They say Disney World is the happiest place on earth, but just like anywhere else, kids can have meltdowns. There’s nothing worse than standing in the middle of Fantasyland watching your toddler pitch a full-on fit for no apparent reason.
But Disney meltdowns can be avoided with just a little bit of preparation. Here are my best tips for avoiding fussy kids at Disney World:
1. Kids get bored, even at Disney World
Any visit to Disney World includes a lot of waiting. Whether you’re queuing for the next monorail or just waiting for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, there will be wait time. As much as Disney tries to make the lines for rides interactive and fun, sometimes they’re just downright boring.
The key to keep kids from whining during these waits is to keep them engaged. We always bring some small activities with us for our kids to use during the waiting. This majorly cuts down on meltdowns during those wait times.
One of our favorites are these awesome Wiki Sticks! Made of string covered in colored wax, kids can create little sculptures and designs over and over again with these re-usable toys! They’re great for the car and for the parks, since they are mess free. Perfect for age 3 and up, even our 11 year old still likes to create with them. I like buying them in these individual packets so I can just throw a couple in my park bag and get out the door.
You can order your own here:
2. When the sun goes down, the vendors come out!
While waiting for the fireworks at any of the Parks, Disney LOVES to bring out the light up toy vendors so you can buy stuff to keep the kids entertained. In order to avoid the “Mommy, I want that” whining, and to avoid the super high price tag for a light up piece of plastic, I always bring some glow in the dark toys to bust out as we wait for the show to start.
Just some cheap plastic glow bracelets are enough to keep kids happy, and it never fails that I always get someone asking me, “where did you get that!” when we bring them out. My kids are especially fascinated with the finger lights included in the set below. Those have provided hours of entertainment for very little money.
This bundle features plenty of my kids favorites, and they’re all small enough to stash in a park bag:
3. A thirsty kid is an unhappy kid
Whining levels can reach an all time high when kids are thirsty. Of course, the complaints always start when we’re about halfway through a long line for a great ride. And, of course, in the Florida heat, dehydration is a real concern. This is why I ALWAYS carry these filtered water bottles in my parks bag.
Yes, you could just use any refillable water bottles, but the water at Disney World is notoriously bad tasting. Just try any water fountain in the parks, and you’ll believe me. The magic of these specific water bottles is that they have a built in filter that takes out all the grossness for you! We love them!
We fill them up between rides throughout our park days and never have an issue with thirsty kids.
4. Avoid getting “hangry”
Have you ever been so hungry that every little tiny thing seems to make you angry? In our house, we call that unique emotional mix of hungry and angry, “hangry.”
I am convinced that kids can get “hangrier” than any other humans on the planet. While there are no shortages of amazing (and expensive) snacks at Disney World, they aren’t always available exactly when you need them. Imagine again that you are mid-queue for Splash Mountain and your kid starts to meltdown. Tossing them a snack is the quickest way to defuse the ticking time bomb of a hangry kid.
Our two personal favorites are goldfish crackers and fruit leather. They’re both easy to pack in the park bag, and satisfy both the sweet and the salty needs of our kids.
5. Use A Stroller, even if you don’t think your kids need it.
Disney World is HUGE! If you’ve never been before, it’s really hard to grasp the scope of how big it really is. It’s not uncommon for a family to walk 6 to 10 miles PER DAY during their vacation. That’s a lot more than most little legs can handle.
Our first family Disney World trip occurred when our kids were ages 4 and 6. We were pretty much past the stroller days, and didn’t even own one anymore, let alone one that could handle larger kids. A smart friend of ours recommended renting a jogging stroller from one of the Disney approved rental companies. We rented one from Kingdom Strollers and it was amazing!
We thought our 4 year old would be the only one using the stroller, but our 6 year old got lots of use out of it as well. Kingdom Strollers rents out several different types of strollers, even some that can accommodate children up to 70 lbs and strollers for special needs children up to 100 lbs. They’re rates are very reasonable and they have lots of extras, many included in the rental price, that are really nice.
While you can rent strollers in the park, they are hard plastic ones that are hard to maneuver and definitely not comfortable. If you do rent one from an outside company, be sure whatever rental company you choose to use is on the approved vendor list so that they can deliver and pick up your stroller directly to you! You can find that list here: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/stroller-rentals/
These strategies have helped our family avoid meltdown moments with our kids during our Disney World vacations. What tricks do you use? Share them in the comments!
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Want to know what else you need to pack the perfect Disney Parks bag? Check out my post on what you need HERE!
Disney World is full of awesome experiences, but not every one of them is a winner. Check out the 9 Things I Regret Doing At Disney World HERE!
Disney World has some of the best dining anywhere, but read all about Why I’ll Never Book A Breakfast Reservation At Disney World Again right HERE!