Taking a toddler to Walt Disney World was one of my worst nightmares. Two hours at the Indianapolis Zoo had me clutching my wine glass. Four days in Disney was certainly going to kill me. Plus my kid’s first plane ride?
No way. It’s all over.
Spoiler alert: we survived. We even had a little fun. So today, I’m sharing my top 5 tips for taking a toddler to Walt Disney World, just to make your life a little easier.
Tip #1: Don’t take a toddler to Disney World.
Kidding. Kind of. Be on the lookout for a full trip report later this week!
one | Make good use of the Target Dollar Spot. I bought everything from crayons, to Disney princess stickers, to a Minions notebook, to gummy bears, to a Frozen water bottle, to princess play-dough… for like $15. Toddlers like new, so I kept all of these things a surprise for Dorothy. We’d start with one activity, and when she got bored I would whip another another new item. Worked like a charm.
two | For as kid-friendly as Disney is, their in-park rental strollers are pathetic. There are several independent companies in Orlando that rent strollers (and cribs, if needed!), and I highly suggest one of those. I rented a City Mini stroller from Kingdom Strollers, which came with a “free” collapsible cooler and rain canopy, for under $50 for all four days. The stroller was delivered to the bell stand at the hotel, and all I had to do was sign for it and drop it back at the bell stand before we left.
Amazing, easy, and worth every penny. I may have also fallen in love with that model of stroller, and am plotting how to get my very own.
three | I recommend using a Disney Vacation Planner when booking your trip. They’re free, can make great recommendations (they are Disney experts, after all), and sometimes provide perks. They gave me all kinds of suggestions when it came to things my daughter might enjoy.
For example, I use The Mouse Your Way Travel for our Disney trips. Our last Disney trip took place over New Years Eve, right after New Fantasyland opened in Magic Kingdom. There was no way I could get a dinner reservation at Be Our Guest, the newest/hottest restaurant in Orlando, during the busiest time of year on my own. My Disney Vacation Planners could, and did. They’re simply magical.
four | Use those FastPass+ reservations and Rider Swap. We got fast passes for the “thrill rides,” so we wouldn’t have to wait in any long lines for something we couldn’t all ride. Then, we would also use the Rider Swap, so two of us could use the FP+ and two could wait with Dorothy and the stroller… and then switch. Perfect.
five | Expect nothing. I feel like this is a theme in my parenting mantra. I read this post about everyone picking only ONE thing they wanted to do per day, and once that was accomplished everything else was just bonus. Absolute genius. This was a great mentality for touring the park with a toddler, since we couldn’t make much of a plan going in. One thing is completely doable.
What are you best tips for doing Disney, with or without a toddler?
Bonus tip: avoid Florida in August. Holy hotness.