There is nothing more exciting then your first trip to Disney World (or Disneyland), but some tips to conquering the world would be nice before coming on this magical journey.
We recently experienced this magical place, so I thought I would share with you some helpful tips we found making life at these parks a little easier on you, your child and your entire party.
The Stroller: When we went to Hawaii we weren’t planning on doing a lot of walking. We knew we would just be sitting on beaches, eating, hiking and soaking up the sun. In Disney World we did a lot of walking. These parks are nothing like Disneyland in that they are spread out on huge properties and you have to walk a lot further between rides. We took our City Select by Baby Jogger which was great. Here what made that stroller ideal:
- Plenty of storage for water bottles, camera bags, jackets, and blankets
- Easy to maneuver
- Not bulky
- Quick to fold down for when you have to get on the trams and buses
- Seats recline, great for when you child is napping
- Canopy comes over far so your child can be blocked from the sun or when napping cover them up
A lot of people had umbrella strollers which are also nice and compact, but we pack everything with us. We loved having a place for all our stuff to go.
Rider Switch Pass: This is the best tip you will ever get when it comes to rides. When your party is going on a ride and you have to stay back because your child can’t go on it, let the cast member know. They will hand you a rider switch pass, which allows you and two other riders to go separately.
Once on Thunder Mountain Railroad, our fast pass was going to expire (they actually DO expire at DisneyWorld). We told them what was happening, that our whole party couldn’t ride because we had little ones to watch over. They handed us a rider switch pass so that we could ride ANY TIME later that day (or even save it for another day). We all got to ride and some even got to ride twice.
Drinks and Treats: We always have to get treats after every ride at Disneyland, it’s just how we do the experience. But at Disney World you don’t have time to grab a treat between rides. Having a toddler we needed to have something with us so that if he got fussy he always had something to munch on.
Simple snacks to take are Gold Fish crackers, veggie straws, and fruit snacks. They all pack up really easy in your bag to take into the park. Plus, we buy a big Chip & Dale pretzel bag once we get there to munch on the entire time.
Also, pack some sippy cups for drinks. The best place to buy bottled water is in Tomorrow Land, by Space Mountain. There is a little kiosk that sells HUGE bottled water for $3, instead of the little bottles for $2.50. You’ll feel like you are really getting your money’s worth. Then just keep the sippy constantly filled.
Diaper Changing Stations: The greatest thing about Disney parks for parents with little ones are their changing stations. In every bathroom (guys or gals) they have changing stations that they keep nice a clean throughout the entire day. This makes it easy for either parent to take the responsibility of changing the child.
Then, they also have Baby Care Centers, offering a variety of amenities for you and your child. Open during regular park hours, each full-service facility is complimentary to use and includes a:
- Private nursing room with rocking chairs
- Changing room with tables and a unisex bathroom
- Feeding area with highchairs
- Kitchen with microwave, oven and sink
- Main room with television, table, chairs and sofa
- On-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and clothing for purchase
Ride Scheduling: Being a person that loves to have everything planned out, I love the Fast Pass system they have for Disney World. I can go online, book my passes before hand and even make reservations. Scheduling is my life and Disney World completely accommodated to that.
That being said, when you’re on vacation your child doesn’t usually stick to their normal schedule like they would at home. For instance, we take a long morning nap and about an hour afternoon nap. On vacation you never know. So I still book the big rides before we go making sure that we will have them in our day, but any other rides we want to go on we make sure we do them strategically.
It’s simple: adult rides we go when he’s sleeping and kid rides we go when he’s awake. Tough concept? I don’t think so. This way whoever isn’t riding won’t have to be stuck off the ride with a screaming child that is wanting something to entertain them. It really worked well for us and confirmed my belief that Disney is the happiest place on earth.
So hope these suggestions help. If anything just remember to have fun. Disney was a little different this time because I had a child to care for but it was doable and so fun watching my son light up as he enjoyed the sights, sounds and tastes it has to offer.