12 Magical Tips for Visiting Magic Kingdom With a Toddler

On our most recent trip to Orlando, we spent a lot of time lazing around our hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes (read reviews on TripAdvisor | book here). But we knew it wasn’t really a trip to Orlando without at least one day at Disney World. There are many Disney parks to choose from, but we decided that Magic Kingdom for toddlers was the best choice. It has some of the best rides for tiny travelers!

Below are my top 12 tips for getting the most out of one magical day at the Magic Kingdom.

magic kingdom for toddlers
Finding our way to Neverland at the Magic Kingdom. Taking our best photos upon arrival. Photo: Zeina Davis

1. Reserve the first 30 minutes for family photos

The beginning of the trip is when everyone is excited and fresh, and it doesn’t hurt that Main Street is where you enter and probably one of the most Instagrammable areas of the park.

2. Take the ferry instead of the monorail

The ferry is a beautiful and exciting way to ride up to the entrance.

3. Bring your own snacks and drinks

You are welcome to bring your own food. Plus, all the stalls and restaurants will fill a child sippy cup with water for free.

magic kingdom for toddlers
The 3 pm parade may be your only chance to see many of your Disney favorites. Photo: Walt Disney World

4. Arrive at the park at 2 p.m. after they nap

If you still have a napping child, try to arrive the park around 2 p.m., after they have a nap. There is a lot of advice online to come to the park right when it opens, but there is nothing quite as beautiful as the fireworks at night over Cinderella’s castle. If you come that early in the morning, your toddler will most certainly be burned out by the evening. But if you arrive around 2 p.m., it is early enough to catch the 3 p.m. parade (check the schedule for the specific day you plan to attend as the parade time sometimes changes).

5. Download the Disney app

Make sure you download the My Disney Experience app on your phone for up-to-date wait times, an interactive map and your FastPass+ reservations. Learn more about how FastPass+ works.

magic kingdom for toddlers
One of our favorite days as a little family. Photo: Zeina Davis

6. Choose your date and buy your tickets in advance

Once you select your date, you can choose up to 3 FastPass+ reservations through the My Disney Experience app. Our absolute favorite ride was It’s a Small World. Without a FastPass+, the line would have been 80 minutes. With our FastPass+ we only had to wait 10 minutes! Rides like Little Mermaid and Peter Pan have the longest waits, so make sure you prioritize those.

magic kingdom for toddlers
Meeting Tinkerbell was a breeze with our FastPass+ Photo: Zeina Davis

7. Use your 3 FastPass+ reservations back to back

When you finish using your three FastPass+ reservations, you get another one on the spot with the app. So don’t spread them out throughout the day like I did! Make the FastPass+ reservations back-to-back when you first arrive at the park. That way once you use them, you’ll have another round of FastPass+ reservations to use on available rides.

8. Don’t pooh-pooh the simple rides

My daughter loved the simple rides like the carousel and teacups. Plus, the waits are much shorter for those.

9. Bring a change of clothes

If you decide to dress your child up like a Disney character, make sure you bring a change of clothes. Tinker Bell isn’t so cute if she has ketchup and chocolate stains all over her outfit!

10. Check for free hotel shuttles

Check to see if your hotel offers a free shuttle. Ours did!

magic kingdom for toddlers
Worth the wait… the Iconic nightly fireworks display at the Magic Kingdom. Photo: Zeina Davis

11. Make restaurant reservations at least 1 month in advance

Make a reservation at one of the nicer sit-down restaurants and make sure you do it at least a month in advance. You will really appreciate sitting down to a nice meal instead of squeezing in at one of the overcrowded eateries. We dined at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant at 8 p.m., then walked right outside to enjoy the 9 p.m. fireworks.

12. Have a plan but stay flexible

Make a plan for the day, but don’t be upset if it goes off the rails! There is so much to do at all of the parks and it can be overwhelming for children and parents. Just enjoy every moment you can.

About Zeina Davis

Zeina DavisZeina Davis is a marketing and events professional out of the DC area. Growing up in a multicultural household, she and her family travel all around the world in search of adventure. Follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.

Click here to read Zeina's articles

Looking for the best rides at Magic Kingdom for toddlers? We've got you covered, plus 12 tips on making the most out of your Disney toddler vacation.

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