As a parent, I can relate to how difficult it can be visiting the Walt Disney World Resorts with small children. It can be difficult planning your day around their feedings, nap times and when they will be the happiest so everyone can have a magical Disney vacation. The number one tip I can give as a fellow parent is to relax and not let things stress you out. Go with the flow and you will see just how magical your Disney vacation will be.
To better help parents enjoy the parks with small children, I have compiled a list of tips to help make your next vacation a little more stress free.
Plan to arrive to the theme parks early in the day. Be there when they open. This is when kids are generally their happiest and it gives you time to enjoy the park before it gets too hot, rains and over crowded. Make plans to break up the day by heading back to your resort in the middle of the day. During this time you can eat lunch, take naps and enjoy the pool during the hottest part of the day. Everyone in the family will be well-rested and ready to go back to the theme parks for some more excitement.
Pick up maps and a list of show times immediately upon entering the park. This will help you plan your day. Make sure to stop by the Tip Boards in each park regularly. These boards offer updates on wait times, any changes in show times and other entertainment information for the park.
Leave the stroller behind. If your kids are old enough to sit in a stroller, besides one designed for newborns, rent one from the theme parks. This lessens the hassle of folding and unfolding the stroller every time you get on and off any of the Disney transportation options. If you plan to park hop keep your receipt and you will not have to pay for another stroller at the next park (as long as it is the same day).
Avoid disappointment by measuring your child’s height before leaving on vacation. Then compare the height with attraction restrictions. This will help you when planning what attractions to experience and avoid any disappointment if the child knows ahead of time they are too short to ride an attraction.
Take advantage of the Baby Care Centers located at all of the Disney World theme parks. These centers offer private rooms equipped with comfortable rocking chairs for nursing mothers. Other mom necessities include highchairs, diaper-changing rooms and baby-care products for sale. Baby Care Centers also have baby-changing stations in all bathrooms (including the men’s) and family restrooms.
Use Disney’s FASTPASS service. This will reduce your wait times and help your family enjoy more of the park during the day. It also helps reduce how cranky your kids will get when waiting in long lines.
Use Disney’s PhotoPass photographers to help capture some family moments. This will help ensure that you too are in the photos and not always the one behind the camera.
Character meet and greets can be a fun and exciting experience for kids. However, I have learned that it is best to let the kids go when they want to go and see the characters. Do not force them into it. Smaller kids can be scared and older kids can make unhappy faces during picture taking.
Hope these tips help you during your next Disney vacation with little ones.
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