Planning our first trip to Disney

We will be going to the Magic Kingdom for one day in May and I have been researching all about enjoying the park with a toddler. There is so much about the park that I did not know and would have no need to know if I didn’t have a child.

I’m still at the stage where I need baby changing stations in bathrooms. These are not hard to come by and if worse comes to worse I can always change him in the car. I’ve actually done this a lot as public restrooms smell foul and I’d rather not be in there for extended periods of time. However, Disney has a dedicated baby care centers in their parks that offer changing tables, high chairs, microwaves, nursing rooms, and a little store selling forgotten essentials.

Diego doesn’t need much aside from diaper, wipes, a change of clothes and maybe some water and snacks. I don’t want to pack a heavy diaper bag even though I won’t be carrying it on my shoulders. Our stroller has a nice sized basket where I can store it. Speaking of our stroller, I am unsure if we will be bringing it with us or opting for an inexpensive umbrella stroller. The downside to this stroller is the lack of canopy and storage basket. The benefits include a small, compact fold that will allow us to pop in and out of the tram and monorail with ease. It would also free up space in our trunk. I still haven’t decided but I am leaning more towards just bringing the stroller we already have along. It’s only for one day and I’m sure we will manage.

As I’ve done some research I have been amazed at all the differing opinions and forums that focus on traveling with children. Some parents are professional advice givers and seekers. It’s almost amusing to read the rants about people cutting them off in line or preventing them to catch up to their spouse as they navigate the parks. They must be gluttons for punishment because some of these families practically live at Disney. I did manage to glean some knowledge, such as: the trams have carts with space for a stroller, you can roll your stroller right onto the monorail, strollers can be rented, strollers are often stolen so park it at your peril.

Disney allows you to bring food and drink into the parks and some families bring a little cooler with them in order to save some money. That is perhaps a good idea if you’re going to spend a week or more at the parks but for this trip of ours that is overkill. I will gladly spend money on food at the park. I am not hauling meals with us. While on vacation I expect to spend money so this is an expense I have planned for but I can definitely see the need and value of cutting down costs wherever possible.

The hotel we are staying at is located on International Drive and according to Google Maps it’s ten minutes away from Disney. We had thought about taking the hotel shuttle to the park but Florida law requires children of car seat age to ride in one unless the vehicle is a coach bus. We will definitely be driving to Disney.

I’m a little nervous about a lot of things, such as  how Diego will react to the crowds and my own pesky anxiety rearing its ugly head but I am sure that I will handle it. I am beyond excited for this trip and I cannot wait!