No, we didn’t win the Super Bowl, but yes, we are going to Disney World.
The last time we went to Disney World was in 2011. We drove up to Orlando to visit family and decided to go to Disney World just for the heck of it, because frankly, who doesn’t love Disney World. We planned nothing and spent our time running from ride to ride trying to get in as much as we could in one day. Fast forward three years and now we are planning a trip to Disney World around nap times, looking at height restrictions and thinking about stroller parking. My times have changed.
Planning for Disney with Toddlers
Orlando is home to the most famous theme parks in perhaps the world – Disney World. It’s actually four parks in one: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Thankfully it’s only about three hours from our house, so it is an easy weekend and an easy trip with kids. That being said, we aren’t planning to spend three days at the theme parks with 1 ½ year old twins – that seems like a bit too much for them and us – so we wanted to find ways to maximize our time at the parks and minimize the chances for toddler chaos.
Turns out in the last three years A LOT has changed at Disney World. The fast pass system, which allows you to skip long lines on the rides has changed from a paper ticket you got at the ride, to an electronic system you book in advance. And you can book a “fast pass” for character meetings, parades, shows and all sorts of activities. The reviews on this new system are mixed, but from my perspective, not having to haul the kids around from ride to ride to get fast passes for later sounds like a good idea to me! We booked our fast passes online before going to the park – you select which rides or attractions you want to fast pass and Disney offers you four options on fast pass times. That was terrific for us since we could plan to group together rides and activities in each of the lands. If you have a chance of heart or plans, you can always update your fass pass selections online or at the park.
Transportation within Disney World is easy and convenient. We had planned to stay at a Hilton property on Disney property, to maximize the convenience of the shuttle, but other plans got in the way and now we’re staying about a 10 minute drive away. That’s ok though, because we heard from a local that the hotel/resort shuttles are slow and time consuming if you aren’t at a Walt Disney World Resort or aren’t planning to park hop. She recommended we bring our own car (with car seats) instead of waiting for a bus with cranky toddlers. We’ll see if we made the right choice.
For now though, it’s off to Disney World!