Just back from my first trip with a 1 year old!


DIS Veteran
Dec 27, 2010
Hey team,

My husband and I just got back from a week long stay in Florida that included two nights at Disney with our just turned 1 year old son. We are both Disney veterans, but this was our first trip taking our little guy. I got a lot of good advice from this site, so I wanted to share some of my findings from a very quick trip with a baby/toddler.

1. We stayed in a studio at BWV. I don't know if all studios are set up like this, but we loved that there was an alcove by the door where we could put the pack n play so that our son wouldn't be sleeping right near us - we could sit on the balcony and talk, or even put the TV on quietly after he went to sleep. It felt like he was in another room. If you aren't in a situation where you have 2 completely separate sleeping areas, a DVC studio is definitely the next best thing. We rented points from the DVC Rental store, and the price was about equivalent to that of a moderate room during our nights. We sort of wished we had had a room on the ground floor so that we could have come and gone as we pleased during his naps/when he fell asleep at night. The resort room doors are so loud compared to the balcony doors. I still went out one night after he fell asleep, but it was tricky to close the door quietly!

2. The Epcot resort area was a great place to be with a baby. He's too young to care which park he's in, so we weren't too worried about being close to the Magic Kingdom. The area is just super relaxing and nice to stroll around in before, after, or in between park visits. It seems far less chaotic than some of the MK resorts and value resorts. Until he's old enough to demand lots of Magic Kingdom time, we'll be staying here :-) I can see the Port Orleans resorts being a good alternative. Again, we definitely wanted minimal stimulation and activity during our downtime, and Boardwalk really fit the bill - it's pretty dead during the day.

3. Our son mostly ate off of our plates at mealtimes, but there are certain staples in his diet that weren't available at the resort shops or Boardwalk/Beach Club quick service. Had we been staying for a week, I would have gone to a store for things like...baby/kid yogurt (all I could find in the resorts was fat free stuff), bananas (ridiculously expensive at the resorts), and jarred baby food (he still eats vegetables from these and there were maybe 2 kinds of Gerber at the resorts...neither of which are kinds he eats anymore)

4. A lot of rides we thought he would like were just too long for his tiny attention span, and he got restless/tired of sitting still. Small World, Jungle Cruise, and Living with the Land were the rides where this happened. When he got restless, we just quietly gave him some of those cereal puff things, and he happily sat through the rest of the ride while we enjoyed...well, at least Jungle Cruise and LWTL. Who doesn't get at least a little restless on IASW?!

5. The temps were about ten degrees above normal for March, and it definitely got hot and uncomfortable in his stroller. I'm buying one of those stroller fan things for summer adventures! Can anyone recommend a decent one?

6. We really tried to minimize transfers/transportation. We stayed in the Epcot resort area, ate meals in the Epcot resort area, and ended our days at Epcot so we wouldn't have to get on a bus at the end of the day.

7. 2 nights and 2 park days with a 1 year old was really fun - and it was plenty of time. We felt like we left on a high note and excited to go back.

8. Our one big mistake was leaving the Magic Kingdom and trying to get on a bus when our little guy fell asleep in the stroller for his morning nap. We should have just let him be. Instead, we figured we'd head back to our resort and let him finish his nap there. Rookie mistake! As soon as we lifted him out of the stroller to get onto the bus, he woke up and the morning nap was done-zo.

9. We did a character breakfast at Cape May on our departure morning and it was great. Super friendly service and great character attention. We saw 2 of the 3 characters twice before leaving.

Hopefully that helps someone...we had a really great couple of days and are excited to go again next year as part of our annual Florida spring break trip. Maybe we'll stay for 3 days :-) Happy travels!
Great tips!!!! Thank you!!! We leave May 3rd for our sons first trip! He is 15 months old. We can't wait!
As far as stroller fans, I've heard a lot of mixed reviews about the ones made to clip on. We purchased a mister spray fan from Walmart for less than $10 and attached it to the stroller bar with a ponytail elastic. Worked great and I wasn't out a lot of money if my toddler broke it.
Thanks for sharing! We are 1st time parents, taking our 1-year old for Halloween. I have no clue how I am going to pack everything, let alone carry it all through the airport. I am definitely shipping diapers and food to the resort via Garden Grocer.


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