Who better than a mom who’s done it LOTS to share Disney World tips? Especially with three kids in tow!
The hockey gods were smiling on us when the Taylors became part of our hockey family. Since our sons have been playing together for a couple of years now, we’ve spent lots of time hanging out at rinks and away tournaments. And when your kids are playing competitve sports, you have to plan family events and vacations around practices and games.
Which is why the Taylor family of five including (then) 8-year-old Tyrone, 5-year-old Trillium, and 2-year-old Trinity took their most recent Disney trip on a rare hockey break during one of the busiest times at Disney World, between Christmas and New Year’s.
But Joanne can make hanging out an an arena for hours enjoyable for her girls while their brother’s working hard on the ice, so I knew their Disney trip would be awesome. Thankfully she agreed to share her Walt Disney World tips and tricks for visiting with three kids in tow–and one of those kids was (and is!) a very busy toddler!
10 Disney World Tips for Visiting with Three Kids
Get ready to sing along to the song “Hakuna Matata,” because if you’re travelling to Walt Disney World with three kids, it will soon be your anthem. Along with Pumbaa and Timon, here are 10 Walt Disney World tips and tricks for a Disney trip with three young kids:
Disney Tip #1:
In lieu of a magic carpet use a double stroller. Buy, borrow, or rent–this is on my list as a must for Disney World. Young ones can have a rest, old ones can stand on it to watch fireworks if you run out of arms or strength, plus it carries water bottles, extra clothes, and the all important Disney merch. Make sure you know how to fold it because if you’re using Disney transportation you will need to fold it up each time you ride.
Disney Tip #2:
Get ready to rock the gift shops and while you’re there, be sure to take lots of candid photographs and videos of the kids trying on the Disney hats and wowing at all the awesome toys. Once they see you’re not stressed about being in there, they’ll relax and get into the swing of having fun without buying.
When it is time to purchase, let them do it themselves (with your help if needed) and keep their money separate from your own and very importantly, from one another’s.
Disney Tip #3:
There are no magic potions for sale at Disney World to keep up with three kids level of energy (except a lot of caffeine) so be sure to take care of yourself by hydrating, applying sunscreen, and wearing comfortable shoes.
Disney Tip #4:
Unfortunately you can’t use Tinkerbell’s pixie dust to fly over long line-ups but that’s ok. Use the time to play some classic vintage games like “I Spy,” “Paper, Rock, Scissors” and the competitive, “Thumb War”, stretch out your back and legs, or start Hakuna Matata-ing loudly with the other parents in line.
Rides with three kids go smoothly due to the awesome Rider Switch and Fast Pass technology, however holding back the shortest from Expedition Everest, Space Mountain, and Avatar Flight of Passage can be a challenge. Don’t wait at the exit! Go on a different ride, to a nearby gift shop, or eat a yummy treat.
Disney Tip #5:
Download the Disney World App as it’s a tremendous help finding the closest washrooms. Synchronizing three bladders does not work so I was grateful to know which direction to charge through the crowds, whether to change diapers or toilet train.
Disney Tip #6:
Herding three kids is like herding cats so take advantage of the Disney World Magic Hours. Do one park per day instead of leaving the park to go back to the hotel, let the kids have downtime watching a show like the “Turtle Talk” interactive movie/show in Epcot, go on the Walt Disney World Railroad (a relaxing twenty minute full circle tour of Magic Kingdom) or perch them on a bench in a quiet corner. Kids are very resilient and recharge quickly.
Disney Tip #7:
Purchase the photo package so you get to be in all the pictures because there’s nothing worse than a bad selfie in an awesome location.
Don’t stress about trying to get all three kids to smile at the same time. Ultimately you’ll get the one perfect family picture so just relax and keep trying.
Disney Tip #8:
Feeding time is tricky with three tummies. The meal plan is great for having a healthy breakfast on the way to the park and snacking on yummy fruit, baked goods, popcorn, the Mickey pretzels, and special ice creams (Aloha Isle in the Magic Kingdom was my favourite) during the day.
For dinner, focus on having a good, well-balanced meal. Alternatively, pre-book the breakfast buffet at Magic Kingdom‘s Crystal Palace with Winnie-the-Pooh or have lunch at the Tusker House with Mickey Mouse in Animal Kingdom. The character visits and hugs are there to be treasured and buffets feed not only hungry husbands, but cater to each of the kid’s particular tastes.
Disney Tip #9:
Happiness doesn’t always happen at the same time with three kids. Tense moments will come and then they will go. So remember to wiggle, jiggle, jump and sing your new anthem, “Hakuna Matata.”
Disney Tip #10:
Being in Walt Disney World is your chance to share the fun with your kids and to experience the joy of being a child again.
So, be silly, have fun, and follow their lead for a change.
Joanne Taylor is a make-up artist, artist, and underwater photographer. (Ed. note: She is also a hockey mom extraordinaire!) Follow her blog at Underwater Photography for Kids.
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I love these tips! Taking kids to Disney early in their lives is a really fun time for them and for the parents. However, it’s a different beast than taking older kids.
These are great tips. I learned early on that you have to approach Disney a little bit differently when you have small kids. If you do it right, though, it’s a wonderful time.
We’re trying to put together a trip to Disney World in the future. This would be a great reference to read up on!
Wonderful tips! Taking the kids should be a fun experience, not a major chore.
I love sharing tips and old experience from past trips with my kid. Even more fun to take family to Disneyland.
Taking in these tips! Can’t wait to take my daughter when she’s a litttle older!
These are really awesome tips! Thank you so much for sharing all your tips!
These are some great tips for doing Disney with kids that save time and helps with patience. I am glad there are apps that help you navigate around the park better too!
We’ve got three kids, and navigating WDW was interesting. These tips are PERFECT! The strollers started to be the bane of my existence so we swapped out a baby carrier for shorter park trips. We also relied heavily on bribery when kids started getting cranky.
These are great tips! I can’t wait to go with my niece and nephews next year!