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Going to Disney World with Toddlers & Preschoolers

Tips for Going to Disney World with Toddlers & Preschoolers

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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.

Courtesy Disney

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.

Disney Fairytale Hall in Magic Kingdom

2. Use the Fastpass System & Disney Rider Switch

Decide which rides you want to make a priority in advance and book your Disney FastPasses. I suggest that you start by making a list of your top rides, attractions and character meet & greets.

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!

Disney World Rider Switch Rides

Magic Kingdom Park

  • The Barnstormer
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Tomorrowland Indy Speedway

Epcot

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track

Hollywood Studios

  • 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
  • DINOSAUR 
  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Primeval Whirl
Stitch Backpack

3. Pack 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.

If you do want to get them a souvenir at Disney World, consider something cheap and interactive, like pressed pennies!

Disney Character Meals

5. Get an autograph book.

Kids love meeting characters and autograph books are a great souvenir for them to cherish.

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!

Save Money by Bringing a Stroller

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.

Strollers 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.

Read more about Renting Strollers at Disney

Courtesy Disney

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!

Courtesy Disney

8. Pick Rides & Experiences Carefully.

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.

Journey of the Little Mermaid Ride

Magic Kingdom rides for Toddlers

Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot
Courtesy Disney

Epcot rides for Toddlers

  • 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
  • Colortopia
Lion King Show in Animal Kingdom
Courtesy Disney

Animal Kingdom Rides & Attractions for Toddlers

Toy Story Mania

Hollywood Studios Rides for Toddlers

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?

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Sarah Kamel

Friday 15th of February 2019

I am planning to come with my 7 yesrs old daughter from Egypt in summer 2019. What about the entrance tickets? Is the bookings online for all rides or upon coming? How much does it cost for the day? An average? How long does the rides take? Is there some deals available in specific times? Is there sn expected budget for a 3 members family for the whole day? If i stayed close to Disney, is it easy to move to paris attractions and downtown?

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