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…
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
– 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.
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
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
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 [email protected]
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.