5 tips for bringing a 3yr old to Disney World

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The best part about going on a Disney World Vacation is seeing how excited other people are, especially your kids. The magic of Disney is really there for the 3 year olds because they have a better understanding of characters and vacation and excitement- plus they love all the little details that we glaze over as adults.

I’ve been taking the kids to Disney World since they were babies, and 3 is definitely one of the fun-est (I made up a word) ages for them to be at Disney World.

So let’s talk about some tips that will make this vacation extra memorable!

Looking for stuff for babies or 2 yr olds instead? We’ve got you covered! Need a preschool Disney World itinerary? those are free here too!

Before we begin


Look- Mom, Dad, Auntie, Uncle, Caregiver… Imma start this out with a heart to heart.

I need you to have patience with yourself and your kid. You see, Disney World is not quick, and I wouldn’t really call it easy either. You’ve got to wait in lines, take buses and skyliners, and go through crowds of people who are all trying to enjoy their vacation just like you are.

Please- remember to pack the patience.

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1.Want the Best Character Pictures Ever?

Meeting Characters is one of the best parts about going to Disney World and you can do it a few ways.

Get a fastpass (but not all meets have a fastpass+ and even then, you could wait up to 20 minutes, but more like 10)
– Go to Character Meals where you can meet 3-5 characters while you eat.
-Go to a special additional ticket event like the Halloween and Christmas Party.
– Stand in line at the parks to meet characters

Personally, for the best pictures, it’s been a combination of B and D (because the lighting in the character meets is pretty rough)
But with a toddler, I really prefer to go to character meals!

This way, you can meet most characters more than once, and you get to do it in a relaxed and easy way!

2.Play, play, play all day!

These kiddos- they aren’t meant to be in a stroller and in lines all day. So let them play! Disney World is for having fun.

There’s so many great play places around the parks and resorts– you can look on the map, leave it up to chance, or check out my recommendations for play areas.

3.Your Hot then your cold, your yes then your no

Ya know what- I love orlando, and I love Disney, but the weather here is wack!

I’ll plan for a hot day and it rains cats and dogs. I’ll plan for a cold day and it’s hot. I felt so bad the other day at Epcot, a mom with a baby that was only a few months old had to go buy all new clothing at the store because we had a cold snap come in and it dropped from a comfortable 75 degrees to 45 overnight. But then we have days where it’s 75 outside and then 100 the next. And the summer can be the absolutely worst for this!

Bring clothing for all types of weather and pack the sweater, the poncho and at least 2 pairs of shoes. Packing for the rain is just as important as packing for unexpected cool weather. Young kids will be the first to let you know how upset they are that they have a blister or are too hot or cold!

Also, bring changes of clothes because there’s splash pad areas hidden around Disney that the kids will want to enjoy.

4.Life is just better when you get carried everywhere


Look, I just want to let it be known to the universe (cough cough Disney World) that the stroller that you rent at the parks are awful.
They are these giant clunky plastic things meant for easy cleaning and constant use.

Honestly, the mall has better strollers that you rent for 5 dollars, and Disney is going to charge you. Premium price of 30 PER DAY to rent these things that are meant for a 5 year old.

Please, bring, rent, or buy from the store in Orlando, a toddler stroller that is comfortable for you and for the baby! I highly recommend this company that we’ve used before on vacation– and you can find a bazillion others (check the reviews! seriously! I don’t want you without a good stroller)

5. Talking about souvenirs and stuff your three year old will see in the parks

We’ve been through so many scenarios- and you might encounter one of these on your vacation…

Exclusive items are at each park– they are not found elsewhere. It’s a marketing trick, but if you see something you can’t live without- buy it. Use the package pickup to drop it off at your resort or the front of the store.

Need an item you didn’t buy but don’t have a ticket for that park now? You can either upgrade your last few days to a park hopper, or talk to a sympathetic CM who will give you 30 minutes to run it and grab it (if you aren’t back in 30, they’ll charge your card for the day!)

Lost an item or had it break? We’ve lost everything from a pack of socks to a popped balloon and an expensive toy. If you’ve kept your receipt, you can go to the guest services to see about a replacement (like if your balloon pops in 24 hours?! bring it back!). This is attached to your magic band, so there’s no options for being devious.

Can’t find an item in the right size? If you are at the resort, talk to a manager and see if they can have the item bussed over from another place- then you can pick it up the next day.

When in doubt with merchandise, talk to a Customer Service Rep or a Manager to talk about possible solutions! This is not karen behavior- they just really want you to have everything you need on vacation and if it’s a simple solution- they are more than willing to work with you!

What Else?

There’s so much more to bringing a toddler to Disney and we’ve got you covered! You can check out our Toddler section and get lots of great tips, ideas, and plans for making this vacation one you’ll remember forever (and not because you spilled your coffee on Main Street or lost one of your kids #realtalk)

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