It seems that when you tell others that you are planning a trip to Disney with a baby, they look at you as if you just told them you were going to jump off a bridge. Their eyes get really big, their mouth drops open and they ask,” you’re doing what, why would you do that?”
This was the reaction again and again when I told people about our plans to travel to Disney World with our 18 month old. My older children love Disney, and this was something that I wanted to share with our newest family member. Will he remember this trip? No, of course not, (that just means more trips are in the future) but the rest of us will and sharing this together is something that I wouldn’t change.
Sure, traveling with a child under 2 years old does take a little extra planning, but with everyone pitching in, it makes planning almost as much fun as the actual trip (well, almost).
“There isn’t much the baby will be able to do, is there?”
This was a question that I was asked over and over again. In all actuality, there wasn’t much that my Disney baby couldn’t do. We opted to take him on every ride that didn’t have a height requirement…the Tea Cups ended up being his favorite!
For the rides that he couldn’t ride due to restrictions, we opted for the rider switch. Our Disney baby has two big Disney brothers (7 and 8 years old) that love all the “big” rides. This was no problem at all, and actually ended up working in our favor. With the rider switch, Dad would take the two big Disney brothers and wait in the stand by line while I got a rider switch ticket from the cast member at the entrance to the ride.
While Disney baby and I waited, we walked and explored everything around us. When Dad and Disney brothers were finished, I went and got in the fast pass line. Here is the awesome part…the rider switch ticket is good for three people, so Disney brothers got to ride all of their favorite rides twice! How cool is that?! Little things like this excite me, what can I say!
“I don’t want to have to carry a diaper bag.”
I totally agree with this…I don’t want to carry an extra bag either. Why would I need to, though? We carry a backpack with us each visit to the park regardless of having a baby or not. I need to carry sun screen, water, and snacks for everyone else, so now I throw in a few diapers and wipes and we are good to go. Stopping to change diapers was no big deal either. Every restroom I went in had changing tables available, so when everyone else needed a pit stop, Disney baby got changed too. There are also Baby Centers available in the parks to take a bit more down time or to feed your tiniest Disney baby.
“There is just so much extra stuff that you need to travel with a baby.”
Yes there is, but Disney and other local companies are great at helping make your stay as easy as possible. Reserve a pack-n-play at your hotel. This gives Disney baby their own place to sleep at nap time and after a busy day in the parks. Bring a favorite blanket and you are good to go.
Rent a stroller from a private company outside the park, like our Sponsor Orlando Stroller Rentals. This may be my favorite tip from our latest trip. I will never carry a stroller on an airplane headed for The Happiest Place On Earth again! I have 3 kids and carry-ons to deal with on an airplane, a stroller is not something I need or want to deal with.
Nor will I again rent a hard plastic stroller from the park! This requires standing in line waiting for a stroller in the mornings (and wasting valuable time instead of getting to Toy Story Mania) and have you ever carried a sleeping 25 pound child back to the resort? By renting a stroller (we used Orlando Stroller Rental), all I had to do was check in with the bell desk when I arrived at my hotel and they brought it up to my room for me. At the end of our stay, I turned it back in to the bell desk. Orlando Stroller Rental took care of the rest.
The second best tip from our last trip was to order snacks from an online grocery store. I used Garden Grocer, and like our stroller, our snacks, water, and milk were waiting at our resort for us when we arrived. With such a huge change in our eating schedule, having a few familiar snacks and drinks available was great, not to mention saved us money in the long run because we weren’t buying snacks every two seconds (which is about how often my Disney boys like to eat).
“There can’t be any ‘alone’ time.”
Actually, my husband and I had a great night out in Epcot and at Jelly Rolls. I made reservations for Disney brothers at the Cub’s Den at the Wilderness Lodge since we were staying there. We dropped them off and they were fed dinner and snacks, they colored, played video games, and watched movies. They loved it!
Disney baby is too little for any of the Children’s Activity Centers, so I called Kid’s Night Out (read Disney Diva’s article on them HERE) I was a little nervous about having a stranger watch my little boy, but after doing my research and meeting our sitter, I was totally at ease. We had an amazing sitter who left me with no doubt that she would handle whatever our Disney baby could throw at her. I was glad to hear that he had been great, no crying and that 30 minutes after we left, Disney baby fell asleep and was out for the rest of the night!
For me, there is no reason not to take my baby to Disney. I want all of my children to grow up with the same love for Disney that I have. From the reaction that my Disney baby had on this trip, I would say that he is well on his way!