A trip to Disney World can lead to lifelong memories for everyone involved, but it can also leave a sour taste in your mouth if you don’t do your homework. When planning your next Disney vacation with your infant or toddler, consider my favorite tips:
- Use crowd calendar websites and planning tools such as touringplans.com to plan your visit in an off peak time.
- Slow down the pace. Even if you tried, you can’t experience every Disney attraction on your vacation. If your toddler wants to stop and stare at ducks for 15 minutes, let them. Take the opportunity to people watch from a bench, catch up on your emails, or post your favorite trip pictures on Facebook.
- Utilize Disney’s Fastpass or Rider Switch Services to experience attractions that infants and toddlers can’t enjoy. While it may be your infant or toddler’s first trip, don’t lose sight that it is your vacation, too.
- Leave time for naps. If your child naps at home, consider returning to your hotel room in the middle of the day for a break, or allowing your child uninterrupted nap time in the stroller. A sleeping child in a stroller makes a great shopping partner!
- Come prepared. Bring extra clothes. Pack rain gear. Bring small toys. Have enough diapers, wipes, and baby necessities on hand.
- Stay on schedule. If your child eats lunch everyday at 11:00am, making a lunch reservation at 1:00pm probably isn’t wise. Try to stick to your child’s schedule for meal times. Remember that Disney may be in a different time zone than your home.
- Be flexible. If your heart is set on taking photos of your child with every Disney character, be ready to change plans if your child screams at the sight of Mickey. (Think about this: the average character is about 3 times taller than the average toddler!)
- Bring your child’s favorite snacks in a small cooler. This will save your money and keep your child full.
- Know when to leave. Don’t try to plan a commando trip and stay at the parks from open to close every day of your vacation. Disney can be overstimulating!
- Plan a relaxed day or two. Sightseeing at the resorts, shopping, or a movie can be just as exciting as visiting the parks. Remember, your family vacation is about spending time together, not merely riding rides or seeing shows.
What are your favorite tips for visiting with an infant or toddler? Share them by leaving a comment!