Seeing Disney through a child’s eyes is like nothing else. We are blessed to be local annual pass holders, but I still get giddy when my children light up at Walt Disney World. Tackling Disney with toddlers is an absolute blast! I’m often asked my top Disney tips for toddlers and love sharing them. Below you will find my top 9 unique tips for enjoying Walt Disney World with toddlers.
Make Time for Main Street USA.
Main Street at the Magic Kingdom is my favorite place in the world and where my youngest took some of his first steps. This is where you’ll find Main Street Confectionary, the must-have merchandise, Starbucks, Town Square character meeting area, Harmony Barber Shop, the iconic castle view, and a couple of eating spots just to name a few. I find that some visits we spend a large volume of time on Main Street. A haircut, checking out the holiday merchandise, trying new confectionary items, a visit to see Mickey himself, lunch at Tony’s, and 3 fast passes provided us a fun-filled magical day with most of it actually happening on Main Street USA. Fast passes, the shows, and parades are all a must, but give some time to all that Main Street offers. Our toddlers love the sight of Main Street and the shops!
Roll with it
Toddlers love Disney, but toddlers can also get overwhelmed at Disney. As adults, we tend to not be at our best when we’re hot, hungry, or anxious, and all of that is amplified for toddlers. Disney days can sometimes require a bit more patience than most days. You will have a magical day, there’s no doubt about that, and if there’s a tough moment you’re prepared for it. Roll with it, and let the day go off schedule if need be to keep the toddlers (and parents) happy campers.
Consider Skipping the Long Lines
Fast passes are life for all of us, especially toddlers who don’t understand why you have to wait in line. If it’s a 20-minute wait we have fun in line, If it’s 45+ minutes you probably won’t spot us in line. Each parent and child is different but with high energy levels from my 3-year-old and 1 year old, it’s best to let them explore the park (which they love) then wait in long lines. Another option is to opt for just 1 long wait and work that around a napping child or lunch time. Eating in line can be fun! You can find my list of baby and toddler-friendly rides here.
Pack Snacks and a Fan
The Baby Center
These centers are magical for parents. They not only serve infants but toddlers as well. Each park has a baby center with space for a variety of ages. There’s a nursing room, eating area, changing area, and even tv room. For the moments when you truly need to let the kids sit down for a bit, this is a great option. When I can tell my boys need a moment longer we head to the baby center and watch 10-20 minutes of a movie to regroup a bit.
Visit the Big Top Tent Area in Fantasyland
This is the area of the Magic Kingdom where you will find the Dumbo Flying Elephant ride. In that perfectly tucked away corner there are restrooms, a small water area for the kids to play, character meetings in the big tent, a store, and confectionary. The crowds tend to be lower back here so this is where we enjoy snacks and some downtime. You can also take photos with Goofy, Donald, Daisy, and Minnie with commonly short wait times. If you hang out long enough you’ll see a band perform and do a circus trick (wink).
Make Transportation a Fun Event
Once you park at magic kingdom you still have to take 1-2 forms of transportation. You’ll park, catch the tram, and then the monorail or boat to the Magic Kingdom. Everyone is so excited to be here, so keep the momentum up as you wait for transportation. We often talk about how fun it is to ride the tram, boat, and monorail and let the toddlers pick which one we will ride. Then we talk about our fast passes and all the fun we are going to have. It can take up to an hour to get inside between transportation, bag/stroller checks, magic band scanning, and a toddler potty break, so prepare accordingly.
Opt for Rope Drop or Fireworks
If you have early risers the rope drop might be a great option. My boys wake between 5-6am so it’s easy for us to enter the parks early before the crowds. If your kids sleep in and/or take great naps you might want to opt for an evening of fireworks and fun. I wouldn’t recommend having toddlers arrive early morning and stay for 9 pm fireworks in one day without the option of a quality nap. When we stay on Disney property we tend to bring the kids back to the hotel for a good nap to prepare us for evening adventures.
You can find free celebratory pins in most stores at the Magic Kingdom. Be sure to get your first visit, birthday, or special occasion button to show off. The kids love when cast members notice their Birthday button. Another fun celebratory moment is the first haircut! You can schedule in advance or get your name on the books early morning at the Harmony Barber Shop on Main Street USA. Our boys love it there and still have their first haircut ears!
I hope that I shared some valuable nuggets to keep in mind during your upcoming Disney vacation. Toddlers and Disney just simply go together. Take all the photos, have the time of your life, and let your toddlers take over the Magic Kingdom! In the comment section below share your Disney World with toddlers tips!
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.