This past February, my husband and I traveled to Walt Disney World for the first time with a toddler in tow and experiencing the parks through her eyes was downright magical. No matter how many times I’ve been as a child or adult, nothing compares with taking your own children. If you think Disney was fun before you had kids…you just wait. I’ll cherish those memories forever and can’t wait to take her back again and again.
With a little pre-planning, visiting the parks with little ones can be easier than you may think. Before we went, I did a good bit of research to see what items we could take, that would help all three of us enjoy the parks even more. So, without further ado, here is my list of must-have items when traveling to Disney with toddlers. They are sure to help avoid a meltdown or two! Read now and thank me later. 😉
When hopping on and off your cell phone all day scheduling your next FastPass, checking attraction wait times, looking at your PhotoPass photos, and reviewing your itinerary, your phone battery is bound to conk out on you. Trust me, you don’t want to be stuck without access to your My Disney Experience app! Take a portable phone charger, so that you can charge your phone throughout the day. I love this one by Anker.
Stroller hooks attach right to your stroller handle and can hold so many things – shopping bags, diaper bags, drink mugs, etc. This option comes in a two-pack, one for each side of the stroller.
Tap water has been known to taste a little funny in Florida, so it’s nice to have a water bottle with a filter, so that you have great-tasting water throughout your trip. Plus, this one by Brita has a convenient loop at the top that hooks right onto the stroller hook listed above! I took a small bottle of dish soap and a sponge with me, so that I could wash our water bottles/sippy cups/mugs each night. Disney resorts also have a mug-washing station near the drink machines.
#4) Hand Sanitizer / Sanitizing Wipes
If you happen to go during the worst flu season on record (or really anytime!) …like we did…you’ll want to take plenty of hand sanitizing spray and sanitizing wipes for the restaurant tables. Zylast hand sanitizer goes on like a lotion and keeps killing germs for hours after application. Clorox brand hand-sanitizing spray is bleach free and is great for a quick application after riding rides, etc. These are two of the only ones that kill the norovirus.
THESE wipes are also great for wiping down surfaces in your hotel room and they also kill norovirus:
#5) Pennies/Quarters for the Penny Press Machines
All throughout the Disney parks and resorts, you’ll find fun penny-press machines. You can have your favorite Disney characters pressed right into your pennies. If you can, take pennies that were made before 1982. In 1982, the US Mint transitioned from making pennies that were 95% copper, to making copper-plated pennies. If you use the copper-plated pennies, you may end up with silver streaks in your pressed pennies. Also, don’t forget extra quarters to operate the machines.
We found that the miniature tubs of Play-Doh from party packs worked perfectly. It gave our little one something to play with while waiting, and also kept her hands off the germy handrails in the lines. They are really small and fit easily into her diaper bag.
These are great – they are cheap enough to be disposable but are sturdy and last a while if you want them to. The cups and lids are stackable, which makes them super easy to pack in your luggage.
At some point, you are going to be walking through one of the Disney parks and get hit by a ginormous fog of bubbles. You’ll wonder where all those bubbles are coming from…Does Disney pipe them in from some secret location? Nope! They are probably coming from the stroller right in front you, thanks to one of Disney’s bubble wands. They are $25 in the parks and make more bubbles than you’ve ever seen. If you plan to purchase one, be sure and take extra bubbles, so that you are prepared when they run out.
Glowsticks are super fun and great to have at night, especially when waiting on the nighttime shows to begin. A total of 100 bracelets come in this pack, so that leaves plenty to share with kids sitting next to you. It’s a fun little way to share some of your own Disney magic, and they are a cheaper alternative to the glow wands for sale at the parks.
Don’t forget your favorite stroller fan and extra batteries. You’ll be putting those batteries through their paces on hot days, so be prepared for when they run out.
This autograph book is my favorite and is a great alternative to the standard autograph books with the blank pages. It’s filled with character photos, movie trivia, etc, which makes it a fun book to look at while waiting in lines. I also prefer the retractable sharpies, because you don’t run the risk of losing the top mid-way through your trip.
#12) Rain Cover for Stroller + Ponchos
This is a must, especially when traveling during the spring/summer when afternoon thunderstorms tend to pop up. Ponchos are also cheaper outside of the parks.
#13) Ziplock Bags
Take an assortment of different sizes and use them for everything from pre-planning your children’s outfits each day (pack each day’s clothes into a gallon sized bag), to taking packable leftovers with you after meals. They can also be used for packing snacks and wet swimsuits.
#14) Grocery Delivery
This was a life-saver. There are multiple companies in the Orlando area that will deliver groceries and supplies right to your Disney resort. We used Shipt and had them deliver breakfast foods, bottled water, diapers, disposable bowls/spoons and snacks. This saved us money, because we were then able to eat breakfast in the room each morning and also take a few snacks into the parks with us each day for our little one to eat. I simply used the app on the drive down to place the order, and they were waiting for us at the resort when we arrived. They will deliver the groceries to Bell Services and hold them there for you until you arrive. A few others to consider are Amazon Prime Now, Instacart and Garden Grocer.
Hopefully you’ll find these tips to be as helpful as we did on your next Disney vacation. These are just a few of the tips and tricks that I have up my sleeve, so contact me today to help plan your entire trip! I’d love to help you and your family experience the Disney vacation of your dreams!
Want to see my original video sharing these tips + see these products in person? Head HERE! Looking to head to Walt Disney World and need my expert toddler planning?