Girl holding a pink-colored parasol umbrella at a theme park with her family.

Top 15 Tips & Tricks - Orlando with Small Kids

Planning your trip to Orlando with small kids just got easier. Save yourself time, energy and money with these helpful vacation strategies. Organize now so you can enjoy a story-filled adventure when you get here!

Know Before You Go:

  1. Strollers – It’s easier to leave your everyday stroller at home. Consider purchasing an inexpensive, light-weight stroller for maneuvering through crowds or renting one at a theme park.

  2. Packing List – Create a realistic list of the things you’ll need on your trip. Remember to bring liquid soap in case you need to wash bottles and baby wash for your little one’s bath time. Here are some essentials you’ll need during your day:

    • Bathing suits for the kids
    • A light-weight stroller
    • Camera
    • Sunscreen
    • Reusable water bottle
    • Wipes and hand sanitizer
    • Inexpensive rain ponchos
    • A light sweater or jacket for air-conditioned hotels & restaurants

    If you want to keep things light when packing, you can ship diapers and baby food directly to the hotel.

  3. Snacks – Avoid dealing with a grumpy toddler by having snacks on hand. Snacks are always handy if you’ve got a longer than expected wait time for your next meal or for finicky eaters.

  4. Scheduling Breaks- Although it’s tempting to want to pack it all in, it’s smart to give your toddler time for a break to avoid exhaustion or melt-downs. Everyone will feel refreshed by heading back to the hotel for an afternoon nap or cool dip in the pool.

  5. Create a Trip Playlist – Generate a level of excitement around your visit. Make it memorable by creating a playlist of favorite songs from Disney and Universal Studios movies. When you return home you relive the happy memories by singing their favorite tunes.

  6. Hotel Considerations – When it comes to your toddler’s needs, most hotels will have free cribs and highchairs available, but it’s best to reserve those in advance when you book your stay.

  7. Allergies – Most theme parks will make every effort to accommodate guests to the best of their ability. Again, this is something you’ll want to research ahead of time. Check theme park websites for allergy information. Additionally, you are allowed to bring in your own food and water into theme parks if you choose.

  8. Special Needs – Please contact Guest Services at each theme park to inquire about an attractions assistance pass for your child or family member.

Once You're Here:

  1. Visit Orlando App - Download our new app–it’s free! It’s the ultimate guide to navigating Orlando like a pro. It’s easy.

  2. Discount Tickets - Take advantage of our special offers on your favorite attractions. Save money and time purchasing your tickets in advance. Buy tickets online or on the Visit Orlando app.

  3. Build in Time for Breaks - Although it’s tempting to want to pack it all in, it’s wise to give little ones a break to avoid exhaustion or overstimulation. Everyone will feel refreshed after heading back to the hotel for an afternoon nap or cool dip in the pool.

  4. Express & Fast Passes – You’ll want to obtain these passes for your must-see theme park rides. They’re free with Disney theme park admissions and a must for giving your toddler the least amount of wait time. For Disney theme parks, a Disney Fast Pass+ allows your family to bypass lengthy lines by visiting an attraction during a specific time window. At Universal Orlando® Resort, it’s called a Universal Express™ Pass and it’s an additional fee, but there is no designated time frame. Basically, you receive Express Access and bypass regular lines at any time. SeaWorld® offers the Quick Queue® Unlimited for front-of-the-line access for an additional fee as well.

  5. Rider Swap or Switch – Here’s how it works: a family member informs a ride employee of their need to ride switch, whereupon one parent will be directed to wait at a designated area with the baby or toddler while the other parent takes the older child on the ride. Once the ride ends then the parents meet back up and switch off. This service is featured at all the major theme parks. Just let a ride attendant be aware of your need.

  6. Child Care Centers – Every theme park has designated areas for diaper changing, nursing stations and more to accommodate those with babies and small children. Research your theme park ahead of time to learn where the respective baby care or family services centers are located. Forgot formula or a pacifier for the day? You’ll be able to pick one up at a baby care center as well.

  7. Fireworks – Catching the fireworks show is something magical and unforgettable that kids won’t want to miss. Be sure to venture back to your hotel or resort before dinner for a much needed break then return to the parks rejuvenated and ready to soak up the moment.