Disney in One Day (with a Toddler)

Hi! I’m Alexis, and I’m back for another round here at Crafty Wife! This time I’m sharing how we did Disney in one day (with a toddler)!


Recently, we were in Orlando for a wedding and we had only one day to spare, so of course we decided to go to Disney! My toddler had never been and he was about to turn three, so it was necessary. There was a lot of research, planning, and organizing involved, and I think it really paid off!


Just to give you an idea of what you can fit in one day, here’s what we did (we got there about a half hour before the park opened at left at around 6pm… it was also a Monday, but it still got ridiculously packed):

  • Rides: Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (fast pass), Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (fast pass), It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean (fast pass).


  • Characters we hugged: Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet, Mickey at Town Square Theater (fast pass), Buzz, Woody (during the Move it! Shake it! parade).


  • Shows/Parades: Magic Kingdom Welcome Show, Move it! Shake it! Celebrate it! Street Party (this is awesome because you can dance with the characters in the street!), Dream Along with Mickey (must see!!), Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial


Here are some things I highly recommend for maximizing your fun at the most wonderful place in the world:

  1. Get there early. The opening show is super cute and you’ll avoid some of the huge lines.
  2. Eat a good breakfast. We ate at the Crystal Palace which was a great place for my toddler to load up on lots of good food and meet all of the Winnie the Pooh characters!
  3. Do your homework. Plan as much as you can, but also plan to play many things by ear. You should have a general idea of the things you’d like to see and do (identify your priorities because you’ll never do everything in one day). Definitely download the My Disney Experience app and get your first three fast passes beforehand. You can change out your fast passes when you’re there based on current wait times, but do that early on. The wait times feature is also great for planning out your ride agenda throughout the day.
  4. Cater to your child. Within reason, of course. This trip was mostly for my son so when he wanted to stop and watch the fishies in the water, we let him. Although you really want to stick to your plan, it’s important to be extremely laid back and flexible when doing Disney with a toddler.
  5. Shop at Downtown Disney. (or online). If you’re on a time crunch, you really don’t want to spend too much time browsing the stores if you can be riding rides or meeting characters or watching shows! Downtown Disney has a HUGE store with a ton of souvenirs from just about all of the Disney characters. We went there the night before to shop and eat. (T-Rex cafe is highly recommended!!)


Things to bring:

  • Stroller. You can’t get into the lines with your stroller, but there is plenty of stroller parking all over. I’d recommend bringing your own stroller rather than renting one. Your child would probably be more comfortable and it won’t cost you a thing!
  • Lots of snacks and water. We brought a small cooler that fit under the stroller with some water bottles and a few snacks, and we chowed right through those! It was early August when we went so even with that cooler, we were buying water right and left! Before the park opened, we bought a little snack pack for Diego–this was super cute and very useful. It had Mickey “fishies” (they were like goldfish crackers), Mickey Pretzels, and Mickey gummies. Toddler entertainment–check! Constantly full toddler belly–check!


  • Fans. Unless you are in Orlando when there’s a cold front, you’ll definitely need something to keep you cool. We actually received wicker fans at the wedding we attended and these were AMAZING! Those were some seriously heavy duty fans and everyone was super jealous of us!
  • Toddler essentials. For my son, we brought a change of clothes, wipes, sunscreen, extra pull ups (he was potty trained, but we had him in a pull up the entire time just in case and luckily he didn’t even use it! We were pretty shocked that he did so well)!


One more thing I’d recommend if it’s your child’s first time seeing a huge character is to show him or her a video of the characters. A few days before we went, I searched YouTube for the Mickey character so that Diego wouldn’t be too shocked (the characters obviously don’t look like they do on TV).  I’m not sure if that’s what did it or not, but Diego was ecstatic every time we saw a character!


We did every single thing that was high on our priority list and it was amazing! I couldn’t believe that we pulled it off but we did!



  1. Looks like you had fun. Our first family trip to Disney was when my daughter was a little over 2 years old and my son was still in a carrier. You are right, it’s a good idea to plan but to be flexible too.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Erica! I think being flexible is the best way to do Disney too (and we don’t have kids yet! haha).

  2. Great tips! We had to learn the stroller thing the hard way but needless to say we have one for all future trips now and it wasn’t even just for our toddler…my 6 and 7 year old took a few rides too…LOL Thanks so much for sharing such great tips!

    1. Thank you for stopping by Tiffany! 🙂 I never think the strollers Disney provides look comfortable, but people use them all the time! The one thing I’ve heard is to buy a cheap stroller for Disney and to never bring your nice one. I’ve read a few people have had theirs stollen when on a ride. Such a bummer that people would do that! Are you already planning your next trip? I know how much you enjoyed your first one!

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