Disney World with Toddlers

As you probably already know, our family recently went to Disney World for our one-year-old son's first visit. I was so excited (like Christmas morning excited!) but also a bit nervous about a few things -- the heat, the long days and whether he'd cry when meeting his favorite character ever, Mickey Mouse! Well, the days were hot and long but they were so much fun and full of such great memories. S loved meeting Mickey and it was my husband and I who cried tears of joy during our meet and greet with Mickey at Town Square Theater inside Magic Kingdom.

Here are some tips if you are headed to Disney World any time soon:

When to Go

Growing up my family went in July. That is peak season, in both attendance and heat, though, so I do not really recommend it. Instead, we have gone in mid-late August recently and I recommend going then if you want to visit in the summer. If you are interested in traveling to Disney soon, you can look up the ticket prices to get a sense of what days, if any, during your visit would be peak days. Ticket prices are more expensive on peak days.

The Disney World app, which you should definitely download, will have ticket prices sorted by time of year, number of days, parks, etc. I discuss the app in more detail under "What to do."

What to Wear
We all wore comfortable clothes (i.e. t-shirts or tanks and shorts), as do most people who visit the Disney parks. We made sure to bring hats for our son to wear to keep him protected from the sun (in addition to sunblock) and to put comfortable footwear on him since he would likely want to run around at some points.

What to Bring

First and foremost, we purchased an extra car seat for my parents' car and for traveling. This saved us a $100 car seat rental fee. 

  • Stroller + Baby Carrier 

Keep in mind the NEW STROLLER RESTRICTION -- each stroller must be less than 31 inches (78.74cm) wide and 52 inches (132.08cm) long. 

We brought our lightweight travel stroller during our first visit with S, which we used throughout our vacation. This latest visit, we brought our TwinGroove Ultralight Double Umbrella Stroller. This saved us $26 ($13 per day for Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom). 

We also bring a baby carrier to wear our little one on the trolleys from the parking lots and throughout the parks when he wanted to be carried.

  • Bookbag(s) + Lunchbox
My husband and I each wore a bag - a diaper bag backpack and a multi-pocket backpack (similar). Inside the diaper bag were the essentials that we always bring with us, especially extra bottles, sunblock and diaper cream since the days would be long, hot and rain showers were likely. Inside the backpack were our son's Mickey lunchbox and frozen waters for us to drink when they melted.

The lunchbox contained a bottle of milk in the upper compartment and food pouches in the lower compartment. We froze water bottles overnight and put some in the lunchbox to keep the milk and food cool. When our son needed more milk, we bought it from the Starbucks in the parks (the only place we were able to find milk). After putting the milk in a clean bottle, we got ice to put into the milk container to keep any extra milk or food pouches cool.

Disney's Baby Center
If you forget any baby essentials, including formula and pouches, be sure to visit a Baby Center store to find most of what you would need.

What to Do

  • Download the Disney World App

  • Be patient. Don't rush. Realize your baby will need naps (though our kiddo kept his super short to only 15-20 minutes each, probably because of all the excitement surrounding him). If you want a clean and quiet place to relax, nap, nurse, feed or change your baby's diaper or clothes, be sure to check out the Baby Center mentioned previously. Each park has one and they are super convenient and pleasant to be in. 
  • Baby Swap Also, take advantange of Baby Swap so you can enjoy some rides, too. Most of all, have fun!!! You are sure to have amazing memories--soak it up! 

When to leave
This is completely up to you. We have done different things. Our 2017 visit, we stayed at the parks until pretty late, including until after the Magic Kingdom fireworks. We saw many families with small children still there. What I did at Magic Kingdom that I thought was helpful was wipe our baby down and change him into pajamas so he could be comfortable during the car ride home. Our 2019 visit was affected by heavy rain and lightening, as well as R feeling under the weather, so we left the parks early (before fireworks).

My husband and I are well aware that our kids will probably not remember their first times at Disney but we will surely never forget it. I can't wait to show them videos of their reactions when meeting characters because it is

 priceless. Our whole time at Disney was.


  1. So many great tips! We loved visiting Disney and are hoping to make it back there next year. Xo Sierra Beautifully Candid

  2. These are great tips! We plan to take E to Disneyland next year, so I'm definitely keeping this handy!

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