A magical Disney vacation sounds like the perfect family getaway but you may have some reservations about heading to Disney with a toddler. These tips will help you make the most of your time at Walt Disney World Resort.
Is Toddler-hood the Best Age for Disney World
One of the biggest questions many parents ask is, “What is the best age for a Walt Disney World vacation,?” and the answer may surprise you. No matter your child’s age, there’s always a good reason to visit Disney. If you have a child under the age of three, you’re not required to purchase park tickets for them. Similarly, if you’re flying into Orlando, you can have your child sit on your lap and save money on plane tickets. This is one reason budget-minded parents often opt to visit Disney with a toddler.
Navigating Attractions When Visiting Disney with a Toddler
Because of the Rider Switch Service offered at Disney, having a young child along can work in your favor. If an attraction offers the service, simply check-in with a Cast Member and let them know you want to use Rider Switch. At least one adult in your party can stay behind with the young children. Once their ride is over, the remaining visitors who want to ride can go on the attraction and bypass the line while an adult from the first group stays behind with those not riding.
This is a great way to ensure everyone in your party has a good time. There is one caveat to this arrangement. If there are just two parents visiting Disney with a toddler, you’ll each have to ride separately. Sometimes you want to experience the ride together as a couple and Rider Switch eliminates that option. For die-hard Star Wars fans wishing to experience Rise of the Resistance, however, it likely won’t matter.
Top Things to do at Disney with a Toddler
Aside from the Rider Switch benefit of going to Walt Disney World with a toddler, there are several other reasons why there is no best age for Disney World. There are plenty of things to see and do for babies and toddlers at the Magic Kingdom.
Getting photos taken with Mickey and Minnie are at the top of many parents’ Disney bucket list. Preschoolers will love staying cool at the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station in Fantasyland, and what toddler wouldn’t love a ride aboard Walt Disney World Railroad?
Is the Animal Kingdom a Good Park For Toddlers
The Magic Kingdom tends to get top billing when families are planning to visit Disney with a toddler. The Animal Kingdom is also a great choice for young children. It has a bit of a more relaxed vibe than the Magic Kingdom and offers families an opportunity to explore and meander at their own pace.
Toddlers love climbing, playing and digging and there’s no better place than in The Boneyard at Dinoland USA. Kids can dig and hunt for fossils in the fossil dig site or get out some energy on the nearby playground equipment. Families can enjoy musical stage shows featuring their favorite characters, like Nemo and Simba. Kids will delight in seeing tigers and water buffalo along the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Cast Members make a significant effort to ensure families visiting Disney with toddlers and babies experience a bit of magic and pixie dust during their visit. You never know when, where or how it’s going to happen, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised when it does.
What is There to do at Hollywood Studios for Toddlers
As mentioned above, being able to take advantage of Rider Switch for Rise of the Resistance is a huge plus when visiting Disney with a toddler, but Hollywood Studios has quite a bit to offer for younger children.
Toy Story Land will make you and your children feel like you’re right in the middle of a Toy Story movie. If you have a child who is a Cars fan, the 10-minute Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy show is short that’s engaging for even the shortest of attention spans. Between Cars, the Frozen sing-a-long (a family favorite), and Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage, you’re sure to find an attraction that appeals to all ages.
When to Visit Disney with a Toddler
You may already be convinced that your child is now at the best age for a Disney World vacation. You likely wondering when you should take this magical family vacation. One of the best times to visit Walt Disney World is during the off-peak time when public schools are in session. If your schedule allows and you’re able to go to Disney with a toddler who is not yet in school, consider forgoing a Summer trip and waiting until the Fall.
Visiting Disney During the Holiday Season
The park crowds typically thin out after school has started for the year, but then start to get increasingly busy leading up to Halloween. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) is a special event that is only accessible with a special party ticket. The period after Halloween and just before Thanksgiving are great times to visit Disney, as is immediately after Thanksgiving weekend. Once you start to get into the holiday season and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party (MVMCP) another special ticket event, the crowds increase exponentially leading into the new year. It’s also advised that visitors check the various Disney crowd calendars online for the best days to visit each park after you’ve chosen your intended vacation period to ensure a less crowded visit.
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One concern families often have when planning a Disney vacation with a toddler is that their child won’t remember the trip. While your two-year-old may not remember hugging Mickey Mouse or practicing her curtsey with Minnie, the photos you have of those special moments will be more than worth their weight in gold.
Walt Disney World provides such a wide variety of attractions, experiences and special moments that there’s never a best age for a Disney World visit. Whether you travel to Disney with a toddler, or when your child is a teen or young adult, there will be magic to be found and fun to be had.
When you’re planning your vacation, make sure you check out these free things to do Walt Disney World. Not only is it great to save money, but a lot of these ideas are also great ways to slow down which is always helpful with kids of any age.