There’s no better place to vacation with kids than Walt Disney World. It’s one of the most family-friendly vacation destinations and I’m convinced it’s the most magical place on earth because no matter how loud your child screams of excitement or anger, everyone around you understands.
I always imagined our daughter would be older the first time we took her to Disney, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Magic Kingdom this past December when we were vacationing with my family in Florida. My husband and I are huge Disney fans, so we were incredibly excited to take her and were just as ecstatic to walk down Main Street ourselves!
Side note: I participated in the Disney College Program my junior year and lived on Disney property for four months. I feel totally comfortable saying my obsession with Disney is on another level.
Although we only visited one of the parks and stayed for a night and a day, I wanted to share some of my experience below and offer some tips to any parents who are thinking about taking their children to Disney. Please keep in mind that we only brought one child (around 17 months at the time), so I’m sure parents with multiple or younger children will have a different experience.
- There’s no reason to be nervous about taking your child.
I would’ve never backed out of going to Disney, but I did have some fears going into the trip. What if our daughter didn’t behave? What if she screamed the whole time?! Would the ticket prices be worth it?
Luckily, there’s so much to see and to be distracted by, and many of the people surrounding you are in the exact same boat! Chances are, your child and/or children will love the experience and be in awe most of the time. There will likely be crying of some sort because it’s overwhelming, but it will all be worth it. You’ll get through any tough points because you’re in a place that caters to children with a mission to make all of their guests happy
- Two of the most important things you need to bring both start with an s.
Number one is your stroller. Try your best to bring one (preferably one that your child/children can easily fall asleep in). Having our stroller there was key! Our daughter ended up sleeping twice, and we were able to get around quickly. Luckily, the Magic Kingdom has a lot of areas where you can park your stroller when you go on rides. If you’d rather not bring a stroller from home, every park rents out single and double strollers. I will note they are not very comfortable looking.
Second s is snacks!! If you want to save money and avoid stopping every hour, I’d suggest you bring some of your own food to munch on. We didn’t do this and ended up making many stops and spending too much money.
- Utilize the Disney app.
It was created with a few purposes: it allows you to pick out your fast passes, provides you with dining and entertainment options, helps you find your way around the parks, and so much more.
Study the app before you arrive so you can fully utilize it! I made the mistake of not doing so, and think I could have referenced it more while we visited the park.
- Cast members will be your best friends.
Cast members are everywhere, and they work at the park to ensure you and your family have the best experience possible (trust me, I know). If you need something or want your child to have an extra special experience, I’m sure you can quickly find someone who’d be able to help you.
When our daughter scraped her knee, I scanned the area and approached the first cast member I saw. He was so sweet and got us a band-aid and some Mickey stickers right away. It was really nice and made the experience stress-free.
- Bring a portable charger.
Even if you bring your camera, you’ll probably also take pictures on your phone, and if not, you’ll be draining your battery using the Disney app. Both of our phones survived most of the day, but we definitely cut it close and I wish we would have brought a charger.
While our trip was short-lived, our experience made me a huge advocate of bringing a toddler to Disney World. I can’t even begin to explain how much more magical the experience is with a child. Our daughter made us both tear up a couple of times because she seemed to genuinely love being there. It was like reliving childhood all over again. We can’t wait to take her again someday!
I’d love to hear any tips and/or questions you have too! Please feel free to comment below.