Disney Family Vacation: Tips For Taking Your Toddler

In our house I feel like there’s always a Disney movie or show being played. We’re either hotdogging to Mickey Mouse clubhouse or we’re singing “Let It Go” with Elsa. So I knew for my daughter’s third birthday that I wanted to celebrate at Disney World. I wanted to take her to see the princesses and all the characters while she was still little and it was all still magical in her eyes.

We spent five days visiting every park, riding every ride, eating all the food and meeting every princess we could. We made amazing memories, but it was very different than previous trips I had taken with my older kids. With them, I planned down to the hour to make the most of it, but with a toddler it’s a whole different ball game. 

From the beginning I knew that I need to have a Disney travel planner. I didn’t want to have to deal with booking fast passes, finding the best resort, or even making an itinerary. I got the fabulous Marissa Prejean of Castles And Cruises Travel to take care of every detail. She even spent an hour conference calling with me to figure out our plan, scouted the best discounts for me and best of all, she didn’t cost me a dime! Armed with what she gave me, blog posts I read through and just asking my friends what their favorite tips were we just kind of rolled with it and it worked!

I took notes on all the things that worked and I’m here to share my favorites with you! 

1. The App Is Life

LIFE. Everything you need you can find in the Disney app. Most importantly in my opinion is the ability to mobile order your food. Yes. You heard that right! Disney now allows you to order your food through the app and cut the line! That means no wasting 30 minutes in line with crying children while you get Dole Whips! 

2. Suckers 

Yes, candy. Nothing helps buy you a little bit of time while you’re waiting in line to see Elsa and Anna better than candy. Buy the fancy princess themed ring pops or the amazing Zollipops and stash them in your park bag in case of emergency! Personally I keep a deep stash of Zollipops because nothing is worse than handing a sucker to your child and having another child be sad watching. I always ask permission and check for food allergies first before breaking them out. 

3. First Aid 

Each Disney park has a fully staffed First Aid station. It’s staffed with nurses and reminds me of a mini ER. I was so impressed with the level of care and accommodations we received while we were there. If you have a child with special needs, Disney is prepped to help you make your trip the best.

4. Stroller Security

I know we’ve all heard the horror stories of stroller being stolen in the park. Or a cast member moving it while you’re on a ride and then you have trouble locating it. I decided place a Tile tracker on my stroller for safety and I tagged our stroller with these cool GPS signs. I also got a bright stroller sign to attach to the handle of my stroller. I designed it with a bright white background and colors so it’s easy to spot in the sea of black strollers.

5. Water Bottles 

We choose to bring in reusable water bottles for our entire family. Water can cost a small fortune in you purchase bottles from the vendors, however you can walk into any quick service restaurant and they will give you ice and water for free. We also stopped at the water fountains to fill them up there. 

6. Hand Fans 

Just moving air when you’re standing in line is a beautiful thing. We were half way through day 3 when my stroller fan battery died so we whipped out the old fashioned hand fans. I purchased 5 at the Dollar Tree before we left just in case. They came in so handy! 

7. Tangible Souvenir

I have taken my older kids once before and they loved pin swapping. But for a toddler that’s really not something they can do and enjoy. I was given an adorable pillowcase that I had the princesses autograph. It’s such a sweet keepsake!

8. Line Games

Let’s be honest. The lines are long and kids are not the best waiters. Some adults aren’t the best either. As much as I’d love to check out and catch up on my Facebook, I really can’t without my kids going crazy. I kept a small arsenal of games and toys to play with them. Flash cards, mini tops, bubbles, I Spy, What Sounds Does This Animal Make, etc. You get the idea! Older kids and adults can be entertained with Disney trivia! 

9. Replacement Snacks 

You just paid the $6 for a Mickey Bar and your kid drops it on the ground? No problem. Don’t get upset or frustrated. They’ll happily give you a new one. Just explain what happened. They see it all the time and they want your child to be happy!

10. Refillable Popcorn

A great tip I saw online was to purchase the popcorn bucket for $10 on your first day. If can be filled in every park for only $2! This was super easy for us as we just tossed the bucket in the stroller or over the handle. Plus we love popcorn so its a cheap snack!

So what tips do you have to share? I’d love to hear them!
Carlie is a divorced mom of five. She moved to Lafayette 22 years ago from a small town in-between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. She has four young adult children from her first marriage that ended after 19 years, Christopher, Cara, Clay and Cade. She has a one year old daughter, Poppy Mae with her significant other, Joey. She is a work-at-home mother who is a freelance writer and photographer/owner of Carlie Anne Collective. Organized chaos and tons of lists are her style. Carlie loves to workout, travel, visit with her friends, bike with Poppy Mae in their neighborhood, attend outdoor concerts, eat out at local restaurants, walk aimlessly through stores looking for good deals and swing in her hammock while chatting about her BST addiction with her online friends. She keeps an active Instagram account as a photo journal of her days.


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