Walt Disney World has been a popular vacation destination for families for many, many years and it shows no sign of slowing down. If you are planning your next family vacation at Walt Disney World and have younger kids (five and under) this is the guide for you.
If you have ever taken the youngsters to a theme park before, you know that many of attractions are geared towards the older child. When you have decided to take your young ones to the â€śmost magical place on earthâ€ť, you will definitely want to have a plan. If you yourself have never been to Walt Disney World, then you will have no idea of what to expect. If you have been there, you may have a good idea of what you can expect, but not with younger children in tow.
How to get there
The first aspect of your trip is getting there, will you fly or will you drive? Depending on where you live, flying may be your best bet, especially with younger children. If you live in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama, driving may be more suitable. However, if you live in California, toting children under the age of 5 in a car for that long of a trip can be nerve racking for both the adult and the child.
Where should we stay?
Now comes probably the most important decision next to the park itself, of course. Where you and your family should stay? Disney has a large host of resorts that are located right on the property of Walt Disney World. Staying in one of these resorts may be the best bet for those with younger children. Doing so, will allow much needed breaks for naps, snacks, or just simply rest. Walt Disney World is a very large theme park; it can become overwhelming quite easily for the little ones. Therefore, staying in one of the resorts within Disney World could be a wise choice, though it is more expensive, it is more convenient.
Now that being said, because your young child may need a break from all the glory and wonder that Disney World has to offer, you should choose your resort or hotel carefully. Make sure the hotel or resort you choose is kid friendly. Many of the ones located directly on Walt Disney World property, will have activities geared directly for children. For example, they may offer an awesome playground or childrenâ€™s program and some of them may even offer breakfast with your childâ€™s favorite Disney Character. In general, all of the hotels and resorts will offer a pool for cooling off and relaxing after a long day in the park. For parents, who would like to experience a little of Disneyâ€™s magic for themselves, many of the resorts and hotels offer a babysitting service.
The Day (or Days) at Walt Disney World
Yes, Walt Disney World is the happiest and most magical place on earth; however, to your young one it could be a bit scary. It is important that you take the park in slowly and at your childâ€™s own pace. You should also carefully consider each ride and attraction before allowing your child to participate. Furthermore, think about your childâ€™s disposition, age, and how comfortable they are with various aspects of the rides and attractions. Your child will be extremely attracted to the many different rides and sounds, especially when it portrays their favorite Disney Character.
Here are some of the attractions and rides you could consider with a young child; these are divided with the park:
Within Magic Kingdom:
â€˘ Carousel of Progress
â€˘ Cinderellaâ€™s Carousel
â€˘ Country Bear Jamboree
â€˘ Itâ€™s a Small World
â€˘ Liberty Bell Riverboat
â€˘ Swiss Family Treehouse
â€˘ Walt Disney World Railroad
Within Epcot Center:
â€˘ Circle of Life
â€˘ El Rio Del Tiempo (The River of Time)
â€˘ Living with the Land
â€˘ Impressions de France
â€˘ The American Adventure
Within MGM Studios:
â€˘ Backstage Pass
â€˘ Beauty and the Beast Live
â€˘ Hunchback of Notre Dame
â€˘ Magic of Disney Animation
Within Animal Kingdom:
â€˘ Festival of the Lion King
â€˘ Tarzan Rocks
â€˘ Wildlife Express
Each of the above listed items are suitable for younger children, again it is wise to use your best judgment in deciding which rides or attractions you will let your child experience.
Of course, we cannot forget the look in a childâ€™s eye when they first see everybodyâ€™s favorite mouse â€śMickeyâ€ť. It is highly probable that you and your child will see and meet many of Disneyâ€™s most loved characters. While this may certainly be a highlight of the entire trip (for your child of course), it is wise to take note of a few things. The first thing you should take note of, is the size of these lovable characters.
When your child watches Disney cartoons and sees Mickey, Minnie, Donald or any of the others, these characters are quite small on the television screen. Therefore, in a childâ€™s eye these characters are small. If they have never come across a person dressed in a character outfit before this could be a frightful thing to them. It is wise to prepare your child for these encounters. If you do not have the opportunity to allow your child to meet a dressed character prior to your trip to Disney World there are a few steps you can take to alleviate the fear.
If your child shows fear of the character, move slowly towards him or her.
Do not force your child to hug or otherwise touch the character until her or she is ready
A parent should hug the character, this will let the child know that you are not scared of him and they should not be either.
A simple handshake or wave may be sufficient for your child until they adjust to the difference in size.
When visiting Disney world with a younger child or children, you will want to take frequent breaks and be prepared with plenty of snacks and drinks. In addition, you should always note where the restrooms are and make sure you can get to them if the need arises. If parents want to ride some of the rides as well (and why shouldnâ€™t they), take turns. One can ride while the other keeps and eye on the little ones and vice versa.
Walt Disney World is truly one of the most magical places on earth and an experience your child will want to treasure forever. Make sure you bring along the camera to capture memories. Do not forget the souvenirs; no trip to Walt Disney World is complete without a set of those black ears!
By Author. All Rights Reserved. Date
August 17, 2006
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