For my son’s second birthday, we decided to take him to Disney. While I knew this would be fun for him, I had my doubts. I was thinking in my head “How will I survive Disney with a toddler while pregnant?”. Here’s how I did it.
Accommodations close to Disney if not in Disney
My son is a routine and schedule kind of child. We only live about two hours, we still wanted to make sure that we stayed in a hotel near Disney. This allowed us the option of allowing for his mid-day nap if needed. We first looked at the Disney hotels and they were extremely expensive. The costs were around $600 a night if you wanted one that had monorail access to Magic Kingdom. Instead, we decided to use homeaway.com to look for a condo or townhome to stay in.
We chose to get a two bedroom so he could have his own room and we could have ours. We ended up finding the Mystic Dunes Resort located only about 10 minutes from Magic Kingdom without needing to get on I-4. For less than $100 a night, we were able to get a two bedroom, two bath condo with complete kitchen and living room. We were a little annoyed at the service. It took 15 minutes just to get to the front of the line at the front desk. Then they gave us a key to room that was already occupied. Then, when we ordered room service from the restaurant it was over an hour to get our food. However, the place was clean and had a swimming pool right outside the room which was nice as well.
Fast Passes were a life saver! Disney automatically gives you three Fast Passes per day to start. Then after you use those three, you can get one at a time. I researched Disney blogs where people recommended which rides are best to use for Fast Passes. For example, Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the most popular to use a Fast Pass on. The day before we went I logged into the Disney app that I downloaded to my phone and selected our first three fast passes for the day. Fast Pass times can’t overlap, so I chose one in the 9 o’clock hour, one in 10 and one in 11. After using the one at 11, I selected our next one for the next hour and so on throughout the day. These were a lifesaver!
Lunch with Characters
Lines to meet the characters were longer than we wanted to wait. I also just decided to focus on the characters that my son knows Winnie the Pooh and Friends as well as Mickey and Minnie. In Magic Kingdom, the Crystal Palace has a buffet where Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore come around to eat table. While it was expensive at $45 a person for me and my husband it was also worth it for us to skip the lines. The buffet style allowed us to find food for our picky toddler. Reservations are a must though and I recommend booking those reservations a few days in advance at least.
Mickey’s Bubble Wand
We decided before going that we would get our son one gift from the park. One of my son’s favorite things are BUBBLES! We saw these Mickey Bubble Wands and thought this was perfect. We got it at the end of the day so he we could focus on the rides first. It was well worth the $20.
Avoid the heat and crowds
We decided to go during my son’s birthday week in mid-February so the weather wasn’t too hot. Also, it’s before Spring Break and Summer so the crowds are a lot less. Having 75 degree weather and shorter wait times helps to curbs an impatient toddler.
Bring your stroller
I thought that bringing a stroller would be inconvenient. Where would I leave it during a ride? How would I navigate through crowds? Turns out it was a life saver. Disney has stroller parking everywhere!
Overall, the Disney trip was a success. I’m so happy that we were able to give him this special trip before his sister arrives in the Spring. While my post focuses on the one day we spent at Magic Kingdom, we also went to Animal Kingdom. I will say that it wasn’t our favorite. It’s mostly shows which a two year old would not sit through. So on day two, we decided to end our day in the early afternoon. We all went back to the condo and napped and went to the pool. While it didn’t go exactly according to plan I would consider this Disney trip a success!