Hey all! We've had a whirlwind month so far, and I have a little catching up to do. At the beginning of this month, we went to Disney World!!
This was a trip I had been dreaming about for a long time. I loved both Disneyland and Disney World so much as a kid, and as an adult I was counting down to the time when I could take my own kids. Since Avery is still so little, Brandon and I went back and forth about this trip for a while. We knew that Avery wouldn't remember it, and had gotten lots of warnings from friends/family about managing a toddler in a crowded and overwhelming place like Disney World. On the other hand, we were eager to take her now so that we could take advantage of the things she'll only enjoy at this age like the characters and kiddie rides. Plus, kids under the age of 3 get into the Disney parks for free. We decided not to delay the gratification and go for it. And so happy we did.
We went 5 days and got the basic package that allows you to visit one park per day, which was perfect with a toddler. Here are some other things I learned about taking a toddler to Disney World...
1. A good quality stroller is a lifesaver. We almost took our umbrella stroller to Disney World for its portability, but SO glad we changed our minds and lugged the big stroller along. It really was a lifesaver. It had a much better sun cover, which effectively kept Avery cool and shaded much better than the flimsy one on the umbrella stroller could have. The fact that it reclined back was also amazing, because it allowed Avery to nap in the stroller while we took turns riding the big rides, rather than having to take her all the way back to the hotel every afternoon. PLUS - see how none of us are carrying a diaper bag in the photo below?? Thank youuuuu stroller storage space.
2. Buy the $22 bubble blower. Everything at Disney is expensive. We are not usually ones to splurge on toys/trinkets, but we were pretty drunk on the Disney kool-aid that first day and ended up buying a $22 bubble blower for Avery. To our surprise, it ended up being the best $22 we spent in a long time. Avery never seemed to tire of that endless stream of bubbles the wand produced. It easily kept her entertained for 20+ minutes at a time while we took long walks between rides or when we were standing in line. Plus, the kids around us got a kick out of it, which made Avery even more inclined to turn it on and make friends throughout the trip. If you splurge on anything at Disney World, seriously, buy the bubble blower for your toddler.
3. Take the grandparents along. We were really fortunate to have my parents along for this trip. It made everything 10x easier, since the ratio of adults to kids was 4:1. The 6 hour plane flight was a breeze, and so were the bus rides every day into the parks, since Avery got to hop back and forth as she pleased between grandma/grandma and mom/dad. Plus, when she napped during the day, Brandon and I took turns with my parents going on the bigger rides. Not to mention it was so much fun to share Avery's unmatched joy and excitement with the whole family. Best decision ever to go with the parents.
4. Avoid the long lines. Standing in line for 90 minutes with a toddler is not my definition of fun. Luckily, most of the attractions had relatively short wait times for us since we went in early May. If you happen to have kids that are below school age, most definitely go to Disney World during the off season. Avoid spring, summer, and winter break time like the plague. Also, utilize the 3 Fast Passes you are allotted per day. Bonus tip - you can get a 4th Fast Pass once you've used up your 3 for the day, so plan ahead and schedule your 3 Fast Passes for the morning/early afternoon so that you can squeeze in a 4th one. I reserved our Fast Passes weeks in advance, and made sure to choose the most popular attractions (i.e. anything Frozen related) and the rides that all of us could go on. Beyond that, we just chose not to wait in any line longer than 30 minutes when Avery was with us.
5. Splash pads are your friend. I guess this one depends on the time of year you go, but in early May the midday heat was already killer. We quickly discovered that each park has a splash pad and letting Avery cool off in them was part of the daily routine. It made a world of difference in her mood to not be hot and sticky, and made for a much more enjoyable experience for all of us.
6. Get groceries delivered to your room. I got this tip from Brittany's amazing blog: www.ahealthysliceoflife.com/need-know-first-family-trip-disney-world/. We used Garden Grocer, which is an Orlando-based grocery delivery service. The fee was only $14, which was an incredible deal, I thought. I ordered us a bunch of breakfast foods and plenty of snacks and water to last us the whole trip. Plus some milk for Avery at night. Saved us a lot of time and money.
Although it can be daunting to take a toddler to Disney, I definitely recommended it. We all had such a blast, and Avery spent pretty much the entire time in an elated state. There are SO many toddler friendly things to do, much more than I had anticipated. With a little preparedness, it really wasn't stressful at all.
I’m Betty and I live in the beautiful pacific northwest. I'm a mommy. Vegetarian. Wife to a meatatarian. Pediatric physical therapist. Outdoor enthusiast. Enjoyer of fitness/healthy living. Even bigger enjoyer wine and chocolate lava cake. And hoping to find some balance between it all.