Best Tips for All Disney World Parks with Kids under 5

These tips are for all parks and will talk about how to approach seeing things, height requirements, preparing kids for roller coasters, rider swaps, strollers, potty training, FastPass+ grace periods, and Minnie Vans.

You can’t see everything in one trip

Seeing and doing everything at Disney in one trip is impossible – especially with kids under 5. Focus on identifying three-five must do activities each day for you to be happy. This will help reduce the potential for a meltdown later in the day.

Wait times fluctuate during the day, and you may be surprised by how much some change. Keep your eye on the app while in the park.

What are the height requirements?

If your kid is 40 inches tall, they can ride almost everything. See the full list. There are a few exceptions:

  • Magic Kingdom
    • Space Mountain – 44 inches
  • Hollywood Studios
    • Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith – 48 inches
  • Animal Kingdom
    • Avatar Flight of Passage – 44 inches
    • Expedition Everest – 44 inches
    • Primeval Whirl – 48 inches

How to preparing kids for roller coasters

If you don’t know how your kid will react to roller coasters, watch YouTube videos ahead of time so they’ll know what to expect:

Use Rider Swap when you have a kid too short to ride

Disney does a “rider swap” so that if you have one kid that’s tall enough to ride and one that isn’t, you can sign up with a cast member to go through the standby line with one parent and the kid who’s tall enough, and then the parents can “swap” and ride with the kid later through the fast pass line.

Bring a Stroller

If your kid can’t walk the park the whole day, definitely bring a stroller. Honestly, just bring your own. It’ll be more comfortable for the kid than anything you can rent, and several days of renting will more than pay for a second hand stroller off a mom’s exchange group. Even if you park it in the same place all day until you need it, you’ll be glad you have one.

Stroller parking is everywhere, and you’ll have to park it outside before going into any attraction. Some stroller corrals have Disney cast members that move strollers around to maximize space as people come and go, so don’t worry if your stroller isn’t in the exact place you left it. I also wouldn’t be too worried about someone stealing from a parked stroller, but I’m sure it’s probably happened. Just don’t leave anything too valuable in there.

You will have to collapse your stroller to get on buses and some boats, so bring a backpack for all your stuff, and put the backpack in the stroller so that it’s easy to remove and collapse when needed.

Tip: Disney has limited the size of strollers allowed inside the parks – mainly impacting large double strollers, but check yours ahead of time.

Potty Training at Disney World

All of the toilets at Disney are what we call “flushy” toilets – you know, ones that flush loudly and aggressively.  Our recently potty trained toddler was scared to death of them, and flat out refused using them.  So… if your kid is like ours, bring some extra diapers in case of emergency.

FastPass+ time windows have grace periods

You have an hour window to use your fast pass, but there’s a grace period. I’ve never been turned away if I miss the window by a couple minutes – so don’t stress out about it!  I’ve even gone back several hours later and while the magic band didn’t scan, the cast member was able to verify that I had one and let me through.  In fairness, it wasn’t all that busy at the time.

The rest of this section a bit ethically questionable. I wasn’t originally trying to do it, but the same thing kept happening…

When I took my 4 year old daughter through a fast pass line (just the two of us), as long as my fast pass worked, they didn’t check hers. I assume it’s because kids under 3 don’t have park tickets or fast passes, and college aged cast members are bad at judging kid’s ages.  So… if you get fast passes for both you and the kid and they don’t check the kid’s fast pass, ride once on your fast pass, swap magic bands, and then ride again on the kid’s fast pass.  I doubt this will work for older kids though.

Swapping magic bands is technically not allowed, so your mileage may vary – you’re on your own!

Take a Minnie-Van to get somewhere on property fast

Minnie-themed vans are on property ride shares that have two car seats in each vehicle and can take you anywhere on property quickly. They also can be used to get to the Orlando International airport. Call them using the Lyft app.

Using any other ride sharing service is also possible, but they may not have car seats.

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