Disney World is our favorite vacation spot. Our toddler accompanied us for her first trip this past spring and it is safe to say that she loves it as much as we do. Disney offers four amazing theme parks and two water parks. We have never taken time to visit the water parks, so we will be focusing on the parks in this post. Disney goes above and beyond to make sure they have attractions for people of all ages and all ability levels. Today, we want to share some rides, attractions, and experiences at Walt Disney World that are amazing for toddlers.
Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
In this ride, you are invited to join in on one of Winnie the Pooh’s many adventures. You get to ride in a honey pot through the 100 acre woods. Little ones will love getting to see Pooh and all of his friends. We rode this ride several times during our last trip and our toddler giggled through each ride. As a bonus, there is a fun play area at the rides entrance.
Transit Authority People Mover
This one might sound like an unexpected choice, but it is an amazingly underappreciated ride. It is a train like ride that takes you around Tomorrowland. It offers wonderful views and a bit of a rest from a hectic day in the parks. Our toddler loved it.
Silly Side Show
Pete’s Silly Side Show is a circus themed character meet and greet. It is a fun, upbeat environment and the wait times are typically under 25 minutes. The line is inside and air conditioned, so it is a great little break from the heat. This area is also home to an amazing gift shop.
with Nemo & Friends
This ride is super cute. When the ride ends, you are in a real aquarium that offers plenty to explore. There is even a shark themed play area. We went back to Epcot one night specifically so our toddler could revisit this ride and the aquarium.
space ship earth and we were excited to share it with our toddler. It’s a 15
minute ride, so we were worried that it wouldn’t keep her attention, but it
did. She loved the interactive ending.
Frozen Ever After was new to us on our last visit. It is in Norway in the World Showcase. It is a must for any Frozen fan. It’s a very pretty and fun boat ride. It is a bit rough though, so it may scare some toddlers. Our toddler really liked it overall. She didn’t love getting her head a tiny bit wet, but she got over it quickly. This ride brings a wait time of at least an hour most days, so we highly suggest getting a fast pass in advance.
This is Mr. Not So Crafty’s favorite ride. We did not get to take our toddler on it while we were visiting Hollywood studios because it was closed for much of the morning, but we are still adding it to our list of rides that toddlers will love. It is colorful and interactive. This is another ride that you may want to get a fast pass for because the line does get pretty long.
Animation Courtyard offers a variety of toddler friendly character meet and greets. They each have a separate line (or at least they did when we were there in the spring) so it can eat up a bit of time, but there was not in Hollywood studios that interested our toddler.
So this isn’t a ride or an attraction, but it is an extremely toddler friendly restaurant. They offer a huge selection of dipping sauces, which I think is a dream come true for most toddlers.
This ride is always one of our fast passes at Animal Kingdom. If your toddler likes animals, you will not want to skip this. You will see a variety of wildlife up close. This is a ride that is fun to ride multiple times each trip because it is always a unique experience.
The Boneyard is a playground designed for kids 10 and younger. It is decorated as a dinosaur bone dig site. It features a sandpit, slides, swings, caves, and so much more!
This character meet and great spot is currently home to Mickey and Minnie in adorable safari themed outfits. This was our toddler’s favorite place to meet Mickey and Minnie. We fast passed this character experience, but the wait time is usually only around 30 minutes, so you could also just wait in the regular line.
We would love to hear from you! Have you been to Disney with a toddler? How was your family’s experience? Did your small child have a favorite ride?
Young children are continuously working towards forming their own self-identity. The activity we are sharing today is a great way to encourage children to explore how they see themselves. This activity is also a great way to reinforce the concept of facial part recognition for children who are still learning the parts of their face.
Two Pieces of Construction Paper (We used white and a piece of paper from a set of multicultural construction paper. I let my toddler pick which piece of paper from the pack she wanted to use to represent herself.)
Magazine Clippings of Face Parts
I started this activity by having my daughter look in a mirror. I asked her to point to her nose, mouth, and eyes. We talked about what color her eyes were. Next, I had her pick two eyes, a nose, and a mouth to glue onto the construction paper. I offered her no guidance when she was gluing. Instead, I let her put everything where she thought it should go.
After my daughter was done with the gluing, I drew an outline around where she put her face parts.
Next, I cut it out and asked her to glue the face onto the white construction paper. If your child is preschool or early elementary school aged, let them draw the outline around the face and do the cutting themselves. This is great fine motor skill practice.
To finish this activity, I had my toddler pick a marker to draw her hair.
My daughter enjoyed this activity. The end result looked nothing like her, but that is fine. We will all enjoy looking back at this self portrait when she is older. Just under a year ago, we did a slightly different version of this activity. It was fun as a parent to look at both of them together. Over the next few weeks, we will be doing several more self exploration activities that we are excited to share with you.
While we officially have just over a month left of summer, most schools in our area start at some point next week. This is a hectic time for many families. It might also be a stressful time for some children who are anxious about riding the school bus. Today, we want to share a few craft and book suggestions to help children overcome their fear of the school bus.
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When we were preparing for our daughter to join our family, we put a lot of research into finding a diaper bag that would be functional and durable. We ended up with several that all have their unique uses. However, our sweet girl has quickly grown into a very active toddler. As children grow, the things you need to pack in their diaper bag changes. Today, we want to talk about a few things we consider essential in every toddler’s diaper bag.
Diapers or Underwear
It is pretty obvious that you should pack diapers in your diaper bag, but even if your toddler is potty trained, never leave the house without an extra pair or two of underwear! Also, do not be tempted to leave the house with only a few diapers even if you think your toddler won’t need more than one diaper change. Toddlers can be just as unpredictable as infants when it comes to their potty habits!
Do not take the wipes out of your diaper bag once your child is potty trained. They will still come in handy!
Two Changes of Clothes
We never leave the house without two extra outfits. One is not always enough.
When my daughter was younger, we’d always have a little baggy of Gerber Puffs or Cheerios. Now that she is a bit older, it is still important to pack snacks. We now usually select pretzels or cheese crackers. You never know when a toddler will decide that they need something to eat immediately.
Our little one does not usually wear bibs at home anymore, but packing one in her diaper bag helps us cut down on outfit changes while we are in public.
There are two reasons that we like to bring at least one book in our daughter’s diaper bag. First of all, having easy access to books in early childhood helps encourage early reading and language skills. Secondly, our toddler gets bored very easily and we like to help her stay entertained without technology.
ASpare Sippy Cup
This is a recent addition to our diaper bag. Our toddler has now broken two sippy cups while we were out in public. If one falls on the floor at just the right angle, it is done for. To avoid last minute trips to Target or Walmart, we have started packing an extra cup.
We are not overly afraid of germs, but we feel like with as much as our toddler touches in public, clean hands are a must. Since soap isn’t always an option, we like to carry hand sanitizer.
We hope you find our list useful! We would love to hear from you! What are your diaper bag must haves? How much has your must have list changed as your child grows?
Traveling to Walt Disney World is an exciting experience. However, it can also be overwhelming. If you or a person you are traveling with have a disability that limits the ability to wait in a conventional queue environment, Disney has a system to make things a bit less stressful. The current program is called the Disability Access Service (DAS) pass. We used the pass last spring and would like to share some useful information about it.
Getting the DAS Pass
You will need to go to Guest Services at a park to set up the DAS pass. This can be done inside or outside each park. We went shortly after we got to Disney. We had planned on spending that evening in a park, but we never actually got inside the park, because the line was very long and by the time we actually got the pass, our child was ready to go back to the hotel. I do highly recommend getting it the night before your first full park day if possible. This can help prevent missed park time. There is no medical documentation needed, but you will be asked to explain why exactly the person needs the pass to wait outside the lines.
How it Works
Once you have the pass, you will visit the attraction you want to ride. The person with the DAS does not have to approach the attraction. Anyone who has been put on the pass by guest services can request a return time. The Cast Member at the attraction will give you a return time for that attraction that is typically based on the current wait time minus ten minutes. You can only get one DAS at a time, but you can use an existing fast pass, ride a ride with little wait time, or find somewhere quiet to rest while you wait. For example, if you want to ride Peter Pan’s Flight and it has a 70 minute wait time, they will likely have you come back in an hour. During this time, you can find rides in the area with typically low wait times such as the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel and the Mad Tea Party. After that, you can sit or have a snack until it is your return time. Our daughter discovered she loved popcorn during our trip, so we would refill our popcorn bucket and find an off the path place to sit. Since Disney banned smoking in the parks, the former smoking areas are now wonderful places to take a break!
A Few Other Things You Should Know
The DAS pass is not given out for mobility based disabilities. If you cannot stand in line, they will recommend you use a wheelchair or scooter. As someone with a rare disease that comes with both mobility and non-mobility related issues, I highly recommend either taking your own wheelchair or renting a scooter from an off-site company. Renting a scooter daily from the parks can get expensive and there is a lot of walking involved outside the parks. If you believe that a DAS card alone will not accommodate a specific disability, please talk with guest services about the specific needs. Disney is probably one of the most accommodating places on earth. They may not be able to address every specific need, but they do try to make every guest’s visit enjoyable. Even though they do not require documentation, please only use this program if it is something that your family needs. The former disability pass was widely abused, so the current DAS was designed to help prevent some of that abuse.
We would love to hear from you! What are your tips for surviving a Disney trip? If you or a loved one has a disability, have you used the DAS system? What other disability friendly travel destinations has your family visited?