How to Travel with a Baby to Walt Disney World
There are lots of Travel Agents out in the world and many who are Authorized Disney Vacation Planners. What I like to do to differentiate myself from the pack is be myself and share my experiences. If my life looks a lot like yours, then I may be the agent for you!
I spent my 20's growing our family. I have a medical condition called PCOS and knew infertility could be an issue. We welcomed our first son in 2012 after using medication to achieve a pregnancy and another son in 2014 (18 months apart, y'all. It was wild!) In 2016 we took our first ever Walt Disney World Vacation with our then 2 and 3 year old boys. In Spring 2017 we welcomed our third son and my husband hatched an idea to return to Disney World.
You read that right. I was seven months pregnant and he was asking me to deliver in April and go to Disney in June. Crazy. Except, the idea grew on me. I contacted my Fairytale Journeys Travel Agent and she walked me through how we could pull off this insane idea. I delivered on a Wednesday and by Thursday Baby Boy was added to our family on MyDisneyExperience. And his first Disney trip was planned for when he would be 10 weeks old.
Here are some things I learned:
A baby that young is not supposed to wear sunscreen. But if it is necessary, like, you know, Central FL and reflecting light off of sand, water, and concrete, there is a work around. Australian Blue Lizard is a barrier based sunscreen not a chemical one. It is thick and stays on! I coated Baby Boy including his bald baby head and it wouldn't hardly wash off at night. But, we returned home with perfect newborn skin and no sun damage. link: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Del-Ray-Dermatologicals-Blue-Lizard-Sun-Screen-8-75-oz/46022454
The Baby Care Centers at Disney World are fabulous! These facilities are located at each of the four theme parks. I only utilized the Magic Kingdom location but the amenities are the same. Inside, there was a room set up to peacefully nurse baby without distractions. It was a dimly lit room similar to a living room in a home. Lamp light on side tables and comfortable chairs for mom. There were rooms for infant/toddler feeding with high chairs, microwaves for heating bottles or baby food, and a large sanitary changing room with paper table covers like a doctors office. Additionally, an attendant is available to sell sample size and full size baby/toddler supplies. Infant formula, baby medicines, jarred baby food, diapers, pull-ups etc are in stock for purchase. On a later trip, I bought a 20 count package of Pull-Ups for $12. The going rate at home in a drug store or grocery was $9.99-10.99 so the mark up was nothing to write home about. And it allowed us to continue our vacation without disruption!
Before Age 3, They're Free! And this phrase meant that Baby Boy did not require park tickets, a paid meal at Character Dining, and he did not count towards our max room occupancy. We were able to stay at Pop Century, a Value Hotel for a max of four guests ages 3+. This helped stretch our budget. Once he turned three, we had to start investing more for suites or Moderate/Deluxe hotel rooms.
Babywearing made our time in the park easy. We had a double stroller for the bigs (ages 4.5 and 3 years old) and my husband and I took turns wearing the newborn. We could navigate easier, keep people from getting too close (Everyone loves a baby but we didn't want everyone to touch him.) Babywearing works well if you and your infant are experienced at it. Don't buy a new carrier and try it the first time at a hot and loud theme park. That probably wouldn't go over too well. But for a momma and baby couple experienced at it, it makes the world easier!
As an exclusively nursing mom, I found the parks accommodating to my nursing preferences. I like to stay with my family and not miss out on moments. I would sit down and order a meal in a restaurant, nurse my baby discreetly at the table, and burp him before the meal came out. I was able to nurse on rides like The Haunted Mansion where I turned sideways in the Doombuggy and propped my feet up, relaxed in the air conditioning and enjoyed the ride. Never once did I feel unwelcome or out of place.
If you have concerns about traveling with young children, reach out to me! I have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt (probably with spit-up, but you get the picture). ;-)