Absolutely NO Diapers at Disney. Well, Maybe!

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Absolutely NO Diapers at Disney. Well, Maybe!

There are many questions about Disney that spark heated debates among Disney fans. The one I believe is the most discussed, and the question I get asked most often by friends and clients alike is, “What is a good age to start taking my child to Disney World?” I usually tell them that I believe the right age depends on the child and the parents. Then, I follow that up by telling them about choosing the right time of year to visit, explaining about height requirements, etc.; then, we normally start talking about their wishes for their trip and the children. The decision is ultimately theirs, but my opinion for my own life has for years been set in stone.

What I have always said to my closest friends and relatives is that I personally would NEVER take a child in diapers to Disney. I am not the most patient person so lugging a diaper bag around, spending half my time in the baby centers rather than in the parks, not being able to ride every ride, having to go back to the resort for mid-day breaks, pushing a stroller around in the crowd, and dealing with a cranky child is not something that interests me. All these things, coupled with the fact that the child wouldn’t even remember the trip, are the reasons I said I personally would never take a child to Walt Disney World until after they were potty-trained and could walk around the parks without a stroller. Absolutely NO diapers at Disney! Well, that was before!

Isn’t it funny how life changes us; how it softens our hearts? Paramount to my hard-headed, and possibly perceived hard-hearted, ways is that I am first and foremost a Disney lover. When my first grandchild, Aleyah, was born at the end of October I was head over heels in love. What is the thing I want to share most with those I love? Disney! I am already planning our trip for November.

Now that you know my secret, you should know that I have added to my list of considerations when it comes to taking a young child to Disney. These new additions include: who will be going, when will you be visiting, where you will be staying, and how much do you love Disney? For me, this year’s will be a multigenerational trip consisting of  my husband and myself, our adult daughter, our youngest (adult) son, and our oldest son with his wife and Aleyah. With a ratio of 6 adults to 1 baby, we should be able to pull this off with flying colors.:)

We will be spending Thanksgiving at WDW just as we have many years before so the weather will be cooler and the Christmas decorations will be up. We will stay on property for the convenience, as well as for being completely submerged in Disney 24 hours a day. Being a faithful Disney fan and frequent visitor, I can’t wait to share all Disney has to offer with Aleyah.

Because I want to make this trip enjoyable for everyone, I will plan carefully to help make the trip as magical as possible. That said, there are certain offerings that Disney has spent a lot of time and money developing, and that we will be taking advantage of for the very first time since my youngest was already 6 when we made our first trip (not because of my “baby rule” but just because we could not afford to go until then). These Disney offerings will help us to keep baby, and everyone else, happy and keep the trip at ‘maximum magic potential.’

Baby Care Centers: These comfortable and clean centers, hosted by Carnation Baby Formulas, are available throughout Walt Disney World Resort to make taking care of baby more enjoyable while in the parks and at Downtown Disney. The centers offer changing rooms, nursing areas, electrical outlets, wooden rockers, and a calm atmosphere. They also have necessities for sale such as Carnation Good Start formulas, Gerber foods and juices, Huggies diapers and wipes, bottles, lotions, sunscreen, and some children’s over-the-counter medications. For our convenience, they also house a microwave and sink.

Stroller rentals: Since we drive to Walt Disney World each year, we will take Aleyah’s stroller with us to WDW. But if we need to, it’s great to know that we could rent a stroller at a variety of locations throughout the parks and Downtown Disney. For guests like us who would require a stroller rental for multiple days, we would be able to purchase a length-of-stay rental ticket which would allow us to make a one-time payment for as many days of rental as we would need. Each time we enter a park, we would just show our receipt at the stroller rental location and we’d be expedited through the queue with a reduced wait time. The multiple day rental fee is $13.00 per day for a single-passenger stroller.

Rider Swap: Disney’s Rider Swap option is available at select attractions in all 4 theme parks at Walt Disney World. Rider Swap is when guests take turns waiting with the child who is too small to ride, then “swap” with another adult guest from their party to experience the ride without standing in line twice. Although my son has visited many times, his wife has never been to Disney before (yea, another first timer with whom I will get to share Disney), so I would like for he and his wife to be able to ride together as much as possible and have lots of fun together. For this reason, I am planning to share the rider-swap responsibilities with them. My hubby and I will do the ride-swap part of the time so we can all enjoy riding by switching off with this duty.

Disney resort transportation: Aleyah will likely get tired, overwhelmed, and fussy. She might even sleep through great surprises in the stroller. Thankfully, I will enjoy just snuggling with my sweetie while the parade strolls by, or the fireworks fly. For times when it is necessary, any of us will be able to hop on the bus and take her to the resort for a mid-day break. When it’s my turn, I will get a little quiet time as well while her parents want to stay in the parks.

Unique resort offerings: We are seriously considering staying at a deluxe resort or villa for this trip. There are so many things we can do with Aleyah at the resort. For instance, watching the animals on the savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge or playing on the beach at the Contemporary. There are many options for spending time at any Disney resort, no matter the category. This will provide a great opportunity for quality time for my kids to have together and/or Date Night for my son and his wife. They can take advantage of later park hours and have a bit of free time exploring the parks, or go and hang out for a while at Downtown Disney. We can take Aleyah and show her some treasures we think she’ll enjoy. This will be great for everyone!

PhotoPass CD: This is somewhat unrelated but I think this year would be the best time ever for purchasing a PhotoPass CD. Although we typically don’t buy the CD, this year will be a great time to capture wonderful memories of ALL the family together. That way, we can have pictures in all kinds of poses with different family members and keep them all. Realistically, Aleyah will not remember this trip. Thankfully, she will have pictures to look at for the rest of her life when all her family was together celebrating the magic of Disney with her. She will even know that Mickey, Minnie, and all the princesses welcomed her on her first of many visits to “the world.” Soon, the cost of the PhotoPass CD becomes minimal!

So, things in life can totally change our minds about how we see things. Yes, I could take my younger kids and leave my oldest, his wife and my granddaughter at home. But I went on our trip this past December without two of my kids and, to that, I say no thank you! To me, a Disney vacation translates word for word to “magic with your family.” My ideal vacation is having all my kids with me…and now my new precious grand-princess. Disney is the best place in the world for creating priceless, family memories!

It just goes to show how the desire to share Disney with those we love changes everything!

  • Disney World Planning 101 – Using Childcare Services (chipandco.com)
  • Do You Need a Car while at Walt Disney World? (chipandco.com)
Absolutely NO Diapers at Disney. Well, Maybe!

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10 thoughts on “Absolutely NO Diapers at Disney. Well, Maybe!

  1. What an exciting trip to look forward to! I have been sharing the magic of Disney with my almost 3 year old grandtwins since they were just shy of 12 weeks old. Being local residents, they are old hands at visiting the DIsney parks, but it never gets old. Your article explains well how you can share the magic of Disney with anyone, no matter how young they are! Have fun planning your trip!

  2. Completely off topic but love the diaper bag. Where did you get it? Expecting my third child in may and youngest is 6 so diaper bags are long gone

  3. my kids were 3, and 4 months when we went..the trip was planned long, long ago so we didn’t expect to have a baby at the time of booking. I would do it again in a heartbeat. You have to have patience, and be prepared for meltdowns. We found out quickly, 4 hours was our max timei n the park, we were there for opening, stayed 4 hours, came back to relax, and went out again. My daughter was colicky and stayed in the front pack the entire time, but it was enjoyable. The last day we were there she had a meltdown, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t stop shrieking..I walked into the baby center, and the sweetest old lady saw I was frustrated, and rushed to me, asked if she could take the baby, I said yes (at this point I was desperate) and she rocked my daughter to sleep while I relaxed for half an hour. It was magical!! You need patience though, and have to be able to deal with a lot.

  4. You will have so much fun! It will be special to everyone. I can’t wait to hear about it.

    I took my 3 grand-daughters when they were 3, 4 and 5 and my son who was 7. One of my favorite trips. It took patience and some planning, but it turned out great! With the ratio of adults to little one in your group it will work out great.

    One thing we had to address was the little one’s reactions to characters through-out the parks. We had the 2 middle kids do fine, while my son wanted me to go with him and the youngest preferred to watch from the safety of the stroller away from the character. Getting them used to larger than life characters beforehand helped with the melt-downs.

  5. We went when our older child was 8 and our younger child 5. My thought was that I wanted them to remember the trip as we may not be able to go again since it took us years to save for that trip. Since then, we’ve been able to go again and are planning our third trip this year! Each time has been awesome, but I really couldn’t see spending thousands of dollars on a vacation that they could not remember when they were that young. For us, patience paid off.

  6. My daughter was almost 2 and my son almost 1year when they went for the first. W are season passholders ,so we do not feel the need to do everything . We can always come back. My husband and I loved Disney,but now enjoy it through their eyes. I know that both do not remember the first trip,but at that moment they talked about it FOREVER! Now Disney is old hat for all of us. Sure it is more work when they are little, but the look on their face the first time they see Mickey is worth it!

  7. The first time my husband and I took our daughter, she was 2 and still in diapers. We would find asecluded area to change her right in the stroller and drape it with a blanket. No one could see anything and also she could go on a majority of the rides. We had a great time.

    As for the stroller, I dread the time when we won’t have it anymore. Our next trip will be in November and even though our daughter will be 6 1/2, we will bring the stroller(luckily she’s very timy for her age). Little feet get tired so much more quickly than an adults and kid sare more likely to whine about it!

  8. Great post! I felt the same way until I did it for the first time when my son was 3, and now wouldn’t go back. It definitely takes some extra planning, but there was just something magical about the expression my just under 1-year-old daughter had when she first met Mickey. And while you’re right, they may not remember their first trip, you will have wonderful pictures to look at years from now and you will have wonderful memories, that I’m sure you’ll cherish!

  9. My eldest first trip he was 2.5 and he remembers! So i didnt hesitate to return when he was 8 with his 3yr sister and 1yr brother. Whethee they remember or not, its memories and seeing through the eyes of different children is fascinating

  10. The first time we took our son he was just over 2 years old and in diapers. The trip was about him and his enjoyment, the rest didn’t matter. Yes, we carried a lot of gear with us and yes, there were many rides we couldn’t ride (at least not together) however, we knew all of that going in. We wouldn’t change a thing. It was still magical and wonderful and oh so totally worth it.

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