38 answers

Taking a Two and Half Year Old to Disneyland. What Do I Do About Nap Time!

My husbands parents, my husbands brother, my parents, my husband and I are taking ourson to Disneyland in June. He is two and a half and he usually gets up at 7 am takes a two hour nap at 12:30 or 1:00 and then goes to sleep at 9 pm. We are not sure what to do about his naps. We are staying at the Disneyland resort so we could go back to the hotel room at lunch time and take a nap and then go back to the park afterward. Or should we let him play at the park until he he is truly visually tired and call it a day around 5 or so. I would like to know what other parents have done in this situation. Also I would like to know what rides he can ride if any.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Just enjoy the day and let the baby let you know when he needs to rest. Usually they can fall asleep anywhere.

C.,

I'm at Disney World, with my 2 1/2 and 5 year old at this very moment. We've been coming since my oldest was 1, and we've found that a midday break always works wonders. We usually get to the park at opening, have lunch, maybe do 1 or 2 things after, then head back for a nap/downtime. When we head back to the park in late afternoon/early evening, everyone is refreshed and happy.

Have a GREAT trip, and remember, 2 1/1 is NOT too early to enjoy Disney!!!!
M.

My experience with things like this is that if you take a stroller, he will fall asleep in it around his usual nap time and you guys can just grab a bite and maybe catch a show while he sleeps.

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If you're staying at the resort, definitely go back and let him nap. He will sleep better and won't get overtired. He will be pretty overstimulated, so he won't last as long as you think he will if you skip his nap. The park is open late, so take advantage of getting out of the heat in the middle of the day and let him get some rest. He'll probably sleep better at night as well if he isn't too overtired and by going back to the park after naptime, you'll wear him out plenty to sleep good at night too. This is what I would do, but I'm sure you'll get other suggestions as well. We just went to Sea World with my 3 year old and 11 month old. They napped in the stroller, but it wasn't ideal and if we had been staying closer to the park, we would have left and come back. Also, the park closed at 6pm, so we wouldn't have had mucn time to go back later. Have a great trip! Sure sounds like fun!

1 mom found this helpful

We recently took our 3 kids, ages 6 and 4(twins) to Disney World. None of our kids nap anymore, but at Disney, we ALL needed a mid-day rest. We'd go back to our Disney resort and close those awesome, heavy, light-blocking curtains and pass out for a few hours. It was VITAL to our sanity (ours and thiers). The first day, the kids did great and didn't nap. They were so excited, but we paid for it on day 2. They were so tired and grumpy. That was when we realized that we were going to need to rest during the days. Heck, we paid a heftier price tag to be at a very close Disney resort for that reason!

Do not push him too hard. There is nothing there that you can't go back to see in a few years. The worst thing at Disney is seeing a poor child, who is obviously too tired, and throwing a fit.

Wish I could help on the ride recommendations, but we were in Florida.

Have a great trip!

1 mom found this helpful

My 2nd son was about that age when we went. I planned on going back to the hotel (we were on property also) but it ended up that it was a hassle. We brought our stroller and he napped in the stroller every day right after lunch. We just found a good spot to park the stroller in the restaurant and just stayed there for a couple of hours while he napped (and our stroller happens to fold flat, so it worked out well).

Kids know when they need a nap. We took our 2.5 yr old to San Francisco for a week - without fail, he had his daily nap. We never went back to the hotel for it, he just slept wherever we were! At the gardens he fell asleep in the stroller, he slept on the bay cruise, and in the car on our trip up to Napa. He's usually on the go 24-7, so we were suprised that he was able to sleep like that. So I would wait for his cues - if he's getting kind of quiet and tired, put him in the stroller and walk around the park for a bit to see if he wants to sleep (a good time for you all to scope out all that's there!). When he falls asleep, just park him in a quiet spot and enjoy the scenery. Or take him back to the room, if possible. But I honestly wouldn't plan your day around his naps. Neither of my kids have been crankfests with a missed nap on vacations. At home - definitely! But there's something distracting about being out that makes them behave, I guess!

Frankly, I would wait until he's a few years older. At his current age, he won't truly appreciate all that Disney Land has to offer.
Plus, you won't have to worry about your question anymore as naptime will be most likely a thing of the past.
Plus, he probably won't be allowed on hardly any of the rides. Perhaps a very few will allow him on.
Why not get your money's worth and wait until he's at least 6 or 7 when he can ride all the rides he wants, can last longer throughout the day, and really take home memories of a fantastic day?
If you are actually going to Disney Land for you and your adult friends, then just disregard everything I said and time your fun around your child's nap time. Otherwise, a cranky child will not make for a good time for the adults.

My advice is to take your son back to the hotel for the nap. I have four children that are 20yr., 17yr. and two 9 yr. old twins. We went to Disneyworld when my older ones were 5yr. and 3yr. We just recently went to Disneyland when my youngest two were 8 yr.old. Parents, grandparents, and child will have a much better time if you keep the nap time as normal as possible.

Just enjoy the day and let the baby let you know when he needs to rest. Usually they can fall asleep anywhere.

What a fun trip you have planned! I would stick to his schedule the best you can. I really like your idea about going back to the room at lunch for a rest/nap. You will probably all need it at that point! You will be doing a lot of walking and playing. Even if he is too excited to sleep, some afternoon downtime would be good for everyone. As the mom of an almost 2-year-old, I know there is nothing fun about overtired toddler. I hope you all have a wonderful time!

We have been to Disneyworld with all of our children at all ages. I have been to Disneyland but not with children, but was pregnant. We go every year and have taken all of our kids at 12 months or so. Now, they are 6,4 and 3.

One of the perks of Disneyland is that everything is VERY close so you can easily walk back to your hotel for naps and then head back out to the parks! With ours we always decided that at some point during the day, they would melt down, so better that they take a nap and go later, than a cranky kiddo at 5pm and you cant do anything else for the rest of the day! If our kids fell asleep in their stroller, then we would shop, wonder around etc while they slept. If they didnt fall asleep, we would head back to the hotel. Some days, we would go as long as they were happy, and then, as you said, went back to hotel for night! I believe as long as you are flexible and know what your kids limits are, you will have fun and be fine!

As far as rides go, there is SO much they can do! As I said, we have been with babies and when I was at Disneyland, I was 7 months pregnant and was able to ride almost everything. Most rides are smooth and easy.

You will have a wonderful time! We love Disney!

Rent a stroller and let him have fun until he just passes out in the stroller, that is what our kids did ( the strollers were comfy, they even carried the teenagers when they got a chance)He will catch up on his sleep later...let him have fun!!would you want to go home and go to sleep when you could play at disney world??

My experience with things like this is that if you take a stroller, he will fall asleep in it around his usual nap time and you guys can just grab a bite and maybe catch a show while he sleeps.

The first time we went to Disney World, our son had just turned 3. We got up early every day and headed out the door - the lines are shorter in the morning, plus its cooler. By lunchtime, we were ready to head back to our condo we rented, where we had lunch, which is way cheaper than eating in the park, we played in the pool awhile, and then he napped, or at least rested. We headed back to the park later in the afternoon, and we would only have to eat 1 meal in the park. Our son seemed to have a great time. I'll never forget waiting for over an hour for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, and just when we got to front of the line he said, "I don't think I want to ride on this after all" Being the caring mom I was, I picked him up and put him the ride, and said "Oh yes you will ride Mr. Toad!" :) I think he was unhappy for just a bit, but no obvious mental trauma from that. (He's 22 now). There are plenty of rides for the little ones, though kind of boring for older kids if they are coming along. I would recommend one of those books that tell you how to plan your trip, what to do, and what to skip. Also, 19 years ago, we had to pay for our son who just turned 3, while our friends' almost 3 year old got in free. Hope you have fun!

I went to Disney some years ago and though my kids were not babys, it was great for the parents to get some rest at noon. Then everybody enjoyed the evening activities well rested. Will your baby snooze in a stroller?

I tended to keep going till we all dropped :) but if you're staying on the property a nice hotel nap would work. My kids as toddlers loved all things Fantasyland...Dumbo, Its a Small World, Carousel, and so on. Tiki Bird Show and Country Bear Jamboree are toddler safe. Mine all dealt well with Pirates of the Carribean, Haunted Mansion, and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, which can be a bit scary. Have fun!

Happy Mother's Day! We took are 2 yr old son to Disney World last November. During his normal nap time at the park he slept. We had a good stroller and we just stayed at the park. I would not recomend him going without his nap or going till he is exhausted, it will just make a miserable time. Go into a cool place and just take a load off and let him sleep. This is a perfect time to tour the gift shops and just take in the sights. We stayed on resort too and it is such a plus. Not being familiar with Disneyland I don't know how much he can ride. Disneyworld had a lot of hands on things for the children to do and the shows were great! If your are doing Disney dinning it is super! The food is delicious and there are such healthy choices. We did the dinning plan and it was so worth it. Good Luck! Have fun and enjoy.

A little about me: I am a mother of a 5 year old girl and a spirited 3 yr old boy.

Hi C.! I love Disney, but I would highly recommend that you go back to the hotel and take a nap. Nothing is worse than having your child melt down and no one having a good time. It is so much easier to take the nap then return to the park if you want. As far as rides go, you can check out height restrictions on the disney website www.disney.com. There is something for everyone and the smaller kids love the Bug's Life section of the park. Hope this has been helpful and hope you have a magical time!

We are taking the same trip with our 2 1/2 year old in june as well! I've looked into it and it seems like a decent amount of the rides have no height requirement. Each ride has the height listed on it on the website. I looked at the Disneyworld one at least and it did. have fun!!

Taking a break in the middle of the day is always refreshing...especially since you are going to be at a Disney Resort. Staying with his normal routine will make everyone happier. (My sister-in-law always took my nephew & niece for a nap...her husband got to ride a few roller coasters and then they met back for more fun with kiddos)

Enjoy!

My son is also 2&1/2 years old and has the same exact sleep schedule as your son! When we go on vacation we still pause in the day for his nap time because he lasts longer later in the day with rest. Also it gives us time to take a break out of the sun etc and have a cup of tea:) Have fun!

BIGGEST THING TO REMEMBER...the 2 hour time change can do a number to a little one (and the adults too). When we went it took us 3 days to not wake up at 4 or 5 in the morning. And it didn't matter how tired we were from the day before. We went in early June, it was cool, we had to buy sweatshirts for everyone while there.

I would definitely get a stroller, either take one or rent one. I would suggest taking one, if possible. It can be a walk to the park from the hotel. We stayed at the Disneyland resort with our then 12 1/2 month old. We had a backpack carrier for him, which worked well, but got a "little back achey". We did rent a stroller for 1 day. Word of caution, you can't take the stroller in line with you. But, with that many adults going, you shouldn't have any problems with someone staying with sleeping child while other adults ride "adult" rides.

I wouldn't worry about going back to the park for naps. Just let him ride in the stroller and take naps as he wants. We also went to Disney World with extended family in 2007 (son was 5, niece 4). We rented a double stroller in the park. The kids crashed as desired. Turned out to be some of the funniest pictures of them passed out. Not having the stroller to take out with us was hard if they were very tired or asleep, at 4 and 5 they were a little heavy to carry very far.

As for what he can ride, there is a lot. They have whole kid sections that are big enough for adults to ride in with the little ones. You can go to Disneyland's web-site to find info on size requirements for the different rides.

Disney offers a program where everyone stands in line, then parents can do a switch out watching the kids that isn't big enough. One parent rides, they hand over the kid, then the other parent rides without having to stand in line separately.

Go with the flow of the adults. If adults need to rest or nap, go back to the hotel. Otherwise, let the child nap in the stroller. At Disney World in 2005, we did go back to the hotel some days to nap. It was July and was so very hot and humid. The adults needed it more than the kids I think. But, then in the evening we went to whatever park had late extended hours.

I would give him a nap and also call it a day around 7 ish thats alot for a little one to take in. Have fun!

I would do like you stated and so in at lunch kktime your whole entire family could probally use the break to and the trip will be more enjoyable especially with a rested toddler instead of a grouchy one at the end of the day

I think taking a nap, staying on his schedule will probably work best. In the end, he will be happier and you guys can hide out from the heat of the day. It is hot and humid in June! Make sure you have plenty of spritzer bottles to cool everyone down. When we went, we started early then took a nice long lunch and nap break, then went back out in the late afternoon and evening. Believe me, it is enough! Disneyland can be so overwhelming, especially for a little one. Have Fun!

Hi!
I took my son at around the same age, and he enjoyed it!! As far as naptime, coming back to the hotel room for lunch and nap worked for us... and went right back to the park later in the day. He was rested and was able to enjoy the park in the evening, not to mention see the park through the different lights and sights.

I dont recommend to spend the entire day... it can become to overwhelming for a 2 year old, and neither you nor him will enjoy!!

Have fun on your trip!

We just rode the train round and round the park until both girls slept in our laps for an hour or so. It happened by accident the first day and we kept it going the rest of the week.

I hate to tell you this but I don't think you will enjoy your trip that much with a 2 year old. We took our daughter's and their families to DisneyWorld and the youngest was 3 years old. To this day she does not remember anything and there was not a whole lot for her to do. She did love seeing the characters and we all had a good time but pushing that stroller around and now realizing she didn't even appreciate or know anything about the trip is sad. It is really better when they are around 5 or 6 years old as they can then remember that wonderful trip. You and your husband will have fun.

Hi Chadra,
I am assuming you are taking the stroller- right?... just take what he is comfortable with at naptime and he will sleep in the stroller- missing the regular schedule for nap time at a place like that where there is nothing but excitement will not hurt.
good luck and blessings

We just brought our stroller and let him go til he passed out--then sat at a little cafe while he snoozed :)

Play it by ear. If you see your son tired, take him to the resort for a nap. If he falls asleep in the stroller, take advantage of it. I will tell you this, naps are beneficial to everyone. Being in Disneyland for so long will get to you. The lines, people, weather, wait time, and shows can be overstimulating for everyone-not just your son. If you notice he's getting fussy take him to the resort for a nap. Afterwards, he will be refreshed and ready for more fun. Good Luck.

We took our oldest right before she turned 2 (now 8). She has never been a huge napper. We got to DisneyWorld at opening and played all day--she had so much fun mostly meeting all the characters. We left around 5ish, she fell asleep on the tram. We went again a couple of years ago, she was 6 and our youngest was almost 4. One day we went when they opened, and came back for a nap b/c we had plans with relatives later that evening, resting mid-day didn't help us. We were better off getting to the park early and leaving before dark or around dark, then taking a nap and trying to go back later. Like everyone else, you'll know when your little one needs a nap. Have a great trip!

Take a stroller and they will usally fall a sleep on their own during the day. We would also take that time once they fell a sleep in the stroller to get a snack and cool off at one of the many vendors they have. We parents needed the rest also. We stayed in one of the hotels in the park and though we would go and take naps but that never happened, the stroller worked the best.

We went to Disney World in February when my daughter was 2 1/2. We spent 3 days in the park. The first day we tried going back to the hotel for a nap and she bounced on her bed for over an hour asking to go back to see Mickey Mouse. Days 2 and 3 we skipped the nap. We went to see a show around nap time so she would at least have some quiet time. She normally takes a 2-3 hour nap mid-day and goes to bed between 8 and 9, so we just left the park early each day to get her back for an earlier bedtime.

While ideally it's better to get that nap in, keep in mind that every child is different and won't necessarily stick to your "plan". :-)

C.,

I'm at Disney World, with my 2 1/2 and 5 year old at this very moment. We've been coming since my oldest was 1, and we've found that a midday break always works wonders. We usually get to the park at opening, have lunch, maybe do 1 or 2 things after, then head back for a nap/downtime. When we head back to the park in late afternoon/early evening, everyone is refreshed and happy.

Have a GREAT trip, and remember, 2 1/1 is NOT too early to enjoy Disney!!!!
M.

I took 2 young children to Disney World and naps were part of the plan. We knew it would be super hot in the middle of the day, so we headed back to the hotel at 12:00 most days. We had a light lunch took a nice nap, curtains closed air conditioner on high. The had a small snack, went swimming and then back to the Park.. One day we headed back at 11:30 cause we were getting fussy and ended up going back to the park without swimming cause the kids wanted to get right back.

Just make it seem like it is just part of the day and not make a big deal out of it.. Take hats, bottled water and sunscreen. Remember Disney World is brighter and hotter than Central Texas. Have a blast, take tons of photos.

Def keep to your nap schedule! It will be vital to your entire families sanity. Grumpy children=grumpy adults. Also, you don't want to have to work back into your schedule when you get back home

Hi C. I have been there. I took my daughter to disneyland when she was 2. We had a busy day but when she got tired we made sure we brought her big stroller so it would be more comfortable. We leaned it back and walked around until she fell asleep then parked in the shade while she slept. She took an hour nap and it worked out perfect. i hope it works out for you. good luck.

How fun! When we first took our son, he was a toddler and I was expecting baby #2... What worked well for us was to have a leisurely breakfast (we stayed at the Floridian and they have the character breakfast downstairs...easy), jumped on the monorail with the stroller and head to the Magic Kingdom...had a nice morning, ate lunch and then back to the room for naptime. After naptime, we went to Epcot for the late afternoon/dinnertime. This worked out GREAT and the restaurants are much more interesting there...have a great time :)
OK...JUST REALIZED that you are going to Disneyland and NOT Disneyworld....OOPS!!! We JUST went to Disneyland as part of our Spring Break trip. There is another park (affiliated) right next door that was MUCH better for little children....if you go to Disneyland, "Toontown" is where you want to go...also, do yourselves a HUGE favor and NAP...in the hotel. It is so worth it! ALso, don't forget to make reservations for dinner each night...NOW. You will need them if you want to be seated.

Work in the naps if you can! Everyone will be happier for it.

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