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Disney etc (Florida)


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My little one has just turned 4 and, though we go to Florida every year to see the folks, this is the first time we've considered "doing the parks", as I've not seen the point while she has been so young.

We've just booked to go to USA again in June and I'm just looking for tips really on whether it's still too soon and if not, what we should be aiming to do with a 4 1/2 year old.

Which parks?

How long for?






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We took my boy at 5 (and went back when he was 10).  I think 5 was perfect, he loved all the magic, loved meeting the characters and was old enough to go on a lot of the rides.  We did 3 weeks and did a park every day.

I could literally spend all night typing tips for you but my first two would be go on The Dibb (literally a forum for people who go to Disney all the time - full of tips) and second, either take a cheap buggy or hire one when you are there - even if your little one doesn't use one at home.  There is a lot of walking and it is hot so the buggy is a godsend, also good for helping with the bags.

We did all the parks - I think there were 10 then - and would recommend them all.  Can I just ask, how confident a swimmer is your girl?

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Just to echo @Bridgford Ram a cheap "throwaway" buggy will be your best ever investment. 

Tips..again, there are millions... but I would say my top 5 would be...

take at least 3 weeks.

Have "days off" from the parks...make sure you have access to a pool on these days 

plan every day....and don't be put off by the weather....it's hot and it rains a lot..get used to it  

go to the beach....drive down to Clearwater and st Pete for a couple of days (pop in and I will buy you a beer)

and finally....

dont skimp on anything, bring lots of money and be prepared to spend it like a lottery winner..!



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Everyone does it differently as well @Wolfie

We always use the Waterparks (Typhoon Lagoon, Blizzard Beach, Wet & Wild & Aquatica) as our rest days, and I also believe that Universal have now opened a Water Park.  Our view has always been that we can rest when we get home.  Also we have never been to the beach - thinking that we can do that the year after in Greece.  That said @MuespachRam tips to take breaks and go to the beach are good ones, you just need to do what suits you.

Other tips would be;

  • Get to the parks as early as you can - you will do so much more in the 'quieter' time before everyone shows up.
  • Look at guides that tell you park quiet days - some parks are a lot busier on certain days - waterparks at Weekends, other parks when they have Disney early opening or Fireworks.  Plan which park you go to based on this information.
  • Read books - The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World 2017 - is the best I have used.
  • I plan the first couple of things we do in a park each day.  Going to a major attraction like Toy Story Mania first (popular with slow loading times) can be the difference between a 30 min wait or a 3 hour wait.
  • Make sure your little girl is used to 3d - my boy wasn't and when he saw it first day it put him off for the other 3d stuff for the first half of the holiday.
  • Use Baby hand off - they let adults queue up to ride the attractions the little ones won't ride.  One rides while the other looks after the little one, then the other parent can ride without queuing again.
  • Use Fastpass to the full - this is where you book a time to ride a certain attraction.  Book the busier attractions for times in the afternoon (when everything is busy anyway).  We have always stayed on Disney property so I am not sure if Fastpass works slightly differently  for people who don't.
  • Use photopass - this is a paid for service in Disney Parks where photographers around the park will take lovely photos of you (also the ride photos are included) you then get these on a CD.
  • For the non-Disney parks pay extra for front off line type passes - the cost all adds up but it means you get to do everything without lots of queues.
  • Try and get Disney Dining Plan with any booking - We had this last time and reckoned we saved £1k on food (The first 11 days of our trip were in Disney x3 people.).
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