Tips for visiting Walt Disney World with Kids from Liliane Opsomer, the coauthor of The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids
The most important advise I have for families visiting Walt Disney World with kids is to arrive early! Plan to be at the park at least 30 minutes ahead of opening time with your park tickets in hand. Take care of breakfast before you start touring and most of all don’t waste time and money on having breakfast in the parks.
Make sure you use FastPass+ for popular attractions such as the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at the Magic Kingdom or Toy Story Mania at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If your kids are into the Frozen gals having a Fastpass+ for Princess Fairytale Hall is an absolute must. Meeting the characters for the first time can be very scary to young children. The fur characters are huge and much larger than children. Prepare your child prior to meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time and start with a face character such as Mary Poppins, Alice or Snow White.
If you are traveling with very young children rent or bring a stroller. Even if your child does not like to sit in a stroller I can guarantee that he or she will rediscover soon enough how pleasant it can be. Even with a stroller be prepared to carry your child a lot as they tire quickly when waiting in line.
Ahead of your visit discuss and set boundaries. Agree in advance how much money your child has per day for souvenirs and make sure your child knows and let them know in advance that there will be times when everybody will have to endure waiting in lines. Bring something that will entertain them when waiting in line or during meals in restaurants. If you are worried about your kids getting lost in the parks I suggest you all wear a color-coded shirt. Know what attractions you want to see in each park, make a plan and stick to the plan.
Protect your family from the sun; bring an umbrella for the stroller and slap on sun cream regularly. Stay hydrated, water fountains are available throughout the parks, refill your water bottle and make sure the kids drink enough. Bring a rain poncho especially if you are visiting in the summer. The downpours don’t last but they are intense. Keep track of your family, consider wearing the same t-shirt. Younger children should have a basic ID tag with the child’s name and your cell phone number. Make sure your cell phone is charged and carry a battery and charger with you.
Kids love to play in the park’s water fountains and it is a great way to cool off on a hot summer day but make sure you bring a change of clothes and keep those sneakers dry. Some attractions, such as Splash Mountain can also get you soaked. Be prepared, wet feet are a recipe for blisters. If you are visiting during Winter through Spring bring a sweater to the parks, even sweatpants for the kids. Florida is warm during the day but the mornings and evenings can be very cool. Touring the parks can be exhausting for the entire family, take a break every day. Return to your hotel, enjoy the pool, and take a nap. Most of all relax and have fun. You are on vacation!
For more tips and great information on planning your visit to Walt Disney World with Kids check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids by Bob Sehlinger and Liliane Opsomer. The 2016 edition is available as of September 15, 2015. Start planning now and pre-order your copy.