So, we just got back from Disney World and it was AMAZING!!! While we were there, we got a lot of comments that we were brave to be there with a (crazy) toddler and a (still pretty small) baby. And while yes, there were a few moments of “OH MY GOD IT’S SO HOT AND EVERYONE IS CRYING AND NEEDS A DIAPER CHANGE!” overall- it wasn’t hard at all and I would do it all again in a heartbeat (or at least, next year!)
Throughout our week in Disney, I started rounding up some tips that really helped us out and made our trip so much easier. Fortunately, Disney World caters to families directly so there are lots of little gems to make everything easier for families.
- Changing tables in the men’s bathrooms: Moms- you know this is a game changer!! I loved that if both kids needed diaper change, we could each take one and be done with it much more quickly. On that note though, we tried to go into a family bathroom or “companion” bathroom, and noticed they don’t have changing tables… so we weren’t able to just “hunker down” for a second in the family bathroom and get them both done at once.
- Baby Care Centers: This was a game changer for me. Each Disney park has a Baby Care Center, where you can nurse, warm bottles, buy anything you might have forgotten (Tylenol, wipes, diapers, formula, pacifiers, toys), an area to watch tv or play with kids, and a huge changing area. I especially loved the nursing room because there were 4 rocking chairs, so I could nurse Tino in peace, indoors in the AC and not worry about smothering him in the heat with a nursing cover. The only downside is these centers were usually at the front of each park, so if you were at the back of the park and baby needs to eat, you may not want to trek all the way up to the front of the park.
- Fast Passes: This is a must-do when you first decide to visit Disney! 30 days before your trip (or 60 if you are staying at a Disney resort) you can make a My Disney Experience account and start figuring out your Fast Passes. These passes allow you to come back during a designated hour to skip the line and ride the ride quickly. You can Google rides with long wait times to determine the rides you want to ensure you get to go on. Especially with littles, you don’t want to be standing in line for an hour or more. Now, you can only get 3 Fast Passes at a time. However, once you use those 3, you can go to a Kiosk (or use the My Disney Experience app on your phone) to add on more Fast Passes for later that same day.
- Child Swap: If you’re traveling as a small group or just your family (mom, dad, kiddos, or however your family works :)) then Child Swap is going to be your go-to! We were lucky in that Mimi and Pa (grandparents) travelled with us and sat with the littles on the rides they couldn’t go on, but if you don’t have that luxury, you can have one person go through the line, ride the ride, grab a Child Swap ticket, and then when they get off, the other person slides through the Fast Pass line with that ticket.
- Connect credit card to Magic Bands: If you are staying at a Disney resort, you’ll receive a Magic Band, which is your room key, park tickets, and can even be your credit card. You can link it up to one card of your choosing, and that way you really don’t need to carry anything with you!
- Favorite Shows during the hot times: We loved going to shows during the day, especially because it was SO DANG HOT the whole time. So, we mapped out some of our favorite shows, including: Disney Jr. show, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, For the First Time in Forever: Frozen Sing-A-Long (all at Hollywood Studios), Short Film Festival, Gran Fiesta Tour, Journey Into the Imagination, The Seas with Nemo and Friends (all at Epcot), Lion King, Finding Nemo the Musical, A Bug’s Life (Animal Kingdom).
- Free water: Every Disney restaurant and snack booth will give you free cups of ice water, as many as you want, so stock up!!! We took a big water jug and just filled it up with ice water throughout the day.
- Rig your stroller: We have a Graco Ready2Grow stroller, and Cele did such an amazing job of packing and prepping us each day. We took a backpack/diaper bag for the kids, a cooler for snacks and milk for the baby, and another backpack with fans for the strollers, extra shoes for Cele, and other random needs. He was able to use Caribeners to hook up the backpacks and we fit the cooler under the seats in the canopy. The way he hooked it up, we were able to collapse the stroller with the bags still on it, so we could take it on the bus in one piece. This was key since I was holding the baby and Anissa’s hand, so I wasn’t really very helpful with the bags. Check out these pictures of our stroller!
- Take a rest day: This year, we didn’t do this, and our brother-in-law and sister-in-law swore we should, but I think we definitely would next year. So, Jaclyn and Roly, you guys were right!! A rest day is so so needed. We plan to take a rest day or two throughout the week to enjoy the resort, catch up on sleep, and just rest! We were so worried about doing everything and seeing everything that we didn’t even take a breather this time.
- Schedule smartly: This year, as I’ve said before, was so stinking hot!! Looking back, we kind of wished we had planned everything to where we stayed at the pool all morning and then headed to the parks in the evening, when it’s not so hot. Now, this will only work if you are planning to stay late at the parks- otherwise you won’t have enough time for everything!
If you’re planning your trip now, try to keep these tips in mind to hopefully help you have an easier and more enjoyable trip! Anything you’d add to the list?