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Old 07-22-2010, 04:33 PM   #1
j9henderson
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Best 2 parks for 2 year olds?

Hi. I am new to Disboards. We are going to Orlando in Jan 2011 with 2 two year olds. Thinking of getting a park hopper 3 day. What park do you recommend is best for 2 year olds other than Magic Kingdom?
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:35 PM   #2
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I would definetly do Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. At the Studios there is Playhouse Disney, which is great. EPCOT would be good too if your child will like the living seas, turtle talk, journey to imagination, and the character meet and greet. Really, it all depends what s/he really likes! You can't go wrong with any of them, IMHO.

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Old 07-22-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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Hard to say. Here are the preschool type things at Epcot and DHS (I've only been to AK once and only for 2 hours):

Epcot- Finding Nemo ride and aquariums, Imagination Ride and "playground" (indoor games, etc), kidcot stations around WS. I wouldn't say Epcot was best for preschoolers, but older kids and adults sure do like it!

DHS: Playhouse Disney is *great* for preschoolers, Little Mermaid show (isn't too long), lots of character meet and greets, a good parade w/ characters, 3D Muppet show, a great playground is there but for older kids
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:07 PM   #4
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I would also say Animal Kingdom even tho I was also there for only a couple of hours.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:01 PM   #5
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When our daughter was 2 we went for 3 days. We got some sage advice from a book on the topic that told us to remember the following things:

1) This is the child's vacation, enjoy the vacation and discovery through their eyes. Do rides they can ride and will enjoy at their pace (and ride multiple times if they want to). Too much standing around waiting for Daddy to ride Splash Mountain does not lead to family happiness when a two year old is doing the waiting!

2) Take breaks outside of the parks. Go in the morning when it is cool and the crowds are lighter. Take a break for lunch and head back to the resort for a few hours of nap time. Go back to the parks toward late afternoon /evening - it will be cooler and everyone will be recharged. (for best use of time, I recommend staying at a Disney Resort)

As it turned out, we spent most of our time at the Magic Kingdom - specifically in Fantasyland and Toontown. We did also go to Hollywood Studios (MGM at the time) for Playhouse Disney, and Animal Kingdom for what I can't remember (not a hit for our two year old)...

Other than Magic Kingdom there was not much of interest for our daughter. She liked the characters, the tea cups, Dumbo, Aladin, Peter Pan, and Pooh... Pooh repeatedly (Good thing I like Pooh too)... The character meal at Crystal Palace was huge hit (Pooh again!)

...but her favorite by far??? The bus ride (no car seat)!

Best of luck with your trip!
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:23 AM   #6
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We're going in may 2011 with our now 22month old. I have no clue what she'd like best by then as they change so quickly, but if we would have gone this month, i'm sure, after MK, she'd love epcot and animal kingdom. In epcot, there's this huge covered place where they have all these experiments and big weird looking things (disney veterans, help me out with the name :-)... in a phase where she loves pushing buttons and checking out anything she could move/manipulate/bend, yip, that place on itself would keep her busy allright !! (and you can immediately have some pictures taken of you and the baby in the kodak booths, emailing your family/friends home for free) On the other hand, the world showcase would be too vast to explore with a little one, so you could limit yourself to half a day epcot and thereafter do the studios (which i thought are not that far away, are they ?; or you could combine one and a half day MK with epcot, very easy, just jump on the monorail, and the epcot's airconditioned space would also be a nice retreat in the hotter afternoon).
Animal Kingdom is great to start off with as it's a more relaxed park, plus much more shady to my recollection. Makes it easier for a kid to accustomise him/herself. Have fun !!!
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
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I would vote for Epcot and Animal Kingdom. We had the best time at Animal Kingdom evening magic hours the last time we went to Disney. My one year old loved the Boneyard. We also had fun at Epcot. There are several places back in the World Showcase without many people, where Carter could get out and run around a little.

My problem with DHS was that Carter did not want to sit still for the shows. I don't know if two-year-olds can enjoy shows, but if not, there will not be much left to do. Eliminate all the rides with height requirements and all the shows and you are mostly left with Toy Story Mania, which means you will spend most of the day waiting in line.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:33 PM   #8
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I would also vote for EPCOT and AK. My DD1 was 15 months when we went last year and she LOVED AK. She is a huge animal lover and we did the safari 3 times. She also loved Conservation Station which is just outside the safari...you take a train over to Conversation Station and they have a small petting zoo there and small activities for kids to do, there is a vet area there where they bring sick/hurt animals and as long as it's not serious you can actually watch through the glass as the vets work on animals (we had just missed watching a gorilla who was being beat up by other gorillas), and they occassionally have characters there..my DD6 was able to meet Pocahontas there one year. It a nice non overwhelming park to go to and I find it's much easier to meet the characters here without waiting forever in line.
EPCOT has a lot to offer little kids as well. I think more so the DHS. DHS is almost all shows and big rides and aside from Playhouse Disney and characters thats about it. If you were there for a week I'd say sure go for it, but if you only get 3 days, I'd skip it.
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:23 PM   #9
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It really depends on the kid. If you have a music baby I would say they would love the shows at DHS. If they are animal obsessed obviously AK. Epcot was my DSs favorite at that age (and since) he loved the Seas, Living w/the Land, the characters and the kidcot stops.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffl View Post
When our daughter was 2 we went for 3 days. We got some sage advice from a book on the topic that told us to remember the following things:

1) This is the child's vacation, enjoy the vacation and discovery through their eyes. Do rides they can ride and will enjoy at their pace (and ride multiple times if they want to). Too much standing around waiting for Daddy to ride Splash Mountain does not lead to family happiness when a two year old is doing the waiting!

2) Take breaks outside of the parks. Go in the morning when it is cool and the crowds are lighter. Take a break for lunch and head back to the resort for a few hours of nap time. Go back to the parks toward late afternoon /evening - it will be cooler and everyone will be recharged. (for best use of time, I recommend staying at a Disney Resort)

As it turned out, we spent most of our time at the Magic Kingdom - specifically in Fantasyland and Toontown. We did also go to Hollywood Studios (MGM at the time) for Playhouse Disney, and Animal Kingdom for what I can't remember (not a hit for our two year old)...

Other than Magic Kingdom there was not much of interest for our daughter. She liked the characters, the tea cups, Dumbo, Aladin, Peter Pan, and Pooh... Pooh repeatedly (Good thing I like Pooh too)... The character meal at Crystal Palace was huge hit (Pooh again!)

...but her favorite by far??? The bus ride (no car seat)!

Best of luck with your trip!
I've seen similar advice and concur with jeffl. We had two 2-yr-olds with us in June. One just went along with everything. The other was extremely impatient and even waiting in line for Dumbo was a challenge. Fortunately, in January the lines will not be as long.

Usually, good advice is not to go to MK first. But for 2-yr-olds, that wouldn't apply. I suggest MK on day 1, then park-hop the other 3 parks in 2 days, maybe ending with MK again. Just exploring everything will be a fun time! But above all, stay flexible, well-prepared but ready to change.
Enjoy!
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Old 07-26-2010, 07:31 PM   #11
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I've seen similar advice and concur with jeffl. We had two 2-yr-olds with us in June. One just went along with everything. The other was extremely impatient and even waiting in line for Dumbo was a challenge. Fortunately, in January the lines will not be as long.

Usually, good advice is not to go to MK first. But for 2-yr-olds, that wouldn't apply. I suggest MK on day 1, then park-hop the other 3 parks in 2 days, maybe ending with MK again. Just exploring everything will be a fun time! But above all, stay flexible, well-prepared but ready to change.
Enjoy!
Maybe it's just me, but I would not want to park hop 3 parks in 2 days with 2 year olds....what a hassle, but again that's me.

I think if you've only got 3 days to figure out which days have Extra Magic Hours and take advantage of those to get extra time in the parks, but I definitely wouldn't choose to do 4 parks in 3 days, that is just asking for a headache especially if you've not been before or have only been a couple times. If you're a seasoned Disneyaholic then you already go with a preconceived notion of what rides you want to do and which you'd like to avoid.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:25 PM   #12
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I agree that it depends on the child. If you have a kid that loves music and animals then you cannot beat AK. For the other parks (besides MK, that is a must do with younger kids and adults ) I think it is a toss up between HS and Epcot. Both are wonderful parks with a lot for kids to do. My only concern bringing my boys to Epcot is if we want to go into any of the stores in the countries that we have to particularly careful in that there are many more items there that are very fragile. We always watch them carefully, and more often than not we are carrying them in places where they may be tempted to touch something, but sometimes they have the quicker hand

Regardless of what you pick your kids will have an absolute blast. Just follow their lead and watch for indications of when they need a break and you will be just fine.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:09 PM   #13
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Subbing since I am going with my 1 and 2 year old in two months! Great info!
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Old 07-27-2010, 06:26 AM   #14
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All 3 of my kids have loved EPCOT from a very young age (we took our twins at 14 months the first time) They LOVE Innoventions and all the hands on activities there as well as the KidCot stations. To this day, we spend the most time in EPCOT (I usually have to plan a day just for them to wander around in Innoventions and explore) and MK. We may only spend a day each in AK and DS, and sometimes it's only half a day.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:55 AM   #15
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My OIP (order of importance) for that age would be 1-MK, 2-AK, 3-Epcot, 4-DHS. I would just go slow and follow their lead. See what they love, and get to what you get to.
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