Disney Under 5 Part I: What Do I Need To Know Before The Magic Begins?

Part I: What do I need to know before the magic begins?

Any vacation with younger children can be tough.  Their age adds the need for much more planning and that planning can totally make or break your trip.

A Disney vacation is no exception!  Just the size of a Disney theme park can be intimating but having a plan beforehand can ensure it is a magical experience for not only the youngest Mouseketeers but the oldest ones, too.

In this series I will share with you tips and tricks for having the smoothest Disney vacation possible with kiddos under 5!  I will start with part 1 which details what you need to know before the magic begins.  Part 2 will cover what to pack and tips for traveling with young children.  Part 3 will discuss tips, tricks, and secrets to use once you are actually in the parks.

Ready? Let’s get started!

So, What do I need to know before the magic begins?
Start watching Disney movies (if you don’t already) so the kids are familiar with the characters and rides they will be experiencing.  This helps them to make a connection and engages them more in the vacation.
A good idea, too, is to sit down as a family and watch your Disney Vacation Planning DVD.  These can be ordered through Disney or requested from your travel agent.  Discuss with your child what they will see and begin to familiarize them with the parks.
Know that like any vacation destination, souvenirs at Disney can at times be pricey.  You don’t want to show up and not be able to buy something every day at every park!  One tip I do with my own children is this: Target’s Dollar Spot, Dollar Tree, and Walmart all have cheap ($1) Disney trinkets in store.  Stock up on these and you can hand them out when a souvenir urge arises in your little one…without breaking the bank.
Know which rides might potentially scare your child.  Many you think wouldn’t be scary have elements to them that could be frightening.  HERE is a great site for rides at Walt Disney World, HERE for Disneyland Park, 
There are also height restrictions on many rides.  Be sure to check out this list so you do not have any disappointments when they are there and can’t ride.  Check HERE for Walt Disney World and HERE for Disneyland Park. 
Starting some type of countdown with your child is a great way to get them excited about your Disney vacation!  HERE are some great ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
Be sure to schedule character dinings.  At these you are able to meet your favorite characters while enjoying a meal.  Your favorite characters will come right up to your table to sign autographs and take pictures!  Lines to meet characters can be LONG so with little ones this is a MUCH easier option to meet those favorite faces.  Your travel agent can give you information on all the dining options available and even make reservations for you.
Do you have any other pre-planning tips or tricks for Disney under 5?  We’d all love to hear them.  Let us know in the comments.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2: What do I need to pack?  How do I travel with a young child?
Are you a beginner to Disney World?  Be sure to check out THIS post on the top things to know when planning a Disney World vacation.

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