Hi, I’m Scott Breguet and I have been enjoying Walt Disney World for almost 40 years and have been enjoying the parks with my family for almost 10 years. My wife and I have learned a few things over the years and would love to share them with you! Here are top tips for conquering Disney World with young children.
Have realistic expectations as to how your kids will hold up.
A lot of recommendations and tips for Walt Disney World include things such as making all of your Fastpasses reservations (when we had Fastpasses) earlier in the day to try and make 4th or even 5th Fastpasses later in the day or how to try and fit everything in at each park in one day. If you are a family with older kids that can go all day, sure.
We are talking about a magical vacation with younger kids. Going to a place like Walt Disney World can be a stressor, albeit a good stressor, for everyone. Even if you are pushing your children around in a stroller, they will feel the self-imposed pressure you have created for your family trying to accomplish everything. This could lead them to being more cranky, tired, and even hungry. Get to the things that are most important for you and your family, and if possible, plan for multiple days in the most important parks to you to allow the time to enjoy everything that Walt Disney World has to offer.
Of course some kids will seem to go on forever…
What is great about Disney Parks is that you can bring in your own food. While there are tons of awesome snacks available for consumption in the parks, sometimes your child needs something to munch on while you’re in line for a ride, or making your way to the next activity. Having something quick and easy that they will enjoy will allow you to keep moving and save you a few dollars along the way.
A good stroller is worth its weight in gold
If you have more than one child, get a good double stroller. If you have a slightly older child, let them ride in the stroller at times. There are plenty of good places to rent from in the area. You can rent a stroller at the park, which allows you to not have to bring it on transportation. Some companies will deliver strollers directly to your resort, some you can pick up at the airport, or you can bring your own. Whatever you decide make sure you are aware of the size restrictions that are in place!
Plan on having down time
From a mid-day pool break to sit down meals, it is important for you to have and your kids to get off your feet in the parks. Plan on taking breaks throughout your trip to allow for fun in the pool or an air-conditioned restaurant with delicious food and a cold drink. Whatever you choose be sure to have this time to relax and remember you are on vacation!
Getting your face painted is a great break!
Plan on having unexpected down time.
Our first big trip to Disney as a family, I was all about the rides and characters. I had forgotten something from my youth, all of the Play Areas around the parks! The kids love all of these and are not in a rush to get to the next ride, even if the Haunted Mansion wait time is showing 13 minutes. Some of the best memories that they will make may be talking through Bruce’s mouth in Epcot or playing the drums in Pandora. Go look at the toy trains at the Germany Pavilion, go get soaked at Casey Jr. in Fantasy Land, go do one of the many things that’s just fun and different to do at Disney.
Or even taking their picture with every prop at Art of Animation!
Don’t be afraid to splurge!
We’re not saying go nuts here and bow to every desire of your child, but doing something extra special, such as building a lightsaber or having them do Jedi Training (yes, there is a theme with our kids) is just something that they won’t get to do elsewhere.
The Disney Touch makes everything amazing. Our kids still talk about some of these experiences years later, and not all of them cost money! Sometimes it is just about taking the time to get the experience lined up, and coming back to truly enjoy it!
Don’t forget about yourself
Make sure that you are having fun. As awesome as the memories will be for your children, ensure that you are having the time of your life too! A Walt Disney World vacation is fun, active and exhausting- but remember- it is still a VACATION! So take that time to relax, spend time as a family, and enjoy the little things that come along with it!
If you have any tips we didn’t mention above be sure to let us know in the comment section below!
Scott has been going to Disney for the past 30 plus years. Scott has been destined to love Disney ever since his parents’ first trip to Disney World, his father had given in to Scott’s mother and had thought he would only be spending a few hours there. Scott’s mother was dragging his father out of the Magic Kingdom at midnight with him insisting on just “one more ride.”
Growing up, Scott and his siblings looked forward to their trips to Orlando with much excitement. As they grew up, their love of all things Disney only grew. It was so much, that Scott chose to go to Disney World before and after his deployment to Iraq.
When Scott got married, his wife thought he was weird with how much he wanted to go back to Disney without kids. They traveled to other places together and Scott was patient. With their son and daughter, the two finally started their own trips to Disney, with grandparents in tow. For the rest of his life, Scott will always remember the looks of wonder and joy on his children’s faces as they experience the magic of Disney.
Scott has stayed at several resorts on and off the property in Orlando. He enjoys both Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. He truly enjoys Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. Scott has started his children into collecting Disney Pins and Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom cards (even though the game is no longer running) and loves to look for hidden things at the parks, such as Devine at Animal Kingdom.