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Thursday, October 13, 2016

BFBN Guest Post: Tips for Theme Parks with a Toddler

Mama's Organized Chaos: A Babywise Blog
Today is blog swap day at Babywise Friendly Blog Network! I am posting a book review of The Wonder Weeks over at Team Cartwright! Guest posting for us is Carrie Wiley! She's got some amazing tips for going to theme parks with a toddler!


Tips for Theme Parks with a Toddler

Some families choose to wait to travel to theme parks until their children are older. We are not one of those families! There are solid reasons for waiting until they are older, but for our family the hustle and bustle is so worth it for the memories with have with our kids.

That being said, the toddler years can be difficult enough to navigate on their own without throwing a big trip or theme park into the mix. I have taken toddlers to theme parks several times and have learned some things along the way…

Plan


You need to formulate a good plan for your trip. Planning ahead could save you countless meltdowns and frustrating moments on your trip.

Most theme parks have websites with park maps available to browse. Look at those sites and maps to find the following things:

 - Baby Care Centers or Nursing Mother’s Rooms(At Disney parks, there are BCC located inside every park)

 - Restrooms

 - If outside food is allowed in the park

 - Park Hours

 - Height Limits

Working with a travel agent is a great idea to help you make a good plan. It is always beneficial to have the help of someone with training and experience. A travel agent should always be free help for you. This doesn’t even mean the price is jacked up to pay commissions since most agents get paid through vendors. It should cost you no more than if you booked the trip yourself. For more benefits of working with a travel agent, you can read this post to learn more.

Know

You need to know your toddler well and keep that in mind when planning your trip.

For example, one of my children was TERRIFIED of character interactions… bloody-murder-screaming, the whole nine yards. But we knew that ahead of time and had planned that one of us would just stay back with him and not approach the characters. We wouldn’t push it with him unless he initiated. Having a relaxed approach let him relax and know we weren’t going to push him with it.

Another thing to consider is how well your toddler handles skipping naps or if he or she will nap in a stroller. If it is just a one-day trip you are taking, you could probably push the nap for the day. But for a multi-day trip you need to think through whether it would be beneficial to go back to the hotel for afternoon naps. We do this most of time and always feel like it is worth it.


Prepare

Prepare well for your trip by thinking through what you will need to have with you on your trip.

- Stroller or Carrier: Think through navigating an airport with a stroller (when applicable) or getting on/off onsite transportation. Think through how well your toddler handles crowds, etc. My personal preference is to bring a stroller and my Ergo. I have been able to baby wear on my baby for even my bigger toddlers and it has been beneficial to have options.

- Bag: What bag are you going to carry? I recommend a backpack as it is easiest to fit diapers, snacks, change of clothes, etc.. in. Most parks have lockers where you can store the bag if it gets too bulky.

- Snacks: I always travel with snacks in my bag. Fruit snacks, granola bars, and goldfish are my go-to, but you bring your faves. Snacks are lifesaver and can help pass the time in lines or hold you over until you get to your next meal.

- Activities for long lines: Having a few activities on-hand can be helpful for the long line waits at theme parks. I like to have a couple small books to read, a favorite truck or car or other small toy. You might even consider a tablet or phone.


Vacations and Theme Parks are SO much fun and I absolutely think it is possible and fun to bring your toddlers! The memories you make are totally worth it!! If you need help planning a trip or would even like more travel and theme parks tips, please visit www.travelbysisters.com or email me directly at carrie.wiley@keytotheworldtravel.com .

Carrie is married to Kyle and mother to Laura Kate (8), Shepherd (5), Fischer (4), and Archer (20 months). She loves her job as a travel agent and loves blogging about the adventures of her family at www.wileyadventures.com.


Hey guys! I'm Katrina (aka Mama)! I love country music, snuggling on the couch with our dog, and playing with our daughter. I am a fibro warrior, a former chemistry teacher, I love watching college football (go aggies!), and I love being a SAHM. Connect with me on Facebook for more adventures!