Heading to Walt Disney World with young children can be both exciting and exhausting. The following tips should help make your trip more enjoyable for not just the kids, but parents too!

Gazing at Cinderella Castle

Gazing at Cinderella Castle

1. Plan to arrive at the parks early and return to your resort around lunch for a nap and swim. If you are up for it, return to one of the parks in the evening.

2. Protect yourself from the hot Florida sun: Bring hats, sunscreen and drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Pack a small cooler with water and snacks (you are allowed to bring food and drink into the parks!) to keep your energy levels up.

3. Bring a stroller. Even a five-year-old will be thankful to ride in one–it’s a lot of walking. Make sure you have plenty of storage room for carrying purchases and more. I would suggest bringing a stroller that is comfortable to push, as cheap umbrella strollers can wreak havoc on your back.

4. Make some character dining reservations–an easy, but sometimes expensive, way to meet characters without waiting in line ups. You can make dining reservations online 180 days prior to your trip. For more information on making your reservations, check out this handy article.

5. Bring an autograph book and a pen. For about $10 you can purchase an autograph book for characters to sign. Makes a wonderful and inexpensive souvenir!

6. Use a touring plan. It will help you determine which attractions you should head to first (according to wait times), and will help you save a lot of time. This is key with small children. Check out Touring Plans or Undercover Tourist for more information.

What other tips do you recommend?