My mom and I decided to take my kids (5 & 1.5) to Magic Kingdom for a day trip. To say I was a little hesitant would be appropriate, I wasn’t sure how well my 1 year old would do. But we more than survived, we conquered! Here’s my tips for a great trip.
1. Go without a plan!
Say what?!? Yes! You read that right. We’ve been to Disney 100s of times and we always plan. This time we just decided to wing it since we were taking a 1 year old and it went PERFECT!
However, be sure to read up on the fast pass rules since they have changed twice in the last 4 or so years.
2. If you drive to the park make sure you take a picture of the parking lot you’re in. I’m usually really good at remembering stuff but after 2 hours of sleep, a 5 hour drive, and walking around Magic Kingdom all day my brain was toast. I was very happy to have that picture.
3. If you have small children RENT THAT STROLLER. My kids are not ones to normally ride in one but I knew I didn’t want to a. carry either one all day or b. try to keep up with both of them in that crowd. They both immediately got in without a fight and continuously rode all day with a happy attitude. There is so much for them to look at it was easier for them to take it all in if they weren’t having to try and keep up. We took a blanket for when either one of them fell asleep, which did happen. The blanket also came in really handy waiting for shows to start, it provides a little cushion for us to sit.
4. When I scheduled fast passes I didn’t try to go in order with the park. We walked all over multiple times, but everything we rode we had a fast pass for. We never waited in line. It was worth the extra walking! As soon as we would use the last one I was looking for the next one while we were walking to the ride or waiting on it to get started. And if you check for a fast pass and don’t see one in the time frame you want – refresh the page. Cinderella meet and greet had been completely booked ALL DAY. We were getting off of The Little Mermaid when I checked and there was one available that started in 10 minutes! We hopped on the carousel to fill the void and then met Cinderella and Elena.
5. Do not buy souvenirs until the end of the day. They are annoying to try and keep up with. Jason talked me into a sword on the third ride we went on. That sword caused me so much headache, what little boy can resist swinging around a pirate sword? Most definitely not Jason. I told him 5 million times to put the sword down, stop swinging it, quit shanking your sister. Not to mention we had to take it on every ride there after and make sure it didn’t get left because let’s be real, the kid would forget his head of it wasn’t attached. There is a huge gift shop with every souvenir you can find through the park right by the entrance. On our way out we went in and found what they had picked out.
6. If you need a break, head for the hotel. We had ridden everything the kids would ride and needed a break from the heat, so we headed for the car and used it as an opportunity to check into the hotel. Had we stayed til 9 for the fireworks like planned leaving would have been miserable because of the traffic and the fact we were already exhausted. So we got checked into the hotel, freshened up, and headed for dinner. If you plan anything, plan dinner reservations. I called the two places we wanted to eat and couldn’t get in. So we walked across the boardwalk at the hotel (we stayed at the Dolphin) and grabbed something quick while we watched the fireworks from Epcot. Which ended up being the best decision. The kids were as exhausted as we were and we were all ready for bed.
That’s what worked best for us. Had we had more people or a wider age range of kids it probably wouldn’t have worked that well 😉
* I am not a travel agent nor am I affiliated with Disney in any way.