Disney with Toddlers
I traveled with my 2.5 and 1 year old granddaughters to Walt Disney World … what a trip it was! It was a good learning experience for me to share my experience with my clients who are thinking of taking their toddlers to the parks and resorts. First of all it was really a plus for us to be onsite – with children this young. It was much more convenient to go back to our resort for a nap and or a swim. The kids loved the pool so it was a good break for them and the parents. Both girls slept in the stroller on the bus transfers. We are early risers so we were at the parks right away in the morning to beat the crowds and were able to see some characters and go on some rides with barely a wait at all. In the afternoon the lines can get really long.
Here are some of the rides/attractions my little ones enjoyed at each of the parks we went to:
- Magic Kingdom: any of the characters attractions, any of the boat rides – Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, It’s a Small World, any of the riding vehicle rides – Haunted Mansion, Under the Sea Little Mermaid, Winnie the Pooh’s 100 Acre Woods, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, Disney Railroad and there are many shows they could watch like Country Bear Jamboree, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Carousel of Progress. My 2.5 yr. old was able to go on Dumbo, Mickey’s Barnstormer small rollercoaster, Prince Charming’s Carousel, Magic Carpets of Aladdin and a few other small rides. Plenty to do in this park for little ones!
- Animal Kingdom: We did a lot here also because there are only 3-4 larger rides that they couldn’t go on. Their favorite was the Safari Jeep ride where they saw all the animals, they also have a Gorilla Exploration Trail and a Jungle Trek with tigers. The shows are fantastic at this park – the Festival of the Lion King is not to be missed along with Up! A bird adventure, Finding Nemo – the Musical and the Tree of Life has It’s A Bug Life 3-D movie that they could see. She rode a few of the smaller rides in Dinoland like TriceraTop Spin and dug up bones in The Boneyard (picture a big sandbox). Pandora has a boat ride everyone could go on and an adult ride that was a fantastic virtual reality adventure, but you need to be 48” tall. The nice thing is Disney does have a parent swap option for their bigger rides if the adults want to try one of them.
- Hollywood Studios: this is the park to meet characters! We saw all of the Star Wars characters, Mickey, Minnie, Olaf, Goofy, and all of the Disney Playhouse characters. We also did the Beauty & The Beast Stage Show, Frozen Sing-along Show, Star Wars Jedi Show, Little Mermaid Under the Sea Show and Muppet Vision 3-D Show. They have three big rides in this park – Tower of Terror, Rockin Rollercoaster and Star Wars adventure they will not be able to go on but the new Toy Story Land is really fun to visit since everything is toy size and we are the little ones. We spent the whole day on a few rides, at shows and meeting characters and the girls were happy with that.
- EPCOT: Lots of people think EPCOT is only for adults but they do have some fun attractions for smaller kids too. In Future world there is The Seas with Nemo & Friends and do Turtle Talk with Crush with a great aquarium to look at. Everyone can ride Spaceship Earth (the big ball) and see the show Journey into Imagination. There are lots of meet and greet character spots in both Future World and the World Showcase. In World Showcase there is a boat ride in Mexico and Frozen in Norway, a movie in China, America, Canada and France (nice place to sit down but the kids are probably too young for them). Norway with Anna & Elsa is usually the big draw with World Showcase, but it depends on how much you want to spend with your kids involving them in each country. They each have a kids station where they meet someone from the country and make a craft and get their passport book stamped.
Keep in mind that all four of these parks have fabulous firework shows that the kids would enjoy and parades during the day. You will have plenty of things to fill your day. Tinkerbelle (pictured above) at the Magic Kingdom – is a good character to start out with . . . she’s a person and not too big – LOL!
Let’s plan your magical vacation for you and your family!
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