Moms Panel Monday: Making the Most of Your Walt Disney World Vacation with Little Ones

Lisa Mendillo

by , Sr. Manager, Digital Integration

You have four days to enjoy all you can at the Walt Disney World Resort. You also have a 4-Day Ticket with a Park Hopper Option, and…you have little ones…all under the age of 10. Not sure you can make this happen and that even Elsa herself might let this go? Leave those worries behind because you absolutely can have a truly magical vacation, and Disney Parks Moms Panelist Missy, is here with tips that will surely help ease your planning woes.

First line of business, getting those troops up and ready for the day.

“Little kids are often early risers, so take advantage of that and arrive at the theme parks early for the lowest crowds of the day,” explains Missy. “If there are morning Extra Magic Hours available, that’s even better! I’d encourage you to arrive at least 30-45 minutes before opening to allow plenty of time for security, ticketing, and stroller rental if necessary.”

And if Magic Kingdom Park is on your list, Missy recommends heading to Fantasyland as soon as the park opens. “We can usually experience several of our kids’ favorite attractions with very little waiting, and then we begin using our scheduled FastPass+ selections later in the morning,” she added.

The morning is moving along nicely and attractions are being enjoyed, but it won’t be long before someone might yell, “I’m hungry!” Missy has great suggestions for dining too!

“After an early start on our day, we find we’re usually hungry around 11 AM. The great thing about that is we not only avoid the lunchtime crowds, but we have always had good luck at grabbing a table at Pinocchio Village Haus that overlooks “it’s a small world.” My little kids love waving to the guests on the boats below while they eat their lunch,” she said. “At Epcot, we love to let our children try different foods from each country. They love the baguettes (and pastries!) at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in France, the egg rolls in China, the baklava in Morocco, and the pretzels in Germany.”

And can you say Lunch Box Tarts at Woody’s Lunch Box? YUM!

“A Character Dining experience is also a must-do,” Missy explains. “Dining with beloved friends and enjoying some terrific food, including selections sure to please the pickiest of eaters, will be a memorable and amazing experience. Many children love to bring an autograph book to collect their favorite Characters’ signatures. Be sure to have your cameras ready!”

Dining is covered, and a few morning tips, but you still have four days to plan. Missy is here with some great suggestions for attractions that all can enjoy!

“It’s important to choose age appropriate attractions in that park you choose for the day! Be sure to take advantage of the FastPass+ service and make three selections at one park per day 30-60 days in advance. Some family attractions for which I suggest using the FastPass+ service are Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom, Na’vi River Journey and Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Frozen Ever After at Epcot, and Alien Swirling Saucers at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Once you’ve enjoyed your first three selections, you may use the My Disney Experience app or an in-park kiosk to make additional selections, one at a time, at any of the theme parks throughout the rest of the day!”

She also recommends enjoying a splashing great time at one of Disney’s water parks!
“Both Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park have special areas designed just for your little Mouseketeers, or experience Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon’s Miss Adventure Falls, a super fun water ride your whole family can enjoy together. Complimentary life vests are available for your little ones.
While enjoying your four days at the Most Magical Place on Earth, don’t forget to create some magic of your own.

“Enjoy free samples of sodas from around the world at Epcot’s Club Cool and see what you think of some of the unique flavors…you just might find a new favorite drink,” she adds. “My family loves searching for hidden Mickeys, shapes that look like Mickey’s head, hidden all around the Walt Disney World Resort. We get so excited when we find one, and find ourselves still looking for them even once we return home!

Missy’s Mom Tip: Partner with your kids on an exciting scavenger hunt to save the world with Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure at Epcot. You’re sure to find many surprises along the way!

For more great tips on planning a Disney vacation with little ones, be sure to visit for a personalized answer from one of our knowledgeable panelists.


  • Traveling with little ones is always so much fun. I have 14 nieces and nephews,9 under 10, so these tips are invaluable.
    They want to ride all the rides, try all the snacks and just explore the “kingdom”! These tips make everyone happy and the magic is there for an unforgettable Walt Disney World Resort vacation. Thanks for sharing Missy.

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