Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- Disney with a Baby
- Babies are free!
- Take advantage of Disney Baby Care Center locations
- Decide how much baby gear you want to haul
- Consider bringing reinforcements
- Use RiderSwitch
- Maintain realistic expectations for character interactions
- Pack a reusable bag or two
- Know what rides baby can enjoy
- Dress for comfort
- Sun protection is not optional
- Try to plan a little grown up time
- Stay in a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
- Where to Buy Discounted Disney Tickets
Is it worth taking a baby to Disney? Yes! Whether you are headed to
Walt Disney Worldin Florida or Disneyland in California, a Disney vacation with baby can absolutely be done. It can even be fun. However, it does require some extra planning. Before you, check out these tips for Disney with a baby.
Disney with a Baby
Are you planning a trip to Disney with an infant or young child? It may seem like Disney is geared toward older kids, but babies are captivated by Disney! As silly as it sounds, Disney with a baby is actually one of the best times to visit the theme parks. It forces you to take a slower pace so you can really enjoy all of the details.
Babies are free!
Children under 3 years of age, are considered “guests of Mickey.” That’s a fancy way of saying they’re free. This applies even if the baby turns 3 during the trip. As long as they entered the park for the first day or check into a Disney resort while they are still 2, little ones don’t need a ticket. There’s also plenty to do for kiddos under 3 so it’s worth taking advantage of the savings. One less ticket to buy can save big bucks on a Disney World vacation.
Take advantage of Disney Baby Care Center locations
I discovered these mere moments after changing my baby in the restroom. It was a lifesaver! Changing tables galore, nursing rooms, rockers, a play area for older siblings to wait, and a full kitchen in which to prepare, rinse, and heat food (including a feeding area with high chairs).
Had I forgotten anything, I could have purchased a wide array of baby products including baby food and Pedialyte. They’re all available for sale at the centers.
It was, quite simply, heaven for a Traveling Mom. During the summer, it’s also a great escape from the heat. There is a Disney Baby Care Center in each of the four Disney parks in Florida. Here’s where to find them.
Magic Kingdom: The Baby Care Center is located off of Main Street between Casey’s and Crystal Palace. There is also a First Aid Station here.
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Epcot: The Baby Care Center is located in the Odyssey Building. If you are walking from the front of the park towards the World Showcase, it is on the left between Test Track and Mexico. You take the little bridge over the water to get to it.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios: This Baby Care Center is the easiest to find in my opinion. It’s located right at the entrance to the park near Guest Relations. It will be on your left as you enter.
Animal Kingdom: The Baby Care Center is located in the Discovery Island area. It’s past Pizzafari, next to Creature Comforts.
Choose a stroller style
The big question, “Should I rent or bring a stroller to Disney?” is one that weighs on parents. While a toddler may be able to make do without a stroller on the journey to Disney, many baby parents prefer to bring a stroller to use in the airport. However, there are a few things to consider.
Do you like your stroller? If you hate your stroller now or it’s a gargantuan monstrosity you may actually stress yourself out more by bringing it. If baby is old enough to sit in an umbrella stroller, that may be an easier option for the airport or to fit in the car for the drive to Disney. Upon arrival, though, many folks opt for jogging style strollers because of their storage capacity and the large sunshades.
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That leaves you wondering which stroller rental company to use. Disney rents strollers, but they need to stay in the park where you rent them. You’ll get a receipt to show at other parks to grab a new one if you park hop so you won’t need to pay again. But it still means no stroller to walk to the bus or go from the bus or monorail into the parks. In addition, the Disney strollers are a hard plastic stroller style better suited to an older child.
Most Orlando stroller rental services carry City Minis and provide rain covers, which you’ll most likely need at some point during your trip. An added bonus? Disney added new stroller regulations in 2019 and the main rental companies are in compliance.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Whether you rent or bring a stroller, be sure to clearly mark your stroller with an identifier and put a luggage tag with your name and cell on it. You’ll save tons of time hunting your stroller down in parking areas. Many strollers look alike so it is important to “make it your own.”
Decide how much baby gear you want to haul
There are three ways to go when baby gear is needed on a trip:
- Haul it (and potentially damage something that you’ll need at home later or pay astronomical fees to get it there),
- Rent it (sometimes pricey but a solid option), or
- Buy, then donate it (my personal favorite).
Don’t underestimate the power of Amazon Prime. You can easily get items like a bouncer chair, a Boppy pillow, or even diapers and baby food delivered right to your hotel. Always call the hotel first to see if there is a receiving fee, but even if there is, it’s usually worth not paying the fee rather than hauling all of that baby gear. When you’re done vacationing, just pass it along to another guest via Facebook groups or donate it to a local charity on your way to the airport.
Don’t have Amazon Prime yet? Here’s a 30 day free trial through our affiliate link.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Don’t mess with glass or plastic tubs of baby food. I highly recommend pouches and purchasing one of the little spoons that screws directly onto the pouch. It lets you spoon feed baby directly from the convenient pouch. Seriously, amazing invention.
Consider bringing reinforcements
Disney with grandparents can be a magical experience for everyone involved. If you can bring a willing grandparent, do it! On my oldest daughter’s first visit my father-in-law lived about an hour away from Disney. He was more than happy to come to the parks with us and watch her while my husband and I went on some of the big kid rides. The memories we made are priceless.
If you do not have a willing or able third party, you can take advantage of Disney’s Rider Switch (rider swap) program. This program is available at select attractions in the four Disney theme parks. You need to present your whole group to the Cast Member greeting at the ride line. Let them know you want to use the Rider Switch program and they’ll direct one adult through and direct the waiting adult and kiddos/non-riders to a waiting area. The first adult rides and then takes over the care of the waiting kiddos while the second adult rides, usually entering through the Lightning Lane. It’s a great way to see attractions without waiting twice!
Maintain realistic expectations for character interactions
You may be super excited about getting some adorable pictures of your kiddo with Pooh, Mickey, Minnie and more, but keep in mind that character interactions can be hit or miss with babies. Either they’ll coo and love the characters or they’ll scream bloody murder and you’ll have pictures to bring out when they have friends over later. Keep your expectations realistic so you don’t end up disappointed.
Pack a reusable bag or two
Carry a few extra cloth or nylon grocery bags to make the bus system easier to manage. Strollers have to be collapsed to board the buses. We always seem to accumulate extra loose items that make a quick stroller transition difficult. The extra bag allowed us to toss in the odds and ends and impress the crowds as we easily pulled out our bag, collapsed our stroller and hopped on board.
Obviously you and baby aren’t going to be riding Splash Mountain or Space Mountain. Babies are allowed on Disney rides that do not require restraints (seatbelts, pull down bars). Consider bringing a baby carrier along for these rides, especially if your baby is a feisty escape artist like mine! If the ride doesn’t have a height requirement, you can usually ride with baby in a baby carrier with no issues.
Some favorites tend to be Dumbo The Flying Elephant and “it’s a small world” in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. One of my favorites was the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover. It was the perfect spot for baby to catch a quick nap while I got out of the heat.
Dress for comfort
This one really should be self-explanatory but if you’re going to keep up with Junior, you’re going to need to be comfortable. Disney is a walking vacation. On a recent trip with a friend we walked nearly 30K steps per day! Layers also help if you’re going inside and outside. As a bonus, they can help camouflage baby spit up should your bundle of joy decide to “decorate” you.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Make sure that comfort extends to baby. We know it’s tempting to dress baby up in adorable themed clothing to show off your little prince, princess or Stitch. Just make sure it’s comfortable and weather appropriate. And you’ll want to buy yourself one of these pairs of comfy shoes just made for theme park walking.
Sun protection is not optional
You thought an angry tired baby was bad? How about your own personal cranky crispy lobster? Coat your baby in sunscreen before heading out to the parks, put a big floppy hat on them and make sure your stroller has an adequate sun hood. Reapply the sunscreen liberally. I love Neutrogena’s sunblock stick. It is easy to put on and not as gooey as liquids. Bonus points: If you forget to take it out of the diaper bag before you go through airport security, it’s not a liquid!
SheBuysTravel Tip: Everyone, including older kids and grown ups, should use sunscreen. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t absolve you from being a cranky sunburn victim.
Try to plan a little grown up time
One of the beautiful things about Disney? They are great with kids! If you and your partner want to carve out an evening for yourselves on an otherwise wholesome family vacation, you can arrange for in-room babysitting. Kids Nite Out is the resorts’ exclusive childcare provider and will come to your room. All sitters are thoroughly screened and trained. The service itself is certified and insured.
Stay in a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel
There is a time for an off-property stay, like when you have four teenage boys who require a kitchenette so you don’t go broke feeding them in the parks. Your first time at Disney with a baby should be an on-property stay at a Disney resort. You will enjoy Disney transportation (bus, monorail, Skyliner) to the parks, early admission hours and earlier access to Disney’s new Lightning Lane paid reservations. In addition, travel times to and from the parks will be shorter, so you’ll get the most out of your visit. The less stress for you, the less stress for your baby! If you have a baby that will only sleep in a quiet dark room you’ll be close enough to head back for nap time.
So off you go to your Disney getaway with your infant in tow. Don’t fret, you’ll have an amazing and magical time with these tips for Disney with a baby. Your baby will surprise you with how much they notice. My little one could not get enough of her new surroundings and mysteriously slept through the fireworks.
Where to Buy Discounted Disney Tickets
We recommend purchasing your Disney tickets through Get Away Today. Not only does the company have the lowest prices, it offers a best price guarantee. If you ever find park tickets cheaper, Get Away Today won’t just match the price, the company will beat it.
Nasreen's adventures started out as business travel. Working as a territory sales manager she covered 21 states during her tenure, traveling 3-5 nights a week. As she visited new cities and states, she always worked in a quick stop at a unique or iconic site. A travel writing career was born. When her father-in-law's cancer came back she started writing and consulting full-time around his chemotherapy schedule.
Traveling with her firefighter/paramedic husband, kids, friends and solo allows her to cover a variety of situations and topics. Her four kids (19 year old boy, 13 year old girl, 11 year old girl and 7 year old boy) are professionals at the cross country road trip. After 10 years in Texas, their family is back in the Northeast exploring both familiar and new destinations.
There she runs her own business providing go-to-market, sales strategy, podcast, and content marketing consulting for websites and B2B businesses. Whenever possible she writes for a variety of publications in the podcast, travel, and business space. Connect with her on LinkedIn to chat about travel, content, sales, and podcasts!