A different kind of vacation

Hi All!
I will be travelling to Disney world with DH and DS2 the beginning of April. I used to be the squeeze-every-second-out-of-the-trip type of theme park goer (I’ve been known to incorporate color coded excel spread sheets into my planning!) but will be travelling with our toddler. I realize I cannot re-live my glory days of blitzing through parks, running at rope drops and that this will be a very different trip. I have the touring plans set for a very relaxed pace and plan on taking a 3 hr break mid day, etc. Last thing I want is to push DS too much and have him hate Disney!
Any tips on travelling with the toddler? Also, I will be doing MK and AK solo with the kiddo since DH will be at a conference. Tips on that?
Thanks in advance!!

Enjoy watching them enjoy everything. It is amazing when you have kids for the first time at the parks how suddenly getting in those rides stops mattering. I enjoy watching them enjoy things almost as much!


I don’t think you will mind not doing so much.

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Oh. I should add…the truth is, your son won’t remember this trip, except via pictures. As such, DO make sure you do things for yourselves as well. You will remember this trip, even if they don’t.

But DO take the pictures and make a photo book afterwards that your son can look at as he gets older. My kids pore over the vacation photo books we have, even if they were too young to remember it first hand.


Just be ready to watch the ducks, play in Casey Jr., enjoy the little playground by splash, jump on the light up sidewalks at epcot, etc. for waaaay longer than you think is worth it for the price you paid to get into the parks. You guys will have a great trip even without blitzing through the parks.

Does your DS like characters? Mine were afraid of meeting the fur characters at that age (until about age 3 I think) but other kids just love them. Just something to think about.

Try to make sure to watch the parade even though it is in the middle of the afternoon which is probably nap time. The joy on my kids’ faces when they were toddlers during the parades was amazing!! We never did afternoon breaks but went RD to early dinner with stroller naps and low key evenings.


Last month I went to Disney with my friend and her DD2. It was very different experience for me (my children are 12-19 years old). It was also an amazing experience. I loved the trip. It was actually less stressful. We weren’t rushing to hit all the big rides. The rides she could do were easy to obtain SD FPs for. She loved meeting the characters. We took afternoon breaks most days (and the day we did not we left the park around dinner time). It was so enjoyable. I loved watching her reactions to everything. I think you’re going to have an amazing trip!!


I don’t know how he is going to react to the characters. I tried to bring him to a Daniel Tiger thing a few months ago and he kept saying daniel tiger was too big! I guess we will see how it goes!

Brought my DD2 last November. Although has a love for Minnie— she loved her from afar. Got a great picture of her amazement at the opening show in MK. Would only wave from afar st Chef Mickeys but did get a kick out of everyone walking around. She was really into meeting the princess face characters. She napped omits a small world and any other boat ride. She was done by 12 with rope drop each day. We went to bed not to late abd they were up by 6:40 still… ropedrop was easy for us. I ordered food she liked cereal apple sauce pouches… she really can go on a lot! Just need a tight grip. Was not a fan of spaceship earth was a long ride for DH trying to keep her from escaping! It really was wonderful seeing Disney in her eyes. Her stroller naps helped us “smell the roses”!


Make sure you take random pictures. I did this with my son when he was 20 months. Some of my favorites were him holding his mothers face while in line to see Winnie the Pooh. Him playing in the water at Epcot and the water stopped shooting up, his expression was What happened, where did it go.
I have one of him peeking over a stone edge railing type while in epcot, you can’t see his mouth but you can tell he is smiling. Many of him meeting different characters. The pictures are great. He met McQueen and Mater but doesn’t remember it. Its fun showing him the pictures.
There are those who will say that it isn’t smart to go when they are soo young as they won’t remember it. That part is true but you will remember and will have some of the most amazing memories you will have because of this.
With that, take breaks, ride the People Mover, I rode the train around MK for 5 full trips when my son got cranky. He fell asleep. It was relaxing. Be prepared for your plans to sometime go out the window as they have their own minds. Most importantly, enjoy this, it will be so special.


I took my kids on their first WDW trip last fall (ages 13 months and 3.5 y/o). All the above tips are great. I would add that it is impossible to predict what they will/won’t like or what they will/won’t be scared of. Expose them to as much as possible and see how they react. My 13 month old loved Mickey, Minnie and Donald and all the Princesses, but Goofy and Pluto scared him. My 3.5 y/o loved most of the rides, but was terrified to go on the Nemo ride at Epcot because she “didn’t want to see the bad shark from Nemo”. Overall, it was so much fun to watch the kids reactions. I have been to WDW many times over the past 40 years, but this last trip was the first time I rode the Carousel, but this time I rode it at least 5 times because both kids were so happy on it.


This is very true!

I’ve done Disney with lots of toddlers (6 kids) and I’d say if you like touring at breakneck speed then keep doing so. I’ve never done he mid-day break thing and none of the kids have self-combusted. Being willing to change styles is a good start, but don’t decide ahead of time that it’s necessary.

My kids loved rides and characters and shows. Watching them enjoy it brought me a new and better joy. Disney is way better with a family.

And I agree with @ryan1 - he won’t remembee it. Take pics and enjoy the moments.


Personally, I wouldn’t OVER emphasize slowing down. We didn’t really cater the trip to the 2 yo although we certainly planned plenty of things that she enjoyed. 2yo has an amazing time and it was magical to watch things through her eyes. She had plenty of stamina and our girls got a long better in Disney than they did at home. Our first visit was with a two year old and a nine year old so we had to fit in all the action packed rides for the older one. We did a lot of rider swap and the other parent would do meet n greets with the 2yo. We would take midday breaks and then go back in the evening for fireworks. That trip, we were able to take 10 nights which was ideal because we had 2 or 3 off days from the parks built in. We stayed in a house offsite. That was nice because everybody had their own bedroom. Naps and bedtime were easy.


+1 to all of this

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Thanks everyone!