If you’re planning a trip to Walt Disney World with children, I have some tips and advice for parents with babies, toddlers, tweens, and teens. Many of my friends have said they would rather wait until their younger children are a little older before visiting WDW. What I usually tell them is that Disney World is the best family-friendly Resort in the world. Children of all ages are able to experience the magic of Disney through special programs, activities, and entertainment. Here are some examples.
1. Baby Care Centers
All four Disney World theme parks have Baby Care Centers. Here are some of the perks offered at these very special centers:
Baby Care Items For Sale – Carnation Good Start formulas, Gerber foods and juices, Huggies diapers and wipes, bottles, nipples, lotions, sunscreen, etc.
Kitchen Area – Microwave, counter space, and a small sink
Private Nursing Room – Wooden rockers, side tables with electrical outlets
Changing Room – Large changing tables and a unisex restroom
Feeding Area – Several wooden highchairs, as well as other chairs for parents to use while bottle feeding
Welcome Room – Television and small table and chairs for your older children
2. Bed or Nap Time
Walt Disney Resorts offer in-room complimentary cribs or Pack ‘N Plays for your toddlers. Several Disney Resorts have suites, with a separate bedroom space which is great for that afternoon nap, while parents and other siblings can play a game or watch a Disney movie. Take advantage of your Resort amenities, and plan ahead for your baby or toddler.
Most families with babies or toddlers have invested a lot of money in their handpicked strollers. Our advice to anyone with young children would be to rent a stroller while at Walt Disney World. There are several options for stroller rentals. Pick up an official Disney stroller at one of the parks or at Disney Springs. The longer you rent one, the more affordable they are! Also available is a service called Orlando Stroller Rental which will drop off the stroller of your choice in perfect condition, including a cooler and rain cover. The stroller will be completely set up at your Resort Concierge for when you arrive. They will also pick it up at the end of your stay.
4. Backpacks & Snacks
Walt Disney World’s policy for bringing in outside food is very simple: Guests are allowed to bring food items, such as snacks or foods that do not require heating. Any drink items, such as bottled water or juice boxes are also permitted, but absolutely no glass containers of any kind are allowed. Toddlers, strollers, and snacks are a great combination for enjoying all Disney World has to offer for the younger set. The ability to bring snacks makes Disney World a very desirable location for parents and children!
5. Rider Switch Service
For those parents who have babies or toddlers, this service is for you! With Rider Switch (also known as Rider Swap), one adult can wait with the non-rider (or riders), while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. When the other adult returns, they can supervise the non-riding guests, and the waiting adult can board the attraction without having to wait in the regular line again. **Rider Switch is available at select attractions at all four Walt Disney World theme parks. Check with a cast member to see if Rider Switch is offered at the attraction in question.
We all know that our youngest visitors can get a little fidgety in between naps, snacks, and mealtimes, so here’s a suggestion. Find a good place to sit and watch a parade. The Walt Disney World daytime parades are perfect for those toddlers, who enjoy music, colorful floats, and watching and meeting a lot of famous Disney characters. These parades are a great way to get the little ones involved in the Magic and Fun of Walt Disney World.
7. Children’s Activity Centers
These Disney inspired Children’s Activity Centers are for those guests who are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort. Children from 3- 12 years of age can enjoy arts and crafts, watch Disney movies, play with a variety of toys, video and board games in a secure, supervised environment. There are four of these centers located across Walt Disney Resort, and can be reserved in advance. There is a 2-hour minimum, and rates and hours of operation vary by location. Toddlers and tweens alike will have plenty to keep them entertained, and dinner and snacks are provided.
8. Teens and Tweens Activities — Pool Time
There are two water parks at Walt Disney World: Typhoon Lagoon, and Blizzard Beach. At Typhoon Lagoon, your teenager can even take a surf lesson, so let your teens have a day enjoying either of these two parks. If you’re not cool with them being on their own, park yourself at a shaded area, and tell them to report in periodically. Also, most of the Disney Resorts have beautifully themed pools, with organized pool games like trivia or volleyball. Taking a little time off during the mid-day heat is a great way to reclaim your sanity and build energy for the magical experience of the parks at nighttime!
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9. Teens and Tweens Activities — Miniature Golf
Walt Disney World has two Miniature Golf Course on Disney property. Fantasia Gardens and Fairways—Swan Hotel. The first 18-hole course is based on Disney’s classic animated film, Fantasia, you can enjoy putting your way through five whimsical scenes of hippos in tutus, marching broomsticks, fanciful fountains, twirling obstacles, etc. The second course is more of a challenge, and better suited for teens and tweens. It resembles a traditional golf course built on a miniature scale and emphasizes skill over chance. There are sand traps, bunkers, water hazards and sloping greens, which make for an exciting challenge for your older children. The other Miniature Golf Course, Winter Summerland, located next door to Blizzard Beach Water Park, includes two 18-hole courses, Summer and Winter. These are two very delightful courses, where you can putt around peppermint striped inner tubes, snapping clamshells, and a melting snowman on the summer course. On the winter course, watch out for Squirty the Snowman, and obstacles like giant peppermints, hockey sticks, and the drawbridge of a fantastical melting castle. Putt away!
10. “Let Them Go”
Okay, your babies are now teenagers, so you really need to give them their independence. Disney World policies require that teens be at least 14 years old to enter a park by themselves. WDW has the best transportation options offered at on-site Disney Resorts, which include buses, boats, monorails, and if you’re close enough to a park, walking. Magic Bands make it very easy for your teen to purchase food, beverages, snacks, and have the fees charged to your Room. Of course, your teenager should be very familiar with transportation and Park guidelines, and it’s a good idea for them to know the “lay of the land” for each Park. Cell phones enable parents and teen alike to keep in touch. Disney World is one of the best theme parks, especially regarding safety and security, to let your teenager “spread their wings and fly” and enjoy the magic and fantasy that is Walt Disney World.
Whether you are the parents of a newborn baby, a toddler, tween, or teen, there are ample ways for you and your children to enjoy all that Walt Disney World has to offer. There is no better Theme Park Resort that caters to families more than Disney World. With all the amenities, conveniences, and entertainment, your children will not miss out on anything, and neither will you. So, plan your Disney trip and include activities that they will enjoy also. Have a magical Walt Disney World adventure!
BONUS TIP: Consider planning and booking your next Disney trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can trust like Mickey Travels. They’ll help you get the best Walt Disney World deal, share expert advice and their services are totally FREE! It’s genius!