Disney World Kids Tips

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Consider putting the kids in their pajamas before returning to the parks for the evening. That way when you get back to your room they can just get into bed! Less work for Mom and Dad and it makes for an easy transition to bed for the tired little ones! - Diane

Categories: Kids
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We visited Disney's Hollywood Studios last week with our daughters, 16 and 2. While my 16-year-old loved the park, my 2-year-old found it very scary. If you have a little one who is timid, you may want to prepare them for this park or skip it all together. The Star Wars theme and characters are everywhere here. We were standing in line to meet Disney Junior characters when Star Wars music started playing and the characters marched right by us. She was terrified. We had to get out of line. Then we were stopped by a few stormtroopers while leaving Toy Story Mania. She started crying saying she wanted to go home... I saw several children crying when they had to walk by Darth Vader or a stormtrooper... I like Star Wars. But the constant shows that you can hear throughout the park with ominous-sounding music, the sound of scary voices (Kylo Ren and Darth Vader), and intimidating (to a small child) characters were just too much. Hopefully they will keep it localized to just the Star Wars area once it opens. - Jennifer D.

Categories: Kids, Hollywood Studios
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If you're going to have different sleeping arrangements in the hotel than you do at home (two kids in a bed, the whole family sleeping in one room), start preparing your kids in advance. Let them figure out who they're comfortable sleeping next to and if it will work, so they are not miserable at bedtime. Of course, they'll be so tired they may not care, but a little prep may help! Our 2-1/2-year-old pretty much only sleeps well in his crib, with a dark room, silence, and no one else in the room. So, we have to get him used to having one other person next to him in bed and other distractions in the room during the wind-down time. (Dad's snoring, too, yikes!) - Kara

Categories: Kids
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A great way to tote around your umbrella strollers is to use a "camping" or "sport" chair bag from home. Put the stroller in the bag when you are about to board the bus and easily store the bag in/on your stroller throughout the parks. It will make holding your stroller so much easier while toting those little ones around, too. I would love to take credit, but this is a tip someone else shared with me that I know everyone could use. - Jessica Stahl

Categories: Strollers, Kids
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Just got back from our first trip to the Magic Kingdom with a toddler. He goes down for a nap each afternoon and after not getting him to nap while going around Fantasyland/Tomorrowland in a stroller (probably too much noise and visual stimulation), we were going to go back to the hotel. On our way back toward the exit we strolled through the Tomorrowland Terrace. Less noise, no visual stimulation and protected from the sun, it was the perfect place for our son to finally fall asleep! It was also a good place for an adult to rest. It probably saved us an hour round-trip to the hotel and back. - Doug Chen

Categories: Kids, Magic Kingdom
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As adults we all know what to expect on our trips to Disney. But for young first-timers it's going to be a lot of firsts: plane ride, bus trip, rides, characters, hotel stay, etc. To prepare my 2-year-old for our upcoming trip, I've had him start watching YouTube videos of other family vacations to the world. Many show the plane ride, buses, different rides and character meet-ups. Now he's starting to get excited to go see Mickey Mouse. - Rachel

Categories: Kids
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Just back from our first trip with a toddler. He goes down for a nap each afternoon. We were unsuccessful getting him down in the Magic Kingdom (too much stimulation) so we headed out for the buses through Tommorrowland. As we strolled through the Tomorrowland Terrace, we realized less noise, no visual stimulation, and protection from the sun! It was the perfect place for our son to finally fall asleep. It probably saved us an hour to the hotel. - Doug C

Categories: Kids, Magic Kingdom
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If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or toy he or she can't part with (like my son with his Duffy bear), try placing a tracking device in or on it. Most are small enough so your child won't notice and the device can be linked to your phone. We have used Tile, for example, and it works great! - Rachel

Categories: Kids
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When I called to book Lilo's Playhouse (the children's activity center at the Polynesian Village Resort), I was originally told that it was completely sold out already for the period of July 14-18. However, I tried calling Lilo's myself directly. I was told that since they changed their system some cast members do not yet know that they must select a reservation time of 4:30 p.m. to midnight for the system to show availability for the date, otherwise it will show as fully booked. I thought this would be helpful for people looking to use this service when they stay at the Polynesian. We are now booked after calling back a second time. - Mark

Categories: Kids, Resorts, Polynesian
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When we traveled to Hawaii with my young sons, ages 4 and 7, I discovered a company that makes temporary "Lost and Found" tattoos with a space to write in your telephone number. Various bands, lanyards, cards or pins can get lost during a day in the parks, but a tattoo applied to your child's arm or hand is always there. And kids love them! There are also tattoos available for allergies, autism, Alzheimer's, etc. I always use these tattoos on my children when we visit Walt Disney World now. Even the teenagers will still wear them! - Becky

Categories: Kids
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Consider purchasing a clear backpack for your child. We got one for our granddaughter and packed it with a change of clothes for her and other necessities for the day. The security guards at the airport and Walt Disney World loved it. They just had to look and then sent us on our way. - Peggy

Categories: Kids, Packing
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Epcot - The new Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival in the Magic Eye Theater (in the Imagination pavilion) has a 15-minute standing pre-show that, while informative, is not very entertaining for kids. - A Reader

Categories: Kids, Epcot, Kids, EPCOT
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One of the things we always bring is a folding stepstool for the room that fits nicely in our luggage. Great for the little guys to use the toilet, wash hands and brush teeth without Mom and Dad's help. Also serves as a time-out chair when necessary. Yes, the resort may have some available for guests, but I don't want to be the 100th person asking and find they are already all loaned out. - Melanie Drake

Categories: Kids
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When our daughter, Megan, was small, she loved receiving Mickey Mouse stickers from cast members in the parks. When she was 5, we bought her some brightly colored sticker sheets of her own: love hearts, flowers and smiley faces. Every time she received a sticker, or any sort of attention from a cast member, she gave them a sticker in return. They loved it, and so did she! By the time our holiday was finished, she was giving out stickers to most of the cast members she met. It was so lovely, for us and for her, to see their faces light up, and she got lots of attention from cast members in return. - Alison

Categories: Kids
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Start saving all your and your kids' old clothes -- the ones that are stained or a little torn, clothes that you don't wear any more or don't let your kids wear to school. Rather than discarding them, keep these clothes. For your trip to The World, take these clothes -- especially for the children. No one cares or pays attention to what you wear in the parks, and that way you won't have to stress out when eating meals or snacks. Spill away! Stain away! No being careful! When you get back to the room, throw that tee shirt or pair of shorts away. When you get home: Hurray! No laundry to do! - Andrea Fisher

Categories: Kids, Packing
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