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.
- Beaches and Cream will begin accepting reservations December 18 - This small soda fountain restaurant serves burgers, sandwiches and their signature ice cream desserts.
- Limited Time Magic: Secret Santa Week - Visit the Town Square Christmas Tree on Main Street and see Duffy in his Christmas outfit. Other Disney characters will be located around the park. Get a special decorated keepsake card from each one as a souvenir.
- Limited Time Magic: Tour the Magic Kingdom with Phil Holmes - 25 lucky guests will get to tour the park with current Vice President Phil Holmes.
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- VIDEO: Holiday Storytellers - The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs - New to Holidays Around The World 2013 at Epcot in 2013 are the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs. The Canadian Holiday Voyageurs play multiple sets each day filled with Christmas songs done the Canadian way on the Mill Stage.
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- Guests at All Star Resorts will no longer receive Key to the World cards - As of 12/2/13, guests at All Star Sports Resort will no longer receive a Key to the World card. All information for the resort and parks will be on the Magic Band you receive when you check in. This will begin at All Star Music on 12/4/13 and at All Star Movies on 12/6/13. This system is already in place at Pop Century.
- VIDEO: it's a small world Holiday Full POV Ride-Through - The happiest cruise that ever sailed gets even merrier for the holidays. it's a small world, the 1964 World's Fair attraction that came to Disneyland in 1966, gets a full overlay for the holiday season including decorations and a new soundtrack!
- Atlanta Braves spring training tickets now on sale - The Atlanta Braves return to ESPN Wide World of Sports for their annual spring training. Tickets are first come/first served and the games take place at Champion Stadium.
- Blog - Give Kids the World Village and Giving Tuesday December 3, 2013
- VIDEO: Gran Fiesta Tour POV Ride-Through - Donald Duck disappears on his way to a Three Caballeros performance in Mexico City and his friends, José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles, set out to search for him.
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- Specialty food and drink offered for holidays at Epcot - New this holiday season, each country will be serving a specialty food and drink.
- New bus loop at Magic Kingdom open - In addition to regular single stops, there are several double stops that will accommodate two regular buses or one of the new articulated buses.
- Limited Time Magic: Donate a Duffy the Disney Bear to Toys for Tots - Visit the Once Upon a Toy store or the World of Disney store at Downtown Disney and with every $5 purchase, Disney will donate a Duffy the Disney Bear toy to Toys for Tots.
- Limited Time Magic: Jolly Year of the Ear - Celebrate the season in style with Santa Mickey and Minnie Santa ear hats - only available for a short time at the Emporium at Magic Kingdom.
- Times and dates for Epcot holiday storytellers - Each country has its own special theme that highlights its culture. Storytellers will delight you with tales of their heritage and how the holidays are celebrated in their homeland.
- VIDEO: "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen in Celebrate the Magic - This holiday season, "Let It Go" from Disney's Frozen is featured in Celebrate the Magic, the nighttime projection show on Cinderella Castle.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street Plaza - Cinderella Castle - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street Plaza - Cinderella Castle November 11, 2013 - Night
- Blog - Happy Thanksgiving from the Magic Kingdom!
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street U.S.A. Bridge - Main Street U.S.A. - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street U.S.A. Bridge - Main Street U.S.A., November 11, 2013 - Night
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- New holiday entertainment for the Canada pavilion at Epcot - Follow the Canadian Holiday Voyageurs on a musical tour to discover the country's holiday customs.
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- Royal Caribbean is offering a $200 Onboard Credit and 50% Reduced Deposit! - The offer is only available for booking on December 2, 3 and 4, 2013.
- Disney Vacation Club members offered event at Splitsville Luxury Lanes - On December 2 and 9 from 5-6:45pm, the experience will include bowling, shoe rental, a shared appetizer, an entree (or kids' meal), a signature beverage and a special DVC gift.
- Several rehabs added for early 2014 - The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Festival of the Lion King, Kali River Rapids, and the Studio Backlot Tour have all been added to the rehab list.
- Aulani named Best for Families by Fodor's Travel - Aulani was recently named "Best for Families" by Fodor's Travel in their "Top 10 Hawaiian Resorts for 2013" list.
- Blog - Review: “Frozen”
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Main Street Train Station - Main Street U.S.A. - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Main Street Train Station - Main Street U.S.A., November 11, 2013 - Night
- Limited Time Magic: Thanksgiving Treats Available - Special treats will be available at various locations in the theme parks.
- New Year's Eve dining info for Swan and Dolphin Hotels - The restaurants of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin will be offering special New Year's Eve menus.
- Walt Disney World Annual Passholders can save up to 37% at select hotels - Discount is valid for travel between 1/4/14-3/18/14, 3/14/14-3/29/14, 1/19/14-3/13/14 and 3/30/14-4/12/14.
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- Limited Time Magic: Jingle Cruise poster giveaway - Celebrate the Jingle Cruise at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park with a complimentary mini poster while supplies last.
- Several rehabs scheduled for the Magic Kingdom - Among the closings are The Plaza Restaurant, Pinocchio Village Haus, Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover, Barnstormer, and the Liberty Square Riverboat.
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- The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special to return? - Rumors are that the popular holiday version of The Comedy Warehouse will be returning to Hollywood Studios this year.
- Blog - EXCLUSIVE: Nikon becomes the Official Camera of Walt Disney World and Disneyland
- VIDEO: Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party 2013 - What happens when you combine one 30,000 pound, 65 foot tree, one 40 foot star, 5500 twinkling lights, 430 feet of garland, 325 ornaments, 275 feet of strung popcorn, 400 flickering candles, 135 candy canes, 100 gingerbread cookies and the Disney Characters? Why, you have the perfect recipe for Christmas at the Magic Kingdom!
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- Christmas dining options for Walt Disney World - All restaurants on property will be open as normal, but some are serving special Christmas menus.
- Thanksgiving dining options at Walt Disney World - All restaurants on property will be open as normal, but some are serving special Thanksgiving menus.
- New looks available for the holidays at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique - Now through 1/3/14, little girls can choose from a Frozen Package or a Holiday Minnie Package.
- Santa Claus comes to Downtown Disney - At the Marketplace, you'll find Santa Claus waiting to greet you at his chalet in front of the World of Disney store.
- VIDEO: Josh Gad - Voice of Olaf in "Frozen" - Interview - Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in "Frozen" and "World of Color - Winter Dreams" and Tony Award nominee for "The Book of Mormon", takes a few minutes to talk about how important it was to work on a Disney film that led to a theme park experience and the music behind it all.
- All guests at Pop Century will now use MagicBands - As of 11/14/13, guests at Pop Century will no longer receive a Key to the World card. All information for the resort and parks will be on the Magic Band you receive when you check in.
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- Disney obtains distrbution rights to future Indiana Jones films
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- Seaworld Orlando's Shamu show closes for 3 months
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- 12-year-old girl protests SeaWorld parade float
- SeaWorld plans several events for early 2014