If you’re considering bringing your toddler to Disney World, and you’ve discussed it with others, then you’ve likely heard the opinion many have that theme parks are best suited to older kids. The reality is that Disney is a magical experience for kids and adults of all ages – it just takes a little extra planning. Check out this great resource, How to do Disney World with a toddler or Big Kid, or read our favorite tips below.

Keep your expectations in check

orlandovacation_toddler-carousel-disney-worldOne of the simplest, most important things you can do to ensure you’re maximizing everyone’s fun is to keep your expectations in check. If you’ve traveled to the Disney parks before then you should be sure not to expect to cover the same amount of ground that you’ve covered on trips in the past. If you’ve never visited before, then you should know that you’re not going to see everything there is to see in this single trip. Instead, pick a few must-do attractions and consider anything else you’re able to do a bonus.

Get ahead of the game and get there early

The absolute best way you can take advantage of as much magic as possible is to get to the parks early. This doesn’t just mean getting there within a half hour of park opening, it means that if Magic Kingdom opens at 8:00 am you should try to be there by 7:15. Why? Because you’ll be at the front of the line when guests are allowed in, because often the park opens earlier than advertised, and because you can cover a ton of ground before the crowds start rolling in around 11:00 am. Plus, most toddlers are at their very best first thing in the morning after a good night’s sleep.

Keep an eye on what your kids can handle

You’ll find plenty of guides that outline exactly what kids of specific ages can handle, and Disney has rules about height requirements for many rides. However, don’t assume that if there is no height restriction on a ride, and one guide or another says it’s good for toddlers, that it’ll automatically be good for your toddler. Many rides take place in the dark and have loud noises that could be frightening for your toddler, even if it’s a safe ride for them. Take a look at ride-through videos on YouTube to get an idea of whether or not your child will be comfortable.