If you are bringing a child between the ages of 1 and 4 to Walt Disney World you may be curious as to how your days at the parks are going to pan out. Do you rush back to the resort to get those naps in or do you see if they’ll just happen naturally throughout the day. Both of those approaches may work for your family but let me tell you what worked for us: planned stroller naps. On our last two vacations we came with kids in tow. The first kid trip our daughter was 20 months old, just over a year and a half, and on our second kid trip she was just over 3 and our son was 15 months old. So both trips, naps were necessary. Especially because our daughter needed that afternoon nap. So we structured it into our day. After lunch we did a couple of rides and then scheduled naps.
This is where having a stroller is so important. A stroller with a large canopy is even better. The large canopy keeps the distractions to a minimum and can help your child zoned out. If you have a kid that goes to sleep very easily in the stroller then simply recline them and start to walk. Walk in areas that are not very busy and there’s not much to look at. In the Magic Kingdom we strolled through the Tomorrowland Terrace Restaurant. It’s shaded and quiet. Once the kids are asleep head somewhere cool during the warmer season to keep them from getting too sweaty. Walking through the Main Street U.S.A shops is perfect. This is where a one child stroller is great or a tandem stroller. Double sided strollers get a little crowded in those areas. If your child will stay asleep when the stroller stops then find a shaded spot and rest while they do. If you have a child who needs a little coaxing or is old enough to reason with state that it is time to close their eyes for a little nap before you continue on with their day. If they take a bottle before their nap then make sure to have one on hand. Also, be sure you do a bathroom break before you create nap time.
With so much fun and excitement for a day at Disney I sometimes need a nap and wish I could curl up in a stroller in the middle of the afternoon. So create that time for your kids. It will sideline the much anticipated meltdown. Even if they don’t fall asleep the quiet time will give them a rest from the overstimulation. If they can’t fall asleep and they need some quiet time just walk around the park with the canopy down. Or find a quiet space in the park and let them curl up on your lap for a little rest. We too often jam everything into a day at the park, whether you’re going for the first time, only time or 15th time. I find it more enjoyable to do a few things well and have everyone relaxed and enjoying themselves then to have done everything and everyone have had a miserable day.
This has worked for us and maybe it will work for you. If it doesn’t don’t fret it, move forward with your magic Disney day. Happy planning.