If you’re like me, you can’t wait to take your little one (toddler) to Disney and experience it for the first time through your child’s eyes. The castle, the characters, a Mickey bar, and yes…the rides!


Here are some helpful tips and tricks that I’ve learned as a mom taking my young children to visit Mickey!

Averting a meltdown:


  • Walt Disney World is huge and walking around just one park can add up those steps very quickly. Bring or rent a comfortable stroller to give tired feet a rest.
  • Plan for a rest either back at the resort or in the stroller. Just some down time to close tired little eyes and get a second wind will help you all continue the fun.
  • Planning for half days is a great way to check off your most important experiences while allowing yourselves some quiet time and it also gives you some flexibility in determining if you’ve got more energy in you, or if you would prefer to relax back at the hotel or in the pool.


  • Take advantage of the Baby Care Centers. There is one center in each park where you can find some quiet out of the weather, change a diaper or use a pint-sized potty, or nurse or make use of a high chair. If you forgot supplies, they offer a small assortment of items like formula and diapers for purchase.
  • Most young children do best on a schedule. Planning meals around their regular routine at home can help keep all of your moods up.

Experiencing the magic:


  • If your child hasn’t experienced characters before and you are not sure how they may take to them, take it slowly. Some kids react differently to face characters (like Belle or Peter Pan) than to full costumed-characters (like Mickey Mouse or Darth Vader).  Even to an adult, Kylo Ren can be intimidating!
  • Character dining is a huge part of the Walt Disney World experience and it helps check off favorite characters from your must-see list without waiting in line for an autograph in the parks.
  • Parades, fireworks, and shows! What a fun way to see favorite characters and enjoy the music! If your little one is frightened by loud sounds, try using hearing protection to drown out some of the noise. If you’d like to watch fireworks from afar, consider watching from a nearby resort or even taking a Pirate cruise to watch the fireworks from the lagoon.


  • There are lots of great adventures little ones can have at the parks without meeting height requirements and knowing ahead of time which rides will accommodate them will help you steer them towards the excitement!
  • Rider Switch – have other kids or adults in your party who would love to ride some of the bigger attractions? No worries! Rider Switch allows you to wait in line together. After the first adult takes the bigger kids on the ride, the adults can switch off so no one has to miss an attraction.


You don’t have to ride every ride to experience Disney magic and have an amazing time with your little ones. It’s the expression on their faces when they see Mickey Mouse, walk through the castle, twirl with a princess, spin in a tea cup, or simply enjoy a Mickey waffle. These may well be your earliest Disney memories and now you can share them with your own children!

Nancy Wideman

Travel Specialist