15 Things to Know to Make Your Kid's First Disney Trip Even More Magical
Deciding to take your kids to a Disney park for the first time can be as daunting as it is exciting. There's so much to do and explore at the parks, it's easy to get stressed and overwhelmed on how to do it all in one trip. The trick is to figure out what would make the vacation the most magical for your child. From characters to attractions and dining, there's something every kiddo will love at Disney. Whether you're a Disney pro and taking your kids for the first time or a newbie yourself, you're going to want to do a little preplanning before heading to the parks. We've rounded up our best tips and tricks to ensure you and your kids have the best first visit to Disney.
Do Rides With Height Requirements First
Many of the attractions at Disney have a height requirement of at least 38 inches. If your kiddo is close to the required height, be sure to do those attractions first. As the day goes on and your kid gets more tired, they'll naturally not stand as tall — making it less likely they will reach the height requirement.
Know What to Do If Your Kid Gets Lost
You should prepare your kid on what to do if you get separated from them and they cannot find you. All Disney Cast Members are trained to help lost children, so let them know to find the nearest Cast Member to help and to stay put where they last saw you.
Take Time to Rest
Disney parks are fun and exhausting at the same time. Be sure to take time to rest throughout the day, either in shows or low-key attractions, or with a trip back to your room to cool off and take a nap.
Stay at the Right Resort For Your Family
Resorts can provide even more entertainment for kids. Most kids love the over-the-top Disney themes at the value resorts, or being able to look at animals outside of their window at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Consider Doing Character Breakfasts For Meet and Greets
Character meals are a great way to see multiple characters at once. Breakfast is typically the best cost value since it's cheaper, and the characters are typically the same as they are for many lunch and dinner options. We love Trattoria al Forno at Disney's Boardwalk for a princess breakfast.
Know Where First-Aid and Baby Care Centers Are at Each Park
Each Disney park is equipped with a first-aid and a baby care center for any needs your little one might have. Be sure to locate them on park maps or in the My Disney Experience app.
Take Advantage of Rider Switch For Attractions
For kids who might not meet height requirements or don't want to ride, parents should take advantage of Disney's rider switch. One parent can wait with the kid who isn't riding while the rest of the family enjoys the attraction. When the other parent returns they can wait with the non-riding kid, and the waiting parent can board the attraction without having to wait in the stand-by line.
Be Careful With Your Strollers
Disney recently implemented a new stroller policy you're going to want to be aware of. All strollers must be no bigger than 31 inches wide and 52 inches long, and there are no more wagon strollers allowed inside the parks. Be sure to check that your kids' stroller meets these requirements before heading to the park.
Grab a First Visit Button
First visit buttons are free and available throughout the park. Grab one when you first get to Disney to let everyone know you're ready for your first magical vacation.
Consider Bringing a Slow Cooker to Make Your Own Meals
To save money, consider bringing a slow cooker to make meals in your room at the resort. You can have groceries delivered or pick it up from a local grocery store, throw something together in the morning before you head out, and have a hot and delicious meal each night when you return from the parks.
Utilize Park-to-Resort Merchandise Shipping
When you stay at a Disney resort, you can have any merchandise you buy in the park throughout your trip shipped back to your hotel — for free. This is ideal for families who don't want to carry a lot around while touring the parks.
Make Time For the Water Parks
The Disney water parks are truly unique and are a fun addition to any vacation. Be sure to make time for them since most kids love swimming and spending time in water.
Bring Your Own Outfit For Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
If your little princess wants to be transformed into her favorite Disney princess for the day, you're going to want to book a reservation at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. There are several locations throughout the Disney Parks, including inside Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom. To save a little money, consider bringing an outfit from home for your child to wear after they finish the experience.
Set a Meet-Up Location For Everyone
If your family is large and wants to split up, be sure to make a meet-up location and time with everyone. Some of the best locations are the park icons, like:
- Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom Park
- Spaceship Earth at Epcot
- The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom
- The Chinese Theater at Disney's Hollywood Studios
- Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park
- Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure
Tell Disney About Food Allergies Ahead of Time
If your kid has food allergies and you want to dine at various restaurants at the parks, be sure to tell the reservation agent about the allergies. When you get to the restaurant, confirm the allergies with your wait staff to be sure nothing goes wrong.