Did people call us crazy? Absolutely!! Did we have a wonderful time as a family? Absolutely!!
To plan a day trip to Magic Kingdom with toddlers (two 3 year olds), babies, (two 10 month olds), and a pregnant momma was not easy, but totally doable. I made the most of our FastPass+ and I really tried to optimize our routes going to each of the attractions. My girls are still young and not into fireworks, so we planned to visit from 9am until they lasted (which ended up being 4pm). We were able to do 4 rides, 3 shows / parades, 2 character meet and greets, 2 dining experiences, photo ops, and shopping!! The goal was to just enjoy being there and go at the kiddos pace. Looking back, I cannot believe we were able to experience so much without feeling rushed whatsoever. We visited at the end of May, so it was hot! Follow along for my tips to have a fun filled day with at Magic Kingdom with toddlers and babies! Skip down to the bottom for an itinerary summary with map.
First to note – with the purchase of a ticket, you get 3 FastPass+ to use towards attractions or meet and greets. We purchased MagicBands to make it easier than keeping up with our paper tickets for the FastPass+ attractions. I will tell on myself here… I purchased the MagicBands in advance for our family and had them mailed to our house. In good mom fashion, I packed everything for our vacation EXCEPT the MagicBands. It all worked out – we went to Disney Springs and purchased another set on location. The girls had SUCH a fun time picking out their own bands in person, so we should have just done that as the initial plan.
Photo by Disney
What did I plan before ever reaching Florida? Dining reservations!!! You can book dining reservations up to 6 months in advance. I highly recommend doing this as soon as possible because they fill up quickly. It can be a bit expensive, but worth it to get a reprieve from the heat and a delicious meal! Next, up to 30 days in advance, you can book your FastPass+ (up to 60 days if staying onsite at a Disney property). My final splurge was purchasing the Disney Memory Maker. I think it was well worth it for numerous reasons. I did not have to lug my DSLR around Disney with 4 kids, photographers were staged in key locations for great backgrounds, meet and greets are captured through the Disney PhotoPass, AND mom gets to be included in all the photos!!!!
What gear did I prep to take for a day at Magic Kingdom with toddlers and babies? Of course the usual of bottles, diapers, wipes, snacks, sunscreen, etc. We could not do Disney without personalized family shirts, so I made those for us. I made an extra set for the babies in case of any outfit casualties. It would not be a family trip without our Quad Stroller. The most important item that kept us sane were these fans. We purchased 4 (one for each seat in the stroller) and they worked beautifully. We even took a small screwdriver and extra batteries with us which proved valuable. After a few days of use in Florida – we had to replace the batteries while at Magic Kingdom. They connect to the handle bar or the sunshade quite well. The blades are also foam so when a finger or toe inevitably hits it, it is soft and they did not even notice. These fans kept the babies so cool, they napped anytime inside or outside. Thank goodness because I was most worried about maintaining some sort of nap schedule. It was surprisingly easy with my planned itinerary and fans!
(The numbers of each event correspond with the map below)
- It takes a bit of time (~40 mins for my family) to park our car and actually gain entrance into Magic Kingdom. We arrived inside the park around 8:45am and went straight for beginning of the day photos. In hindsight, I should have let my bigs warm up to the overwhelming environment for little 3 year olds. Nevertheless, we got our photo!
- Next, we were able to catch the Main Street Trolley Show. This was just what my girls needed. They were fascinated to be so close to the dancers (and horse!). It pulled them out of their funk and they realized a fun day was ahead of them. The littles even grooved to the show.
- For a quick breakfast treat, we went to the Cheshire Café for Mickey Mouse donuts and smoothies. These donuts are HUGE and yummy! We bought 2 to share as a family and enjoyed a little break from all the morning walking.
- We had 9:30am FastPass+ for Dumbo the Flying Elephant. It is worth noting that all the rides we participated in were safe for infants and pregnancies (we did not do anything else so we could participate as a family). I am pretty certain the babies had the most fun on this ride!!
- With some time to spare before our next 10:30am FastPass+, we stuck out the line at the Mad Tea Party. This is always a hit as well – all the girls loved it!
- At 10:30am, we were able to meet Ariel at Her Grotto. During this time, the littles fell asleep for their morning nap, so I just went with the bigs. This was an interesting one because we had to walk through dark tunnels to enter the grotto. My bigs were not fans. I cannot say enough about the Disney staff during this encounter. They were AMAZING!!! They realized the dark tunnel scared the girls and they took out flashlights to light up the way for us. In the grotto, they were still unsure and offered stickers during our brief wait. We met Ariel (who was super nice and patient with the girls) and got our photos. During the actual meeting of Ariel, it was magical for them, so totally worth it! When it was time to walk out, the staff again sensed their hesitance and gave us passes for “recovery ice cream.” Who knew?? The staff was unbelievably kind and patient to make it an enjoyable experience they still talk about today.
- Next, we went to the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. This is one of my bigs favorite rides wherever we go (littles are still napping, so dad is holding down the quad stroller with babies). This was a pretty quick line and worth it for a time filler!
- We had dining reservations at 11:35am for The Crystal Palace. This is a buffet style character lunch. Winnie the Pooh and pals made their rounds to all the tables throughout the meal. I am not sure what was better, the air conditioning or the food! Kidding – kind of. This was such a reprieve from the heat and gave us all a much needed recharge. The littles still napped about half way through our meal. What is great about the setup is all the kid friendly foods are first in the buffet line. It is easy access to make quick plates for hungry kiddos. The food for us was amazing! The selection and quality of food was pretty high caliber for a buffet. We all enjoyed our meals and cool down at The Crystal Palace. The characters were understanding when we the girls were up for a visit or not. If not, you simply wave them past the table and they will try again next time. My bigs sleep with a little Pooh Bear every night so he was their favorite and overall well worth the experience.
- After lunch, we saw the Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire Show. This show includes Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. There are a few more cameos – most notably, Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. This is one of the few places you can see characters from Frozen at Magic Kingdom. Of course my bigs went nuts when seeing the Frozen characters on stage. This photo was snapped of the bigs watching the show.
- We found a somewhat shaded spot to view the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade (side note – there are lots of bathrooms around the corner from this viewing location). Several Disney princesses are showcased in this parade (including house favorites Anna and Elsa). We had a front row view without every planning for it and this was another hit since all the kids were ready to just rest (yet still be entertained!).
- Next, we took our time to make our way over to the Town Square Theater to meet Mickey and Minnie. We did some shopping up and down Main Street bought souvenirs, drank smoothies, and enjoyed the air conditioning. Our last FastPass+ was to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. I should note this is also indoors with air conditioning. It was a short wait and again – all the staff and characters were super accommodating to make it an enjoyable experience for us! By this time, they were getting the hang of characters and Disney. Ha!
- At this point, we knew our time at Magic Kingdom was coming to an end. Everyone was still in good spirits, but we wanted to leave BEFORE any meltdowns hit. We decided on one last ride, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Since the girls loved Dumbo, we tried this one. Once again, flying through the air was a hit for all!!
Our truly magical time at Magic Kingdom was ending. We loaded up on some ice cold waters and made the trek back to our car. All the kiddos fell asleep during the walk back and mostly stayed asleep back to our resort.
What was the secret sauce to our success? Before getting into the actual items… the primary driver of success is keeping the bar low!! It is SO easy to get overwhelmed with wanting to fit as much in as possible. Our initial goals were to meet our FastPass+ and dining schedule. Anything else on top of that was gravy……….. And we did get to fit in a lot more without feeling rushed! It was truly an enjoyable day for everyone – parents, toddlers, and babies!
- Quad Stroller – every kid got to take a break from walking whenever they wanted
- Stroller Fans – with extra batteries and screwdrivers
- Disney PhotoPass – mom was not bugging the family to try and get photos at every opportunity throughout the day
- FastPass+ – 2 character meet & greets and a favorite ride (Dumbo) was our utilization plan
- Dining reservations – must have for a great meal to fill up and recharge in the air conditioning
- Disney World App – at any point we had time to fill, I would check out where we were and the time of day. We would decide what rides to get to next based on wait times or to make our way to a viewing location for a show or parade.
FastPass+ #1) Dumbo the Flying Elephant 9:30am
FastPass+ #2) Meet Ariel at Her Grotto 10:30am
Dining Reservation – Buffet Character Lunch at The Crystal Palace 11:35am
FastPass+ #3) Meet Mickey Mouse & Minnie Mouse at Town Square Theater 2:30pm
Overall, we would follow this layout quite closely again (given the FastPass+ / dining options). I like the overall theory of starting in the back by Tomorrowland and making our way towards the front of the park by the end of the day. Regardless of what you plan to do, your kids will not know any better or worse whether your plans work out or not. They are young! They are at Disney! Everything is magical through their eyes and honestly, it is magical for us as parents to experience it with them. I did not expect the littles to have as much fun as they did. No crying, no meltdowns, just enjoying the scenery and rides…. And drifted off for snoozes without fuss. I have such great memories of that day and we still talk about our favorite moments.