I am by no means an expert on all things Disney or their theme parks. We have been twice with kids under the age of two so I can offer some practical tips on what it is like to with littles. On our last trip to Disney, our two-year-old decided that she wanted to potty trail. Of course, she never had any interest in it before, but tantrums occurred when we placed a diaper on her because Disney is not any place to potty train.
First: Absolutely toss out the idea that any trip with kids, especially at Disney, is NOT going to be a vacation. Prior to having kids, any trip was relaxing, refreshing and a true vacation. We quickly had to learn to change our expectations prior to any trip with kids. A trip with kids is work, about making memories and enjoying family time.
Second: Absolutely take a day off after park days. Enjoy the pool and beautiful properties you paid for. On our first trip, we went with my sister-and-law’s family, and their older kids had been to the parks multiple times. We somehow let them convince us to go to the parks six days in a row. By the last day we arrived at the park only to leave two hours later. We had had enough. We retreated to our room and refused to go anywhere for the rest of the day. It took us almost two weeks to recover.
Third: Take family members to help with the littles. On both of our trips we took a child two and under. While it was fun to see their faces as they recognized the life sized faces of characters they loved, they were difficult to manage at the parks once they became tired. We found that the magic age to take a child is four. At four, the excitement in a child’s face makes the work worth the trip, they can walk most of the park for most of the day. It is easier to make it around a park with a child age four and up without having to move a stroller around or carry a sleeping child on your shoulder.
Fourth: Load up on snacks. Disney is phenomenal about allowing bottled water and snacks in the park. Our kids were happy in the lines as long as we could hand them a snack. We opted to take most of our own snacks and purchasing only one treat from the park each day.
Five: Use a free Disney planner to help you prior to the trip. Planning a trip to Disney is serious work. There are magic bands, meals, fast passes, character meetings, theme park tickets and hotel rooms to determine. There are so many options, it could make your head swim. After spending hours coordinating our last trip, studying maps and searching for reservations, I learned that there are several planners in our area. I will definitely call one on for our next trip.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.