Planning a trip to Disney World with toddlers in tow? Check out our must-know tips for enjoying your vacation with little ones!
Visiting Disney with toddlers doesn’t have to be super stressful–get our tips for enjoying your time in the most Magical Place on Earth with your kids!
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Going to Disney World with a toddler can seem pretty daunting. Between the crowds, long lines, heat, and mask mandates, it can be very hard on an already temperamental toddler.
However, there’s simply nothing like watching a tot’s face light up when they experience the thrill and joy of Disney! It’s one of the best ages to go to Disney World.
But because we know toddlers can be unpredictable, a little planning ahead of time can go a LONG way toward making your trip more enjoyable!
Tips for Visiting Disney World With Toddlers
If you’re planning a trip to Disney World with a little one, I have some tips to help you prepare so you and your toddler get the most out of your time there.
1. Know When to Go
First off, let’s talk about the best time of year to go to Disney, because that will definitely impact your visit.
Disney is usually less crowded during January and most of February, as well as after Labor Day until about the week of Thanksgiving.
Going during these times ensures less time waiting in line for rides and character meet and greets.
Not only are shorter lines key for you and your kiddo but so is the weather.
Trust me, nothing says “toddler melt down” like long lines in the heat.
Florida is extremely hot and humid almost all year long and while there are ways to stay cool at Disney World, it’s definitely more favorable to bring your little one during the cooler times of year, if possible.
December, January, February and March are all usually the best months for slightly cooler weather in Florida.
Check out a crowd calendar to find a good time for your family. Plus, off-peak times are often the cheapest times to go to Disney World.
2. Plan Ahead
Planning ahead when packing up your bag for a day in the parks is key as well.
Disney allows you to bring in your own food and drinks, which is especially helpful for your wallet or if your tyke has any food allergies or aversions.
While we do splurge occasionally on some iconic snacks at Disney World, we also pack lots of snacks and drinks!
Items like a misting fan to stay cool and an extra stroller umbrella for shade are also helpful.
Be sure to bring sunscreen to reapply throughout the day as well. If your kiddos will wear a poncho, those are great to pack for the sporadic down pours you may encounter.
Check out our favorite ponchos for Disney, which includes options for kids.
You’ll also want to pack extra clothes because let’s face it, accidents with toddlers are inevitable. We all know you don’t want to shell out the big bucks for new clothes on Disney property.
You may want to pack the kids’ swimsuits as well for the occasional splash pads you’ll run into.
I also suggest checking out these printable Disney coupons for kids to see if they’d work well with your kids!
3. Make the Most of Your Park
While each park has a few things that cater specifically to toddlers, the Magic Kingdom is going to have the most attractions geared more towards a younger audience.
Before you go, it’s helpful to know the height requirements at Disney World, so you can hit up the rides your toddler is tall enough to ride.
Magic Kingdom is the Disney park with the most rides, including several that are toddler approved such as the Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant (which has a playground for them to play on until their elephant is ready!), It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and more.
You can check out our list of the best Disney rides for toddlers in each of the parks!
Epcot also has several rides that accommodate toddlers as well as fun play spaces in Future World, and an outdoor playground in the middle of World Showcase.
There’s also an indoor playground at the back entrance of Mission Space so you can soak up some much needed air conditioning.
Hollywood Studios has a Disney Junior Dance Party show featuring your little one’s favorite characters. This is a great way to let them cut loose!
One other fun activity for doing Disney with toddlers is the splash pads located on Disney property, including at Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
I don’t know about you, but my toddler absolutely loves water!
But if you’re just looking for a more laid back day, head to Animal Kingdom where you can relax on a long safari ride or watch the Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King.
Be sure to check out our article featuring the best Disney parks for toddlers!
4. Simplify Meeting Characters at DIsney World with a Toddler
Many people don’t realize meeting your beloved characters usually comes with a long line.
And while some toddlers may be too shy or afraid to meet and greet (and that’s okay!), there are other ways to enjoy the characters without the long lines.
Some kiddos may be perfectly content to look at them from a distance (cue the cavalcades!). My own kids have all been this way.
Character dining can be a fabulous option for toddlers, because it combines food, air conditioning, and no waiting in lines!
Check out my tips for getting last-minute Disney dining reservations for your favorite character meals.
Those are also great options if you want to avoid toddler meltdowns and tantrums.
If you do opt to wait in line for character meet ups, try to do them early in the morning to ensure your tot isn’t too tired or hungry.
5. Afternoon Rest Time
I totally understand the pressure to “go, go, go” during a stay at Disney World. There’s so much to take in, and so little time!
But when we’re dealing with toddlers, let’s not underestimate the power of nap time!
It’s the perfect excuse to take a much needed break from the afternoon heat and head back to the hotel.
Whether your child actually takes a nap or not, sometimes getting out of the park (and the stimulation that comes with it) is the perfect way to rejuvenate.
Oftentimes, the Disney resorts have activities for kids to do such as arts and crafts or movies, as well as awesome pools to take advantage of.
As a bonus, having fun in the water is definitely a way to ensure your toddler will sleep well at night! 🙂
6. Enjoy Free Fun at Disney Springs
Disney Springs is not only home to some of the best stores and restaurants on Disney property, but there are also plenty of fun and free things for the little kids as well.
The Lego Store offers interactive building with Duplo blocks for the little kids, and Lego stations for older kids, too.
They also have computer stations for designing your own Lego car to race!
You can sample free chocolate at Ghirardelli (what toddler doesn’t like that idea?) and participate in the free Paleo dig at the T-rex restaurant.
There are also many photo ops throughout Disney Springs featuring life sized characters. Many of the stores also hand out free stickers, which toddlers love!
Check out our favorite Disney Springs restaurants while you’re there, too!
7. Be Flexible!
While these tips will certainly help you plan ahead and make the most of your Disney stay, we all know that life with toddlers is unpredictable.
The best piece of advice I can give is for you to try to be flexible and roll with the punches.
Toddlers have a mind of their own, and meltdowns are bound to happen. You may not hit every ride you wanted to. You may not be able to stay out late for the fireworks every night.
But you will still make memories and have fun!
Your flexibility is going to go a long way in ensuring everyone (especially you!) has a great time at the parks.
Enjoying Disney World with a Toddler
These tips will definitely help you and your family make the most of your time at Disney.
It’s not always easy to plan a trip when toddlers are involved, but making sure you have packed well, planned ahead and know the best places for them to play and rest will certainly help you make the most of your vacation!
Any day at Disney is a great day and I hope these tips will help you navigate your family trip to Disney with toddlers.
Whether you want to spend a day poolside, squeeze in as many rides as possible, or visit all of your kid’s favorite characters, you can do it by planning ahead and remembering to go with the flow!
More Disney Planning Resources:
- How the Disney Payment Plan Works
- The Best Backpacks for Disney World
- How to Have Fun at Disney World in the Rain
- How to Pack for Disney World
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