Disney World with toddlers

Guide to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom with Toddlers

In July we took our toddlers, ages 1 and 2, to Disney World for their 2nd time. We caught a lot of flack from our friends and family reminding us the kids won’t remember the experience. Obviously this is most likely true. But right now, we’re in a Disney phase of life. We watch all the Disney movies, the kids love Mickey Mouse…why not throw in the Disney World Experience? Will and I get such a kick out of seeing their enjoyment and excitement on all of the rides. Disney World with a toddler, or 2 toddlers, or a baby and a toddler, may seem daunting. But y’all, both visits, we had a really wonderful time!

For this trip, we had 2 days in Orlando. We spent our first day in Magic Kingdom and the second day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Of the 4 main Disney World Theme Parks, these two are considered to be the most toddler-friendly. So, here’s everything you need to know about visiting Magic Kingdom with toddlers! (or babies)

Disney World's Magic Kingdom with a baby and toddler

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1. Preparation is Key

If you are visiting Magic Kingdom with a toddler or baby, you will want to plan and organize as much as you can BEFORE your trip. Be sure to create and bring your “must-do” list. And, then, once you arrive, just LET IT GO (pun intended)! No matter how much planning you do, you will inevitably realize that traveling with a toddler comes with its limitations. Consequently, you probably won’t cross off everything on your list. On our first day, my 2 year old got sunscreen in his eyes, right as we were entering the park. Full. Blown. Meltdown. We spent the 1st hour trying to rinse out his eyes and calm him down. But once he recovered, the rest of the day was that “magical” day we had been hoping for. So, expect setbacks, and don’t let them get you down.

Magic Kingdom with a toddler

2. Top Attractions for Toddlers

Magic Kingdom has a ton of amazing rides geared towards a wide variety of ages. But several rides DO have height limits. Here are the best attractions for a 2 year old and under. (And adults will enjoy too):

  • It’s a Small World
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

3. Your child needs a stroller and a FAN

If your child is 5 years or younger, I highly recommend bringing a stroller. Magic Kindgom is 107 acres. You will walk a lot and the kids will want a break. For us, the stroller was also a great solution for naptime. Also, if you are visiting during the summer, you MUST bring a fan that attaches to your child’s stroller. Click here for the one we used. And be sure to drink lots of water!

Disney World with a Toddler

4. Book GENIE

Standing in a 2-hour long line for a 4-minute ride sounds awful. Add a screaming 2 and 1 year old, and NOPE. I don’t even want to wait 20 minutes. Therefore, I have to give it to Disney’s technological wizards for coming up with their Genie and Fastpass system. Without it, we would NOT have gone to Disney World. A FastPass lets you schedule access to a ride or attraction in advance. You can book your Fastpasses up to 30 days in advance. Even more, you get up to 3 FastPass+ selections per day. Here are the rides at Magic Kingdom that are worth scheduling a FastPass for (again, for 2 and under):

  • Jungle Cruise
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle

Hot Tip: even if you show up 10 to 15 minutes late to your Fastpass window, they usually still let you go through.

Winnie the Pooh Magic Kingdom

5. Mobile Ordering Dining – Where to Eat in Magic Kingdom with a Toddler or baby

Download the Walt Disney World App on your phone before you go. This app allows you to book your FastPasses, view the maps of the parks, gives you walking directions from one ride to the next, reserve dining and order and pay for food. It’s a great way to save a bunch time while exploring Disney World with toddlers!

There’s 2 types of restaurants in the park. Traditional Restaurant and fast-food style restaurant. Magic Kingdom has 8 quick-service (fast food) restaurants that offer Mobile Order Dining. Simply order and pay for your food on the app, walk to the restaurant, find a table to sit down and click “I’m here.” Then, go pick up your food at the Mobile Ordering counter. No lines, no waiting…it’s awesome! Here are the Restaurants in Magic Kingdom that offer Mobile Ordering:

  • Aloha Isle
  • Casey’s Corner
  • Columbia Harbour House
  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe
  • Pinocchio Village Haus
  • The Launching Pad
  • Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant

6. Reserve Dining

The Traditional style restaurants (with service) require a reservation. If you are staying at a Disney Resort, you can book your Reserve Dining months in advance. But this makes it a bit difficult for people staying offsite. So if you plan a last minute trip to Disney World, like us, reserve dining may be out of the question. Unless, you go during the non-peak hours. Say, 3-5 p.m. We were lucky that our little ones would fall asleep around this time. Then we would head to one of these restaurants and usually could get a table since they weren’t busy. This was our Happy Hour :-). In Magic Kingdom, beer and wine are only served in Traditional Restaurants. Mobile-ordering restaurants do not serve alcohol.

7. Factor in Naptime – Check out the Baby Care Center

We are fortunate enough that both of our little ones can nap on-the-go. So when they fell asleep, we would usually go into a restaurant and have a drink while they slept in the air conditioning. For those with kids who don’t fall asleep quite that easily, an awesome accommodation that Disney World provides are Baby Care Centers. It’s a great option if you aren’t staying at a Disney Resort, where you can easily hop back to the hotel real quick.

The Baby Care Centers are located at the front of each of the parks. They provide an air-conditioned, comfortable place for guests to feed, change and nurse their babies or toddlers. In addition, you can purchase diapers, wipes, baby food, formula, juice, Pedialyte, juice, etc. There’s also a microwave and highchairs and a quiet, cool area to let kids nap on the floor or in their strollers.

8. What to Pack for a day at Magic Kingdom with a toddler

  • Portable Stroller Fans (found on Amazon)
  • Sunglasses
  • Snacks (yes, you can bring food and drink into the parks)
  • Poncho/Rainjacket (for summer especially)
  • Water bottle
  • Sippy cups for kids
  • Diapers/wipes
  • Change of clothes
  • Sunscreen
  • Hats
  • Phone/Charger/Backup Battery Pack
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Camera
  • Photo ID/Passport/Money or Credit Cards
Magic Kingdom with a baby and toddler

Disney World is certainly fun for all ages. Will and I even visited when we were in our mid-twenties, and kid-free. And while it was a totally different experience, it was just as magical, if not more. Magic Kingdom with toddlers certainly has it’s challenges. But don’t let these young ages stop you from an experience you will most definitely look back on with a smile.

Happy Travels!

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