Disney World with a Toddler
We were on vacation last week and it was glorious. We flew down to Florida and spent a few days hanging out just the three of us, then met up with my in-laws for the rest of the week. We even overlapped with my sister and brother-in-law and their three kids for a day of cousin fun in the sun.
This was our second year in a row flying to the Orlando area with our son and we decided this year we needed to try Disney World. I was a little nervous because from most of what I read and heard, it seemed like Liam might be way too young to really enjoy Disney. Plus, Disney is expensive! It seemed crazy to spend close to a hundred bucks per ticket when we had no idea how it was going to go. We decided we’d try one day this year and see how things went. I’m happy to report the day was a huge success – far better than I ever would have predicted.
While there are literally thousands of bloggers and writers (including some great Disney vacation tips from my fellow Family Room bloggers!) who have an infinite amount more wisdom to share on the subject, I will share a few of the things I gleaned from the trip:
1. Two is an awesome Magic Kingdom age. Don’t let anyone tell you your 2 year old is too young for Disney. Honestly, for most of the stuff at Magic Kingdom, 2.5 seemed to be a perfect age. Liam was totally amazed by the rides (we had to do It’s a Small World twice) and was SO excited to meet all the characters. There was more than enough age-appropriate stuff to do with him (we easily could have spent another day in Magic Kingdom alone) and he was way more excited about everything – like meeting Mickey, seeing the castle, riding on the monorail, etc. – than I imagine he will be in a few years. Plus, kids under age 3 are free! Can’t beat that.
2. Get over the fact that “He won’t remember this.” I heard it a lot before we went – that Liam will be too young to remember any part of this trip. It’s true, he absolutely is, but when I think back to my own childhood and my family trips to Disney, the only one I really remember was when I was 12 and way too cool for any of the “little kid” rides and attractions. I do however love seeing pictures of me when I was little, hugging Mickey with my own ears on. Chances are, Liam probably won’t remember the real magic of Disney from this trip, or even a trip three years from now, but he will get to see lots of cute pictures (and a book I’m planning to make) and hear lots of stories about our fun trip.
3. Don’t be afraid of a rainy day. We decided to go on day that had a 50% chance of rain. What we thought might be a toss up ended up being almost an entire day of rain. We definitely took a chance given that we could have picked a sunnier day if we wanted, but Liam has never minded rain so we figured it might actually be a good way to fill an otherwise yucky vacation day. It turned out to be an awesome decision. The park was so much more quiet than on the sunny day (yes, we checked wait times in the following days just to feel vindicated in our decision), Liam was totally unfazed by the rain and even the rainy day parade down Main Street was cute. Leave it to Disney to make rain seem adorable.
4. Download the My Disney Experience App. Fellow blogger, Kris-Ann, had told me to download the app before we went and it was SO helpful. It was great for ride wait times, but was also super helpful for finding all the characters. Meeting them was Liam’s number one priority, so we used the app all day long to find out where each character would be and when. We got to see everybody and it actually ended up being way easier than if we’d been left to roam the parks looking for them.
At the end of the day, as I was changing Liam before we left the park, I asked him if he had a fun day. He gave me a hug and said, “Best day ever, Mama.” Best day ever, indeed.
- E-family news: Up in the Air – Flying with Children