Surviving Walt Disney World with Younger Children

Walt Disney World is a big place.  It’s a lot of walking and hurrying to get from point A to point B and, also, a lot of waiting.  This is tough on adults but it’s also tough on the children in the parks as well.  Chances are there will be a meltdown in the parks from all the walking and waiting.  It happens to everybody.  What can you do to keep the meltdown at bay or avoid it altogether.

 

1) Take in a show

Walt Disney World has plenty of shows that provide guests a chance to get off their feet and relax while watching a highly entertaining show.  These shows vary in length but are typically 20-30 minutes.  Plenty of time to recharge and head back into the parks.  Some of these shows are sparsely attended so if someone falls asleep during the show, the chance of staying for a second show is pretty high.  What shows are available in the parks?

Magic Kingdom: Hall of Presidents, Carousel of Progress, Country Bear Jamboree, Enchanted Tales with Belle

EPCOT: Ellen’s Energy Adventure, The American Adventure, O Canada! (no seats), Reflections of China, Impressions de France

Hollywood Studios: Disney Junior Live on Stage (seating on floor and can be loud), Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Frozen Singalong Celebration (can be loud), Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

Animal Kingdom: Festival of the Lion King, Flights of Wonder, Finding Nemo The Musical, It’s Tough to be a Bug

 

2) Take A Break from the Parks

Yes, there is a lot to see and do in the parks and the temptation is strong to try to do it all.  Resist this temptation.  The park will always be there.  Take some time for everybody and leave the park and return to the resort.  Get a nap in the room or spend some time at the pool.  Just spend some time away from the park crowds and enjoy yourself.  There is plenty to do at the resorts.

When I go to Walt Disney World, I try to do this every day.  I try to be at the park right when they open and the crowds are lighter.  Around the middle of the day, I leave the park and return to the resort for some pool time and wait for the mid-day thunderstorm to roll through.  In the evening, I head back into the park.  It’s a plan that has kept our family sane throughout the vacation.

3) Tour the World Showcase

Take some time and go slow through EPCOT’s World Showcase.  There are lots of things to see and eat at these pavilions.  Some of them will be more crowded than others (especially Norway with the new Frozen attraction and princess dining).  Going into and exploring the pavilions are great ways to get away from the crowds while learning about other cultures.  Plus, some of these pavilions have show attractions that you can watch.

All of the pavilions have a Kidcot Fun Stop where children can sit down and color a Disney character and there are passports which guests can purchase and get stamped at each of pavilions.   A fun way to keep the children engaged while in the parks.

4) When in doubt get a stroller

Children like their independence and they like to get out of the stroller and walk from place to place.  Walt Disney World is not your average theme park.  It is big.  It takes time to get from place to place.  It’s a lot of walking.  More walking than most people are used to.  If you are asking the question, “should I get a stroller for my child?”  The answer is yes.  The stroller gives a child a place to relax, take a break from walking or even take a nap.

I would recommend bringing your own stroller to the parks.  The strollers provided by Walt Disney World are made of hard plastic and all look the same.  If left in the sun, they can get very hot.

5) Stop and have a snack

People get “hangry” that lovely combination of hungry and angry.  Stopping for a snack can help avoid most meltdown that can’t be resolved with slowing down and relaxing.  Fortunately, Walt Disney World has snacks for every palette.  From salty to sweet, hard candy to ice cream, popcorn to pretzels, there is something for everyone.   Free water is available at all Walt Disney World counter service location.  All you need to do is go up to the counter and ask.  Then, sit back and enjoy your snack while people watching as they go from attraction to attraction while you recharge your batteries.

Thanks for reading!

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