My husband Leap and I are longtime Disney fans, so we've been visiting Disney World since before the tadpoles hatched. now we are onehopsAs a family of four, we adjusted our expectations and interests in the park to meet the needs of our children. It's honestly a whole new world to prepare to visit Disney World with kids—let alone kids of all ages. Whether you have babies, toddlers, school-age children or teenagers, we've got somehoppeTips to help you prepare and organize your day.
- warm up for the role
- bring entertainment
- Make a plan for picky eaters
- manage expectations
How to prepare for visiting Disney World with kids
For the young and the young at heart,walt disney worldA perfect getaway for the whole family. While Disney World is great for little ones, getting kids to play together can still be a challenge.
It is important to prepare as much as possible so that you can have the amazing trip of your dreams and make lots of good memories! Be sure to save this article before we dive in! You should use this guide as a reference when planning your trip. Now, without further ado, here's everything you need to know to prepare for visiting Disney World with your kids!rice!
bring a backpack
If you're going to the park when the mornings are cool but the afternoons are hot, it's a good idea to pack a backpack to store your lightweight jacket. Our tadpoles keep warm in the morning by wearing shorts and sweatpants, t-shirts and jackets. As the weather warmed, the children took off their clothes. If we're in the park long enough, the kids can add an extra layer for the cooler evenings. This works fine for us. If we didn't want to bring a backpack, we would find a closet to store our warm clothes for the evening. But the pushchair also offers practical storage.
travel togetherteenager or teenager? Let them carry their own backpacks! This will save the seed parents from carrying all their stuff. Older frogs can also use the backpack to store souvenirs or treats they pick up during the day. No need to worry about where to store these items - a regular sized backpack, diaper bag or cooler bag can all be brought to the rides! (The TRON Lightcycle Run is an exception, but free lockers are available during the ride.)
Bring or rent a stroller
When traveling to Disney World with a baby or toddler, you will definitely need a stroller. But even with older children, you need to be realistic about how long your child can stand in a day. If you don't regularly take your tadpoles on 5- to 10-mile hikes in the heat and humidity from early morning to late evening, you need to have a tadpole transportation plan in place. This means a stroller or being ready to carry your child on your back or shoulders. Strollers provide a safe barrier between your child and the rest of the world. They allow you to sleep safely while on the go. Plus, if you're babysitting multiple kids, a stroller keeps kids from getting lost in a crowd.
The fun and excitement of Disney can overwhelm some people and cause them to burn out more easily. And the view from the shoulder is even better! When Tad was 5 years old, out of the stroller, he almost immediately complained that his frog legs no longer kicked and wanted to ride backwards like a frog. Luckily he wasn't too heavy and Leap and I were interchangeabletransitionHe is there.
For parents of older children who use daily use outside of strollers, know that you can rent single and tandem strollerspram in the park. Over time, you may find that an older child climbs next to a younger sibling in a double stroller.
If you need to spend a few days visiting theme parks, a stroller can help lighten the load. I don't know about you, but us parents feel a bit like pack animals when we take our kids to Disney World. Backpacks with reusable water bottles, sweatshirts for chilly winter evenings, snacks, souvenirs, sunscreen, umbrellas and more can weigh us down. They certainly do not provide space on the back for tired children. A pushchair with storage at the bottom saves your back! Just don't leave valuables, park tickets, cameras or cell phones unattended in there. Fanny packs are back in fashion (in our opinion, fanny packs can be worn cross-body over coats), so keep small valuables on your body or in a carry-on bag.
Another benefit of owning a stroller is that it gives you a place to tie your balloons. You can also put popcorn buckets on it. All the Disney items you collect throughout the day can be attached or stored in the stroller instead of being added to your body.
Conduct park research by having children watch their favorite Disney movies and park videos
We love to enjoy the excitement when we visit Disney World with our kids. There's no easier way than letting them watch all their favorite Disney, Star Wars and Marvel movies, from classics to new releases! Subscribe to Disney+TodaliSave money than buying all those movies. Watching the movie will allow your child to become more familiar with the characters, rides and performances. For example, we watched Swiss Family Robinsons a few weeks before the trip so the kids were familiar with the story and the treehouse. When we saw the Swiss stock treehouse in the Magic Kingdom, the kids recognized it right away. They enjoyed their walks in the tree house more than usual. So is LilyTodaliObsessed with the new Disney+ series "Magic in Disney's Animal Kingdom," which follows the animal care experts at Disney's Animal Kingdom and Epcot. This made her ask more questions to the cast and even remember the names of the animals! Your child may also choose to bring clothing that matches a character or movie to help prepare for the trip.
Another way to do park research is to observe some of ourDisney World YouTube Channel Videos. It can help you as a parent to choose the right rides for your child. You know better than we do what scares them. If you have a child with autism or sensory needs, they can prepare for a new trip by watching a video of the trip. Knowing what to expect seems to reduce anxiety about the unknown.
Factor in height and rider change when choosing rides
There is nothing more disappointing than a tadpole who is excited to ride, only to find out that he doesn't quite meet the height requirements. settle intoDisney World Rider Switch Service and Attraction Height Requirementsbefore your visit.
If you have smaller tadpoles, take advantage of the rider switch. One adult can watch the child while the rest of the family rides, and the babysitter can then be switched without queuing and can carry a guest. This means that older siblings can be on a different ride!
Height may be more important than age in deciding when to visit for the first time. You won't want to miss any of the must-do rides. But if you have several children, your children may be of different heights. We found that quite a few rides had a minimum height requirement of 44 inches, but only one exceeded that height (48 inches for the Rock Coaster). Of course, Disney World has many rides that have no height requirements at all.
there is onetadpoles in the family? So remember to bring your baby carrier! Attractions without height requirements or marked as suitable for preschoolers are perfect for your little one to wear while visiting the attractions.
Consider taking the children out of school for a visit
we would like to visit duringless busy time of year, so we chose the week after Thanksgiving. It's a great week with fewer crowds and all the festive Christmas decorations and events. Of course our kids missed school this week.Before you decide to withdraw your child from school, consider some of the following factors(This is a judgment free space!).
If your child has a more flexible schedule or is able to take advantage of distance learning, you may benefit from this. Admittedly, it is much easier to drop a young child out of school than a middle or high school student. You can also consider asking for tasks ahead of time and using the travel time in the car or plane to get your tadpoles to complete some of them.
Although we know that some parents and teachers are not in favor of taking children out of school, we have found that it is worth it. When the kids aren't on break, the crowds are crowded and the prices are often much lower, making for a more pleasant experience. Our kids learned so much on the trip! But if you have an older child or a particularly diligent frog who doesn't want to deal with a lot of makeup work, then this might not be the right decision for your family.
Helps keep an eye on children with ear hats, costumes or matching clothing
Kids can wear the signature ear hats and headbands to help you track them through crowds. Mickey Mouse ear hats and headbands come in a variety of styles. Unique headgear makes children easier to spot.
We see many families wearing matching Disney shirts or color schemes every day. This makes it easier to scan the "shirt of the day" area. In addition, your child will feel part of an organizationTodaliCool Disney family. NOTE: We cannot guarantee that your child will think matching clothes are as cool as we do.
Tadpoles up to 14 years old can dress up at Disney World for even more fun!
Be sure to identify younger children
For younger children or those with limited language skills, a basic ID tag with the child's name and your cell phone number can be helpful if your child gets separated from you at the park. During our visit we had metal pet tags made with this information and put on our children's shoes.
You can find a DIY pet tag maker at most pet stores. The metal is weather/water resistant, won't peel off like a tag, and can be worn on the items your child will most likely wear on a daily basis...perfect for getting kids ready for Disney World. Running shoe tags would work well for this too! (we have someTips on how to keep your kids from getting lost in Disney World...also if youA child with special needs is different from you.)
Give each child their own Disney gift card, bring treats and budget for goodies and souvenirs
Many rides go straight into the gift shop. Your kids can get over excited when they want to see everything. Grandparents graciously gave our kids Disney gift cards before the trip so they could buy whatever they wanted within their budget. We also budget for hospitality and souvenirs with gift cards so the kids can "pay for it". Parents won't say "no" and children themselves may decide to save the money for something better than buying the third popcorn that day. Choose this option for fewer complaints and more thoughtful souvenirs and hospitality. You can also save a lot of money by bringing snacks and water to the park. There are water filling stations around each park.
Slow down and say yes
We all feel the pressure to pack up for the day, give it our all, and move on. But try to budget for some free time when planning so you can slow down and let your kids engage with the elements of the park as they wish. If they see something that catches their eye and want to explore, let them. there are so manyTodaliKids love spending time with cool experiences at Disney World. Wild Explorers at Disney's Animal Kingdom is an example. Your family can go on self-guided tours and participate in a variety of activities, including observing animals and learning essential field skills. Your tadpoles can collect over 25 badges and earn the right to answer the call of the wild explorer:cry! cry! Roar!
If you are staying at a Disney resort or any other resort that offers a pool, don'tfrogPlan some downtime. The Disney pool and waterslide was a favorite activity for our kids. After a busy and hot day at the park, they couldn't wait to get back to the hotel for a refreshing swim. It's the perfect break from the day, especially when combined with a nap and a light meal. Then they're all grown up and ready to head back to the park at night for fireworks and hours of fun.
warm up for the role
Of course, all children are overjoyed to meet their favorite characters ... but the reality may not quite match the expectations. Children can be overwhelmed when they come face to face with their favorite Disney characters. "Face" characters like princesses are easier to interact with because they walk and talk like normal people! A "furry" character like Mickey can be a little scary for kids who have only seen it on TV. They are much bigger in real life! We recommend pointing out characters from a distance before doing a meet and greet, such as seeing Pluto or Chip 'n' Dale in the town square. It's also helpful to see the interactions while waiting in line!
Provide entertainment options for long wait times
No one likes standing in line. It's never fun! But the reality is that queuing is only part of the Disney World experience. Even on days with less crowds, there is always a wait, whether it's an afternoon parade, lunch orders, or Disney transportation. we foundhopefulDiscuss waiting times with our tadpoles in advance, practice patience and learn to accept the wait.
Similarly, we frog parents have learned a few tricks to help our tadpoles cope with the wait. Throwing some toys, bubbles or books in a diaper or park bag is a time saver. Simple snacks such as goldfish, breakfast bars, fruit and cold drinks can also be distracting. While we wait, we pull out some simple games or play interactive games like "I'm a spy" or "Would you like" together. Finally, the technology also always works! Let your kids use their or your phone/tablet for short periods of time to take pictures, play online games or watch videos to help out when the wait seems inevitable.
Our kid loves taking pictures with his Polaroid camera (apparently it's back in), or we're told that old school disposable cameras are back in style too! Not to mention the photos can be fun souvenirs of your trip.
Remember that every child reacts differently
I remember riding in a haunted house when I was four years old. I'm fascinated by the dancing ghosts in the party scene, although I'm sure the ghosts will follow me home after the party! So I think our kids will be fine with it because we go out of our way to tell them that the ghosts are fake and friendly. As much as we tried to downplay anything that might have been scary, Lily didn't enjoy the ride at all and was terrified of it. Ted loved it and wanted to drive it again.
Likewise, when Ted was 5 years old, he loved the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad by day. But he found it too scary when we rode at night. Keep in mind how different factors can affect your child's response so you can better prepare for the real thing.
Consider the interests of older children
While most of Disney World's content is aimed at younger children, your teens and tweens also have plenty to keep them excited at Disney World. Tell them what excitement they are looking forward to and get ready for their journey. Disney's Hollywood Studios will be a hitStar wars:Galaxy's Edge, Tower of Terror and Rock and Roll Coaster. Toy Story Mania can inspire players to a sense of competition! Animal Kingdom has expeditions to Mount Everest, dinosaurs, Avatar Flight Pass andTodaliPandora's cool luminescent glow at night. Magic Kingdom rides popular with teenagers include "mountains" like Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Teens also love Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. In EPCOT, Test Track and Soarin' are good choices.
If you have kids who are always on their phones, set up the Play Disney Parks app before your trip. They can interact with the park through their mobile phones. When you enter, the app becomes a data padStar wars:Galaxy's Edge. your star wars fan might wantCraft a lightsaber in Savy's workshop So make sure you make a reservation. So take some time to take photos with a lightsaber in front of the Millennium Falcon!
Some teens love to wear the color or design of Disney ears, shirts, or characters. Others are not. Talk to them and ask them if they should do a little shopping before the trip so they can invest in the trip and get their outfits ready. or not. If your child has different ideas about what to wear at Disney, like Elsa, let them go.
Make a plan for picky eaters
When Ted was a child, he was a very picky eater! If it wasn't fries, mac and cheese, or pizza, he wouldn't eat it. Still, it had to be a certain type or he wouldn't touch it at all. As a mom, I was initially stressed trying to plan meal times at Disney World to accommodate all of us. I know this is true for other families as well, even more so if there are special dietary and/or allergy issues.
The good news is that all Disney World menus are available online! Take the time to learn what restaurants are available in each park, review the menus in advance, and plan your meals accordingly. Disney World is also very accommodating with special requests. If there's anything you're looking for, feel free to ask! We were happy to know that we were able to get chicken nuggets and chips for the tadpoles at Trails End, even though they weren't listed on the family style menu. Both kids were happy and our parents were relieved that we didn't have to sit and listen to the kids whine because they didn't like the sauce on the chicken! Disney may not have it all, but it's worth asking.
When in doubt, feel free to bring the tadpoles' favorite food into the park. We love to pack PB&J sandwiches, chips or cookies, simple fruit, vegetables, and a refillable water bottle in our park bag. Sometimes we even bring a small coolerPicnic i Disneyland. You should only consider bringing items that do not need to be cooled or heated.
These are our recommendations for preparing to visit Disney World with children. what works for you Share your tips for visiting Disney World with kids below. You can find more information on our websiteplanning page.
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