What kind of schedule for a Disney World trip?
We are headed to Disney World June 10-20 with our 4 year old daughter and our 2.5 year old son, staying at Pop century. Are there rides that the two of them can enjoy together? What type of a schedule would you suggest?
Neither my husband nor myself has been to Disney World, but we have both been to Disneyland. We were anticipating mornings at the parks, then back to the pool/room for nap. I am lost as to where to go from here with planning... that’s as far as I have gotten. It's overwhelming!
You can all sit together on ...
Photo by Samantha Decker
Dad’s Flexibility is Key Answer
Don’t get too overwhelmed – remember that you’re planning a vacation and it’s supposed to be FUN! You’re off to a great start, and there’s still time left to figure everything out. Most importantly, when you’re traveling with small children flexibility is key, so think of your PLAN as a set of guidelines, not hard and fast rules – an organized yet relaxed approach will help you and your family to really enjoy your time together building special memories in the more magical place on earth.
You’re definitely on the right track with your plan to get in the parks early and take a break midday. Dad always recommends getting to the parks by opening, since the first few hours of the day are the least crowded. Since you’re staying onsite at Disney’s Pop Century Resort
, you’ll also have access to Extra Magic Hours
, which means that on select days you can get into the parks an hour early - take advantage of this perk to maximize your time with minimal crowds!
Once you’ve had your fill of fun in the morning, heading back to the hotel for some rest and relaxation will be energizing and refreshing – not just for the kids, but for Mom and Dad too! Some time at the pool and a little nap will be just the thing to get you ready to head pack out in the late afternoon for some evening fun at the parks, exploring Downtown Disney, or having dinner with characters
If you’ve had a long day and could use some extra rest, you can call it an early night and have fun at your hotel. Classic Hall offers lots of great activities, like ping-pong and an arcade, and there’s always more swimming (our kids couldn’t seem to get enough time in the pool!). Plus, like many Walt Disney World resort hotels, Disney’s Pop Century Resort offers Movies Under the Stars. Each night, a Disney movie is played on a big projector near the pool so families can gather together and watch some of their favorites. Movie schedules are posted here
When building your PLAN, the best thing to do is to make sure you know what the must-see rides and shows are for your family to ensure that you don’t miss something you’ve been looking forward to. This includes making a list of your kids’ favorite characters so you can find out where and when they have meet-and-greets. You may also want to consider strategies for trading off the kids for a few minutes here and there (or using rider swap
) so Mom and Dad don’t miss out on “the big rides.”
Having this list to work off of and a PLAN that guides you but allows for flexibility (in case of a happenstance character experience or a terrible tantrum) will make for the most enjoyable vacation for your family.
You can always let the pros over at Touringplans.com
help. Their crowd calendars can help you pick which parks to visit on which days, but I think the service you’ll find most useful are their suggested touring plans. They have them for each park, including special plans for families traveling with small children. Using one of their plans will help you save hours of waiting in line at the parks, plus it will take some of the stress of planning of your plate now. Check them out!
Moving on to your question about rides your children can enjoy together, remember that both your kids are very small. Disney requires children under the age of 7 to be accompanied by an adult 21 year of age or older at all times. Many rides will have height restrictions that will stop your kids from riding, and the majority of the rides that they’ll be able to go on will allow you all to ride as a family in one car with an adult and child in each of 2 rows. Don’t worry – the Cast Member at the ride will tell you where to sit!
All that being said, there are a few attractions where your son and daughter will be able to ride side-by-side.
On a few like
you’ll be able to sit both kids together sandwiched between Mom and Dad.
There are also some where you will be able to sit one adult and 2 children. They are
or you can split up with one parent and one child.
Of course, there are lots of activities other than rides at Walt Disney World, many that your kids can enjoy together! Parades and shows are a great place to start, and character experiences are all the more special when shared with siblings. There are also interactive areas like
where your kids can play together. Don’t forget about the pool at your hotel – it’s a great place for kids to be together (with adult supervision of course!).
Dad's Bottom Line
Diane, don’t over plan. With young children in tow, it’s especially hard to stick to a rigid PLAN, so be flexible but organized. Get some help with your touring plans, and take plenty of time to re-charge throughout the day. You’ll have a Perfect Vacation – trust me.