We are big Disney fans around here! Since before I was pregnant I couldn’t wait to take my baby to Disney World. We recently went with my sister and nephew (3 years old.) When I was in college, I worked there on an internship, so I have spent a lot of times in the parks and the area and know a few ins and outs of making the most out of your time.
Here are my 10 tips for making the most of Walt Disney World with a baby/toddler.
- Stay at a monorail resort if possible. They are the Grand Floridian, The Contemporary and The Polynesian. They are a bit pricier, but if you can splurge, it is worth it. We stayed at the Polynesian and it was perfect, because it gave us easy access to Magic Kingdom and Epcot without getting on a bus.
2. Do character meals. This trip we went to Chef Mickey’s and 1900 Park Fare and got to see all the major characters with no lines or stress. They come right to your table. Chef Mickey’s is the best if you want to see all the classics. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto were all there and visited us while we ate. 1900 Park Fare was Cinderella themed when we were there, but they can change. So look up which dining experience has your favorite characters and that brings me to our next tip:
3. Make dining reservations! The restaurants fill up so make reservations. If you are staying on property you can make reservations 180 days in advance. You can make a reservations online or by phone. You will ne a reservation for full service restaurants, but not needed for quick service. If you can’t get a reservation for a restaurant you really want, you can try walking in and see if they have availability.
4. Get FastPasses. You are allowed to get 3 Fast Passes for popular attractions per day. Make them for early in the day for popular rides, because once those 3 are used, you can get more for later in the day, as available. You can also cancel FastPasses on the app and trade them in for new ones.
5. Download the MyDisneyExperience App. You can link and access your tickets, reservations, dining reservations, photos and FastPasses and it all matches up to the info on your Magic Band.
6. If travelling with 2 kids and 2 adults, get 2 single strollers rather than a double stroller. Double strollers are big and awkward and take up a lot of space. If going on the buses, you need to fold strollers and doubles are bulky and take up a lot of space on crowded buses.
7. Watch the Fireworks from the Contemporary Resort. There is a great view of the fireworks and the music is piped in from the castle, so even on non park days, you can see the fireworks.
8. Visit Disney Springs for all your shopping needs. Disney Springs has lots of shopping and dining options. Don’t waste park time shopping. Reserve a day to shop and relax at the resorts.
9. Get the Dining Plan. Dining plan is currently $75 per person per day for adults. It includes one quick service, one full service meal and 2 snacks. The meals include alcohol as drinks. This is definitely a good value, as one character meal alone is $59.99 and if you add a drink to that, you already paid more than the cost of the dining plan for the day. Snack credits can be used as a breakfast.
10. Stay on property at Disney. If you stay on property, even if it’s not a monorail resort, you get free airport transfers and all transportation within Walt Disney World. No need to rent a car.