Magical Adventures: Visiting Walt Disney World® with Preschoolers

By Ariel Chamberlain, Macaroni KID Gulfport-Biloxi Publisher July 20, 2023

We recently returned from our first family trip to Walt Disney World® Resort, and I am still in awe of the time we had. Walt Disney World Resort is known as the epitome of enchantment and wonder, captivating the hearts of people of all ages. I have wanted to take Langston for a while but was worried that he may be too young. Everything turned out great. Visiting Walt Disney World Theme Parks with a preschooler offers a different level of excitement. From the moment we set foot in the theme parks, there was curiosity and bright smiles. All four theme parks have plenty of things to do for preschool-age children, from rides to live shows and, of course, character appearances.

The author was hosted by Walt Disney World Resort to facilitate writing this article. All thoughts and opinions expressed are her own.

During the trip, I figured out that Langston is a little bit of a thrill-seeker. He was all about riding the roller coasters that he was tall enough for. His favorite was the Slinky Dog Dash at Toy Story Land in Disney's Hollywood Studios® Theme Park. Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park was also a favorite. Langston is really into animals, so he was very excited to see some in-person on Kilimanjaro Safaris®. His favorite was the Okapi! We had a chance to attend the Festival of the Lion King show and Langston was selected to be in the show! Overall we had an amazing time and I am already looking into planning our next trip!    

Tips for Planning Your Trip to Walt Disney World Resort

If you’re planning your family’s trip to Walt Disney World Resort here are a few tips that helped me. 

Get the app. Download the My Disney Experience app. With it, you can access all the information about parks, wait times and even unlock your room if staying onsite. You also have the option to plan out your day by creating a list of attractions you would like to visit.

Utilize planDisney. While researching for the trip, I visited the planDisney site and got all my questions answered. There are pages for the different age groups and a forum of questions. Everything you could think of has been asked and answered here, from tips on dining to the best rides for preschoolersplanDisney is a gem.

Take advantage of Mobile Food Orders. One of my favorite features of the app was the Mobile Food Order option. While in the theme parks or at the resorts, you can order food through the app avoiding the long lines. This was useful when we had been in the parks for a long time and wanted to grab food quickly. You submit your order and receive a notification when it is ready and then check in on the app when you arrive.

Make a list of must-sees. By utilizing the Walt Disney World Resort website, I could make a list of all the must-see attractions based on Langston’s age and height. This way, we did not waste time in the theme park trying to figure out which rides he could or could not do. With a preschool-age child, you want to maximize your time.

Use Disney PhotoPass Service. I highly recommend using the PhotoPass Service. Throughout the parks, you will find cast members who can take photos at different spots. Shortly after taking them, the images are available in the My Disney Experience app to purchase. This is helpful because you never have to worry about not being in the photos or asking strangers to take your family’s photo.

Don’t forget the stroller. Initially I did not plan on bringing a stroller because I thought Langston could handle all the walking. I am so glad I brought one. It helped on longer park days when he got tired or needed to nap. It was also an excellent way to store our bags as we walked around. You can also rent a single or double stroller right in the park! 

Stay at a Disney Resort. I recommend staying on-resort if you have small children. Taking a break and heading back to the resort helps keep little tempers at bay. We stayed at the Boardwalk Inn which was about a 10-minute walk to EPCOT®. There are several ways to get back and forth between the other parks and resorts. There are also a few other perks, like early entry. Plus, you don’t have to worry about losing your car in the parking lot.  

While planning a trip to Walt Disney World Resort with preschoolers may require some extra considerations, the benefits far outweigh any challenges. The enchanting atmosphere, engaging experiences, and unforgettable memories make it a magical destination for young children. So, pack your bags, grab your Mickey ears, and get ready for an adventure-filled trip! 

Macaroni KID wants you to enjoy a magical Walt Disney World Resort vacation with your little ones too -- click here to enter for your chance to win from Macaroni KID!