Tips for doing Disney with a Toddler

I was nervous going to Disney World with a 16 month old. First because he is awful young for a park and I wasn’t sure he would enjoy it. Second, I have never been a big park fan and wasn’t sure I would enjoy it.

Thankfully all of my worries were for naught and we had a fantastic time. We stayed at the Wilderness Lodge and lucked out with a room directly next to the kiddie pool. Jackson had a fantastic time in the pool and wanted to be right in the middle of all the rowdy big kids, which of course made Mama nervous. His swim lessons have definitely paid off because when he would fall in the water (only two feet deep) he would hold his breath and get right back up again. Thank you, Envious Swimming! We spent the first day lounging by the pool and getting some sun.

We went to Disney World on our second day as soon as the park opened and went to all the rides my husband had scouted out as appropriate for a young toddler. Turns out the carousel was Jackson’s favorite and he kept asking for “more please.” How do you say no to that?

The highlight of Jackson’s trip was the Disney Character Breakfast at the Polynesian. The characters who had breakfast with us were Lilo, Stitch, Mickey & Pluto. Stitch was the friendliest and Jackson’s favorite, he couldn’t take his eyes off of him/her! We got lots of pictures and my little man loved the hour long breakfast with his whole family there.

We only stayed two and a half days which was the perfect length of time. Any longer would have been sensory overload for him. I’m sure we will be staying longer each year we go, his little brother or sister will just have to learn to hang.

My tips for doing Disney with a toddler are:

  • Stay at the park you’d like to go to, convenience is key & you get the “extra hours” at the park
  • Get to the park EARLY! Beat the crowds and your toddler will thank you
  • Bring your own stroller, the rentals look terribly uncomfortable and your toddler can nap in the comfort of their own stroller
  • Plan out your day at the park for what is age-appropriate for your child
  • Book a character breakfast, it’s much easier for your toddler to “meet” the characters

Do you have any toddler Disney tips? I’d love them for next year!



  1. says

    Great tips :) We loooove the breakfast at the Polynesian! So fun! Character mea;s are totally the way to go so you don’t have to spend so much time waiting to meet characters in the park & you have so much more time with them!

  2. says

    I first took my daughter to Disney at 14 months and I was SO worried, but I didn’t have to be. The heat is the biggest concern taking young kids anywhere in Florida, so we packed extra drinks and fresh fruit for snacks and took our own stroller because it was much shadier and more comfortable. My fave recommendation for parents is to take advantage of the Baby Care center in each park. They’re air conditioned, have comfortable changing tables, sell infant items, and have family restrooms. Also, they have a lounge where Disney movies play all day. It’s a great place to take a time out. :)

  3. says

    I have wanted to plan a Disney World trip for this summer, but I’ve been dragging my feet because most in my life think it couldn’t possibly be enjoyable for a toddler (my daughter is 15 months). Your tips and positive experience, however, give me hope. So, thanks for sharing!

  4. Mama B says

    great tips! I agree with them all! We take the boys to Disney a lot. We love the baby care center, esp the one at Magic Kingdom.

  5. says

    The pictures are gorgeous. I am relieved to read these tips because we are dying to go but thought the kids were too young. J seemed to handle it fantastically but then again he is such a good little boy.

  6. says

    Our family of five visited WDW back in 2010 which included seven and four year old and a fourteen month old. It is surprising how many things at these parks will peak the interest of children at the toddler age. The big hit for our son was the Dumbo ride, toy story ride, electric parade and the carousel. The characters scared the daylights out of him. Good tips on this site. Thanks for sharing.