Friday, November 16, 2012

Tips and Tricks: What We Learned from Taking Two Toddlers to Disney World

Air Travel

•    Bring snacks.  Lots of snacks.  We brought a few varieties of Goldfish, yogurt bites, and crackers.  It helped keep them occupied throughout the flights.
•    DO NOT give your kids Benadryl or any other medication.  We did not do this, but our pediatricians also warned us against it.  They told us it could backfire and make kids more hyper.  We definitely were not looking for that result!
•    If you fly during time that is not optimal for naps, make sure your children are well rested before getting on the plane.  Our girls typically nap from 12:30 – 3 PM (give or take a ½ hour on either end).  Our flight out was at 2:30, so we knew we would be leaving for the airport right around the time they would normally go down for a nap.   To combat this, we woke them up at about 5AM and put them down for a nap at 10:30.  They slept almost 2 hours, and were ready to go once we got them in the car.  They even cat napped for 30-45 minutes on the second flight. 
•    On the way home, we flew somewhat during normal nap time.  Both girls fell asleep on the flight from Orlando to Nashville.  Kylie slept about 2 hours, and Kendall a little over an hour.  If they fall asleep on you, make sure you find a somewhat comfortable position…and then…don’t move!
•    Give them a pacifier, bottle, or sippy cup during takeoff and landing to help aid with ear popping.  We ended up just using their pacifiers, and we only had one mini-meltdown during descent on our flight from Columbus to Baltimore.   I don’t know if it was ear related, or if it was just Kylie being Kylie.
•    If you have an iPad, tablet, or Smartphone, make sure you load lots of kid apps or TV shows on it.  We barely pulled out any of our other toys because technology seemed to keep them most entertained.
•    We flew with the girls as lap children, and were lucky that they did pretty well.  There were several open seats on our flights out there.  When we got to the gate we were told that we could have used their car seats free of charge because the girls are still under 2 years old.  Always check with the airline counter at the airport about what their policies are (not the reservations people). 
•    With young ones, I always recommend taking a stroller.  Since we have two children, a stroller was a must, but I believe it is definitely an airport essential.

Hotel Stays

•    If you have the option, try to keep the kids in separate sleeping areas than you use.   When we got to both the Hyatt and the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we set the girls’ cribs up in a little hallway area, and it worked perfectly.  They couldn’t see us at all when they slept, and had no issues sleeping through the night, except…
•    If your kids are used to white noise (or some type of noise, music, etc) while they sleep, there are plenty of apps you can download on your Smartphone or iPad.  This worked great for us, EXCEPT when we forgot to plug the tablet in.  Make sure it’s plugged in, because when it shuts off, EVERYONE will wake up!
•    Bring as many comforts from home as you can.  We brought the stuffed animals and blankets the girls had in their cribs at home, and I think it helped them feel more comfortable sleeping away from home.
•    Have food on hand in your room.  I called the Garden Grocer about a week before we arrived, and had food delivered on the day we checked in.  It worked out perfectly!  I definitely recommend them.  They deliver your food to bell services, and text you when it is at your resort.  You can then go pick up your food at your convenience!  I definitely over-ordered, but I’d rather over-order than under-order!

The Parks


•    Pack plenty of snacks and water for the kids.  Also, for those with younger kids, get some kind of sippy harness (if such a thing exists).  My girls loved to chuck their sippies out of the stroller on an hourly basis.
•    Get stroller fans!  We loved ours, but unfortunately one either got knocked off or stolen on our last day.  They definitely help keep the little ones cooler.
•    For those with walkers, let them out of the stroller often to walk around.  My girls do not like being in a stroller for long lengths of time, so letting them out fairly frequently helped curb some fussiness.
•    Disney has lots of things to do in air-conditioned buildings.  Definitely something to take advantage of during hot days. 
•    For those whose kids still use pacifiers, keep them on hand for the parks.  My girls have only been getting them for naps and bedtime for the most part, but having them in the parks helped us get through some long days with minimal tantrums.
•    Stroller naps are great if you can get them to do it, but there are some days where you may just need to go back to the room.  We did this a few times, and getting a good nap in a crib helped tremendously with their moods.
•    Don’t over schedule.  We always had a game plan, but also knew that not every day was going to go according to plan.  Be flexible.
•    Watch your kids and follow their cues (tired, hungry, scared, etc).  It will make life easier on everyone if you don’t fight them!
•    Introduce them to characters, but don’t force them to interact if they don’t want to.  Kendall loved all the characters, while Kylie liked them from a distance.  Up close, not so much.  It was the exact opposite with the princesses.  Kylie LOVED them, and Kendall was more ‘meh’ about the whole thing.

The one thing to remember more than anything else: roll with the punches, and make sure to have fun.  There were definitely some challenging times throughout this vacation, but we all survived, and truly had a wonderful time!



  1. Those are great tips. We have not flown yet with our toddlers and I will think about your advice when we do. It sounds like all of your planning paid off and it was a fun trip.

  2. Thank you! It was a great trip. It was nice having a four on two ratio too. That definitely helped!