View Full Version : Toddlers/Small Children

28-01-2009, 08:11 AM

Anyone have any tips for taking small children to DisneyWorld? My kids will be 4 1/2 and almost 3 when we go.

I have no doubts that my oldest will not want to walk all day. He has more of a sight-seer personality. I am debating renting a double stroller but I'm not sure how unwieldy that will be, as I don't have one myself. Would two single strollers be easier? Our umbrella strollers are too short for hubby and I to use all day without killing our backs, but our "big" strollers are too big to fit in the car together even without suitcases.

Any and ALL tips on coordinating nap time would be very much appreciated! Even if the kids don't "need" one, I know hubby and I will! We are planning to stay on property, and I've heard the buses can be a royal pain.

I haven't been to WDW in 10 yrs+, so anything I should definitely see? Anything especially toddler friendly we should plan for? Most importantly, anything I should stay away from?

Thanks for your help!

28-01-2009, 08:15 AM
Stay away from the jumping fountains if you don't want to spend all day there. :rotfl:

Strollers is a tough one. I'd say don't rent the Disney strollers as they are not comfortable. If you could rent a double somewhere or even buy a cheap double that would be better. We've never found buses that much of a pain, except that you have to fold strollers which at the end of the day when you're tired and cranky and you've got 2 tired and cranky children could be a pain. Any chance you could stay at one of the monorail resorts? More expensive but you can just wheel the strollers on and in a few minutes you'd be wheeling them off at the Magic Kingdom.

28-01-2009, 10:20 AM
Both children will definitely need strollers. :yes: I'd get two small ones that you can both use comfortably. There are some fairly inexpensive umbrella strollers that have extendable handles so you won't kill your back. Two will be easier than one. Disney does sell a pretty nice umbrella stroller with canopy (important for the sun, even in the "winter") for about $50 each. I think with some careful shopping you could get some that are less expensive.

If you don't have your own stroller, ooooooh problems ahead Mama! :(

I'd take a break from the parks each day. We've always gone back to the resort and had a lunch break, a swim and sometimes a nap (depending upon which child was with us at the time). Even the then six year old needed a nap! We went this past December 27 with a large group of adults and children (6 children ages 5-11) and did it without a break. Let me tell you! Eeeeesh. Was a real struggle and everyone was crankier than cranky by the end of that very long day.

Be sure to schedule (or just know) time to let the children do what catches their eye. There is much more to do at WDW than "ride the rides" and kids tend to love the simpler things. Dawn mentions the water fountains...perfect example! :yes:

Let your little ones get used to the characters. They are life sized and can intimidate even the bravest children, especially for the first time. The Beast is massive and I've seen any number of children refuse to approach him.

We always (as in every single time :D ) carry food into the park when we have little ones with us. It's less expensive, of course but mostly it keeps them from upset stomachs with new food, gives them something we know they will eat, and for the most part is healthier than what they'd get at counter service, not to mention cleaner. :0

Drinks in particular add up fast. :yes: We do buy a snack or two for them (what child doesn't want an ice cream or maybe popcorn?) so they don't feel as if they haven't had anything from WDW, but for the most part we prefer to bring in the main bulk of what they will have for snacks and light meals.

Hope that helps a bit!

28-01-2009, 05:13 PM
Id say... take it easy!

Dont try to do everything everyday....

I would recommend staying in a monoriel resort, that way you are not too far away from MK, which is where I believe you will spend most of your time.

We are planning on taking our then 18m old daughter later this year...

Some of the best tips Ive gotten..

*take it easy
*stay at a monoriel resort
*get to the park early, when its less crowded and leave before lunchtime, when the dya gets too hot for little ones and the parks get to crowded
*schedule naps and/or time at the resorts pool
*check out activities at the resort (most luxury resorts have really cool kids activities)

Now.. regarding the strollers... I think a double is too much of a hassle... especially if you have to get on and off buses, since you have to fold it... also, although both kids will use the stroller eventually, I doubt that they will want to be confined in it... so I say 2 light umbrella strollers would do the trick...

Id buy 2 inexpensive ones at walmart.... and MARK THEM!

As has been said before, wdw strollers are massive, plastic, uncomfortable, and expensive to rent... plus, if you decide to visit 2 parks on the same day you have to leave the rented stroller in each park, so you waste time having to go to the stroller rental place in the second park...

I love the taking your own food tip Tink!! I hadnt thought about it, its a great tip!

28-01-2009, 07:32 PM
We went with DS last year who was a little younger, only 19 months. But my best tips are:
-take advantage of the toddler play areas. You may feel like they are a waste of time but it's good for little ones who need to get a little energy release.
-bring water and snacks with you. We brought applesauce, cheerios, granola bars and man did DS eat!
-Go to a resort character meal before the park opens. We went to CP and got to walk down Main St with almost no one there. Got some great pics!
-Use extra magic hours if staying onsight.
-Take naps!

28-01-2009, 07:55 PM
Really good advice alread! :thumbsup:

Based on my BFF's two children when they were young and we were at Disneyland from opening to close (usually 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.), the biggest thing was time for them to burn off excess energy (particularly her DS) and letting them look around at things that interested them. We lived an hour away, so we usually just let them nap when it suited them. Her DS, who rarely napped, actually slept for an hour or so in late afternoon! :lol:

I like the idea of two separate strollers rather than a double. Stroller rental rates at WDW have gone through the roof in the past year or so, and most of them are uncomfortable. Be sure to attach some sort of tags to them with cable ties or something similar. We had a very expensive something or other stroller (sorry--not familiar with strollers) with a 14-week-old in December 2007 and I laminated a red card with last name and cell phone number on it and attached it to the stroller with cable ties. Good thing--there were a lot exactly like it! :rolleyes: And be aware that CMs move strollers, so you may need to look for your stroller(s) when you exit an attraction.

29-01-2009, 03:56 AM
Thanks for all the great advice!

I never go anywhere more than 20 minutes away without some sort of drink and/or snack. But I will have to keep in mind how to tote all our supplies. Thanks for reminding me!

I was actually threatened by Dh that if I ever say "We're running behind" while we're there that I will come to physical harm. :rotfl: I think we're going to take a pretty laid back approach. There are some attractions/rides I want to go to, but I think the kids will be content to just explore.

I'll have to keep an eye out for some in-between strollers. Or even if we could somehow get extensions for our current umbrella stroller handles, that'd be fine. The perils of being above average height. :rolleyes3:

And great thought with the tags! That wouldn't have occurred to me! Not to mention tags for any clothing we might take off in the park, like jackets or raincoats.

And just to clarify Tink, I do have strollers just not a double stroller. I would have died of exhaustion long ago if I didn't!