Disney World is a wonderful place for kids, but not necessarily all kids. If you have a toddler and are thinking about an Orlando vacation, you have to ask yourself a question. Should you take a toddler to Walt Disney World?
Toddlers At Disney
You know your child better than we do, but here are some things to think about before you make your decision.
Reasons To Take A Toddler
Let us start with the reasons that you should take a toddler to Disney.
They are free.
Kids under three years of age are free at Disney World and nothing beats free. You can not even buy a meal plan for toddlers, it is assumed that they will share with a parent or bring their own food. When making meal reservations however, keep in mind that they must be accounted for. Also, kids must be under three. You must buy a ticket for an actual three year old.
There is plenty of visual stimulation.
They may be limited on the rides that they can go on, but there is always plenty of visual stimulation at the parks. The park itself is beautiful and there are hundreds of cast members walking around to entertain your toddler.
They can go on rides.
While they can not ride every ride at the park, there are some toddler friendly possibilities. Dumbo The Flying Elephant, Magic Carpets Of Alladin, It’s A Small World and Adventures of Winnie the Poo are just a few of them. There are actually dozens of rides and attractions that they can take advantage of.
Photo opps are everywhere.
The magic of Disney shines through on film. Even if your toddler will not remember the visit, you will have dozens of magical photos to share with them in the future.
Reasons NOT To Take A Toddler
For every good reason to take a toddler to Walt Disney World, there is a reason NOT to. Have a look.
The parks are huge.
The four Disney theme parks are huge and there will be a lot of walking involved. If you have a toddler, they will not be able to keep up and you will either end up carrying them all day or pushing them around in a stroller. If you choose to go to the park in the summer months, you will have to add the heat into the equation. Having long distances to cover and heat to contend with will likely result in a cranky toddler, and crankier parents.
They will not remember it.
A Disney World vacation is an expensive vacation. The average family of four will spend over $5000 on their trip. Sure, you will have pictures, but your child will never remember their first trip to Disney if it is as a toddler. If you want them to remember their first time to Disney, wait.
Over stimulated children are no fun.
There is a lot going on at Walt Disney World. From the over the top decorations to the cast members running around in costume, it can be a little overwhelming. Not every child can take this stimulation and breakdowns for young children are fairly commonplace. Since every child will react differently, ask yourself how yours will do and be honest with yourself.
Toddlers have no patience.
Almost everything at Disney is going to have a line. Even if you take advantage of fast passes, there will be occasions where you have to wait a long time. Patience is not a skill many toddlers possess. If you are lucky this will mean just being a little fussy, but you are always risking a full blown meltdown.
You will hate it.
When you bring a toddler to Disney, it will be all about them. As a parent, you are used to this, but you are probably not used to paying $5000 to cater to a kid having a bad time. Yes, seeing Disney through the eyes of a child is wonderful, but the eyes of a toddler scared to death of a giant Duck headed towards them are not so special. Save the experience for when they get older.
Other Places To Take Toddlers
Orlando has more to offer a child than just Disney. Here are some other toddler friendly things to do in Orlando that your child might enjoy more.
Not the best place for adults or younger kids, Legoland is perfect for toddlers. There is even an area called Duplo Valley that is designed just for the younger kids. If you come in the summer, they also have a water park for you to enjoy.
Seaworld has enough shows and sea life to keep just about any toddler busy. They even have Sesame Street land, filled with characters and rides for younger children.
Central Florida Zoo
Located in Sanford, just outside of the city is the Central Florida Zoo. Just about every todder loves going to the zoo to see the animals. If you are visiting in the summer, try to go earlier in the day when the temperatures are more pleasant.
Did you know that Orlando is only 60 minutes away from one of the best child friendly beaches on the East Coast? It is true, New Smyrna Beach is only a short drive away and you can drive onto he beach with all of your toddler gear. Set up next to your car without having to drag all of your gear across a parking lot.
Splash Pads & Playgrounds
Orlando is beautiful. but it is also hot. People love spending time outside but they like to make things comfortable. That is why you will find dozens of covered playgrounds and free splash pads. Either of these choices would make for a great time for your average toddler.