by Fancy Free Diva
Disney is a place for families, and many families dream of bringing their children to that magical place, watching those little faces light up with joy, reveling in the wonder and magic of it all. A lot of Disney planning sites will tell you, though, that in order to get the best experience, you should wait until your child (or children) are X years old. I am not one of those people. Life is short and unpredictable, and it is my firm belief that people should travel to Disney whenever they can, regardless of how old (or young) they or their children might be. It is the direct result of this belief that led me to take my 2 ½ month old son to Walt Disney World.
Traveling to WDW with an infant isn’t really as hard as it sounds, though. In fact, he was a lot more manageable than my three-year-old daughter was on that same trip. That being said, there are a few things that can help make your trip to WDW with an infant more manageable. Here are my top three tips:
- Invest in a good baby carrier. I am a big fan of wearing your baby, and having a good infant carrier is an indispensable piece of gear if you are planning to go to WDW with your infant. I used my Ergo with the infant insert, and I loved it. As a nursing mom, it was super convenient to be able to feed my son while I was wearing him, and the snap-up cover meant that I could be modest about it, too. (Diva Tip: It is probably a good idea to bring a nursing cover – or three – with you. That being said, don’t be too nervous about nursing in public, either. I saw lots of breastfeeding moms on my last trip, so know that you will not be alone!) Incidentally, Fancy Free Son’s second trip to WDW occurred when he was only 14-months, and I used the Ergo again for that trip, too. It was a real lifesaver, especially during mealtimes. (Diva Tip: Most restaurants at WDW do not like families to bring strollers inside. While many venues will make exceptions for a sleeping baby, you cannot always guarantee that will happen. If you can wear your baby, though, you don’t have to worry about bringing the stroller inside, and if the child is sleeping, he or she can continue napping while you eat. It’s a win-win.)
- Have a cooling system set up. Both times I brought my son to WDW, it was the peak of summertime heat: July 2014 and August 2015. I was worried about how he would handle the heat and humidity, especially if I was wearing him a lot of the time, so I made sure to plan ahead. We purchased a battery-powered stroller fan for those times when he was in the stroller, and we purchased some of those athletic cooling towels (FrogToggs). (Diva Tip #1:The stroller fan we purchased needed a screwdriver to unscrew the battery panel and replace the battery. If the stroller fan you use has that same safety feature, be sure to bring a small screwdriver into the park with you just in case your batteries die. The screwdriver we used looks like a ball point pen and took up very little room in our already crowded park bag. Diva Tip #2: In addition to using the stroller fan and the cooling towels, we also planned our meal times and attractions so that we balanced outside activities (parades) with inside activities (Hall of Presidents, Disney Jr. Live on Stage, etc.). We also never stayed out in the heat for too long, and fortunately Disney has enough shops, restaurants, and inside attractions so that it was relatively easy to stay cool most of the time – even if he was strapped into the baby carrier.) In any case, be judicious about how you plan your meals and attractions. For example, I found it easier to plan table service meals during my little one’s nap time, that way Mommy could enjoy her meal a little more. Then, after the meal, we hit a show, like the Carousel of Progress, which is a family favorite, so that he could eat in peace, too!
Diva Tip: Every Disney Park also has a Baby Care Center. The Baby Care Center has everything your baby might need, from extra diapers, baby food, diaper rash cream, infant medication (tylenol), you name it. They also have full size changing tables, high chairs, and TVs playing Disney films. Oh, and did I mention that they’re air conditioned? Did I also mention that within each Baby Care Center, there is also a quiet room set aside for nursing mothers. If you don’t feel like nursing in public, or if you and your baby just need some quiet time, these rooms are for you! Read Pink Diva’s review of the Baby Care Centers for more information about these havens from the heat!
3. Stay hydrated. We usually bring water bottles into the park with us. We have these super cute Mickey and Grumpy themed metal thermoses that have shoulder straps that are perfect for keeping water cool on hot days in the parks. But, did you know that all quick service locations in the Disney Parks will give you a *FREE* cup of ice water if you ask nicely? Absolutely. So, if you don’t like the way Florida water tastes (eww!) and are reticent to use the water fountains that are also judiciously placed throughout the parks, ask for those *FREE* cups of water whenever you pass a quick service dining location. As Doc McStuffins always says, “you gotta drink way more water than you think!”
Nursing at Disney isn’t completely without its frustrations, but it also doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. For other tips about touring the parks with an infant or toddler, check out Budget Diva’s tips for breastfeeding in Disney or Local Diva’s article listing some great nursing spots in the parks.
***Disclaimer – We at Tips From the Disney Diva’s and Devo’s hope you enjoy reading our articles, and encourage you to share any that you may feel be of interest to someone else. We do ask, however, that if you choose to share the photographs that are attached to our articles, it is with the understanding that you will give credit to the actual photographer who took the picture as you share or post it, thank you.