Disney can be a LOT, especially navigating Disney with little ones. If you’re visiting Orlando for the parks, chances are you have an itinerary all planned out! But long park days can take a toll on the smallest guests. Here are some tricks and tips to remember when spending the day at Disney with babies and toddlers.
One thing is for sure, there is no “right age” for Disney! Not only are kids under 3 free, but the saying is “under 3 is for me” meaning taking our kids to the parks even when small means we as parents can soak in all the Disney magic through their eyes. We’ve taken our 2 year old and 6 month old and they both soak it all up!
Plan ahead, but prepare for madness
Can you really prepare for madness? Maybe not. But you can plan that things will not go according to plan! Either way, it’s good to have an idea of what you want to see and do at the parks. Lines can be long, the weather unforgiving, and our youngest little ones might not want to be as adaptable as we hope. If you can be prepared for potential meltdowns with their favorite snack or toy you just might save the day.
Remember where you parked!
Seems like common sense right? Well you may think you remembered until you’ve spent endless hours in the park, with tired and cranky kids. Pro tip? Take a picture! At the end of every parking aisle are numbers, just snap a picture on your phone just in case!
Pack plenty of snacks
Okay, again it seems like a given but even I forget this. And the snacks at the parks add up! Not only do you need plenty of snacks to get through the day, but to help bribe the kids before a meltdown happens.
In fact, you should make sure your bag is well packed with all and any essentials. I’ll get into those later.
Take advantage of Baby Care Centers
Every park at Disney has at least one baby care center. There, you can take a much needed break from the heat while taking care of the little ones. There are breastfeeding rooms with comfy chairs and rockers, changing tables, and even bottle warmers and microwaves for milk or to warm up food. These centers are also equipped with diapers, wipes, creams, and baby food for purchase in case you forget or run out – or simply don’t want to carry these with you.
Did I mention these are air conditioned? Yeah, take advantage!
Strollers are a necessity, not an option
Whether you bring your own or rent a stroller, you need one. Personally, I like to have my own stroller but that’s all up to you. If you bring your own you can tie a ribbon or hang a stroller sign. Make your own, or check out these options on Etsy
If you do choose to rent at Disney, just know they are not the most comfortable for sitting in. They are hard and plastic, and don’t recline! Just something to keep in mind
Bring a baby carrier if visiting with an infant!
While you should bring a stroller, a baby carrier is super helpful when going on rides with babies! If you didn’t know – YES there are baby friendly rides. Having your littlest ones in a carrier helps with maneuvering in lines and sitting on rides. Stroller parking for rides are often a short walk from the entrance to the ride itself. Unless you want to be carrying your baby in your arms, a carrier is a lifesaver for your arms and back!
Take advantage of hidden playgrounds
Did you know Disney parks have playgrounds? Yeah It’s not something I knew right away either! This is a great option for kids to get their energy out, especially if you have to wait for other members of your party on a ride. Each park has at least one playground where kids can stretch and run around.
This is something I learned the hard way. As a local Disney mom, we have about a 30-40 minute drive back home, which sometimes turns into an hour. Whether you’re local or staying at the resorts, changing little ones into pjs before leaving the park means a smoother transition to bedtime. Nine times out of ten they’ll fall asleep in the car before you make it back.
Do’s and Don’ts at Disney
There are some things you want to keep in mind when at the parks with kids:
DO: Have some sort of identifier on your kids. Your name and number in their pocket is a great idea.
DO: Take a picture of them and their outfit for the day, you never know
DON’T: Have clothing or bags with their name written on it. If a stranger can call their name that’s a no!
DO: Make sure your bag and stroller are adequately packed! Some bag staples should include:
- A stroller fan
- A change of clothes (accidents happen, so do sprinklers)
- A wet bag or reusable stasher bag (for holding the accidents or wet clothes)
- Frida Baby Cooling Gel Pads – not just for fevers, these work GREAT at keeping little ones cool on a hot park day!
- Portable charger or power bank
- Hand sanitizer
Now that you know what to do – are you ready to go!? Disney is waiting for you to come visit! Want to see more Disney tips and real time park events? Remember to follow along on Instagram for more!