Tips for Doing Disney with Young Children

If you are planning a trip to Disney World with your family and you have young kids, I have a few tips for you. They are going to seem like no-brainers, but if you’re anything like me, sometimes you just need someone to S.P.E.L.L. it out for you.

Before I walk through my tips, here’s my over-arching theme: BE FLEXIBLE. Seriously. Set no low expectations.  Your kids are going to throw tantrums.  You might be annoyed with your spouse or family members.  But it’s all good.  Let the Mouse do his magic.

So here we go.

Tips for Doing Disney with Young Kids

1) Don’t over plan.

This goes hand in hand with the flexibility theme.  I didn’t make a single dinner reservation as I knew that I would feel incredibly stressed if we were rushing from place to place and had to be anywhere at a super specific time. With young kids, you need the ability to change plans on a whim.

2) Rent a stroller.  Yes, even for your five year old.

We rented a double City Mini from Kingdom Stroller.  It was less than $80 to rent it from Thursday to Tuesday and it was worth every single penny.  The kids get tired.  And it’s a heck of a lot easier to navigate through the crowds without having to track down your toddler or throw a preschooler on  your shoulders.  The best part?  It was already at the hotel when we arrived and to return it, I just dropped it off with the valet.  Rock on!

3) Let them nap.

If your kids will nap in a stroller then by all means, go for it.  But mine will not.  So we got up every morning, hit up a park and then went back to the hotel after lunch.  Even my four year old, who hasn’t napped in well over a year, napped three of the four days we were there.  After they nap, kids are much more agreeable to staying up late and watching parades and fire works!

naps

4) Take advantage of the pool.

It’s there.  They want to get in it. Use it. Relax a bit.  Cool down. Let the kids play.  Then go out and hit Epcot for dinner.

5) Pack plenty of snacks.

I can’t say this enough.  We all know that 90% of tantrums (I totally made up that number) come from hunger and exhaustion.  Keep water, GoGoSqueez, crackers and other snacks in your bag or stroller.  Sure, you’ll also want to stop for that Mickey Ice Cream Cone, but at 11:00 a.m. when you have 30 minutes left before you ride the Barnstormer, you’ll be happy you have the other items.

Emerson and gogosqueez

I’m sure there are many other tips I could come up with, but these are the big ones.  Flexibility is really the key!  Your kids are going to have an amazing time, whether they have one meltdown or twenty.  And when you look back on the pictures, the meltdowns will just be a blip in your brain.

Disclosure: I attended the Disney Social Media Moms Conference and received discounted rates and tickets to various events and attractions. My family had a magical time and all opinions come from our experience.

 

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Comments

  1. says

    That is the exact advice I give my followers. I can’t tell you how many times I have been at Disney and seen families with preschoolers getting dinner at 10:00pm after they have spent the entire day at the parks. Nobody has fun when they are tired and hungry. I think too many people feel that it is a “trip of the lifetime”, so they try to do too much. I like to tell people that they can’t possibly do everything at Disney in a week (or even 2 weeks), so stop trying. Hit the highlights, have fun, and make wonderful memories with your kids.

  2. says

    I love the photos of your kiddos napping! That is a great tip because you do so much walking during the day at Disney. We would hit the park in the morning, come back to rest and take a dip in the pool around 1:00 ish then go back to another park in the late afternoon/early evening. I found we could do more/go longer if we took a short break. The day we tried to push through the entire day without one we had severe meltdowns … including me!

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