View Full Version : Please give me your best tips for WDW with a 1 year old

08-11-2004, 06:07 PM
DH and I have been "doing" Disney as a couple for quite a while now and this year we will be going for the first time as parents! So, I'm turning to you guys as experienced Disney parents...please give me any and all of your suggestions, recommendations, and tips for traveling with a 1 year old. We'll actually be there for DS's first birthday! We're planning for a lot more in-room time and meals in as well (we'll be in a 1 bedroom at BWV).

TIA! I'm getting so excited to actually start planning this trip! :)

08-11-2004, 06:56 PM
At that age I loved the Baby Center. It has a nice play area with toys that are age appropriate for little ones. It was a great place to let our DDs get down and stretch their legs and have some independent time.

08-11-2004, 09:47 PM
Relax and don't rush! My best advice would be to take the parks at the baby's pace. The first time we took my youngest DS he was 9 months old. We learned to take everything a little slower and just enjoy everything through his eyes. We took a break in the middle of the day and let him sleep in the stroller when he wanted to. I highly recommend a character meal especially if your little one gets excited about the characters. My DS just loved all of them and I have great footage of him playing peek-a-boo with Piglet at CP and getting kisses from Minnie at Chef Mickey's. Enjoy!

08-11-2004, 10:10 PM
We were at WDW last year when my DD was 1 year old also. The best advice I can give you is to bring your own stroller from home so they are comfortable because my DD took her naps in the stroller, not at the hotel. We bought a Protect a Bub Sunshade from www.babycenter.com. It is the best sunshade you can find and it just goes over your existing sunshade. The best thing about it is it completely blocks the sun from them even their legs are covered so no sunburn and when they nap it makes it a little dark and peaceful!!! We also got a phone number from Disney's Grand Floridian for Children's Furniture Rental (412) 472-5471. We had them deliver and set up a full size wooden crib, like the ones we have at home. The linens were also included bumper pad and all for just $9.00 a day. When we checked in at the hotel it was already set up in our room for us with Disney sheets!!! We knew are DD would not sleep in a Pack n Play so this worked out great. She never fussed in it once, and slept like an angel in it!!! They also have high chairs and other baby items you might need. We called the GF housekeeping department a few days before we arrived and gave them our name and reservation number. They also had set up in our room and NO CHARGE a regular high chair with a tray, a microwave and a refrigerator to keep her milk and baby food in. I was able to purchase a gallon of whole milk from the 24 hour Gasparilla Grill at the GF and it fit just fine in the refrigerator. I also brought from home the little jars of food or toddler meals and we were able to heat them up in the microwave in our room. All of these things came in handy, just like we never left home!!! I would check with your resort for the same items. Just let them know you have a one year old and you need these items to make your trip a lot easier! Also this was the best item we brought from home. The disposable sippy cups from The First Years. We brought a ton of them, and whenever we were out and she had milk in them, we just tossed them. No need to worry about washing them at the hotel. They also have disposable children's forks and spoons which we used also. You get like 4 sippy cups with lids in a package and 12 spoons and forks in a package. They only cost a few dollars so it was totally worth it. We were very organized and put a few empty sippy cups with the spoons and forks in a ziplock bag with the disposable bibs too. We just took them out as we needed them at each meal. We did the same thing with the diapers too. We made diaper bags up with diapers and wipes and the diaper sacks to dispose the dirty diaper in, and just put those items in a ziplock too. We never had to bring a diaper bag in the parks with us. We just put the ziplocks of stuff in the basket underneath the stroller, and I carried a waistpack to keep our money, tickets and camera in.

My DD was not afraid of any of the rides, like The Haunted Mansion, or Pirates of Carribean. She was actually waving hi to the ghosts and calling the dog in the Haunted Mansion Ollie, who is our dog at home!!! Your little one will probably be the same way. The best way to eat a good meal is to book as many character dinings as you can. We did, and actually had a nice long meal, without her fussing to get out of the high chair. She was too busy watching all the characters move around the room. We did go to another restaurant that did not have characters and after we were sitting for a little bit and she didn't notice any characters around she began to fuss and one of us had to leave our table a lot sooner!!!

The baby centers in the parks are nice and clean and a great place to change diapers too!

I think you will have a magical time with your one year old. I know we will never forget our little Paige's expression when she saw Piglet and just hugged Piglet for dear life. We have the most precious pictures of that! Also our DD just took her very first steps, like 10 or so the morning we arrived in Disney. Now how Magical was that!!!

Hope these tips help, and let me know if you have any other questions. Have a wonderful trip!!!:wave2:

08-12-2004, 12:16 AM
We were there in May for our little guy's first birthday and we had a blast! We spent lots of down time hanging around the resort (Animal Kingdom Lodge) and LOTS of time in the pool, which he LOVED!

Some of his very favorite things were Dumbo, Wishes, Illuminations, Kilimanjaro Safari, Festival of the Lion King, the interactive play fountain at Downtown Disney, dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, his birthday lunch at the Crystal Palace, all the parades, and the petting farm at Fort Wilderness. He also loved all the characters!

He is generally a very laid back, happy little guy and he was pretty content to just ride around in his stroller or sling and enjoy take it all in. (I highly reccomend a sling for places you can't take the stroller. We like a sling so much better than a front carrier.)

We took him to many sit-down restaurants with no problems at all. We carried food for him (fruit, cheese cubes, vienna sausages, etc.) and he did great, even at places like Jiko and Artist Point. The Bibsters disposable bibs and Table Toppers stick-on placemats are great for traveling!

I was (am) still nursing, and had no problems finding tons of nice benches, quiet attractions, etc. to nurse him. We never made it to the baby care centers since we were never in the right place at the right time and we didn't want to hike back to the front of the park.

It was a GREAT trip! I was a little worried because we had never been to Disney with a baby, but it was absolutely wonderful. We're taking him back this year in early December!

08-12-2004, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the responses so far! You guys have some great tips.

I'll be interested to see what attractions Theo will like. So far he's laid back but not timid...I know that all can and will change by the time we get there!

long4disney, We have a pack & Play at home that we've been trying naps in and he'll be sleeping in it for some upcoming camping trips, but a week is a long time - the rental crib isn't something I had thought of!

GEM, I sling Theo a lot - we're currently in to the Asian Baby Carrier style of slings (Packababy, Sutemi, etc...I actually make my own), I'm thinking it will be a must for touring WDW - I love having him so close and easy to manage!

Thanks again for the tips, keep 'em coming!

08-12-2004, 09:18 AM
The resorts also offer regular cribs, they are metal framed and very sturdy. We used one until our first DD was just over 2 and she had plenty of room, it came with all baby bedding too, for no charge. I know lots of families prefer to rent, we found the resort ones were much better than the average hotel crib and were free.

08-12-2004, 09:31 AM
being at BWV is going to make things a lot easier for you because you'll have a full kitchen! will you have a car? make a run to publix (or is it winn dixie i can't remember) over on international drive and stock up on snacks, etc. much cheaper there. i also just bring enough diapers for 2 days, then buy a pack when i get there. saves on luggage space. same with formula when he was on it.

there will be a pack n play in the closet at BWV and more than likely a high chair. if not call housekeeping and they will bring one up free of charge.

there is a nice playground out by the main pool, my ds (2) loved it.

asian baby carriers! nice! i am due with #2 in just 5 wks and i am ordering a moby, i can't wait to try it out! we are going again in january, the baby will be 4 months and i am thinking of getting a Kozy to take to the parks.

oh, regarding the protect a bub sunshade...you can get a similar product for only $15 at babies r us. it's by kiddopotamus :)

08-12-2004, 09:56 AM

Also, be sure to keep him well hydrated and lots of snacks. We found this to ward off crankiness, as well as nap time every afternoon (most days in the room, once or twice in the stroller).

Also, we brought our own crib sheets and blanket from home to make it more familiar.

For times when waiting around is inevitable (waiting in line, for a bus, whatever), a little jar of bubbles did the trick, or at night time, invest in one of those light chasers. They love them!

Also, I kept hand sanitizer in our backpack and tried to be diligent about clean hands.

I also second the idea for your own stroller. You really need a reclining model at that age.

Have fun!