I recently read an article by Kimberly Martin which gives 10 great tips on how to have great time at Disney World pre-school aged children. I thought this list was one of the best I have seen. If you would like to read her entire article please click here…if not I have paraphrased it below for our readers.
Kimberly’s 10 Tips
1) Give your child a small present every morning they wake up such as a small trinket from a Disney Store (keychain, wallet, flashlight, etc) or a new Disney bathing suit. This make sure your child starts the day in a great mood, and it helps curb the need to make a lot of purchases at expensive gift shops throughout the day.
2) Rent a stroller. Even if your child is a little old to be riding in a stroller (7 years of age) it is a good idea to get a stroller. The average adult walks 10 miles a day at Disney so you can imagine how tired little people get half way through a day of walking from ride to ride.
3) Be prepared to move at your child’s pace and slow down. There is so much for children to see and do at Disney World don’t ruin special moments by rushing the family from one ride to get on another ride…take your time and let your child take it all in.
4) Each Disney park has great playgrounds for your child to enjoy. It might be tempting to rush by these playgrounds on your quest to ride the next adventure, but trust us your kids will have more fun and be better behaved if you allow them some free time to burn off a little energy.
5) Bring an extra set of clothes. All children like getting wet but they probably don’t like walking around in wet clothes. We suggest brining an extra set of shorts and a t-shirt for them to change into if they do happen to get soaked on one of the rides.
6) Don’t push your children…respect their boundaries. Some children go through phases where they are afraid of characters…don’t get upset with them if they do not want to hug or stand next to a character.
7) Pin trading is a great activity for children over 5. A starter set can be bought at the parks for $25.
8) Take a break from the theme parks. You don’t have to spend every waking moment at the theme parks. Almost every hotel in Orlando has a great pool, spend a morning or afternoon relaxing.
9) If your child has not rode many roller coasters before we suggest riding them in this order: Goofy’s Barnstormer, Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Expedition Everest, Primeval Whirl, and finally Rockin Rollercoaster. This list goes from the very tame Goofy Barnstormer to the most extreme Rockin Rollercoaster, if you don’t follow this list you run the risk of making your child scared and then they won’t want to get on another roller coaster the rest of the vacation.
10) Make sure mom and dad have fun too. This is a family vacation and you don’t have to be totally selfless while at Disney World.
A few tips from Orlandovacation.com I would like to add to this list:
A) Souvenirs- Disney executives are really smart…you can’t leave any major attraction at Disney World without walking through a gift store. Tell your children before the vacation that you will get them one really nice souvenir at the end of the trip as long as they behave. By offering one nice souvenir at the end, the kids still have fun running around the gift store and checking everything out. If they really want something remind them that they can put this on their list and you will come back and get if for them if they really want it. Chances are in an hour or so they will really want something else. Hopefully this tip keeps you from having to carry around a bunch of trinkets all day.
B) Break Up your day- We like to take our kids to the park early in the morning and stay til just after lunch. Then we head back to the hotel to swim and relax for a couple of hours. Then we head back to the theme parks around 4:30 or 5pm. You will probably find between 5pm and 7pm that the lines for the rides are least busy. By sticking to this schedule we usually spend 4 or 5 hours at the park in the morning, take a 3 hour break, and then head back to the parks in the evening for 3 or 4 hours. This gives us 8 to 9 hours at the park which is plenty of time especially if you have young children.
If you are traveling with small children we have more tips for you in our planning section, please click here for more tips http://www.orlandovacation.com/planning-help/young-children/. We also welcome your comments below, if you have tips for visiting Disney World with young children that will help other guest please share them with us.