Disney World is great for kids, and it’s perfect for making memories with kids. No matter the age range, there is something for everyone. If you are traveling with toddlers, older kids, or those in the middle, you can always find something to do. Here is a breakdown of information you may need in order to maximize your vacation with any child in your party.
- Many of the resorts have a babysitting option if you want an adults-only night out. The service is an in-room babysitting service that you can use for baby ages 6 weeks to 12-years old.
- Charges for the babysitting service are per-hour and range from $16 for one child to $24 for four children with additional $2 charge for babysitting after 9pm. There is also a $10 transportation fee.
- The minimum amount for services is four hours.
- Babysitting can be arranged by dialing 407-828-0920.
Traveling The Parks With Toddlers
- For travelers with babies and toddlers, the parks have Baby Care Centers set up in different locations throughout the parks.
- Baby Care Centers have items geared toward your children’s needs including but not limited to formula, diapers, pacifiers, baby food, and bottles.
- There are several changing stations located in these centers.
- Rocking chairs and sofas are also available so parents can soothe a crying child or breastfeed if necessary.
- Baby Care Centers are marked with a sign that says “Baby Care Center.” They are also marked on park maps so they are easy to spot.
Fun In The Parks With Toddlers
- Magic Kingdom – Harmony Barber Shop: If your child is experiencing his or her first haircut, this is the place to go to make a memorable experience! Harmony Barber Shop goes out of their way to make the haircutting experience fun by incorporating jokes, Pixie Dust, and props so kids aren’t afraid. The cost for kids under the age of 12 is $15 for a haircut. Make an appointment by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
- Magic Kingdom – Enchanted Tales with Belle: Belle from Beauty and Beast reads stories at Maurice’s Cottage in Fantasyland throughout the day. This is a welcome quiet spot during the afternoon when the sun is high and kids are feeling a little tired. Plus, Belle does her best to interact with the kids, so this is a nice little distraction that can provide that extra Disney magic.
- Magic Kingdom – Dumbo: With Dumbo’s move to the new Fantasyland and under the Big Top, Dumbo is way cooler now than he ever was. Dumbo the Flying Elephant is the quintessential ride for toddlers in order to make the trip memorable. When in Fantasyland, ride Dumbo first.
- Magic Kingdom – Casey Junior Splash ‘n’ Soak Station: Located in Fantasyland, this is a great place to stop when it’s hot. Toddlers can toddle around and get wet as giraffes, elephants, and other circus animals squirt water all over.
- Magic Kingdom – It’s a Small World: Repetitive? Yes. Will the song get stuck in your head? Definitely. However, these are fair trade-offs. The bright colors and music are attractive to the toddler set, plus, it’s always so chilly on this ride! When the heat is on, It’s a Small World is a great place to escape to get off your feet and cool down a bit.
- Animal Kingdom – Dinoland: Dinoland was built with toddlers in mind with the Triceratop Spin and the mini-rollercoaster that provides enough of a thrill, but it isn’t too much to be scary. The carnival games are easy for little ones to play, too.
- Epcot- The Seas with Nemo and Friends: Characters from Finding Nemo take you on a tour through the aquariums. Kids will like the characters, and they’ll enjoy seeing all the fish the Living Seas has to offer!
- Epcot- Kidcot Stations: Each country in the World Showcase have Kidcot fun stops. Kids can sit with representatives from each country while making masks and drawing pictures.
Catch a show or parade! Disney parks have plenty of shows that are colorful, musical, and stimulating for little ones. The most-toddler friendly shows are:
- Animal Kingdom’s Spirit of the Lion King
- Hollywood Studios’ Fantasmic!
- Animal Kingdom’s Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade
- Magic Kingdom’s Electrical Light Parade
The Magic Kingdom’s Electrical Light Parade occurs right before “Wishes.” If you have a child who is sensitive to loud noises, watch the show near Main Street and exit once the parade is over. If you want to watch fireworks, grabbing a ferry to the Polynesian will get you far enough away from the noise, but the fireworks will still be clear to view.
Although the parks are tons of fun for toddlers, please consider the following:
- Disney World involves a lot of walking. Please make sure your toddler has comfortable shoes. Using a stroller is also recommended.
- Parks like Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios get really hot due to large areas without shade. Take frequent breaks if necessary to head to cooler attractions or Baby Care Stations in order to prevent overheating.
- Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are really the most toddler-friendly parks. Epcot and Hollywood Studios are geared more toward older children, teens, and adults.
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Traveling With Kids Under 10 Years Old
Select resorts that have Child Activity Centers designed for kids ages 4-to-12. From 4 to 9pm, if you desire an adult only dinner or trip to the park, activity centers can be used for $11.50 to $30 an hour. Check with your resort for pricing since costs change depending on season. Booking time at these activity centers can be done by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
Activity centers are located at the following locations (deluxe resorts only):
- Wilderness Lodge: The Cub’s Den
- Animal Kingdom Lodge: Simba’s Clubhouse
- Swan and Dolphin: Dolphin Club
- The Grand Floridian: The Mousketeer Club
- The Polynesian: The Neverland Club
- Yacht and Beach Club: Sandcastle Club
Fun In The Parks With Children
Epcot’s World Showcase: Younger kids will get a lot out of Epcot’s World Showcase because it’s cool to visit the different “countries” while learning about them! Prior to going to World Showcase, purchase a “passport” from a kiosk or one of Epcot’s many shops. The passports have stickers and information about the different countries. When visiting each, find a Kidcot station where a representative from each country will sign the book and provide a greeting in their language.
Teach your child to say “hello” in the different countries’ languages. Representatives will appreciate the effort and may teach your child an additional phrase.
- Germany: “Guten Tag!”
- Japan: “Konnichiwa!” (During the day) or “Kombawa!” (evening)
- Canada and France: “Bonjour!”
- China: “Nihao!”
- Mexico: “Buenos Dias!” (During the day) or “Beunos Noches!” (evening)
- Morocco: “Salaam Aleikum”
- England and America: “Hello!”
- Italy: “Ciao!”
- Norwegian: “Hei!”
Downtown Disney and Magic Kingdom – Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: This is an option to consider for your little princess if you can afford it. Girls get the chance to become a princess by earning a princess makeover, crown, and dress. The most affordable packages are:
- The Courtyard Package: $90. This package includes shimmering makeup, hairstyling, sash, gems, t-shirt and a tutu.
- Coach Package: $60. This package includes shimmering makeup, a sash, and hairstyling.
Little boys can also get in on the fun in Adventureland. The Knight Package includes hairstyling, a sword, and a shield.
Magic Kingdom – The Disney Mountains: Space, Splash, and Big Thunder Mountains are huge attractions and a rite of passage for many. These mountains are great attractions for kids to get the thrill of a roller coaster without the fright.
Tip: Fast Pass is recommended for these attractions so you can come back and get on during a more desirable time.
Magic Kingdom – Pirates of the Caribbean: Like It’s a Small World, “A Pirate’s Life for Me” will get stuck in your head. However, the coldness of the ride is great to relax and cool down after a hot day, and kids will have fun trying to spot Captain Jack Sparrow as they ride a boat through this dark ride.
Disney Transportation: Young kids will enjoy the monorail, Disney ferries, and bus services, especially since they can really feel the anticipation when arriving to the parks. The monorail will play on kids’ love of trains, whereas the boats are a nice reprieve from a walk-filled day.
Sorcerers of Magic Kingdom: This interactive game debuted in testing mode in 2012. Guests, in particular children, have to save Magic Kingdom from villains by using cards against various villains. Young kids familiar with the Yu-Gi-Oh TV show will enjoy this attraction.
Traveling With Kids Over 10 Years Old
Tweens and teens often get a bad rap for being difficult to please; however, the trip can be an easy and fun experience. Disney World has a lot of attractions and the property is pretty safe. Allowing teens to venture off by themselves from time-to-time could be an exercise in trust for you and an exercise in independence for them. Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney are both children and teen-friendly with a good mix of movie-themed areas and plenty of shopping and entertainment like bowling, DisneyQuest, and live entertainment in the evenings.
Fun In The Parks With Older Kids
Animal Kingdom: Animal Kingdom is an amazing park for older children because it is an interactive learning experience.
- Attractions like Kali River Rapids, Exhibition: Everest, and Kilimanjaro Safaris offer lots to discover while learning about how different animals are impacted by deforestation and poaching, and even just having fun escaping a Yeti.
- On the Maharajah Jungle Trek, kids will enjoy seeing the animals up-close.
- If you have kids interested in photography, the Jungle Trek is a great place to take pictures. Tiger, tapirs, and a variety of birds hang out here, so you may never know what they’ll see.
Epcot: Epcot feels as if it’s built for older kids since it is, essentially, a learning-based park.
- Many of the exhibits at World Showcase can help kids discover new tips about countries they may not visit. Attractions not to be missed are O! Canada, The Maelstrom, and the drummers in the Japan pavilion.
- Attractions like Living with the Land will take older kids behind the scenes to show how Disney grows their food.
- Test-Track allows older kids and teens to build their own prototype car that can later be driven through a test-track course.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Since the park is based in movies, teens, especially, will enjoy attractions like the Backlot Movie Tour, tours through the animation studios, the Indiana Jones Stunt Show, Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, the Tower of Terror, and the American Idol Experience. Tweens may enjoy the Beauty and Beast stage show, Toy Story Mania, and Muppets 3D.
Utilize The Water Parks: If you have the water parks and more option on your ticket, use it. Tweens and teens will love the themes of the water parks all while escaping the stigma of Disney being a “children’s place.” The water slides will be a huge hit, and kids will have a chance to interact with others in their age-range.
With a general idea of where to head and what do for each age group, you are a well on your way to an enjoyable vacation!