When my mom and sister told me that they wanted to spend the day at Downtown Disney during their Spring Break visit, my first thought was “Yes! I can show off my newly discovered favorites!” My next was “What the heck will we do with Harper?”
Harper is my adorable, perfect, curly-haired, 2-year-old niece. Since I don’t have kids of my own, I’ve never had to think about how to entertain a toddler during a Downtown Disney afternoon. Luckily, I didn’t have to work too hard to figure it out. Turns out, there is plenty to keep little ones entertained here.
Below, in no particular order, were a few of Harper’s favorites:
The Marketplace Train Ride – My mom tells stories about how much my sister and I loved train rides as kids; it must run in the family. Even though I was a little bigger than the other passengers, I was happy to oblige when Harper asked to ride with “Auntie.” (Tip: Adults riding with small children get to accompany them for free. Score!)
The Marketplace Carousel – Her smile says it all, but Harper loved picking out her favorite horse and climbing aboard. I loved watching her, taking photos and waving from the sidelines. She enjoyed it so much, she had to ride twice – the spinning teacup was just too enticing to pass up.
Browsing at World of Disney – Since she’s only 2, Harper is still too young for a makeover at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, but she’s the perfect age to find her favorite friend (this week it’s Minnie!) and pick out a new princess nightgown (she’s a huge “The Little Mermaid” fan at the moment). Lucky for her, I’m the perfect age to pay for everything.
Building Masterpieces at LEGO Imagination Center – This was, by far, the best 30 minutes of Harper’s day. I think she would have stayed and played all day if we let her. She has LEGO toys at home, but this was a treasure trove of unlimited bricks. I adore the look of intense concentration on her face!
Other highlights included a free chocolate sample at Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, getting a Mickey sticker from a nice Cast Member and watching the Characters in Flight balloon go up and down. The lesson? If you’re worried about bringing a small kid to Downtown Disney, don’t be. There are lots of fun to be had, no matter your age.
Do you have a favorite Disney vacation memory or tip on traveling with toddlers? Please share in the comments below. (Harper will be back this summer and I can use all the suggestions you’ve got!)
Want more from Downtown Disney? Follow us on Twitter at @WDWDowntown.