Kristin is a 30-something mom who enjoys cooking & baking, movies, writing and trying to be the best mother she can be.
As a single parent, Kristin adopted her son at nine weeks of age in November 2007. Born and raised in Orange County, California, Kristin and her son spend weekends outdoors as much as possible, soaking up the beautiful Southern California sunshine. Krisitn has been a Disneyland annual passholder for many years, and has spread her love of Disney to her son, who will become an AP next month on his third birthday!
My family is one of Disney fanatics fans. My first trip to Disneyland was at four months old. My son beat me by a month and a half, first entering those magical gates at two and a half months. I have been to WDW three times, my mother has been five, but we took Cooper for the first time this year, and I wanted it to be a memorable trip for him. Everything was so exciting and new for him, and I loved watching him enjoy it. Being only five minutes from Disneyland makes it an easy trip to make for just a couple of hours, but our first trip with the boy to Disney World, took a bit more planning!
A few months before our trip, the nerves set it. What if he freaks out on the flight? What if he doesn’t sleep well in the hotel? What if he doesn’t nap? What if we can’t get his special milk (he’s lactose intolerant)? Lots of “what ifs” were racing through my mind, but with some careful planning (thanks Grandma) we did just fine and had a MAGICAL time!
I’m here to share some of my favorite tips and tricks for Walt Disney World Wednesdays. Below are my the "must haves," for traveling with a toddler.
What to Pack...Beyond the Basics
Although my two and a half year old was basically walking everywhere we went at home, including Disneyland, I did a lot of debating on bringing my high-end umbrella stroller, my full size stroller or renting a stroller only when needed. I ended up bringing the umbrella stroller and it was perfect. There’s a lot of gear you want to take with you to the park – changes of clothing, snacks, drinks, blankets, umbrellas. Plus it gave us a great way to store some of our purchases (for those items we didn’t have sent to our rooms). It gave Cooper a place to rest when it was needed, since he didn’t nap on this trip AT ALL, gave him a nice place to fall asleep at night. It was also helpful in the airport to transport all of our carry-ons.
Be sure to make your stroller identifiable. There are Cast Members whose job it is to keep the areas neat and tidy. I can’t tell you how many times we would come out of a ride and our stroller was in a completely different location. Like the time we came off of Kilamanjaro Safari to find our stroller was not where we left it, we had no idea where to find it, and it was pouring rain. That was fun.
Ziploc Bags are great for a variety of functions from storing wet and soiled clothing to snacks to small toys. I also use them to story small toys, stickers, and thermoses and sippy cups, as they keep them from spilling inside the diaper bag.
What to Pack In Your Carry-On
Bring changes of clothing for you and your child. Cooper got sick on the way home, and I was grateful I had an extra change of clothes for both of us! The Ziploc bags come in handy here as well.
New toys and stickers from the dollar bin at Target were very helpful for the flights, and then kept him occupied at mealtimes, and in the hotel room. We also got Coop a new backpack that he was proud to carry with a few little toys and snacks in it. Make sure to save some surprises for the flight home!
As far as I’m concerned, a DVD player is an essential must-have. We used it in the airport, on the plane, and in the hotel room.
Lollipops and juice boxes are great for the decent, helping ears to pop. Also, TSA makes exceptions for families traveling with children, so take advantage of it and pack a drink for yourself as well.
Next week, I'll be back with some great tips for once you arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort.