Back in September, my husband and I joined our friends and their daughters (aged 4 and also 1) for an awesome 3 day trip to Disney World. Amelia is pretty well traveled so we weren’t concerned about the flight but we were concerned about Disney in with a newly minted toddler. I am going to make this post short and simple because I have already shared our fun pics and joy from the trip a few months back. Instead, I will just give you some tips as requested many times by a few friends with upcoming trips to Disney World with 1 year olds.
Flying with a toddler is nuts. They are wiggly. They are easily distracted by things that can hurt them, strangers, small spaces, and phones. My daughter is exceptionally distracted so we didn’t bring too many toys. We brought her favorite blankey, a stuffed animal with rings and crunches on it, and LOTS OF SNACKS. If you want to survive a plane ride with a toddler I want you to sing this song in your head: SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS SNACKS EVERYBODY!
Seriously, snacks will save your life. Cheerios are a godsend and puffs are low calorie and won’t fill your kiddo up but will distract them. Also, those little food packs are amazing. I rarely give Amelia juice but I found these Honest juices that have low sugar in them so she got a juice on the plane. I let her munch on snacks at take off because she wasn’t breastfeeding much and didn’t care for cold milk. Finger snacks are the best so bring those and a new toy. Why a new toy? Toddlers have serious attention span issues so give them something new to discover. Maybe even new snacks too for good measure!
My last tip for the plane that meshes into Disney is to bring your own strollers, especially if you’re not staying on Disney property (which is ridiculously cheaper and stupid close) and plane to go anywhere outside of Disney. You will also want something that your child is comfortable in, has a tray for SNACKS and drinks, and can recline back for naps. The strollers at Disney are fine for older kids but not so fine for kid that still needs a nap during the day.
Now for Disney. Disney World is incredible! My girl was amazed by everything! Before you go you should know, as much as this trip isn’t really great for a 1 year old, it’s also not for you. Accept that you won’t ride adult rides (there are only a couple of coaster rides babies can’t get on) unless you have several adults with you. Use your fast pass for Disney characters. It is 100% worth it to see your kid meet Mickey and Minnie or any of the princesses. Boys and girls alike love the princesses and they are so wonderful with kids! you get three fast passes a day so use them wisely and use them for your babe. You will always remember them. Also, download the Disney map app. It will show you wait times and where characters are. It will save your life. Nearly every ride is 1 year old friendly. My girl went on the Haunted Mansion Ride twice and even slept through it once. She wasn’t scared and had a blast! Same with the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Unless you see a sign that says there is a height limit then take your kid on it! Its so fun!
Real talk now, your kid is going to have meltdowns. It is a lot to take in. It’s okay to let them fuss about a bit. Go on more calming rides, take in the Carousel of Progress, get lunch, etc. If they are distracted with everything going on they will fall asleep in their stroller fairly easy. It is worth going early in the morning, going back to your hotel for lunch and a nap, and coming back. You have to see the fireworks at night. Amelia was in complete and total awe of the fireworks show. Pick a spot on Main Street where you can see the whole castle. One thing that Disney World does stunningly well (I mean they do everything so perfectly, let’s be honest) is the fireworks show and light show on the castle.
When we went it was unseasonably hot. People native to Orlando were complaining about the heat. Be prepared for heat. Winter tends to be better and gets kind of chilly at night because of the humidity so toss a light zip up hoodie or buy one while you are there because they have some awesome clothes. Bring water with you into the park. We went and bough a case of water. If it is hot out, freeze a couple of the bottles so you have cold water all day long. You can bring in as much food and water as you want so don’t bother paying for water in the park.
Be prepared for chaos.
Expect and accept chaos.
Seriously. It’ll save you when things aren’t as bad as you expect it to be.
Ride all the kid rides because you will be so happy watching your baby/toddler be happy.
Let your toddler cry, it’s okay, I promise. They won’t cry much or long but they will get overwhelmed.
Let your kid run around whenever you can whether it be the airport (they love to stand and watch the planes and wave at people) or Disney or the hotel, let them run.
They aren’t joking about the ponds. There are alligators and snakes in them. Stay away from any area that is a ditch or pond. There are signs in those areas but that is it.
I can’t really think of much else so shoot me a comment for any questions you may have and I can answer them there. It truly is a lot of fun if you just accept that it’ll be a little uncomfortable. You go to bed each night completely exhausted but its totally worth it (just take some ibuprofen each morning). Have fun! Drink lots of water! Enjoy the world in Epcot and meet Mickey. Love you all!