Taking Our 3 Kid to Disney World Next Year!!

Updated on October 16, 2011
J.S. asks from Cortland, IL
6 answers

So, my husband and I will be surprising our 3 kids with a vacation to Disney World next June!! Our kids will be 2, 5, 9 at that time. We will be staying in Disney, so we will do the 4 major theme parks there. I haven't been to Disney in about 15 or so years, so I'm completely unaware of things to do there! So, I was hoping for some input--What is a must do or must see while down there, any suggestions for what is or is not worth spending the extra money, any other parks worth the money, etc. Basically any updated info you can share with me would be wonderful.
Thanks so much in advance!!

Oh, and I should add--my 2 & 5yr olds are girls & my 9yr old is a boy :)

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answers from Orlando on

We live in Orlando and have season passes for disney, so we are there pretty much every weekend. :) We bought them last December when our oldest was 21 months and I was 6 months preggo. We USE them! I LOVE disney and thankfully my husband does too.
We have taken our oldest to all the theme parks in the area aside from Legoland which opened yesterday. :) It is about 45 minutes away from disney.
Seaworld is alright there are two rollercoasters, one of which is really cool, but in my opinion Seaworld is way to expensive for what it is. We only went there when I was working and we were both free (SW is free for FL teachers) now that I would have to pay we don't go anymore.
Islands of Adventure will have only 2 rides that your 2 year old can do, a carosal and one fish two fish which is the same as Dumbo and the Magic Carpet rides at disney. There really won't be much there for your 5 year old either. The Harry Potter part is okay, but I think they could have done much better. Regular Universal is okay too, but I'm not really a fan. Some stuff is alright, but I don't think there is enough there to fill a day.

Basically we stick with Disney. Staying on property is great, it will save you time and will give you Extra Magic Hours (when only hotel guests can be in the park either early morning or after closing at night.) I would also suggest the meal plan at disney. You can always use extra snacks at the end for things that can be taken home. Like packed snacks. Brin
Plan at least one day at each park. Animal Kingdom closes much earlier than the rest of the parks so that might also be a good day to do Downtown Disney. The TuskerHouse restruant is really good for a sit down place, we love Pizza-Fari for counter service. The pizza is great, hubby loves the antipasta, and even their mac and cheese is yummy. The Lion King show is wonderful and so is Finding Nemo. I think Animal Kingdom might be my favorite park. We really really really dislike the Yak and Yeti restruant though, my advice would be to stay away.
Hollywood studios is a blast as well. My little ones LOVE the disney Jr show. There is also an animation studios (right by disney jr and little mermaid) there are a bunch of characters to meet in there. Mickey Mouse always hangs out in there and then there is an area where you can go in and learn to draw a character, it is different each time. My 2 year old loves it. She gets a lap board and sits on the bench behind us and draws. It is awesome. The Backlot express (restruant right by star tours) has free drink refils. It is one of the only counter servic places in whole park that does so. Lights Motors Action is a can't miss. Fantasmic is fun, but long lines due to limited showing and a bit scary if your littlest scares easy. Like someone else mentioned it is only done on a couple nights a week so check that out beforehand. The second you walk in the park go right to toy story and get a fast pass (or get inline, probably both, because you will want to do it more than once.) The fast passes for that one are usually gone by 10am.
Epcot, is much different than it used to be, there is soooo much to do there now! My little one loves it. There is a Nemo ride that she just goes crazy for. Soarin is great, get a fast pass early they will "sell" out. All the countries are fun. We did the Princess lunch in Norway for my daughters birthday in Feb. It was amazing and worth evey penny. It should be on the dining plan. FANTASTIC! I think there were 6 of the princesses there and it wasn't even peak season. In June you might get lucky with all 10. Mexico and Norway are the only contries with Rides. China and Canada have movies to watch (kind of boring IMO but hubby loves them.) America has a stage show that we often use for downtime (umm naptime) it is cold, dark, and about a half hour long so it's nice to get little one to sleep. I think it's a very intersting show. If you are able to see the singers in the rotunda though do, they are fantastic. The electric umbrella restruant (counterservice) is the other free refil place in the park. It is by innoventions in the main area of the park. There is also a Coke cooldown spot thing I forget what it is called but you can taste coke products from all over the world for free, it's fun. Innoventions is awesome for the kids. I think all of yours will enjoy it. There is so much to do in there. If you are a disney chase visa card holder there is also a spot to do pictrues with characters for a free picture.

and finally Magic Kingdom. Of course my two year olds favorite place. I think her favorite things there would be meeting the princesses (to the right as soon as you walk in the gate, mickey and friends are there too, but she is scared of them) the peter pan ride, and the castle show.
Fantsey land has a new addition opening in Spring 2012 so I can't tell you about that yet, but I know there will be Belle's castle as a dining place. If you want to eat there I would look into reservations asap, it will fill up fast for the first year or two. For dining we love Pacos Bills and Casey's both casual dining.

I know I basically wrote a book, but pm me if you have any other questions that you think I could answer.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

The Unofficial Guide to Disney:

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It gives sample itineraries for various scenarios, tells where to stand/sit for best viewing of shows/parades/etc., it tells detailed information about rides and so much more. You should buy it now and read it and then take it with you. It sounds like you already booked your hotel, but it also tells detailed information and reviews those as well.

Hope you have a wonderful trip.

ETA - They make these books for other Disney and non-Disney parks as well.

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answers from Los Angeles on

We have done disneyworld several times. we usually plan a day of nothing in the middle of our stay. when you spend this kind of money on a trip it can become very stressful because you want to do everything (and get your $$$ worth). This is where I see lots of families get in arguments and then not have a good vacay. So we plan a day at the pool or just to wander the hotel, or downtown disney (no parks!) so we can have some relaxiation on our vacation. then when we get home we do not feel like we need a vacation from our vacation. living in CA the flights are long so we usually opt for a mid week red eye so we sleep all night. plus it saves the cost of 1 night hotel. If you stay on disney property the will pick you up at the airport (MCO) and take you to the hotel. With a red eye we usually have the bus to ourselves. If you go in a slower season they usually have our room ready when we get to the hotel (about 730am) which is super nice. We grab breakfast and go straight to the parks. If you see the pacakages that include the dining plan DO IT. You eat so well on the dining plan. we have done it twice and we never needed any additional food. I am not a big souveniers person but my favorite thing is to buy the kids (my girls are now 4 and 6) the autograph books. there is a page for the character signature and a page for the picture. we went in feb 2010 and march 2011 and did that both times. it was great. it saves room on packing to go home too. Disney does a rider switch pass so if there are things your son wants to do that the little one(s) can't or don't want to do one adult can go with him (and the 5 y/o?) on the ride and then when they are done you can switch and take the kid(s) back on with you with almost no wait. Get the pass when you get in line for each attraction. It will be good to use anytime the rest of the day. We usually plan on 1 park per day. Some of my family favs by park: EPCOT-kids love test track, living with the land tour, soarin' is incredible (we go in CA, though), we had lots of snack credits (from the dining plan) on our last day so we chose a snack at each "country" That was so enjoyable! For table service on the dining plan coral reef is outstanding. HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS- Beauty and the beast show, lights motors action show, tower of terror (better than the CA version), rockin' rollercoaster (probably my favorite), toy story mania, fantasmic (select nights so plan ahead), the new star tours. For table service dining we LOVE Prime time. The Disney Junior breakfast is great too. ANIMAL KINGDOM- I love AK but for some reason we are usually only here for 3/4 of a day. Proirity for Finding Nemo the Musical, we love Everest. Dinosaur is a little scary for my girls but your son may love it. Kilimanjaro safari is bumpy but great (and different every time). I have not done table service at AK. MAGIC KINGDOM- Since I live in CA and we go to disneyland a lot we try not to go on things in MK that are basically the same. If you have not been in a while (and your kids never) I would plan on a full day here, maybe 2. we did eat IN cinderella's castle once. It was great, but for sure a 1 time thing. Very expensive and 2 table service credits if you do the dining plan. to budget better and get more out of it Instead I would suggest the crystal palace character buffet and then go to the grand floridian (via monorail) to do the cinderella dinner there (maybe even on another day). its an amazing buffet with Cindy, her price, and step-family. SOOOO fun! All of the disney hotels are great. Port orleans riverside is our fav moderate hotel. Its really beautiful. In march 11 we stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge and it was spectacular! I have left you with a lot of info but if you have any other specific q's feww free to PM me for more details.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I gotta ditto the recommendation to pick up Unofficial Guide to WDW too - they come out with a new edition every year and it is worth its weight in gold. Also, some other books specifically doing Disney with kids are good, because they will rate different attractions in terms of how much different age kids will like it, or be scared by it (though every kid is different - I've seen 3 year olds be completely unphased by the Haunted Mansion while 8 year olds are totally freaked out!).

Another nugget of advice would be to schedule a break in the middle of the day for all of you to head back to your room, take a nap or swim in the pool, whatever. Get the park early, just before it's scheduled to open, and be ready to get inside as soon as the rope drops. Hit some of the major popular attractions first before the lines get too long. By the time lunch time rolls around, lines will be crazy and you'll be ready for a break. Come back later in the afternoon and stay for the evening parade, fireworks, etc. AND use Fast Pass whenever you can - it will save you a ton of time and aggravation when it comes to waiting in lines!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on




answers from Chicago on

Definitely get the Unofficial Guide book. But MY number one piece of advice is to do some character meals (book in ADVANCE!) We had breakfast at Chef Mickeys and Dinner with the princesses at Akershus in Epcot. By doing this, we met lots of characters in a short time and avoided long waits to get photos & autographs. My girls were ages 5 & 2, and they loved collecting the characters signatures. I bought the autograph books with photo slots so they can see their photo w/ each character next to the signature. It was an awesome trip and I can't wait to go back!!!

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