Your new bundle of joy is here and you’re ready to bring them to the Most Magical Place on Earth. To help you make the most of your special time, I’ve put together my favorite tips for bringing a baby to Walt Disney World.
By Dani Dennison Meyering
An important note: please talk with your pediatrician or family physician about any questions or concerns you have about visiting Walt Disney World with your baby. Each child is different, and there may be specific health questions that should be addressed with a medical professional.
General tips for bringing a baby to Disney World
First things first, make sure you know the policies of your chosen airline, hotel, and rental car place as it pertains to car seats, extra bags like diaper bags, and other items like the availability of a crib at the hotel.
Decide if you’ll be bringing along your stroller to the parks or renting one. Disney does have a limited amount of infant strollers available for rent in each theme park. If you’re going to visit during a peak time you may want to rent a stroller from one of the many companies in Central Florida as Disney’s infant strollers may be sold out for the day.
You’ve probably read tons of books about pregnancy and those first precious months. One thing I remember reading over and over again when my son was first born is the importance of sticking to a routine. Even now that our son is nearly four years old, routines are crucial. So stick to your routine as best as you can, including nap and feeding times.
Because of your need to stick to baby’s schedule, make sure you plan your time in the theme parks accordingly. When should you schedule any dining reservations in order to accommodate your baby’s feeding and nap schedule?
Bring along any comfort items that your baby is used to. Many kids have a security blanket and even if your little baby hasn’t developed a connection with any specific item, bring along a few blankets or soft items that your baby knows. Having blankets that our little guy was used to as a baby helped him with nap times and feeling secure in his infant stroller as the bright, colorful, and loud environment of Walt Disney World was introduced to him.
Be sure to review the height requirements at Walt Disney World. There are plenty of attractions that do not have any height requirement at all, but you’ll want to be familiar with them before you go so you can plan ahead.
And last, I highly recommend getting the Disney PhotoPass Memory Maker for your baby’s first trip to Walt Disney World. Clearly, your little baby won’t remember their first trip, but with beautiful photos, you’ll be able to cherish the memories and share the moments with them as they get older.
Baby Care Centers at each Walt Disney World theme park
It’s hard to beat the convenience of the Baby Care Centers at each Walt Disney World theme park. Each one is well stocked with baby care needs like diapers, pull-ups, wipes, stroller accessories, bottles, baby food, some snacks, and other helpful items.
The size and functionality of each Disney Baby Care Center can vary. The one at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is so small compared to the other theme parks that it’s laughable. Magic Kingdom’s Baby Care Center is usually pretty good, even for toddlers, since it has potty training size toilet seats in the restroom.
Each Disney theme park Baby Care Center does have a quiet nursing room. There is also at least one sink for rinsing bottles and other baby care items, as well as a microwave or bottle warmer. Note that strollers have to be left outside of each Baby Care Center due to space constraints, so plan accordingly.
Tips for bringing a baby to Magic Kingdom
You may know that Magic Kingdom is the most-attended theme park at Walt Disney World (and Orlando, for that matter). This is my least favorite park to bring a baby because it is difficult to get into, thanks to the Seven Seas Lagoon and having to take the monorail or ferry boat. Plus, with it being the busiest, it can be tough to navigate the crowds with a stroller. But I also can’t blame you one bit if the Magic Kingdom is on your must-do list.
Thankfully, there are little alcoves to be found in each of the lands within Magic Kingdom, but it does take some looking. A good rule of thumb is to look to the sides of the bridges leading into each land, which usually have a small alcove.
One of my favorite, underutilized spots is Cinderella’s wishing well along the pathway between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. This can be romantic for a proposal, but otherwise, it is not used by many guests and is usually a nice quiet spot to sit with your baby, away from the crowds, while still enjoying the views.
Storybook Circus, at the back of Fantasyland, has lots of tables and chairs near the back that are rarely used. There is a tent next to Pete’s Sideshow that makes for a great resting place with shade.
If you want to introduce your little one to having fun with water, the Casey Jr’s water play area is phenomenal. It’s a great way to splash around with your little one and it has some adorable details.
Tips for bringing a baby to Epcot
Epcot is one of Walt Disney World’s largest parks, so get ready for lots and lots of walking. The good news is there are lots of quiet places for resting, and a few rides that are baby-friendly.
Living with the Land is one of the first rides our son went on when he was just a few months old. It’s hard to beat the feeling when you see your little baby’s face light up when they see the fish, dolphin, rays, and manatees inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
World Showcase can actually be a relaxing spot for little ones, if you know where to go. Many guests tend to stay along the main promenade and don’t take the time to go into each World Showcase pavilion. This is a mistake.
Each pavilion has a lovely walking path with detailed buildings and settings. You can usually find seating and quiet spots tucked along the sides and back corners of each pavilion. There are also a few large gates in between the pavilions, used when there are parades and cavilcades. These gates usually have shady walls on which you can sit and rest, away from the crowds.
Tips for bringing a baby to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a confusing layout, and its Baby Care Center is located at the very front of the park (so inconvenient) and is super small, at that. It’s not one of my top picks for Disney Parks to bring a baby to, but there are still some positives to it.
There are plenty of shows if you’re looking for a place to sit and rest for a bit, while being entertained. Just know many of the shows are loud so consider researching hearing protection. My son and I both wear hearing protection to the theme parks and it makes a difference in our comfort levels.
Besides ducking into a show or two, it’s hard to come by quiet space in Hollywood Studios. I do love the benches all along Sunset Boulevard; it’s nice to sit and enjoy the atmosphere as the screams of guests being thrusted up and down the Tower of Terror waft over the air. The courtyard near Walt Disney Presents and Pixar Place is also relatively quiet as is the area near MuppetVision 3-D and PizzeRizzo.
Tips for bringing a baby to Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Welcome to my favorite Disney theme park for little kids. Disney’s Animal Kingdom was the first theme park we brought our son to. He was just about 3 months old and we loved showing him around. It is the quietest park, and although it is rather large, there is so much shade and lots of quiet spaces. It is also important to us that our son gain an appreciation for the natural world and sciences, so we gravitate to Animal Kingdom.
The Baby Care Center is fairly centrally-located and it is rather large, and has a lovely sitting room with a television that always has Disney movies playing. Kilimanjaro Safaris is fun to ride as it has no height requirement, though your arms may get tired from holding baby tightly as you bounce around. Na’vi River Journey is relaxing, and was the first ride our son ever went on at Walt Disney World.
There are lots of pathways that have benches off to the side. The trails all around the Tree of Life are often quiet, with some seating. Most of the quick service dining locations have outside seating, so if you need some air conditioning while dining then consider a table service location. Pizzafari quick service does have indoor seating, as does Restaurantosaurus, but both can get busy and loud, so if that is a concern then plan to dine there early before it gets busy.
Bringing your little baby to Walt Disney World Resort can be very special. Just be sure to plan plenty of rest time and don’t push yourself too hard. This is a special time in your life, and for your whole family, so don’t overdo it. Instead, just enjoy being there together and soak up those precious moments.