Toddlers first visit

Matthew

Well-Known Member
Hi All...

I am a seasoned WDW visitor however in September we are making our visit with our Toddler who will be 32 months old by then... does anybody have any tips?
 

We love Edna Mode

Active Member
Enjoy! It will be a different kind of trip. Take it slow and enjoy whatever comes your way. One trip, many years ago when my son was maybe four, his nan and I went on all the rides and he sat with my dad in Pecos Bill having a soda and playing a game with a coin. To this day he still remembers what a great time he had with his pop! Anyway, make memories and take lots of pictures . Oh…and pack your patience it can still be pretty humid in September
 
Upvote 0

DryerLintFan

Well-Known Member
Hi All...

I am a seasoned WDW visitor however in September we are making our visit with our Toddler who will be 32 months old by then... does anybody have any tips?

We took our daughter at exactly this age for her first trip and it was really amazing even though we were dumb and went Christmas day 😂

- buy princess dresses from Amazon. They're cheaper BUT also they're stretchy and they're breathable and so they last longer and they're way more comfortable for the parks

- be totally flexible. Have a touring plan but knows that things WILL come up. We rode dumbo and then we tried to ride Winnie the Pooh and it freaked her out so much she not only wouldn't get on that ride but she wouldn't get on any other ride the rest of the trip. It was three days of meeting princesses and watching parades and then we had to take turns doing anything else

-bring twice as many snacks as you think you'll need. Sure you'll buy a lot of food there but when you have a mid ride melt down you'll be so grateful you have a bag of goldfish on you

- have a canvas tote you can leave in the stroller for those snacks. You won't need the stroller the whole time. You can park it and then explore the area so you can leave drinks and snacks in the bottom and not have to lug those around. Saves your back. You want it in a tote because you have to fold the stroller for transportation and keeping it in a bag makes it easy to just pull it out quickly and fold it up

-go in with a game plan about souvenirs. We told A she could have one toy every day and we've kept that tradition through the years and maybe that's expensive but man it's saved us from a lot of whining and begging in the stores and as we've walked by the shops. A lot of parents give their kids gift cards too but I found at this age it was too abstract for her to understand
 
Upvote 0

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
We’ve traveled with kids of all ages. Almost 3 is a great age for a first trip. Take it easy and do the things kiddo likes. At 18 months my daughter LOVED dumbo. So we did that lots of times. At almost 3 my son was obsessed with tower of terror (he was tall), so we did a lot of that. The kids also really really enjoyed boat rides from MK to Fort Wilderness and back. Riding the monorail. Riding the skyliner. So when they seem overwhelmed or too exhausted these can be good.

@dryerlintfan is 100% right about snacks and strollers and stuff, so I’m just going to say follow that lead. Though we prefer a backpack to a canvas bag.

I’ll add that extra (dry) socks and shoes are good. Kids with blisters or soggy feet aren’t happy kids. And a rain cover for the stroller and extra ponchos are helpful in September.
 
Upvote 0

Matthew

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Enjoy! It will be a different kind of trip. Take it slow and enjoy whatever comes your way. One trip, many years ago when my son was maybe four, his nan and I went on all the rides and he sat with my dad in Pecos Bill having a soda and playing a game with a coin. To this day he still remembers what a great time he had with his pop! Anyway, make memories and take lots of pictures . Oh…and pack your patience it can still be pretty humid in September

It's the little things... our son very much likes his one on one time with his parents so I could imagine he would love something like this!

My advice (and I wish we did it with our girls on their first visit)…1 parent goes into the MK near the flag pole and take the picture of their faces upon seeing the castle for the first time…trust me, you will cherish that photo for the rest of your life!!

This is amazing!!! we have friends going with us who don't have kids so hopefully they agree to do this!!
We took our daughter at exactly this age for her first trip and it was really amazing even though we were dumb and went Christmas day 😂

- buy princess dresses from Amazon. They're cheaper BUT also they're stretchy and they're breathable and so they last longer and they're way more comfortable for the parks

- be totally flexible. Have a touring plan but knows that things WILL come up. We rode dumbo and then we tried to ride Winnie the Pooh and it freaked her out so much she not only wouldn't get on that ride but she wouldn't get on any other ride the rest of the trip. It was three days of meeting princesses and watching parades and then we had to take turns doing anything else

-bring twice as many snacks as you think you'll need. Sure you'll buy a lot of food there but when you have a mid ride melt down you'll be so grateful you have a bag of goldfish on you

- have a canvas tote you can leave in the stroller for those snacks. You won't need the stroller the whole time. You can park it and then explore the area so you can leave drinks and snacks in the bottom and not have to lug those around. Saves your back. You want it in a tote because you have to fold the stroller for transportation and keeping it in a bag makes it easy to just pull it out quickly and fold it up

-go in with a game plan about souvenirs. We told A she could have one toy every day and we've kept that tradition through the years and maybe that's expensive but man it's saved us from a lot of whining and begging in the stores and as we've walked by the shops. A lot of parents give their kids gift cards too but I found at this age it was too abstract for her to understand

no princess dresses for us as we have a little boy.. I am a planner so it will be difficult to be flexible lol but in reality I know that when a toddler is concerned the best laid plans can go up in smoke in an instant! I'd not considered extra snacks for ride lines etc... thats a good shout! and i don't think you are unreasonable with the souvenir's and I like the one a day aspect of it!

We’ve traveled with kids of all ages. Almost 3 is a great age for a first trip. Take it easy and do the things kiddo likes. At 18 months my daughter LOVED dumbo. So we did that lots of times. At almost 3 my son was obsessed with tower of terror (he was tall), so we did a lot of that. The kids also really really enjoyed boat rides from MK to Fort Wilderness and back. Riding the monorail. Riding the skyliner. So when they seem overwhelmed or too exhausted these can be good.

@dryerlintfan is 100% right about snacks and strollers and stuff, so I’m just going to say follow that lead. Though we prefer a backpack to a canvas bag.

I’ll add that extra (dry) socks and shoes are good. Kids with blisters or soggy feet aren’t happy kids. And a rain cover for the stroller and extra ponchos are helpful in September.

I'd not thought about doing the boat rides etc... simple things that a toddler will love or are more just a bit of downtime! Good call on extra socks and shoes!!

Some great advice and greatly appreciated from everybody... honestly so excited about it!!
 
Upvote 0

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
I don't know where you'll be in the potty-training journey, but stop frequently for restroom/change breaks, and keep extra supplies/clothes on hand. Even if your child has been out of diapers for months, the excitement of Disney can easily distract them from "listening to their body." In fact, stop frequently for everything -- a cold drink, a snack, to rest and people-watch, and to take pictures/have pictures taken, as those images will be extra-precious for this trip.

Don't splurge on any big extras -- dinner with Cinderella, Dessert Parties, etc. -- on the first visit. Everything you do in the parks will already be new and incredibly exciting for your first-timer, and scheduling expensive stuff that they'll never remember and that you'll feel obligated to attend even if it no longer fits with your plan on a given day, won't be fun for any of you. As others said above, flexibility is key.

If you're worried your child will be scared by some attractions, take a progressive approach: if they can do Pirates or it's a small world, then try Peter Pan. If they like Peter Pan, try Dumbo. If they can handle Dumbo, try Goofy's Barnstormer, then 7DMT... and along those same lines, know ahead of time which attractions they can't ride due to height requirements, so you can steer their attention away from them at the parks. ;)
 
Upvote 0

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Others in the past have said one of the biggest factors having a successful trip with a toddler is keeping them on as close a schedule as you can to what you do at home. Meaning dont try keeping them up at late hours because you want to do it all, dont miss out on scheduling naps, and pushing them past what they can handle. Another thing is to take it slow and watch how you introduce the toddler to new experiences and watch their reaction to see if they are afraid or bothered. Loud noises, scary costumed characters, crowded situations, and other things not experienced before can be traumatic for some children.
 
Upvote 0

HoustonHorn

Premium Member
My #1 piece of advice - presuming this is your toddler's FIRST visit and not ONLY visit - is that you know your child, and you know when (s)he is about to melt down. If you see the signs, just take a break. Pushing a child to their breaking point, whether it be because you really want to do something, or you really want to see them do something, or because you paid for it, is only going to make him/her miserable, you miserable, your spouse miserable, and everyone around you miserable. None of that is worth it.

Think of it this way - the fewer things you do this trip just means the more "firsts" on your next trip!

Also, I second the suggestion of doing the first haircut at Harmony Barber Shop - we did, and I will cherish that forever.

Have fun!
 
Upvote 0

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
So we went with our kid's sleep pattern. We did not set any alarms and wake them up just to get to rope drop. Conversely, if they get up early and go to bed early, leave the parks and put them to bed. Toddlers will get over stimulated much easier then the rest of us. They need more frequent breaks from rides. Go on a ride then take a break, have a snack, diaper change(or toilet), rinse and repeat. Make sure that they drink often. Let them spend the time watching the ducks or in the play areas. I can not stress enough how much food matters. I know that it is vacation and most people eat worse when on vacation, but a toddler is very much "you are what you eat". Snacks are fine, but they still need a healthy diet. That is probably the number one thing to help your child stay balanced. The goal is for everyone to have a good time, not how many rides that you can get on in a day. That is the key to a great vacation. Have fun.
 
Upvote 0

Vacationeer

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
GReat advice here already. 15 yrs ago we took our son at 2.5 and 3.5 yrs old and we were noobs. I remember lots of stops at benches and going back to the room for naptime. And lots of Planet Pizza which was a noob mistake, lol. Comfortable clothes & shoes with backups for sure. We watched firework shows further back so bangs weren’t as strong. Stroller fan and plenty of water.

Switching off parties has worked well for us, like when with other family we might split up and say we’ll meet around noon for lunch somewhere or 2pm to do Pirates together. We even switched off when it was just us and our son. I like that over sticking together for everything.

Have a great trip! Kinda jealous. I love the tip of getting a first expression picture of them arriving in MK.
 
Upvote 0

cmb5002

Well-Known Member
We've taken our kiddo at several times and there are lots of great tips in this thread. One I haven't seen to limit your dinner reservations if at all possible. I know Disney wants you to plan everything to the nth degree, but you never know when your kid will konk out from exhaustion. We've had two dinners at raglan road where she fell asleep during the music and a few more where we had to wake her up early from an unexpected late afternoon nap for dinner. Not a happy camper.
 
Upvote 0

DisNerd86

Member
We've taken our kiddo at several times and there are lots of great tips in this thread. One I haven't seen to limit your dinner reservations if at all possible. I know Disney wants you to plan everything to the nth degree, but you never know when your kid will konk out from exhaustion. We've had two dinners at raglan road where she fell asleep during the music and a few more where we had to wake her up early from an unexpected late afternoon nap for dinner. Not a happy camper.
Cant second this one enough. We've taken our little one 5 times starting when she was 5 months, with trip #6 coming this summer for her 5th birthday. This summer will be the first trip for our new baby (9 months) as well. We basically pick one night to make a dining reservation, mid trip to get an evening break from the parks. But otherwise table service dining is out. It makes rolling with a toddler schedule too challenging, she never gets much out of the dining experience (compared to what we might enjoy as adults), and she typically wont eat a whole table service meal anyway so we feel like we've wasted money. I always have an uncrustable and a bag of pretzels or chips in my bag for her and we munch our way through the trip on quick service and snacks!

I also think a mid-day break is a must with toddlers (and doesnt hurt for adults). You get out of the park during the busiest time and everyone gets a chance to rest. When our kid was 3 and under, that was time for nap. Now that shes out of naps, its a pool break for her and alternating naps for mom and dad.

Bring some noise cancelling headphones for fireworks if you're child gets spooked by loud noises. And have a plan for stroller shade! Our first trip with our daughter (at 5 months old), the stroller shade we brought was basically useless in the mid-morning sun and my mom spent $25 on an Epcot F&W apron to tie to her stroller to keep the sun off her legs.

Our last trip (last summer with a newly 4 year old and 6 month pregnant mom), we ended up spending 2 hours on the playground in Epcot close to Test Track. That was a first for us and an absolute delight for everyone! So I guess I echo what everyone else here has said - go with the flow and let the kid drive the itinerary, you will have unforgettable moments in the most unexpected places!
 
Upvote 0

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Back
Top Bottom