Walt Disney World with Kids Under 2
When I first informed my family & friends that I would be taking a trip to Walt Disney World with my 1 year old son, people looked at me like I was insane! I've been going to Walt Disney World yearly since I was a child, I was not going to let my infant stop me from going on my favorite annual vacation.
Now, I admit there were times during our vacation that I wished I had listened to my family & waited to take my son on this trip. However, for the most part, our 2 week trip was perfect. My biggest advice is to plan, plan, plan. Don't just show up & expect everything to be okay.
I've come up with a few tips from my personal experience that will help you & your family travel successfully with a young child.
1. My #1 tip is to schedule some down time. Don't try to do everything! Plan on returning to the hotel each afternoon for a nap, swim, or just a break from the hustle & bustle of the parks. (This is why I also recommend staying on Disney property).
2. The parent swap program is awesome! If you have a young child who is too young to ride certain attractions, one parent can wait with him/her in line. The other parent can ride the attraction & when they are done, the parent who waited first will have the opportunity to ride the attraction without having to go back to the end of the line. All of the cast members (employees) know how this program works, so use it! It allowed us to still enjoy the adult rides without fighting over who would skip out on certain attractions.
3. Find out if your child is afraid of the costumed characters...if they are, do not force them to take a picture with the characters! You are only going to make your child more terrified and they will end up crying and being fussy for a long period of the day. Take pictures from a distance if you must have them. Otherwise, wait until they are older to enjoy the characters. If they show signs that they are interested in the character, you can approach the character alongside your child to make sure they are okay.
4. Bring your own sunscreen, sunglasses & hats. Do not wait to buy these items in the park! They are not cheap!!
5. Pack a diaper bag with a few snacks that your child loves. There are tons of vendors throughout the parks, but the food is expensive. Have some juice, fruit snacks & crackers on hand for times when your little one is hungry or needs a quick pick me up.
6. WATER! I can't say this enough! Make sure your little ones are hydrated!! The Florida sun is hot & it doesn't take long to dehydrate little ones. Bring your own water in the diaper bag...bottles of water throughout the park are not cheap.
7. Try to just relax & enjoy the time with your family. My husband & I used to zip from park to park before we had our son. Our first trip with our son was much slower paced, but it was just as fun & just as memorable. As I said earlier, don't try to do everything. Just capture the memories and enjoy the simple moments, such as sitting on a park bench, watching your child splash around in the water, viewing the fountains, etc.
Walt Disney World is a magical place that can be enoyed by people of ALL ages. Many people will tell you that you are crazy & that your child isn't going to remember the trip since they are so young, but just remember that it is possible to have an amazing trip that will create memories for a lifetime, regardless of the ages of your children.