Welcome, Hilary Ferrand! Hilary blogs about family travel over at Roam, Child. She is visiting today to give her travel tips for taking your little princess to Disney World.
Traveling with a Toddler to Walt Disney World
I wasn’t a huge Disney fan growing up. We never made the theme park trip, and the Disney Channel was still an extra subscription our family went without. When the idea first came up to take the kids to Walt Disney World, I really wasn’t that enthused by it. I thought, at best, the older children would have a blast. I wasn’t so sure about our toddler. For myself, I planned the trip so we could spend time at each of the main resorts in the hopes that one day I’d get the chance to write about them. (Thanks, Brittany!)
On our first visit, I learned about Disney Magic first-hand, and it’s completely changed the way I see the theme parks and the company. I also picked up a gob of toddler-friendly Disney World tips for making your trip as fun, affordable and safe as possible.
First, a Word on Safety
If you stay on property during your trip, you’ll experience what’s known as “The Disney Bubble.” It feels as though you’re in an entirely different world, one where people are nicer and everything is a bit higher quality. But this is still the real world with real crime and real risks.
You may be tempted to go full-speed from your first minute in the parks to the end of your trip, but this could leave you too exhausted and distracted to react if there’s a problem. Safety is the first of many reasons to take midday breaks.
The Best Disney World Hotels for Toddlers
We’ve stayed at the following hotels, rated for toddler-friendliness:
Wilderness Lodge (with car)
Fort Wilderness Cabin (with car)
The best Disney World hotels for young children offer ultimate convenience. They’re comfortable, fun properties with plenty of amenities too. The Contemporary gets top billing for it’s easy access to Walt Disney World with the interior monorail station, the Chef Mickey restaurant with breakfast character meals and beautiful views of both the park fireworks and the Electric Water Pageant.
However, you want to be extra careful in the bathrooms. The marble floors are extra slick!
The Polynesian and Grand Floridian are also located on the monorail, but because of the layout of the resorts, you might wind up taking quite the hike to the terminal (or the pool or the kid club). Thankfully, sites Dreams Unlimited offer you maps of the resorts, including room numbers. When booking your stay, you can specify which room or room cluster you’d prefer.
If you’re not relying on Walt Disney World transportation, take a second look at the Wilderness Lodge. It’s décor and amenities are perfect for toddlers, but it’s so far from the parks that buses and boat rides back and forth take forever.
Budget not Monorail ready? Port Orleans Riverside is a perfect mid-budget option for groups up to 5. Vero Beach has tons of toddler-ific activities in store, and Art of Animation provides guests with the best budget digs.
If you’d like to try out different hotels during the same stay, simply book nights separately at different properties and have the Walt Disney World staff transfer your bags. It is a bit more hectic, though, so possibly limit yourself to two or three choices.