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Are you considering taking a Disney cruise with your toddler? Are you wondering whether it will be worth it or if they will enjoy it? Maybe you want to know which Disney cruise liner is best for toddlers and young children, or if there are any tips for taking toddlers on Disney cruises. Then you are in the right place because, in today’s post, I’m going to talk about all of that right here!
There are currently 5 different Disney cruise ships with various ports of call depending on the time of year. The 5 Disney cruise ships include the Disney Wish, Disney Dream, Disney Fantasy, Disney Magic, and the Disney Wonder.
The Disney Wish is the newest cruise ship in the Disney fleet launching for the first time in the summer of 2022. The Disney Wish is rated as the best Disney cruise ship for families and children, but all of the Disney cruise ships have a lot to offer for toddlers, older children, and their families.

What do Disney Cruises Offer for Toddlers?

Disney offers SO much for toddlers on their cruise lines. There are even special baby and toddler activities every day, and they will leave a schedule of these events in your room each evening. There are toddler dance parties with their favorite characters, and even diaper dashes, a crawling race for babies and toddlers.
All of the shows onboard are family-friendly and appropriate for children of all ages. If your children aren’t interested in the shows, or won’t sit still through one, you can leave them in the “It’s a Small World” nursery or the Oceaneer club. You can also watch the shows anytime on the TV in your room.
You don’t have to worry about bringing along a lot of baby and toddler gear either. Disney provides many of these items for their guests to use free of charge. I will discuss that in more detail later in the post.

Tips for Taking a Disney Cruise with Toddlers

Pack a Carry on to Take on the Ship

Sometimes it can take a while for your luggage to make it to your room, it can be delivered as late as 5 pm. Make sure that you have what you need in your carry on. This might include diapers, wipes, a change of clothing, and a few toys for your child to play within the room. You might also want to include a swimsuit if your toddler (or you) is looking forward to some pool time.
Choose an Early Check-in Time
When cruising on Disney cruise lines choose the earliest check-in time available to you. Currently, the earliest time available is 10:30 am or 11:00 am depending on the ship. This gives you time to explore the ship, grab some lunch, and maybe even take a nap before departure.
Reserve Your Onboard Activities Ahead of Time
Once you have your reservations taken care of, go ahead and make your reservations for any onboard activities that require them.
  • Character meet and greets: Your little ones won’t want to miss out on these magical meet and greet moments with their favorite characters. Some of these experiences, like the Princess Gathering, Frozen Meet and Greet, Disney Junior Character Breakfast, Disney VIP Character Breakfast, and Royal Court Royal Tea, require reservation tickets, so make sure to secure your spot in advance. These experiences with Disney characters on the Disney Cruise Line are generally free of charge.
  • The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique: A magical place where little princes and princesses can experience the magic of a royal transformation. Prices can vary depending on the specific package and add-ons, but they generally range from around $99 USD to $450 USD. 
  • Princess teas: From sipping delicious tea with beloved princesses to engaging in captivating storytelling, this unforgettable adventure will create precious memories that will last a lifetime. It’s a fairytale dream come true! Cost is $220 USD for children and $69 USD for adults. Despite being expensive, it frequently sells out before any other onboard activities.
Plan Offshore Excursions Ahead of Time
You will also want to have your offshore excursions planned ahead of time. Pick two excursions that you think your family would enjoy, and that way if one of them fills up you already have a backup plan in place. You can also choose to stay on the ship instead of going to shore. If you do stay on board you will have the pools, spas, game rooms, movie theater, and restaurants practically to yourselves.
Consider Staying on the Ship While it’s at Port
This is especially helpful if you have younger kids who may not be able to go on excursions or exploring a town. Exploring a potentially unfamiliar town with safety concerns might not be the most exciting option for them. Instead, by staying on the ship, you can enjoy a more intimate and less crowded experience.
Pack More Diapers and Wipes Than You Think You Will Need
If your toddler is still in diapers, or pull-ups pack more diapers, pull-ups, and wipes than you think you will need or that you use in a typical day. You can purchase additional diapers or wipes at one of the gift shops onboard or from one of the stores in port, however, they are considerably more expensive than what you are used to.
Pack Toddler Friendly Snacks
There will be no shortage of toddler friendly food and snacks onboard including fruits, pastries, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and other kid-friendly favorites. However, if you have a picky eater, you might want to bring some of their favorite foods and snacks onboard with you.
Consider Packing a Princess Dress For Your Little Girls
While you can purchase them onboard, they do tend to come with a higher price tag. It’s such a joy to see little girls happily strolling around in their beautiful dresses. You don’t have to go for anything too extravagant; Amazon offers some fantastic options at reasonable prices.

Do Disney Cruises Offer Childcare for Toddlers?

Yes, there is childcare available for toddlers on all of the Disney cruise ships. For children 6 months to three years of age who are not potty trained you can find childcare services in the “It’s a Small World” nursery.
The nursery staff will feed, change, and play with your child and even put them down for naps or bedtime if you choose the second dinner seating or go to see a show. Childcare here is not free, current prices are about $9 an hour, and because of staffing ratios, reservations are highly recommended.
Oceaneer Club
If your toddler is potty trained then they can head on over to the Oceaneer Club for lots of fun, games, and movies! The Oceaneer Club is free for your child to attend and there are lots of fun activities for children ages three (who are potty trained) to 12. Andy’s Room (from Toy Story) is a huge hit with the younger kids!

Disney Cruise Ship Toddler Friendly Amenities

All of the Disney cruise ships have some toddler friendly amenities for you to use free of charge, however, they are subject to availability. These amenities include:
  • Bottle Warmers
  • Bottle Sterilizers
  • Diaper Genies
  • Pack n Plays
  • Bed Rails
  • Strollers
  • Wagons

Can toddlers swim in the pools on the cruise ship?

Toddlers who are potty trained are welcome to swim in the pools on the ship. Swim diapers are not allowed in the pools. If your toddler is not yet potty trained, there is still lots of water fun available to them. There are splash pads and other water play areas that are perfect for kids three and under where they don’t have to worry about getting run over by bigger kids.

Is a Disney Cruise Worth it For Toddlers?

Absolutely yes! In fact, many parents say that while Disney World was a bit overwhelming for their toddlers, a Disney cruise is an excellent introduction because it offers a more manageable and controlled environment compared to Disney World. While Disney World can be crowded and overwhelming for young children, a Disney cruise provides a more relaxed and intimate setting.
No matter what Disney cruise line you decide to travel on, you and your family are sure to have an amazing time, and make memories that will last a lifetime! 
Have you been on a Disney cruise with toddlers before, or do you plan to embark on one soon? Share your experiences, tips, and comments in the box below! Whether it’s about the exciting activities for toddlers, the amazing character interactions, or the incredible destinations, your comments can help other families create memories that will last a lifetime.

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