Top Ten Tips For Visiting Florida With Babies And Toddlers

Today on the blog is a guest post from Kim from OddHogg, a family lifestyle blog about travel and the struggles of living with type 1 diabetes.

Over the last 20 years, I have visited Florida quite a few times. From being a child myself, exploring as a carefree 20 year old and now going back with my own kids I have experienced quite a range. I was quite apprehensive about taking my children to Florida for the first time as they were just 2 and a half years old and 5 months old. I wasn’t sure how we would navigate the crowds and the heat, never mind the change in routine and eating out.

It turns out that I needn’t have worried. We had a wonderful trip and both children adapted really well, thanks to a few extra steps to make the whole experience enjoyable for us all.

1. Make Use Of The Disney Baby Care Centres



For most people visiting Florida Disney World is a must visit. Within the 4 main parks, there are Baby Care Centres. These are fully staffed areas in the parks where you will find private nursing areas with rocking chairs, baby changing areas, a feeding area equipped with highchairs, microwaves and a sink and a television area with seating. There is even a small onsite shop where you can purchase nappies, wipes, formula, sun cream and even some over the counter medication just in case you forgot your own.

I found that having this dedicated baby space where you can really take the time out to focus on your baby set my mind at ease. Knowing that we could go and cool down in an air conditioned room and have a quiet feed away from the madness outside was just what we needed, and I’d urge you to make the most of it too. 


2. Take A Pram

Even if your toddler is usually a fantastic little walker, if you’re going to visit one of the theme parks then a pram is a must. We easily walked 20,000 steps some days and it’s just unreasonable to expect little legs to keep up with that! With a lot of heat, exercise and excitement having a quiet space to have a rest might even mean you get an unexpected nap, meaning you can sit and enjoy the sunshine in peace.

We also found that when things got a bit overwhelming the pram was where the toddler chose to retreat. It is a familiar space and it is safe. So if the crowds were too big, the noise too much or the characters a little too scary then the safety of the pram can mean avoiding a toddler meltdown.


3. Use A Pram UV Cover

Although many areas in Florida try and ensure there is as much shade available as possible, it’s just not always practical. A UV cover for your pram will keep little ones with particularly sensitive skin to the sun out of harm’s way. They are breathable so your baby or toddler won’t overheat, and they can still see through it to watch what is going on around them.

4. Go Slow



Setting your expectations before you go can really help make sure you go slow while you’re in Florida with babies or toddlers. Too much stimulation leaves them overtired and grumpy, spoiling the mood for everyone. It is unrealistic to expect to do everything on your trip, so pick your priorities and schedule in lots of down time.

5. Use The Child Swap Option

While there are plenty of rides that little ones can enjoy, sometimes you just want to go on a bigger rollercoaster! The child swap option is available on selected rides in both Disney World and Universal Studios and it allows one parent to stay with the children while the other rides, and then they can trade places without having to go back to the end of the queue. So you don’t have to miss out on all the fun! Even better if you can do it over a nap time so the kids don’t even realise it’s happening.


6. Check Out The Accommodation Options



For us - self-catered accommodation in a villa was exactly what we wanted. Away from the hustle and bustle of the main theme parks, we spent our days off swimming in the pool and chilling out as a family. We had a few of our usual home comforts and it allows you to cook at home, which is just what we needed a few nights. Search around for a villa that provides a cot and highchair as standard.

On the other hand, if Disney World is the focus of your trip then there are many benefits to staying in one of the Disney hotels. You get early access to the parks so you can beat the crowds, plus you can head back to your hotel after lunch for a swim and cool down before popping back to the park for fireworks in the evening.

Think about what would suit your family best and then shop around.

7. Don’t Buy A Kids Meal

Portion sizes are HUGE. My eldest would never eat a full kids meal and it was just a huge waste of money. We soon stopped buying him a meal, instead, we asked for an extra plate so he could share what we were having. We never found anywhere that had a problem with this, in fact, that seemed more than happy to help.

8. Hunt For The Hidden Mickeys

Inside the Disney World parks, there are over 1000 hidden Mickeys to find. The could be hidden on window frames, depicted on the spots of an animal or sitting on the side of a lamppost. Looking for these Mickey ears hidden in plain sight is a great way to kill time in Disney World with a toddler while you wait in line for a ride.

9. Explore Outside Of The Theme Parks




There is so much more to Florida than just theme parks. Go and see the classic car cruise in downtown Kissimmee, or to the picturesque town of Celebration for a walk and let the kids play in the water fountains.

10. Relax

A trip to Florida is often a once in a lifetime experience and expectations can be so high. We all know that things often don’t go to plan when you’re with young children, and it’s no different when you’re on holiday. If it turns out that your toddler hates Disney characters, or the baby doesn’t like it in the swimming pool you can feel a bit uptight, but it doesn’t have to ruin your holiday. Take a deep breath, relax, and make adjustments so that you can all enjoy the trip. You deserve it!

2 comments

  1. These are great tips for those with little ones visiting Disney. I'll have to share with my friends who have little ones :)

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  2. These are some great tips! I've been to Florida twice and my biggest tip is to make sure you take time to relax and have some "rest days." I'm an adult and I also love hunting for hidden Mickeys!

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