*Please note this post was originally written before the Fantasyland remodel! It will be updated once the expansion is complete*
The thought of taking multiples on a vacation, let alone Walt Disney World, is enough to make even the most seasoned parent break a sweat. We are lucky enough to live in the Orlando area and have taken our children to the parks several times. What we want to do today is show you just how easy it is to take twins, triplets and more to the Magic Kingdom (stay tuned for the remaining 3 parks, Disney resorts and Seaworld!). We’re going to split this post into sections to make it easier to follow and reference. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Getting to the Magic Kingdom and Parking
- If you are not staying on Disney property during your trip and will be driving to the parks there is a $14 charge for parking. This parking is good for all parks that day and that day only. So let’s say you decided to drive over to EPCOT after your day at Magic Kingdom, just show your parking pass at the toll plaza and you will not have to pay again.
- Ask to be parked near the front (seriously, you can!) and explain that you have multiples and cannot manage a stroller and the children with the tram. Disney is very accommodating and will allow you to park within walking distance of the transportation center.
- After you park and you get ready to walk to the transportation center, take a picture (either on your camera or phone) of the row you are parked in. You have a long day ahead of you and will probably forget which row you are parked in, and trust us, Magic Kingdom’s parking lot is bigger than the actual park. If you do forget this though, at the end of the night let a cast member from either parking or security know and tell them what time you arrived, they will be able to locate which section you are parked in.
Transportation from Disney Resorts
- If you are staying at one of the many resorts on Disney property and will be using their transportation (which we really recommend, heck it saves you $14 a day!) you will either be arriving by bus, boat or monorail. All three can accommodate any stroller.
- Resorts that you could travel by monorail would include: Grand Floridian, Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower and Polynesian. We have fit two Triple Run Abouts AND a tandem twin stroller in one car with plenty of room, so trust us your stroller will fit!
- Resorts that you could travel by boat would include: Grand Floridian, Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower, Polynesian, Fort Wilderness Campground, and the Wilderness Lodge. The larger boats from the campgrounds and lodge allow you to keep your children in the stroller. The smaller boats from the Grand Floridian, Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower and Polynesian require that you fold your stroller, and when we say these boats are small, trust us, they are small. You probably won’t be able to fit a large stroller on these.
- Resorts you can walk from: Contemporary/Bay Lake Tower. The walk is really nice, quick and takes you right to security.
- All other Disney resorts would require that you travel by bus. All strollers can fit on the buses, however you will have to fold them and children are not allowed to stay seated in them. If you have a larger stroller, simply ask the driver to open the back door so you can load the stroller near the back and not have to fight getting it up the aisle.
Getting from the Transportation Center to the Magic Kingdom
- You have two options to get you to the Magic Kingdom, you can either take the ferry boat or monorail. Both are great and it truly depends on what you are in the mood for. If you are visiting during a busy time we recommend starting your day with the ferry boat. The lines for the monorail can be very long, and they tend to be shorter when you leave the park.
- If you are taking the ferry boat and have a stroller try and stay on the main level and stay towards the back (it’s not as crowded). If you don’t mind the crowd and want to be one of the first ones off though, stay towards the front, just remember people will not stop for you so be ready to go when they drop that rope!
- If you are taking the monorail try and head towards the least crowded gate (common sense, right?). You will have to lift your stroller onto the monorail (there are no ramps) and make sure you put your brakes on.
- Before you can get into the parks you have to go through bag check. Amanda’s husband Scott would like to remind everyone that a camera bag still counts as a bag, as does a fanny pack.
- Before you get to the table try to start unzipping all your zippers and have all your bags pulled out. They will also ask to look in the baskets under your stroller.If you do not have any bags, camera bags or fanny packs, you can go directly through the center no bag line. Strollers cannot go through this line since the baskets need to be checked.
- Scott also wanted to share some security tips with everyone to help make their stay more enjoyable (FYI Scott works in Disney Security, previously as a manager and currently in their dispatch center). The next few tips are from him.
- When you arrive to the park each day take a photo of your children, either on your camera phone or actual camera. That way if you are separated for some reason you have a photo from that day to show security. It has been Scott’s experience that nine times out of ten parents cannot remember what their children were wearing that day, and the photo eliminates that problem all together.
- Do NOT leave your valuables in your stroller while you go on a ride. Just because you are at the happiest place on earth doesn’t mean that you are completely safe from thieves!
- If you do for some reason become separated from a child it is important to find a cast member and let them know. The sooner you do this, the sooner every cast member in the park knows to look for your child. If one of the parents walks off to look for this child on their own while another stays behind with a cast member, make sure you both have phones and can communicate (sounds so simple, but is one of the biggest mistakes).
- Close and lock your doors/trunk. Scott cannot even begin to tell you how many times he has personally seen trunks and doors wide open, or windows rolled down. Also, if you have a GPS take it down and put it out of sight, the same goes for any other valuables you have in the car.
- Do not lock your keys in your car unless you can get them out on your own. Disney cannot pop your locks, they have to call a locksmith and you will be charged.
- Do not try to sneak alcohol into any of the parks, they will find and sadly, it will be dumped down the nearest drain.
- While glass jarred baby food is allowed, it may slow up the process of getting in. Try and bring the plastic tubs if you can.
- No weapons of any kind are allowed. However, if you are licensed to carry a weapon and have it on you, it must be checked with security. Any federal or local law enforcement agencies also have to comply with the weapon check.
Tickets and the Main Entrance
- As far as tickets go children ages 3-9 are considered a child ticket (Under 3 is FREE), 10+ is considered an adult. Visit Disney’s site for more ticketing information.
- We are sorry to report that there is no such thing as a multiples discount at Disney World. The only discount offered on admission is Florida resident, AAA, and military. Please see the Walt Disney World website for more details on tickets, prices, and restrictions. Also, please please please do not buy tickets on the side of the road that say they are cheaper. You will get ripped off and will not get a refund. Just remember if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- If you have a larger stroller (triple jogger or the quad stroller that has two up front and back) head towards the far gates, they have larger gates that can accommodate those strollers.
- Now since Amanda used to work the turnstiles at Magic Kingdom many moons ago (fun fact: that’s how she met Scott) she has some special tips to share: it does not matter how you put the ticket it, right side up, upside down, it’s all the same, you just can’t put it in sideways.
- Make sure you remember what finger you used with your ticket, and remember which ticket is yours. If you use your husband’s ticket you will get denied (put your name on the back of your ticket so this doesn’t happen).
- Do not keep your tickets on top of your credit cards, it will demagnetize them and you will have to have them reprinted.
Map and Times Guide
*Please note this map is not accurate due to the Fantasyland expansion. A new map will be uploaded when the expansion is complete*
- We cannot stress enough that you should really grab both the map and times guide to help maximize your experience. Both can be found under the train station along the wall, at City Hall, at the information board at the center of Main Street (by Casey’s Corner) and throughout the shops in the park.
- The park maps are available in several languages, see Guest Relations if you do not see the language you need.
- Guest relations offers translator headsets in the following languages: French, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Japanese. These headsets are free of charge, but you are required to put down a deposit that will be refunded upon their return.
- International calling cards are available for sale at Guest Relations at each of the four theme parks. Pay phone instructions are printed in Japanese, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese. Another nice feature of the pay phones is the ability to dial directly to international locations without the need for operator assistance.
- If you are interested, Guest Relations offers guided tours (there is a fee for this). If you are travelling with small children (who can’t wait in long lines) during a peak attendance time, VIP tours will allow you to bypass most lines for the rides. This is NOT cheap, but well worth it if you have the means. The tours do need to be set up in advance, especially if you require them in a foreign language. If you The tours are offered in English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Italian.
- Guest Relations also handles currency exchange, but it is limited. If you are needing currency exchange simply call the Disney Operator to ensure that it can be done at Guest Relations. If not, it can be done at the Suntrust Bank located across the street from Downtown Disney.
- If you would like to make dining reservations you can do so at Guest Relations. Normally they have a sign outside of City Hall that advertises which restaurants still have reservations available. You can also make reservations prior to your trip by called 407-WDW-DINE (407-933-3463).
- Also if you are celebrating anything, or it is your first visit stop by to get a free button!
- Stroller rental at the Magic Kingdom is located near the entrance to the park; double and single strollers are available. I hate to agree with Kate Gosselin, but their strollers are amazingly easy to maneuver. I (Lani) usually take the kids to parks using our Runabout Triplet stroller when I am the only adult, but today we decided to test out the park strollers and they were great. With small kids, it’s hard to get them in and out of the stroller all day long, and these strollers make it much easier to do. I would estimate that the park strollers are more appropriate for kids 15 months and older, as there is no padding anywhere on the stroller. If you are going with enough adults to be able to take your kids on some rides, I would recommend saving yourself the trouble of lugging yours to the park, and just use theirs. An added bonus- using the Disney strollers made us blend in with the masses, instead of having our giant triplet stroller attracting everyone’s attention (and points and stares).
- Double strollers are 31.00 per day, and singles are 15.00 a day, with discounts on weekly rentals. Wheelchair rental is 12.00 per day, and ECV rental is 50.00/day.
- If you rent a stroller at the a Disney park, and decide to park-hop to another park, you can get a stroller at the second location for no additional charge (same for wheelchairs).
- I have wished many times that I could bring my ChooChoo for the kids, but alas, no wagons are allowed.
- If you do bring your own stroller, opt for the lightest one you own that folds up the easiest for you. If you do any bus or boat traveling after/during your day at the park, there is a good chance that you will have to take the kids out of the stroller to get on the vehicle.
Main Street USA
- This is the first themed land that you will enter at Magic Kingdom.
- The only ride on Main Street USA is the steam train. The station is located directly above the tunnel where the maps are located. You will need to take the stairs, unless of course you are in a wheelchair. All strollers must be folded on the train. If you rented a stroller, simply take your name tag and belongings and they will have a new stroller for you at the location you get off at. The steam train stops at Frontierland and Toontown. If you do not plan on getting off at any of these stops and simply want to ride it around you can park your stroller outside of the station.
- Nestled in a corner adjacent to the Guest Services building, you will find the Harmony Barbershop. Like everything at Disney, they make quite a production out of the haircut. I (Lani) actually took Ben last year for his first haircut, and for $15 he got a haircut, and a set of Mickey ears that say “My First Haircut”, along with a snippet of the hair that was cut sealed up in a little package. I might have asked for my money back if it wasn’t for the cute ears that he got! Let’s just say, I think our barber was new and a little nervous.. click here to see the damage.
- Exposition Hall located at the front of Main Street can help with any camera needs that you may have. It is also where you will have any photos that you want from the Disney Photopass printed out.
- Located in Exposition Hall you will find Tony’s Town Square restaurant which is one of the casual dining locations. Reservations are recommended. Amanda has eaten here with her kids and it is really kid friendly (as are most Disney restaurants).
- City Hall is located at the front of Main Street, opposite of Exposition Hall. City Hall is where you will find Guest Relations.
- Next to City Hall is package pickup. Any purchases you make in the park can be sent there for you to pick up at the end of the day.
- Also next to City Hall is the Engine Co. 71 Firestation and Gift Shop. If you are a firefighter bring in one of your patches and they will gladly display it on the wall.
- In town square, near the flag pole, you will find many of your favorite Disney characters during the day. The only time we have not seen them there is during the parade.
- Also in town square at 5:30pm each day they do a flag retreat ceremony where any current military, or veteran can be honored with carrying the flag out for the day. If you would like to participate simply go to guest relations and ask how you can be apart of this. Amanda’s Dad took part in this back in 2003 and it was one of the top moments of all her visits to Disney.
- The left side of Main Street (if you are looking at the castle) is one giant store called the Emporium that connects all the way to Casey’s Corner. Almost anything you can dream of is in this store from picture frames to golf shirts.
- Casey’s Corner, located at the end of the left side of Main Street, offers hot dogs and fries. Throughout the day there is a piano player outside who has been there for years and is great to listen to!
- Next to Casey’s Corner you will find the Crystal Palace which is a character dining location (Winnie the Pooh and Friends). They offer breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. Reservations are highly recommended at least 180 days before your visit.
- The right side of Main Street (if you are looking at the castle) also has shops, but does not connect all the way like the other side. The first store is the Confectionery where you can find any sweet treat you could think of!
- Attached to the Confectionery is Chapeau Hat Shoppe where you can find Mickey ears and have them embroidered.
- Also attached to the Confectionery is the Main Street Cinema where you can find DVDs of your favorite movies as well as beautiful pieces of art.
- The final store that is attached is Uptown Jewelers where you can find collectibles and jewelry.
- Outside of Uptown Jewelers there is a side street that you can go down that has tables. This is a great place to escape during the day if the crowds are getting to you.
- Main Street Bakery (you will smell it before you get there…yum!) is the perfect spot to stop in the morning for coffee or a pastry. There is limited seating inside.
- Next to the bakery, and ending the shops, is the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. The waffle cones are made fresh everyday here and it is a great treat at any point during the day! There is no seating inside and limited seating outside.
- Next to the ice cream parlor there is the Plaza Restaurant which is a casual dining restaurant. Reservations are recommended.
- Located between Casey’s Corner and the Crystal Palace you will find First Aid. Disney’s first aid is staffed with registered nurses that can assist you with any concern you have.
- If you have medication that needs to be refrigerated you can check it at first aid and they can store it for you so you don’t have to haul a cooler.
Baby Care Center
- Take a left at the end of Main Street, and right next to the Crystal Palace you will find the Baby Care Center. Here you will find several changing tables, a nursing room, separate feeding room, as well as a small shop for buying all baby essentials, such as ready-made formula, pacifiers, Infant Tylenol, bottles, sippy cups, and even onesies. There’s even a comfy couch to relax on if you don’t happen to be the one on diaper duty!
- This is a great place to visit if your child is becoming overstimulated, and needs to be away from the excitement for a while. A little spell in an air-conditioned room (with cartoons, of course) may be in order if anyone starts feeling overwhelmed (them, or you!).
- Unfortunately strollers are not allowed in the Baby Care Center.
- Main Street USA ends at Cinderella Castle. Throughout the day there are stage shows with all of your favorite Disney characters, just check the times guide for times.
- If a show is not going on you can walk up the sides and through the castle.
- Inside the castle you will find the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique where girls 3 and older can be transformed into their favorite princesses. Package prices range from $49.95-$189.95. You can call 407-WDW-STYLE (407-939-7895) for more information and to book an appointment.
- They also have a cool dude’s package that is $7.50 where boys can have their hair styled with colorful gels and confetti.
- Also inside Cinderella Castle you will find Cinderella’s Royal Table. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast and lunch is with the princesses and books up quickly so make sure you call ahead for reservations. Dinner does not have the princesses, but also books quickly.
- Disney’s PhotoPass Service gives you professional photographs of your Walt Disney World vacation. View the photos online, order prints and create custom photo keepsakes. You can also purchase/view the photos in the park.
- To use PhotoPass simply see any of the photographers located throughout the park and they will hand you a card that will store all your photos. Simply create an account when you get home and you can edit the photos and create fun gifts. Be sure to check out their website for more information.
- This is hands down the best invention ever! Simply put your ticket in the FASTPASS machine and come back to the ride at the time it tells you. It virtually eliminates having to wait in line and allows you to see more of the park. Check out Disney’s site for the list of rides and for more information on FASTPASS services.
- Disney has become very strict on the FASTPASS return times. You will not be admitted into the FASTPASS lane after your time has passed.
Rider Switch Pass
- Rider Swap is when you can take turns waiting with kids too small to ride a certain ride then “swap” with another adult from your party to experience the ride without standing in line twice.
- If you’re not sure if the ride offers rider swap, simply ask the cast member at the entrance.
- Rides include: Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Swiss Family Treehouse, The Enchanted Tiki Room and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.
- Restaurants include: Aloha Isle, El Pirata y el Perico, and Sunshine Tree Terrace.
- The only ride that our children have not been on, and it’s really not a ride per se, is Swiss Family Treehouse. The Treehouse is basically a walk through (6 stories) based on the movie.
- The hardest part of the Jungle Cruise is getting on and off the boats at the dock. If you have smaller children, this may be hard to handle, but can be done. We suggest having one parent on either side to hand the children off.
- For Pirates of the Caribbean simply seat the adults on the outside and children on the inside of the row. When we went we took up three rows, Lani, Ploy, Ben and Lily were in one row, Todd and Cameron were in another, and Scott, Amanda, Aaron and Jillian were in one. As a warning, there is a small drop in this ride that is completely in the dark.
- The Enchanted Tiki Room is a show that is vastly different from the one you may remember as a child. A suggestion would be to try and sit towards the end of an aisle for an easy exit in case your children don’t like the show.
- The Magic Carpets of Aladdin are similar to Dumbo, the only difference being that there are two rows so an entire family could share one carpet. Again, sit children towards the inside or on your lap. If your children are younger you may be able to fit two with one adult in the front row, ask a cast member prior to boarding.
- A new section of Adventureland is the Pirates League. It is similar to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique except instead of transforming into a princess you can become a pirate. There are three packages to choose from and the price range is $49.95-$124.95. The Pirates League is located next to, you guessed it, Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace are basically snack stations. There is no seating at these locations.
- El Pirata y el Perico is usually only open seasonally (aka peak times) and is adjoined to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. If it is open when you are there get the taco salad, it’s out of this world!
- You might see Captain Jack Sparrow and friends near the entrance to Pirates of the Caribbean, and sometimes Peter Pan, Wendy and Captain Hook are by the exit to Pirates of the Caribbean.
- A good out of the way spot is actually by the restrooms at the exit to Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Rides include: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Country Bear Jamboree, Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade, Splash Mountain, Tom Sawyer Island, and The Walt Disney World Railroad.
- Restaurants include: Golden Oak Outpost, Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Westward Ho, The Diamond Horseshoe.
- Big Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain have height requirements of 40 inches.
- We suggest for the Country Bear Jamboree to sit towards the end of a row for an easy exit.
- The Walt Disney World Railroad station is located between Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain. You will have to climb two flights of stairs to get there.
- Tom Sawyer Island is located in between Frontierland and Liberty Square. The only way to get there is by boat.
- Golden Oak Outpost and Westward Ho are outdoor carts, there is no seating.
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe adjoins el Pirata y el Perico. We highly recommend that one person waits in line while another orders the food, that way you can get the kids set up at the table. High chairs are available, and cast members will gladly assist you.
- The Diamond Horseshoe is a quick service location during lunch hours and a casual dining restaurant during dinner hours. Dinner is served family style.
- There aren’t many hiding spots in Frontierland, this area can be pretty congested.
- Rides include: Liberty Square Riverboat, the Hall of Presidents and the Haunted Mansion.
- Restaurants include: Columbia Harbor House, Sleepy Hollow and Liberty Tree Tavern.
- Strollers are not allowed on the Liberty Square Riverboat and there is limited seating aboard, but it is a nice and relaxing boat ride around Liberty Square and Frontierland.
- The Hall of Presidents recently reopened and now includes President Barack Obama, and Morgan Freeman as the narrator. The presentation is 23 minutes long, so we suggest sitting towards the end of the aisle if you have small children.
- The Haunted Mansion does not have a height requirement, and also allows you to use the rider switch pass. Some children may be scared by this ride since things do pop out and there are periods of darkness.
- Columbia Harbor House is a quick service location that has two levels of seating. Again we suggest one person gets in line for food while the others find seating. Highchairs are available at this location. We recommend the fish and chips and clam chowder (so yummy!).
- Sleepy Hollow is a snack location. They have funnel cakes and waffles shaped like Mickey. There is limited seating outside and it has a great view of the castle.
- Liberty Tree Tavern is a casual dining restaurant. Lunch is traditional American cuisine and dinner is a traditional Thanksgiving feast served family style. Reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak times.
- Between Columbia Harbor House and the Hall of Presidents there is a farmers market that has a ton of fresh fruit, chips and other snacks/beverages.
- There is an area behind Liberty Tree Tavern and the Christmas Shoppe that is great for a hideaway! You may even see Disney’s newest princess there too!
- Rides include: It’s a Small World, Cinderella’s Golden Carousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Tea Party, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pooh’s Playful Spot, Snow White’s Scary Adventure’s, The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh.
- Restaurants include: Enchanted Grove, The Pinocchio Village Haus, Scuttle’s Landing, Friar’s Nook.
- Here’s the best tip we can give you for Fantasyland: if you have small children go here first and utilize your fast pass here. Peter Pan’s Flight, Mickey’s PhilharMagic and The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh all have FASTPASS.
- It’s a Small World is great for kids of all ages, even newborns. There are so many colors, lively music and that catchy tune that will keep everyone entertained. Amanda took Aaron and Jill on when they were only 6 months old and they LOVED it. It has been a favorite of theirs ever since. Here’s some video of us on the ride, that way you can see how we sat:
- Cinderella’s Golden Carousel is great for all ages too because they have benches you can sit on with the really little ones, and the older kids can sit on the horses. All horses have straps and hand bars for the kids to hold onto. We usually put our kids on the horses and stand between them.
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant is great for all ages too. Smaller children must sit towards the inside or on your lap. Depending on the size of your kids you may be able to sit two kids with one adult. Ask a cast member before you stand in line. This ride usually has an extremely long line and no fast pass, so try and make this one of your first stops. Another great time to ride this is during the fireworks, Lani and her family did this recently and it was the best view.
- The Mad Tea Party is great for all ages as well, if you get motion sick easily though, we suggest skipping it. Also watch around the outside of the ride for the White Rabbit, Alice and the Queen of Hearts.
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic is a 3D show that features different Disney movies and all of your favorite Disney characters. Even if you don’t wear the 3D glasses it’s still a great show. If you have smaller children we again recommend sitting at the end of the aisle.
- Peter Pan’s Flight is a timeless ride that’s great for the young and young at heart. You can easily fit two kids and one adult in each ship, if they are small though they can sit on your lap. This ride almost always has at least a 20-30 minute wait and that’s on a slow day. We highly recommend getting a fast pass for this ride.
- Pooh’s Playful Spot is a playground that is perfect for letting your kids run off some steam. Winnie the Pooh and friend’s are also around for autographs and photos.
- Snow White’s Scary Adventure’s can be a bit much for some children. There are many periods of darkness, and seemingly scary scenery. You may want to ride it alone first to see if your children will be scared by it.
- The Many Adventure’s of Winnie the Pooh is the other popular ride in Fantasyland. Very rarely is the wait time less than 20 minutes. We highly recommend using a fast pass for this ride as well. Each car is a honey pot and can fit your whole family. Lani’s family took one honey pot and Amanda’s family took another. There are a few spots in the ride that may be scary, but for the most part it is a fun ride that is not like the other rides in Fantasyland.
- Storytime with Belle is located next to the castle by the Mad Tea Party, various times during the day Belle comes out to tell stories and take photos. Check your times guide for when this is going on.
- Ariel’s Grotto is located between Pinocchio’s Village Haus and Dumbo the Flying Elephant. This is the only place you will be able to meet Ariel.
- Enchanted Grove, Scuttle’s Landing and Friar’s Nook are snack locations that have limited or no seating.
- The Pinocchio Village Haus is a two level quick service location that serves lunch and dinner. This is where we had lunch when we went this week. There are plenty of high chairs and seats available. They also have seating outside.
- Rides include: Astro Orbiter, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, Space Mountain, Stitch’s Great Escape, Tomorrowland Speedway, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.
- Places to eat include: Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe, Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station, The Lunching Pad, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Cool Ship, and Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies. We ate at Cosmic Rays during our recent visit, and the only complaint here was that the tables are small, and not moveable; hence the Nethero’s and Lyons had to sit at separate tables for dinner. (sniff,sniff)
- Astro Orbiter is located above the Tomorrowland Transit Authority. Many people accidentally get on the Transit Authority thinking it gets them to the Astro Orbiter. Neither of us have actually been on this, the website says it allows all heights and is a two person ride (front and back, not side by side we believe).
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is a fun interactive ride for all ages. FASTPASS is available at this location and usually Buzz Lightyear is near the exit if you would like a photo and autograph.
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is an interactive improv show featuring the characters from Disney Pixar’s Monsters, Inc. You may even be the subject of the improv, so watch where you sit!
- Space Mountain is a roller coaster that is completely in the dark. You must be 44 inches to ride this ride. The seats are 3 to a rocket ship, with two rocket ships connected. The seats are front to back, not side to side. FASTPASS and rider swap is available at this attraction. We used the rider swap for this ride to test it out. Our husbands stood in line and rode first and then we used the rider swap and went second. Now onto the fun part, we got stuck on the ride and had to be evacuated. We did not think that this would be something we would have to discuss, but in case it happens to you it’s nothing to worry about and is actually comical. Cast members will assist you off the ride and if you’re lucky enough like we were, the fire department will be called to take you out of your rocket ship.
- Stitch’s Great Escape has a 40 inch height requirement, allows FASTPASS and has periods of darkness while being strapped in. You cannot leave once the ride has started.
- Tomorrowland Speedway is another ride that almost always has a long line. The height requirement is 32 inches to ride and 54 inhes to drive. FASTPASS is not offered on this ride so if you want to do this we suggest getting there early (or during the parade).
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority, also known as the Blue Line, circles Tomorrowland and goes through Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Mickey’s Star Traders Store. It’s a relaxing ride, and usually not busy. Most of the time they will let you stay on if you ask.
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is open seasonally (peak times mainly) and is a 21 minute presentation based the show that Walt created for the 1964-1965 World’s Fair. It’s worth checking out and getting that catchy tune stuck in your head.
- Tomorrowland Terrace Cafe is a casual dining restaurant that is open seasonally. Be sure to check the site to see when it’s open.
- Tomorrowland Terrace Noodle Station is a quick service food location, neither of us have eaten at it, but the menu looks fantastic!
- The Lunching Pad is located underneath Astro Orbiter and offers snacks and lunch/dinner items. There is limited seating at this location.
- Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is located across from the Tomorrowland Speedway and is where we had dinner. There is a HUGE selection of food here, it was fantastic! Plus there is “entertainment” to keep the kids happy.
- Cool Ship and Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies are snack locations with no seating.
- The Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade runs daily at 3pm unless heavy rain or lightning prohibits it.
- The parade begins on Main Street and ends in Frontierland.
- During slow times we recommend you get a seat 30 minutes prior to parade step off. During peak times you may want to start looking for a spot an hour to an hour and a half before parade step off, especially if you want a spot on Main Street.
- Main Street is the busiest area for the parade, especially near the castle.
- If you are thinking of leaving after the parade try and find a spot at the front of Main Street by the train station, that way you are near the exit and can be first in line for the monorail or ferry boat.
- The SpectroMagic Parade runs after dark, you will want to consult a times guide for when the parade will run as it does not run every night during slow times and sometimes runs twice (before and after fireworks) during peak times.
- The biggest tip is that if you plan on leaving the park immediately after Wishes, view them from the front of Main Street by the train station. This way you can be one of the first ones to transportation.
- The fireworks can be viewed from anywhere in the park and are great to watch from an outdoor ride like Dumbo the Flying Elephant or Astro Orbiter. However if you wish to see Tinkerbell you will want to view them from Main Street or one of the bridges to Tomorrowland.
- The Walt Disney World Railroad does not run during the fireworks.
- The lights on Main Street are dimmed during this time so be careful!
Dining Tips / Dietary Concerns
- If you are going to eat at one of the casual dining locations call ahead for reservations, most can be made 180 days in advance by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
- If you have any food allergies let them know when you are making your reservation for your casual or fine dining location, that way a note can be made in your reservation.
- Disney also recommends that if you are staying on property you make note of food allergies or dietary concerns at least 14 days in advance.
- If you are celebrating something special (first trip, birthday, anniversary, engagement etc) let them know and they can fix something special for you. Amanda and Scott eat at a Disney restaurant every anniversary since they were married there and have gotten anniversary menus to keep from each place.
- If you have food allergies and are eating at a quick service location they can bring someone out to show you what foods are best suited for you.
- The best time to visit Disney with multiple small children is of course, at the least busy times. We have found that right now (mid-to late-January until Spring Break) is one of the best times, as schools are generally in session in all areas of the country. You do run the risk of some slightly cold weather, but we’re betting it’s still going to be warmer than wherever you are from:) Once “spring break” time hits, it’s going to be crazy for a while.
- In general, weekdays are less crowded than weekends and holidays.
- During your day at the park, be flexible and ready to leave and take a break if needed. A day at Disney with several small children will be a blast- but will also be pretty physically and mentally demanding. Watch for your kids’ cues, and head for the exit before you have a multiple meltdown!
- If you are traveling to the park with your kids and are the only adult, it IS doable, but you will not be able to do most of the attractions unless your kids are old enough to walk on their own and stay with you. Since we are local to the area we frequent the parks together with our kids, mostly to walk around, see the parades, and maybe a show or two.
- If you are visiting the park on vacation, bring as many spare hands as possible! To be able to enjoy ALL of the attractions, you will want at least one adult per small child. If you are saving up for your Disney vacation and want your kids to truly enjoy every single aspect, consider waiting until at least age 3 or 4.
- If you or someone in your party has a disability (mobility, visual or hearing) please visit the Guests with Disabilities page on Disney’s website for more information.
- Visit Disney’s website and request a vacation planning DVD, it will have even more information than we provided and it’s free!
We hope you enjoyed all the tips and information, please let us know what you thought and if there is anymore information that you would like know!