Planning a first trip to Walt Disney World can feel overwhelming. But planning a Disney World trip with twins? That can feel like an impossible task!
Considering a Disney trip with twins? Read on for my tips for everything from planning to prep and how to manage twins at the Disney parks!
Guest post by Emily from at Journey of Parenthood.
Taking Twins to Disney: Plan, Plan, Plan
Twins, singletons, small family, huge family…no matter what combination of people you’re taking with you to Disney – planning is CRUCIAL.
Twins, however, bring their own set of challenges and things to consider when planning a Disney World trip.
First, you want to be mindful of what age your twin children will be when visiting the parks. Be sure to read this post regarding the perfect age for the first visit to Disney!
Visiting Disney with twin toddlers will look much different than having infants at Disney World. It may seem like taking twins to Disney as old as possible would be the obvious way to go – why deal with the stresses of facing Disney World with 2-year-old twins when you can hold off until they are 10-year-old kids instead and can be much easier to manage?
While there are advantages for taking older children to Disney World Resort, you also risk waiting too long and missing the “age of magic.” The age where they look at everything in awe and with wonder in their eyes. When they believe it all. Soak it all in. Truly light up at the characters, the fireworks, the treats, the fun.
In my opinion, all the tougher elements of Disney are worth it into order to experience those magical moments that can only happen when a child is under the age of seven or eight. It’s a sweet spot time where you’ll best be able to make special memories for them, but also for you as the parent!
Once you decide on an age to visit the theme parks, you then want to decide on WHEN to visit. Many times of the year are busier than others but if you need to go when kids aren’t in school then I highly recommend visiting over Spring Break (you can read my reasons why here).
Of course, the ideal time to visit Disney is when kids ARE in school. Mid-week during school year times of the year is always the least crowded times to visit all of the Disney World parks including Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot.
When planning for the specific parks keep in mind the age of your children when traveling and their personal interests. Lines with twins at a crowded place like Disney will be difficult so minimizing time spent waiting in line is crucial.
Booking character dining will allow your family to meet your children’s favorite Disney characters without having to wait in a single line! The kids stay busy eating and enjoying their meals while characters visit each table and take time with your children visiting, signing autographs, and taking photos. These meals are especially great for meeting characters for the first time as there is no long line of people waiting behind you making you feel rushed!
Disney World Resorts offer MANY character dining options and you can see them all on the Disney website here.
It is important to note that reservations open for dining 180 days prior to travel and that character meals book quickly (especially the princess ones!) so be sure to plan ahead and book your desired character meals well in advance to secure your experience! If you are staying at one of the Disney property hotels you may also want to take advantage of the dining plan as it can be cost effective if eating at several character meals during your stay.
Tackling Disney With Twins: Pack, Pack, Pack
So much of a successful vacation at Disney World comes from packing, twins or otherwise! But especially with twins, packing is very critical for how smoothly your trip will flow.
Orlando, Florida is known for it’s crazy, unpredictable weather. Layers are always best for clothing choices and rain gear is a must-have as well. It’s always wise to assume that it WILL rain.
And what is the point of having twins visit Disney if you don’t have them wear super cute coordinating or matching outfits, right? TONS of stores offer a variety of Disney themed merchandise in all price ranges. Comfort comes first, cuteness comes second!
You can pack each outfit in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, labeled with the date. This way you don’t have to search for their outfits every morning, and there will be no fighting over who gets to wear what color.
Even if your children are old enough to not need a stroller on a regular basis at home, bring one anyway. Obviously, with twins, you will want a solid double stroller that will allow for them to climb in and out easily as well as will recline for those epic exhausted Disney naps.
Two of my children are 7 years old and 10 years old and they still ask if they can ride in the stroller. They are jealous of the 15-month-old who gets to always ride with style and relax the whole time 😉
Make sure to label your stroller with your name, and put something on it to make it stand out in the crowd so you can easily find it. I always tie a colorful scarf to our stroller.
Even if your twins are still young enough to ride in a stroller with ease, you still want to bring comfortable shoes for them. They will have moments of wanting to get out and cruise around and most lines for attractions and character experiences require the stroller to be parked.
Knowing this, I also advise to bring along other methods for keeping your twins close to you. If they are young enough to be worn in an infant or baby carrier, bring them. I typically am very against toddler leashes…but when it comes to the craziness at Disney World with twins in tow? It’s worth having them safely attached to you rather than risk losing one of them in the crowd or having one go rogue and running off.
Rather than packing a diaper bag for the parks, I always bring a solid book bag. I actually like to have several book bags. One for rain gear, another for snacks and diaper changing items, and another for valuables. We will usually leave the rain gear book bag at the stroller when riding rides and just make sure we take the valuables backpack as well as any snacks etc that we may need with us through the line.
Speaking of snacks, they are your friend for long lines. If your twins are old enough to enjoy having a small bookbag of your own, I’d highly recommend it. Fill a bag with snacks, small toys, drawing items, and other simple ways for them to be entertained. My four year old loves having her own bookbag at the parks and she stays perfectly content in long wait times with her bag of goodies, treats, and toys!
Surviving Disney World With Twins: Parks, Parks, Parks
You plan the perfect trip. You pack all the perfect items. Then the day comes: DISNEY VACATION DAY!
Navigating the parks with twins will not be as difficult as you may imagine. With the planning you have done and the items you’ve packed, you won’t be nearly as frazzled as the unprepared twin moms you may see throughout the theme parks 😉
Naptime is your friend. Even if your twins are old enough where they don’t need naps – trust me, they will rest if not fall asleep! Disney is exhausting in a totally beautiful magical way and even Mom and Dad will appreciate a mid-day break.
Start your first day at the parks off as early as possible. Being early to the theme parks helps avoid heat, rain, and crowds. Even the most popular attractions will have little to no wait times if you arrive at (or before!) park opening for the day.
Take a break at lunchtime to go back to your resort hotel room or rental home for a rest. You may then want to take the rest of the day off and just enjoy the pool or use that evening time for one of your character meals. Or you may want to go back to the parks to enjoy what the night has to offer – especially if your children enjoy firework night shows!
By taking breaks and having some off-time from the times at Disney you’re better able to fully enjoy your trip and allow your children to also be their best-selves and feel well-rested during your stay.
Disney World with twins will also mean being mindful of ride seating options at the parks. If you’re traveling with your twins and at least two adults then you don’t have to be worried about how everyone will sit on every ride. But if you have twins and are traveling to Disney solo OR have more children than adults in your party then this is something that is of importance in deciding what attractions to ride.
Many rides at Disney allow for several people to sit together. Largely sized attractions have long bench style seating (like Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s A Small World). Some attractions have a smaller seat option and are best suited for two people but may be able to cram in three (such as Dumbo).
Disney has a strict policy when it comes to children sitting alone in a seat on an attraction. The child must be over the age of 7 to sit unaccompanied otherwise they must have someone age 14 or older to sit with them.
At first thought, this isn’t a big concern. But if you have twins who are 4 years old and an older child who is 6 and only two parents traveling…this could become an issue on certain attractions (Buzz being one of them…I tried to ride Buzz as the only adult with three children under the age of 7 and I was turned away from riding because we couldn’t all fit in one row and they wouldn’t allow the 6-year-old to ride solo).
Knowing the ages of the members in your party, be thoughtful and mindful of the attractions you choose to ride. Knowing in advance which rides have height restrictions as well as which ones have limits for the number of passengers will help avoid disappointments and meltdowns while at the park.