Disney with one year old is not for the faint of heart. Maybe if you have one of those easy, adaptable, just sits in the stroller all day type of babies you'll be OK, but if your kid is full of piss and vinegar like mine, it takes a little finesse. So here are some tips to help you make the most out of your trip with your budding toddler.
Know your limits
This was the motto of our latest trip. Isabella is almost five so she could have stayed at the parks from sun up to sun down and waited on every 2 hour line that we saw, but Arya is still too little and is starting to be mobile and she didn't want to just be held or strolled around...she wanted to explore. So we needed to set limits about what we could do and what we couldn't do. We wanted to get to the parks early so we could beat the crowds, but we couldn't because Arya needed that first nap in the crib. We wanted to stay and watch the fireworks every night, but we couldn't because Arya is a bear when she gets overtired. There were hard limits: bed times and naps and soft limits: meals.
It's never fun to get stuck holding a baby at Disney World while everyone else gets to have fun on more grown up rides. So make use of the rider swap so while one parent rides a ride with an older child, the other one can stay with the baby, then you just use your rider swap ticket and switch. The older kid gets to go on twice and both parents get to ride too. Easy.
Use Your Fast Pass
The new My Disney Experience App makes it really easy to plan your fast passes for the day. We made sure that everything we Fast Passed was baby friendly so she wouldn't have to wait on long lines. Arya loved It's a Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, Dumbo, and pretty much any other ride that didn't have a height requirement. Shows were awesome too and they really kept her interest.
Let Them Explore
Arya is just starting to walk, so she's really interested in physical movement lately: climbing, exploring, toddling. In each park there's a play type area to let the kids just run around an play. Her favorite was Honey I Shrunk the Kids in Hollywood Studios. She got to crawl around and get some of that energy out. Pretty much any inside area with a rug will do as well.
Disney is so much fun at any age and we had a ball!