Florida, the Sunshine State, is said to be the number one dream vacation spot for parents with toddlers, mainly because it is full of different places you can visit, which were made especially for kids. Some of the best places that you just can’t miss if traveling with your toddler to Florida are theme parks (like Walt Disney World and SeaWorld) and beach destinations (such as Siesta Key or Longboat Key), among many other things you can do.
Are you planning your next vacation? Reading this article means you have a toddler, so unless this is meant to be your first trip, you probably already know by now that traveling with a baby can be truly exhausting most of the time. We love traveling in our family, so we have made several trips right since my girl was a little baby. A few destinations and activities are highly advisable for toddlers and make the whole experience much more enjoyable for all of you. If you have thought of Florida as your next destination, then you have made a wise decision.
Is Disney World worth it for a 2-year-old?
In Orlando, the main attractions at Walt Disney World are its four theme parks, each offering its own adventure with attractions designed especially with our little ones in mind. I have made a selection of the best attractions I suggest for your 2-year-old, or any tot, in each of these parks:
- Magic Kingdom: There will be plenty of rides and attractions your little one can do, not to mention meeting the characters! You can’t miss a ride in the classic Dumbo the Flying Elephant or one of Mickey and Friends Cavalcade.
- Epcot: If you have a little girl, then she will love to take the musical boat ride Frozen Ever After. If your boy is not so fond of Frozen, then you should visit the Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction and explore its aquarium after the ride.
- Hollywood Studios: Every little one will love to take a musical ride on Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, or learn what it takes to be a champion at the Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy simulator.
- Animal Kingdom: This is the park I like most, especially because it allows toddlers to discover the beauty of nature. One of the most popular adventures in this park is the mystical ride that offers Na’vi River Journey. Also, I’m sure you would not want to miss the unforgettable experience of exploring a wildlife reserve at Kilimanjaro Safaris where you will be able to encounter animals such as rhinos, elephants, zebras and even crocodiles. Amazing experience where your toddler will be able to see real life animals, probably for the first time!
To keep things simple for us parents, there are different Baby Care Centers within all 4 Disney’s theme parks, where you can find changing rooms, feeding areas, on-site shops offering diapers, formula, baby food, and sunscreen.
Believe it or not, they even have a private nursing room with rocking chairs. What else can we ask for?
Can I sneak my 3-year-old into Disney World?
Children under the age of 3 are considered guests of Mickey himself, so they can go into the parks for free. When arriving, you just have to mention that you have a child under the age of 3, and you will all be able to enter.
Although you are not required to present any further information concerning your kid’s age, be prepared to pay the higher admission in case you are caught trying to fool them. Shame on you!
Siesta Key, Central West Florida
In the Sunshine State, your kids can meet Mickey Mouse, for sure. But if you are thinking more of a beach vacation, then again, Florida offers a great variety of them. After all, a visit to Florida is just incomplete without spending at least one or two days at the beach. What little kid doesn’t love the beach?
I am sure you will be looking for some toddler-friendly beach that is not too far in walking distance from hotels with soft sand and warm water. Then I would recommend visiting Siesta Key in central west Florida. This beach is particularly famous for its sugar-fine, sandy beaches, said to be the softest you’ll ever come across. There are no huge waves as you’d probably find on the East coast of Florida. And In case the weather is not appropriate for a day at the beach, another option is to go to the nearby village which has many affordable restaurants and shops for your convenience. Ice cream maybe?
Another beach that is recommended with toddlers, in case you cannot get to Siesta Key, is Longboat Key. Longboat is quieter, more residential, and perhaps the people are a bit older, so if you are planning your trip with grandpa, this is a good place.
The Orlando area is theme park central, home to Walt Disney World Resort and SeaWorld. If your little one is interested in sea creatures, SeaWorld Orlando might be an option for spending an afternoon. The mix of rides, marine-life attractions, and shows provides a variety of entertainment not only for your toddler but also for your entire family. Between the shows, attractions, and exhibits, no other park combines so much adventure, marine education, and entertainment. The good news is children under 3 do not require a reservation or ticket for entry.
At this park, you can take your littles to explore the world of dolphins, killer whales, sea turtles, mantas, and more through innovative rides, massive aquariums, and entertaining live animal shows and interactions. Yes, the two main rides may not be appropriate for your little one, but that’s not what SeaWorld is about. You will easily have a full day with all the wonderful shows, and your little one will love all the animal encounters.
The main attractions involve the Dolphin Nursery, a special viewing area where you and your children can watch baby and mother dolphins at play, and Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin, where you can get a glimpse of five species of penguins in cool extremes. Definitely worth the trip for toddlers!
What is the cheapest month to go to Florida?
Many people do not mind the high temperatures or the rainy weather and choose to travel in July or August, which are considered off-season. Maybe packing sun protection and an umbrella will do.
Choosing your destinations in advance will not only spare you a significant wait at the entrance, but it will also allow you to buy tickets ahead online, which are often cheaper.
Besides, if you do an easy price comparison, you will realize that flight rates are usually cheaper during January and September. Finally, it is always best to book your flights in advance; at least 4 weeks earlier, you will definitely find lower prices.
From gorgeous beaches to fascinating theme parks, Florida offers a great variety of destinations to go with your toddler. When you plan a vacation in Florida, the first must-visit destination is Walt Disney World, Orlando. However, I believe Your visit to Florida will be incomplete without visiting its many beaches.
Water and sand make a perfect combination for kids. I recommend Siesta Key, and if you still have time for more, you should take your tot to see all the wonderful shows and animal exhibits at SeaWorld. Children under the age of 3 can enter most parks free of charge, so hurry and make that trip before they turn 3!
I’ve mentioned only a few of the numerous places that, in my opinion, should not be missed while in Florida with your toddler. Please comment below and let us know which places you and your family have visited and feel parents should not miss.