In November 2017 my husband and I brought our infant daughter who was around 4/5 months old at the time to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Prior to going I was a little nervous bringing an infant to Disney World for various reasons. Is it safe? Is it worth it? How is breastfeeding going to work? Will it still be fun for myself? How is transportation going to work? These were some of the questions I had. In saying that I put together something that I think would be helpful to anyone who is bringing or thinking of bringing their infant to Disney World. Also if you have any questions that I may not have covered in this blog post, please feel free to leave a comment down below and hopefully I can provide you some insight! Alternatively, if there are any tricks and tips you may personally have, also leave a comment down below!
Alright, lets get started!
Accommodations. The number one thing is by no mistake; accommodations. I have stayed on Disney property and off of Disney property and must say, having an infant with you or not, it's so much easier to stay on property. Sure some off property hotels offer free shuttles to Disney World but they're not as frequent or convenient as the Disney transportation service. Disney World offers different levels in terms of affordability when it comes to their on property resorts. I have stayed at the low end and high end and either are fine. They are all connected to the Walt Disney World transportation system. They all offer that Disney magical experience. Going to Disney World with an infant means you are going to want to take breaks and naps. Well at least your infant will still need their day naps, so staying on property allows you the freedom to go back to your resort any time. Disney World is fun and exciting but also exhausting for adults and children alike. Also you can rest assured that your room is held up to high "mousekeeping" standards.
Disney Transportation Service. The previous point ties into this point as the transportation service is extremely important to your stay. There are busses, boats and trains to get you from your resort to the parks or from the parks to the other Disney parks. Best of all, did I mention it's completely free of charge to all guests?! Buses and boats come around about every 15 minutes, monorails are more frequent. Some resorts have access to all three forms of transportations and some don't, however they are all connected. If you search online you can see which form of transportation is compatible with your resort. Putting that aside how does this transportation service work if you're bringing a stroller? Well you will have to fold up the stroller upon boarding. So my advice is; bring a bag of some sort. We brought a reusable Lululemon bag to quickly throw odds and ends in like water bottles, extra sun screen, snacks etc. Those reusable grocery bags will work as well. They provide quick access and have handles for easy carrying. Also, you could rent strollers at the park however I prefer to bring our own because its much more comfier and it was what our infant was used to. Also our stroller reclines all the way back making for easier napping on the go. Luckily my daughter doesn't mind noise and could nap essentially everywhere however not all babies are like that.
Breastfeeding and Diaper Changes. In my experience all the restrooms have a pull down diaper changing table. There are plenty of restrooms around the parks so you're always near one. However each park has a designated baby center where you can go to change diapers, breastfeed, purchase things you may need such as diapers, wipes, food etc... These centers are nicely air conditioned too! The breastfeeding room has dimmed lights and is a nice quiet place to breastfeed as only breastfeeding mothers are allowed in this room. I also would just breastfeed anywhere in the park and cover up with a light muslin blanket. Nobody said anything to me or made me feel uncomfortable.
Rides. There are PLENTY of rides you can take your baby on. I suggest you download the official Walt Disney World's "My Disney Experience" mobile app for your phone / tablet where you can book FastPass+, see the wait times for the rides, locate restrooms etc... FastPass+ becomes your best friend! Basically you are allowed to book up to three FastPass+ a day. You can book a time slot for the ride and you can show up within an hour of that time slot for minimal wait time. If on the app there is no height requirement, you can take your baby on it. My daughter loved, "It's a small world," in the Magic Kingdom. For the more intense rides Disney World has a child swap program. What it essentially is, one parent would wait in line to go on the ride and tell a cast member that the other parent would like to go on or mention child swap then they will give you a ticket which you can give to the other parent which allows them to skip the line. With the "My Disney Experience" app, it helps you plan so you can maximize your time. Also I feel I should mention, there is plenty of stroller parking throughout the parks close to the attractions. You can take your valuables with you on the rides.
The Diaper Bag. I would suggest you pack a diaper per hour that you plan on being at the parks, a muslin blanket and two changes of outfits. Now I was exclusively breastfeeding so I didn't really need to bring much other than what I mentioned. I really didn't feel the need to over pack and never once did I think, "Oh, I should I brought that!," Generally I kept my daughter out of the sun as much as possible and she would wear an infant sun hat to help protect her. Luckily the time of year I went, the sun wasn't all that strong.
- When to go and is it Worth it to Bring an Infant? The previous point brings me to this point; When is the best time of year to go to Disney World with an infant? I'd say it's best to go when the crowds are down and when the weather is a little on the cooler side. I went at the end of October and beginning of November because I wanted to see Halloween and Christmas in the same visit. (They switch over from Halloween to Christmas overnight, It's spectacular!) I have to say, the crowds weren't too bad and the weather was pretty good. It wasn't disgustingly hot and humid, we actually needed a sweater a couple of times! Our daughter was very comfortable in terms of the weather. To the second part of this point; Is it worth it to bring an infant to Disney World? My answer is; It depends. If this is a once in a life time type of trip I would suggest to wait until your child would remember this experience. If however, you plan to enjoy Disney several times throughout your child's childhood then I say, absolutely it's worth it! To see Disney World through your child's eyes is a magical experience in itself! At the end of the day it's up to you and there really isn't a general right answer, just what is right for you and your family.
Bringing an infant to Disney World doesn't have to be stressful or worrisome! Disney is accommodating to guests of all ages and there is never a shortage of things to do or see, even for an infant. I believe that it is paramount that you plan ahead for what activities you want to see or do because whether you bring an infant or not, you want to get the most out of your visit. Optimize the "My Disney Experience" app as sort of a central hub for all your planning needs in one place. You just need to have fun with it, I mean, Disney World is the happiest place on earth after all!