We just got back from a trip to Disney with my 2.5 years old! I have lots to share, but in the meantime check out the 2 minute video I made by MYSELF! I think it is pretty adorable, but I might be a little biased!
The video helps you see a snapshot of what our trip looked like and what our son did at Disney World! Spoiler: He loved characters and hated most of the indoor rides- Your toddler might be the opposite!
I used Lumen Video free trial to make the video. It was pretty easy, probably took me a couple of hours. I might be a little faster since I am familiar with videos.
Day Trip to the Hoover Dam from the Las Vegas Strip
We arrived the night before in Las Vegas, and we rented a car using our AAA Hertz discount (and free car seat), and got free parking at the Aria hotel with our Pearl Status M Life Card. We also packed out cell phone car mount with us. We bring this thing everywhere.
Wake-up in Las Vegas Strip Hotel and get ready to head out
Stop for Breakfast at the Coffee Cup Cafe (call before and check on the wait time). We went in early December.
After a delicious breakfast, head to the Hoover Dam. We parked in the designated paid parking garage, and just walked around for a half hour. You can spend a lot more time there, but with a toddler we didn’t need to.
I wanted to drive to the Valley of Fire State Park next, but we ended up stopping at Lake Mead. You have to pay to enter the Lake Mead National Park (268 Lakeshore Rd #2, Boulder City, NV 89005), but my Mom was with us and has a lifetime National Park Pass (It was sooo cheap for a Senior to buy one during a special they ran), and we got in for free. Leo enjoyed throwing Rocks into Lake Mead and watching a dog swim in the cold water.
We headed towards a fancy little grocery store called Seasons Grocery (20 Costa Di Lago #120, Henderson, NV 89011). This is a cute area where we bought some groceries to keep in our room. There are also some great restaraunts in this little market that you could eat lunch at.
After this, I was too tired to continue to Valley of Fire State Park and we headed back to the room for Leo to take his nap and my husband to return his rental car.
Favorites Restaurants in Vegas! (Kid Friendly tips too!)
Mabel’s BBQ –
Off Strip – We took an Uber there- So good. It is at the Palms Hotel. They have different styles of BBQ from all over the US.
Expensive but yummy and fun! This place is inside The Park Hotel and has a lot of delicious options, but it hard for my asian husband to pay $5 for a cup of rice when we ordered a ton of food already. That’s Vegas for you though.
This place doesn’t feel super kid friendly, but it is not as busy and the food is delicious. Our son ate hummus and juice. The area around it is pretty calm since it is where Mandalay Bay meets the Delano. It is near the free tram from the Mandalay Bay to the Excalibur though.
I usually steer clear of Mexican food outside of Texas, California, and Mexico, but this place was a good sit down option especially if you are going to the Titanic Exhibit or anything at the Luxor.
Wolf Gang Puck
Got a pizza and kids meal to go at MGM Grand.
CPK – California Pizza Kitchen Las Vegas
California Pizza Kitchen was a decent quick option for us after going to the Siegfried and Roy Tiger and Dolphin Exhibit at the Mirage Hotel. We even went back to the exhibit after lunch.
Fun atmosphere and lots of options, but I’ve had better Italian food. I actually loved this for a quick breakfast option – quality coffee, breakfast sandwich, and yummy pastries! This is at the front of The Park Hotel.
Hidden inside The Palms (Mabel’s BBQ) – This is an upscale super delicious fine dining restaurant. You will want this to be a kid-free date night!
An upscale Asian dining experience where everything we ordered tasted good. I went for my 30th Birthday lunch, and loved it!
Hash House A Go Go
Overhyped with a long wait. I didn’t think it was all that. Maybe if you have a hangover and need a big breakfast with lots of grease to soak up the alcohol.
Mon Ami Gabi
A pretty restaurant at The Paris with climate controlled outdoor seating, but the big draw is the view of the Bellagio fountains, not the quality food.
Best Fast Food ( All at The Cosmopolitan Food Court)
Hattie B’s Chicken
Pok Pok Wings
Line is not worth it in the morning though – I’ve got things to do!
The Birthday Cake and frozen yogurt are delicious!
My mom and I have been staying at Disney’s Polynesian hotel since I was little. We have so much nostalgia around that hotel, but it’s getting hard to rationalize the price! We love the convenience of being on the monorail when we have a toddler with us!
I recently discovered Disney’s vacation club rentals. No, I am not suggesting you sign up for Disney vacation club! This is a good decision for some people, but not for me. I found out that people rent out Vacation Club members rooms for discounted rates. We booked a stay at the Polynesian waaaayyy in advance so had to pay more, but we still saved $1000 on a 4 night stay!
We paid $1300 and it would have been $2400 booking through Disney Polynesian- $1100 difference!
We paid $1300 and it would have been $2400 booking through Disney Polynesian- $1100 difference! That price includes $100 insurance to ensure we get our money back in case of cancellation (like my toddler or family member gets sick). We are staying 4 nights in January and we booked months and months in advance! We still get fastpasses 90 days out!
We used DVC Rental Store. They are always posting new deals! David’s DVC Rentals is also a big name in DVC rentals but they seemed a little stricter on payments. For the DVC rental options, you often have to pay 100 percent at time of booking or what we did 50 percent at booking and 50 percent a little before the trip.
Our Disney Polynesian room at the DVC rentals is also larger, comes with two bathrooms, a small kitchen, and a free parking spot (which we don’t need). It links up with your My Disney Experience and you receive magic bands in the mail just like any other booking!
There are cheaper places than the Polynesian too. I really want to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge with safari animals roaming around.