Tips on Experiencing Disney World with Kids

8:16:00 PM




As I mentioned in my previous post, we have returned from Disney World! We had a blast, and now I have some tips and ideas for you if you are taking the kiddos. This is what worked for us, so keep in mind we had two families, with 4 adults and 6 kids ranging in age between 2 and 9.

General:

  • Try to make it to rope drop, especially at Magic Kingdom. It is worth it.
  • The wild animals at the parks are not wild. Many animals came right up to us. There were many instances where ducks walked between our legs or even pecked our feet in an effort to enjoy our snacks. And Lil Bit actually pet a squirrel. It was sitting right on the pathway and she reached down before I could tell her NO! Please be aware of this and keep a better eye on your kids than I did.
  • Chances are that you will misplace something. Maybe even a child. (We briefly lost 2 of the 6 with us.) Do no panic. Teach your children what to do when they are lost. Show them what the cast member's name tags look like. Write your phone number on their backs or use temporary tattoos. Put your address on items that might be lost.
  • Be ready for all bags to be searched, because you must go through security.
  • If something isn't working right, tell a cast member or go to Guest Services. The first day, my ticket wouldn't issue Fast Passes. I had it reissued. It still wouldn't do fast passes (and it wasn't demagnetized). So in order to fix the issue, they just issued me one of the new (RFID) tickets. Problem solved. They really want you to have a good time, and will work hard to help you out.
  • If you choose not to bring snacks, that is fine (but really expensive). But please bring water bottles for your little ones. They don't have the reserves you do.
  • If at all possible, travel with another family. Rider switch passes are great, but it's more fun when you can ride with other people.
  • Plan your day. Know where you want to go, and try not to go back and forth throughout the park. And know where the bathrooms are.

Magic Kingdom:

  • Go to Belle's Story Time first, if you have any desire to do it at all. Send runners for another ride you want to do to get fast passes; but as of right now, Story Time with Belle does not do fast passes.
  • Look on the map to figure out where fast passes are given out. There are several rides that have the fast passes separated from the ride itself (Little Mermaid ride, Winnie the Pooh ride, Meeting the Princesses and Meeting Mickey are a few I noticed).
  • Plan on 2 days for this park. Seriously. Plan on 2-3 "lands" per day.
  • I don't care if your child is big enough to ride something. Think hard about whether they can handle it emotionally. One of the twins was definitely not ready to ride the Haunted Mansion; but the other twin laughed and clapped to the music the whole time.

Epcot:

  • This park is a lot of walking. If you don't do a stroller for every park, plan on this one if you have little legs.
  • Most preschoolers and early elementary schoolers are going to be more interested in Future World than in World Showcase. In our experience, late afternoon is less busy for Future World.
  • Feeling thirsty? Go to the Coke sponsored area for free tastes of different drinks around the world. It is Innoventions West.
  • The Radiator Springs play area is perfect for little ones to blow off some steam.

Hollywood Studios:

  • If you have children between 4 and 12 years old, and they are remotely interested in Star Wars, go immediately to the line for Jedi Training. It's a lot of fun, but fills up very quickly. We were there for rope drop and went straight to where you sign up, and the earliest slot was 4:10. This was on a slow day.The kids have to be present, though.
  • While you are waiting in line for the Jedi Training, get fast passes for Toy Story Mania. This is a very busy ride but lots of fun for everyone.
  • The Great Movie Ride can be frightening to the kids...be sure to remind them that it's all pretend.
  • If you have a preschooler, do not miss the Disney Junior show. The children with us were not familiar with the shows, but loved it anyway!

Animal Kingdom:

  • Kali River Rapids is fun for everyone who is big enough for it. You will get wet, and you have to wear shoes. I wish I had brought flip flops for that ride!
  • The twins didn't enjoy this park as much as the others. There didn't seem to be as much for them to do as in the other parks.However, the Boneyard in Dinoland was a lot of fun. Be sure to go to the back where you can excavate "fossils"...every child that came with us had fun with this one, from ages 2 to 9.
  • The character meet lines were the shortest I saw in this park. Perhaps it was because they are less "in-demand" characters.
And one more tip: have a good sense of humor, and make sure everyone has plenty of rest. It is vacation, after all. I hope this list helps you if you're planning a trip. I know it's kind of a random list, but it's items that helped us (or we wished we knew)!

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