walt Disney World from the ages of 2 through 6 I can pretty much tell you anything you need to know about traveling with a toddler and preschooler. If you have any questions just ask.
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