Theme Park With Small Children: 5 Survival Tips For Families
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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.
Are you getting ready to go to a theme park with small children? These are the essential tips you need to know so your trip goes as smoothly as possible.
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.
Disclosure: This blog post contains affiliate links for products or services we think you’ll like. This means if you make a purchase from one of these links, Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® will make a small commission at no additional cost to you so we can keep the great ideas for the home coming your way. All opinions expressed are derived from personal experience.
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.
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.
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While you’re here, be sure to check out other family travel tips on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –
These are all great tips Carrie. They work great for just about any theme park. Thanks so much for sharing the link to my article as well. We love Disney, especially, and have taken children as young at 6 months old.
Thanks, Nicky! I appreciate all your ideas and your help with this article. Our trip is going to be so much better thanks to you!
I’ve nominated you for the Liebster award! While it may not come with a cool prize, it is a super fun opportunity to meet and network with other new-ish bloggers, and I really hope you’ll keep the fun going by participating. For more details, you can stop by my blog:
I hope you have a fabulous day!
Thanks for visiting, Brittany!
It can be daunting, but fun. Thanks for the tips and for joining the WWDParty!
Thanks, Annette! We’re a little nervous about it but these tips are a big help.
Great tips, we are planning a vacation this summer with 2 little ones and I’ll take all the advise I can get!
Thanks Sarah! Did you see our series on Flying with Small Children too? That may help with planning your trip. Good luck! https://kenarry.com/flying-with-small-children/
Great tips, Carrie! Looks like your readers really have some great information to share. We’re planning our big vacation for next summer so I’ll be pinning this to make sure I read before we go!
THese are some great tips! Thanks for sharing at The Weekend Retreat, Hope to see you back next week!
I miss our days in Orlando at the Disney Parks but the memories are priceless – thanks for sharing and linking up with us at the #WWDParty.
Thanks for sharing with us at the Let’s Get Real Friday Link Party. I’ve said it before that this a great article. I’m sharing it again on my social media.
Oh thank you, Nicky! I really appreciate your kind words and that you shared it across social media too. Thank you! Thank you!
Great tips! I have to admit, I did lose my cool at theme parks when I went with my young niece and nephew. It is stressful. Hopefully I would be able to keep calm and actually enjoy myself next time, now that I’m armed with your survival tips!
Thanks for linking up at Link’n Blogs Party this week 🙂
I hope the tips help, Michelle! Trying to navigate a busy theme park with little ones can be so stressful.
Great tips. My kids go to theme parks at least once a year and these are good tips to follow…even for some older kids. Especially taking a break half way through and brings some snacks for them. Thanks for sharing on Link’n blogs link up. Have a super weekend.
You’re absolutely right, Erlene! I think snacks are important to keep everyone’s spirits up during a long day at a theme park. Thanks for stopping by!