If you’re traveling to a theme park with small children, here are 5 travel tips to help you survive without losing your stuff, your kids or your mind.
Welcome to “Ask Kenarry,” a feature on our blog, where our friends, fans and followers ask us to gather ideas for their home or family. The question most recently posed was “What ideas do you have for surviving a theme park with small children?” We threw out the question to our followers on social media and gathered five survival tips that are sure to make the vacation fun for the whole family.
ASK KENARRY QUESTION: What ideas do you have for surviving a theme park with small children?
Our question this month comes from our own plans to take our two boys (ages 3 and 1) to the Magic Kingdom this Spring. While countless pages could be written with specific advice for the Magic Kingdom or Walt Disney World as a whole, we were looking for more general guidance about how to even survive a theme park with small children without losing our kids, our stuff or our minds! You will find the five survival tips we’ve gathered apply to any family attempting to visit a theme park with small children.
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Theme Park with Small Children Survival Tip #1: Don’t over do it.
- “Don’t over schedule yourself. So often you will see families rushing to get places in the park, trying to cram as much in as possible. I get it- it’s expensive to go and you want to get your monies worth-but it takes the fun out of your trip. It ends up with crying kids and arguing adults. Pick a few places that you want to see but be willing to go with the flow.” – Sharon, California
- “Don’t push them to do too much and make sure that if they do not nap to get to bed early most nights.” – Tracey, Pennsylvania
- “Don’t over do. Go back and take naps… We always make sure ahead of time to verify what they can ride.” – Jenny, North Carolina
- “Make time for naps.” – Amy, Texas
- “Even with older kids, we always planned a low-key rest day between the big park days.” – Melanie, Michigan
Theme Park with Small Children Survival Tip #2: Don’t lose your stuff.
- “I would say the essentials are: your best stroller for napping in, ponchos to cover the stroller in case it rains, a bandana tied around the handle bar to more easily distinguish your stroller from others in stroller parking, a filled snack cup and backup snacks, a water bottle with a strap that clips to the stroller. – Katie, Michigan
- “The double stroller is key. If you rent one make sure you bring something to mark yours plain and clear, since they all look the same.” – Matt, Pennsylvania
Theme Park with Small Children Survival Tip #3: Don’t lose your kids.
- “I took my 3 yr old a few weeks ago and was terrified of losing him. A friend of mine told me about these lost child tattoos and it really helped put my mind at ease.” – Tracey, Pennsylvania
- “Each parent take one child.” – Diana, Ontario
- “(If you feel comfortable with this…) bring a backpack with a ‘leash’ for the kid who wants to walk.” – Katie, Michigan
Theme Park with Small Children Survival Tip #4: Don’t lose your cool.
- “Children and adults can get cranky just waiting around. Stop tantrums with ‘busy’ activities. My kids loved bubbles and stickers while they were waiting in line. These are easy things to pick up at the dollar store before leaving on vacation. I bought the packages of wedding bubbles, small 1-2 ounce tubes. They were light to carry and just enough to not make a mess when spilled.” – Nicky, Oklahoma, Little Family Adventure
- “Have plenty of snack bags, and drinks, also double stroller for when the kids are tired. Also, don’t try to take everything in… impossible with small kids… from a mother who took 4 kids ages 3, 5, 6, 8. We had a blast.” – Diana, Ontario
- “If you are there for multiple days, take a rest day half way through. We have never made nap time a priority, at that age they will fall asleep in the stroller, if not, sugar is your friend in the late afternoon. We always get there when the park opens, the lines are more manageable at that time.” – Matt, Pennsylvania
Theme Park with Small Children Survival Tip #5: DO lose yourself in the moment.
- “Follow your child’s lead. There is a special pleasure in experiencing [the theme park] through your child’s eyes. Just remember that you can’t do everything at [the theme park] in one trip. Focus on rides and attractions that they will enjoy.” – Nicky, Oklahoma, Little Family Adventure
- “Your kids will have more fun if it’s ok to stop and enjoy the magic of [the theme park] instead of being rushed from attraction to attraction. (You will, too.)” – Sharon, California
Other Travel Recommendations
Before you fly to your destination to visit a theme park with small children, be sure to read our three part series on Flying with Small Children. You’ll find stress-free travel tips, what to pack in your carry-on luggage and options to get your car seat there.
If you’re planning to take small children to Walt Disney World, I highly recommend that you read Disney World with Small Children by Nicky at Little Family Adventure. It’s chock full of great advice to help you prepare for your trip including recommendations about what to see in the parks.
You’ll also find some great travel advice and tips for surviving a theme park with small children on our Pinterest board:
Have you taken toddlers or babies to a theme park? What additional advice or tips would you recommend for traveling to a theme park with small children? Please comment below to share.
NEXT MONTH ON ASK KENARRY:
It’s almost spring cleaning time! A friend of mine has two small children, ages 4 and 5 and wonders what ideas you have for spring cleaning with toddlers and small children? Please comment below to share your ideas. Your ideas may be selected for next month’s Ask Kenarry!
Ask Kenarry is a regular feature, where one of our friends, fans or followers asks us to gather ideas for their home or family. Each month, we start by asking our followers on social media for ideas. If necessary, we also gather additional ideas through our own searches on Pinterest or other online resources. As we share our findings, we make every effort to attribute ideas to their rightful owners and have received their permission to share these ideas, photos and links on our website.
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas for your home and would like our help, please Ask Kenarry.