1. Yes, you need a stroller! Bring an umbrella stroller that has lots of under storage with you to the park. The Disney rental strollers are dated and do not have a storage compartment. Also, if you are not staying at a Disney World resort, you will need it for the voyage from the parking lot to the park entrance.
2. Park Tickets: Save money with the mid-day magic pass. Toddlers are balls of energy, but they are still so small. I suggest heading to the park after nap-time for an afternoon and evening of fun. The mid-day magic pass allows you to purchase discounted tickets to attend the park after 12noon.
Free Game: Children under 3 are admitted for FREE.
3.Where to stay. Staying at a Disney World resort, if you are ONLY doing Disney, is a must. Disney resorts have several food options, are kid-friendly, and provide excellent transportation to and from the park. Our first night, we stayed at a hotel about 15 mins from Disney, and on top of having to pay for parking, the time from the parking lot to the park was approximately 40 mins. We stayed at the Disney resort, and the Disney bus literary dropped us off at the door.
4. Which Parks to Visit: We really enjoyed Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Magic Kingdom has all the characters, princesses, parades, and fireworks. Animal Kingdom has a safari, the Avatar ride, and really cool Disney themed musicals. (We LOVED the Finding Nemo Musical). I believe the other parks are for older kids with more rides than attractions.
5. Food Selection: Pack food, snacks, and water in a small cooler bag. Disney allows guests to bring outside food and drinks into the parks. Save time and money by bringing in your toddler’s favorite food and juice/water. You can also order food using the My Disney App to avoid lines. More about the app later.
Free Game: there is an exclusion for alcohol, but no one knows the contents of a Yeti.
6. Weather: Be prepared for warm weather. Bring fans, misters, sunscreen, and hats. Our trip was the first weekend in November, and the weather was perfect. I really couldn’t imagine being in the Florida summer heat with a toddler.
7. In Park Purchases: Anticipate your toddlers desire for Disney themed merchandise, and purchase ahead from your favorite Disney retailer (Walmart, Target, Amazon, Disney Store). Watch for promo codes and discounts.
Free Game: I made Grace’s items pretty and told her that the Disney Fairy came to see her because she behaved and listened to her mommy on the airplane.
Suggested Items: princess dress, tiara, jewelry, plush Disney characters, dolls, BUBBLE MACHINE.
8. My Disney App: Download the My Disney App and plan ahead using the Fast Pass options for you and your entire party. Disney allows each park-goer to use three (3) Fast Passes per day. Fast Passes allow you to skip the lines for pre-selected rides. Research the park you are attending and decide what three attractions you and your toddler will enjoy the most. Measure your toddler in inches to know what rides they will be tall enough to get on. Also, take the time to familiarize yourself with the app. It is pretty cool and has several helpful features. You can order food, reserve rides, and use GPS to navigate the actual park.
9. Bring an extra charger: Remember to pack mobile charging devices to keep your phone charged throughout your park experience. I do not recall seeing any outlets, so you will need this if your phone battery goes low. You will need the extra charge to take lots of pictures!
10. THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Have fun with your toddler. They will not be able to ride all of the rides or walk really fast and that it is just fine! They probably will have a tantrum or two, and that is just fine! Enjoy this time with them. They will grow. They will walk faster. They will get taller. Enjoy the journey.