Disney World Vacation for your family is a total blast- especially when you have a 2 yr old along for the ride. There’s the characters, the adventures and the play areas. Plus you get to make memories with your favorite little pal while the magic is still alive!
This past year my 2 year old has been spoiled with lots of Disney World trips but I’ve also learned a thing or two about how to manage a trip and a vacation when you’ve got little ones in tow.
When you’re bringing a two year old to Disney World, there’s some really important things to know. Yes, 2 year olds are free, and yes, there’s quite a few rides for them to enjoy as well as characters, BUT you’re dropping thousands for a trip.
Do you need a ticket for a 2 year old at Disney?
Nope! 2 year olds do not need a ticket, and any child under their 3rd birthday is welcome at Disney without a ticket (unless their 3rd birthday falls during the trip, and they are counted as ‘2’ for the entire trip). Making a trip to Disney World with a 2 year old a really budget friendly option.
Some people question if it’s even worth it for a 2 year old to go to Disney World, and I’ve shared my thoughts in detail here, but the short answer is that it is worth it in every way!
Let’s look at 7 tips guaranteed to make your trip a lot more fun and a lot less stressful when your bringing your 2 year old to Walt Disney World!
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7 must see tips for anyone planning to bring a 2 yr old to Disney World!
It’s better when you’re carried
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. Disney just recently updated them to make them red with a mickey and minnie… but it didn’t change the actual layout so they are still ridiculously uncomfortable for little ones.
You’d be better off baby wearing your toddler than getting one of the Disney World Strollers. You can also purchase an umbrella stroller (like the ones at target) for 39.99 at most resorts and most parks.
Renting From Kingdom Strollers Can Save You 50% – 75% vs. Theme Park Prices. Free Delivery & Pickup.
Honestly, the mall has better strollers that you rent for 5 dollars, and Disney is going to charge you the premium price of 30 PER DAY to rent these things that are meant for a 5 year old. YIKES!
My 2 yr old hated these strollers the one time we even thought to try them, but the 3yr old thought it was ok (he’s also a bit bigger) but he could leap in and out of them so fast!
It was a nightmare. The stroller needs to be a safe place for the kids!
Please, bring or rent a toddler stroller that is comfortable for you and for the baby! I highly recommend this company if you aren’t able to bring your own, because kids will likely need a stroller until they are 7 or so.
Make a Plan for Nap Time
This sounds straight forward, but just hear me out.
⭐ If there is one thing that can ruin your vacation, it would be this little toddler throwing a mountain sized fit for missing a nap or not sleeping at all at night.⭐ I highly recommend making the plans around nap time and getting to bed on time so that you can have a pleasant trip.
Planning for nap time also helps everyone else enjoy the trip too! We love to use the early morning hours to head to the best parks for toddlers.
I always bring this noisemaker with us to the room, and a big bonus, it’s portable so I can hook it the stroller to help with nap time! It has made all the difference! Need to know what else you should bring for your Toddler? There’s a handy packing guide for Disney World!
Know that Transportation is not your friend when you have a toddler
I hate to be the one to tell you this- because this is something that most people don’t talk about because they don’t have a crying 2 yr old in their lap.
But here it is- Transportation takes forever
I know, I know- but the buses can take 30 minutes, the boats too. Going to the Ticket and Transportation center if you drive is a total royal pain.
Even the skyliner can get backed up!
I knew someone who was planning to use the skyliner and it started to lightning so they directed her to the bus with her baby under a year, then it started raining while they were waiting for a bus, and all in all it took 2 hours to get back to the resort because of the weather and the buses! (this person was my sister in law, and she did not have good things to say about that part of her trip)
This is why I’m a big fan of finding a play area and waiting it out when things get super crazy at the parks. And definitely plan for rain!
Please give yourself some wiggle room if you use Disney World transportation.
Use the Baby Care Centers
Disney has these really nifty areas in every park that are so useful and totally free. Called the Baby Care Centers they are designed for people with kids to use. There’s an area with a TV, a changing area, and an attendant where you can buy supplies like diapers, wipes, and other toddler stuff!
Have a fireworks escape route
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.
So at the end of the night, when everyone is ready to go home after the fireworks, you’ve got to figure out how to get there with an over tired 2 year old!
- leave before the fireworks
- stay at a monorail resort so you don’t have to go as far for Magic Kingdom (doesn’t work for Epcot or Hollywood Studios, but you could stay at Boardwalk area resorts for those)
- stay at the very back of main street so you can see the fireworks, but you can also leave before everyone else
- Get preferred parking, so you don’t have to walk far to your vehicle
- stay after the fireworks are over for the next show (normally 45 minutes later) and then leave when the crowds have died down
Take lots and lots of picture- consider the photopass!
We are big fans of the photopass for one reason and one reason only.
They have some magical pixie dust power that works like a charm for getting our 2 year olds to look at the camera! Some of our best vacation pictures are from the photopass cast members!
Now it can be hit or miss- so that’s why I recommend taking a lot of pictures. Like normal, but just make it Disney Style! Since you can access the pictures on your phone, you can see if it’s a keeper or if you need to try again.
Not getting photopass? I get it!
You can still get photopass shots, and then you can purchase your favorite at the end of your trip online. Cool right? You could spend 25 dollars for a really nice print (if they have one!) or you could just skip it all together if none of the pictures were up to your liking.
Make a Bucket List of items, and Know where to escape when your toddler needs a break
As a Disney World blogger, I’m a big fan of itineraries.
My toddler is not a fan of itineraries.
Go figure right?!
Instead we do bucket list approaches when we bring the little one’s with us! We look at the items that are must do items on our list like these 16 can’t miss moments, and then we compare that with the best rides for toddlers.
Lastly, we look at this list of places to sneak away for naps. Nap time will likely happen at some point in the parks, so plan to head to the baby care centers or grab a quiet spot to enjoy crowd watching while your toddler snoozes!
Make plans, but not too many. Make sure you bring a good stroller and a stroller fan, plus have a bucket list of items.
Oh and takes lots of pictures, especially ones in the morning when everyone is fresh!
Bringing other age ranges? We’ve got guides for that too!
Taking a three year old to Disney World
The guide for 4 year olds at Disney
And itineraries for 4 and 5 year olds at Disney (all four parks!)