In a moment of..oh, I don’t know…temporary insanity-I’ve decided to take my 3-year-old grandson to Walt Disney World- sans his mother. I have traded in my adults only Food & Wine Festival, pool napping, margarita drinking, sleeping in vacation for a park hopping tour with a toddler. I’m happy about it! It’s been 20 years since I traveled with a three-year old, so this Grandma had to do some studying on travel do’s and dont’s with little ones.
GrowingupDisney.com has been an excellent source of information, as well as the Disney Mom’s panel. Here is what I have learned so far:
- Pack pipe cleaners- these quiet, soft little things will apparently keep a young one busy on the plane as well as waiting in line at the parks. I’m practicing trying to bend these things into animal shapes to amaze and amuse my grandson, as well as other passengers on the plane.
- CARES-Child Aviation Restraint System- a couple of straps and buckles that will keep your child in the airplane seat, shoulder harnessed, so he does not run screaming through the aisles. Much better than lugging a 50lb monstrosity of a car seat on board.
- Colorforms-these magical stickers can be peeled and re-used again and are perfect for pasting to airplane windows. I’ve bought 3 packages of them. I just have to hope we get a window seat.
- iPad-Kid’s movies- need I say more?
- Diaper bag- did not have one, now I do. Will need something other than my mini-shoulder purse to carry- pull-ups, hand sanitizer, Clorox Wipes, Wet Ones, sippy cup, lighted key chain for the dark rides, Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse playing cards, Matchbox cars, portable snacks, change of clothes, sunscreen and whatever else I can fit in that thing. It’s like a Mary Poppins carpet-bag.
- Tabletoppers- plastic place mats with the “Cars” characters on them. I’m hoping between that and the Matchbox cars,it will buy me enough time to gulp down a quick-service meal before the native gets restless.
Disney has a whole page dedicated to Traveling with Little Ones and lists attractions best suited for..little ones. I was not even aware that some of these existed, especially at Animal Kingdom, since we never go to that park. I, apparently, will be spending lots of time there.
I have not seen a parade in years, but I’m already scoping out the best places to sit on a hard curb for 2 hours so that we have premium viewing, until some inconsiderate family plops down in front of us at the last-minute to block our view.
Out of all the advice, blogs, board postings that I have read, the most important thing I have to bring is patience. Working on that now, and looking forward to watching my grandson experience all the magic that Disney has to offer. If you see a tired, haggard, Grandmother pushing a stroller with a 3-year-old boy, that will be me. I will also have the biggest smile on my face because I am sharing my love for Disney with the next generation.
- Tips to Save Time and Your Sanity at the Walt Disney World Parks (mouzekateerz.com)
- celebrating a dream come true…(day one) (emilypeytoncook.typepad.com)
- Day 6 at Walt Disney World – or Mickey whooped our butts! (message8.wordpress.com)