If Youre Staying At A Disney Resort:
Staying at a Disney resort may seem like a splurge, but some of the benefits are priceless. Staying on-resort gives you perks like Extra Magic Hours that allow you to take advantage of your childs early riser-ness or night owl tendencies.
Plus, you dont need a rental car for your park visiting days, as Disneys Magical Express offers complimentary airport transfers and there are any number of ways to get from park to park and hotel to hotel via Disneys internal transportation system.
If youre doing a longer vacation in Florida outside of visiting the Disney World parks, I would recommend clumping your Disney days at the start of your visit, staying at a Disney property. Then, arrange for your rental car and travel to your next stop straight from your Disney resort.
Best Orlando Theme Park For Seniors
Winner: Disneys Hollywood Studios
Disneys Hollywood Studios offers a step into popular movies, music, television, and theater indeed, one of the first areas youll hit is the glitz and glamour of Hollywoods iconic Golden Era. From the 50s Prime Time Cafe to The Hollywood Brown Derby and the Citizens of Hollywood on Hollywood Boulevard, there is something to surely delight you at every turn and thats just on the first street!
Whats great about Hollywood Studios is that if you are traveling with family members that span a variety of ages, there is something for everyone here. If youre a fan of movies, this is your park, thanks to the still-recent Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxys Edge. There are also some cant-miss character meet-n-greets here if youre a fan of The Incredibles, Star Wars, and Monsters, Inc. not to mention the variety of shows this park offers, from For the First Time in Forever , Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, and Fantasmic to cap off the night.
Is It Worth Bringing A Toddler To Disney World
Families have been bringing toddlers to Disney World for years, and although not everything can be explored at that age, there is still much to do. Out of all the parks, Magic Kingdom does the best job of making toddlers feel entertained. The other parks are all friendly enough for families that they will get enjoyment out of them as well.
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Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Location FantasylandHeight Requirement Any Height
The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is the oldest attraction in the park and a great ride to bring babies or toddlers on. Small children love the gentle spinning of this ride and the up and down bouncing of the horses.
Parents might not love it or get dizzy going around and around, but toddlers will love the upbeat Disney songs and all the colorful horses.
For Families With Little Ones
My 6-year olds favorite park is Magic Kingdom, and pretty much all my kids at that age would say so. Are there little ones part of your party? If so, consider the Magic Kingdom the perfect place to spend the day. This park is filled with fantasy, and perfect for families with small children. A majority of rides in the park are height friendly, meaning your kiddos wont have any issues reaching that height safety stick! There are also several attractions with no height requirement, so anyone can ride.
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Disney World Park Pass Reservations Arent Needed For Toddlers
Kids under 3 years old do not need a ticket for Disney World parks which means they dont need Disney World park pass reservations either. Toddlers are allowed to enter a theme park if you have a valid theme park admission and reservation for that day. Find out more about the park reservation system here.
Best Disney World Rides For Toddlers
Toddlers arent too young to enjoy the thrills and rides at Walt Disney World, and since kids under three get in free, theyre the perfect age for a theme park test run. Based on ride duration, age appropriateness, precious photo-ops and tot appeal, these are the best rides for toddlers at Disney World.
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Cabins At Fort Wilderness
If youre planning an extended stay at Disney, this may be your best bet. The Cabins at Fort Wilderness are fully furnished and include a full-kitchen, living and dining area, patio, and parking spot. The resort also offers a pre-ordering service, where guests can send their grocery list up to three days before their arrival and the resort will stock your cabin pantries for you!
The Cabins at Fort Wilderness are also located a bit further from all the hustle and bustle, which is probably better for getting your kids to bed at a decent hour. The pools at Fort Wilderness arent much to write home about, but the resort offers a lot of other unique amenities you wont find anywhere else like archery, wagon and pony rides, and fishing tours.
Tip: Like most of the Disney properties, this is a really large resort so if you dont have a car, we recommend renting a golf cart for the time youre there. It will make getting around a lot easier.
Tip: Parentsbe aware that standard rooms lack certain amenities, including a coffee maker.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge
If you are thinking about which Disney hotel is best for toddlers then your search is over.
If your toddler adores wildlife then this lodge is going to be the best option for you to consider for vacations.
This is the only resort from Disney where the kids and their parents are allowed to have an up-close look with some of the featured animals.
If you opt for the Savannah View, you will get a view of different animals from the balcony of your room.
These animals include antelopes, ostriches, and giraffes.
There are some viewing areas from the poolside as well.
The lodge also offers different types of educational activities for toddlers and preschoolers throughout the day.
There is a zero-entry pool with a gentle waterslide.
There is a playground as well as daily crafts along with storytelling, an ideal activity for a 4 year old.
The lodge also has a childcare center for small kids.
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Prince Charming Regal Carousel
Height Requirement: Any HeightSure, your toddler can ride a merry-go-round at home. But where else but the Magic Kingdom can they ride atop a majestic wood-carved Disney steed while enjoying an enchanting view of towering Cinderella Castle? The original 1971 Magic Kingdom merry-go-round ride is less than two minutes long, and lines are fast-moving. Visit early or late in the day for a minimal wait.
Its Tough To Be A Bug
Location Discovery IslandHeight Requirement Any Height
This is the perfect attractions for toddlers since it features dozens of insects from the Disney-Pixar franchise A Bugs Life. The show uses 3D effects which they will love and they will like the humor.
There is one scene toward the end when the spiders come down and the room fills with smoke, and your little ones may find this part frightening, so keep them close.
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More To See And Do With Toddlers At Epcot
There are so many opportunities to meet different Disney characters at Epcot, including several Disney princesses in their countries. Some are not inside, however, so the wait in line can get hot . During the hottest parts of the day search out the air-conditioned meet n greet locations through the Disney World app .
With the construction happening at Epcot, youll want to verify character locations through the app during your visit. Toddlers will enjoy meeting Mulan , Donald Duck , Alice , or Princess Jasmine . Youll also find the ever popular Anna and Elsa from Frozen in their home at the Norway Pavilion.
Older toddlers can participate in Kidcot Fun Stops, located in many of the World Showcase pavilions. At each of the Fun Stops throughout the pavilions, toddlers can color and draw while parents or older kids can chat with a cast member about their native land. Many of the pavilions offer live outdoor entertainment that toddlers will love, like Mariache Cobra and the JAMMitors. Leave time in your schedule to stop and allow for a toddler dance party on the sidewalk if the spirit moves them!
If you happen to be visiting during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, toddlers will delight in the 100+ topiaries shaped like beloved Disney characters blooming around the Park. Take advantage of these perfect photo opportunities of the gorgeous garden colors with your toddler. There are also special play areas just for young kids during the event!
Festival Of The Lion King
Location AfricaHeight Requirement Any Height
When youve had enough walking around and need a break, bring your kids to the Festival of the Lion King show. This is a creative re-telling of The Lion King with amazing set pieces, costumes, music and acrobats on display.
Your toddlers will be amazed, and so will you.
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Its The Little Things
With a focus on the big shows and attractions inside Magic Kingdom, you might miss out on some of a toddlers favorite little things to discover. Toddlers often need more time to just watch and absorb the entertainment so make sure youre taking this into account before pushing the stroller away.
These little things might be your toddlers favorite too, so be sure to spend a bit of time checking them out:
- Toddlers love to sing and dance. If you see Caseys Corner Pianist playing or the Dapper Dans singing, let your toddler get up out of the stroller to dance and clap along.
- Pressed coins. What toddler doesnt love to turn the crank on the pressed coin machine and have a quirky souvenir to show everyone? Aim to collect several from around the park.
Save a souvenir to hand your toddler when you leave the Park. Something small like a race car or a bottle of bubbles can help prevent cranky kid meltdown at the end of the night . These are a few Disney souvenirs you can pre-purchase and have in the diaper bag!
- Electrical Water Pageant. Another great way to get your toddler out of Magic Kingdom, by showing them this simple and sweet parade that takes place each night outside the theme park exit.
- Planning a trip to Disneyland with a toddler? Be sure to read this post with a one-day itinerary for Disneyland with Toddlers.
- Consider taking a Disney cruise with your toddler or preschool for land and sea fun!
The Coolest Land In All The Parks
The new Pandora: The World of Avatar area opened recently, and is quite popular due to its stunning design and enchanting ambiance! The land has two main attractions, including a height friendly, a relaxing boat ride down a river in the bioluminescent Na vi forest. If the explorers in your party are at least 44 inches tall, they can rise to the challenge and ride on the back of a mountain banshee on Avatar Flight of Passage! Dont forget to bring your glow paints, find out why here!
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A Guide To Walt Disney World
We recently went on the trip of a lifetime to Walt Disney World. We were a part of Disneys first Creator Days which means Disney hosted us for a few days of fun, showing us the best sites, rides and experiences the parks have to offer. Im not exaggerating when I say it was a dream come true for our Disney loving family, and really nostalgic for Jeff and I since us East Coast kids both grew up going there.
Today Im sharing some of our favorite moments from our trip and I compiled it into a guide for taking on Walt Disney World with toddlers, since that was what I got the MOST questions about! That said, a lot of these tips are applicable to any family, couple or person headed to Walt Disney World, so hopefully youll still find them helpful!! Here we go!
We also put together a little video of our trip and its been so fun to watch it and re-live all these memories!!
Magic Kingdom Or Hollywood Studios
Maybe the hardest comparision, is Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios! Theres so many fun additions at Hollywood Studios, but the same can be said for Magic Kingdom.
Theres exclusive characters at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios! Theres fun new rides at both! And theres cute character meals with the perfect photo ops.
But Magic Kingdom is the winner here, as you will find double the characters, double the rides, and triple the play areas over what youll find at Hollywood Studios.
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Do Your Research & Get Toddlers Prepared For The Trip
As noted, toddlers can be unpredictable. That being said, there is quite a bit you can do pre-trip to get them ready for Disney.
- Brush up on which Disney rides your toddler will be tall enough for on your vacation. This list of Magic Kingdom rides that do not have a height requirement will be safe for everyone!
- Watch YouTube videos of the rides you think toddlers will want to go on. Young children will be less stressed out or worried if they have an idea what to expect ahead of time.
- Read Disney-themed books and watch age appropriate Disney films or Disney Junior programs to get toddlers familiar with some of the characters. I have this post with Disney themed book suggestions for toddlers.
- Create a countdown calendar that will count down the days until your vacation.
- Choose some Disney outfits for kids that feature their favorite characters .
Toddler Tip #1: Find out from your toddler what their top three must-do things are for the trip. Is it waving hi to a certain princess or eating a churro? Put those things at the top of your vacation list and make sure they happen!
When Is The Best Time To Visit Disney World
Our Disney Crowd Calendar is the best tool to help you get the most out of your time in the parks. We break down park crowds, park hours of operation, ticket prices, and average temperature. We also break down the best time to visit Disney World based on specific times of the year and special events.
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Tips For Doing Disney With Toddlers
Here are a few more helpful tips that will help you to navigate a Disney Vacation with toddlers and small kids:
Nap Time: While it may be tempting to go all-out in the parks, every day of your trip, your children might not be able to handle that fast pace. You know them best, and if they are the kind that need some downtime, we suggest scheduling some nap time in the afternoon.
Be Selective with Rides: You also know how much excitement your children can take and how adventurous they are. Encourage them to try new things, but dont force them to go on a ride they are scared of, or they may be traumatized and not be keen on coming back to Disney World anytime soon.
Spend More Time at the Magic Kingdom: By far the best park for toddlers is the Magic Kingdom and if you have small children you should allocate a good portion of your trip going there. We suggest spending two full days at the Magic Kingdom in order to do all the rides and not have to rush through which would be very stressful and not realistic with toddlers.
Use FastPass+: We always recommend people use the FastPass+ service at Disney World, but even more so if you have small children. FastPass+ lets you skip the lines for your favorite rides so you dont have to spend hours waiting in line.
Many Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh
Height Requirement: Any HeightThe sweetest ride at Disney World, this six-seater honey pot based storybook adventure starring Disneys beloved Pooh bear is a toddler favorite. Little ones who dont mind the dark will enjoy bouncing and singing along with Tigger and other friends from the Hundred Acre Wood. Lines can be long for the four-minute journey, but plenty of hands-on activities in the interactive queue help keep tots busy.
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Walt Disney World Railroad
Location Main Street U.S.A.Height Requirement Any Height
Practically all children love trains and they will be thrilled to get on The Walt Disney World Railroad for a spin around the Magic Kingdom. This is a slow-moving ride and a chance for little ones and parents to take a rest before heading off to another part of the park.
Your toddlers will feel like theyve been transported back to the turn of the century in a real, working, steam-engine train. You can jump on the railroad at one of three locations including Main Street U.S.A., Frontierland and Fantasyland.
Animal Kingdom Orlando Florida
At Disneys Animal Kingdom, kids can learn about the world around them while observing hundreds of wild animals in their natural habitats. You can take a walk on the wild side at the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, Discovery Island Trails, and the Maharajah Jungle Trek or ride along on a guided tour of an African savanna on the Kilimanjaro Safaris .
While youre there, take the Wildlife Express Train to Rafikis Planet Watch where theres a petting zoo, animal education area, and a daily art lesson with a Disney animation expert. Kids can even become Wilderness Explorers, just like Russell from the movie Up! Stop by the Wilderness Explorer Headquarters inside the parks entrance and collect badges as you explore the park.
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