First Time for 3 year old- any advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by CovMandeville, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. CovMandeville

    CovMandeville Earning My Ears

    Sep 11, 2018

    My wife and I are taking our three year old daughter for her first Disney visit and cruise at the end of this month. We are planning to go to Magic Kingdom on Sept. 23, and then we board for our fist Disney cruise on Sept. 24. I have been to Disney before, but it was a long time ago. I was hoping someone could help with the following questions.

    1. We have fast passes for Peter Pan (9:20-10:20), Enchanted Tales with Belle (10:40-11:40) and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (1:35-2:35). Our plan is to arrive early, at least 30 minutes before the park opens at 9 am. We would like to ride as many rides before Peter Pan as possible. I hope to ride Peter pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Little Mermaid before using our Peter Pan fast pass toward the back of the hour time slot. If we have time, I'd add Small World. Is that feasible?

    2. When we arrive before the park opens, will we be able to rent a stroller? I think we may pack one of ours, but my wife is against it since we would then have to take it on the cruise.

    3. We have Halloween Party Tickets that night. We debated on getting them, but since we are only there for one day, and since she naps in the middle of the day, we purchased so we can come back after her nap. I see that some people are able to book fast passes between 4-7 pm. I am worried if I try, it will bump my existing ones. Are you able to book additional fast-passes with Halloween tickets if we have them earlier in the day at the same park?

    Overall, we plan to take it at her pace. We want it to be a fun time for all, even if it means less rides. Any advice or other tips for touring with a 3 year old would be greatly appreciated!
  2. _Kristi_

    _Kristi_ Earning My Ears

    Jan 12, 2018
    1. Confirm your daughter is tall enough to meet the 38" height requirement for Seven Dwarfs. If Magic Kingdom opens at 8:00 then your itinerary is likely possible given the time of year. If it opens at 9:00 then there's little hope you can get all that in but it's worth trying. Save It's A Small World for last because it typically has a very low wait time comparatively.
    2. Bring your own stroller. Not kidding. You will want it on the cruise. Cruise ships are huge and little legs need a break from all the walking. We left ours home one year and I ended up renting one on the boat. An umbrella stroller would be ideal considering you have to store it in your stateroom and you only intend to do one park day. Renting from Disney on the morning of your trip will just cut into your ride time.
    3. You can book fast passes during the party as long as you go to Magic Kingdom the day of the party but if you plan 3 fast passes for the morning, you will have to wait until you have used all the fast passes from the morning before you can try to add a fast pass for the evening. If you want to guarantee a fast pass during the party then book only 2 fast passes for the morning and 1 for the evening. In our experiences, we didn't need fast passes for the party. The greatest asset during the party is the Disney app that shows wait times.

    My biggest tip when traveling with small kids is to feed them before they are actually hungry. For example, if she usually eats lunch at 11:00 then plan to be where you want to eat at 10:45. There will inevitably be delays even when you try to eat at 10:45 so planning to eat a little earlier will prevent what I refer to as a "hunger emergency". I find kids will delay telling you they are hungry because rides are more fun than eating and then once they let you know they are hungry it's way too late and that's when meltdowns happen....and meltdowns don't feel magical. Stay ahead of hunger and everyone will have a great time :)
    YesterDark, unrequited23 and NYCgrrl like this.
  3. Avatar


  4. Tksolomom

    Tksolomom DIS Veteran

    Nov 9, 2017
    I don’t think you will be able to ride Small World, but the others should be feasible. You do have a 15 min grace period though so you could ride PP until 10:35. You could also ride it after your PP FP.

    I don’t think you can book 6 FP with the 2 tickets, but I could be wrong.

    It might be busy renting the stroller in the morning, it might be better to rent one and get it sent to your hotel, then you will have i for coming back to the hotel.
  5. FutureDis

    FutureDis Mouseketeer

    Apr 25, 2006
    We did the exact same thing when our son was 3... Disney World, followed by cruise (got to love that 3 is free!). Here are some tips:

    • Do not skip nap!! Very important.
    • Drink lots of water (this goes for adults too). Ice water is always free, anywhere in the park.
    • Bring snacks for the little one.
    • You CAN split meals.
    • Characters can be scary at that age. Let her "see" the characters from afar before you get in line to see the character.
    • Be willing to "go with the flow" and stay flexible. Resign yourself to not seeing all you want to see. :)
    • If she (or you!) starts to get hot and cranky, Carousel of Progress is a nice, COOL, break. Maybe even a mini power nap.
    • Wear quick drying items so she can play at Casey Jr. splash pad area if hot.
    • Got some entertainment for when you are waiting in line?
    • My son was traumatized by the woozles on the Winnie the Pooh ride. Might explain first that they are from Pooh's bad dream when he ate too much honey. Or maybe even skip. (Was my son the only one??)
    Have fun, and enjoy the wonder through your daughter's eyes. :)
  6. unrequited23

    unrequited23 DIS Veteran

    May 26, 2015
    This. 100x's this.

    Your son was not the only one terrified of the woozles. Though I think my youngest was partially traumatized by his older brother sneaking up behind him and saying "Woooooooozles" in a spooky voice then laughing.
  7. JK World

    JK World Just me and my lil' man loving life!

    Apr 4, 2017
    Actually, under 3 is free. You have to pay for 3 year olds at the child rate (3-9 years). I took my son for his 3rd birthday, and we purposely checked in the day before so he would be 2 and free for the trip!

    I agree about having snacks in your bag at all times. Also, I keep my phone charged and bring a power bank so that it stays up for MDE, pictures and games for line entertainment. Considering bringing a separate camera this next trip just to preserve my phone battery longer.

    Don't try to pack in all the rides. Little legs move slowly and she will want to stop and look at things, interact with them, and probably smell the roses a lot more than you will. A happy kid is a happy trip in my book, so I take things at his pace and let him spend 30 minutes playing with a leaf if that's what is needed, rather than rushing from attraction to attraction and fretting about making all of our FP times. On a solo trip I'd be hardcore about staying to my schedule (which is made months in advance!), but with him I try to remember to enjoy the experience.
  8. cgdisney

    cgdisney Earning My Ears

    May 11, 2000
    Took my 3 year old Granddaughter for her first trip last year. Had fast passes and dining reservations and a plan. Didn’t stick to one thing. She said “can we go there”? and that’s what we did
    KateMW likes this.
  9. DreamsBecky

    DreamsBecky Earning My Ears

    Jun 7, 2017
    A good option if you do not want to bring your own stroller from home is to rent one. Myself and many of my clients have had great luck with Kingdom Strollers or Orlando Stroller Rentals. They deliver to your resort, pick up from your resort, and are far more comfortable than the strollers that are rented in the parks (they use the City Mini brand, which are really nice). The prices are pretty comparable, as well.
    If you want to have a stroller on your cruise, I would strongly suggest an umbrella stroller. Even in the extremely spacious staterooms on Disney Cruise Line, a typical stroller will take up a lot of room, and you will have a much more difficult time navigating the ship with it.

    Have an amazing vacation!!
    Tksolomom likes this.
  10. moose81

    moose81 Mouseketeer

    Apr 1, 2016
    Gonna be honest, at that age, you may be in for meltdown city if you try to pack in too much. I think my kiddo was able to handle 3 or 4 rides the first morning we visited MK when she was 2.5, and not many more when she was almost 4. It's a lot of stimulation for little ones. So I'd recommend being very flexible and not getting upset if you end up cancelling half your touring plan. Same warning for the Halloween party (although to be fair, we have never tried a party with our kids b/c we prefer to keep their normal early bedtime schedules while on vacation).

    I'd bring a stroller on the cruise unless your child really enjoys walking. We used one on board with no problem and it was really nice when we were off the ship.
  11. MinnieMom85

    MinnieMom85 Mouseketeer

    Aug 30, 2018
    1. Assuming park opens at 9 am, get there by 8:30 or so to get situated on Main Street, take a family photo etc. We really enjoyed the welcome show near the hub with our little kids. It runs from like 8:55-9am. That leaves you from 9 am - 10:30 to ride other rides. Why do you want to ride Peter Pan before your FP? Honestly that may eat up the most of your time depending on the standby line. If you want to fit in the other three (Little Mermaid, Small World and Pooh) I would think you should be fine. Make sure you have a map planned ahead so you know exactly where you are going at rope drop and know which order you are hitting those 3. You shouldn't have a problem getting those 3 done within an hour and a half.

    2. Bring a stroller! Even for on the cruise. We got the Summer Infant 3D Lite from Amazon and it worked great for our cruise this summer and our disney trip (2 yr old and 4 yr old). The rental strollers are not comfortable for a nap.

    3. I would keep your FP as scheduled now.

    Other tips - We pack a bag (an old diaper bag) with our extra clothes, extra snacks, waters etc and leave it on the stroller. We carry a small backpack onto the rides. This small backpack has our valuables plus a snack for while in line, some wipes, extra sunscreen etc.
  12. ofcabbagesandkings

    ofcabbagesandkings DIS Veteran

    Aug 16, 2014
    Our first trip when my son was turning 3, we brought our umbrella stroller. It was fine but now we rent Citi Mini ones from Kingdom Strollers. The Halloween party is fun but be prepared to leave early with a little one. Both of my kids fell asleep waiting for the parade last year and we had to leave before the fireworks. We didn’t have FP but the only ride that tends to have a long line during the party is Haunted Mansion. Have fun!

Share This Page