Disney World with Little Ones
What a crazy month: work, end of school concerts and graduation, and my husband’s and my first holiday in two years! Here in this family we have some HUGE Star Wars fans so we wanted to take advantage of the Star Wars Weekend at Disney World. We didn’t travel last year because we were so busy with work and, well, terrible twos. Our littlest was a handful, to say the least. This year, we thought our toddler was older and better able to manage Disney. “Don’t get cocky, kid.” So here is the wisdom we gathered the hard way and are passing on to you.
1. Before You Go The Disney Dining Plan is a lot of food, and restaurants are hard with a toddler. We prefer to stay on property at a Disney Vacation Club resort that has a kitchen (our favourite is Disney’s Wilderness Lodge). Book your table service reservations at your must-do restaurants only. They are available 180 days before-hand, so reserve as soon as you can, they fill up FAST!
2. Plan It Out Get your park tickets before you leave so you can arrange Fast Pass tickets (up to 60 days in advance). Everything in Disney books up fast. Think about your family schedule. We are all night owls so we chose reservations for the afternoon. If you are early risers, plan accordingly.
3. Getting There That two+ hour flight is a long one with over-excited children. Get them their own seat on the plane and take the car seat. Bring a bag of dollar store goodies to distract them and some treats for them to suck on during take off and landing. I shamelessly gave my toddler a sucker for what was technically breakfast. Don’t judge. The plane can be cold and suckers are messy, so make sure you have a change of clothing and a sweater for them in your bag.
4. Stay In The Moment My Disney Experience and Fast Passes are great but when you arrive you see EVERYONE on their phone. And you know what? They are missing it! They are missing just watching their kids having the time of their lives. My advice is print off your fast pass and stay off your phone while you are at the parks. Enjoy your time with your family–you worked so hard for it!
5. Be Prepared Bring the kids a change of clothes and a ziploc to put them in for after the Mickey Bar and the Casey Jr. Splash and Soak Station. Make sure your bag has sunscreen and lots of bottled water (Florida tap water tastes dreadful). If your little one is on the edge of giving up using a stroller, bring one anyway. Disney is so huge and when you are carrying your 35-pound sweaty mess, you’ll miss it.
6. Three Words: Baby Care Centre Figure out where the Baby Care Centre is (in the Magic Kingdom it’s beside the Crystal Palace). They have quiet rooms for feeding and cooling down, a kitchen and playroom. You can get things like formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, and over the counter medication. They have a nurse who can help with minor medical issues. It’s like Grandma’s – if you need help, it’s your first stop. It’s awesome.
7. Let it Go Disney is vast. Lines are long and kids get hot and cranky. Accept you will only get a couple of things on your list done. When the kids get hot, go back to the hotel for a swim and a nap. Really, every day. Relax and enjoy the moment. Have a great time!