Tips about Kids

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
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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
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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
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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
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
A tip for UK visitors: In shops, kids struggle to work out the cost of something in British pounds, as they have to add the sales tax and then do the currency conversion. When ours were younger I made little conversion charts with the GBP equivalent (with sales tax added) of up to $20. As long as they can add up, they can then work out what things are going to cost from their spending allowance without having to ask Mum or Dad all the time. - Juli Williamson
Magic Kingdom - A not-well-publicized event that is fun to see for the little kids (and those kids at heart such as myself) is the opening ceremony at the Magic Kingdom. It occurs about 10-15 minutes before what Disney refers to as the "rope drop" (the time that they let people through the arches and into the park). The train arrives at the Main Street station above the floral displays with all the characters on board, with Disney music playing. They stop and wave to everyone waiting to enter the park. They let people through the turnstiles into the queue area about 20-30 minutes prior to the park opening. So get there a few minutes early if you want to see it. I believe it is worth seeing. - Mike
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
It is so easy to lose a toddler amongst heavy crowds in the blink of an eye. Get your little ones used to wearing their MagicBands a few days before your trip and write your cell phone number with a waterproof marker on the colored part of the band. This way whoever finds your child can easily contact you if you get separated. - Ayse Clark
Save the little bottles of bubbles you get at weddings and bring them with you to Disney. Our daughter keeps one in her fanny pack. She has stopped many a potential meltdown by blowing bubbles for a fussy toddler as we waited in line. It's portable pixie dust! - Karen B
We recently took my nieces, ages 5, 9, 11 and 13, to Disney World. I went online and refreshed my memory on some string games (Cat's Cradle, Witches' Broom, etc) and took along several strings to play with. While standing in the longer lines I let the girls try their luck, two-person games for the older ones and easier things for the little ones. It kept the girls entertained as well as the little ones around us, and some of the parents, too! I gave away some of the extra strings I had to the other kids in line. So simple, but with all this technology no one thinks of the entertainment value of a loop of string anymore. And when it is time to get on the ride just slip it in your pocket until next time. - Suzanne Gould
On a recent trip to Disney my 5-year-old discovered several things she wanted to buy and, like most parents, we told her we would "think about it" as we moved on to the next part of our trip. Because I had my computer with me I was able to visit the Disney Store website the last night of our trip and order many of the things she had seen in the parks, as both Christmas and her birthday were coming up. I was thrilled to receive free shipping and knowing that I didn't have to try to "hide" these presents in our suitcases. But the icing on the cake was that several of the items were actually cheaper on the website than they would have been had we bought them at the park! - Kim Meyerholtz
On our recent Magic Kingdom visit my two children really wanted to get their faces painted. We first tried the Pirates' League in Adventureland, but it closed at 3:30 p.m. on the day we visited. However, we found a face painting area tucked away next to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin in Tomorrowland. And the best part -- just keep your receipt, and they'll touch up your face paint throughout the day for no extra charge! - Laura Gjere
Epcot - If going to Epcot with elementary school-aged kids, play Agent P! Even if you have never watched Phineas and Ferb, you should play the game. It made the World Showcase so much more interesting for my 8- and 10-year-olds. I enjoyed it also and my husband liked the fact that he could sit and have a beer at the Rose and Crown while we did our secret agent thing in the United Kingdom. - Margaret
Epcot - If going to Epcot with elementary school-aged kids, play Agent P! Even if you have never watched Phineas and Ferb, you should play the game. It made the World Showcase so much more interesting for my 8- and 10-year-olds. I enjoyed it also and my husband liked the fact that he could sit and have a beer at the Rose and Crown while we did our secret agent thing in the United Kingdom. - Margaret
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