It’s not as daunting as you think!!
We took our (then) 16month old to Florida in April 2019, and we are so glad we did!!
He LOVED the character meets, wasn’t phased by the long days in the park -he would just nap in the pram if he needed to!
And best of all….we saw the parks in a different way and the experience was unforgettable! Seeing his little face light up was worth every penny!!
So what made our trip so successful? And what would we do differently?
Here’s our top tips for travelling with a toddler…
A stroller is a must have for any child under about 5 or 6 in my opinion!! It’s a big space, and if you have a step counter, you will realise how far you end up walking!
You can hire strollers within the parks or at local rental places. However, we were glad we took our own – not only was it super easy to spot in the crowd of strollers in the stroller parks outside the attractions, (it had a bright yellow hood so super easy to spot!) but it meant we also had it for non-theme park days too! So trips to Walmart, a walk down International Drive or even just next to the pool to nap in whilst we had a rest, it was definitely worth taking our own!
Also when you make those all important merchandise purchases, you have somewhere to hang it all to save carrying bags! Bonus! (If you leave anything on your stroller in the stroller parks it is at your own risk!)
I would recommend a backpack style changing bag for important items, as they hang easily off the pram, and also quick and easy to take off and carry effortlessly in the queues for when you go on rides.
Even though we have been to Orlando many times, this was our first with our little boy, so I was ‘over’ prepared!
I took enough bottles of pre-made baby milk with us to last the holiday for the amount he was drinking at the time – and I would do this again if I had a child on baby milk – as forumla’s are different!
But I also took all of his favourite snacks, food jars and pouches, porridge mix etc with us in the suitcase to last the holiday! Why oh why I did I will never know…haha! I guess I just thought there’d be nothing worse than not being able to get him something he liked!
Turns out…he managed to eat fine and the local shops, supermarkets and theme parks offer kiddies meals, and toddler pouches of some sort! So I didn’t need to worry! We ended up finding a cereal snack which he loved and were a gem for in the queues to keep him occupied and we even bought 4 tubs to bring home!
It was however, super handy having pouch meals in the bag, if we were caught up in a queue and he was hungry – he ate in the queue, and we just ate later etc. so it did have its advantages! But we could have saved weight in the suitcase if we just bought over there! And price wise they were about the same as home in the UK!
Next time we visit he will be 3, so life will be much easier as he already eats basically what we eat – no worry of baby milk, porridge etc!
In general, we found all of the changing facilities in restaurants, attractions, supermarkets and shops were clean and plentiful. We always took a fold up change mat in too though as they were usually hard and cold!
I do have to emphasise how great they were inside the theme parks! We did go to the general toilet blocks where there is facilities to change your child, but they are just a basic unit.
Over in the Baby Care Centres they have everything you could need to feel right at home! From changing stations – lots of tables to change your child, a nursing area for breast or formula feeding without being exposed outdoors or if you want to escape the hustle and bustle for a while, and facilities to warm up bottles and meals and a washing station to wash your equipment so you aren’t carrying around dirty bottles etc all day.
All in all – as long as you have your usual changing kit, you won’t need to go out of your way for anything special to change your child!
We planned well and kept our little boy awake at the airport – and he fell asleep as we set off from the runway!! If you can do this – it’s worth the effort of trying to keep them awake at the airport!
This meant he slept for the first part of the journey which was great!
He was on our lap – being under the age of 2 he didn’t require his own seat. So we took it in turns who’s lap he was on. It wasn’t too bad – but he was small for his age so made it easier!
We took lots of easy dry snacks, like crisps, fruit bars and plain biscuits, things that didn’t spoil, spill, squish or stain!
And we took some new toys we hadn’t even opened out of the packets – that kept him busy just opening them!
And then we had the tablet! We didn’t get this out until hour 7 of the flight and he had never had one before – so was a complete novelty! We put on some of his favourite tv shows so he was happy watching those for a bit.
I think because we didn’t know what to expect, yet weren’t worried or bothered by the length of the trip having done it so many times before…we were open minded and he must have picked up on how relaxed we were so he was too…
Remember – It’s a family flight to a family orientated destination – people who are flying should realise families are on board! So don’t worry if your child is crying! Kids cry!!