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Planning our first trip to WDW with a toddler

Jabeth

New Member
Hello everyone! My wife and I are new this forum. We are big Disney fans and we’re finally able to make a trip out to WDW!! We’re so excited, we are planning to go June 2022 and hope to book this week. I wanted to get some advice on this board regarding my idea for this trip because it will be our first trip and our son will be 1 ½ years old. Since we’ve decided to go to WDW, I have been watching every channel I could on youtube about going to Disney World, what to ride, where to stay, eat, etc. From watching all these videos I’ve decided tot plan our trip a certain way. We’re taking a baby so I know this will impact what we can ride on and we’ll be going during a busy time of the year. To maximize our fun I told my wife I want to plan our trip as if we have been there a million times like regulars. I know that sounds funny but I’ll explain.

We are Disneyland regulars and former passholders since we live on the west coast. We’ve been there so many times, often times our favorite visits are the ones where we just relax and enjoy the atmosphere, people watch, listen to the music, drink coffee and go on the Mark Twain and just soak the park in. Maybe go on our favorite rides but really just relax and enjoy our favorite place in the world. I want to enjoy WDW like this.

I really get a feel for Disney World like this. I want to see the sights, not let them pass by cause we’re trying to rush to the next e-ticket ride, sit and listen to the music while we eat our snacks on the Mark Twain or even the peoplemover(we don’t have that on the west coast😄). We’ve even planned out our ten days. Five days for the parks(1 day for each park and a fifth for our favorite one) and five days to enjoy our resort and visit the other resorts on property( I’m almost more excited to see the resorts than the parks😂). We’ll still get on rides and especially the must do’s( I’ll need some advice on the ones we can’t miss).

Overall I really want to experience the magic of WDW. I know it’s so much different than what we have here at Disneyland. I have had family and friends who go to WDW and rush so they don’t get to experience the full magic. They have said its overrated which has kept us from saving and going. So I ask WDW regulars, what do you think about our idea for our WDW trip. What is some advice you can give us knowing how we want to approach our trip.? What are some must do’s at the parks, areas with great atmosphere and some advice taking a toddler?
 

disneyworlddad

Well-Known Member
I think you have the right mindset of going with a toddler. There will be plenty to do and you will hit the big rides. My kids are 6 and 4 now but we started going when my son was not even two. We were out of staters then but now live within a couple of hours and are passholders. We have found we really like the atmosphere in Frontierland/Adventure land/Liberty Square area, and they all connect. Parades come through there. Splash/Big Thunder/ Pirates/ Jungle Cruise/Haunted Mansion rides and the classic Country Bears, Tiki Room and Hall of Presidents. Or take a trip on the Liberty Belle. Usually you can find some open space and the music is almost always relaxing, at least to us. Also can meet some characters in the area.
 
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Jabeth

New Member
Original Poster
Thanks, we don't have a lot of those attractions at Disneyland (Country Bears, Hall of Presidents) but they seem baby friendly which is great! If I may, how were your experience going when your son when he was a toddler?
 
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belledream

Well-Known Member
With that many days, both park and non park days, I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time. We were park commandos until kids, and we made a conscious effort to slow things down with our 15 month old and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the World through his eyes. That meant being more excited to ride Pooh than Space Mountain. :p (which we were still able to sneak in during a stroller nap). Hopefully you’ll be able to do the same, but you sound like you are going in with the perfect mindset.

For us, it was really about the atmosphere and just being there. Some of our favorite memories from that trip weren’t at the parks, but at our resort, at the pool. Some things he enjoyed that weren’t necessarily on the “attractions list” were monorail watching at Epcot... and riding the boats across the Seven Seas Lagoon for some resort hopping.
 
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Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
First off, welcome to the boards!! You will find tons of useful info by staying in touch!! My only 2 suggestions are, you didn't say if you were renting a car or doing DME, but if you are renting a vehicle, you might want to consider leaving the stroller at home and stopping at Target or Wal Mart on your way and buying a cheap umbrella stroller to use while you're there...at the end of your trip, you can choose to bring it home with you, or possibly giving it to a guest on your last day. It might save you $$ in the long run depending on whether your airline is going to charge you for taking it. The other IMPORTANT tip I can offer is I know that your son will be young, but, before you enter the actual park, one of you go under the train station and scope out a spot to take his photo when he sees the castle for the first time...you may not thing it's that important, and especially that he's so young, but trust me, you will cherish that photo FOREVER!!

You've got the right mindset, take in all the sights, enjoy the small stuff, take advantage of the rider swap, and don't sweat the small "hiccups" that will happen. When you're in the MK, take the boat over to Tom Sawyer Island...it's a great place to recharge your batteries, and your son might even be able to nap a little bit! It's usually quiet and has a open air covered area so you can relax a little bit. Take LOTS of photos, and have a GREAT time!!
 
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Jabeth

New Member
Original Poster
First off, welcome to the boards!! You will find tons of useful info by staying in touch!! My only 2 suggestions are, you didn't say if you were renting a car or doing DME, but if you are renting a vehicle, you might want to consider leaving the stroller at home and stopping at Target or Wal Mart on your way and buying a cheap umbrella stroller to use while you're there...at the end of your trip, you can choose to bring it home with you, or possibly giving it to a guest on your last day. It might save you $$ in the long run depending on whether your airline is going to charge you for taking it. The other IMPORTANT tip I can offer is I know that your son will be young, but, before you enter the actual park, one of you go under the train station and scope out a spot to take his photo when he sees the castle for the first time...you may not thing it's that important, and especially that he's so young, but trust me, you will cherish that photo FOREVER!!

You've got the right mindset, take in all the sights, enjoy the small stuff, take advantage of the rider swap, and don't sweat the small "hiccups" that will happen. When you're in the MK, take the boat over to Tom Sawyer Island...it's a great place to recharge your batteries, and your son might even be able to nap a little bit! It's usually quiet and has a open air covered area so you can relax a little bit. Take LOTS of photos, and have a GREAT time!!
We plan on using the the buses or skyliner(we're considering Caribbean or Art of Animation), however renting gives more flexibility with a little one and I really like your stroller tip 😄 I read your tip for taking a picture of our baby with the castle to the Mrs. and she just about started crying 🥲
 
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Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
We plan on using the the buses or skyliner(we're considering Caribbean or Art of Animation), however renting gives more flexibility with a little one and I really like your stroller tip 😄 I read your tip for taking a picture of our baby with the castle to the Mrs. and she just about started crying 🥲
We wish we would have known about that tip when ours were little...but we DO have that memory etched in our minds!! You'll NEVER get that opportunity again!
 
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Smiley/OCD

Well-Known Member
If you're looking to go "less expensive", I would look at POP...unless you're going for a suite, then AoA is the best option...the LM rooms at AOA are the furthest from the main hall and parking...that LOOONG walk after a day at the parks can be brutal. The rooms at POP, while the same size as the LM rooms at AoA are nicer with a shorter walk, and you can STILL use the skyliner.
 
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carriebeth

Well-Known Member
So some people like taking cheap strollers like the umbrella type. But I find that thought horrifying. So I have 8 children . I have gone to Disney with every combination or baby, baby and toddler, baby toddler, preschooler, teenager and me pregnant...well you get the idea. I think the youngest baby I have taken was 4 weeks old. Many times we have gone with two double strollers or a double and a single etc. we go more than once a year and each family trip is 2 weeks long. When you go for a long time you want a stroller that is easy to push and maneuver one handed. I am just a slight bit shorter than 6 ft and those little cheaply strollers are never tall enough for me. After the trip where the airline completely destroyed my gate checked 2 week old very expensive new stroller we no longer fly with strollers. We rent from places like kingdoms strollers. They have nicer brand strollers and drop them off at your resort at a time convenient for you and pick them up in the same manner. In the whole scheme of vacation money it’s not that much to add on that expense. One year we were happily strolling through magic kingdom when a tire suddenly went flat and sure enough a pin collector pin must have been lost by someone on the ground and went right though our tire. A quick call to the rental company and they met us with a new one in basically minutes. No charge or anything.
At the airports I would use a baby carrier or two often ( one on the front of me one on the back!) and that worked out perfectly.
 
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Gaston's gal

Well-Known Member
When we took our daughters when they were toddlers, our favorite memories are watching their expressions. Whether they were seeing a parade, meeting a character, riding a ride, their joy and excitement is what I remember. Try to just enjoy that and you will have a fabulous time.
For you and your DW, see what you think about the "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Its a Small World" rides, since they are different from DL. If y'all get to ride, "Tower of Terror," see if you like it in comparison to "Guardians of the Galaxy--Mission: BREAKOUT" ride.
 
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MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
I would suggest trying to make time for the things that are not available in Disneyland. We go to WDW fairly frequently and were able to go to Disneyland only once. I found it awesome to see the rides, etc. that weren't available at WDW.

I don't know if you guys were going to buy park hoppers, (if things return to precovid functioning), but with 10 days there I would consider that and instead of 5 "resort days" I would think about a couple of resort days and perhaps some shorter park days. There actually is quite a bit to see and you will have that rushed feeling if you want to see this, this and that!
 
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Jabeth

New Member
Original Poster
I would suggest trying to make time for the things that are not available in Disneyland. We go to WDW fairly frequently and were able to go to Disneyland only once. I found it awesome to see the rides, etc. that weren't available at WDW.

I don't know if you guys were going to buy park hoppers, (if things return to precovid functioning), but with 10 days there I would consider that and instead of 5 "resort days" I would think about a couple of resort days and perhaps some shorter park days. There actually is quite a bit to see and you will have that rushed feeling if you want to see this, this and that!
We've talked about possibly doing more days at the parks to see the attractions we don't have a Disneyland and there are a bunch. We just also want to take advantage of the activities the resorts have to offer as well as look around and see where we want to stay for our next trip.
 
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DiSnEyF@n

Well-Known Member
I recommend Swan and Dolphin. What I like about those resorts is that I can walk to 2 of 4 of the Disney parks (Epcot and HS) or take a boat to either of the, as well. My husband absolutely hated folding up the stroller with after taking everything off of it and then we’re holding a bunch of stuff, holding a baby and a folded up stroller. The S&D is a wonderful hotel in the heart of the Epcot resort area and at a great rate comparable to Caribbean.
 
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dryerlintfan

Premium Member
I recommend Swan and Dolphin. What I like about those resorts is that I can walk to 2 of 4 of the Disney parks (Epcot and HS) or take a boat to either of the, as well. My husband absolutely hated folding up the stroller with after taking everything off of it and then we’re holding a bunch of stuff, holding a baby and a folded up stroller. The S&D is a wonderful hotel in the heart of the Epcot resort area and at a great rate comparable to Caribbean.

So my best advice is to get a cheap stroller with a storage bucket and bring along a study tote bag that fits in it. That way when it's time to fold up at the end of the day, all you have to do is pull the tote bag out and viola.
 
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