10 Tips for Visiting the Disney Parks for the First Time with a Young Child

There’s really no magical age to take your child to Walt Disney World.  Some families wait until they’re “old enough to remember”.  Some take their children from an infancy stage and then for many times to come after that.  We personally decided to take our boys for the first time when they were 4.  Our daughter, on the other hand, has had the privilege to say that she has been going to Disney since she was 8 months old.  So, how do you manage a very young child in the parks, while still trying to enjoy yourselves?  And what if you have older children traveling with you?  You want a magical experience for them too, right?  So, today I want to share with you 10 Tips for Visiting the Disney Parks for the First Time with a Young Child.  I’d like to throw a special shout out to Facebook fan, Taina, for suggesting this topic!  Thank you!

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1.  If you are flying with your young child, pack only the necessities to get you through the flight and the first day or so of your trip.  I know that may seem odd, but take advantage of businesses like Garden Grocer and others who will deliver supplies to your resort for you.  Or, box up some diapers, wipes, and formula and send them to your resort in your name.  You’ll want to do this about 4 days before you arrive, to ensure they are there on time.

2. Study the Walt Disney World maps to find the Baby Care Centers.  Baby Care Centers can be trip savers-literally.  It’s a quiet place to feed your child, while your spouse and/or older children relax too.  They are more than welcome to come inside!  Need a diaper or wipes?  The Baby Care Center sells them.  We even bought a pacifier clip from them one year-they seriously have just about everything.

3.  Don’t be disappointed if your child doesn’t nap or eat on his or her scheduled times.  When we traveled with our daughter, at 8 months, she didn’t take her bottles or food very well during the day.  I don’t know if she was hot, or so overstimulated that she didn’t care about eating, or what.  But she enjoyed herself just fine!  Forcing them to eat and sleep on their “schedule” can add stress to your trip and make everyone frustrated.

4.  Plan on spending a few hours in the afternoon at the resort.  Rest, visit the pool, even just sit in your room and read and color with your child can be a nice way to get recharged for an evening in the parks.

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5.  Allow the characters to interact with your child.  One of my FAVORITE memories is of Minnie Mouse playing peek a boo with my daughter at 8 months. The next year, when she was almost 2, Sorcerer Mickey let her give him a smooch on the nose.  Adorable!  Those precious memories and photo opportunities are absolutely priceless to me as a mom.

6. Just because they “won’t remember” doesn’t mean you won’t.  You’re on vacation, too!  And if you’re like me, when you get home, you like to go through your photos and maybe even display them in those cute Disney themed frames you bought.  Talk about them to your child.  Remind them of his or her “princess friends”, or his “friend” Mickey Mouse and how much Mickey enjoyed his visit.


7.  Take your child on every attraction possible.  I can count on one hand, probably, the number of Disney attractions that aren’t friendly for kids under the age of 2.  Seriously, almost every attraction in the Disney parks is so kid friendly and appropriate!  And so what if you spend half your day in Storybook Circus and Fantasyland, and the other half at the pool.  Those 25 rides on Dumbo will be totally worth it!

8.  Plan a short trip.  Two, maybe three days in the parks, is ideal when you are traveling with children under 2.  If you have older children, as in our case, that doesn’t work well.  But, if it’s just the three of you, then plan on spending only 2 or 3 days, and at Magic Kingdom.  Plus, if it’s their first {of hopefully many} trip, then you won’t break the bank and you’ll still have a magical time.


9. Bring your own stroller.  I can’t stress this enough.  You know how your stroller works, that your child is comfortable in it, and you like it.  If bringing your own isn’t a possibility, I highly recommend renting from Kingdom Strollers.  They’re awesome!

10.  If you can swing it, stay at a Monorail resort.  The Monorail resorts-Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Contemporary-are priceless in convenience, location, and awesomeness in my opinion.   You will save so much travel time going back to those for naps and breaks, and this may be the only time you can afford them.  Take it from me-when your oldest count as adults by Disney’s dining and ticket standards-those monorail resorts aren’t so inexpensive anymore :).  We can stay at them under a good Disney discount, but for families of young children, they’re your best bet.


There are SO many more tips to traveling with the little Mousekateers!  What tips do you have to offer?  What questions do you have?  I hope this was helpful, and that you’ll plan to make many magical memories starting at a young age!



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