Waiting for your kids to be the right age for Disney? There isn’t one. But if you’ve decided to take the plunge you might find these eleven tips helpful for making the experience a little more bearable…
Since having children, we’ve been to Disney World in Florida three times, most recently as a family of six. I regularly hear friends say, “We’ll do Disney when our kids are X years old.” Or they’ll ask, “What’s the best age to take the kids to Disney?”
My honest answer is this – there is no perfect age. I’ve been going to Disney World since I was 11. I love it just as much almost 25 years later.
Next time someone asks me the best age to ‘do’ Disney, my answer will be that there’s no better time than the present.
Here are some top tips to help you get the most out of your Disney experience when you have little people in tow (or not).
- Be prepared to walk – a lot
We averaged 16,000 to 18,000 steps a day. Comfy footwear is a must, as is comfortable clothing.
- Bring a pushchair/buggy/stroller
If you have kids, taking a single or double buggy is a life-saver. Even if your children have grown out of buggies, it’s worth taking one. Our five and seven year old both wanted to sit in the buggy at times, even though they’ve not used one for years. You also have the option to hire a buggy at the parks.
- Don’t think you need to spend the whole day in the parks
A whole day in a parks is exhausting. Consider breaking up your day, and spending a morning, afternoon or evening in the parks. You can easily do this if you have an Ultimate Ticket, as this pass lets you switch parks throughout the day. Disney regularly offers a 14 day pass for the price of seven, and a 21 day pass doesn’t cost much more (these tickets are available when purchasing from the UK). At Disney World in Florida, this means you get access to four theme parks, and two water parks.We often spent mornings by the pool, before heading to the parks for the afternoon and evening. Or we’d visit Disney in the morning, pop back to the hotel in the afternoon for a rest, before heading out again.
- Keep hydrated, and make use of the water fountains
It can get seriously hot in the spring and summer months, and keeping hydrated in cooler periods is important too. To avoid spending the dollars on a constant supply of drinks, we took our own drinks bottles and regularly filled them at the water fountains throughout the parks.
- Use your FastPasses
Queues can be long, and it’s not much fun waiting in line when it’s baking hot and you’re trying to keep the kids entertained. You can pre-book three FastPasses per person, per day, and they must be for rides and attractions within the same park. These have to be booked before you reach the park. Once you’ve redeemed all three passes you can go to an in-park kiosk or use the Disney app to get another FastPass. Once that FastPass is used, you can keep doing this until the park closes.
- Bring ear defenders
At night, the skies above Disney World are filled with the most incredible fireworks. During the day, there are live shows taking place with lots of loud bangs. You’ll be glad to have ear defenders with you to protect little ears. We used Enmi baby ear defenders.
- Get the Disney app
I could write a whole post on the app. Get it. It’s super useful for managing your day, FastPass bookings, and dining reservations. There are photographers throughout the parks. They took the photo I’ve used for this post. All photos will be sent straight to the app, and you can download them at no cost for 45 days after each photo is taken.
- Download ‘Play Disney Parks’ app
This app is great for keeping kids entertained while you’re waiting in queues. The app picks up on your location, and offers games and activities relevant to the ride you’re queuing for.
- Plan rest days
One day in the parks is tiring, and a few days in a row is utterly exhausting. Get the most out of Disney days by also having rest days by the pool, or exploring the Orlando area.
- Weekends are a good time to enjoy non-Disney days
The parks are extra busy at weekends, so it’s a good time to plan other adventures. We love Kennedy Space Center. It’s not crazy busy at weekends – we actually find it quite peaceful, and it’s only an hour’s drive from Orlando.
- Have a plan of action
Arriving at a park with a rough idea of where you want to head will help you to get more out of the day, and stop you feeling so overwhelmed by the hundreds of options available.
Thank you for reading this post. I would love to hear your best advice for doing Disney with a young family. You can use the comments box below.