Disney is For Memories
I decided early on that I wanted to wait to take Diari to Walt Disney World until she was old enough to really enjoy and remember it. I thought I would have to wait until she was four at least but that’s actually not the case. You can’t put an age on fun and memories. The best thing about Disney is that there is something for everyone.
I don’t know who has more fun, the kids or the parents! I used to hear that from other people but I never imagined it would be true for me (or my husband). My husband wore his Mickey Mouse ears all four days and if you know my “serious” husband, that’s seriously the funniest thing! The whole trip is worthwhile, especially with some good planning. So here’s everything you need to know before taking your family, especially toddlers, on their first Disney adventure.
The Four Parks
There are four parks around the City, including (1) Epcot, (2) Magical Kingdom, (3) Hollywood Studios, and (4) Animal Kingdom. Magical Kingdom and Hollywood Studios are a must for toddlers. There are so many kid-friendly rides at Magical Kingdom like the Mad Tea Party ride and the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride. Also, definitely attend the 3D theater shows. They feel so real that you and the kids will want to reach out and touch the characters because they’re right in your face! During the Little Mermaid, when Arial came out of the water, we even got splashed with real water! At Animal Kingdom, make sure to do the safari, it is amazing and almost feels like you are in Africa (go in the evening because a lot of the animals will be out).
Funny story, the day we came back from Animal Kingdom, we had planned to go to Hollywood Studios in the evening. But, Diari, Fatima, and I were so tired! Guess what? Tell me why Daddy decided to go on his own lol! This man literally went around the whole park alone for two hours and used his wristband to get pictures! As I’m going through the pictures now, I can’t stop laughing at him in all these shots by himself. It was so fun that he was excited to go again when we went the next day!
Tickets & Photopass
The Disney FastPass allows you to skip the long lines and the ParkHopper allows you to visit all the parks for one price. The MagicBand allows you to put all your Disney tickets, your hotel access card, your photos, etc. in a wristband so you don’t have to carry anything.
The PhotoPass allows you to have your photos taken as you explore. There are photographers around the park, so you just scan your magicband and they’ll snap your memories. For $199, you can download unlimited photos or you can pay per download. This is very convenient for making memories without having to carry your own camera and spend time trying to shoot.
One thing that’s popular about Disney is their resorts. We stayed at the Disney Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, which was nice because it was right near the water, there were multiple restaurants, and there were characters all around for the kids. The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique was so fun for kids because they can get turned into a favorite Disney character. I didn’t get to take advantage this time, but there’s a spa for mommies. I also loved the convenience of transportation provided by the Disney Resort Monorail. If it’s within your budget, I highly recommend staying at one of the resorts!
Your experience at Disney can really start at the airport because of The “Minnie” Van. It’s a family van that looks like Minnie Mouse sent for you personally! Prior to your pickup, your Minnie crew calls you to confirm your pickup time, the number of luggages you have, and whether or not you’ll need carseats. Everything was set up perfectly! Diari was so excited when our Minnie van showed up and she loved the TV screens in the backseat because she got to pick out a Disney movie for the ride. She watched Moana and ate the snacks so the 30-45 minute drive from the airport to our resort really flew by.
Packing for Disney
PACK LIGHT! Seriously, you can judge if you want, but I honestly wore the same pants for half of the trip lol. I was comfy! Pack for hot weather. You should always check the temperature before traveling, but generally, I think Orlando is hot. Only pack comfy clothes and shoes, especially the shoes. Don’t use Disney as the time to break in your new flats. Take reliable tennish shoes and sandals. Same rules apply for your kids, just double the clothes since they can get dirty playing around.
• You can rent a stroller (and believe me, you will have to!). Disney is a lot of walking so if you don’t want to carry your own stroller, you can get single and double strollers for however many days you need.
• The Babycare Center in each park has everything you need for Disney with kids such as snacks, milk, changing tables, breastfeeding room, etc.
• FYI, there are themed events at the Disney parks throughout the year. We got to go to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween and trick-or-treat since October is around the corner. The kids got to fill their bags with candy, we watched a hocus pocus show in front of the castle, and there was a parade and fireworks show. I highly recommend looking up the events before you go.
GO TO DISNEY!
I may or may not be ashamed to say that I would go back to Disney with or without kids (side-eye)! If anyone invites me and says they only have space for one, the kids are staying with their dad lol. I had no idea we would have so much fun on this trip as a family. Of course, Disney is fun for kids but you’ll be surprised how Disney brings out the kid in you.
This post is written in partnership with Walt Disney World but all thoughts and opinions are my own!