Traveling to Disney with Young Kids doesn’t have to be stressful! I am sharing my best Disney tips and tricks to make it a fun and memorable experience for your entire family!
I know that traveling to Disney with young kids can be a very controversial topic! Some people vehemently believe that you shouldn’t take a young child to Disney because they won’t remember it. I completely disagree. Maybe they won’t remember every moment, but you will make such amazing memories that you can talk about for years. We have a Disney memory book and box to help our daughter remember how much fun we had! I will always remember how adorable my toddler was when meeting the characters, and sometimes, it can be all about the parents right?
I have traveled to Disney with a three year old and then again with a one year old and a five year old. Both trips were amazingly fun and we cannot wait to return to Disney. I am a Disney junkie, so I put a tremendous amount of time planning every detail. With all that planning, I have picked up quite a few tips and tricks that I want to share! Traveling to Disney with Young Kids doesn’t have to be stressful!
How to travel to Disney with Young Kids
- Rent a Stroller. It doesn’t matter if your kid doesn’t normally ride in a stroller at home, they are going to need one! My legs are killing me by the end of the day, so your kiddos little legs will be on fire! We got a double stroller from Kingdom Strollers for our 1 year old and 5 year old. I love that they deliver it to your hotel and you can pick it up when you’re ready. Even easier, you drop it off at your resort’s baggage desk and they pick it up for you! The prices are super reasonable and is much cheaper and easier than trying to fly with your stroller! We went with a CityMini Double Stroller and it was great.
- Plan WAY ahead. I can’t stress this enough. I am an overplanner, its just my thing, but you cannot successfully have a stress free day at Disney if you do not plan ahead. You need to start planning well before you plan to travel so you can make your mealtime reservations and fast passes as soon as your window is up. Without reservations, you will be eating burgers and fries at quick services for every meal and you’ll miss out on some super fun (and delicious!) dining experiences!
- While I stress that you need to plan ahead, you don’t want to over plan. I picked 3 or 4 things to focus on each day that I knew were absolute must dos. Those three things, plus our meals, were to be the highlights of the day and anything else we managed to fit in, was just a bonus. Kids get easily overwhelmed at Disney and tire out in the heat and crowds, so you don’t want to set your planning expectations too high. Stick to your must dos and anything beyond that is just a nice bonus!
- Download the MyDisneyExperience App. This app is a lifesaver! You can check wait times for rides in advance and follow their easy maps to find attractions. Nothing is more disappointing to a child than walking to a ride and finding it has an hour wait and having to tell them you will come back later. Use the app to check wait times before getting anyone’s hopes up!
- Bring extra clothes to the park each day. Tuck those clothes into a bag under your stroller just in case! Even if your child is beyond having accidents, there are various places to cool off and get wet in the parks! If your child doesn’t enjoy wearing wet clothes or shoes, make sure to bring them extras!
- Do not purchase the Park Hopper Passes. While they seem like a great option (and they are if you have older kids!) going to more than one park in a day is just too overwhelming for young kids. Honestly, it is not worth the extra money, instead head back to your resort and enjoy the pools and activities!
- If you have the time in your vacation, pick one day and make it a pool/rest day. I made this mistake when we went for the first time in 2015. I packed everyday with parks and we were exhausted. On our last trip, we had a break day in the middle. We spent time exploring our resort, did some swimming, and headed over to Disney Springs for a few hours. We were still exhausted, but not like the first trip!
- Purchase autograph books/Mickey Ears/character shirts at home. Make sure to bring extra pens for those autograph books. While I love buying souvenirs in the park, you don’t want to overpay for those items that aren’t Disney Park exclusives. Pick up items before hand and you’ll save a lot of money.
- If you do plan on letting your kids buy souvenirs and your kids are old enough to understand, pre purchase Disney gift cards with the amount that you are going to allow them to spend. This saved us time and frustrating over haggling on what our kiddos could buy. Once the gift card ran out, the money was gone. This also helped my older daughter narrow down the items and purchase only what she really wanted.
- Most importantly, remember that you don’t have to do it all this trip. Planning a Disney vacation is so fun, and it can be so easy to get caught in planning and wanting to do all the things! I constantly had to remind myself that we would be back and that we will love experiencing new things on the next trip! Otherwise, I would stress myself out making sure that we got to do and see every little thing, which just isn’t feasible with young kids!
I love love love Disney and enjoy every second of planning our Disney vacations. I plan to write more posts about how to plan a Disney vacation because I love talking Disney! Let me know if there are any topics you’d like me to cover! It was so hard to narrow down this post to only 10 tips, but these are the items that stand out to me the most and that I recommend to people the most often.