Monday 1 April 2019

5 Things You Need To Know Before Going To Disney With Under 5's

So, you've planned, or you're planning, to go to Disney and you're taking your little ones on the most magical adventure.

I've already written about planning your trip, how to get the best interactions, what you need for a day in the parks and our favourite rides. I've even shared our first experience of taking a toddler, so with these posts and everything else you've read online you're probably all prepared.

Smiling redhead boy close up to the camera, with a Mum and Dad and Mickey Mouse in the background

But there's still a few things you need to know when taking a child under 5 to a Disney park and I'm going to share them with you.

Adrenaline goes a long way!
You maybe exhausted from travelling, your body clock might be out of sync and you might want to take it steady in the parks on your first day and initially your kids may feel the same. This may change once they've had a wander up Main Street and set their eyes on that castle!

Disneyland Paris castle

A few rides in and they'll be in the swing of it and you'll be amazed how long they'll keep going. We have been up for a 5.30am flight, hit the park after within an our of checking in at the hotel and have kept going until the park closed! No nap and just magic to keep us going!

The adrenaline won't last!
As much as Disney magic and excitement is enough to keep the little ones going (and maybe you too), at some point something will snap. One minute their dancing to parade music and the next they're lying on the floor, kicking their feet because there's a queue for an ice cream or you say no to a toy!

Little boy lying down and sleeping in a pushchair

We've dealt with this firsthand and found it's best to simply leave the parks and have a break back at the hotel. A quick nap usually does the trick.

You might need a pushchair!
On our last visit JJ was 3, nearly 4, and could walk for miles without a pushchair. In fact we barely used one by then but on our last trip we took it with us for a few reasons. The main and obvious one being that JJ could have a nap if he needed, but the other was to negotiate crowds.

Little boy in a pushchair with his Mum standing behind it and the Ratatouille area in the background

Disney parks are full of children but when in a crowd most people only look at the own eye level, meaning little ones often get knocked into. People also never seem to look behind them when they step back, which causes a problem if you're walking behind a parade crowd. 

Waiting is boring!
As much as kids want to meet their favourite character, ride their favourite ride or watch the parade and illuminations, waiting for it to start can be boring or frustrating for little, excited people. This is where snacks come in handy!

Little boy curled up in a chair looking bored

Bored? Have a snack. Queuing? Have a snack. Waiting? Have a snack. These don't have to be a naughty snacks either. A pack of raisins, a piece of fruit or a packet of the fruit snacks (the kind the kids think are sweets) go a long way! Word of warning though! If you happen to carry your child whilst they're eating you may or may not find raisins in your bra! Take it from me! Oh, and keeping an eye out for hidden Mickeys is also a good boredom buster! 

They will want to buy everything!
A lightsaber. An action figure. Mickey ears. Something that flashes, spins and make a whole lot of noise! You name it, they will want it! It's very easy to get caught up in the magic and let them have what they want, but if you're budget doesn't allow it the repeated no's might get you down. The latter is certainly how we felt on our first Disney trip with JJ. 

Little boy standing in Disney shop with merchandise in the background, wearing a cowboy hat and holding a grabber toy

We knew he'd be excited and possibly want one or two things but he was so young that we didn't expect him to want everything insight, but he did! Next time around we saved an extra €100, which was split down to €20 a day for JJ to pick something. With the money available to him and a clear limit set, he seemed to understand that once he'd used it, it was gone and he considered his purchases more carefully. Very wise for a then 3 year old!

I hope these tips have helped you prepare for your trip with your little ones. Now, go and enjoy the wonder of Disney and it's magic!

Mummy Snowy Owl

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