If you’re planning a visit to Disney World with little kids, you might find yourself overwhelmed by all the choices when it comes to planning. And, you might be getting a lot of advice from well-intentioned friends and family — but you’re still confused.
Have no fear! Our good friends (and recommended travel agents!) at Small World Vacations have been planning Disney World trips for families for YEARS and they have the answers you’re looking for when it comes to Disney World planning with young kids!
Here are some simple, practical tips and resources from the agents at Small World Vacations for traveling to Walt Disney World with small children.
Do your homework. Read guidebooks. Talk to your friends. But don’t over-plan.
Small World Vacations travel agents say it’s a good plan to have a basic idea of what you want to do every day, but be sure to pencil in three or four hours of flexible fun and be aware of your child’s limitations. Check out some Disney World travel guides (including the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining), get advice from friends, and start making your plans.
Create your My Disney Experience account
Once you’ve booked your vacation, visit My Disney Experience and create your account. And be sure to refer to Small World Vacations’ Time Line Planner to know when to access your My Disney Experience account to make dining reservations, set up Fast Pass + selections for rides, character meets, parades and fireworks, order your MagicBands, purchase the Memory Maker Photo Package, and more.
Stay at a Deluxe Resort on the Monorail
If your family budget allows, book a room at one of the Deluxe Resorts on the Monorail in the Magic Kingdom area. This makes trips to the Magic Kingdom — probably where you’ll be spending most of your time with a little one — and afternoon naps more convenient. If you prefer accommodations with a kitchen and separate bedroom, consider a suite at a Value Resort, Cabin at Fort Wilderness, or a Disney Vacation Villa (both Grand Floridian and Polynesian have villas and are on the monorail loop). Groceries and other items can be ordered via Garden Grocer.
Bring your own stroller or have one delivered to your resort
With small children in tow, you will definitely need a stroller! They are a great place for kids to take a quick nap and rest their little feet, and it makes carrying all your park bags a lot easier, too! Remember to personalize your stroller with a ribbon or scarf so you can easily identify it in the sea of strollers at stroller parking locations.
Another pro tip: Most of the stores on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom are connected — if the street is packed with people, you can cut through them and avoid the crowds.
Plan a few character meals — but don’t overdo it
Character meals are fun for all ages – but you don’t want to try and pack in too many for your visit! Before picking which character meals to book check out our menus and restaurant reviews and be ready to book your Advance Dining Reservations 180 days in advance!
To maximize time for rides, try to get the first dining time available for breakfast when the park opens. Book the last seating for breakfast when Disney resort guests can take advantage of Extra Magic morning hours.
Get up early and get to the park at rope drop
If you are a Disney Resort guest, take advantage of the Extra Magic morning hours at the theme parks. Take an afternoon break at your resort for a swim, playground fun, or a quiet nap. Go back to the parks after dinner to enjoy the evening festivities.
Use the Rider Switch program if you have one child (or parent) who loves the more thrilling attractions and a younger child who’s not quite ready for them. This handy service is available at select attractions and allows guests to take turns waiting with youngsters too young or too small to ride a certain attraction, then “switch” with another adult from their party to experience the ride without standing in line twice.
Pack all the essentials in your park bag every day!
Be sure to pack snack foods like granola bars, dry cereal, and juice boxes for snack breaks throughout the day. Also be sure your park bag is stocked with extra diapers, wipes, a first aid kit, moleskin, sunscreen, hats, hand sanitizer, and more. Other great items to remember – earplugs for loud fireworks, ponchos, and an umbrella. Remember — Baby Care centers are available in every park for quiet time, feeding time, or if you didn’t pack quite enough diapers.
Additional tips for a Disney World visit with small kids
The pros at Small World Vacations also suggest taking a photo of your child each day just in case they get separated from you in the parks – you know what they’re wearing! All kids should also carry some sort of identification with their parents’ cell phone numbers – they recommend MyBuddyTag.com.
Also remember to always pack an extra outfit for the day – just in case there are bathroom emergencies or too many rides on Splash Mountain!
Most importantly though – remember to have fun! As long as the kids are having fun, there’s no need to get on every ride in the park. Be flexible and aware of your child’s developmental capabilities. Be prepared for small children to be apprehensive about the characters. Look at them from afar and slowly introduce your kids when they are in the right mood and ready to say hello.
Once you are in Walt Disney World, put down your phone and enjoy the magic. Slow down and experience those priceless Disney moments. Take a break and sit on a bench to enjoy a Mickey Ice Cream Bar. There is NO test at the end of your vacation, just a lifetime of priceless memories.
Is this your first time to Walt Disney World with young children? Do you need help planning? You have questions…Small World Vacations has answers!
Small World Vacations agents have been to Walt Disney World over 2,500 times!
We know what you need to know before you go. We’re Diamond Level Authorized Disney Vacation Planners who have been there, done that and going back.
Learn how we can help you and what our guests are saying about us:
“Small World Vacations has been so fantastic with helping plan our magical vacation. Not only was our agent incredibly professional and organized but she also gave us amazing recommendations. She was always on top of things for us and followed up, typically within 24 hours. She made me feel like I was her only client and that every detail was perfect. THANK YOU”
If you are ready to begin planning your 2020 Walt Disney World vacation, simply fill out Small World Vacations’ no obligation quote form! Small World Vacations is happy to share over 22 years of Disney expertise and firsthand experience with MyDisneyExperience, discounts, dining reservations and FastPass+ so you can sit back, relax and enjoy some Disney Magic!
There are some great deals for your 2020 Walt Disney World Vacation. Check out the current discounts. Small World Vacations’ agents compare offers to find the best deal for you.
Get the Magic started and complete a request for a price quote with Disney Food Blog’s recommended Travel Agency — Small World Vacations. An agent will review your travel preferences and provide you with a no-obligation quote along with their phone number so you can speak directly with them.
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