Tips For Taking A One Year Old To WDW

MNswimmer18

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 9, 2018
We've traveled a ton with our young kids. If we waited to bring them until they remember - we'd me missing a lot of stuff. If you don't already have a good baby carrier - get one! When we've traveled with one and under we've hardly used the stroller. At Disney my son was 22 months. We would park the stroller somewhere, have the baby carrier, and he's walk or be carried where we were going.

Things will be slower, but that's nice. Our only Disney trip is with young kids, so we don't really now any different. Know your kids. My kids don't transfer well (from stroller to car, or bed), and are early risers. So, we would hit the parks first thing in the morning, and stay until about dinner time. They did nap well in the stroller, and they don't normally at home.

We always had lunch at a sitdown place. This was just easier for us. Nice AC break, didn't have to play the "what do you want?" game and try to figure out when/where to eat day of. It was also nice to know we would have a table to sit down at.

Since we had a stroller, we brought a lot of snacks. That helped a lot.
 

monorailsilver

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 20, 2002
Our oldest was 15 months when she went for her first trip. She had a great time! She loved the characters, not so much the face characters. She danced, swam, rode rides, watched fireworks/illuminations (I made it fun and plugged her ears a bit and made her look for pink and purple colors).

The day before the trip she was still taking 2 naps a day but she wouldn’t go to bed u til close to 9-10pm. So I figured I would stop the morning nap while on vacation. She was fine! I always took a mid day break so we continued that. She got a good nap in the room and DH and I took turns leaving, doing laundry, etc...while she napped for a good 3-4 hours. By kid #2 and I was Preggo with kid #3 that trip, we also napped!

We did go To the parks early-she was up, I was up, DH woke up! We also had breakfast in the room so while DH was showering as I showered and was up first, I would get her food and pack our bag/fill our water. i didn’t want to waste the time going to get breakfast. Like I said above, we left at lunch and returned at dinner time.

She was a ball of energy, she was always moving and happily pushed her stroller around the countries. She was under 20 pounds until she turned 2-always moving. She hated the stroller so much. Our first park was MK and she moaned about the stroller but once she relaxed it would make her get to a ride quicker she was fine and happily rode. We did stroller park at the MK in spots and just walked.

Not sure if your child is a big eater but she wasn’t so I would take her leftovers in my collapsible small cooler with an ice pack back to the room and she would have the rest of her chicken, pizza, burger, etc....I would heat it up if appropriate (did that with my son too as he was not a big eater).

I planned on doing a rider switch but that all changed. I didn’t want to miss out on her fun as I knew I would be able to ride the rides another trip...well 2 trips later.

I did bring a bunch of toys for her for the room. she Never played with them as it was eat, park, shower, nap, sleep and pool on pool days with a nap.

Have fun, take lots of pictures, it’s OK if you miss something.
 

HaliLan029

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 21, 2009
Although it may not be an option due to how expensive, staying on or near the monorail is great! Gives you the opportunity to go back for naps!❤
 
  • Specter

    This is the way
    Joined
    Oct 6, 2011
    We took our daughter at 10 months and found that the stroller on the bus thing wasn't too bad once you got used to it, but we were very glad that we looked ahead of time and tried to find something that was the best compromise of useful size when open but small when folded. We were there in March this year just before lockdown and even after fireworks one night in the flood of people leaving, it was not an issue on the bus.

    Another thing that we found very helpful was the single serving formula packets. Yes, they are more expensive but it made it so easy to pre-measure bottled water into her bottles in the morning and then, when she was ready for it, just tear open the packet and pour it in, shake, and feed. We'd used other containers on local family outings to the zoo, etc, and had them pop open. This was so much better, no mess, pre-measured, ready to go.

    Memory maker. It was our first time getting it even though DW and I went plenty of times over the years just us, and we are so glad we did.
     

    Brett Wyman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2018
    Our youngest visited WDW at 11 months, 14 months, and 23 months among other times when he was older. He loved every visit and we never regretted bringing a baby or toddler with us. A lot of this has been said already but..

    1. Bring a good stroller with good storage that reclines for nap time.
    2. Don’t travel during excessively warm months.
    3. Bring a clip on stroller fan.
    4. If it’s in your budget stay at a monorail or Epcot resort where you can quickly get back to you room
    5. If it’s even more in you budget rent a 1 bedroom DVC. Washer and dryer and dishwasher, plus a pack n play in every room(pack in plays in DVC studios too).
    6. You can get hot water in a cup from most QS or sit down restaurants for free for heating milk/formula. We bought a water tight bottle bag. Dumped in the hot water and put bottle in to warm, our DS would only drink his milk warm.
    7. Don’t rush anything or book too many activities with set times.
    8. Late morning mid day breaks!
    9. Don’t forget about rider swap.
     

    Betty Rohrer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2010
    Our youngest visited WDW at 11 months, 14 months, and 23 months among other times when he was older. He loved every visit and we never regretted bringing a baby or toddler with us. A lot of this has been said already but..

    1. Bring a good stroller with good storage that reclines for nap time.
    2. Don’t travel during excessively warm months.
    3. Bring a clip on stroller fan.
    4. If it’s in your budget stay at a monorail or Epcot resort where you can quickly get back to you room
    5. If it’s even more in you budget rent a 1 bedroom DVC. Washer and dryer and dishwasher, plus a pack n play in every room(pack in plays in DVC studios too).
    6. You can get hot water in a cup from most QS or sit down restaurants for free for heating milk/formula. We bought a water tight bottle bag. Dumped in the hot water and put bottle in to warm, our DS would only drink his milk warm.
    7. Don’t rush anything or book too many activities with set times.
    8. Late morning mid day breaks!
    9. Don’t forget about rider swap.
    for years we didn't have anytime to go other than August if we wanted to take stepgrandson by court order. his birth mom had to approve any trip that would make him miss more than one day of school. and she wouldn't approve. she was not happy about trips she couldn't stop
     

    Disneyfan754321

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 19, 2019
    What a great tradition, I am glad you are continuing it with your child.
    Because you go frequently, your trip will go smoother. You dont have to try and see it all in 8 hours.
    We normally go early go back to the room for lunch/ nap returning at 3.
    Its hard with covid and the shorter hours, should be easier to plan after they open and we get a better idea on whats open.
     
  • Joined
    Jun 24, 2020
    We took our son at 12 months old and daughter at 9 months old and both trips were great. A good collapsible stroller is definitely essential and the baby stations are great. You'll find VGF is super convenient for going to MK and Epcot with the monorail. Rides like It's a Small World and the Regal Carrousel will likely be big hits with the little one. Characters and parades were the highlights for both my kids at that age though. Hopefully parades and meet and greets will be back by September.
     

    Shells15

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 21, 2018
    My grandma often took us kids while we were growing up. One time she took 5 of us (ages: 1.5, 5, 11.5, 15, 17.5), yet everyone enjoyed it and the older ones never felt like they were being "dragged" around based on the youngest's schedule -- we found a way for everyone to do something (some waited with the youngest ones and switched off to ride the larger rides or take bathroom breaks). We would stay in the park all day growing up (granted it was DL and not WDW, but the same concepts could apply to both).

    Though these are what we did with her, the rest of my family that I've been with does this as well.

    Stroller, we went with one that was a step above an umbrella stroller, but wasn't monstrous. Ours could fold flat for naps, had a basket for the diaper bag, and had canopy for shade (). The LO napped in it as needed. He also got out to stretch his walking skills in safe places.​
    Note: you may look into a RayShade and a stroller fan

    We stopped to smell the roses. She stopped often to rest with the youngest 2, and we would actually sit down for meals at the cafes and restaurants or take something to eat over to a park bench or picnic table, somewhere off the beaten trail, just to relax.​
    We packed what we needed, but didn't overpack. Also, she didn't pack the world, just what we could carry without the stroller -- a diaper bag, her purse, water bottles, some sunscreen and hats in the basket and a locker for sweatshirts (we would send one of the older boys to retrieve the sweatshirts when we headed for dinner). Everything we had in the basket would fit in the diaper bag or on our person at the end of the night, and it wasn't massive. We would wear the sweatshirts the rest of the night after we retrieved them (either as they were intended or around our waists).​

    Other ideas:
    Bring a baby carrier. Have a baby carrier for when you park the stroller or are in line somewhere.​
    Minimize the distractions you bring. There will be plenty of distractions throughout the park and in lines, but I would definitely bring a couple of small toys, a teething toy and a small lovey.​
    Carry a small bottle cooler that can fit in your in line bag. This way you can leave some on the stroller if you choose not to carry a lot onto rides, yet you are prepared if LO is suddenly "I need food right now" hangry, especially when you've been in line for an hour and you're toward the front. Hand them a little snack/bottle to get the blood sugar up and then grab more substantial food after.​
    Prepping for bottle feeds: If you formula feed, pack pre-proportioned amounts of formula and some water, taking a bottle with you in line that can be quickly prepped on the spot. With the insulated bag, you can also have ready-made formula, water for formula and breast milk at the temperature you want it ready to go when needed.​
    Note: To make formula feeds easier, portion out formula into individual feedings so it is easier to mix and go as needed. I've seen some people use the mini M&M tubes or homemade otterpop sleeves for this.
    Pack a diaper changing kit with just the essentials. This way you don't have to take everything into the bathroom with you; keep extras in your stroller or diaper bag.​
    Take advantage of indoor activities during the hotter points of the day. Plan to have lunch, take in a show or do something else indoors during that time. The AC is great!​

    Most importantly, bring a sense of humor and judge what you do by your child. Don't overload them. Enjoy everything and have fun!
     
    Last edited:

    Gingerfun1

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2018
    We took our oldest when she was 1 and I was pregnant with #2 and it was fantastic! Seeing the world from their little eyes is magical.

    I would recommend:

    1. Whatever stroller you are bringing, use it before you get to the park so that your kiddo is accustomed to it and will hopefully nap in it. We loved using Zoe strollers for Disney trips as they lay really flat and have an extra large canopy.
    2. Be flexible I think every post has mentioned this lol so I won't expand on that.
    3. Bring lots of snacks - my kids both have loved fruit/veggie pouches and there were a good source of extra fluids.
    4. Use the baby care stations to cool down as needed (the AK one has a large "play" room with Lion King on repeat).
    5. Have fun! If you go in with a good attitude and know it will be a different experience, it will be great.
     

    a742246

    And, and, and I caught a fish this big!
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2008
    There are a lot of great ideas in this post my addition would be, photos, photos, photos and more photos.
     
  • disneygolfer1985

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 4, 2013
    We took my 18 month old over thanksgiving last year. Main thing I would say is stick to their schedule. We did more character breakfast and sit down lunches. Thankfully she could nap in the stroller, but we found she could do about 4 attractions before she reached sensory overload and passed out. She had a great time, but it was a completely different way we have travelled before. We usually took breaks before but would typically go back to the room after lunch and maybe go back to park for a few hours before sleeping.
     





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