Disney with a Little One

My family has been visiting Walt Disney World at least once a year literally my entire life, and we’re still continuing the tradition! I’ve been on Disney trips with family and friends of all ages, so I felt a little more prepared to bring a little one to Disney than most people probably do…and it was still overwhelming at first!

We’ve got a few trips with a little one under our belt, so I’m finally ready to write a *definitive* guide on Disney with a little one! So far, we’ve brought Eliza at 8 months, 12 months, 17 months, and 19 months, and they’ve all been really fun trips. Yes, it’s sometimes exhausting and hard, but seeing their face light up when they recognize Mickey, Moana, or Eliza’s personal favorite – Goofy, is WORTH IT!

Rides for Little Ones

So you’re in Disney with your Small Fry…what can you do? All of these rides have no height limit, so you can ride them with your little one and/or if you’re pregnant! Magic Kingdom is definitely the most kid friendly when it comes to rides, but there’s plenty to do in every park.

Magic Kingdom

  • AstroOrbiter {yes, really}
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Hall of Presidents
  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Under the Sea with The Little Mermaid
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • + all of the character cavalcades!

Epcot

  • The American Adventure
  • Awesome Planet
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing Along
  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  • Imageworks – The “What If” Labs
  • Impressions de France
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Kidcot Fun Stops
  • Living with the Land
  • Reflections of China
  • SeaBase
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Spaceship Earth
  • + all of the character cavalcades!

Hollywood Studios

  • Disney Junior Dance Party
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Vacation Fun – An Original Animated Short with Mickey & Minnie
  • + all of the character cavalcades!

Animal Kingdom

  • A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King
  • Affection Section at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Conservation Station at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug {maybe don’t do this one if you or your kid aren’t fans of bugs, the dark, or loud noises}
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • TriceraTop Spin
  • Wilderness Explorers
  • Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • + all of the character cavalcades and animal habitats!

What to Pack + What to Leave at Home

Things That You Actually Need

  • A REALLY good stroller | My current favorite is the Zoe Tour+ Classic! It’s light, folds with one pull, and has a ton of great accessories – like a storage bag with straps for gate checking on flights, rain cover, snack tray, etc.
  • A diaper bag/backpack that can be rained on | We’ve used the Freshly Picked Classic for a few trips now, {and honorable mention goes to the Classic Park Pack because fanny packs are both cool again and incredibly convenient}
  • A Pack n Play | We use this one because it’s cheap, super compact, and sets up in like 2 minutes.
  • A sound machine | We have used this Hatch literally since day 1, and Eliza it’s a fan of total darkness, so the light is helpful for that. We also have this travel sound machine that we’ve used in the parks when we needed it.
  • A thin/packable rain jacket or poncho | Because it will likely rain at some point during your trip but you also don’t want to have to hold them all day long either.
  • A rolling suitcase | I have this set from Calpak. I love them because they hold a ton, roll easily while you’re holding a kid, and having them all match makes it easier to spot them.
  • A travel bag | These are my go to options for plane travel bag and car travel bag. I also use the plane bag as a pool/beach tote because it’s waterproof and basically indestructible.
  • A refillable water bottle | Eliza’s + mine that we’ve used to 2 trips now.
  • Comfy clothes and shoes | obviously.
  • Extras | 5-6 diapers a day + wipes, snacks, hand sanitizer, meds for adults + kids {Tylenol, Motrin, etc}, a few Ziplocks, a few garbage bags, a Sharpie, rechargeable batteries for your phone, and our new favorite must have – LiquidIV. I’m a big fan of the immunity blend + John’s favorite is the energy blend.

Things That You Don’t Actually Need That I Definitely Packed on Our First Trip

  • Duffle Bags. Just don’t do it. You don’t have enough free hands for a duffle bag when you’re also holding a kid.
  • An entire jumbo box of diapers and multiple containers of wipes
  • 4x the amount of food/snacks that you or your kid normally eat
  • 6 outfits per day for your child {or for you}
  • Toys from home. Bring a favorite stuffed animal or two, but don’t bring a ton.

Things to Remember

Here’s the thing – it’s going to be a fun trip, but there are also going to be hard moments. Something is going to be forgotten in the room, it will probably rain, you’ll miss a bus by 10 seconds, and nap time may or may not hit right in the middle of trying to get on a ride. We had a really rough few hours in Magic Kingdom this past trip, but we all recovered and still had a great rest of the day! But you have to go into this trip {and every other trip that you take, for that matter} with the mindset that stuff will hit the fan, but it’s going to be an overall good trip IF you can roll with it and recover when it gets bad. I’m telling you, it’s worth it!

My Top 3 Tips:

  1. You know your kid better than anyone else. Don’t push their {or your} limits because you will all be miserable.
  2. Take an obnoxious amount of photos.
  3. Take the trips and make memories even if they “aren’t going to remember it” because YOU WILL!

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