Many people ask the question: Is it worth it to take my toddler or baby to Walt Disney World? The truth is, one of the best things about Disney World is that it caters to all ages. Not to mention, children 2 and under are free. You should take your little ones to Disney World! You can make your trip a little easier by following these tips.
Know what rides they can ride
It is important to know what rides your child can ride. I recommend measuring them ahead of time and checking out the height requirement list on Disney’s website. Fortunately, there are dozens of attractions at Disney World that do not have any height requirement.
In Magic Kingdom, Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world”, Jungle Cruise, Mad Tea Party, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, and Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid have no height requirement.
In Epcot, Frozen Ever After, Gran Fiesta Tour, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, and Spaceship Earth can be ridden by little ones.
In Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Na’vi River Journey, and TriceraTop Spin are on the no height requirement list.
In Hollywood Studios, the only ride without a height requirement is Toy Story Mania.
In addition to rides, some of the parks also have playgrounds that allow kids to run and play. The Boneyard at Animal Kingdom; The Laughing Place, Tom Sawyer Island, and Swiss Family Tree House at Magic Kingdom; and Space Base at Epcot are a few of the playgrounds that your little kids are sure to enjoy. Also, there is a playground during the queue for Dumbo the Flying Elephant, so children can play while they wait to ride.
Utilize Rider Switch
If you have bigger kids or you yourself want to ride one of the rides that your little one can’t be sure to take advantage of Rider Switch. To do this you first check with a Cast Member at the entrance to the attraction you would like to ride with your entire party. At least one adult member of your party and those who will not be riding will be issued a Ride Switch entitlement by the Cast Member and be asked to wait in a designated area. This group is referred to as “Party 2. Those riding first or “Party 1” wait in the queue and ride the attraction. After riding, Party 1 locates Party 2 and takes over supervision of the non-riding children/guests. Party 2 rides the attraction without having to wait in the regular queue a second time. Disney now specifies that if the person in Party 2 waited alone with the non-riding guests, the number of people who may join him or her and ride again is limited. Don’t expect multiple people to be able to ride again with Party 2.
Catch a show to cool down (or nap)
Florida is hot most of the year, and the heat can be draining for everyone. There are plenty of options to enjoy an air-conditioned break with your little ones (they may even nap during some). At Magic Kingdom, look out for Country Bear Jamboree, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, or Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room if you’re looking to entertain your littles. If you want a show where they might get a nap in, head to The Hall of Presidents or Carousel of Progress. At Epcot, check out any of the shows in the pavilions throughout the World Showcase. At Animal Kingdom, A Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King is indoors. It’s Tough to be a Bug is also indoors, however it has been known to scare little ones so you may want to avoid it if your child fears the dark or bugs. Finally, at Hollywood Studios MuppetVision 3D, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-a-Long Celebration, and Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy are all sure to entertain your little ones while giving them a break from the heat.
Take a mid-day break
This is especially helpful advice if you are staying on-site. It is not a bad idea to head back to your resort during the hottest or busiest time of the day. The parks are typically busiest between 11 am-2 pm. You can cool off in the pool, or give your child a chance to nap and recharge so you can head back and make it through fireworks. If you don’t want to head all the way back to your resort, you can also try to snag a lunch reservation at one of the resort restaurants near Magic Kingdom (Polynesian, Contemporary, or Grand Floridian). This can also give you a break from the heat and crowds.
Know where the Baby Care Centers are and use them
There are Baby Care Centers located in each of the 4 theme parks. They offer a private nursing room with rocking chairs, a changing room, high chairs, a kitchen with a microwave and sink. You can even utilize the on-site shop to purchase formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, or other necessities. In Magic Kingdom, the Baby Care Center has moved from its previous location. It is now located in Tomorrowland near Carousel of Progress. In Epcot, you can find one near the beginning of the world showcase on the Mexico side, near The Epcot Experience. In Hollywood Studios, the Baby Care Center is located at the entrance to the park. Finally, at Animal Kingdom you will find one located on Discovery Island near Creature Comforts.
Take those little ones to Walt Disney World! Even if your child won’t remember their trip, you will. If you follow these tips, you can make your trip less stressful and ensure you and your children have a magical time.