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Ideas For Disney With Two Youngsters • Kath Eats

Listed here are my suggestions for Disney with two children, ages 4 and 10, together with the place we stayed, Genie+, eating, journey day, strollers, and what to deliver to the parks. 

I do know there are many opinions on how to do Disney: “You have to go for 7 days!” “You have to take time to relaxation by the pool.” “You have to spend your cash this fashion or that!” 

This submit relies on our experiences on how WE did Disney. We needed to remain on Disney property, not need to drive a automobile, and get monetary savings on parks and meals with a shorter journey. Be happy to share recommendations on the way you deliberate your go to within the feedback : ) 

I used to be so overwhelmed by the considered going to Disney with two children that I averted planning the journey for a very long time. At one level I used to be going to take Mazen (simply the 2 of us), however I postponed the journey so lengthy that Birch was sufficiently old! 

I do know lots of you may have most likely taken your infants, 2-year-olds, and younger children, however I seemed round at moms altering diapers and with napping infants on their chests and was so glad we didn’t come when Birch was a child. I’d suggest age 4 and older!

My sister took her household the week earlier than us, and it was great to have the ability to ask her questions. So be at liberty to depart a remark to ask me a selected query that I don’t reply on this submit! 

What’s on this submit:

  1. Disney within the winter
  2. Our information e book
  3. Making a plan
  4. Transportation to the resort
  5. Our resort
  6. The parks
  7. Genie+
  8. Stroller suggestions
  9. What to pack
  10. Eating reservations
  11. Disney with two children ages 4 and 10
  12. Souvenirs

Ideas For Disney With Two Youngsters

Disney In The Winter

I completely can’t think about Disney World within the summertime. We went the primary week of February and had two days within the low 80s and we had been fairly scorching! I obtained sunburned on my shoulders, and we wanted hats and sun shades.

These of you who go in July and August: you’re very tolerant people.

Whereas we did have one colder day, I might a lot moderately add layers than be melting. I undoubtedly suggest going within the winter, spring, or fall for those who can! 

The Greatest Disney Information e book

My pal Emily really useful this information e book and I used to be hesitant to get it, however am glad I did. It was an incredible overview and helped clarify all of the terminology like Genie+ and restaurant suggestions. I favored having the ability to spotlight the precedence rides.

I skimmed the entire thing months earlier than our journey and earmarked pages I assumed I’d return to. Then I learn simply these pages on the parks a number of days earlier than. 

Plan your journey priorities 

Though I mentioned I might NOT be planning our journey upfront, a number of days earlier than we left, Thomas and I spent a Sunday morning mapping out our three days on the parks.

I made slightly spreadsheet that helped us with a unfastened plan of which rides Birch may like and which of them Mazen would wish to go on. Though I didn’t actually use this spreadsheet as soon as we had been there (I principally used the My Disney Expertise App) it was useful to get all of it in my head! 

Getting To Our Lodge: The Sunshine Flyer

We booked a bus known as The Sunshine Flyer to get us to and from our resort. This meant we didn’t need to deliver a automobile seat on the journey for Birch which was one much less factor to fret about. The price was $104 for us spherical journey which I assumed was fairly cheap. 

We flew into the Jet Blue terminal and had the toughest time discovering the appropriate place to get us to the older terminal B to get to the Sunshine Flyer. We had been all drained and we had 4 suitcases and spent about 20 minutes going up and down elevators and escalators to determine easy methods to get to terminal B. We ended up discovering the appropriate bus and it was FAR! Like miles away. 

As soon as we obtained to terminal B, we had one other exhausting time discovering the Sunshine Flyer space. After which we needed to wait about 20 minutes for the bus itself. 

All this to say, subsequent time I’d simply deliver a automobile seat and get an Uber! And you probably have older children who don’t want automobile seats, undoubtedly simply get an Uber or Lyft. 

As soon as on the bus, it was about half-hour to our resort. That they had classic cartoon motion pictures enjoying for the youngsters which was good. 

Our Lodge: The Swan Reserve

A part of the explanation I stored laying aside planning a Disney journey was price. I knew the resort alone would price a number of thousand {dollars} as a result of we undoubtedly needed to remain on Disney property for the early entry perk. Then I discovered all about journey rewards and I discovered the proper answer: the Swan and Dolphin accommodations! These are Marriott accommodations which can be on Disney property in order that they have perks like early park entry and bus service however you may e book them with factors!! 


The situation of the Swan and Dolphin accommodations was excellent. They’re “Epcot resorts” so they’re walkable to Epcot and a fast boat journey to Hollywood Studios. They’re additionally subsequent to the Boardwalk, in order that opened up some extra walkable eating places. We beloved the ice cream store on the Boardwalk! The one purpose I might say to not keep right here is if you’re ONLY going to do Magic Kingdom. I’d keep at a resort on the Monorail if that’s the case.

Our Suite

Whereas I had initially utilized for a Marriott Bonvoy card hoping to make use of these factors on this journey, we determined we actually needed to get a set. So I ended up reserving a set on the Swan Reserve with 192,000 Chase factors (that’s $2,400 for 4 nights). (Be taught extra about journey rewards right here!) 

Our suite was excellent for us!

We had an enormous eating desk, a fold-out couch in a single room for the boys, and a king mattress in one other room for us. The lavatory was very trendy and good with a rain bathe! 

The resort is new (2021) and all of the options had been good. We had a mini fridge, microwave, and three HUGE TVs. 

Facilities + Swimming pools

For the reason that Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve are all a part of the identical assortment, you should use any pool or amenity you need. We took 3 visits to the Dolphin Grotto Pool, which was simply throughout the road. It was heated (not scorching however lukewarm) and there have been 3 or 4 scorching tubs too. I beloved that they’d a number of in order that they didn’t get too crowded on the cooler days. 

Dinner at Cabana

We had our first dinner by the pool at Cabana. Our meals was fairly good. And the muddled Watermelon and Cucumber Spicy Marg was wonderful! 

Grounds Café

We obtained espresso and breakfast day by day at Grounds Café.

The meals was simply so-so, but it surely did its job. We additionally introduced cereal and bars from house. If we had identified there was a microwave we might have introduced oatmeal too!  

The in a single day oats was fairly good!

Transportation to the Parks

The resort has buses to all of the parks, however we solely took one to Magic Kingdom. It was a few 10-minute journey. 

We walked to Epcot! It took about 12 minutes.

We took a ship from the entrance of the Dolphin Lodge to Hollywood Studios. The boat journey was about 8 minutes. 

The Parks

We had 3 days to plan and ended up selecting Magic Kingdom first, Epcot second, and Hollywood third. I used to be glad we did this order as a result of they went from most to least intense and our power undoubtedly drained as time handed!

We wished we might have additionally finished Animal Kingdom, however we determined to prioritize location over bus journey. We additionally didn’t get to Disney Springs as a result of our flight time obtained pushed again by the airline and we needed to get Birch to mattress! That might have been nice for our first night time. 

I do know lots of people do an extended Disney journey and suggest planning down time for swimming pools. As a result of the accommodations and meals had been very costly, we selected a shorter journey and it was excellent. I’d moderately do a shorter journey each 2 years than an extended journey each 4. We had been fairly worn out after 3 days! 

Hyperlinks to our park weblog posts:

Our Favourite Rides

  • Mazen, age 10, beloved Rock ’n’ Curler Coaster, Smugglers, Guardians, Thunder Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Birch, age 4, beloved Nemo, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Small World, Individuals Mover, Alien Saucers
  • Kath, age 40, beloved Guardians, Rise of the Resistance, House Mountain, Frozen, Remy, Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Thomas, age 40, beloved Thunder Railroad, Remy, Guardians, Rock ’n’ Curler Coaster

Is Genie+ value it? 

YES. 1,000%. How a lot do you worth your time? Genie+ price us $180 over our 3 days and saved us hours and hours of ready in strains. I might by no means go to Disney with out it (except perhaps you’re a group of fifty excessive schoolers going collectively). 

The entire system wasn’t as scary as I assumed it will be. Whereas a number of the hottest rides did e book up (we didn’t get on Peter Pan or Slinky Canine Sprint), we obtained on 95% of every little thing we needed to go on with out ready greater than 10 minutes for any Genie+ line. 

Every day I used to be up by 6:30 a.m. and set an alarm on my telephone for six:45 so I wouldn’t neglect to do our Genie+ first reservation of the day. I bought Genie+ for 4 and at 7:00 a.m. booked our first journey.

I might select the most well-liked journey on your loved ones’s “cannot miss” checklist first after which select much less essential however high precedence rides as your first of the day for early entry.

As you undergo your day, hold taking place your priorities checklist from most to least essential, maintaining a tally of the occasions accessible. If one thing is getting near if you wish to depart the park and also you undoubtedly wish to go on it, e book it!

Our first journey and first reservation checklist:

  • Magic Kingdom: first rides of the day had been Little Mermaid, Barnstormer, Dumbo. First Genie+ was House Mountain. 
  • Epcot: first journey of the day was Remy. First Genie+ was Frozen (at 11:40!) 
  • Hollywood: first journey of the day was Alien Saucers. First Genie+ was Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway. Observe: I might do Slinky as your first Genie+ if you’d like that one! This was a mistake for us. 

The draw back to Genie+ is you’ll do extra strolling backwards and forwards throughout the park to get to your subsequent reservation, BUT this didn’t take so long as we thought. We solely needed to cross a park for a reservation time a couple of times. More often than not I might plan our route by means of the park primarily based on what was subsequent accessible. 

Unlocking your subsequent reservation

With Genie+ you may e book a journey each 2 hours OR for those who go on the journey you may have booked, it unlocks the subsequent one. For instance, Jungle Cruise was creeping in the direction of the 7:00 hour at 11:25 a.m. So I went forward and booked 2 of us on that for 7:15 p.m. which might find yourself being our final journey of the day. This held up two of our G+ slots for two hours, however then I used to be in a position to hold going. In the event you break up up, you’ll be capable of be extra versatile. This the place having children of various ages actually helped us! 

A whole lot of the time, when the 4 of us went on a journey I might make the subsequent reservation whereas in line. Typically I might do one thing subsequent door instantly and we’d stroll proper on. Typically I reserved one thing 2 hours out and we did one thing like lunch or a present till the time got here up. 

Cellphone App vs. Swipe Playing cards vs. Magic Bands

We began our day with the telephone app which was a bit wonky at occasions. The passes sit in your telephone’s pockets and generally they wouldn’t scan the appropriate particular person.

So midway by means of our first day I went to customer support and obtained us 4 scan playing cards. These are like bank cards you faucet on the lightning lane scanners. They labored nice! We every had a distinct Disney character so we knew who was who.

We determined to not pay for Magic Bands, however you probably have older children, that will most likely be the simplest factor to do. 

Particular person Lightning Lane (ILL)

They want a brand new title for this, however ILL is a paid service that’s mainly like utilizing a Genie+ lane for a journey that doesn’t settle for Genie+. The most important and finest rides supply ILL for buy. Sure it’s annoying to pay AGAIN, however these rides are value it! 

We purchased it for Guardians of the Galaxy and Rise of the Resistance as a result of we needed to go on each rides and didn’t wish to wait 2-3 hours in line! This price $45 for every journey ($14 x 3 folks) but it surely was undoubtedly value it. We walked proper onto the rides and so they had been the most effective of the journey. 

Rider Swap

There’s something known as Rider Swap the place they permit dad and mom ready with young children to go on the journey again to again. I assumed this might imply we’d solely have to attend within the line as soon as (the quick Genie+ line) and Birch would swap dad and mom on the loading dock. Nevertheless it actually simply signifies that if Mazen needed to journey as soon as with every father or mother he might. However we nonetheless needed to undergo the road twice. So rider change didn’t actually get us something. Typically we each went with Mazen and different occasions only one particular person did to avoid wasting time (principally at Magic Kingdom the place time was of the essence and reservations had been tougher to get). 

Ought to I deliver a stroller to Disney? 

Completely. I’ve heard in case your little one is beneath the age of 8 it’s a good suggestion. Even when Birch hadn’t needed to journey a lot, it was SO good to have our stroller for our jackets, snacks, water bottles, sanitizer, and so forth., and so forth. We had a lot stuff the stroller was extra for the stuff than the kid! However the little one used the stroller the entire time (we now have a baby who likes his stroller quite a bit). Convey your stroller with the most important storage beneath, particularly if you wish to purchase souvenirs. 

There’s a stroller parking zone outdoors of every journey, and dozens of strollers lined up. Be ready to depart it, and don’t put something in it you’d be unhappy if it obtained stolen. I wore my Lululemon fanny pack with a bank card, our Genie+ playing cards, sanitizer, and my sun shades throughout all of the rides. 

I’d additionally suggest a stroller marker like a colourful ribbon that can assist you spot it within the crowd. I had a brilliant purple water bottle that made our simple to identify. 

My sister rented a double stroller down there and was pleased with that, however we ended up bringing ours as a result of we might examine it on the airline without cost and saved cash having to lease it. I’m glad we introduced ours! 

Observe that a number of the transportation will make you fold your stroller down. This was annoying once we had 4 water bottles and plenty of small issues we needed to maintain on the bus/boat. However not too dangerous. Simply bear in mind. 

If there may be rain in your forecast, take into account a stroller cowl as a result of whilst you can duck right into a theater, your stroller has to take a seat outdoors and get soaked. Convey rain jackets or ponchos too!

What To Pack

Sanitizer and Clorox wipes

The Happiest or Germiest Place On Earth?! Individuals had been all over the place and I hated the rides you needed to contact a joystick or steering wheel considering of everybody who additionally touched it! We went by means of plenty of sanitizer and likewise used loads of to-go Clorox wipes to wash off on our telephones, water bottles, and stroller handles earlier than consuming. 


We packed a pouch filled with bars, toddler pouches, and crackers that principally Birch ate. Snacks are so costly, even for those who simply want one thing small!


Somebody advised me to pack lollipops and this was an incredible concept! A number of occasions Birch was getting grumpy about one thing or needed to wait whereas Mazen rode a journey, and a lollipop cheered him proper up! 

A change of garments for toddlers and layers 

You by no means know after they’re going to dump a drink down the entrance of their shirt….

And the eating places’ air-con was fairly chilly! 

Water bottles

In fact you’ll wish to deliver water. I can’t stand paying for bottled water due to the waste and value. Nevertheless, we discovered at Magic Kingdom there weren’t good locations to fill them, so we did find yourself shopping for some water. The water fountains tasted like steel. They want extra bottle fillers round just like the airports have! I solely noticed one close to Canada in Epcot. 

Additional charger

We introduced a transportable charger that was helpful at Magic Kingdom when my telephone began to die at 6 p.m. We didn’t want it the opposite days although. 

Eating Reservations

Eating reservations are a giant deal at Disney as a result of many of the service eating places require them. You can begin to e book eating places 60 days out. The day we had been eligible was the day Thomas and I had been up at 3:30 a.m. to fly to Anguilla, so I assumed we’d get our high selections for certain. Seems everybody should have stayed up til midnight as a result of those we needed had been already full at 3:30 a.m.! 

I used to be stressing out about eating till I consulted with Thomas who mentioned “We aren’t going to Disney for the meals.” He was proper and all of the strain was gone. 

We ended up altering ALL of our reservations whereas we had been there. As persons are on the bottom they all of a sudden let go of reservations they’ve held onto for weeks and issues open up. We switched our Epcot one thrice that day! 

Don’t sweat the reservations. We didn’t actually assume any of the meals was that nice, and the most effective meal we had was at Spice Street Desk at Morocco at Epcot and we obtained that resy 10 minutes earlier than we went in! 

Disney with children of various ages

Once we began to plan this journey I didn’t know if we must break up up 2 and a couple of for your complete day or if we might be capable of do most issues as a household. Seems that regardless of our youngsters’ six-year age hole, we did most issues as a household. Mazen went on nearly each journey that Birch did, and Birch was completely happy to sit back whereas he waited on Mazen or us to journey a number of the thrill rides. He didn’t appear to note he was ready (and the few occasions he did we discovered some nice leisure, just like the mist machine or a snack). 

Listed here are my suggestions for going with ages 4 and 10:

  • Alternate rides so that you’re doing a younger one and an older one each different journey. 
  • Guide your Genie+ 2 and a couple of so that you do 2 thrill rides and a couple of kiddie rides and the dad and mom swap. 
  • For thrill rides, have one father or mother go along with the older little one whereas the opposite waits with the stroller. Then change. Most rides took about 15-20 minutes to undergo begin to end with Guardians being about half-hour and the longest. 
  • Discover reveals for the toddler to observe whereas the older is on the joys rides. 


My sister and I every gave our nieces and nephews a $50 present card to Disney for Christmas. Thomas and I defined to the boys that they’d $50 to spend and to decide on correctly. When the present card was gone, that was the top of their present store experiences. 

Mazen ended up spending a bit extra by utilizing some more money he introduced in his pockets. And Birch obtained to go over throughout a few of his ready time. However at the very least they didn’t count on it and ask! Birch even mentioned to me at one level “I’m going to go on this store simply to look.” I believe they every ended up with about $100 value of issues. 

That’s a wrap!



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