Have you survived Disney with an infant or toddler?
What kid doesn’t like Mickey? Disneyland and Disneyworld are both such magical places for young children. Who wouldn’t want to take their kids? But what about taking an infant or toddler? Anyone who has been to either park can’t possibly miss the tantrums of babies, toddlers, even older children. They’re a pretty common occurrence.
How old should a child be to go to Disney?
The first time I took my kids to Disneyland, they were 2 1/2 and 7 years old. That trip was much different than our last when they were 9 and 14 years old. (They haven’t been to Disneyworld yet, but hopefully soon)
Our first family trip was fun, but also stressful. The trips I’ve been on with older children were much more enjoyable and relaxed.
I’m not saying it’s impossible to take a baby or toddler, but it will most likely be much easier when your kids are a little older. Of course, your kids also might be much better behaved than mine were as infants. You should always take into account their temperament.
You could always wait until they’re older. Or make it an adult trip. If you do decide to bring an infant or toddler, I would recommend making sure you’re prepared. Being prepared will be the best way to minimize tantrums.
Book your trip as far in advance as possible so that you have time to prepare. The best place that I have found to book Disney vacations through is Get Away Today. Plus, you get $10 off a package by using my link or code: 2Bloom.
If you haven’t been to the park often, research the rides and look up a map of the park. Things will run smoother if you have an idea of the layout and understand which rides your child can go on. Go in with a plan, but be flexible and work around your child’s needs. You should also know ahead of time where the baby care centers are. You’ll also want to know which rides are age appropriate for your children.
Stay on your child’s schedule
Disney parks are amazing, but huge. Even adults are tired and worn out after a day of walking around and waiting in lines. If at all possible, plan to get out to the park as early as you can. After you do as much as possible, go back to the hotel for naps and relaxing so that you can make it through the rest of the day.
Don’t expect to get through everything in the park with a small child. Make sure you and the rest of your party understand that you may need to take more breaks and if you don’t have older kids or other adults with you to help watch the baby, you may miss out on rides. If everyone is okay with this and doesn’t have unrealistic expectations, you won’t end up disappointed.
- Find a hotel as close as you can to Disney. If it’s not a Disney hotel, try to find one with a free shuttle.
- Get there early so there aren’t as many people, return to the hotel to swim or nap when the kids are tired, and then go back when everyone’s refreshed.
- Cheap umbrella stroller (free to check on flights) or rent during your trip.
- You may want bring a nice stroller with big basket- some people love bringing their big stroller, but be aware that it can easily be stolen. Decide if it’s a risk you want to take.
- Use a locker so you don’t need to carry everything around.
- Send one person to get everyone’s fast passes.
- Bring Snacks and plan snack breaks while in longer lines.
- You can get free ice water at counter service restaurants. This will help save money and you won’t have to carry around as many water bottles.
- Bring small toys to play with in line in a small backpack. Older kids can even help carry their own snacks.
- Small fan, portable fan or hand air conditioner
- Cool towel (these are an amazing way to stay cool in the summer)
- Pack extra clothes- 1-2 outfits for accidents
- Disney has baby care centers with cribs, high chairs, nursing room for pumping or nursing moms. Perfect for nap time or let them sleep in their stroller.
- Find Disney merchandise at dollar stores, Kohl’s, or other places to take with you. You’ll save a lot of money and you’ll be prepared.
- Plan your meals around Disney shows and parades.
- Pack disposable ponchos to wear on water rides or in case of rain. (These can usually be found at the dollar store)
Have you taken your baby or toddler to a Disney park? Do you have any tips to add? Or any suggestions for other parents?