Visiting Walt Disney World with babies and toddlers can be an incredibly memorable experience! Are you thinking about a family vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort with your infant or toddler? Are you worried about what will be available for them or if they will remember? Let’s talk about going to the Disney Parks with young children and why it’s worth it to take the trip!
I have always loved Disney. Being in the parks makes me happy and I have so many memories throughout my childhood and adult life. When I had my kids, I couldn’t wait to share that happiness with them!
Each of my kids was quite young the first time they came to the parks. Were there challenges taking kids that young? Sure! Would I do it all over again though? Absolutely!
Preparing for the Trip
How do you prepare for the trip and decide when to go? I think any age is a great age as long as you adjust your expectations accordingly. There are a lot of moving parts as you plan any Disney trip and it can be a lot of work. This is especially the case with little ones. You need to pack all the baby gear, diapers, extras of everything, etc. If you are like me, you may overpack! Then, you need to unpack it all! It’s important to be prepared and also figure out what the necessities are.
Other factors to consider as you prepare are those factors that you think about for any vacation. How long do you want to go? Where do you want to stay? How many days do you want to be in the parks? Do you want to do something special/extra during the trip like one of Disney’s “Enchanting Extras”? Are you celebrating anything? One add-on for any trip that I recommend to capture all of those special moments is Memory Maker!
Using a travel advisor can help you plan out all of those details related to visiting the Walt Disney World Resort. Your Key to the World Travel Advisor is happy to help!
What to Expect
There are a few things to keep in mind that are especially important when you are traveling with an infant or toddler.
I mentioned everything you need to bring. For example, if you are traveling with a young baby who is not mobile yet, a baby carrier will be extremely helpful. There are other items though, like a crib or pack ‘n play, that you do not necessarily need to bring with you. One of these is provided upon request at all Walt Disney World Resort hotels. A stroller will also be extremely valuable. Do you want to bring your own? Or would you prefer to rent one and have it ready upon your arrival? If you decide to bring your own stroller, it is helpful to check it at the gate if you are flying. Traveling may also mean a change in routine for your baby or toddler and he or she will need to adjust to that.
Navigating the Parks
There is so much to see and do at the Disney Parks. However, follow your child’s cues. Let your child take the lead with new experiences such as the characters. The characters do an amazing job trying to win over kids of all ages! It will result in some adorable photos and fun memories! It may not work to stay in the parks all day and that’s ok! Take into consideration factors such as any shows or dining reservations you have made at the parks, travel time to and from your resort hotel, etc. You can always take a break and return later.
If you stay in the parks, there are many opportunities to go indoors and take a little break from the Florida weather. This may present an excellent opportunity for a nap! In addition, there are play areas in several areas throughout the theme parks, indoors and outdoors. Don’t be afraid to take some downtime and let little ones run around and explore.
Disney is for all ages so you don’t have to worry about things to do either! Many rides and attractions do not have height requirements, making them very baby-friendly. There are Baby Care Centers in each park and plenty of opportunities for little ones to interact with Disney friends. In addition, children under 3 are always guests of Mickey Mouse.
The Disney Genie+ Service was launched in 2021 and allows guests access to shorter lines and wait times. This is a paid service and may be worth the investment if you are concerned about wait times.
Why Spend the Money When They Won’t Remember?
One thing that I remember as I planned our first visit to the parks with my young children was people asking why I didn’t wait until they were older. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “Why would you go to Walt Disney World with babies and toddlers? They won’t remember it.” On one of our family trips, my kids were 7, 4, 2, and 3 months old. It was the first trip we took with all four of them and that is one of the most memorable ones we have taken.
There were a few times when I second-guessed that decision when the baby was screaming or the 4-year-old was in the middle of a temper tantrum. However, there are countless other times that I am so glad I took the trip anyway! I can share so many stories of amazing memories with my kids, even when they were babies.
Take the Trip, Make the Memories
Walt Disney World with babies and toddlers can result in some incredible memories. They won’t remember those early trips but you definitely will! I will never forget seeing the magic of Disney through their eyes. The first time my son ran to hug Minnie Mouse, my infant daughter smiling at Elsa, my kids’ faces lighting up as they watch the fireworks and so many more memories are things I will always cherish. It’s ok to do things for ourselves as parents. Parenting is hard and life can be stressful. It’s pretty amazing to spend time with your kids doing something you both love. You are reminded of what it’s all for. So, if you are ready to travel with your child, any age is the right age.
Our Best Travel Tips
Our advisors at Key to the World Travel have so many great tips to share as you plan your vacation. Here, they share some advice about traveling to Walt Disney World with babies & toddlers!
- “I think my best advice would be to have a plan but understand that there may be a deviation from the plan, so don’t get bogged down by sticking to the plan 100% of the time.” – Rose Richardson, KTTW Advisor
- “Go with the flow and enjoy the little things. My daughter’s favorite things were picking up leaves in Fantasyland and all of the native birds. We also had a great time getting photos of her napping around Magic Kingdom.” – Sarah Kemp, KTTW Advisor
- “Schedule breaks! Go for quality over quantity. It’s great to say you did it all, but not so great if everyone was exhausted and drug their feet through it. I usually write down everything I want to do and then plan to do half. That and getting a sitter for bedtime at least once during a trip so you can enjoy some adult time or relaxation.” – Mary Scherer, KTTW Advisor
- “Your kids don’t know what they don’t know! Take it easy and just enjoy being there. Hangry is a real emotion, never underestimate the power of food/water/a break – it can turn your whole day around!” – Katie Kotula, KTTW Advisor
- “A disposable poncho makes a great stroller cover and secure it on with towel clips.” – Laura Palaima, KTTW Advisor
- “Pack each outfit in a ziplock bag. Two benefits…
1) easy to get dressed each morning
2) each day you head to the park, toss an extra outfit in your park bag. If/when the first outfit gets dirty (or covered in ice cream), you can change their clothes and put the dirty ones in the zip lock bag so the rest of the things in your park bag don’t get soiled.” – Kelly Wheeler, KTTW Advisor
- “Always pack 1 more diaper than you think you need in your park/carry-on bag” – Cathleen Christie, KTTW Advisor
- “If you plan to watch the nighttime shows but worry about your child being afraid of the noise, bring noise-canceling headphones. They come in sizes for children and even include fun designs & colors.” – Kelly Greer, KTTW Advisor
- “When theme parking with a simple umbrella stroller, zip tie ankle weights to the front, just above the wheels. It keeps the stroller from tipping backward from the weight of all the souvenirs you purchase and hang off the back.” – Jill Fogarty, KTTW Advisor
Navigating the Parks
- “Watch YouTube videos before your trip of things they are tall enough for or will experience to prepare them for the concept of roller coasters, fireworks, castles, even lines!” – Emily Baumann – KTTW Advisor
- “BRING THE STROLLER! And baby-wear for lines. Make a game out of waiting in line. Remember to breathe. Have a plan, but it’s okay if you deviate from the said plan. Oh! Visit the bathroom BEFORE you get in those long lines. Nothing worse than getting to the front only to hear “’I have to potty'” – Alli Woody, KTTW Advisor
- “Put something on your stroller to make it super noticeable so when a cast member moves it while you’re on a ride you can easily find it after! They all look alike in the parking area!” – Stacey Iskovitz, KTTW Advisor
- “Some of my very favorite vacation memories took place when our children were very young. Maybe they won’t remember, but you will! Make them a photo memory book and tell them stories of your travel adventures.” – Amy Shalley, KTTW Advisor
Remember, your Key to the World Travel Advisor is always here to help you plan an amazing vacation, regardless of what stage of life you are in! If you are considering a visit to Walt Disney World with babies or toddlers, we are here to help!
Are you considering a trip? Having a travel advisor means someone there to have your back in any occurrence. There is no additional cost to you and you have peace of mind knowing that your vacation is in good hands.
Contact your Key to the World Travel® advisor for your next trip, or send us a quote request to get started.