A few years ago we survived our first family trip to Walt Disney World. I gave myself credit for planning a pretty near perfect trip. It was nothing short of magical and I wish we could have stayed for a few extra days, but that’s life. I’ll be honest though, the thought visiting Disney with a toddler felt overwhelming.

In preparation for our trip to Disney with a toddler and preschooler, I spent hours sifting through travel blogs and scrolling through Facebook groups. After so much time researching, I still wish I had a simple list I could turn to for planning purposes. Cue this list for moms visiting Disney with a Toddler.

Carefully Choose Character Dining Experiences

I’ll be honest, I let social media groups dictate how much weight I put into our dining plans. I felt like we needed to go to as many character dining experiences as possible. I was wrong. I loved each one, but after an hour at each one it became quite repetitive – that’s just the nature of the experience. By the end of our second dining experience, my preschooler and toddler were over it because they were “boring.”

Invest in Baby/Toddler Carriers

I was able to wear my daughters (both over the age of 2) during our Disney trip all thanks to my trusty Lillebaby. If you have a smaller babe (6 months or younger), a wrap or ring sling may be easier. My toddler was so tired some days that she would catnap around 11 a.m. and be able to last for several more hours. It is definitely a workout and there’s a learning curve to babywearing, but you can prepare for it. It really made it easy to hop on the monorail to Magic Kingdom or bus to Animal Kingdom without needing to open and close a stroller.

Reusable Straws & Throw Away Cups

While I love that Disney is passionate about the environment, I forgot to prepare for their changes. Over the last several years, they have phased out single-use plastic straws and much more. During our Disney trip I wish I had remembered to bring more reusable straws for everyone. I had my tumbler and a few sippy cups for the girls, but I wish I had the idea to invest in Take and Toss items or travel straws.

Travel with Extra Hands

I have the most hands-on parents and siblings who jumped at the idea of being able to travel to Disney for us. If you don’t have a family support system, you can always travel with friends (bonus if they don’t have kids of their own). There are even nanny and babysitting agencies for Orlando amusement parks! Walking around any Disney with a toddler can be draining, so it’s great if you can have extra hands.

Visit Rides and Shows Off The Beaten Path

While my husband and preschooler stood in line for Soarin’ Around the World, my toddler and I visited Journey into Imagination with Figment. The wait was only 5 minutes and perfect for our pace. Some of the best rides and experiences came from those 5 and 10 minute wait rides. Don’t pass them up – especially with toddlers who get antsy.

A few of our other favorites while at Disney are: Gran Fiesta Tour at Epcot, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor at Magic Kingdom and Alien Swirling Saucers at Hollywood Studios. These are especially fun for toddlers as they’re with recognizable characters.

Bonus: Toddler Busy Activities

Be prepared for meltdowns and boredom with activities or tools. When my toddler was starting to sweat, I made sure we had the water fan to cool her down. When my toddler was growing fussy in lines, I pulled out our inexpensive bubbles. When my toddler wanted a light up toy (after she already had one) I pulled out some glow sticks. These were all relatively cheap and easy to carry with us.

Traveling to a Disney park (especially if you don’t live nearby) can be a costly investment. Traveling to Disney with a toddler can be both an investment and extremely chaotic. Being prepared is key in making it feel like you’re receiving the most for your money during these trips. Experienced Disney moms, what else would you suggest or add to this list?

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