Disney is both the happiest place on Earth and the most magical (depending on which park you visit), but it may not always seem that way when visiting with little ones. Luckily, there are a few tricks parents can learn to help them and their toddlers enjoy a happy and magical day at Disney!
Visiting Disney parks for a day can get costly quickly, and dealing with a cranky child while spending big bucks can mean grumpy parents, too. But it doesn't have to be this way! You can take your toddler to the wonderful world of Disney and enjoy your time as a family. Simple tricks such as not skipping nap time and taking time to splurge on your own treats can make your day at Disney fun for everyone.
We rounded up a few of our favorite ways to make your day at Disney (and your toddler's) stress-free!
10 Plan Around Nap Times
If your little one needs a nap every day around 1 p.m. it's probably best not to line up for a ride at 12:30 p.m. After all, just imagine how cranky your toddler (and you) will be having to finish the line and ride during nap time.
Instead, it's a good idea to plan breaks around your kid's nap times and head back to your room for a bit or find a way they can sleep on the go. For example, bring a fan to attach to their stroller while they catch up on their rest.
9 Take Snacks And Even More Snacks
Snacks at Disney are amazing, there's no denying that, but they're also quite costly. Instead of splurging all day on over-priced treats, pack some of your toddler's favorites in order to have a more budget-friendly visit.
It's fun to have a few treats while at Disney, but as parents, you know how much and how often kids can eat. A lot! Toddlers will be just as excited to get a pack of goldfish crackers or fruit snacks as you will be to save money on similar treats at the park.
8 Be Prepared To Be Extra Patient
Visitors to Disney know they will most likely be spending a good part of the day standing in lines and walking through crowds. Patience is simply a part of the Disney experience!
As parents, especially when taking toddlers, you will want to plan on being a bit more patient than usual. Pushing a stroller through a crowd, having an over-excited toddler, and trying to figure out where to go next can lead to a stressful visit for parents unless mentally prepared.
7 Treat Yourself
Take advantage of your toddler's nap time by getting yourself a treat. Disney is known for having some pretty tasty options, so you won't want to totally miss out on this part of the park. Go for a Dole Whip or ice cream to fully enjoy your day at Disney.
Of course, you can also splurge on a few other treats and share them with your kids. Not only is this a great way to try several different foods, but it can save on money as you all share.
6 Go When It's Not Raining Or Overly Warm
Disney is not immune to the weather. It may seem like its own little world, but Disney parks definitely experience some extreme temperatures! The parks located in Florida and California can see severe heat (including humidity in Florida!), which makes for an uncomfortable visit for anyone.
Toddlers and young children are especially affected by hot temperatures as they don't handle discomfort as well as adults. Braving the rain may not seem like a big deal to adults, but kids won't want to spend time being soaked. Do yourself a favor and try to go when the weather is a bit nicer, such as springtime.
5 Plan Your Trip In The Off-Season
Disney parks are located in major cities, which on its own can attribute to large crowds. Holiday times are usually pretty popular as well as people flock to the parks to see the decor. Of course, summer is also fairly popular as kids are out of school and parents to plan Disney trips in their free time.
Off-seasons for Disneyland and Disney World include January, February, and September right after school starts. These times also should have cooler weather more suitable for younger kids. You can also research trends online to see how crowds looked the year before to try to plan for the least busy days.
4 Dress Yourself And Your Toddler Accordingly
Sneakers are the way to go when preparing for a day at Disney. Sandals may be cuter, but they won't be as comfortable after a few hours. Dressing your toddler as comfortable as possible and planning ahead for the weather, such as a sweater for the evening, will also save you both time and energy later.
Some families opt to wear matching bright-colored shirts to better spot one another in crowds. This may help you keep an eagle-eye on your little ones, too! After all, standing out in the crowd can be a good thing when it comes to safety.
3 Look Up Disney's Park Rules Beforehand
The park has a few rules that may affect families with young ones, such as the size of strollers allowed in the park. Some items, such as glass containers (except baby food jars), are also not allowed. Wagons are also prohibited, which may surprise families with children who are not familiar with Disney parks.
Things such as balloons and plastic straws are not allowed in Disney's Animal Kingdom, which may be inconvenient for families trying to visit more than one park a day. Of course, these are just a few examples of rules that may affect families. Going over the entire list is a good idea prior to your trip to avoid having to throw out any valuables!
2 Bring A Portable Charger
You may want your phone to take photos and check line times, and your toddler may need your phone to keep them busy during long waits. A portable charger will save you from the stress of a low battery and you won't have to worry about how many videos your youngsters are watching.
After all, those videos may be the only thing keeping them from having a meltdown while standing in line for half the day. You can also pack fun things for them to do during downtimes, such as a toy or book, that won't drain your battery.
1 Don't Expect To Do A Lot
Even if lines aren't an hour-long for each ride, parents shouldn't expect to do and see too much while at Disney with toddlers. This isn't because they won't be able to do much, but more so they won't be disappointed when they have to leave a line when their toddler is mid-tantrum or falling asleep.
Going with the mindset that you aren't expecting to do a lot will help increase your satisfaction with your Disney visit when you do get to go on a few rides and catch a show. It's easier to surpass low expectations than it is to meet high ones when visiting a theme park with youngsters in tow!