the Magic Kingdom
With Small Children
The joke goes, if you hear a kid crying, you know that you're in Disney World. While some meltdowns are inevitable, there are ways to avoid these scenarios.
Either bring or rent a stroller. This is a huge, sprawling theme park and it's unreasonable to expect the little ones to keep pace with the adults. (Please don't leave valuables in the stroller when you're on the attractions.)
Think about what your little guy is seeing. While you're oohing and ahhing over all of the sights, they're probably looking at the posterior of the person in front of them. Make sure their line of vision is clear.
WOW!!! There he is, Mickey Mouse in the plush!!! What you see as the icon of icons may appear as a gigantic, scary rat to your child. If they're afraid, don't force the issue. Hopefully they'll warm up to the characters during your stay. If not, the "face" characters such as the Princesses and Aladdin may be less threatening.
Make yourself aware of height restrictions. No sense having junior get psyched about going on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and finding out he's not tall enough. Have kids of varying heights? Check out the information on Rider Switch.
Tots + Long Lines = Tantrums. It's so easy for youngsters to get overwhelmed. Most have had their sleep routines interrupted, they're tired, hot and just plain cranky. To get the most mileage out of your day, the following tips should be helpful:
- Fastpass - Don't assume that just the roller coasters offer this option. Popular rides for the little ones, such as Peter Pan's Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and Jungle Cruise have Fastpass offered. Take advantage of bypassing the lines of these attractions.
- Extra Magic Hour is a perfect opportunity to get a jump on the crowds, particularly the morning openings. Plan your schedule to take advantage of this program at the Magic Kingdom.
- "Dark Rides" - If your child is sensitive think twice about attractions like Stitch's Great Escape, Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion.
- Dumbo is probably the one attraction that the little ones gravitate to the most. This is a perfect time to use tip #2. If there are no "extra hours" offered, get to the park early and make Dumbo your first stop. The lines will only get longer as the day progresses. If you have a bit of a wait, get it out of the way early when your little guy isn't tired out.
- "Filler Rides" - There are some attractions where the wait is often minimal. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, The Enchanted Tiki Room, It's a Small World , Tomorrowland Transit Authority and the Magic Carpets of Aladdin are among them.While you're waiting for your Fastpass time, it's the perfect chance to keep things moving. (If you're visiting during a peak season, even these lines can be a challenge.)
- "Show" attractions - These can be a great time to sit, get cooled off and relax. It can also be the time when the little ones are bored out of their minds and "whine" is in full swing. Either they can't see or the show is not going to interest them. Of the "too boring for toddlers" is the Hall of Presidents and Carousel of Progress. (Heck, they can put an adult to sleep.) Of the "too boring for grownups but suited for toddlers" is The Enchanted Tiki Room and the Country Bear Jamboree. While Mickey's PhilharMagic is adorable, it requires wearing 3-D glasses. Depending on how little your child is, they may not want to keep them on.
- Parades - Kids love everything about them, except the wait to see them. It's not easy staking out a prime spot, but well worth it. Try not to pick the side that has the sun in your eyes and be armed with treats/little toys to keep the kids amused while you wait.
- Play Areas - You'll find several of these around the park. The little ones love these sections, but be forewarned, in some instances they might get wet. Be ready with a change of clothes.
- Baby Care Centers - There is a Baby Care Center located in each park, often near the entrance. You will find baby changing stations in every restroom around the park, but these baby care centers can be a nice quiet place to nurse and feed a young child, or just to get out of the heat for a little while.
- Let the kids set the pace - You've spent a fortune on plane tickets, rental cars, resorts, meals, park tickets and what's your little one fascinated with? A duck. I'm not talking Donald, I'm talking Mallard. These are the moments that you'll think back to with a smile. If your little guy spots a duck waddling by, or sees a butterfly, let them enjoy it. To them this is just as magical as Mickey.
The Magic Kingdom can be everything that you want it to be. Will you get to "do it all" with a toddler in tow? Probably not. Will you create memories that you'll always treasure? Most definitely. Watch as your little one experiences those wonderful Mickey Moments and you'll soon be planning the next trip.
- Changes coming to Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party? - An update is rumored for this parade later this year, possibly around October. Possible changes are new music; Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald moving to the top of the floats; and Stitch joining the fun. Sebastian, Lumiere, and The Mad Hatter will leave the parade.
- During pool rehab, Polynesian guests will have free admission to Blizzard Beach - Originally, the resort guests were just going to be given one-day tickets to the water park, but that has been changed. They will now have complimentary unlimited admission to Blizzard Beach during their stay at the Polynesian.
- List of restaurants participating in the 2015 Disney Dining Plan - This list will be updated as more restaurants are added. Epcot and Downtown Disney restaurants don't normally finalize their participation until later in the year.
- 2015 Magic Your Way Disney World packages released! - A Walt Disney World package is a resort room and theme park admission. The Disney Dining Plan may also be added.
- Happy 15th Birthday to Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith! - The attraction originally opened its doors at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on July 29, 1999.
- Victoria & Albert's will no longer accept Tables in Wonderland - This begins August 1, 2014.
- Summertime Pals Ink & Paint Cel release - This limited release will be available at the event, or pre-order by September 25 at 5:00pm EST.
- Haunted Mansion merchandise shop coming to Magic Kingdom - The former Yankee Trader shop will become a Haunted Mansion merchandise location in the near future. The decor will be inspired by Madame Leota and will carry items from the Haunted Mansion Authentic program, such as apparel, home goods, souvenirs and more.
- Merchandise Events and Artist Appearances/Signings for August - List of authors and artists coming to the theme parks for signings and merchandise releases.
- List of characters updated for Villains Unleashed! event - Over 50 Disney villains will be taking over the park until the 13th hour!
- Beginning today, PhotoPass print packages are no longer offered table-side at character meals - This includes Chef Mickey's, 1900 Park Fare, 'Ohana, Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Disney's Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show and Tusker House Restaurant.
- Disney Visa cardholders can book Food & Wine Festival events early - Disney Visa cardholders can book special events two days earlier than the general public - on July 29 and July 30 from 7:00am-11:00pm EST.
- Tables in Wonderland adds blackout dates for several restaurants - The Tables in Wonderland program offers Florida Residents, DVC members and Annual Passholders 20% off of all food and beverage purchases at the participating Disney restaurants.
- Information on Holiday sleigh rides at Fort Wilderness - This horse-drawn "sleigh" ride is a fun way to celebrate the season.
- Marketplace menus for Epot International Food & Wine Festival - List of menu items for the marketplaces set up around World Showcase.
- Rehab planned in November for Magic Carpets of Aladdin - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed 11/10 - 11/21/2014.
- Food & Wine Festival Special Dining Experiences released - Bookings for these experiences begin July 31.
- 10 Places to Wait Out a Thunderstorm at Walt Disney World
- Disney Castaway Cay Challenge added to Princess Half Marathon Weekend - Runners who are registered for any of the Disney races (5K or longer) during the Weekend have the option to complete the Disney Castaway Cay Challenge when sailing on the Disney Dream February 23-27.
- Fantasia Miniature Golf Course rehab planned off and on for the next two weeks - Gardens Course closed 7/22-7/25/2014, 7/28-8/1/2014, 8/4-8/8/2014. The Fairways will still be open.
- Blog - I Can Go The Distance: Deciding is one thing, registering is another
- Save up to 30% on a Room Only reservation at Walt Disney World! - Valid for stays most nights 10/4/14 - 11/25/14 and 11/29/14 - 12/23/14.
- 2015 WDW hotel discount released for U.S. Military - Valid for stays most nights 9/28/14 - 10/3/15.
- All 3 remaining weekends sold out for Harambe Nights - July 26, August 2 and August 9 are sold out.
- Annual passholder discount for Spice Road Table - Through 9/17/14, Annual Passholders can get a 30% discount on their bill.
- 2015 Military Ticket Discount info released - Members of the military can purchase 4-day Magic Your Way tickets with Park Hopper option for $177 each.
- Changes to reservation times for Wishes Dessert Party - Reservations are all being set for 6:00pm, no matter when Wishes is taking place. The dessert party will actually take place one hour before Wishes.
- Frozen Summer Fun Premium package is sold out for all remaining dates - This package gives guests at Frozen Summer Fun Live reserved viewing for several events.
- Wild by Design tour to be discontinued after 9/26/14 - This tour takes place at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
- Fantasy Football Convention coming to ESPN Wide World of Sports - The convention will give attendees access to ESPN talent, a live fantasy football draft and more.
- Blog - Sneak Preview of What's Coming to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Dates and pricing released for ICE! at Gaylord Palms - Using two million pounds of ice, this Gaylord Palms Resort special ticket exhibit will be transformed into the North Pole.
- Blog - Disney's Magical Express Age Limit Changes: A Parent's & Teacher's Perspective
- Blog - Five Reasons Why We're Not Seeing "Planes: Fire & Rescue" in Theaters
- Blog updated - I Just Spent $20 on FastPasses! Would You? - The author has taken the tour she discussed in the blog - check out her thoughts to see if she would do this again!
- Blog - July 2014 Magic Kingdom Construction Update
- Information for Food & Wine Festival special dining experiences - book 7/31 - Premium events will be announced July 24 and can be booked on July 31 beginning at 7:00am EST. To book, call 407-WDW-FEST (939-3378).
- Princess Half Marathon fills in less than 24 hours - The Princess Half Marathon, the Princess Enchanted 10K and the Glass Slipper Challenge are sold out, filling less than 24 hours after registration opened.
- Dolphins at Epcot will be offstage through August 7 - Guests will not be able to see the dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The Dolphins in Depth Tour will be unavailable during this time as well.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Speeds in the area will be reduced, as well as lanes closed. Buena Vista Drive will be expanded to 10 lanes.
- Blog - Disney Responds to Disability Access Service Lawsuit
- Walt Disney World 2015 packages now available to book
- High-speed train will link Shanghai Disneyland to city
- "Clyde and Seamore Take Pirate Island" show cancelled at SeaWorld
- PBS plans Walt Disney biopic
- Release date set for 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film
- Man arrested at Typhoon Lagoon for molesting 4 teenage girls
- Standby line to be cut off in Anna and Elsa meet and greet
- Disney's second quarter injury report: 12-year-old boy cuts fingers on Pirates ride
- 30 years in prison for man who molested girl at SeaWorld
- Possible agreement reached between Disney and unions