Hi everyone! Hold on to your Mickey Ears….let’s go to Disney with a baby! Yes, it can be done and a magical time can be had by all. Although yes, your little bundle of joy may not be that “perfect” age to bring your kids to Disney. But, then again there is no perfect way to parent and sure no perfect way to do Disney! What’s awesome is that you are thinking of going to Disney and want to share it with your beautiful new child as a family! So, here goes!
We are by no means experts, but we have been on a Disney trip or two with an infant less than six months. We’ve got some tips for you to help you be a little more comfortable and help you out if you are just a little overwhelmed at taking a baby to Disney. As our family has grown and grown we have transitioned from being a kid ourselves, to the grown adult Disney trip, and to to now coming full circle starting all over again with little ones of our own. Here are our top ten tips:
1. Stroller Selection
In our opinion, this is the most important thing to consider when taking an infant to Disney. There is so much advice we have about stroller selection that we will have an entire post on this soon , so please stay tuned! But, for now here are some key things to consider.
You really don’t realize how much time your little one will be in a stroller, so you really want to make sure it is comfortable for you and baby. After all, it’s basically your nursery on wheels while you are there. Make sure you let baby take as many rides as he/she can ahead of your trip to work out kinks and make it feel familiar safe space for them. We like a jogger that reclines for transition between sitting and sleeping. Also, the jogger is SO much easier to push the extra miles each day. Remember you are more likely to have way more STUFF in your stroller than during your normal walks at home….making pushing harder all day long. Also, maneuverability is something to keep in mind as you’re going to be making your way through a crowded park like an obstacle course. Finally, select a stroller that’s really going to provide a good shade for baby all day in the Florida sun.
2. Select fast passes that mesh with your nap schedule preferably in the morning or evening after the sun goes down, The key is to avoid the heat of the day.
3. Pre order the heavy baby stuff and have it shipped to your hotel ahead of time. This includes diapers, formula, and baby food. Our favorites are Garden Grocer and Amazon Prime. Disney hotels have held packages for us days ahead of our arrival. Call your hotel and check their policy.
4. Call hotel ahead of time and request a crib or pack in play to be in your room upon arrival, whatever your baby is more comfortable in. We have done both, but when those little ones are super little the crib may be a better option. Many hotels offer cribs. Bring your own sheets and blanket from home so baby can smell familiarity of home. Also, make sure you pack sleepers for different conditions in the room if it’s too cold with the AC or hotter than home. Key is to keep baby comfy while sleeping.
5. Book fast pass character greetings or meals with characters versus waiting in line if you can. It can be super challenging waiting in line with an infant, especially if there is no shade or stimulation. During character meals, you can get up and move around and will be inside. Fast passes cut time and the que line is most often indoors.
6. Select your hotel nearest to the parks you will be visiting most. This will make it easier lugging that stroller and extra baby stuff around on transportation. If you can, this would be a time to book your stay at a deluxe resort where you can avoid the bus system as much as possible so you can take the monorail or walk to the parks.
7. Select the best rides for a baby. We suggest doing rides that have a good chance a stimulating and keep your little one entertained. These include rides that are not very dark, have bright colors, and music. Some of our favorites are as follows:
Magic Kingdom: Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid, Dumbo, Tiki Room, and Small World.
Hollywood Studios: Disney Junior Stage Show and Toy Story Midway Mania
Epcot: Grand Fiesta Tour with the 3 Caballeros in the Mexico Pavillion, Living with the Land, Journey into Imagination with Figment, and Frozen Ever After
Animal Kingdom: Festival of the Lion King and Navi River Journey
8. Plan to go back to the hotel during the heat of the day to take a break and let baby stretch, have tummy time, and enjoy some quiet. Like adults, babies can be overstimulated too and just need a break. Grab a snack for yourself and baby and enjoy an hour or two back at your room or hotel grounds. Another way to get a break is to schedule a sit down meal during this time as well.
9. Ensure you have a bottle or something for baby to chew or swallow on that plane ride to and from Orlando. One thing that makes baby upset is that new feeling of pressure change and pain in the ears. Keeping baby’s mouth occupied might help with this.
10. Make sure you know where baby centers are located in each of the parks ahead of time. These ar great respites in the parks that have anything you need for baby, including a chair to nurse in. You can locate them on the Disney My Experience app.
11. Ok we have one more…. Even though you are likely to want to have your entire nursery packed in your stroller. Consider only packing essentials with you as you visit parks. For example, do you need all 6 toys or just 2….probably don’t need the thermometer as it’s back at the room…. Also, if you can find one, purchase a transparent tote. This is a huge timesaver when going through security multiple times a day. Those ten pockets in the baby bag need to be searched each time and can hold you up cutting patience with a fussy baby. In any case make sure your baby bag or tote will fit well in your stroller. We have tipped many a stroller with a heavier than normal baby bag and found strollers with large compartments that fit a bag underneath work the best.
We hope your trip with your new baby is magical for you and them!