Going to Walt Disney World with toddlers & preschoolers can be an overwhelming experience. You are excited, your child(ren) is over-the-top excited, and sometimes it can lead to total stimulus overload.
No one wants to ruin a trip to Disney with a grumpy toddler.
Planning your trip to Disney World in advance is critical to having a melt-down free trip! Use these tips so that ensure that your trip starts on the right foot.
Tips for Going to Disney World with Toddlers & Preschoolers:
1 Leave your expectations at the door. You will have a magical day, but only if you don’t expect everything to go as planned.
You will want to check the height requirements in advance as Disney World is pretty strict about this. If you kid is too small to ride a particular ride, you can use the Rider Switch program.
With the Rider Switch, one adult can wait with the non-rider(s) while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. When the other adult returns, they can supervise the non-rider(s), and the waiting adult can board the attraction without having to wait in the regular line again!
Attractions with Rider Switch
Magic Kingdom Park
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
Frozen Ever After
Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Slinky Dog Dash
Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Animal Kingdom Park
Avatar Flight of Passage
Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
Kali River Rapids
3. Pack your day bag for Disney carefully. Include things like Lollipops (which are great to have when a child’s sugar is running low), snacks that keep well like goldfish and pretzels, and plenty of bottled water.
I would also suggest bringing small activity books (get them from Dollar Spot at Target or Dollar Tree).
4. Bring along your own souvenirs. Kids can easily get hooked on all the merchandise at the shops through out Magic Kingdom.
I would honestly avoid them all together and instead bring your own Disney souvenirs (small plush, t-shirts, toy, light up gadgets for night shows) to give to your child during your trip.
One of our best tips going to Disney with toddlers & preschoolers is booking a character meal. This way you can see your favorite Disney characters while you are having a meal!
6. Bring or rent a stroller. The Disney parks are enormous; especially to a preschooler. If you make them walk the entire time, they are going to get overtired and grouchy.
Stroller are also the perfect way to get a front row seat for the parade(s) and will help you store all your gear in one place.
7. If your child wants to dress up, bring a change of clothes.
Dressing as a princess might sound good early in the day, but by the afternoon, your little darling will be hot, itchy and sweaty. Sometimes a change of clothes can make all the difference!
8. Do your research before you go and pick your top rides and attractions best suited for your preschooler.
Pirates of the Caribbean sounds fun, but might not be the best choice for a child who is intimidated by darkness or scares easily at the sounds of gunfire & cannons.
Here are some great rides & attractions for toddlers & preschoolers at Disney World
- Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Princess Fairytale Hall
- Enchanted Tales with Belle
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- It’s a small world
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Prince Charming Regal Carousel
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment
- Kidcot Fun Stops
- Frozen Ever After
- Gran Fiesta tour starring the Three Caballeros
- The Circle of Life
- Finding Nemo-The Musical
- Festival of the Lion King
- Kilimanjaro Safari
- TriceraTop Spin
- Rafiki’s Planet Watch and Affection Section
- Wilderness Explorers interactive experience
- UP a Great Bird Adventure
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Beauty and the Beast-Live on Stage
- Disney Junior-Live on Stage!
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Muppet Vision 3D
9. Know where the bathrooms are at Disney World. This is crucial for those going to Disney World with toddler & preschoolers who may be in the potty training years!
You may be able to avoid accidents if you locate the restrooms on the map ahead of time and plan bathroom stops every few rides.
10. Tag your child with an id bracelet. I know, no one wants to think of losing their child, but it does happen.
Those travelling to Disney World with toddlers or preschoolers wearing a Disney MagicBand, write your cell number on the inside. Cast members can scan their band to find out more information & the cell number is the first thing thing will see.
Also, be sure to talk to your child about an action plan if they were to get separated (going to a Cast Member is the best idea).
What other tips do you have for surviving Disney World with Toddlers & Preschoolers?