When we visit Disney we tackle it like a boss. What I mean by that is that we do all the things without rushing or over planning it. Taking toddlers into the theme park can seem to intimidate, but I take 2 toddlers and a double stroller into the park by myself multiple times a month with ease. Practice does make perfect, so, yes, I’ve done it a few times to know what makes life easier. My biggest theme park tip when it comes to bringing toddlers will always be to try to not stress the day ahead. The point of any Disney trip is to leave filled with magical memories to cherish, not just proof that you went. As local pass holders, we frequent the parks about 4 times a month which means I’ve learned how to do a lot in a short period of time. We tend to tackle the park in just 4 hours each time we visit with toddlers at Disney World. It is possible to ride 5 rides in 4 hours with toddlers WITHOUT stress, overplanning, or long wait times involved. Here’s how we enjoy 5 rides in 4 hours with toddlers.
Arrive at the park early.
We tend to rope drop or arrive just minutes after the park has opened. This helps a lot when it comes to making the most of your time. Arriving early has a handful of perks including closer parking and low crowd levels. I had you at lower crowd levels, didn’t I? Parking, bag check, potty breaks… it can take time to actually get inside the park with toddlers, and early arrivals tend to make that smoother for us.
Set your 3 Fastpasses.
Setting up your Fastpass selections for the day is always the best idea. But this is even truer when it comes to having toddlers in the theme park. We set Fastpasses a week or two in advance on the My Disney Experience application even if we don’t make it to the park that day. It’s better to be safe with fast passes than not have them at all. While I don’t encourage over planning I do encourage you to educate yourself on the rides you should fast pass and those that you don’t necessarily need to. Having a fast pass never hurts, even if the wait is 15 minutes because we all know toddlers don’t love waiting around.
I’ll use Epcot (also check out my Epcot with Toddlers guide) as my example of 5 rides in 4 hours with toddlers at Disney
- 8:30 am arrive at the park opening
- Head directly to the Frozen Ride for a short wait
- 9:30 am fast pass 1: Nemo and Friends
- Explore the aquarium
- Stop for a potty break and leisure stroll
- 10:30 am fast pass 2: Living with the land
- Stop for potty break and snacks
- 11 am Ride the boat ride in Mexico (no fast pass required)
- Play on the playground area or splash pad
- Stop for lunch and potty breaks
- 12 pm Fast pass 3: Journey into Imagination (fast pass not commonly required for this ride)
- 12:30 pm head home
Head directly to the popular rides.
Frozen at Epcot, Seven Dwarves Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom, Navi River Journey at the Animal Kingdom, and all the Toy Story rides at Hollywood Studios are great examples of rides you should consider “running” to when the park opens. Depending on crowd levels the wait times can jump up quickly for these rides within minutes. Last week went to the Animal Kingdom and upon arrival, the Safari Ride had a 5-minute wait, after getting off the ride the wait was 45 minutes. Going back to my top tip, don’t stress it. If the wait time is already long when you get to the ride consider another ride.
Stop to stroll, shop, and snack.
Fast passes are 1 hour apart so you have plenty of time to stroll, shop, and snack in between. Don’t feel pressured to make it to each fast pass on time either. The fast pass window is open for one full hour, so again, you have more time to do extra things. Between rides, we check out the new merchandise, find a sweet treat, or just simply run around the property. I love seeing my boys run around a theme park. Bubbles and balloons bring so much joy to kids, so give them time between rides to enjoy the sights.
Consider a show or dance party.
We love Donald’s Dino Bash at the Animal Kingdom and the “Move it, Shake it” dance party at the Magic Kingdom. There are shows and skits that happen all down Main Street and at Cinderella’s Castle, so pause when you see them even if it’s just for a few minutes. I consider the dance parties, shows, and random entertainment to be time passing perks. Let the kids enjoy the perks outside of the rides to allow time to pass quickly before the next fast pass. This should be done leisurely, rolling with the magic around you is what Disney is all about.
5 rides in 4 hours with toddlers at Disney is more than doable as you can see. My biggest piece of advice is to not let the schedule hold you down. Explore some of the options I’ve listed here and don’t feel like you need to run from fast pass to fast pass. 4 hours in Disney is a magical length of time with toddlers and let’s not forget it means they still get a true nap time that way! 4 magical hours at Disney, with 5 rides included, is perfection for toddlers.
You can find me pushing a double stroller through the magic most days.
I’m a toddler boy mom that has a passion for Florida living and all things Disney! As a Florida native and self proclaimed Disney staycation pro, I look forward to guiding you through the magic.