by JollyFrogger Diva
Although I am a huge Disney fan, visiting Disney World while pregnant was never something I wanted to do. I am a huge fan of rides as well as shows, and I couldn’t imagine not being able to ride all my favorites. When we started planning our last trip, we made it no secret to our daughter, as planning a trip with my family is a group effort and not something that would be easily kept under wraps. As usual we were considering our favorite time frame, which happens to be the end of October into early November so we can hit Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Food and Wine Festival, and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party all in one trip. Then we found out we were expecting our second child, and I found myself facing a trip I never thought I’d take. Here are some of my tips for doing Disney while pregnant.
Be flexible. We determined that our ideal travel dates would fall during my third trimester, after the point my doctors would allow me to travel so far from home. However, we didn’t want to cancel our trip altogether because we had all been looking forward to it. Luckily, my family all have pretty flexible schedules and we were able to change our travel dates to September in enough time to adequately plan our trip. Disney Diva Tip: Talk to your doctor and find out their rules about traveling, so you can plan accordingly. After our experience, I would strongly advise against September, as it was extremely hot and humid which is extra uncomfortable when pregnant.
Comfortable shoes. In all the years I have visited Walt Disney World, I have never worn anything but tennis shoes during my time in the parks. However, during my research for our upcoming trips, I found lots of people were recommending bringing at least two different pairs of shoes and rotating them to keep your feet from getting tired. Since I am a big fan of sandals anyway, and I was worried about my feet possibly swelling after a lot of walking, I chose a pair of flip flops and a pair of tennis shoes to rotate between. Most mornings I would start the day with my tennis shoes and then change to flip flops after our afternoon break. What I didn’t know while planning is that it would rain every afternoon of our trip, so I was thankful that I had sandals to wear during almost all of the rain storms we were caught in, saving me from having to trudge around for the rest of the day in wet tennis shoes.
Regardless of the type of shoe you pick, make sure they are well broken in before your trip. You also want to choose shoes with good support, as your feet may swell or get sore more easily since you’ll be carrying extra weight. We have a local theme park that I was able to test both pairs of shoes at before our trip to Disney, so I knew they’d still be tolerable after a long day of walking. If that’s not possible for you, I would at least recommend wearing them for several hours at a time, perhaps to the grocery store, so you can get a feel of how your feet will handle walking in them for several hours.
Schedule breaks. On previous trips, my family was the kind to hit the parks early and stay the whole day. However, with my being pregnant and our three year old still requiring a daily nap, that strategy wasn’t practical this trip. These scheduled breaks ended up being a blessing in disguise, as it was extremely hot and humid during our visit and everyone found themselves in need of a rest in the air conditioning by lunch time. We scheduled to go back to the resort for a couple of hours every day so our daughter could sleep, but if you can’t bear to tear yourself away from the parks that long, a nice leisurely table service meal around lunchtime would probably do the trick. I also found that popping into a show like Festival of the Lion King was a great way to cool off and rest my feet for a short while.
We also like to build in non-park days to our schedule, as it gives us an opportunity to enjoy the perks of our resort and other non-park experiences like Disney Springs and visiting other resorts. I found spending time in our resort pool on those “off” days was a great way to recharge and refresh myself.
Stay hydrated. This is important regardless of the time of year your visit, but it’s especially critical when it’s hot. Personally, I find the taste of water at the parks to be rather unpalatable at times. It’s gotten better over the years, but there are still places where the water tastes of sulfur. To combat this, and keep ourselves from spending all our snack credits on bottled water, we brought a water bottle that had a filter in it. There are tons of brands of filter water bottles out there, so your choices are numerous. Personally, having experience with a squeezable filter bottle in the past, I knew I wanted a hard plastic one. We chose one with a decent capacity and a sipper top rather than a straw. The hard plastic made it easy to wrap in a hotel towel and throw it in our backpack. We would fill it with ice and water from the food court at the hotel in the morning and refill it with the complementary cups of ice water from counter service restaurants while in the park as needed. Although the filter didn’t completely remove the taste of sulphur, it greatly reduced it to the point that our water was drinkable, even when room temperature.
Talk to your doctor. You will find all sorts of advice out there as to which rides you can enjoy while pregnant and which you should avoid. However, since each person and pregnancy are different, it’s a great idea to discuss your personal limitations with your doctor. Since we were traveling during my second trimester, my doctor gave me the OK to ride anything my three year old was able to ride. Obviously this ruled out some of my favorites like Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest, but I had plenty of fun despite skipping the rides that were unsafe for me.
Although visiting Walt Disney World while pregnant made me change the way I visited the parks, in the end I found that I wasn’t nearly as limited as I feared I’d be. I look forward to visiting again when I can ride everything without fear of its effects on my body, but I’m glad we didn’t miss out on our last chance to visit Walt Disney World as a family of three.
What are your tips for traveling to Disney while being pregnant? Let us know in the comments below! And for more great tips about being pregnant at Disneyland, read Character Diva’s article here.
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