Disney has an incredible amount of engaging experiences for kids that will leave them with lasting memories for years to come. However, a trip to the Disney parks with little ones may present some specific challenges and concerns, and we are here to help you overcome these.

Our tips will help you keep your family well-rested, safe, happy, and ready to make the most of your Disney trip. Keep reading for our top 5 helpful tips for visiting Disney Parks with kids!

1) Be sure to check height restrictions before your trip. If you promised your child they could go on a certain ride and they are not tall enough, it can be difficult to handle the disappointment that will follow. Make sure to check height requirements ahead of time for rides of interest, and don’t try to get around them—they exist to keep riders safe!

For parents who still want to ride a certain attraction but their child is not tall enough, Rider Switch is available, which allows caregivers to switch off supervision duties so that they can both ride without needing to wait in line twice. See our guide to Disneyland Height Requirements and Rider Switch for more details on what you need to know!

2) On a similar note, try not to promise kids they will be able to see a certain character. Especially if your child is looking forward to seeing their favorite character, it can be very disappointing for them if they do not appear at the parks that day. It is difficult to anticipate which characters will and won’t be appearing at the parks on any given day, so it’s best not to make any specific promises.

However, you can take some time to research characters who commonly appear for meet-and-greets and see where they will most likely be found. See our ultimate guide to character meet-and-greets at Disneyland and character meet-and-greets at Disney World for more details!

3) If you’re looking for a way for your kids to have guaranteed quality time with characters, consider a Character Dining experience, which allows you to enjoy a fun meal with Disney characters as they move from table to table, interact with guests, sign autographs, and pose for photos. There are a few Disneyland Character Dining options offered and a wide variety of options for Character Dining at Disney World, with different themes, characters, and foods.

If you choose to book a Character Dining experience, you’ll also be able to avoid the longer lines that can form at character meet-and-greets in the parks. Your child can further lean into the fun by dressing up as their favorite Disney character, which will make for some fun photos!

4) Establish an emergency meeting point in case your child gets lost. Make sure this spot is within the gates of the park and very specific and memorable to your child, then walk them here at the beginning of the day so that they know exactly where to go if they get separated from you.

Also, introduce your kids to a Cast Member and show them their name tag so they know to go to a Disney employee if they get lost. If you get split up, your child will know to find a Cast Member for help and head to the emergency meeting spot you decided on earlier. See our guide to Disneyland lost children for tips to avoid losing kids at Disney.

5) Lastly, don’t be afraid to take a break in the middle of the day to recharge. It can be difficult to get to everything you planned if your kids are worn out and tired, and you want to make sure that they are well-rested enough to truly enjoy their time at the parks. Action-packed days at Disney can be long and exhausting for anyone, but even more so for kids. While it is tempting to power through, Disney pros know that taking a break is something you should never skip.

The journey back to the hotel for a quick nap is worth it to avoid meltdowns and let your child get the rest they need. Taking a break will pay off when your child can return to the parks refreshed and ready to enjoy the rest of the day! We dive into this in the best hotels for kids at Disney World and the best hotels within walking distance at Disneyland.

Bonus tip! Consider giving your child a Disney gift card that is for the amount that they can spend on souvenirs. It regulates the amount that they can spend and teaches a great lesson about budgeting.

Make sure to follow these tips to enjoy the best time at Disney with your kids. For more helpful tips on visiting Disney with kids, see our guide to kids at Disneyland and visiting Disneyland with babies.

At Mickey Visit, we share the most important tips for planning your trips to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Universal, and beyond. Each week, we’ll share some of our top tips here on Laughing Place.

Laughing Place recommends MouseFanTravel.com for all your Disneyland Resort travel planning
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Gavin Doyle
Gavin Doyle is the founder of MickeyVisit.com and the best-selling author of “Disneyland Secrets”. Mickey Visit has been featured by Travel+Leisure, ABC, the LA Times, OC Register, Forbes, and more and reaches millions of readers planning Disney vacations each month. Over 100K subscribers receive their free email planning newsletter.