Planning a Walt Disney World Holiday With A Toddler

Before E, when we used to book a Disney holiday, we just booked a Disney holiday and just arrived and saw what we fancied doing on the day. Now, I have found myself planning, planning and planning our upcoming trip to make sure that I've thought of everything. After all, that's my job as mum isn't it?

Anyway, I thought it might be a good idea to write down some of my tips for planning a Walt Disney World holiday with a toddler, which I hope will be useful for any of you guys if you're planning a trip to the sunshine state!

Book well in advance

There's something that I love about the build up to going on holiday. Mainly because I love the excitement, but I also love the planning time. I like to think about what we want to see and what we want to do, and then try to prioritise that. I think booking in advance definitely allows that to happen, without the experience needing to be stressful. 

Disney is very much a doing holiday. There's always something to see and do but I think it's important to have that time to really think about some of the rides, experiences, etc that you want in a Disney holiday.

Download the My Disney Experience app before you go

This is an absolute must. Once you've booked your Disney holiday to WDW, then you need this app. It has everything that you could possibly need to organise your holiday. 

It allows you to see park times, ride times, make dining and fastpass+ reservations, and it will have all of your photo pass photos linked from the parks, plus more. So, it's definitely a necessity for your trip!

Keep an eye out for deals

Disney have always got some kind of offer on, but make sure to keep an eye out for some of the best ones. In my opinion, any offers that include free dining are always a winner. 

When we booked our holiday, as we're staying in a value Disney resort, we had the free offer of a free breakfast each day. We then upgraded this to the Disney Dining Plan (which I'm so excited to try for the first time!).

Dining plans are only available to guests staying on Disney property, so if you're planning on staying at a Disney resort, then I'd recommend looking into the dining plan to see if it's worth it for you!

Dining reservations

Speaking of Disney dining, I cannot stress how important it is to get your dining reservations booked! 

You can make Disney dining reservations up to 180 days before your holiday, which sounds like a long time, but it soon flies by, so definitely, definitely, definitely get those reservations in because it's surprising how quickly the spaces fill up!

We took full advantage of this, and through the My Disney Experience app, we have booked most of our meals whilst we are away. We have, of course, got some room for freedom, but our main meals have mostly been booked to avoid us any disappointment when we get there.

Fastpass+ reservations

Again, these are so important to reserve prior to any WDW trip. 

If you're staying on site with Disney, then guests can book their fastpasses for rides up to 60 days before your holiday. However, if you're staying off site, then it's 30 days beforehand. 

There are different tiered levels that the rides come under, so if there are any rides that are an absolute must for your trip, then take advantage of the opportunity to use the reservation system before you go. 

The Fastpass+ system also allows you to skip the main portion of the queue for the attraction that you've reserved, so your waiting time will be considerably less than the main attraction queue. This is definitely something that we will be taking advantage of, because let's be honest, no toddler likes queuing for anything!

Consider packages

As this is our first time taking our daughter, who will be 20 months at the time we go, we thought it would be a good idea to have our whole holiday under one booking. 

Normally, when we've been before, we book everything separately because it seemed cost effective with just the two of us, however, now that we have our gorgeous girl, we have found the whole management of the booking much smoother because it's all in one place. It's made it easier rather than having the tickets, flight, accommodation and transportation all separate, and has actually worked our cheaper for us in the long run.

As I mentioned before, Disney always have some kind of deals going on, so it's really worth shopping around to find the right deal for you and your family because it might be that for you, it's easier to book separately. However, Disney holidays do require some level of planning just because of how much there is to do!

Plan out your days

This links in considerably with reserving dining and Fastpasses. However, I think it's important when going with young children, to at least have a rough idea of what parks you're going to tackle on certain days.

There might be some days where you want to do a late night in one of the parks, so it might be worth looking at doing a more chilled next day around the pool before heading to Disney Springs in the evening, etc. 

I'm under no illusion that toddlers get very tired at Disney, so it might even be worth planning in a break in the day to go back to your resort for a nap - this is something that I'm very much considering because a grumpy, overtired toddler = not a fun experience!

Well I hope this list will serve useful to some of you considering or beginning to plan your Walt Disney World holiday. Watch this space for any updated tips that I might think of after we are back from our holiday!

Do you have any planning tips for a WDW holiday?

Thanks, lovelies.


1 comment

  1. Fab guide to Disney, who knew there would be so much planning involved. I will certainly be referring to this when we book hopefully next year.


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