We recently took our family of three to Walt Disney World for a weekend trip! I would have never been able to go on this trip if we were going to spend thousands of dollars.
I found flights $50 each way on Southwest airlines, leaving from Houston – Orlando from Friday to Monday. The Friday flight was either early in the morning or arrived late at night. Make sure to check out Southwest’s low fare calendar to try and find deals on flights!
I booked my flights and hotels on points, and my son is still under 3 so he gets into the park for free. This means spending the day at the hotel when you arrive and enjoying their pool. It means missing some of the Disney Parks, but with a two year old we were happy to just show him Magic Kingdom again! We know we will miss stuff, but a weekend trip definitely was amazing and didn’t break the bank.
A big extra expense is food. We spend a lot on Food, but you can cut costs on your food at Disney World too! We had our Uber stop at as CVS for a few extra bucks so we could grab a case of water on the way back to the hotel. Our hotel offered transportation to the parks, but we still spent money on food and Ubers. Disney is not a cheap place, but we had an incredible time without breaking the budget!
Flight: Booked on Points (10,600 points + my Son booked on my Southwest Companion Pass) + $33.60 in taxes
Hotel: Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress (51,000 points to stay at Club Level with free food + beer/wine !)
Park Tickets: 2 Days at the Park for 2 Adults (No Hopper): $477.16
Total for flight, hotel, and parks for 3 people: $510.76
Best Rides at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for a Toddler
Some people worry that there’s nothing for their toddler to ride at Disney World, but you will probably struggle to do it all! I know I do!
Magic Kingdom is definitely the park with the most options for rides that toddlers can ride.
Here are all rides for a 2 year old at Magic Kingdom! I have put stars by my top favorites!
Fantasyland – This land was made for the little kids!
Peter Pan – Good Fast Pass Option – Always a long line! This is a short ride too.
*It’s a Small World – fast moving line
The Carousel – short wait
Mad Tea Party
Journey of the Little Mermaid – Great Fast Pass Option for those littles that love Ariel!
*Jungle Cruise – good option for Fast Pass
*Enchanted Tiki Room – A great break in the air conditioning! Grab some dole whip too! They now let you bring it inside!
*Pirates of the Caribbean
*Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Good fast pass option
*Astro Orbiter – Good Fast Pass Option
*Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – a short wait and a relaxing time in Air conditioning
Tomorrowland Transit Authority – Short line and fun ride for a break
Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor
Tomorrowland’s Speedway – must be 32 inches (one of the shorter height restrictions)
*The railroad!- No, not big thunder, but the railroad around the park is so fun and can help you avoid extra walking. NOTE: The train was currently closed for refurbishment at the end of 2019 and they said it could be 1-2 years before it is back and running, but it is available for photos.
Cinderella’s Castle is a great thing especially for little girls that love princesses!
Fireworks shows and Parades are also great entertainment. People often wait for hours to get the best spot. That is not worth it to me with a toddler, but you can put them on your shoulders for a better view for them!
We have a couple of Disney trips planned with Leo as a toddler. We just came back from our first trip, and here are my top tips for visiting Walt Disney World with a 2 year old!
Schedule in Nap/Rest time
I debated trying to push through and just try and have my son sleep in the stroller, but rest is for us too! I love Disney World, but it is hot and full of people. I love laying in a clean air conditioned hotel room and maybe even taking a nap myself!
Disney World Fast Passes!
Toddlers do not have patience, and with nap times and snack times, our time in the park is valuable! If you are staying on Disney Property (or a Disney Neighbor hotel), then you can book these 60 days out. If you stay on property, you can book them 30 days out. You can still grab really great fast passes 30 days out, but the top couple of rides at each park might already be taken!
Disney World Buffets
Honestly, I hate buffets. But, I want my son to see all the characters. Character meals are a great way to do that without waiting in long lines and using up fast passes on character meets. We ate at Chef Mickey’s lunch buffet. This restaurant is on the monorail at the Contemporary Hotel. After lunch, we ubered back to the room for some rest before heading back out for more Magic Kingdom fun. Dining reservations can be made as early as 180 days out. Dining reservations are good to have as some places fill up early, but I still found some good reservations booking a few months out. It depends on when you are going and how busy the park will be too! Avoid Park HoppersWe are always a family to stay on property and buy Park Hoppers, but with a toddler everything moves slower. This is the first trip we are staying off property and not getting a park hopper. This is how we able to fit in this weekend trip before a longer trip in 2020 by cutting back.
Magic Kingdom is your best friend
I always love Magic Kingdom because it is so classically Disney World. IT HAS THE CASTLE! But, this is also the best park for toddlers. I love the other parks, especially Epcot. There’s not as much to do in Epcot for toddlers. I love Animal Kingdom too, but there’s a lot of walking in that park which can take a lot of time as well. One day, I definitely want to bring Leo to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, a great place for a toddler that loves animals!
Take Advantage of Rider Swaps!
If you want to ride roller coasters, make sure to use Rider Swap options. When someone has to hang back and watch the child that can’t ride, you can use a rider swap card for two fast passes to ride after the person waits.
Disney Park Baby Changing Rooms
Even though Leo isn’t a baby anymore, I still use the baby rooms when we are nearby. They have diaper changing tables and air conditioning! This is a great escape for a clean changing or feeding place for the little ones. Also, it is okay if there is something YOU want to do at Disney too. I rode some of my favorite rides the Leo isn’t old enough to ride yet! These are my top tips for going to Disney with a Toddler!
Check out this blog on my favorite rides for a toddler.