Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Going To Disney With a Baby

I wasn't necessarily planning on writing a post about going to Disney World with a baby but I had so many people ask me how I was doing it and if I had any tips.
First of all, Disney with a baby is 100% doable. Disney is so amazing in that they think of everything, literally everything, to help make your magical vacation as easy as possible. Most people who are traveling to Disney World are doing so with young children so everything was built with that in mind. I have been to Disney with a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 year old and every age was great and every age had an absolutely amazing time!
First of all, the majority of rides at Disney are baby friendly. The rides at Disney aren't like your typical amusement park rides. They're very special and unique, and almost have more of an attraction feel to them. They're more entertaining and less thrilling, although there are definitely thrill rides at Disney and they are fantastic! Disney has the rider-swap option, which allows adults to take turns waiting with their young child who cannot do a ride, without having to get back in line and wait again. We did a handful of rides that Wells couldn't do, but we made the decision that we wanted to be able to do everything as a family so 85% of the rides we chose to do at Disney, we were all able to do together!
Disney is very stroller friendly. Like, literally everywhere you look there are strollers. There are even designated stroller parking areas, all over the parks. Kind of everywhere you look honestly. We have taken our own stroller to Disney and also rented a stroller from Kingdom Strollers. Both were great decisions, it just depends on your personal preference. Kingdom Strollers will have your stroller ready and waiting for you at your hotel which is really nice! It was very clean and I felt completely comfortable having my kids be in it. On our most recent trip, we took our UPPAbaby Vista. I won't pretend that I wasn't a little worried someone would steal it. As the trip went on, I noticed there were hundreds upon hundreds of nice strollers there and I think the chances of someone taking your nice stroller are very, very slim. We even left stuff in the basket of our stroller while we would be gone for over an hour riding rides and nothing was ever taken. Everyone else does the same. There are also  Disney cast members watching over the strollers and keeping them organized at each stroller parking location.
A really awesome thing Disney has done for young families is provide Baby Care Centers in each park. These are nice, quiet rooms for you to be able to feed and change your baby. They even have small potties for your toddlers to be able to use. There are several small, private rooms with a rocker and changing table for you to be able to pump or breastfeed your baby in private. The one at Animal Kingdom is especially nice! While you're feeding your baby, Dad and the kids can go in a different room and watch whatever Disney movie or show is playing on the TV. The Baby Care Centers all have an attendant in there if you need assistance and they also sell emergency baby essentials like diapers, wipes, formula, puffs, pouches.....even outfits if you need to change and don't have any spare clothes. The Baby Care Centers have distilled water for you to use without charge if you need to make a bottle and they have sinks, soap, and towels for you to clean bottles or any other supplies. There are high chairs, microwaves, hot water.....literally everything you may need. These rooms are spotless and I even let Wells crawl around for a bit to work out some energy. Also, the changing pads are really nice and they have big sheets of paper (similar to the paper on the tables at the doctors office) stacked under each table, that you can throw on top of the changing pads before laying your baby down.
One item I absolutely could not have done Disney without is my Freshly Picked backpack. The first time we went to Disney I didn't have a backpack and it was not easy. A backpack, whether you have babies, young kids, no kids....is a must. I left everything in our stroller when we parked it but I always carried my backpack when we walked around and did the rides. The reason I say I couldn't have done without my Freshly Picked backpack specifically is because of the insulated pocket on the inside. Wells takes two bottles of milk a day now: one before bed and one as an afternoon snack. I brought my frozen milk with me and it actually really and truly stayed frozen in the insulated pocket for so much longer than it would have without. I took the milk out of the freezer around 8:30 every morning, threw the bag in the insulated pocket, and by 3:00 the milk was thawed but it was ice cold. I was super impressed and very thankful to have that nice feature in my backpack!
Disney was made for babies and young children and if you want to go, go! Don't feel as if you have to wait until your child gets older before you can take them. A major perk of taking young children to Disney is that they are 100% free if they are 2 years or younger. The day they turn 3 you have to pay for their tickets and meals but any age under that is completely free. The Disney characters love babies and are so good with them! They can't hold the babies but they will get on the floor with them and interact and it's the sweetest thing!! Wells adored all of the characters and he would grin so big at them and stroke their face. His favorite part about Disney, besides the characters, was riding the carousel by himself like a big boy! He was also so still and fascinated while we were doing the rides. He looked around at everything around him and didn't make a peep!
Of course traveling with your baby to Disney, or anywhere really, can have some cons. The biggest con for me were naps. When we go to Disney we go to the parks and stay there all day. We don't ever go back to our room for naps. Wells doesn't nap on the go, he never has, so he would only take a 30 minute cat nap in the stroller. He did remarkably well for getting such little sleep and we always made sure to get back to our room as early as possible so he could get as much rest at night as he could. I know that's unique to him and most babies nap well in a stroller but that was our biggest struggle with him. Taking a breastfeeding baby can be a little challenging as well. I'm modest and don't feel comfortable feeding my baby just anywhere. Not kidding, sometimes the easiest place for me to feed him was on a ride or while watching a show, LOL. They're dark, private and nobody could see me. I can be pretty inconspicuous while nursing and I made sure to wear clothes that would be easy to feed him in. It did wear on me at times though, knowing I needed to feed him, and not sure where exactly I should do it. If the Baby Care Centers were close by I always went in there but sometimes they were at the opposite end of the park and we didn't have time to get to one before our next FastPass so I just had to do what I had to do.
Disney is a place where anyone, at any age, can enjoy! Our boys have the time of their lives while they're there and Scott and I do too. We would totally love to go to Disney by ourselves and leave the kids behind sometime, LOL. Disney takes care of their guests so well. They will even send your purchases that you make in the park gift shops to your resort so you don't have to carry it around if you don't want to. All that to say, Disney does everything they can to make your vacation as magical as possible, which makes taking your small children to Disney, as easy as it can possibly be!

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