Should I bring my one-year-old to Disney World? Will She enjoy it? Will I have fun? These are questions I asked myself when my mother booked a Walt Disney World trip for the entire family as a Christmas gift last year. I didn’t want to sound ungrateful because Disney World is a magical and expensive place. The trip also included 4 nights at Pop Century, a Disney World Resort (a budget hotel but still expensive). But I had concerns about bringing baby she was 14 months at the time of the trip, was she just too young? All I kept thinking about was the plane ride, strollers, will there be anything for her to do there, would this best a great time or a mess. So I decided to write my review on my whole Disney World experience from getting ready for the trip to actually experiencing Disney with a one-year-old.
Preparing for the trip:
Visit the Walt Disney World web-site and check out all the events and activities that will be going on when you are visiting. Open My Disney Experience account and get the app for your phone. It’s free and a great way to book events and activities and view pictures from photographers at the park.
I would definitely make your child familiar with the Disney characters. I would definitely make your child familiar with the Disney characters. My daughter Janelle (age 1) loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. We watch every day on the Disney Channel and again on Disney Jr. Channel. She knows Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy and Donald very well. She also knows some other characters from Disney Jr. Such as Sofia the First, Jake and the Never Land Pirates. But she doesn’t know much more than that. She doesn’t know any of the Disney Princesses. I decided that Mickey Mouse and his friends were enough. So we continued to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. When it got closer to the trip I would ask her if she wanted to see Mickey Mouse and that we were going to visit Mickey Mouse.
Since we were going to Disney World I decided to get into the full Disney spirit. After reading some reviews I learned that when visiting Disney World many young children dress up. They wear Disney Princess outfits, pirate outfits, Minnie Mouse dresses. I decided that I was going to dress my little Janelle up every day of my trip. I recommend this is you have children under 7. It’s so cute for pictures. So I went to the Disney Store and shopped the clearance rack, you can find some great deals. I also went to Babies R Us where I found great outfits. I also recommend that if you have a one-year-old that you get them mouse ears before you go. I was disappointed to find out that they didn’t have any baby headband mouse ears in all of Disney World ( I know this because I checked at every park). Luckily one of my outfits from Babies R Us did come with a pair of mouse ears.
Besides from costumes you are going to make sure you bring clothes according to the weather. We went the last week of February. It was chilly part of the day so I brought tights for the dresses, shorts but also pants that go with the shirts and a jacket.
I recommend this if your baby likes characters. I had brought my daughter to Sesame Place right before she turned one for the Very Merry Christmas. She loves Sesame Street s I booked the dinner with Elmo and friends and she loved it. She was hugging the characters. I knew I had to do this for Mickey Mouse. I booked all breakfasts. I thought is would be a great way to start the day (and it was I will get into that later). Make sure you do this in advance. Very important. Character dinning gets booked up very fast, especially if you want to see the princess. I would book them as soon as you book your trip. You can do this in the My Disney Experience section of the Disney World web-site.
I brought my stroller. When you check the Disney World web-site it says that you can rent them but I don’t recommend this, it can get expensive. I didn’t bring my “Cadillac” stroller as my mother calls it but I borrowed her smaller stroller. I would make sure you bring a stroller with a compartment underneath for your diaper bag and souvenirs. Plus I traveled on Jet Blue Airlines and they give priority boarding to people with strollers. They hold the stroller for you and it is right there when you get off this plane. In the parks they have stroller parking for rides and attractions. I left my stroller and diaper bag there and never had a problem.
Make sure you bring enough diapers. They are expensive at Disney World.
Make sure you bring your babies sunscreen, also expensive at Disney World. We went during the winter however during the middle of the day it was quite warm and sunny. I didn’t think I needed to bring some and then there I was needing to buy some for Janelle in the middle of the park. $15 that I didn’t need to spend.
I also recommend brining some infant Tylenol or Motrin depending on what you use. You always want to be prepared is a fever starts up or a tooth decides to come in while on your trip.
Since my daughter was going to be sleeping in a pack-n-play provided by the resort (most hotels offer this feature if you call ahead), I decided to bring my own crib sheet. You don’t have to do this but my daughter if sensitive to detergents so I thought it would be better to bring my own sheet that I washed in baby detergent.
What do I need for the plane?
If you are taking a plane to Disney World in Florida with a child under 2 they are usually a lap rider, meaning you do not need to buy an airline ticket (check with your airline) but they do need to be registered. You are also going to need to show a copy of their birth certificate and in some cases immunization record, Please check the infant policy at your airline.
Don’t forget to pack snacks. You cannot bring any drinks through security check but before I got on the plane I made sure I filled her bottle with milk.
Even though she had already pretty much stopped with the pacifier I brought it for her ears during the flight. They also have ear plugs for babies in the airport and also on Amazon.
So it was Janelle’s first time on a plane. We took a very early flight. It was great because she slept the entire ride. We are from New York so it’s not far to fly to Florida. So far, so good.
Getting to the resort
If you are staying at a Walt Disney World Resort they pick up right from the airport. If you stay at a budget resort like we did so does just about everyone else so they wait to get on the bus to the resort might be a little while. I think we waited about 45 minutes. This was not fun with Janelle. She wanted to run around (she was well rested while sleeping on the plane). Not the best part of the trip.
So, the check in process at the Pop Century was a little long. It was crowed plus we were traveling with a lot of people so getting all the rooms in order took awhile. Then comes setting up your Mickey Magic Band which is also your room key and when you link your credit card the way you pay for things on your trip. I actually loved this. I didn’t need my wallet. You just line up Mickey to Mickey at check out and poof easy payment (there is a pin number you have to enter at checkout so you don’t have to worry if you lose it). Make sure you tell the person who is linking your bracelet who else can have the credit card linked, otherwise it is linked to everyone’s bracelet including kids (again they need your pin to actually use it).
The Pop Century was a nice hotel. It is huge, the rooms are small but who is really spends time in the room. I would recommend this hotel.
OK so now I’m checked in, I have my Mickey Magic Band on, I roamed the resort We are ready to have fun.
Riding the Bus
Pop Century did not have the tram service and some of the other Disney World hotels does. So taking the bus with a one-year-old with a stroller and a diaper bag was challenging at times because the buses were so crowed. Lucky there were many nice people on those buses who often gave up their seat so I was able to sit down with everything.
Our Disney Trip
I just want to say that my 14 month old had the best time ever. I am so happy that we went. Each morning we were able to ate at a character breakfast a little pricey but so worth it. I was lucky that the trip was a gift so I was able to afford to go every day. The average cost was $28 per adult. Under 2 is free.
First morning – Breakfast with Lilo, Stich and Mickey and Donald at the Ohana at the Polynesian Resort. The food was great! It was served family style, that juice they give you was amazing. The characters come to each table then at the end the characters and the kids have a little parade. Janelle loved it. I have to say she was eating her sausage and eggs at the table in her high chair. When she saw Mickey Mouse she three her sausage across the table and tried to get out of the chair. She was so excited.
Second Morning– Breakfast at the Tusker House in Animal Kingdom with Donald and friends. It was a safari themed. So much fun and the food was great.
Third Morning– We at Hollywood & Vine at Hollywood Studio’s. Traditional breakfast buffet, eggs, sausage, Micky waffles, cereal, fruit, muffins. It was very cute. Sofia the First, Jake, Handy Mandy and Doc McStuffins were all there. They sang songs and did a dance. Janelle loved this breakfast.
Fourth Morning Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort, Excellent one of my favorites. It was with all of her favorite characters, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Daisy. It was a huge buffet with eggs, sausage, Mickey waffles, bacon, muffins, cereal, pancakes, dessert bar.
First your one-year-old is not too young for the autograph book (if they aren’t afraid of the characters). I bought Janelle one as soon as we go to the park. I brought my own pen because again everything is expensive. After I showed her what to do with it. She carried it every where, so adorable.
Helpful Hint– Everytime you visit a character at the character spots in each park, photographers will be taking your child’s picutre. They will link the picutres to your magic band that you can view on-line or at a photo place in the park. They let you take your own pictures! You don’t have to sneak a picutre. So, if you are taking this trip on a buget I recommed taking your own picutres as the Disney picutres are expensive. If they take a picture that you really want, buy it at the park before the end of your trip. You can buy them on-line, but you get a better buy at the park and then you don’t have to pay for shipping.
Make sure you check out the welcoming show at the castle. It’s on every morning when the park opens.
It’s a Small World, the Winnie the Pooh Ride and the Merry-go-Round were all of Janelle’s favorite rides. She had so much fun. I recommend going on these rides.
She also liked the Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean and Under the Sea, Journey of the Little Mermaid.
We went into Mickey’s PhilharMagic. it’s a 3D movie experience. Janelle was not happy with this. She would not wear the 3D glasses. I would not recommend doing this with a one-year-old, she was just too young.
Janelle loves characters so we went to Pete’s Side Show and visited Minnie, Daisy, Goofy and Donald. She loved it. She was so excited that I had to pull her away from Minnie Mouse when it was time to leave.
The Magic Kingdom is very baby friendly. Every bathroom has changing tables and everything is clean. They also have baby stations throughout the park. The stroller parking is very crowed as they are a lot of babies there. Sometimes I couldn’t remember where I parked mine in the large sea of strollers. I recommend tying a bring ribbon on yours so you can pick it out in the crowed.
Make sure you see the parade. They have one in the afternoon and at night. It has a lot of lights and is worth the wait. Make you grab your seats early so you can be in the front row so your baby won’t miss a thing.
By far the best park to visit with a one-year-old out of all the other Disney Parks. We were at Disney for 5 days and visited this park 4 out of the 5 days.
This park in general I feel is more for adults. I took her on the Nemo ride which she really enjoyed. The next ride we went on was Figment. She had a blast. After the Figment ride it leads you into an exploring area, it was nice. They had a section with flashing lights on the floor where Janelle got to run around. She was so tired after that, she took a nap. It was the perfect time to explore the different countries. I also took her on the ride in Mexico featuring Donald Duck. She liked that ride as well.
We did stay for the firework display at the end of the night. I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a good idea as fireworks are very loud and I thought she might get scared. It turned out well. It was a wonderful show and the noise didn’t seem to bother her.
At Animal Kingdom we at breakfast at the Tusker House. It was a Safari themed restaurant. The food was very good. It was a buffet. Donald and Mickey were there. It was a lot of fun.
After breakfast we saw the Lion King Show. It was great. A lot of music and dancing. Janelle loves music so she danced right along at her seat.
We went on the Kilimanjaro Safari. It was great seeing all the animals. We also did the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and saw more animals. We explored the Tree of Life as well. I did not take her into the 3D it’s a Bugs Life Movie as she did not sit well in the movie at the Magic Kingdom.
Couldn’t go on a lot of rides at this park. They did have the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse live on stage, that was fun even though they weren’t the live character but mechanical and puppets. Still worth it. They also had Beauty and the Beast Live on stage that she also loved. I recommend both, I also recommend getting on-line early so that you get a good seat (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse you sit on the floor). One of the best things Janelle and I did at this park was taking a picture in front of Cinderella’s carriage that was used in the new Cinderella movie. It was beautiful and I got a great picture I will enjoy forever.
I had so much fun with my daughter at the park. I would recommend brining a one-year-old. I was lucky that my daughter wasn’t afraid of any of the characters in fact I had to pull her away from them a couple of times. Disney World is such a magical and wonderful place. The people who work there are amazing. The characters and princesses really spend time with your child. I can’t wait to go back. I hope this review helped. If you have any questions for me please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.