Taking a Toddler to Walt Disney World® Resort
by DVP Sonya L
Taking a toddler to Walt Disney World® Resort, although very intimidating, can be a great experience, and if prepared properly, can be a very memorable vacation!
First of all you need to make sure you have a good understanding that you need to go with the flow and not try to do everything in one day. All you need to plan is which park (yes, I said park-singular) you want to visit each day. While having a Park Hopper is very convenient, I am pretty sure you will only have time for one park a day.
Second, decide if you want to take your own stroller or rent one. There are many companies you can rent strollers from in Orlando and Disney rents them at each park as well. However, we always take our own stroller for convenience. Renting a stroller in the park is wonderful, but you have to give them up at the gate. AND if you bring your own stroller, you can find yours easily from the pool of strollers at the stroller parking!! I like having my own stroller from the parks to the bus and from the bus stop to the hotel room. It might be a little trouble getting it ON the bus and taking the child out. But it is still the best choice for us.
If you choose not to ride the bus, you can drive to each park daily. Parking is free if you stay on the Disney property, and you do not have to wait in
lines for the bus when you are ready to go back to the room for a nap.
Which brings me to the third piece of advice, rest. Make sure you set aside a time each day to go back to the room for a nap. This is very important for children as well as parents. This will help you enjoy the fireworks show at the end of the day. They will make it to the show which sometimes can be as late as 10:00 pm, depending on what time of year you go. We even take a whole DAY to rest in between park days. Enjoy the pools and things on property for a day.
If you go during the summer heat, here is a list of a few must haves when being in the parks with a toddler:
- snacks (you can always get apples from the buffets)
- change of clothes (there are places to play in the water...do this right before you go back to the room for a nap)
- get a ziploc bag and put ice in it from the ice machine at the resort and put washrags in it (the ice melts and the rags are cold! Perfect for a nice cool down in the parks)
These things will help make your visit much smoother! Don't forget to take advantage of the nursing stations at each park! These cool down places provide a place for the kids to cool off and wind down. They have TV's, bathrooms, water, books, and rocking chairs as well as high chairs to feed them with. They also provide changing tables, nursing areas and items to purchase if you forgot them.
And my final piece of advice is the FAMILY restrooms! They are very nice and cool. You have to look for them as sometimes they are 'hidden'. You can also charge your phone in them! There are usually outlets in them. (Just a tidbit of information for those who have a horrible battery life on your smartphone.)
Hope you have a wonderful vacation and enjoy every memory making moment with your toddler. They WILL remember some of the trip and if they are like my then 2 year old, they will talk about it in years to come! ENJOY!