If you are visiting Walt Disney World for the first time with an infant or toddler, here are some of the most important things you need to know.
Kids under 3 get into the parks for FREE.
Yes, you read that right! If your child is under three years old, you do not have to pay theme park admission for them.
Tip: Kids don’t age at Disney. If they celebrate their third birthday during your trip – but you start your Disney vacation when they are still two – they remain two in the eyes of Disney throughout the duration of the trip (so you won’t have to start paying for their tickets halfway through). If you are going on a third birthday trip, just make sure you start it before their actual birthday.
Kids under 3 eat free at Walt Disney World buffets and all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurants.
Technically, they are free to “eat off your (adult) plate,” but they can still have their own individual plate and enjoy the meal at no additional cost to you. If drinks are included, they will also usually bring a drink for your under 3 child as well, and Tater has even gotten his own special dessert at no extra charge.
Tip: The majority of Disney character meals are buffets or all-you-care-to-enjoy, so you may want to take advantage of that while they are still young/free. Also, even though they will not be charged for the meal, you still need to include an infant/toddler in your total party number when making an ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation).
Infants/toddlers can go on any ride that does not have a height requirement.
And at Walt Disney World, there is a lot they can ride! Whether you keep them in a baby carrier, hold them on your lap, or sit them next to you, children of all ages can experience the magic of Disney.
Tip: The Magic Kingdom has the most rides with no height requirements. Also, for those rides your little one can’t ride due to height restrictions, Disney offers a rider swap program where one parent rides and then receives a pass for the second parent to ride later via the FastPass+ line.
You cannot take strollers in line.
Disney has a number of conveniently located stroller parking lots (that are hard to miss) all around the parks, where you leave your stroller when you go on rides. We have always been comfortable leaving our stroller there, but know that Disney cast members may move your stroller within that parking area while you are on a ride.
Tip: Use a ribbon, decoration, name tag or anything else that can help you more easily find your stroller in the parking area. Also, baby carriers for infants or snacks and small toys/activities for toddlers will help save your arms – and sanity – while you wait in line.
Baby Care Centers are located in all four theme parks.
These calming air-conditioned oases have changing tables, private nursing spaces, feeding areas with high chairs, and kitchen areas to heat up bottles or food. They are free to use and staffed by Disney cast members. There is also a retail section to purchase any baby items like diapers, food, formula, etc. that you have forgotten or used up.
Tip: On those rare occasions when a diaper change requires two sets of hands and one parent in a restroom changing area just won’t do, go here!