If you decide to vacation at Walt Disney World or Disneyland with baby in tow, rest assured that Disney does a phenomenal job of making even the smallest guests feel welcome. Here are my top 10 tips to help ensure that you and your little one make magical memories at the Happiest Place on Earth.
1. Make use of the Baby Care Centers
Disney offers baby care centers in all 4 theme parks at Disney World and in both theme parks at Disneyland Resort.
Open during regular park hours, each facility is complimentary to use and includes a private nursing room with rocking chairs, changing room with tables, feeding area with highchairs, plus a mini kitchen with microwave. Some even offer “miniature” toilets and sinks.
There is also a little room with a TV, some picture books, and kid-sized chairs. A nice place to unwind or get cool for a few minutes.
Baby food, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications, and clothing are also available for purchase.
Here are the locations of the Baby Care Centers inside each of the parks –
- Animal Kingdom at WDE: In Discovery Island.
- Epcot at WDW: In The Odyssey Center; near Mexico.
- Hollywood Studios at WDW: Super close to the entrance, before you start walking down Hollywood Boulevard.
- Magic Kingdom Park at WDW: The end of Main Street. Adjacent to The Crystal Palace.
- Disneyland Park: The end of Main Street.
- Disney California Adventure Park: Next to The Bakery Tour in Pacific Wharf.
2. Invite grandparents along
As with all of life, the best Disney memories are made with people you love. If you have a good relationship with your parents and in-laws, include them on your trip. You might even get a chance to slip away to ride Space Mountain (one of my favorites!).
3. Wear a backpack
It’s super convenient to have your hands free when you’re in a crowd or have multiple small children. I definitely recommend the Ergobaby backpack. It has several zippered pockets. I typically toss in a few diapers, wipes, 1 change of clothes for baby, my phone, and plenty of snacks…
4. Bring snacks
One of my favorite things about Disney is that they don’t discourage guests from bringing in their own snacks + drinks. Bring all your favorite foods for yourself and for your baby.
5. Stay hydrated
Buying a flat of water bottles before you get to the parks is a good idea if you have access to a rental car or you are driving in. Leave some bottles in the hotel’s mini fridge and stow away the others in your stroller or backpack. All of the on-property restaurants will also give you a tall glass of ice water with your meal. Remember that babies may need to nurse more frequently if the weather is warm.
6. Use sunscreen
I’m generally not a fan of sunscreen. Too many chemicals. For Disney, however, we do slather on the sunscreen because we want to maximize our time in the parks. Most recently, we’ve been using true natural baby & family sunscreen – not too oily, plus free of parabens, phthalates, and fragrances (though it does leave your skin slightly tinted with a “ghostly” white).
7. Leave your spendy stroller behind
Believe it or not, we’ve had the same umbrella stroller for almost 7 years. It was approximately $25 at Babies R Us. The number of miles on that thing is impressive, to say the least. We love it because it’s super portable and has a small mesh bag on the back for carrying extra stuff. Best of all, if it happens to get stolen, lost, broken, or dirty – we’re not out a lot of money. On our trip to Disney World last month with our three girls (ages 6, 4, and 1), we brought both the stroller and the Ergo into the parks.
8. Carry your baby in an Ergo
I’ve been using the Ergobaby carrier for over 5 years. After testing ~20 carriers, Ergobaby remains my top pick. It’s comfy, ergonomic, easy to take on and off, and versatile for a number of purposes and ages. On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World for the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I wore my 13-month-old and petite 4-year-old in the carrier at various parks. So much easier than toting your little one on the hip!
9. Visit baby-friendly attractions
If you’ve never been to Disney, know that there are PLENTY of rides that you will be able to experience with baby in your lap. It’s A Small World, Peter Pan, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Enchanted Tiki Room, and The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh are just a few options. Pirates of the Caribbean can also be a nice reprieve from the hot weather or if baby is asleep.
10. Take in some shows
Disney’s Broadway-quality shows are not to be missed. They are an especially good option if you want to sit and rest a bit while baby naps and/or older children go on rides. Consider “Beauty and The Beast” at Hollywood Studios, “Finding Nemo: The Musical” at Animal Kingdom, and “Disney’s Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular” at California Adventure.
Have you been to Walt Disney World and/or Disneyland with a baby? What tips would you add to this list?