Best things/Worst things to do with 3 small children?


<font color=deeppink>Cinderella looked at me like
Jan 18, 2001
Hi again,

I'm wondering what the best and worst things you have done with your small children are so I either *CAN* :) or *DON'T* <IMG WIDTH="15" HEIGHT="15" SRC="/infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif" alt="red face"> do them!! My kids will be 5, 3 and 1 1/2 and want this to be really, really special for them. My DH and I went 5 years ago, before I was even pregnant, with my 4 nieces and nephews and did the COMANDO style 10 day trip!! It was a blast as the kids could ride all the big rides and keep up with the pace!!

However, this time, it will all be focused on three small WDW "virgins". :) How do we make this trip special for them, and what do we avoid doing that is torture on them!!!

Thanks in advance,


1995 - Off Site (Days Inn Suites)
Feb 2002 - PO - Riverside!!!
We just returned from WDW for Easter Break. We have a 26 mo. old and a 16 mo old and 2 teens. The main thing I learned was don't buy the unlimited pass...we went to the parks very little...of course, it was crowded and lines were 40 - 45 minutes at the MK. We spent a lot of time at the pool...which was really nice. Also, they must have their naps in the day or dinner and the rest of the night is a nightmare...Bring your own stroller, the ones at the parks look very uncomfortable and bulky. That's all I can think of now...everyone said we were crazy taking the babies to WDW, but I think they had a wonderful time, and while they may not remember it, I will and the pictures tell all!
Im glad we took son when he was 4 in 1996. There is alot in MK that he will not spend the time with this Oct now that he'll be 9. Take your time in Fantasyland - when you return they will be older and may not want to ride Dumbo. In MGM do the Bear in Big Blue House, shows geared to the younger set. He did go on ToT in MGM twice. My son at 4 loved the Dinosaur ride in EpCot.
I don't know the sexes of your kids, but character meals work great for us! Check out the Restaurants board.

Don't overplan and let the kids lead the way are my best pieces of advice!


My kids are early risers, so we got an early start, returned to the hotel around lunch for naps, did the pool in the afternoon, and planned one major thing for each night (i.e., Illuminations Cruise, Fantasmic, etc.) This worked really well because 1) they got enough sleep, 2) we missed the busiest, hottest times at the parks, and 3) the pool turned out to be one of their favorite things.

Other things they liked and disliked:

Magic Kingdom:
Loved Mickey's Toontown, rides in Fantasyland, Buzz Lightyear ride, breakfast at the castle.
They did not like the parades as much as I expected, and only rides they loved in the rest of the park (that is beside Fantasyland and ToonTown) were the Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, and Buzz Lightyear.

They were really to young for alot of Epcot, but they did like seeing the characters, The Making of Me, the Ice Cream Social at the Garden Grill, and the 5 year old liked Body Wars.

Disney-MGM Studios:
They liked the characters here - they seemed easier to run into at this park. They loved Muppet-Vision 3D, Seeing the Toy Story characters at Pizza Planet, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and Fantasmic. They did not like the other shows as much as I thought they would.

Animal Kingdom:
They liked the trashcan that roams aroung talking to people before you enter the park, Festival of the Lion King, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Donald's Breakfastsourus (character meal), and they loved The Boneyard. They did not like Tarzan Rocks.

Downtown Disney:
They did not really enjoy DisneyQuest (I thought it was cool and they will love it in a couple of years). They has been looking forward to shopping at World of Disney since I made them wait till the end to get most of their souveniers, but once we got their it was a bit overwhelming for them. The did love playing at the Lego Imagination Center.

They also loved the Hoop De Doo Review. Hope this helps!

Yacht Club, December 2000
DS was four the first time we went and he loved Donalds Boat in Toontown. But it "leaks" so bring extra clothes! ;) There is also a play area for toddlers across the walkway.

DS didn't like Little Mermaid at MGM because we sat in front on the left to close to where flotsam and jetsam puppets come out. This was the first thing we did and he was so scared he was shaking. Not a good strat, but he loved everything else.

The boneyard in AK is great. Just be prepared to have sand everywhere. Pocahontas show was also nice for kids. They get to sit down front in their own seats and there are lots of animals on stage.

Bear at MGM is a family favorite and we saw it many times. CHA-CHA-CHA!

Disney IS a Life Skill!
Here's our list, for two boys, ages 6 and 2:

At Magic Kingdom:

All of FantasyLand
All of Toontown, particularly Donald's Boat (be sure to bring a change of clothes, or be prepared to strip them down to their skivvies - they WILL get wet!)
Pirates of the Carribean (6 year old)
Haunted Mansion (6 year old)
Hall of Presidents (I was surprised that mine weren't bored by this - but on a hot day, its nice to go inside, and my kids were transfixed)

We LOVE MGM Studios, I agree with the poster who said it is easier for the kids to let loose there. On our list:

Bear in the Big Blue House (a DON'T miss for little ones!!)
The Little Mermaid
Doug Live
Indiana Jones (a little intense for the youngest)
The Great Movie Ride

Both of my children were fine with Fantasmic!, some kids aren't.

Almost all of Animal Kingdom is lovely for young children. My kids liked the safari ride, The Festival of the Lion King and getting their face painted in Asia best!

And alas, EPCOT and my children do not see eye to eye - YET! EPCOT really is not designed for kids under 7 or 8, unless your kids are particularly scientific minded (mine definately are not). I know people who have involved their children in the passport thing they have there in World Showcase, but mine were never interested in that.

I think the best advice I could give you is to take your time, do the parks in small doses. Take frequent breaks, time to sit and people watch if you don't want to leave the park. We personally like a light breakfast, early mornings at the theme parks, lunch and a swim at the resorts (my kids aren't nappers while on vacation - but we always built some time in the room in mid-day for quiet time), and character dinners and maybe a little park time in the evening. Bring a Mister Fan if you are going in hot season - the kids can entertain themselves for a long time waiting in line with these things!

Co-Moderator - Inspiration Board

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was their favorite;
petting the stingrays at Sea World;

we got trapped in the line for mickey in mickeys toontown on a blazing hot afternoon; my 3yrold DD would not get out of line and come back later; it was hell. A major bummer on many occasions was waiting for characters, only to have them go on break just as we reached them. They loved the train at MK; and the Land ride at Epcot. (go figure). Loved the Maelstrom; we used that as a bribe to get them to sit through france movie.
That's about the surest path to meltdown I can think of. Take that midday break, not just to rest, but to take a break from the sensory overload of the theme parks.

The key thing to remember is that little kids see the world (with and without the uppercase W) differently than we do. One of DS's fave parts of every Disney trip is the little monorail at MCO! You never know what they will think is really neat.

I've never been in Feb., so I don't know if it's warm enough for the play fountains, if so, do them; I think they top every young child's list. That and the themed swimming pools at onsite resorts. There are play fountains at all of parks except MGM, and also at DD. Always lay the sunscreen on with a trowel, even if it's not hot.

A really good first night/last day thing when you don't want to use up a park day is the Lego village at DD (huge hit), or the various beaches; they like playing in the sand. The Electrical Water Pageant also draws oohs and aahs on non-park nights. Take advantage of every chance you get to ride the monorail, the train at MK, and all types of boat transport.

Don't underestimate EPCOT. IME, little kids like the following: the play fountains, Ellen's Energy Adventure (low-key dinosaurs, just like in Fantasia), the rides at the Norway and Mexico pavilions, the viking play ship outside Norway, HISTA, the IMAX movie in the Canada pavilion, the Living World, Food Rocks, Ice Station Cool, Spaceship Earth, the Friendship boats across the lagoon, the TON parade, and the fireworks, if you don't get too close in (too hot and noisy if you are too close.) The Ice Cream Social is a good test for character meals; it's cheap, it's ice cream, and it is not a buffet. If it turns out your kids are scared of characters, you will not have blown a lot of money on an experience they did not enjoy. Don't buy a whole ice cream for each person; they are HUGE!
I took my small ones to disney quest since it was on our passes. They hated it. When they are teens I'm sure they will like it, but for now the things for them to do are limited. It was a major bus ride to get there and back and a total waste of our precious time.
Best: Tour at your kids' speed-no commando touring; go to a character meal; ride in the front of the monorail (DSs 3 and 5 think WDW transportation is a ride- they love the buses, etc.).

Worst: Check out the 3d show ITTBAB before you take your kids (at 3, older ds hated it, younger ds was 1.5 and was ok with it- we haven't been to see the bug show in 2 trips since then); another AK tip-save the Boneyard for later in your AK touring- DSs loved it so much, it was difficult to get them to leave the Boneyard to do anything else; measure your 3 and 5 year olds before the trip so you know what rides they are tall enough for- you don't want to walk up to a line with an excited child who doesn't reach the measuring stick. Have a great trip! Pamela
First, I agree with everyone else and the pool was a highlight of our trip when our kids were 4 & 18 months.

Also, the naps are ESSENTIAL! Even if they do not normally take naps, they will be extremely tired from the parks - so give them that needed down time.

Lastly, I highly recommend skipping Snow White. Now, I must admit we haven't been back on it since that time (6 years ago). It frigtened my kids enough that even at 10 & 7 they will not consider it (they are coaster warriors and love HM etc). Probably if you save it until they are older they will think it is tame, but just skip it at this age. Since you should be taking the touring slow for their sakes, skipping any ride shouldn't be too difficult - just don't mention that it exists.

Also, one other point: if you plan to go to EPCOT (my favorite park) go there on your first day. I recommend saving MK for the last park you visit (not necessarily your last day). Because once your kids see MK they are not going to want to go anywhere else! Your kids will enjoy EPCOT, but there is no castle or Dumbo and many kids won't even give EPCOT a chance after they have visited MK.


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