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.
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- Christmas Eve dinner available for Disney Vacation Club members - The dinner will include a buffet, Christmas carolers and photo ops with Mickey and Minnie.
- Walt Disney World New Year's Eve dining information - Many of the restaurants will offer special meals or dining events to celebrate the holiday.
- Discounts and payment plans available at Walt Disney World Speedway - Several of the driving experiences are available with a discount through the holidays.
- Epcot's Canadian Lumberjack show on hiatus - The show will resume 1/4/15.
- Play nine holes of golf at Disney for just $29 - Play 9 holes at the Disney golf courses starting anytime between 7:00 and 8:30am for just $29.
- Details for 2015 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival - Anna and Elsa topiaries will be on display at World Showcase Plaza.
- Epcot's Spice Road Table now accepts reservations - Reservations are available beginning December 2.
- The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special to return to Hollywood Studios - This improvisational comedy show will return to the Premier Theater at Hollywood Studios from December 21, 2014 - January 4, 2015.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Magic Kingdom Hub - Cinderella Castle - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Magic Kingdom Hub - Cinderella Castle
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - The Diamond Horseshoe Balcony - The Diamond Horseshoe - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at The Diamond Horseshoe Balcony - The Diamond Horseshoe
- Save up to 30% on a stay at Aulani - Discount is available most nights 4/6 - 6/15/15.
- VIDEO: Disney Park Bench - Bay Lake Tower 15th Floor - Magic Kingdom - Take 5 Minutes to Relax at Bay Lake Tower 15th Floor - Magic Kingdom
- Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party sold out on November 20 - There are still many MVMCP dates available.
- Plan B Character Dining at Walt Disney World - If you’re looking to make a reservation for a character meal and can’t get one, we’ve got a couple of suggestions for places you may not have thought of.
- Blizzard Beach to be closed November 17 due to cold temperatures - Typhoon Lagoon is already closed for its annual refurbishment.
- Top 5(+) things that are better at Walt Disney World than at Disneyland - Bigger may not always be better, but isn't always worse either. I can't resist countering with an article that lists, in my view, the things that are better at Walt Disney World.
- Guests meeting Santa at Downtown Disney have new notification option - Guests will get pagers if the wait exceeds 30 minutes (or they can choose to receive a text message instead). When their pager goes off and they return to Santa's Chalet, they will have about a 20 minute wait.
- Disney Visa cardholders get a special gift when taking advantage of Aulani discount - When booking the 4th night free offer, Disney Visa cardholders will also receive a special Welcome Gift at check-in with specialty items and signature Aulani merchandise ($98 value).
- Disney restaurants that kids will love, but parents would rather avoid - When you’re a parent traveling with your kids, you often need to put your own desires aside and head to the more kid-friendly establishments. Of course, there are exceptions to everything, but here’s a list of three restaurants that most kids will love, but many parents would rather avoid.
- Top 5 things that are better at Disneyland than at Walt Disney World - Bigger isn't always better and while Walt Disney's original theme park is smaller, it still has the advantage over its East-coast counterpart in a few key areas.
- Rehabs planned for several resort pools - Several of the resorts have rehabs scheduled for their pools and water slides in the upcoming months.
- Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom now opening an hour early Thanksgiving week - Both parks will now open at 8:00am instead of 9:00am. Extra Magic Hours for those parks will move one hour earlier as well.
- 3 Surprising Things About Working at Expedition Everest - I want to bring you some surprising facts from the perspective of a cast member working there on a daily basis.
- Rehabs planned for Art of Animation pools - The closure dates are: Big Blue Pool 11/17 - 11/19, Little Mermaid Flippin' Fins Pool 11/20 - 11/21, and the Cozy Cone Pool 11/24 - 11/26.
- Second seating added to Frozen Holiday Premium Packages - These packages include reserved seating for the First Time In Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration and access to a Frozen-themed dessert party with reserved viewing for Osborne Lights.
- All-Star Music food court to open early after refurbishment - Instead of being closed until December 20 like originally planned, the Intermission Food Court will reopen on December 3.
- The Great 'Throwaway Room' Debate - For those not familiar with the issue – a ‘throwaway room’ is a Disney resort room that is booked for one night just to get the perks associated with it.
- Seasonal food and drink offered at Epcot for the holidays - Each pavilion will have a special offering for the holidays.
- Ticket specials available for Cirque du Soleil - Discounted tickets available through December 19, 2014.
- VIDEO: Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade - Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
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- Free breakfast offer for length of stay at Aulani - This offer must be booked by December 18.
- Jingle Cruise returns to Magic Kingdom for the holidays - The attraction will receive a new storyline, just for the holidays. This will be open throughout the holiday season, as well as during Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade Photos - Photos from Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, including the new addition of characters from Frozen and Wreck-It-Ralph.
- VIDEO: Anna and Elsa join Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade - Frozen's Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff join Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
- Memory Maker now available for purchase after your vacation - Memory Maker can now be purchased after your trip. Previously it had only been available in advance or on-site.
- Animated Magic Shots added at select Memory Maker locations - These shots will put an animated video overlay on one of your photos.
- Christmas Day parade taping to take place at Magic Kingdom December 6-9 - The parade that airs Christmas morning on ABC is filmed at the Magic Kingdom. Park guests can attend the taping with their regular park tickets. No special tickets will be needed.
- Big Hero 6 meet and greet now open at Disney's Hollywood Studios - Hiro and Baymax are now greeting guests in the Magic of Disney Animation building.
- Blog - Frozen Ice Palace Debuts at Malls Across the Country
- PANDORA Jewelry Showcase will debut Disney Parks line - The event will take place November 7-8, 2014 at Cherry Tree Lane in the Marketplace Co-Op at Downtown Disney.
- Last day for the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at Hollywood Studios - The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow is an interactive experience where guests can join forces with other pirates to battle Davy Jones, the Krakken and even mermaids.
- VIDEO: 'A Frozen Holiday Wish' Cinderella Castle Lighting Show at Magic Kingdom - This year, Elsa uses her magical powers to transform Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom into an icy palace with the help of Anna, Kristoff and Olaf.
- Blog - A Frozen Holiday Wish debuts at Magic Kingdom
- Special "Elsa" Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card available at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party - "Elsa's Icy Shield" lets game players use Elsa's ice powers to defeat villains.
- The Best Resorts at Walt Disney World - We asked the listeners to our DIS Unplugged podcast/video show to vote on their favorites, and we uncovered a few surprises along the way. We received more than 3200 votes in total, and we asked people to rate their favorite resort by category – best Value resort, vest moderate, best deluxe and best home away from home.
- Thanksgiving dining information for Walt Disney World - All the restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving, but some have special menus available.
- Aulani plans Thanksgiving feast - Celebrate the holiday in the Kaiona Ballroom. The menu will include traditional Thanksgiving favorites with an island twist.
- Cirque du Soleil ticket discounts available for Annual Passholders - Offer good on performances November 6-December 19, 2014.
- Annual passholders can save up to 35% at select Walt Disney World hotels - Valid for stays most nights 1/5/15 - 3/28/15.
- Changes in parking due to Downtown Disney Remodel - Entrance 2 Parking lots A-G closed 12/1/2014-8/1/2016 to make way for the Town Center and the East Garage.
- 4 Reasons Why Disney's Hollywood Studios Needs To (And Will) Change - I want the current Disney's Hollywood Studios to succeed. I want to see it grow into something great. Here are some of the reasons I think Disney's Hollywood Studios needs to change for the better.
- Richard Petty "Jr. Ride-Along Experience" - free souvenir photo for Disney Visa cardholders - Get a free souvenir photo ($17.50 value) when you use your Disney Visa card to pay for the Jr. Ride-Along experience. Offer ends June 30, 2015.
- November Merchandise Events and Artist Appearances/Signings at Walt Disney World - All month long, Disney artists can be found at signings across property.
- Blizzard Beach to be closed November 1 due to cold temperatures - Typhoon Lagoon is also closed, but due to its annual rehab.
- Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic to be held this weekend - This event features wine and beer seminars, tasting stations and live music.
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- How To Coach Someone Onto Thrill Rides - There is no fail-proof formula, but over the years I have found a few coaching techniques that I use with thrill-phobic personalities. With them I have coaxed quite a few of the most stubborn people in my life onto attractions they never imagined they would test.
- MagicBands will automatically add ride photos to your account - If guests are wearing an active MagicBand when they ride on select attractions, the photos will automatically be added to their My Disney Experience account.
- Blog - 'Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!' Street Party debuts at Magic Kingdom
- Top 5 Disney Bucket List Items - You know those things you always wanted to do but haven't had the time or money to do them?
- First night of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is sold out - Tickets are still available on the other nights.
- Planning a Disney Halloween Party in 10 Steps - A few ideas and 10 steps for planning a Disney Halloween party in your own neighborhood.
- A new flag waving act has opened in the Italy Pavilion - Sbandieratori Di Sansepolcro performs 12-minute shows several times daily.
- Walt Disney World's Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid plans month-long rehab - The Magic Kingdom attraction will be closed from 2/2/2015 - 3/6/2015.
- Island Supply store in Magic Kingdom's Adventureland closing - The shop will be closing 10/22/14 and will be replaced later this year.
- LeVar Burton and Edward James Olmos added to Candlelight Processional narrators - The Candlelight Processional takes place at Epcot from 11/28-12/30/14.
- Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party tickets sold out on 10/28/14 - Tickets are also sold out on the 30th and 31st.
- SeaWorld loses Panama Jack sponsorship
- "Santa's Favorite Resort" is the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotel
- SeaWorld to debut new Clyde & Seamore show in spring
- New Anaheim transportation hub to open next month
- Last surviving child of Knott's founder dies
- Knott's Berry Farm announces new 4-D attraction
- Superheroes take over the inaugural Avengers half marathon
- Slacker Radio picks up Radio Disney programming
- Disney Interactive announces several changes for digital projects
- Schedule for handmade candy canes at Disneyland