Tips For Taking A One Year Old To WDW

ashleywright

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Looking for tips & ideas for traveling with a one-year-old to WDW in September. We are doing a split stay at VGF & SSR.

Please no "you shouldn't take her" or "she won't remember" comments. My husband & I have been going every year since our honeymoon in 2012 and are very excited to add her to our tradition.
 

twoolle

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 10, 2014
I have taken many 1 year olds! I do enjoy having a baby carrier with us in the parks so we can park the stroller and walk around fantasyland or other areas without having to park, get baby out, etc.
 
  • ashleywright

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2014
    I have taken many 1 year olds! I do enjoy having a baby carrier with us in the parks so we can park the stroller and walk around fantasyland or other areas without having to park, get baby out, etc.
    I love that idea! Saves having to move it from one parking area to the next.
     

    sponica

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    Assuming we're able to move freely about the country, be flexible. Super flexible. Some kids are like furniture and will do whatever. Some are more persnickety. My daughter was closer to 2, but she needed the room to be pitch dark in order to sleep. She also stroller napped like a champ.
     

    ashleywright

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2014
    I would say, since you seem to go every year. Dont push her or you. You will be back, enjoy the times dont try and do everything and NAPS. Enjoy the smiles and the cries, they are all great.
    I think this is what I am looking forward to the most is slowing down.
     

    ashleywright

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 5, 2014
    Assuming we're able to move freely about the country, be flexible. Super flexible. Some kids are like furniture and will do whatever. Some are more persnickety. My daughter was closer to 2, but she needed the room to be pitch dark in order to sleep. She also stroller napped like a champ.
    Yes, we are hoping for some pixie dust and that things will be back to normal. Mine needs a darkroom as well and crossing my fingers that she will be a stroller napper.
     
  • Betty Rohrer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2010
    Looking for tips & ideas for traveling with a one-year-old to WDW in September. We are doing a split stay at VGF & SSR.

    Please no "you shouldn't take her" or "she won't remember" comments. My husband & I have been going every year since our honeymoon in 2012 and are very excited to add her to our tradition.
    i know you do not want to hear wont remember but I take that one step further. have lots of pictures of her doing the parks and the resort. make her a picture book when you get back. not a family one if you do those but one for just her. one grandson for years would tell you all about the trip he took at 4 months old. he need not remember as such but he sure could tell you the story of the picture book. when we were planning the nest trip for him he was really unto helping with what he wanted to do not that he remembered but what he wanted to do from his pictures
     

    LuvOrlando

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 8, 2006
    People told me don't go because kids don't remember - I never thought I was bringing them for them it was TOTALLY for me & so what, good for you. I LOVE that I took my kids & my photos are treasures.

    Either make peace with paying for the park stroller or pick up a few umbrella ones and be ok with "donating" on some days - I would leave it with a note and am sure many families appreciated the gift, the whole bus with stroller dance is a fiasco.
    If you can tolerate moving around and afford to stay at a MK park on MK day, an EPCOT park on Epcot day etc I say do that. I didn't do this until my kids were around 4 and discovered that nap time can be a pleasant rest if you are near your hotel. The moving annoyed my husband but not me so I guess consider others in your party.
    Try to plan out air conditioned rest spots for meals and snacks through that day, nothing worse that having a hungry hot screaming baby and not sure where to go. I always did full service for this reason when kids were little - once I learned.
    Bring dried formula you can mix with water.
    Bring cheerios in baggies, a fist full of snacks can save most outings.
    Bring a few diaper emergency bags, a ziplock with a diaper, a onesie, socks, a few wipes, a single serve of snack.
    If you do buy stuff send it to your room, don't try to balance stuff and a baby.

    Bring your sense of humor, and be ok with calling it a day if things go sideways
     

    Have3Kids&aHusband

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 7, 2010
    We went when our oldest was 18 months old. We had so much fun with her. We were very lucky that she would stroller nap and that was our trip we realized it was good to go back to the resort and take a break. She loved the pool and time at the resort. We went again when our youngest was only 7 months old. We made sure to have the bottle with the fan to keep her cool. When we went again for our ten year anniversary we splurged for the Poly. That's when we realized that it was a great resort to stay with little ones. You have the monorail to roll the stroller onto for Magic Kingdom and it was a short walk to the ticket transportation center to stroll onto the monorail to go to Epcot. Another perk was the zero entry pool. Our other friends stay at the Contemporary, which is also a great place because you can walk to the Magic Kingdom and don't need to worry about transportation. There you can stroll onto the monorail and switch at the ticket transportation center to stroll onto the monorail. We have also stayed at Wilderness Lodge when our kids were little. When the larger boat came, we could stroll onto the boat. But we did have to fold up for the smaller boats and we needed the buses. With umbrella strollers it was always manageable. We also made sure to have extra ponchos to cover the strollers while on rides to keep them dry if it started to rain while on a ride.
     
  • stephk1981

    DIS Veteran
    DVC Gold
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2013
    We have had the BEST trips with our DD who just turned 2! We also have DS now 11 who we didn't take until he was 2, after DD first trip at 5 months it made me wish we had gone with DS way before age 2. September is hot, have a stroller fan. Do morning time at the park, back to resort during hottest part of the day for pool and nap time, then go back to the park for a few more rides and dinner. Bring lots of sunscreen, a few sunhats ( we have lost one almost every trip.) Bring sheets, blanket that baby normally uses from home if you are using crib at Disney. Bring white noise machine or fan. Don't forget the swim diapers and fruit food pouches, lots of snacks. Have an amazing time!
     

    MickeyWaffles

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 28, 2010
    My daughter turned 1 on her first trip and my son was 13 months on his. They are now 5 & 3.5 and have been to WDW 5 and 4 times.

    My tips:

    1 is a great age for a first trip! My kids love looking at photos and watching videos of their first trips. Their reactions to things at such a young age were really fun to see & memorable.

    Go with the flow! Follow your child’s lead. Don’t over plan. We usually plan our 3 FP for morning, and play anything after lunch by ear. We book a few favorite ADRs in advance and eat QS or book last minute ADRs (which is possible, even with our group that is between 8-12 people usually). I really don’t like being tied down to too many specific meal times with little ones.

    Every kid is different, but our kids were not hotel nappers. They both mostly napped on the go for us at WDW at that age.

    My biggest advice is really to go with the flow and follow your child’s lead.

    One more thing! I liked to carry a small bag with me everywhere with the bare essentials. One diaper, wipes, etc. I kept the extra (replaceable, non valuable things like extra clothes and extra diapers) in another bag under the stroller so I wasn’t carrying a ton of extra gear around.
     

    Rory607

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 10, 2016
    [QUOTE="MickeyWaffles, post: 61815691

    One more thing! I liked to carry a small bag with me everywhere with the bare essentials. One diaper, wipes, etc. I kept the extra (replaceable, non valuable things like extra clothes and extra diapers) in another bag under the stroller so I wasn’t carrying a ton of extra gear around.
    [/QUOTE]
    This is the best tip I always tell people as well. Don’t carry a heavy backpack on your back all day. I always kept a bag with diapers, wipes, sunscreen, extra clothes and snacks in the bottom of the stroller. Then we would carry a lightweight bag with the bare essentials and phone. So much easier. And yes, obviously someone could swipe the bag/stroller with your stuff, but I’ve never worried about it too much. They’d probably be disappointed with diapers and sunscreen!

    I would also get memory maker so you can get family pictures. Our kids loved characters at that age(except my son was terrified of Goofy for some reason). The photopass photographers were able to get some great shots of character interactions.
     

    Andrea464

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2010
    This is the best tip I always tell people as well. Don’t carry a heavy backpack on your back all day. I always kept a bag with diapers, wipes, sunscreen, extra clothes and snacks in the bottom of the stroller.
    We were lucky and I had managed to snag a Petunia Picklebottom diaper bag at a consignment sale for $40. It could do crossbody/shoulder but it also came with straps to wear it like a backpack. It made a world of difference!
    I loved the baby stations in the parks. It was a wonderful rest area for me and my daughter (she was 18 months at the time).
     

    Disco Lemonade

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 10, 2018
    Make use of the baby care stations. You will need to anyway, but don’t be in a rush to go. We definitely stayed a bit with some encouragement from the staff to do so. Good place to sit down and relax out of the heat after toting a little one around the park. Our daughter didn’t mind-she loved the little furniture that she could sit on
     

    Keetchino

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2018
    GB Pockit stroller is a lifesaver! Super compact, no hassle on the busses. Also, we would do one park in the morning, then return to the hotel around 1 for a nap, then do a different park when she woke up. I’d generally stay in the room and shower during the nap, husband would go to the pool or wander the resort. Don’t try to cram too much in, take it more slow.
     

    epsmith921

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 2, 2012
    Get a good stroller fan. With the good baby jogger stroller canopies down and the fan going, it’s like a whole other climate in the stroller (I was jealous). Water and snacks for sure - Cheerios, goldfish, etc. Break out of the heat at naptime. We also only planned one dining reservation per day then I think. We just didn’t want to be missing reservations or rushing to them.
    The baby care center does rock for a more relaxing diaper change. At least at magic kingdom there was a place for adults to go to the bathroom as well so one of us could change our child while the other had a nice break nearby.

    oh! Apparently the men’s rooms have changing areas too so that could be helpful.

    everything will take longer like it already does, but we had some pretty magical moments with our kids on their first trips.
     

    mmh711

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2020
    Completely agree with some of the other posters. We took my son for the 1st time when he was exactly 12 months. Necessities in the bottom of the stroller allowed me to carry a lighter bag throughout the day. The Baby Care Stations were great! Take lots of photos. And also...plan you schedule differently than you planned when it was just the 2 of you. That was my biggest learning experience after that first trip. We learned to forget about Space Mountain and Splash Mountain and the other big ticket rides for ourselves. We devoted more time to areas like Fantasyland and the great shows. We were lucky to have a great napper.....so planned sit-down meals for us at his naptime which gave us all a nice break. We didn't venture into the character meals until he was 2.....then he napped less and our schedule adjusted. A few character meet and greets were all we needed at that time. My son is now 11 and has been 7 times. Our trips evolve each time and we enjoy so many different areas of the parks.
     

    dd316

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 23, 2006
    Please no "you shouldn't take her" or "she won't remember" comments.
    I had that exact mindset until somebody told me something that changed my whole perspective:

    "She won't remember it, but you will."


    The only real tip I would say is let your vacation revolve around your child's demeanor. If they're having a good day, do a little more. If it's a bad day, hang out by the pool.

    And I would also say don't be afraid to parent however, whenever and wherever you need. I have a very fond memory of changing my daughter's diaper waiting in line for Dumbo. It seemed crazy at the time ("Here? Now?!"), but you've gotta do what you gotta do!

    Just be flexible and adapt, you will have a GREAT time!
     



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