Saturday, January 02, 2016

Disney World with a Toddler || Must-Haves & Tips

Going to Disney World with a toddler has been the most amazing experience as well as the most stressful. If you're prepared everything will be smooth sailing. We've been able to experience Disney in two completely different settings this year. Once in the Summer and once in the Winter although this doesn't make a huge difference in Florida since it really is hot year round. It's still a huge deal to be prepared without feeling like you have a thousand things stuffed in a stroller...
||1. stroller fan | 2. backpack | 3. camera | 4. sunscreen | 5. water bottle | 
6. wipes | 7. hand sanitizer | 8. kids backpack | 9. mickey/minnie ears | 10. rain cover ||

Now for my must-haves I made a small list, this is aside from the toddler must haves such as snacks, a change of clothes, diapers/pull-ups, ointment, changing pad, etc. Pretty much your everyday diaper bag uses. 

- Stroller Fan. The heat in Florida is intense, especially during the summer! Expect it anywhere from 80 to high 90s. Humidity is also super thick and sticky, this is perfect for the stroller to keep your little one cooled while you're on the move or waiting for anything.

- Backpack. Easy to carrying even if you're holding a baby or toddler and great to fit everything you need. It's easy to bring on to any rides so you don't have to leave it in the stroller. I usually keep all my important stuff in here, like camera, phone and wallet and leave the baby bag in the stroller.

- Camera. Point and shoot is your friend when it comes to this. We all want great pictures but usually those great ones happen when you once arrive, after a couple hours everyone is hot and sticky and the cute hair is up on a pony tail and no one cares to pose. Snap fast and good quality pictures of your little ones enjoying themselves without pulling out a huge SLR.

- Sunscreen. HUGE DEAL! Again Florida's heat is unreal and if you're lucky and it's a clear day that sun will burn! I love the 70+ stick for my son, it makes it super easy to apply to his face and shoulders while the spray lets me get his legs and arms.

- Water Bottle. This isn't just for your little one but for you as well. Disney lets you get free water if you ask for it and yes they have water fountains all throughout the park. Spending $3 a bottle of water is not worth it. Keep the kiddos hydrated.

- Wipes. Not diaper wipes you need face and hands wipes. These and the buy buy baby brand are my favorite. Not only do they smell great but are perfect to get sticky hands clean and sweat off.

- Hand Sanitizer. After eating or after the bathroom this comes in handy anywhere you go. I always have one in my bag as well as my diaper bag for me and even if my son and husband need it. It's a park there will be germs everywhere.

- Kids Backpack. Smaller version of a diaper bag I usually have a changing pad, a bib, diapers, 4oz ointment cream, hand wipes, diaper wipes, change of clothes and sometimes I'll even have some summer pjs for the ride back home in case he falls asleep. This is easier to leave in the stroller since it doesn't contain anything extremely valuable and can easily be replaced if lost or stolen.

- Mickey/Minnie Ears. Disney pride all the way! I have my custom Minnie ears which always get's so many complements, my son has his custom name Mickey ears and my husband finally joined us with his Darth Vader Mickey ears! 

- Rain Cover. "It says 90 degrees and sunny all day" Don't ever believe Floridas weather. It will lie and play tricks on you. It will be hot and sunny just like it can be raining like there's a hurricane outside and within 5 minutes be right back to sunny and hot. If you want to stay dry as well and your things, bring one! Don't spend at the park, be prepared.


Tip #1: 
I would recommend going to Disney World during the Winter rather than the Summer but if you do go during the Summer avoid 4th of July weekend. It is so packed that lines for even baby rides are ridiculously long and it won't be enjoyable to wait 2+ hours for a 5 minute ride.

Tip #2: 
Bring comfy shoes. You'll be walking A LOT throughout the park and even standing waiting whether it is for rides or food. Even if you wear sneakers have another pair of comfy slide on shoes or flats. Even our comfy shoes can get uncomfortable after a long time of walking.

Tip #3:
If it's a particular occasion you're going to Disney for be sure to tell someone so they can direct you or give you a pin! For example my son's first time at Disney they gave him a "My First Time" at Disney pin which I will save for his memories. Also as we were going into parking one time we asked if we had to pay ($20 for parking) since we already had bought an event ticket, well we did have to however the guy at the gate saw my son and said "well if you promise to buy him ice cream I'll let you in right now with no fee". How awfully nice? of course Jax got some ice cream.

Tip #4:
If you're traveling into Florida and don't have a stroller or didn't bring one don't rent the Disney strollers, they are hard and uncomfortable for the kids. Instead we rented from Kingdom Strollers, you can pick from their select strollers which are comfortable, spacious and their canopies are large which was one of my top concern for a stroller. They deliver it to your hotel and you can leave it at the desk the same way without a worry. Absolutely worth it.

Tip #5:
Bring snacks for your kids and yourself. I don't bring a lot of food that can spoil fast but I do bring things like veggie sticks, goldfish and dried fruit. Sometimes those lines can be hectic and once hunger strikes specially for the little ones it can be a tad stressful to get some food and fast. It also saves you a few bucks.

Tip #6:
Try to break up the days for each park. It may sound easy to do it all in one day including a park hopper but it is impossible. We went during the summer and the lines were extremely long, we didn't get to enjoy the entire park because we wanted to get to another park before they closed and I felt like we missed out on a lot. Last time we went was in the Winter, we only took on one park (Magic Kingdom) and without a hurry we got to the whole park and rode a ton of rides! I didn't feel the pressure to get on to the next park.

Tip #7:
If you go with just your small family get a photopass so you can all be in the pictures. Sometimes I look back and see only pictures of me and Jax or just my husband and Jax and kick myself for not having a cute family picture in Disney, I told myself I'll get it next time. Not only do you get great souvenirs but they are by professional (no lop sided photos) with amazing backdrops.

Tip #8:
As stressful as any situation can be don't forget you are on vacation! Enjoy yourself, let you and your kids have fun, get dirty and enjoy the treats they don't get everyday. Things like that make moments that much more memorable for each and everyone. 


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