Disney with Your Preschooler-Insider Tips for a Magical Day

These are the top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with your preschooler!

Disney is perfect for preschoolers!  The colorful parades, yummy treats, everything in Fantasyland and the familiar Disney Junior characters around the park are ideal for preschoolers. On the flip side there is also the possibility of waiting in long lines, new experiences that could make preschoolers nervous, loud noises and strange food that might sour the perfect Disney day. I’ve traveled to both Walt Disney World and Disneyland with my preschooler and it’s always been a fun and exciting adventure! I’ll share my tips on how to make the most of your day.

Here are my top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with Your preschooler!

These are the top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with your preschooler!

Skip School

Pull your kid out of preschool for the day and plan your Disneyland vacation on a weekday. Ideally you should visit when most elementary-aged kids are in school with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday being the best. Avoiding weekends, summer and school holidays will help minimize crowds as well. 

Pack a Preschool Bag

Be sure to take in everything your preschooler will need for the day. My 4-year old likes to wear his own little backpack, filled with necessities. I toss in an extra pair of clothes, a few snacks, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. If you are staying into the night, grab a few glow in the dark treats (like bracelets or wands) from the dollar store pre-trip for your preschooler to wear. Easier to spot them in the dark and they love the glow, of course!

These are the top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with your preschooler!

Measure Up

Before your visit, measure your preschooler while they’re wearing the shoes they’ll wear on the trip. From here, check their height against the online height restrictions for each ride. Don’t promise a ride on Splash Mountain until you can be sure that your preschooler is tall enough to ride! Here is a list of the Disneyland height requirements.

Follow Their schedule

Is your preschooler accustomed to waking, eating and sleeping at a particular time? You might want to consider sticking to the same schedule, especially if your child is sensitive to change or if pushing back meals and bedtimes make them moody. If you really want them to stay up later for the vacation, plan ahead and start extending their bedtime by 15 minutes every night for the week leading up to the trip.

These are the top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with your preschooler!

Nervous about riding.

Know What they Like (and What They Don’t Like)

Preschoolers are notoriously opinionated (at least mine are!) Ask them ahead of the trip what rides and shows are “must see” and make sure at the very least, that those things happen. Only you know your child’s likes and dislikes. If you know that your kid is terrified of characters, don’t force them to hug one. Same goes for forcing your preschooler onto a ride that they are afraid of. Your preschooler is going to have a rough day if they feel pressured. Check out this post with tips on what to do with nervous kids.

These are the top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with your preschooler!

Preschool Dining is Easy

Jambalaya? Monte Cristo sandwich? Your preschooler may turn up their nose at such nontraditional fare. But even the pickiest preschooler can find great bites at Disney. Most restaurants offer a kids meal with childhood favorites like pizza, corn dogs, chicken nuggets and fries. Look for the Mickey Check Meals for healthier options that include veggies and fruit. Does your preschooler love characters? A character dining experience, like Breakfast with Minnie & Friends at the Plaza Inn can be a memorable way to capture photos and collect signatures.

These are the top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with your preschooler!

Strollers are Still a Good Idea

Even if your preschooler hasn’t ridden in a stroller in years, the miles of walking and the hours of standing in lines will take a toll. Achy feet and tired bodies add up to cranky kids so consider bringing a stroller. Even a small umbrella type is better than nothing. You especially don’t want to be carrying an exhausted preschooler out of the park at the end of the night! Your preschooler might even surprise you and take a mid-day nap.

These are the top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with your preschooler!

Let Them Burn Off Steam

Preschoolers need to MOVE! Find play areas that will allow them freedom to run around a bit. Allow about an hour in your schedule for them to play freely. This might mean taking your preschooler back to the hotel pool for a swim. After some free play, your preschooler will hopefully have more patience for standing in lines.

These are the top tips on how to have a memorable day at Disney with your preschooler!

Follow Their Lead

It can be hard to follow a touring plan with preschoolers so don’t be afraid to ditch the schedule and let your preschooler take the lead. They want to ride Toy Story Midway Mania three times in a row? Go for it! They are enamored with Minnie Mouse? Get back in line for the meet n’ greet and let your preschooler say hello again. When you follow your preschooler’s lead, sometimes some really magical things happen!

Traveling with a baby, toddler or tweens? Be sure to check out these posts as well.

 Babies-PIN  Disneyland with a Toddler - Top 14 Tips for a Happy Day at the Happiest Place on Earth!  PIN-Tweens and Toddlers at Disney

What tips do you have for taking preschoolers to Disney?


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I recommend Park Savers for discount Disney tickets that you can purchase in advance (affiliate link)

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party 2016!

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

#DisneyKids Preschool Playdate

Who doesn’t love a celebration? And all preschoolers love to party! Mix preschoolers with Disney and other great sponsors and it’s a guaranteed great time! We had such a wonderful time at our DisneySide multi-generation@ HomeCelebration last year, I was excited to host again this year. Being nearly 38 weeks pregnant put a bit of a spin on how elaborate I could get but fortunately Disney supplied me with a great kit of goodies.

I received free products in order to host the DisneyKids Preschool Playdate. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

Opening the Box!

Here are two videos of my son opening the boxes. Yes, he is truly this enthusiastic about everything in life (but especially Disney!) And wow, he says, “Oh my gosh!” a lot!

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

The box arrived and inside was an American Tourister suitcase with my kid’s favorite new princess, Sophia the First! This suitcase is perfectly sized for preschoolers and it was stuffed full of treats to share with our guests.

What’s Inside a #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party Box?

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

#DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party Day!

The enclosed party supplies helped set the stage for the preschoolers at our local park. It was a beautiful day and the kids were able to play together, enjoy a snack and do a craft.


Being from SoCal, we are only 90 minutes from the Disneyland Resort. Several of my party guests were discussing upcoming Disneyland vacations and I was able to share with them how much fun my son had on our Walt Disney World vacation last year when he was three years old. Though it was a more elaborate cross-country vacation, it was a trip that he still talks about near-daily!

I highly encouraged my guests to consider a Walt Disney World vacation next time they were planning for Disney and not to be discouraged by the younger ages of their children. As the maps included in our party kit showed, there are plenty of things at the Walt Disney World Resort to be enjoyed by preschoolers!

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

Since this was a DisneyKids “playdate” and not a full-blown party, I kept the snacks and games light and really let the kids engage and play together!

I made party popcorn to fill inside of the included Glad food bags. These high-quality bags feature favorite Disney characters (ours had Cars designs). I simply purchased pre-popped popcorn and spread it out onto cookie sheets. Candy melts in chocolate and vanilla drizzled on the popcorn, then decorated with red and yellow sprinkles make this popcorn perfect! After the candy had hardened I simply scooped a serving into the Glad food bags for each guest. Check out #MagicofGlad via social media to see how other party hosts stuffed their Glad food bags!

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

Our packet came with lots of fun activities for preschoolers including bingo but my group was on the younger side and getting little ones to leave the playground was too much to ask! Some of our preschool guests had younger siblings that attended so I was able to take some of the party games and use them in other ways that fit my group.

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

Our #DisneyKids Definitely Loved to Create!

After the kids had run around together on the playground and stopped for a snack, they were ready for crafting time. Tulip’s Puffy Paint and Aleene’s Tacky Glue was included with paper sacks and some characters to cut out.

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!  Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

My guests used the glittery #puffypaint and glue to #gluestufftostuff all over their bags. We love to #createincolor and have preschool art time every day, so this was an opportunity for my little guests to have fun and get a little messy!

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!  Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

Follow #ILovetoCreate online for other great preschool craft ideas.


And well, it’s not a party unless I have cupcakes. I decorated them to match the Mickey theme in classic red, black and yellow sprinkles, which as you can see were a big hit with our preschoolers!


#DisneyKids Goodie Bags

Our #DisneyKids box also included DisneyJunior bags that I filled with a poster from The Lion Guard, a reversible paper hat featuring DisneyJunior’s Sophia the First crown or Jake & the Neverland Pirates hat, The Lion Guard tattoos, a Clover Dairy coupon, and the Walt Disney World map that shows what attractions are recommended for preschoolers visiting Walt Disney World.

Each family was able to take home these mementos of our DisneyKids Preschool Playdate!

DisneyKids15  DisneyKids13

Our #DisneyKids Celebrating Continued at Home

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

Nesquik sent a package of yummy chocolate milk that my kids (and I confess, me too!) have been enjoying with our breakfast. It’s a delicious way to flavor the milk and also includes 7 essential vitamins and minerals. See photos of other #DisneyKid partiers by following the hashtag #StirImagination.




Because cupcakes, party popcorn, watermelon and chocolate milk is bound to make it on the clothes of a busy preschooler, I appreciated being able to wash away the party evidence with the sample packets of all free clear detergent.

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

We didn’t have the chance to read the book by Banfield Pet Hospital at the party but it has quickly become my 4-year old’s most requested bedtime book! “My Very, Very Smelly Breath” tells the story of a dog who has less than attractive breath, accompanied by silly scratch-and-sniff sections that have my son in stitches! Check out Banfield Pet Hospital on Facebook to see other informative and entertaining children’s books that they offer.

Celebration Fun at Our #DisneyKids Preschool Playdate Party!

We had a wonderful playdate with our preschool friends and have already heard from our young guests about what a great time they had!

Thank you BSM Media and Disney for sending us this fantastic box of treats to share with our preschool friends!