Mikaela J

10 Must-Haves for Visiting Disney World with a Toddler

Traveling with a toddler can be difficult but there is no better place to visit with your little ones than Disney World.  We are so fortunate to have annual passes to the parks and the kids love visiting as often as possible.  Now that we have had passes for a couple of years, I thought it would be a good idea to share my top 10 must-haves for doing Disney with a toddler.  These items will make your trip so much better and will keep your kiddos happy all day! I would love for you to share your must-have item below!

Kids at EPCOT

  1. Backpack or Fanny Pack – Before Disney World I was never really a backpack fan.  I loved a good crossbody or tote but I could never get behind the idea or appearance of a backpack or fanny pack.  Oh how life has changed.  I purchased a backpack a few months ago and I will never go back.  I have so much more room, my hands are free, and the pockets keep me so organized.  I have heard amazing things about this one because it is super light-weight, breathable and packable! Perfect if you need an additional bag for the trip home or can be easily tucked away if you don’t!
  2. Water Bottles – Disney World can get really hot most of the year and you and your kids will definitely need a lot of water throughout the day.  Bottled waters run about $3.50/each and can really add up during your trip.  One thing a lot of people don’t know is that you can get free cups of ice-cold water at most of the quick service restaurants.  For sanitary reasons they can not fill up your water bottle, but you can ask for cups and fill up the sippy cups or water bottles yourself.  They also have multiple water fountains throughout the park.  This will keep you hydrated and save you some money!
  3. Snacks/Lunch – Keeping snacks on hand during park days will keep everyone happy.  We usually pack a full lunch for both of my kiddos so that they can eat when they are hungry and we can control what they are eating.  This way we also save some money and keep them happy without having to wait in line for lunch or snacks.  We like to pack a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, apple slices, cheese sticks, carrot sticks and granola bars. That way we can save for the infamous Mickey Bars or other fun treats.
  4. Sunscreen – This might be an obvious choice but I don’t think people realize how much sunscreen you will need.  It gets really hot and if you are like us, you will spend a lot of time outside at the park.  I always like to bring more sunscreen than I think I will need so I can reapply as needed.  I love this sunscreen stick for the kids and I feel like it works really well! Also keep in mind that if you are staying at a hotel, you will also need it for pool time or other outdoor activities.
  5. Fan – This was such a helpful item for us, especially when the kids were younger.  This one clips to the stroller and provides a good breeze on those really hot days. It can also serve as a quiet “white noise” machine if the kids want to take a nap.
  6. Ponchos – As much as you don’t not want it to happen, there is a very good chance it might rain while you are at Disney World.  Florida is known for it’s summer showers and they come out of no where.  Ponchos at the park are pricey and everyone races to get them at the same time.  Skip the lines and the high prices and grab some before you go.  The dollar store ones are a little too thin for me and break pretty easily, so I would recommend these.  They are also awesome for water rides and can be tucked in your backpack or stroller when not being used.
  7. Stroller – I would highly recommend bringing or renting a stroller, even for older children.  Not only are the parks crowded, but there is so much walking involved and even the most energetic little ones will probably get tired.  We usually bring our stroller but I know there are a lot of rental companies in Orlando that can deliver to your hotel room, or you can rent one at the park.  The stroller might seem like an inconvenience, but it can provide shade, storage and a place to nap.  Sometimes I wish I was in the stroller haha.
  8. Dollar Store Mickey Gifts and Glow Sticks – The parks are filled with toys and temptations for kids (and adults).  One tip I was given a couple years ago that has helped me out more times than I can count is to purchase some fun dollar store Mickey items before the trip.  They often have them in the dollar spot at Target or at the Dollar Tree.  I purchase a couple for each day and say that Mickey and Minnie left a special surprise for them back in the room or the car.  That seems to keep them distracted enough from the gift shops.  I also pick up a few glow sticks or light up toys to bring out at night.  The kids love them and it saves us money!
  9. Hats – This is something I didn’t think of until a few trips in, but we purchased these baseball caps for the kids and they have been amazing.  They block the sun from their face and eyes and keep their heads a little cooler.
  10. Hand Sanitizer – This is another item I always run out of.  There are so many germs everywhere you touch at Disney World and I am a little crazy when it comes to the hand sanitizer.  Sometimes we aren’t near a restroom when the kids want a snack so it’s perfect to pull out when needed.  I also sanitize after each ride for good measure.  Last week I saw my son licking the hand rail in line at Thunder Mountain Railroad, so I help where I can.

Bonus Tips:

Pajamas – One of my absolute favorite tips to share is to pack pajamas.  This works especially well when you are traveling by car and have to drive home after your day at the park.  We always change the kids into their pajamas after a long day at the park just so if they fall asleep in the car, we can just take them right to bed.

Contact/Emergency Bracelet – This is another added tip that I received from a fellow Passholder.  I like to write my phone number on a bracelet and stick it on my kid’s ankle.  Hopefully it will never be used, but it is an added sense of security for us on park days. These are also great for kids who have some medical restrictions or if you want something a bit more permanent.

I hope these tips help you when planning your next trip to Disney World! I keep learning things every time I go so I will try and update this post as needed.  Have a magical day!

Cinderella's Castle, Magic Kingdom, Disney World

Riding the Tea Cups at Magic Kingdom, Disney World

Disney World parade with Minnie Mouse