Need some advice from some other parents who have done it. We want to take our 3 year old to WDW in mid November before Thanksgiving rush but I am nervous without having FPP. We took him when he was 18 months and had minimal waits with a touring plan and FPP. I don’t see my son waiting in lines longer than 15-20 min. We plan on getting to parks early before opening but the thought of no FPP has this planner concerned with my 3 year old. For those with a kiddo in a similar age, how long have you had to you wait in lines? We really want to go this year as I am hoping to get pregnant soon and we would not be back to WDW for another 2.5 years at least. Thanks so much for your input and advice. Any tips and tricks for bringing a toddler without FPP would be greatly appreciated
Good question! I just got back from our trip and my youngest is a newly turned 4 year old, so not too far off. We brought a bunch of goodies from the dollar bins at target as line entertainment- stickers, little cars, bubbles, booklets. Lots of kiddos also have the Disney bubble wands for line entertainment.
As far as line lengths, we rarely waited for anything longer than 20 minutes as the lines move quickly with no fp. The few times we waited longer were after an indoor break and/or meal so I knew that DS4 could handle it a bit better.
Lastly, rope drop is key! By the time you go, they will probably be doing the 30 min early entry for on site guests. You will want to start watching wait times on MDE to see which lines consistently stay high and rope drop (slinky dog dash is the number one ride that comes to mind) these for short waits in the am.
Took my 2.5 year old last month. Never waited more than 20 minutes and that was only once because I relied on rope drop and touring plans. One of the neat things about not having FPP is that the regular queues actually do have interesting details and such to look at. My advice is to just keep kiddo well fed and well rested throughout. Take lots of breaks and find opportunities to let him just run around. (Go to Tom Sawyer’s Island!) If you do that enough, the time spent in lines won’t be so bad.
Having little games are key! I spy was a favorite for my niece in lines at that age - especially a disney line where there is so much to look at. If there are rides on your TP that might be a little longer, it might be helpful to check in which to prioritize for RD. Ex: Winnie the Pooh and Dumbo both have interactive play areas, whereas Buzz is literally the most boring line ever, and SDD is hot and boring.
If not waiting is your #1 goal, the best tip is to get there as early as possible and make a plan. You can get so much done the first 2-3 hours of the trip.
You wont be going on many (any) of the headliners with a 3 year old. Will he be 40" tall by then? I don’t remember how tall 3 year olds are!! A 30 minute wait isn’t that bad either (vs. not riding it at ALL during the trip). Most of the queues are interesting enough, it’s not like waiting in line at Wal-Mart or something super boring at home.
I think 3 years olds may be able to handle longer wait times better than adults!
Super long waits can be a problem, but “longish” waits are okay with young kids at Disney, typically, because there is so much to see (and in some cases, do) in the lines. Plus, there is the anticipation of the ride itself as they see others either riding, or boarding, etc.
Last time we went our youngest had just turned 4. The key for lines was to make sure he was entertained, not hungry, and not tired. We had a meltdown in the IASW line, but it ended up being over an hour (ugh) when the posted was 20 minutes, so even the adult were grumpy by the end.
I agree with the comments above. I would add that by the time you go the interactive elements of the queues should return. Also, you will be able to have snacks while walking in the queues. I’ve seen people playing cards, I spy, trivia, and all sorts of other games in lines. Bubbles are good for little ones (and I find most other parents are fine with them as the bubbles also entertain their kids ha), but I would keep those for outside queues so the bubbles don’t bother others.
Took a 2.5 year old in May and would echo everyone. The max we waited with him was 25 minutes, most were under 25 minutes, and we had lots of thing to keep him occupied (a pop fidget toy with bubbles he could pop was a huge hit). One difference: this was his first exposure to rides at this scale and there was a LOT he didn’t want to do. So if a line looked long and he was hesitant, we split up and one parent took the 5yo on it (this explains why the 2.5yo did the tea cups, which had a 5 minute wait, like 8 times). Be ready to bail or stay behind if possible. Also be ready to do rides that are low wait and a big hit multiple times (we did flying carpets right at 8 and they let us stay on for a few cycles). Those repeats kept him happy so that later lines weren’t a big deal. Also be willing to call an audible and head to a walk-on ride out of order, if needed. HS was the toughest park-not tall enough for a lot and lines built quickly.
Awesome!! Thank you! That makes me feel a little better
Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice!
That is so smart! Great advice! And I think my son would love playing I spy. We have an I spy book he loves so great tips! Thanks
Great advice. Thanks! We need to get there earlier than last time…we never made it to rope drop but got there right before park opened. That’s true about the queues being interesting vs lines at homes. Thanks! That encourages me.
Haha so true. As adults we can be worse. I am spoiled from going to WDW about 10-15 years ago in February when we would literally walk on to every ride. Thanks for the encouragement
Those are great tips! Thank you so much! That encourages me!
Thanks for the tips! We are hoping my son is 38" by the time we go so he can ride more like SDD but we shall see. HS does seem to have the least to do for small kiddos.