Disney World With A Toddler

Need suggestions for touring the World with a two year old. Things to do at each park, restaurants, resorts. What type of things can we do with a toddler while waiting for the grownups to finish rides?
Does WDW have splash pads? Realistically, how long can a toddler tolerate the parks?

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I don’t have a ton of time to answer right now, but here is a quick article I found:

I’m sure others will pipe in with many more thoughts!!!

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Thanks so much! Splash pads have never even crossed my mind and I’ve never seen one. The closest I’ve seen is the jumping fountains at EPCOT. Lol!

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Play spaces and interactive queues are the best!

A few that come to mind that we’re favorites for our once 2 year old

Mission Space interactive area
Figment exit interactive area
Dumbo play area
Casey Jr splash area
Winnie the Pooh interactive line

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Here’s another:

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My kids have loved Casey Jr.‘s and the jumping fountains for cooling off. TSI is great but the caves aren’t the most adult sized things and the one that runs around the perimeter of the island would make me nervous with a toddler. They always loved the playground at Splash Mountain but that may be gone now. There’s a playground in Epcot somewhere….blue equipment….always looks like a great spot. The Boneyard in AK.

How long your toddler handles the parks will vary wildly depending on the child I’d imagine. Our first trip my youngest was 18 mos and we stayed in the parks for 12-14 hours every day. She just napped on the go in the stroller. Plus in was January so the weather was nice and pleasant.

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Animal Kingdom is great for toddlers because you can do the walking trails and look at the animals. The Boneyard (if it’s open again) is fantastic. There’s also a couple of fountains by the restrooms near Kali River Rapids that are meant to be splashed in. My 4 year old spent a good half hour there this past June.

Magic Kingdom is probably the park you need to worry about least because there are so many attractions the littles can do. But Casey’s splash zone is definitely a hit. Also, if the toddler needs a break, hop on the monorail and just ride for awhile. The same 4yo napped on the monorail for nearly an hour a couple years ago. I also highly recommend the upstairs seating area at Columbia Harbour House. It’s never particularly crowded, air conditioned, and relatively quiet. Provides a nice break from the stimulation for everyone (not just littles)!

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Oh and my all time favorite meet and greet experience with my two year old was the Adventurers Outpost with Minnie and Mickey at AK :heart_eyes:

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A two yr old will be happy to watch when all the World is going by.

I have a favorite photo of a 2 yo and a 3 yo sitting on a curb (perfect child height) eating a snack while two of their adults waited for the ones riding Tower of Terror. I saw it just the other day. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Do I know where? Notta clue.

A more difficult age is the time right before a kid is tall enough to ride everything.

At 2 so many things are still fresh and new and interesting.

We had a bolter, run off in a heart beat. We used a leash often. At WDW that kid sat in his stroller and watched everything.

Your mileage may vary.

Our main difficulty was being off the nap schedule. After several toddlers, you just have to let them nap when they do.

Their experience will be different. Y’all do you. The kid should just follow along.

I will say that most of the time I managed the littles. I’m not ride centric and love seeing what grabs a kid’s interest. It’s mostly little things too. On their level. Just keep the fuel and fluids topped off. :smile:

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We did 2 of 3 wdw trips with a toddler, almost 3 yrs then almost 4. She slept in the stroller when she wanted and lasted well into the night. We had 2 older kids with us do it wasn’t focused just on her but I think she had a great time. There are a lot of random places at wdw that are enchanting to toddlers, such as a place in Epcot with some dancing streams of water (I don’t know if this still exists). These are the things you don’t plan for but just happen upon. They are numerous. Some of the more iconic stuff is actually sometimes less appealing to kids that little, such as characters scaring them or the wait for a parade too long. Some of our best memories are the little things we just sort of found.

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Also, I believe all Disney resorts (all the ones I’ve stayed in, including values) have at least a small playground and splash pad near the pool. Some very elaborate and fun ones (Poly splash area is amazing!)

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There are toddler-friendly rides very near many of the big RD attractions, our go-to combinations used to be 7DMT (bigs)/WtP (littles), FoP (bigs)/NRJ (littles), SDD (bigs)/ ASS (littles), at Epcot we always RDed FEA together.

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Oh, I just remembered in AK if you’ve got a kiddo who loves animals the petting zoo at Rafiki’s is great.

For sleeping, we would always stick our little one’s crib in a closet or bathroom with white noise on loud to help them sleep. It normally worked well.

My youngest was entranced with the characters at 2. I’d do character meals if you can. This is my all time fave Disney picture of DD7 (two in this pic).

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When my kids were two, we would spend a lot of time in gift shops with them while the others rode the big rides. Anywhere with air conditioning. It so happens that my youngest did not like theater shows so I couldn’t even take her to MuppetVision or whatnot.

It’s best if you can take an afternoon break for a nap with a toddler. But if not, they will probably fall asleep at some point (and sometimes mine fell asleep better out of the room). In which case you may have to improvise. Hopefully it happens when you’re stopping for a meal to kill two birds with one stone.

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This is very well put. Disney from a toddler point of view is on so many different levels.

The sidewalk lights at Epcot. These kept our 2 and 3 yo enthralled. They squatted and “played” with these lights for easily 30 minutes. Much longer than I had anticipated. I just kept an eye on them. The rest of our group were off riding rides.

This a before cell phones. So much easier now to split off.

We did goof royally with another 2 yo. I knew when the character interactions were at HS but blanked on it because the current 2 yo had finally fallen asleep in the stroller. And here came the Cars mini parade or whatever it was. So much honking and carrying on.

Short nap :confounded:

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Again, well put.

Out of the room - it’s quiet, too quiet
Mealtimes - easier to drift off with similar, continuous noise

That nap has to sneak up on them :smile:

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We took our 3 - almost 4 year old in March. We found 3-5 hours a day in the parks was perfect timing for her then swimming and other stuff rest of day. A little longer if we had meal scheduled there such as CRT which she loved. She loved all of the rides she could go on and characters/princesses (we did character meals and shows instead of waiting in line for characters). Genie+ really helped to just be able to go to one ride after another that she liked without waiting in lines, especially at MK. We also used it to see Olaf since he wasn’t in any character dining or shows. She loved the pools (especially BCV), the skyliner, and some of the playgrounds/play areas. We took skyliner one day to AofA playground and did the Figment one at Epcot. She did not really like the fireworks but did like Fantasmic. We let her sleep until she woke up in morning - did not rope drop. She didn’t nap.

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Our 2 y/o twins really loved running around the hedge maze behind the UK pavilion in Epcot. It kept them happy for close to an hour. It is something that would never have crossed our minds, but it is lovely and quiet, away from all the crowds, and they loved it.

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The Mom wants to get the baby’s hair done and get her dressed up in Princess fashion. Looks like Bibbidi is for ages 3-12. She’s only 2. Are there similar services that would work with a 2YO?

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Possibly the Harmony Barber Shop will put her hair up in two buns - like Minnie Ears with gel or pixie dust (confetti). IF they’re doing this, I’d leave off the gel or the pixie dust. I’ve heard the gel is tough to wash out. The pixie dust has always been sharply itchy to me.

They’re a barber shop; until covid one or another member of our group always stopped for something.

Used to be, before crowd levels increased, kids could get first hair cuts here with Mickey Hat.

A reservation system had started before covid.

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