Family Fun


Staying Healthy in Disney World Even With Toddlers

Full disclosure… I am a bit of germaphobe.  Things like cleansing wipes, hand-sanitizer and even regular good ol’ bar soap kind of excite me.  Is that weird?  Kind of.  But I know that I am not alone in my love for all that is clean.  Plus, no one wants to have their vacation ruined by a bad cold or the dreaded stomach bug if they can help it.  Therefore, I am sharing my germ prevention tips for travel.

First of all, the norovirus, which is more popularly referred to as the stomach bug, is most prevalent from November through April.  Therefore, if you travel during the winter months you have a higher probability of catching it than if you travel during other times of the year.  Also, colds and other viruses run more rampant during the winter months as well.  This is something to keep in mind when choosing dates for your vacation especially if you are traveling with small children and have a flexible travel schedule.

Although Disney World is impeccably clean when compared to other theme park and resort destinations, it is still visited by thousands of people each day; a handful of whom are sick.  This, combined with the fact that children touch everything in their field of view and babies and toddlers put anything not bolted to the floor into their mouths, often leads to the passing of nasty germs.

When planning your trip, checkout Disney’s crowd calendars.  Sites such as Undercover Tourist are great resources to see when peak crowds visit the park.  Obviously, the higher the attendance, the higher the potential that there will be more sick people in attendance.

But no matter when you travel to Disney World or anywhere else for that matter, there is a potential for someone in your party to catch something which will make even the happiest place on earth a lot less so.  Therefore, to combat this as much as humanly possible, I pack some germ fighting items in my purse, carry-on, and in another easily accessible locations.  I also pack additional reinforcements of these same items in my checked baggage so I can have more available once we arrive.

Germ Fighting Product Arsenal: 
The links below are affiliate links.

Bottle of Hand-Sanitizer (less than 3oz to meet airport security standards) such as:

For adult use (or for those older than a toddler) to quickly clean hands before handling food, after a diaper change, etc.

Small packet of toddler hand sanitizing wipes such as:

For use when children touch dirty surfaces and prior to meals, etc.

Small packet of surface cleaning wipes such as:

To clean airline seat area:  tray table, arm rests, air vents, etc.

I also use them to quickly clean hotel room surfaces upon arrival such as:

  • Counter tops / dressers
  • Door knobs
  • Faucets and knobs on the sink and shower
  • Remote control
  • Phone(s)
  • Complimentary pen
  • Tables, chairs – basically any hard surface that I can

I will also take extra packets with me to the parks and pull them out to clean table surfaces, and high chairs at restaurants before mealtime.

Obviously, following these methods will not eliminate the possibility of getting sick on your vacation but being a little vigilant will definitely reduce your risk thereby increasing you’re opportunity to focus on the fun.

Disney’s Magical Express with Toddlers

Disney’s Magical Express® is a complimentary service that Disney provides to transport resort guests from the Orlando International Airport to their Disney resort hotel upon arrival and back from their Disney resort hotel to the airport upon departure.

Guests staying at any hotel that is owned and operated by Disney may use the Disney Magical Express® service.  There are some hotels that are located on Disney property but are not owned and operated by Disney so these resort guests cannot use Magical Express. These resorts include the Swan, Dolphin, the hotels across the street from Disney Springs, and Shades of Green.

I am truly an advocate of using Disney’s Magical Express® service for numerous reasons in general but I feel that it is imperative to use the service if you are traveling with toddlers / small children.

Advantages of Disney’s Magical Express® when Traveling with Small Children

  1. You Don’t have to Rent a Car.  If you use Disney’s Magical Express®, there is really no need to a rent car thereby saving you hundreds of dollars that you can and will spend on other things in “the world” including but not limited to character dining, park admission, and souvenirs.
  2. No Car Seat Installation.  Rental car companies require drivers by law to install car seats into rental cars, themselves.  So with Magical Express®, you do not have to fiddle around with installing a car seat model that you are unfamiliar with in the often, very hot, parking garage at the Orlando International Airport.  The Magical Express® is a coach bus and young children are allowed to sit on your lap – so easy!
  3. There’s no chance of getting lost.  Your brain can literally be on autopilot at least from a navigation standpoint.  If you do not know the Orlando area, you do not have to learn it.  Your Magical Express® driver definitely knows the way.
  4. You Don’t Have to Carry your Luggage.  Small children do not travel light.  With Magical Express® you receive yellow luggage tags that Disney will mail to you approximately 2 weeks before your vacation.Disney Magical Express Luggage Tags
    • You place these yellow luggage tags onto your checked baggage.  Then you just drop that baggage at the luggage counter in your departure city and it is magically delivered to your resort hotel room for you.  This process allows you to completely bypass the baggage claim in the Orlando Airport all together.
    • You do not have to do the balancing act of holding your child or your child’s hand while simultaneously dragging 8 pieces of luggage behind you.
    • Then before you head home, your bags can be checked right at your Disney hotel and you do not have to deal with them until you arrive back at your home airport – avoiding the balancing act yet again!

Although I am an advocate of Magical Express®, Disney obviously created the service to keep you “hostage”- meaning that once you arrive on property, you are probably there to stay and therefore spend all of your vacation dollars at Disney.  Conversely, rental cars give hotel guests the freedom of enjoying a meal outside of Disney or hitting up one of the other non-Disney theme parks.  So, if Disney isn’t your only destination, you might consider not using the service and renting your own car.

Personally I love being on Disney property and with two toddlers under 3, it’s wonderful to just get there, stay there, and not have to lug around your bags. Plus, Disney has every mode of transportation available – from bus to boat to monorail – to take you anywhere you’d like to go within its 41 square miles of magic so I wouldn’t dream of not using it.