If you have decided to do Disney with an infant, you deserve a round of applause! Doing just about anything with an infant outside of their normal routine can be quite the production. So, major admiration for you! Walt Disney World was, of course, designed for children of all ages and so there may be more to do with your baby than you might have thought. Through planning, preparation, and a little bit of magic, you can have a great Disney World vacation with an infant.
Let’s Talk Logistics
When traveling with a baby, there are inevitably a lot of moving parts. You need diapers, bottles, a change of clothes or two, pacifiers, toys, the list goes on and on. Luckily, Walt Disney World has some awesome accommodations for those traveling with a baby.
Baby Care Centers
On the park map, you can find a Baby Care Center in every Walt Disney World theme park. These Baby Care Centers offer more than just a changing table for parents with little ones. Complimentary amenities include:
Private nursing room with rocking chairs
Changing room with tables
Feeding area with highchairs
Kitchen with microwave and sink to warm bottles
Main room with television, table, and seating
There is even an on-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications, and clothing for purchase. Cast members fully staff each Baby Care Center, ready to assist you in any way you need, and the best part is that they're air-conditioned!
Be Mindful of the Heat
Walt Disney World is located in Central Florida where hot and humid temperatures are the norm. It is important to check the weather ahead of time and come prepared with a plan to keep your baby, and yourself, cool and comfortable. Of course, you can escape to the Baby Care Center as often as you need, but you’ll likely want to enjoy other areas of the park as well. Consider getting a battery-powered fan to clip on your stroller or cool pad for your baby to lay on. Frequently pop in and out of shops and shaded areas throughout the day to give everyone a chance to cool off.
Walt Disney World theme parks offer stroller rentals and also allow you to bring your own strollers into the park, but you must follow their guidelines. Disney’s site states, “strollers larger than 31” in width and 52” in length are not permitted. Stroller wagons are also not permitted.” Keep this in mind when choosing a stroller to bring on your trip. Throughout the parks, there are designated stroller parking lots located near popular baby-friendly rides and attractions. These stroller lots can fill up quickly and it is easy to lose your stroller in the shuffle. Bring something with you, like a brightly colored towel or umbrella, to put over your stroller when you leave it in the lot so it is easy to identify when you get off the ride.
Now, Time for the Fun
Once you have all the logistics sorted out, it is time to plan all the fun you will have in Disney World with an infant! You may be surprised to learn that there is quite a lot your little one can enjoy in the parks including rides, shows, and more.
Rides for All Ages
There are so many rides at Disney World that infants are welcome to ride, accompanied by an adult of course. You can wear your baby in a carrier or hold them in your lap, whatever feels best. Generally, any ride that has no age or height requirement is safe for the littlest of ones, but it is always good to check with the cast member working the ride before hopping on. Some favorite infant-friendly rides at Disney World are “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom, Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios, and Frozen Ever After at EPCOT.
Shows for the Family
There are many brilliant shows to see throughout Walt Disney World. Just hang out on Main Street for a day and you will see Elsa and Anna performing on the castle stage, the Dapper Dans performing in the street, and more! There are also theater shows throughout the parks that are great for kids and adults alike and sometimes are even in an air-conditioned building. Catch the Country Bear Jamboree in Magic Kingdom, Experience For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at Hollywood Studios, or enjoy the new Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…And Beyond! at Animal Kingdom. Some shows like Fantasmic and Happily Ever After may be a little too much for infants because there are fireworks and flashing lights.
Plan for Parades
The most fun and exciting way to interact with characters is during a parade. While some characters may be waving from floats and cars, many of them are walking the parade route and interacting with guests along the way. There is also fun music and dancers to keep your baby totally mesmerized throughout the whole thing.
Traditional character meet-and-greets welcome infants, toddlers, and kids of all ages, but they do require you to wait in a short line and are often one on one. Some babies may fear getting that close and personal with a stranger or may be too fussy to wait in line, so you may find that the parade route is your best bet.
Live Like Elsa & Let it Go
As adults, we all understand what goes into a Walt Disney World vacation. Booking flights and hotels, purchasing theme park tickets and making reservations, perfectly planning the day so everyone gets to do and see what they want…it’s not all ice cream and pixie dust! But one of the many joys of being a child is being blind and naive to these realities. Your kid will still throw a tantrum when you don't allow them to have all the balloons and they fall asleep in the stroller right before their favorite character comes down the parade route, despite being in the happiest place on earth. This is the reality of Disney with an infant or toddler. Remember, this is your vacation too and odds are, your sweet babe isn’t going to remember a thing. So, hakuna matata, let it go, and have a magical day.