What?wonder exactly what you were thinking when you decided to load up the family and subject yourself this expensive and sometimes exhausting experience. There will also be priceless pictures and memories. The trick is to get more good out of it than bad and the way to do that is to plan carefully.

Pick the Right Time of Year to Visit:Simple is Better:What to Pack:

Unless you're going to order diapers and have them shipped to your resort, bring extra--a lot extra. When my kids were in diapers, I would pack an entire suitcase full of diapers, wipes, and other essentials that I knew we would slowly run out of during the trip and then use the bag for souvenirs on the way home. In addition, you may want to consider packing:

  • Nightlights.
  • A small white noise machine.
  • Bottles and sippy cups, possibly more than you would use at home since you won't have easy access to washing them during the day.
  • Children's pain reliever.
  • Babyproofing items like door and outlet covers.
  • A small container of the laundry soap you use at home if you're doing laundry. This isn't a good time for someone to have an allergic reaction.
  • Toiletries from home.
  • Heavier clothing, including gloves and hats, if you are visiting during the winter months. You may not need it, but Orlando weather during this time of year is very unpredictable. Better safe than sorry.
  • Shoes like Crocs, that can be worn when wet.

Get Park Wise: You can buy diapers and other baby supplies in the parks at the Babycare Centers, but they are very expensive and the selection is limited to sizes in the middle range. Better to bring more than you need. This is where the storage compartment in your stroller comes in handy.
Don't Forget about the Babycare Centers:

Located in each park, Disney provides a quiet respite for families with young children: Babycare Centers. Change your toddler, feed them lunch, or just relax. If you've got a young child, there's no quieter place in the parks. As noted above, you can also purchase supplies, including adult pain relievers and other items you may have forgotten.

Get Park Wise: Parents with older children with physical disabilities may also use the Babycare Centers for things like changing in lieu of the companion bathrooms. Most changing tables are very large and hold a lot of weight. There isn't a lot of privacy, but during slower times you may ask cast member to close the door for a few minutes so that you may attend to your child.


Where to Eat:Should You Bring a Stroller?

This is one of the most common questions I get, especially since many toddlers have already rejected their strollers back home in favor of walking everywhere. Again, this depends on the child but most younger children will benefit from having a stroller, even if you use it mainly to get in and out of the parks. It can also be a nice place for them to nap as well as a convenient way to keep track of your child during fireworks and parades.

Get Park Wise
What Attractions are Appropriate for Toddlers?
Get Park Wise
Avoiding Meltdowns:

Just So You Know:What about you? Have you taken young children to the parks? What tips can you share with other parents that might make their experience easier?

Park Wise is written by Chris Wood.

You can find her at Everything Walt Disney World.

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If you have any specific questions you would like me to tackle, please leave me a comment!