Every family dreams of booking Walt Disney World tickets. It’s a true delight to see your little ones light up at the sight of their favorite characters and experience the magic of the parks. As we all know, though, traveling with kids isn’t always easy. Planning ahead will allay your worries, making your day at the park better. Need a few ideas to get started?
1) Have a Plan
You won’t be able to see it all and you’ll make yourself miserable if you try. Pick out three favorites your kids absolutely must-see. Do your homework before you go, and make use of Disney’s My Magic+. You can reserve Fastpass+ passes for the rides and attractions on your must-see list. Then, plan on the rest of your time being flexible.
2) Make Your Stroller Stand Out
Stroller parking lots are notorious at Disney World. You’ll find masses of them huddled together outside attractions, and they all look the same. Make it easier to find yours by personalizing it. Tie a brightly colored ribbon or handkerchief on yours, or really make it stand out with a balloon. You’ll most likely be bringing your own stroller if your kids need it outside of Disney World Theme Parks. If your kids normally don’t need one, rent one anyway while at the parks. With all the walking you do, the children tucker out and will make use of the stroller. Rent a double to make room for bags and purchases.
3) Reserve a Character Meal
The best way to spend quality time with your little ones' favorite characters, reserve a character meal. One-on-one meet and greets (and hugs) are available throughout the parks. Favorites include Donald Duck’s Safari Breakfast at Tusker House Restaurant, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and Winnie the Pooh and friends at the Crystal Palace. I also like book breakfast character meals, as they are less likely to cut into your time at the parks. Another option for Disney character meals can be found at Disney resorts. Typically not as busy as those within the parks, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ at Fort Wilderness Resort and the Perfectly Princess Tea Party at the Grand Floridian Resort.
4) Bring a Disney Day Pack
Come prepared. Your day at Disney will be much better if you do. Bring a backpack or daypack filled with snacks, juice boxes, refillable water bottles, wet wipes, change of clothes, ponchos, band-aids, sunscreen, sunglasses, and lip balm.
5) Greet the Day Early
Kids are usually early risers, which makes getting to the park before it opens an easy option. If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, be sure to check the Extra Magic morning hours. You’ll get inside the park an hour earlier than non-resort guests. When you start early, you can make time for an afternoon break. Kids usually need a break just to nap or get away from the crowds. Afternoon breaks are also an excellent time for a swim, or to hop over to the Disney World water parks. Afterward, head back to the parks for the evening parades and nighttime fireworks.
6) Locate the Disney Child Care Centers
Child care centers can be a lifesaver when your kid is having a meltdown or you just need some (air-conditioned) peace. Regroup with your kids, change a diaper, nurse, or simply just take a break. Private nursing rooms with rocking chairs, changing rooms, main room with television and sofa, and kitchen area with microwave and sink are some of the perks of the Child Care Centers. You can also refrigerate any necessary medicines here.
7) Make Use of Rider Switch
If you have one child old enough for rides, but another who isn’t make use of the rider switch. The helpful service is available at select Disney World attractions like Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, Expedition Everest, Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, and Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n Roller Coaster, among others. One adult can wait with the non-rider while the rest of the party experiences the attraction. The waiting adult can then board the attraction without having to wait in the regular line again when another adult in the party returns to supervise the child or children who do not ride.
Use these tips for visiting Disney World with kids to make your day at the park even more magical.