If you’re currently weighing the pros and the cons of bringing a baby or toddler to Disney, we sympathize with the struggle. On the one hand, there’s guaranteed smiles and the promise of quality time together at the most magical place on earth. On the other hand, there’s the reality that your kids probably won’t even remember the trip—including the tantrums they threw along the way. It turns out Disney actually understands the challenges parents face in planning a park visit. So they’ve created a Disney Parks Moms Panel full of parents who have been there, done that, and are eager to help your family pull off the perfect trip.
We spoke with one of those moms, Ashley P., who’s a bona fide Walt Disney World specialist. From logistics (can you rent a stroller?) to insider insights (FastPass+ is a must), this mom of three shares the Disney tips that keep her family coming back.
What’s the ideal age for kids to visit Disney World? How young might be considered too young?
The magic of the Walt Disney World Resort is for all ages! I’ll never forget a trip my husband and I made together before we had kids. We were sitting behind a family with a 6-month-old baby on “it’s a small world,” and she was just beaming throughout the entire ride. We loved watching her expressions. Of course she’d never remember that trip, but her parents will always remember the joy they shared together as a family on that vacation. We’ve taken our own children to the Walt Disney World Resort as infants, toddlers, preschoolers and now as elementary students. Each phase has been special in its own way! If someone is looking to visit for a “one-and-done” vacation, ages 4 to 6 are perfect because kiddos in that age range typically meet or exceed most height restrictions, but there’s certainly no age that’s considered “too young.”
What’s the best time of year to visit Disney World?
My family typically travels to Walt Disney World Resort during the summer months so that no one is missing school. It’s a great time of year to enjoy the “you-may-get-wet” attractions and the incredible Resort hotel pools. If your little ones are young enough that you don’t need to consider school schedules, fall is an ideal time to visit. The weather is still warm, but not unbearably hot, and the crowds are typically light. Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a special event offered in the fall months, with trick-or-treating and exclusive entertainment.
Which park is best suited for toddlers and preschoolers? What are some of the best activities to do there, especially for little ones who need to run around and burn off energy?
All four of Walt Disney World Resort’s theme parks appeal to toddlers and preschoolers, but Magic Kingdom Park is an absolute must-visit for little ones. There are tons of family-friendly attractions at Magic Kingdom Park and many, like Peter Pan’s Flight, are classic Disney favorites that everyone will enjoy. Attractions like Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh are especially fun with interactive queue areas to keep kids entertained and active while they wait to ride. My kids love to visit Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station for a chance to burn off energy and cool down. Did I mention the awesome entertainment at Magic Kingdom Park? Little ones are completely mesmerized by the fabulous daytime parades and the incredible nighttime fireworks spectacular.
Where are the best places to stay with young kids?
Walt Disney World Resort hotels are second to none. With unique themes and exclusive benefits, staying at any Walt Disney World Resort hotel allows a family to be completely immersed in the magic during their vacation. Value Resorts like Disney’s Art of Animation and Disney’s Pop Century Resort are super-kid friendly with character-themed rooms and pools. My family typically stays at a Moderate Resort (Disney’s distinction for a middle-of-the-road price range), like Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort or Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, where our family of five can comfortably (and affordably!) fit into one room. Deluxe Resorts that are located on…