100+ tips and tricks for doing Walt Disney World with babies and toddlers

I paid a conference fee to attend the 2016 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration and was provided with discounted park tickets and lodging as well as complimentary items. All opinions are 100% ours and based on our personal experience in the parks with young children. I hope you enjoy these tips and tricks for doing Walt Disney World with babies!

100+ tips and tricks for Walt Disney World with toddlers and babies Planning a trip to Walt Disney World with a baby or toddler? Don’t let the naysayers talk you out of it – there is something truly magical about introducing your kids to Disney at a young age! They may not remember all the little details of your trip, but you will have those memories of seeing the magic of Disney through their eyes and that makes it all worth it.

Ready to start planning your trip? During our recent trip to Disney World I realized there were lots of things I wish I had known before, during, and after our trip. To help out those planning their own trip with baby, I set about to create a comprehensive list of the best tips and tricks for doing Disney World with your little ones so you can come prepared, have an amazing time, and come home with priceless memories of your trip.

Disney Know Before You Go

  1. Get the Magic Bands. These will be your tickets to the parks, the keys to your hotel room, your photo link-up, and your Fast Pass keeper, and they can even be used for purchases if you link your credit card information.
  2. Kids under three get in to all parks for free. Yay, for a Disney discount! If you order Magic Bands your baby will get a band, too, but we never had to scan it for entry or for rides.
  3. Be official. If you can swing it, stay at an official Disney World Resort Hotel. Not only do they treat you like true royalty, it’s also so much easier to get to and from the parks since all the buses stop at their hotels. In some cases, the hotels can even be walking distance from the parks which means you can skip the pesky bus ride altogether. We stayed at the Beach Club Resort and we could easily walk into Epcot, to the Boardwalk, and even to Hollywood Studios.
  4. Book Disney’s Magical Express {Disney Resort Guests Only} as soon as you can so they will send you luggage tags. If your checked bags are tagged, it means you won’t even have to go to baggage claim when you arrive and they will bring everything right to your room. With young kids, this service is simply priceless.
  5. Unless you plan on renting a car, you won’t need car seats. We brought an infant seat for on the plane so baby would sleep during the flight but otherwise we could have left the seat at home and been just fine. If you really want to bring a seat there are lots of travel-friendly options including infant seats that don’t require bases, inflatable booster seats for older kids, and even convertible seats with wheels that can be used as a stroller. How cool is that?
  6. Don’t take the red eye in. Oh, you already knew that one? Because seriously, what parent *wants* to fly overnight with an infant? If you do take the red eye like we did, make sure your room will be ready for an early check-in or you will find yourself fitfully sleeping in the lobby for a few hours while you wait with all your stuff. Then, when you finally get to your room everyone will be so exhausted that they will try and sleep away a full Disney day. We won’t make this mistake again, trust me.
  7. Bring help. Your spouse, your best friend, a nanny… someone. Getting on and off buses and breaking down strollers is really hard when your hands are full with a baby and gear, so ask for help when you need it and bring reinforcements. We were meeting my sister and her small children at Disney World, so we were super excited when my dad and his wife decided to join us, too. It made for some amazing Disney memories that we will never forget, and it helped immensely with the kid-to-grown-up ratio.
  8. Don’t forget to plan for downtime with baby. Spend a day at the resort’s pool, visit Disney Springs for some air conditioned shopping, or simply find a shady place to sit and recharge in the parks.
  9. Request a crib ahead of time. Even if you co-sleep, you will want a safe baby-proof place to put baby when you shower or get ready each morning. If baby sleeps with a blanket or uses a sleep sack, you will want to bring one with you as the cribs come with just a fitted sheet and it can get cold at night.
  10. Do some Disney shopping ahead of time. If you have a Disney Store near you, be sure and hit it up for any sale items and matching clothing instead of waiting until you are in the parks. With both babies and older kids I’m buying for, it can get tricky to find matching kids clothes, so I was really happy I got most of what I needed before we got there. It also made me a whole lot less stressed hoping we got some cool souvenirs because their outfits were already souvenir enough.
  11. Plan at least one character meal in advance. It’s a great way to make sure you meet at least a few characters, and it doesn’t involve waiting in hot, slow-moving lines.
  12. Expect the unexpected. Life with babies and toddlers rarely goes as planned, especially if you are hopping time zones and taking late-night airplanes. But, if you allow flexibility in your schedule and adopt a go-with-the-flow attitude, it will let the real Disney magic take place. 

Disney What To Pack

  1. Bring your own dish soap. The Disney World Resort Hotels only have bar soap, which is difficult to wash bottles and sippies with. A travel sized dish soap doesn’t take up much space, but gives you a much better clean when it really matters.
  2. Pack your own baby wash. Again, the Disney World Resort Hotels don’t have baby wash in room, so pack a travel sized baby wash for your littlest travelers.
  3. Bring a No Throw toy tether. A No Throw Tether will keep your brand new Mickey plush from becoming the object of the “uh-oh” game, or save you from having to constantly keep tabs on the sippy cup. Connect it to a teether for babies cutting teeth, to small baby toys, or special plush friends baby wants to bring with them during the day.
  4. Pack some hand sanitizer that clips right onto the stroller for cleaning little hands that have been touching everything in sight.
  5. Out of sight, out of mind. Speaking of clipping onto the stroller, I highly recommend bringing leak proof straw cups for the whole family that can clip onto a caribiner and attach directly to the stroller frame instead of losing them in the bottom basket of the stroller. It will be a constant reminder to stay hydrated, and much easier to remove when folding up the stroller instead of fishing them out of the bottom of the stroller.
  6. The Mommy Hook will be your best friend. Whether it’s for clipping diapering necessities, quick grab items, or simply for holding bags while going through security, having a huge caribiner clip that can hold bags, cups, and more is such a sanity saver.
  7. Bring an all-weather blanket for baby. Not only is a blanket great for providing shade, if it rains you can use it to cover baby, and at night you can use it to provide some privacy so baby will fall asleep. We love the Rain Or Shine Kids Woobee blanket for fall and winter, but you can choose a lighter weight non-waterproof blanket if you are going in summer months. This muslin blanket ties onto the stroller so you can use it as a sunshade as well as a blanket over baby for hotter months.
  8. The mix and match layer system. Pack clothing separates that mix and match instead of purchasing outfit sets. That way, if baby spills or has an accident, you just need to change the soiled piece instead of requiring a whole new outfit. And, since baby is likely to be strolling instead of getting exercise while exploring, pack lightweight sweaters and hoodies that are ideal for nighttime walks through the parks.

Disney practical tips

  1. Finger swap. The Magic Bands now require fingerprint authorization when entering parks, even for kids. But, many people don’t know that you can use your own finger on your little one’s account instead of having to mess with scanning their finger. It took my 7 and 5 year old almost a whole week to get the hang of scanning their finger so it didn’t give an error light each time, so if we had known sooner we would have just used our own fingers and saved us minutes each day.
  2. Keep young kids’ Magic Bands for them. We found abandoned Magic Bands in just about every park we visited, and one of them ended up being our nephew’s. I suggest putting them on your own arm or the strap of your tank top or hooked onto your purse for safekeeping. But, don’t give it to a toddler. Trust me.
  3. Let them free. If baby is mobile, make sure you plan times during the day to stop and let them crawl, walk, roll, whatever. There are numerous tot areas in the parks so make sure you map them out so you know where you can go to let them roam.
  4. Watch the parades, once. Catch your favorite parades during your first day there and then skip them the following days so you can hit the rides when they are less crowded.
  5. Watch the fireworks {from a distance}, once. I love a good fireworks show, but after the first viewing I’m content to see the fireworks from further away and without all the crowds. Since seeing them up close can be loud, make sure you protect little ears or have someone sit with the babies further from the action.
  6. Let them meet other kids. Sit near other babies on transit, let them talk to babies in the baby care center, and let them walk up to strollers to say hi. We met some wonderful families this way, and our little socialite loved every second of being our family ambassador.
  7. Let them take the time to enjoy the ducks and other wildlife. For some reason our tots were positively enamored with the Disney ducks even though they are just like the ducks at home, but a whole lot more expensive to sit and watch. The faster you come to the conclusion that your Disney experience with toddlers might not be exactly as you envisioned, the better off you will be. Know that even if you do spend an hour watching ducks, it will still be magical. As we were leaving the park on the last night and saying goodbye to our magical Disney vacation, a gorgeous owl flew right over us and perched above us on the path. We stood there and watched that majestic owl spin his head around for over 10 minutes in complete awe. It ended up being one of the most memorable parts of our trip, and it could have easily been missed if my little nature lovers weren’t always watching. Just embrace the downtime and save your energy for when you need it.
  8. The diaper changing adventure. Instead of having all the fun stop as soon as baby needs a diaper change, get the older kids involved with navigating to the nearest bathroom with the least amount of turns by using either a paper map or the Disney app.
  9. Less = more. A small backpack loaded with sunscreen, a change of clothing, diaper clutch, baby snacks, bottles and sippies is much more efficient than large, padded diaper bags when park hopping.
  10. Sign up for a wake-up call from a Disney character at Disney Resort Hotels. The kids will love waking up to a favorite voice and it just might make your mornings go smoother!
  11. So-Called Magic Hours. Magic hours just mean the park is open to resort guests, it doesn’t necessarily mean everything stays open. If you have your heart set on something in particular at the parks, make sure that it doesn’t shut down early or you might have some really disappointed kids {and husbands}.
  12. Hop to it. Despite the name, hopping parks isn’t as easy as it sounds with young kids. In Disneyland you can walk from park to park, but in Disney World, park hopping requires Disney transportation, which usually means buses in most cases and lots of stops and waiting. For example, to get from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot, you have to take two monorails {or you can take a ferry and a monorail} and to get to Animal Kingdom or Hollywood Studios you will most likely need to take a bus or boat, all of which can take extra time. That being said, the distance and amount of transportation required didn’t stop us from hopping. We hit more than one park every single day, and one particularly adventurous day we hit all 4 main parks before we closed down Magic Kingdom.  

Disney Getting Around

  1. Take advantage of the perks of Disney’s Magical Express. After a long flight with kids the last thing you want to do is cart around more stuff through the airport and to your hotel. Tag your bags so they will be delivered to your hotel late in the day but pack all necessities for the first few hours in carry-ons and bring them right to the Magical Express bus with you. Their helpful drivers will store them in the bottom of the bus for you so you don’t need to snuggle them on the bus and they will also help you store your strollers {which don’t need to be folded} and your car seats if you had them on the plane or checked them at the gate.
  2. Monorail, ferry boat, and friendship boats all allow you to leave your stroller assembled, which makes them ideal transportation when traveling with young kids, especially during naptime and late at night.
  3. Disney resort and park buses DO require you to fold up your stroller. This means baby and all your stuff needs to be removed for each journey while other passengers wait. Avoid the buses at all costs, even if it means crazy amounts of walking and planning to get from park to park and back to your hotel at the end of the evening.
  4. A good stroller will make or break your trip. Nix the cheapie travel umbrella stroller and bring your own stroller that lays flat for nap time. Since I have three kids, I chose to bring my beloved double Britax B-Ready with added Guzzie and Guss rider board with us because it is such a pack mule and it makes transporting three tired kids easy. If you really don’t want to bring your own stroller, you can rent plastic ones from the park for $15/single or $31/double.
  5. Bring the baby carrier. If your baby is used to using one at home, having a carrier will make bus rides and nap time much more manageable, as well as free up your hands. The carrier was also worth its weight in gold when it was past midnight and the older kids fell asleep on the buses. When we got to our bus stop we could simply pop them into the stroller and still let the little one sleep.
  6. Bag check. Each time you enter the parks you will need to have your bags inspected and stroller cleared. Instead of bringing a purse, diaper bag, and loose blankets and coats, utilize one bigger bag that stores in the bottom of the stroller that holds both yours and baby’s necessities for the day and then bring your own shopping totes for any treasures you pick up on your journey.
  7. Go light. Have your park souvenirs shipped to your room, or better yet, to your home. The new park shopping app allows you to scan items in park stores and order them directly from your phone or see what stores in the park near you carry them. You can pick them up at the end of the day or have them shipped home and travel as light as possible.
  8. Be prepared to walk. A lot. I hit over 20,000 steps each of our Disney days, which is partly due to the fact that we were avoiding buses, and partly just because it’s just so easy to start walking and not realize how far you’ve gone because every corner holds something new. Wear comfortable shoes and plan on putting some miles on your stroller.

Disney rides and more with baby

  1. The Child Swap/Rider Switch pass are your best friend. If you have little ones who cannot {or don’t want to} ride, just let the ride attendant know and you can get a voucher good for up to three people to ride via Fast Pass. Once you exit the ride, you hand off the voucher and the rest of your party enters through the Fast Pass line so you don’t have to wait in line twice.
  2. Life in the fast lane. Speaking of Fast Passes, you should definitely be utilizing your Fast Passes for bypassing lines and getting on popular rides quickly. Sign up for 3 FPs early in the day at one park and once those are used you can sign up for more via the app or at a FP kiosk at the same park or a different one.
  3. Riding solo. Are you the only one who wants to ride? Utilize the single rider lines at Test Track, Expedition Everest and Rock N Rollercoaster where you will get whisked right to the front to fill any vacancies as they come up.
  4. There are many rides baby can go on with you – basically anything that does not have a height restriction. Get those Fast Passes quick as they tend to fill up and have long wait times throughout the day. Our little one especially loved dancing through It’s a Small World, pointing out all the dogs on The Pirates of The Caribbean, flying high on Dumbo, singing to Winnie the Pooh, helping shoot lazers in Buzz Lightyear, and waving like a crazy person in the Safari Cruise to all the animals.
  5. Tom Sawyer Island {Magic Kingdom} is perfect for letting little kids explore. It’s shady and the pace is slow, which makes it ideal for slowly following after baby without worrying they will get crushed by crowds.
  6. Kiddie Playground at Splash Mountain {Magic Kingdom} is awesome for little kids that your rider swappers can enjoy while the adults and older kids ride.
  7. The Kilimanjaro Safari {Animal Kingdom} and Jungle Cruise {Magic Kingdom} are perfect for babies who love animals.
  8. Hoofing it. There are great walking trails in Animal Kingdom by the Kilimanjaro Safari where you can go at your own pace and see animals.
  9. Bug’s Life. It’s Tough to be a Bug {Animal Kingdom} is fun with little ones and a great way to escape the heat.
  10. Catch a show. Many of the Disney shows in the parks are indoors, which makes them perfect for escaping the heat or rain with baby.
  11. Get soaked at Storybook Circus {Magic Kingdom}. Just outside of the circus tent is a water squirting and spraying train called Casey Jr. Soak ‘N’ Splash that is a perfect toddler water park for hot, sunny days when you need a cool down.

Disney plan for the weather

  1. Plan on making shade for baby. You can buy special sun shades, or you can use a blanket or towel to hook onto your stroller. We love the UV blanket from Rain or Shine Kids that ties right onto your stroller so it doesn’t fly away. We also utilize the lower seat during really hot days to make our own shade with the upper seat. It gives baby a cocooned place to sleep and it frees up the upper seat for older kids who need to hop a ride for long jaunts.
  2. During the hottest days, plan your visit to shadier parks. Animal Kingdom provided the best shade overall with more trees and tropical areas. In contract, Epcot had almost no shade in the World Showcase area during the day but the front of Epcot has many indoor areas by the rides. The exit of Mission Space has a great play area for little ones that is cool and family-friendly.
  3. Bring a sun hat for baby with strap. Our baby will tear off any headbands or hats as soon as they are placed on her head, so for us a strap is 100% necessary all the time. But, even if your baby will leave on a hat, a strap will keep it from flying off in wind or on rides.
  4. Sunscreen is an absolute must, even if you are making shade. Since our little one is still so young we limit the sunscreen application to legs and arms and cover her in UV clothing from head to toe. If you forget your sunscreen or were unable to get sunscreen into your carry-on, you can buy spray and lotions in most big park shops.
  5. Cool down with water. Spray fans and cool towels will keep baby cool even during heat waves. You can get fans that clip right onto the stroller, or you can buy the spray bottle fans in the parks that our kids love.
  6. Sunglasses with a strap to keep them on baby. When baby isn’t wearing them you can clip the strap onto the stroller to keep them handy on the go.
  7. Plan indoor activities during really hot weather. Most big rides exit into a gift shop, so that’s the perfect place to wait with baby.
  8. Other ideas for escaping heat include Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Country Bear Jamboree, and Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid {Magic Kingdom}, The Lion King Show {Animal Kingdom}, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush that has a little aquarium, and the new car/truck area at Test Track where the kids can pretend to drive {Epcot}, The Great Movie Ride, Muppet Vision 3D, Star Wars Launch Bay and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular {Hollywood Studios}.
  9. Plan for rain. Bring all-weather blankets or rain shields for baby and rain coats that pack into pockets for everyone else so they fold up small and don’t take up the whole stroller basket, or you can buy ponchos in the parks. During rainy days, be sure to bring a trash bag or poncho to cover the stroller when you park it at the parks. Otherwise you may return to a very wet stroller that you will have to deal with the rest of the day.

Disney pint sized food and drinks

  1. Bring squeeze pouches instead of baby foods that require spoons. GoGo squeeZ gave us handfuls of their applesauce for our week-long trip and they were the best thing we brought into the park each day. We love them so much that we packed a pouch for each of the adults, too.
  2. Plan on lots of fluids for baby. Whether you are breastfeeding, doing bottles, solely on sippies, or straw cups, make sure you keep baby hydrated, especially during the really hot months.
  3. Baggies of dry cereal or baby puffs are great for keeping baby happy between meals. To keep the older kids from eating all of baby’s food, we make Cheerio bracelets that they can snack on throughout the day.
  4. Mickey Waffles will make your baby smell amazing. Also, they appear to be delicious. We got some at breakfast and had leftovers so I saved them for later. It was a very happy evening when I pulled them out after all the quick-serve restaurants were closed and everyone was “starving”. Those Mickey waffles were happily devoured by both babies and kiddos, even though they were hours old.
  5. Bring your own milk. Milk is hard to come by in the parks, so pack shelf-stable milk like Nesquik that you can pack in your food bag or use formula or toddler powder while at the parks for convenience sake.
  6. Ice water is free in the parks but they cannot fill up water bottles for you. Simply order large ice waters {the small cups are much too small} and dump the water into your reusable cups yourself to refill.
  7. Or, better yet, fill up water bottles before you get to the parks. Disney World Resort Hotels have stores or cafés that allow you to refill pre-purchased park cups, but water is always free and doesn’t require a special cup to unlock. We would stop in our hotel’s quick grab café each morning on the way into the park and fill every bottle with ice cold water.
  8. Juice on the go. Have you ever tried the little squeezable juice concentrates that they sell at most grocery stores? The MIO water enhancers are one of our favorite travel must-haves, especially when water is hard to come by and gets hot quickly. A tiny squirt of juice concentrate into a 16oz bottle of water means that my little ones and I will actually drink it, even well after the ice melts.
  9. Disney resorts have access to fridges, either in room or at the main office. We made PB&J sandwiches, loaded up on fruit, water bottles, and cans of soda and other snacks so we could come back to the room for a mostly-free lunch or grab food to bring into the parks.

Disney baby necessities

  1. Opt for a diaper clutch instead on a big, huge diaper bag. A diaper clutch is easier to handle during changing sessions at the park, and it’s one less bag that needs searched when parking hopping.
  2. Bring lots of baby wipes. I was so glad Huggies was one of the sponsors of our event because they gave us these awesome Clutch ‘N’ Go wipe packs that were lifesavers at the parks with sticky foods, crawling babies, and diaper duty. We left a Huggies wipe pack attached to the stroller handle and everyone would grab what they needed as we went.
  3. Utilize the baby care centers in the parks provided by Huggies. They are the perfect relaxing place to recharge with baby during a long day and are a clean and quiet for nursing, feeding, or getting baby to sleep.
  4. Forget something essential? You can also find most baby and toddler necessities in the Huggies baby care centers.
  5. Pack a baby-safe bug spray or cover them with clothing that protects against bugs. Really young kids shouldn’t be sprayed with bug spray, but you could always spray the stroller outsides to help deter bugs. If you do spray your little one, go with a natural option designed for babies like this one from California Baby.
  6. Put a fabric liner in your stroller to protect against spills, diaper issues, and more. When you get home you can throw your stroller liner in the wash and not have to wash sticky and gross messes off stroller seats.
  7. Speaking of which, you should plan for laundry. Whether it is wet and sandy swim stuff, ice cream covered t-shirts, or diaper mishaps, you will have laundry that needs attention before you get home. We bring the Scrubba Wash Bag for mid-trip laundering, and it acts as a wet bag while clothing is waiting to be cleaned.
  8. Little Swimmers. Forget a swim diaper? No worries! The resorts sell Huggies Little Swimmers swim diapers for use in their pools or for the Disney Water Parks. We almost always forget these when we travel, so I love that you can purchase them right in the hotels if you decide to take a swim.

Disney What To Do During Naptime

  1. Walk around the World Showcase at Epcot, which is all very stroller-friendly and will let your little one rest while you eat, drink, and shop. This is one of my favorite tips and tricks for doing Walt Disney World with babies!
  2. Have a seat and check out all your Photo Pass pictures, schedule Fast Passes, and make reservations, all on the My Disney Experience app. The awesome FREE app is available here and it is basically your guide to the parks – it lets you see ride wait times, book dining reservations, see characters that are in park, and see what events are planned for the day. For my conference days, I added notes in the different days that I shared with my husband so he knew where I was and where he was supposed to be by the minute.
  3. Utilize those Fast Passes and Rider Swap passes on big rides with air conditioned gift shops so baby doesn’t overheat while they sleep.
  4. Explore the Boardwalk. With shops, food, and drinks all along a beautiful waterfront, it’s a great place to walk around and let baby snooze. You can even roll the stroller onto one of the Friendship Boats and venture into Hollywood Studios or Epcot.
  5. Walk around Disney Springs and grab food, enjoy live music from the boardwalk, and shop for all those Disney souvenirs you don’t want to carry through the parks.
  6. Play the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game which will have you hopping around Magic Kingdom using magic spells to fight against Disney Villains. You can get free playing cards at the fire house when you first walk into the park and you can play throughout your entire stay, playing all at once or a little each day.
  7. Play Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas interactive game in Adventureland in Magic Kingdom. Pick up the 5 treasure maps in Adventureland and play at your own pace while baby sleeps.
  8. Pin Trade. My kids and I are crazy about Disney pins, and each time we visit a park they immediately ask to trade. Because it’s luck of the draw and sometimes the pin they have their heart set on is ultra-rare, we plan on doing a lot of trading during nap times so we can stay in stores and at rides to enjoy some air conditioning. You can order trade-able pins on Amazon if you don’t have ones you want to part with from your collection.
  9. Enjoy a Dole Whip. I have seriously wanted a Dole Whip as long as I can remember and I finally got to try one this last trip. If I had been smart I would have gotten one while baby napped and not had to share with my littlest fan.

Disney Safety Always

  1. Misplaced adults. Disney has some of the best security anywhere, and they have quick and efficient systems in place for dealing with lost children. Knowing this gave me peace of mind as we were wrangling two small toddlers and their older siblings who don’t always understand the importance of staying close together. However, if you are worried your little one will wander off, you can purchase special temporary tattoos or use products like NewSkin to coat the skin and then write on with permanent marker to make sure your child always has your name and phone number, just in case.
  2. Remember that Tile Bluetooth Tracker I reviewed earlier this month? Tie that to your child’s shoe, place in their pocket, or simply clip it on to use it to keep track of your stuff. We hide ours in interior backpack pockets {after we’ve removed valuables} or place it in the secret pocket of our stroller and feel much better about ditching bags and wheels when we’re on rides.
  3. No life jacket required. For new swimmers, you will be happy to know that the water parks and the resort hotels provide life jackets for babies, kids and even adults. So, you don’t have to fill a suitcase with water safety gear and instead can fill it with all the other millions of things babies need.
  4. First Aid. While all parks have a first aid station, I like to bring a small first aid kit with band-aids and wound cleaner for any scrapes while exploring that can go right into the stroller console.
  5. Squeak when they walk. Have you ever tried those squeaker shoes that have a tiny squeaker in them that toots every time baby steps down? While you wouldn’t want your little one wearing them to church, Disney is the perfect {loud} place to let them loose with squeaker shoes. Since we had two young tots with us on our last trip it was difficult to keep an eye on both of them at the same time, so I really wish I had thought ahead to pack squeaker shoes to help keep track of them at play areas. Get shoes with a removable squeaker if you want to utilize them after you’re home from the theme parks.
  6. Matching outfits aren’t just for fun – they also make it much easier to keep track of lots of kids. If everyone is wearing the same outfit it’s much easier to scan a crowd and spot your crew. Find out where I get all of my kiddos’ matching outfits so you can start matching.

Disney souvenirs for baby

  1. You will want awesome pictures of all the Disney Magic. I recommend purchasing a Photo Pass with Memory Maker for the ease of getting family pictures. I had no idea that Disney has professional photographers throughout the park just waiting to take that amazing picture, but once I found this out I was thrilled knowing that we could actually get some whole family shots of our group, which is honestly the best souvenir ever. Just ask one of the photographers to snap your pictures and then have them scan your magic band so you can view the photos on the Disney Experience app or website. You can also ask them to “add magic” and insert favorite characters or even snap pictures with your own camera, both of which were awesome. The Memory Maker will also get all of your ride photos onto your account so you can laugh at all the funny faces you made during your trip.
  2. Can’t part with your DSLR? If you do bring your own camera into the parks, make sure you aren’t bringing excess gear. One zoom lens and a compact camera is perfect for capturing all those priceless memories without lugging around bags of gear. Once the sun goes down, let the official park photographers handle the portraits with flash and tripods and you can put away your own camera.
  3. Strike a pose. Speaking of photos, the photo booths throughout the parks are really fun with baby. These are free with the Memory Maker, which means you can take unlimited pictures of all of your funny faces.
  4. Stuffed suitcase. Plan extra room in your suitcase for whatever plush Disney character they fall in love with. They will absolutely talk you into some plush animal or character, so if you know that going in you will be much better off.
  5. Get a silhouette done. At $8 per person for a professional to cut out a piece of artwork in minutes, it’s a cheap souvenir that is truly priceless. My parents had my family’s silhouettes done when I was 6 months old at Disneyland and even though I obviously don’t remember the trip, I’ve always loved that I had a special souvenir from Disney.
  6. Do get the matching shirts/ ears/ whatever. I’m not a theme dresser by any stretch, but when I’m in Disney I know better than to resist. We purchase discount matching shirts before our trip and then we inevitably cave and get the ears once we are there. This year we were surprised by the Disney team with some sparkly Disney 60th anniversary ears that are my special souvenir.
  7. DIY album. By far the best souvenir for baby will be a cheap $1 store photo album that you fill just for them with pictures and stickers of the trip. You can make yourself a fancy album or photobook of your trip, but that $1 photo album you make for baby will become one of their favorite possessions because it’s theirs. It will bring those memories to life and help them remember the magic of the trip – even if they were much too young to remember it otherwise.
  8. Meet a few characters and snap pictures of their meeting or get their autographs. They may not know all the names, but they eventually will, and they will appreciate that they have pictures of themselves with their favorite Disney characters and entries in the autograph book.

I hope I’ve convinced you that Walt Disney World with baby and toddler is not only completely doable, but also totally worth it. Our recent trip with our tots wasn’t just fun, it was truly magical and I would do it again in a second. 

Are there any tips I missed for doing Walt Disney World with babies that you would add?

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100+ Tips and Tricks for Disney World with Baby and Toddler
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26 thoughts on “100+ tips and tricks for doing Walt Disney World with babies and toddlers”

  1. I’m so pleased I came across this article on someone else’s Pintrest board – we’ve been to WDW several times but our kids were older. We are now planning a trip with those same kids AND their 3 year old so you have given me some great ideas I would never have throught of.

  2. Thank you for all of these suggestions! We have travel with an almost 1 year old to Disney World in the past but I’ve learned a lot from this article as we prepare for our next trip with our daughter who will be 8 months old.
    One word of caution for some parents- the show, It’s tough to be a bug, it not necessarily great for young kids. We saw it at Disneyland a few months ago and it terrified my 5 year old boy, bring him to tears! So be cautious with that show, even if you think your kid will be fine, like I thought with my son.
    Again, thank you for this list! I’m pinning it 🙂

  3. Kolby, there are two spots to get the silhouettes – one is to the left of the castle (just go to the left instead of going through the castle) over the little bridge, and the other is just before the Starbucks on an alley to the right side off Main Street.

  4. Hello! In my experience taking small children (5 times now) I have always had to collapse my stroller on ferry boats. I have heard that when crowds are really low, the captain might not make you. Only the monorail has allowed me to keep my child in a stroller.

  5. I live about a mere 45 minutes from Disney. This is a great list. Your advice to expect to walk a lot is simple, but so true. Too often do I see people walking around Disney in flip-flops. Also, getting fast passes and getting to the parks early in the morning is something that us locals do. We also bring out own food and snacks to the parks.

  6. We went with a 2 year old in January and totally agree with a lot of the tips on here (wish I would’ve found it before we went!). Big things that worked for us:

    1. Midday nap (so much easier if you’re staying on site and can hop onto a bus)

    2. Only bring the essentials. We started with a huge park bag and by the end of our trip, we were down to diapers, wipes, and a water bottle. Yup. Didn’t even go through bag check.

    3. Do not over schedule. I can’t tell you how many dining plans had to be rearranged. Next time, I’ll do 1 ADR per day.

    4. Be flexible. During our 9 day trip, not one day went as I had scheduled. Between food poisoning, meltdowns, and exhaustion, we had to stay flexible in our plans.

    5. Explore the resorts. The resorts are awesome! Spend some time getting to know them.

  7. Just what every other guest wants to listen to, a whiny toddler in squeaky shoes. Why do some moms think the entire world revolves solely around their kids? Leave your baby at home.

    • I don’t know why you assumed my toddler was whiny {she could sign from a really young age so she could communicate without whining} and I also specifically mentioned shoes that squeak for the PLAYGROUND, and said to get the ones with removable squeakers for when they need to be quiet. But your opinion on leaving baby home was noted.


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