Heading out to Walt Disney World soon with the kids? Here are some of my personal top Walt Disney World Park Tips for Parents. Being a previous Walt Disney World Cast Member, I love to share. If you’re busy putting together your vacation, check out How to Better Organize Your Disney Vacation. Let’s get to Disney Planning!
Walt Disney World Park Tips for Parents
- Stay on property! The perks cannot be beaten. Magical Express, Extra Magic Hours, etc.
- Children under the age of three do not require a theme park admission and eat free at buffets and family-style restaurants. This includes Character Dining. Keep an eye out for FREE DINING during the August and September travel dates as well.
- Baby Care Centers are located in each park. Normally toward the front near Guest Services. Most contain a nursing area, children supplies for purchase, child-sized toilets, high chairs, first aid, etc. A great place to cool off and is quiet for resting time.
- If you’re short on handling camera and kids, try using Memory Maker (formally known as PhotoPass). Cast Members will take the photo for you with their cameras and you can purchase the photos at the photo centers. Most Memory Maker Cast Members (or any Cast Member) will also take a photo of you with your camera. Especially if you smile sweetly while you ask.
- Start your day early. Have someone grab some “on the go” breakfast snacks the night prior at the resort food court and store in your fridge for the morning. Get ahead of the crowd to the larger attractions first.
- Plan your Advanced Dining Reservations EARLY! Reservations can be made as early as 180 days from your arrival to Disney. It is smart to plan ahead and make reservations so you don’t have to wait very long to be seated at your selected Disney Dining. If you cannot get into Dinner (the highest volume of the day) at restaurants, consider lunch. They are usually the same or similar menus and are a lot easier to get in to dine.
- Many Disney Resorts offer activities for families and kids at the resort. Things like outdoor movie nights or crafts that kids can make. Check with the front desk to see if they have a handout with all of the listed activities for the resort.
- All theme parks and Disney areas offer a small area for the younger kiddos. Safe little playground areas with water features or other climbing toys to play on. Check out 10 Things to Enjoy at Walt Disney World Resort Hotels.
- Ask a Cast Member (even if it’s a different park question regarding times, etc.) for any questions you have. Each is equipped with a weekly info packet that they can easily take out and look up park times, parade routes, firework schedules, etc. at ANY park.
- Staying on property? When shopping at select Disney Stores, be sure to ask the Cast Member checking you out if you can have your items delivered to your hotel. They will have you fill out a little sheet with your room number, hotel, etc. and they will have it delivered to package pickup Guest Services at your resort hotel (normally by next day). This way, more hands to wrangle the kiddos!
- Need a night out? It’s a bit pricey but Disney does work with child care services for in-room babysitting and offers supervised activity centers for kids ages 3-12 years old (must be potty trained). A big Walt Disney World Park tips for parents. In-room babysitting is for ages 6 months – 12 years. Prices by hour vary for in-room babysitting and the activity centers do offer dinner and a snack for the kids. Keep in mind, this must be reserved in advance. You can even hire a babysitter to go to the parks with you for an extra hand. Check out the following Disney Parks website for more: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/child-care-services/
Nothing Has to Be Perfect
And just in case you need a reminder that it is okay to have fun and not worry about “the perfect vacation”, take it from my photo below. I had envisioned this perfect photo in front of Cinderella Castle. This was the result. My daughter wondering away, my son yelling for her, my husband trying to help me reign the kids together, and I just lost it laughing. You know what though? This is one of my favorite photos from our trip. Take everything in stride. Some of the best moments are the imperfect ones.