Walt Disney World may be every family’s dream vacation, but visiting the Mouse with young children can fray even the strongest nerves. Here are some Disney World travel tips for making a Disney vacation with young children truly magical!
- plan your Disney vacation during a slow season
- stay in a Disney World hotel
- take breaks
- take it slowly
- bring snacks and drinks with you
- underestimate your walking time around Disney World
- visit more than one Disney park per day
- forget to make Disney World restaurant reservations
- skip the stroller
Since you are traveling with young children, take advantage of the fact that they are not yet in school. Travel during the slower times of year such as the week of Labor Day, early October, or early January. You will have lighter crowds and shorter wait times – always a plus with young children!
Staying a few miles off property may seem like a convenient and less expensive alternative, but you will want to stay on property. With the near-constant Disney specials, the cost ends up similar to off-property locations. Also, the convenience of being able to run back to your hotel for a nap or dip in the pool is priceless. Even a hotel just three miles from Disney can mean 45 minutes of travel time from the park to your room!
Don’t attempt to get to the park when it opens and stay until closing. You will have tired, cranky children (and parents) who are not enjoying their trip. Plan to visit the park in the morning, return to your hotel for a few hours to nap and relax and then head back out around dinner. Plan a day or two where you sleep in rather than rush out at the crack of dawn. Remember, this is a vacation not a marathon. Everyone will be happier if you make time to relax.
You are not going to see everything, so don’t even try. Disney is huge (roughly the size of San Francisco). You can’t see it all in a few days, or even a week. Choose a few attractions that are “must-sees” for your family, and then just go with the flow. Whatever you don’t get to see you can experience on your next trip!
Disney World allows you to bring snacks and drinks in your bag. Carrying your own food supplies not only saves money but will allow you to instantly feed or water your little ones in order to avoid meltdowns.
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to travel around Disney World. As I mentioned, Disney World is roughly the size of San Francisco. It takes time to get from one place to another. You need to allow at least an hour to get from any theme park to any resort (an hour and a half during peak times) or from one park to another.
As noted above, it can take quite a while to travel from one place to another. It is best to plan to stay in and around one Disney park each day. That way, you spend more time in the parks rather than on the busses!
Disney dining locations are extremely popular and often book solid months in advance. This is true for most of the restaurants, not just the Disney character meals. Be sure to make all of your table-service dining reservations well in advance. Otherwise, you could end up with hungry children and nowhere to eat!
The average Disney visitor walks six to ten miles per day. That’s a lot for little legs! Even if your little one no longer uses a stroller in everyday life, rent one at Disney World. You will all be glad you did!
There is nothing quite like seeing the looks on your children’s faces when they see Cinderella’s Castle for the first time. Utilizing these simple tips will ensure that your Disney World vacation with your little ones is filled with magical memories!