I have so many people tell me that they will wait to take their kids to Disney when they are older. I recommend going while they still believe in the “magic”! Often, that means taking your preschooler with the baby tagging along.
First of all with young children, plan to travel during the late fall or winter season. Don’t take little guys when it is hot unless that is the only time you can take vacation. The weather is so much better, you will enjoy yourselves more, & the prices are at their cheapest! If you do have to go in the heat, plan on daily breaks at the hotel to rest and cool down and have plenty of snack and drink breaks.
Each park has a baby care center where you can take an air-conditioned break to feed and change your little one. They have changing tables, rocking chairs, high chairs, bottle warmers & microwaves to make your park visit with a little one more enjoyable. The Baby Care Centers are in the following locations:
- Magic Kingdom: Next to Crystal Palace on Main St. USA
- Epcot: Inside Future World Odyssey Center
- Hollywood Studios: Inside Guest Services right inside the main entrance
- Animal Kingdom: Discovery Island behind Creature Comfort store
One of my favorite things is the fact that there are changing tables in all bathrooms – including the MENS! My husband does not like to take the girls into the mens room, so he would take the baby for a change while I took my preschooler to the potty. It was a perfect system while it lasted…now I have everyone in the ladies with me. I always have the potty bag, but back then I would have a baby changing bag. It was a gallon ziploc with 2 diapers, wipes, extra ziplocs for stinky diapers/dirty clothes, extra clothes & hand sanitizer. This way we didn’t have to bring the big diaper backpack in the bathroom each time.
The resorts are adapted to little ones too. There are pack n play cribs in each room and you can reserve a travel crib as well. I prefer these because they are higher up and a little roomier. The Deluxe Villa resorts have kitchens and high chairs which gives you more room to spread out and the option of separating the kids.
Another perk of traveling with a child under 3 is that they are free in Disney. You do not need a park ticket for a child under the age of 3 and they are not considered as part of the dining plan. Your child can eat off a buffet, share with your older child or yourself during meals at no cost. There were table service restaurants that would take an order for my 18 month old without charging us anything additional.
Strollers are definitely a necessity. I like to use umbrella strollers with sun shades. You can always rent from the parks but it is very expensive, you can only use in the park, they are low to the ground and they are very hard. There are various outside stroller rental companies I have used. You book online and they will deliver the stroller to your hotel. I like this best because then you have a stroller to use outside the park. Remember, if you are flying, child care products (Strollers, car seats, pack n plays) are flown free of baggage charge.
Don’t hesitate to take a baby or toddler to Disney! You will be so surprised how many rides they can go on and enjoy along with the parades, characters and other shows.There is also rider swap, so everyone can ride even with baby in tow. My girls both went on their first trips before they were 2 and I never regretted the decision. It was a wonderful first vacation and they love seeing the pictures of themselves so little next to Cinderella!