Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sponsored Guest Post: Destinations In Florida Disney With A Toddler

Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida

       A big welcome to one of my newest blog sponsors Destinations In Florida. I hope you enjoy this wonderful guest post about traveling to Disney World with a Toddler. Feel free to get a quote from one of the links in this post and I will continually keep one on my sidebar for a wonderful Florida vacation. They can give you quotes for places such as Disney World, Universal Studios, Cruises, Sea World and many others. I am very proud to be partnering with such a wonderful company.


  I often get asked, “How young is too young for a Disney World vacation?” There are many different variables to consider when answering this question. Are you planning on taking your child to Disney World several times over the duration of his or her childhood? Does your child handle public places and sleeping away from home well? If so, your child may be ready for a Disney World vacation. My daughter was 28 months old on her first trip to Disney World. Here are a few tips and tricks that I learned along the way.

Prepare your child for the characters
  I learned the hard way that my daughter was scared of characters she didn’t know. Our mall had some characters from Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda make an appearance and I thought it would be fun to take her. I was wrong. She was terrified of them. I didn’t want her to have the same reaction at Disney World, so we decided to try to familiarize her with the characters. Every Saturday night leading up to our vacation, we did a Disney family movie night. We picked a Disney movie and made the entire evening’s theme around it. For example, on Tangled night we had angel hair pasta and braided bread sticks for dinner. We made Rapunzel’s frying pan necklaces from Spoonful.com and colored Rapunzel coloring pages. Lastly, we popped some popcorn and watched the movie. It was a great way to get the kids excited for our vacation and it helped my daughter know who many of the characters were. It worked wonderfully. She hugged all of her favorites and posed for pictures with every character we met.

Travel during the off season
  The Florida heat can be hard on anyone, but it is especially difficult on little ones. If possible, travel during the off season when the weather will be cooler. Dress in light colored clothing, wear sun hats, and plenty of sunscreen. Make sure everyone in your family drinks lots of water to stay hydrated. Traveling during the off season also means smaller crowds and smaller wait times, both of which can be overwhelming and stressful on little ones.

Try to stick with your schedule
  If you eat meals at a certain time of day, try to schedule your meals at Disney World around the same time. If you child takes a nap, try to head back to hotel around the same time for quiet time. My daughter was always a terrible sleeper and never takes naps at home. She did fall asleep in her stroller every day at the parks. We took advantage of that time to let my husband and stepdaughter (who was 11) ride the rides that my daughter was too little for so she didn’t feel like she was missing out on anything.

Take advantage of Disney’s Baby Care Centers 
 All four of the parks at Disney World have a baby care center location. The baby care centers are complimentary to use and includes a private nursing room with rocking chairs, changing room with tables and a unisex bathroom, feeding area with highchairs, kitchen with microwave, oven and sink, and main room with television, table, chairs and sofa. These areas are perfect for taking a quiet break or heating up a quick snack.
 
Take advantage of Disney’s Rider Switch Program
 If you and your significant other both want to ride a ride that your toddler is too little for, take advantage of Disney’s Rider Switch Program. When you get in line for the ride, ask the cast member for a rider switch pass while your significant other waits with your child. When you get off the ride, give the pass to your significant other. He or she will then be allowed to ride without waiting in line again while you wait with your child. If you have older children, this works out great for them since they will be allowed to ride twice!

Don’t expect perfection
  Even though it is the happiest place on Earth, the entire trip will not be rainbows and sunshine. Of course you want everything to be perfect and spending so much planning and money on your vacation, but reality is that it won’t be. Toddlers spill, have accidents, and throw temper tantrums. There are two temper tantrums that my daughter had during our trip that I will never forget. The first was at the Magic Kingdom when she threw a fit because see wanted a Jessie hat (or Jessie yee-haw as she called it). I ended up letting her get it with her souvenir money for the day. She fell asleep in her stroller ten minutes later and has only worn the hat that she had to have half a dozen times since then. The second was when we couldn’t take her stroller into 1900 Park Fare for breakfast and had to park it outside. For whatever reason, she wanted her stroller and there was no consoling her. After feeling like the entire room was staring at us, I took her outside to try to calm her now. The only thing that worked was showing her the collection of pressed pennies she had gotten all week.

Despite the temper tantrums, seeing the smiles on my girls’ faces as they hugged their favorite characters and danced to their favorite Disney songs on Main Street made it all worthwhile. Another question I often get asked “Is if I knew beforehand that our vacation would go the way it did, would I still do it again?” The answer is absolutely!

What are your favorite tips and tricks for Disney World with toddlers?

Alexia is a Disney Vacation Specialist with Destinations in Florida. When she is not helping plan magical vacations, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Feel free to click on one of these links on the top or bottom of this post. I will also keep one on the sidebar since Destinations In Florida is a Next Generation Stay At Home Mom blog sponsor. The links can give you great quotes on different types of vacations in Florida, such as Disney, cruises, Universal, Sea World and many others! I am very proud to represent such a wonderful and family friendly company!

Enter to win a $25.00 gift card for Disney. This is good to book a Disney vacation, at Disney World, at the Disney store or online. Contest is open to all United States residents. It ends on Monday, July 22, 2013 at 8:00pm EST.

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Great Perks for your Walt Disney World Vacation at Destinations in Florida

3 comments:

  1. Your tips and advice for traveling with toddlers was so helpful. I didn't know about the switch rider program - such a nice benefit. I also found your advice helpful about preparing them for the characters. We know they are cast members dressed up, but toddlers believe they are real. I hope one day to visit Disney World and good, experienced advice is so welcome.

    basketgal917@hotmail.com

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  2. Loved your blog post! I would love to take my 3 year old son soon! :)

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