So now that the bundle of joy is here, it’s only natural for you to begin planning (at least in your head while you’re up at 2am with your infant) his or her first trip to Disney! I knew I couldn’t wait to share the joy of the Mouse with my son when he was born. My little guy had terrible acid reflux along with colic that was so bad I never thought I’d make it until my husband would come home and take over for me each night. What got me through was doing tons of research on how to travel to Disney with an infant. I always thought to myself, “Hey, if the kid cries, he might as well be someplace with lots of other crying kids!” Sure, Thomas won’t remember a lick of the vacation, but I needed that trip. I had the perfect answer to, “What will you celebrate?” My beautiful baby boy!
If you think that traveling to Disney with an infant is difficult or takes the fun out of things, I’m happy to say you’re wrong! With these little tips, you too can have the time of your life!
Ship to your hotel – This is a HUGE life saver if you are flying. With the outrageous prices the airlines are charging these days for extra bags, you don’t want to have to pack any extra stuff to fly down with you. About a week before you leave, take your package of anything that you’ll need for the week but won’t be bringing home (diapers, wipes, baby food, disposable spoons, bowls, and bibs, etc.) to the post office! Your package should be addressed as follows:
Guest Name, Arriving on XX/XX/20XX
Resort Address (this can be found on the resort’s website or by calling the resort)
Sure, you can grocery shop when you get down to Orlando but with the parks calling your name, do you really want to be at the grocery store paying their prices? Also, the less you have to carry with you to the airport on your day of travel, the better! It saves SO much stress at the airport when you just have to deal with you, your bag of clothes, your stroller and your baby!
Bring your own stroller – This will save you money on the stroller rental at the park which would cost you $15 per day for a single-passenger stroller and $31 per day for a double-passenger. Not only that but at the end of each day, you need to return the stroller which may result in your tired self carrying a sleeping infant or toddler to the bus stop and back to your room. The rental strollers are not appropriate for an infant – they are more suited for a bigger toddler and kid. Besides the money aspect, your baby will appreciate his or her own stroller. My son was used to his stroller from being in it for countless miles here at home. If he became fussy or overstimulated, putting him in the stroller gave him a sense of security that calmed him right down (and often put him to sleep!)
Put your name all over the stroller! In fact, putting a sign on the stroller is a fun and cute way to ensure that nobody walks off with it.
Don’t overpack – Going back to luggage, you want to carry as little as possible since you’ll have the stroller and the baby now! Pack what you think you need for the vacation and take half of it out of the bag! Laundry facilities are available at every resort and they are great! After you get back from the parks, just throw a load in, grab a snack and before you know it the wash will be done. My son had terrible reflux so we did A LOT of laundry and it still didn’t deter from the vacation. Being able to use the laundry allows you to take so much less. And less of anything just equals less STRESS! Also? Less clothes means you can bring more souvenirs home with you!
Baby Center – The baby centers can be your best friend! Regardless if you are nursing or not, these quiet areas (one in each park) will be your saving grace when you and/or your baby need a break from the hustle and bustle of the parks. They are private. They are air conditioned. They have friendly Cast Members ready to help you. They have rocking chairs and beautiful high chairs. They even have a little entertainment area for an older child to chill out. My husband and I used these all the time. Sure, there are changing tables in every bathroom in the parks but the Baby Center ones were so clean and the environment there was so peaceful. There is an area for nursing moms which is very helpful for the time when an infant becomes a little too enthralled with his or her surroundings to concentrate on feeding! My son appreciated the quiet time so he could get down to the business of eating.
Baby Carrier – Besides a stroller being a nice comfortable place for your baby to hang out, a great carrier can provide that extra snuggle that he or she might need. Having your baby in a carrier (in this case, a forward-facing carrier like a Baby Bjorn) for the rides allows you to enjoy the rides yourself without having to worry about a squirmy infant trying to get out of your grasp. My son loved being in the Bjorn on the rides – he could see everything, move his hands and his feet as he pleased, and it made me feel more secure taking him on the rides like Dumbo, Peter Pan, etc. We also took an Ergo with us as well which I could put my son in when he wanted to take a snooze. He could have a quiet and darkened place against Mom’s chest and we could in the meantime go on Spaceship Earth while he slept on me! The carriers are so useful! Just make sure to practice getting your baby in and out before you go so you don’t waste too much time finagling around with the straps!
Rides – Speaking of rides, don’t think that your baby is too small and he or she won’t be able to enjoy any of them. Not true! There are SO many rides and attractions that your baby can be a part of. Basically any ride that does not have a height restriction is a-ok for your infant. Not only that but the shows are also fun for the whole family. Sure, my son doesn’t remember “it’s a small world” but he had a BLAST looking back and forth at all the singing children!
Baby Swap – And just because you have an infant with you does NOT mean that YOU can’t enjoy the thrill rides! Sure, you won’t be taking baby on Tower of Terror but you CAN take part in baby swap which really is one of Disney’s best kept secrets! What happens is you and your spouse and child go to the Cast Member at the start of the line (in this case, Tower of Terror). Let the Cast Member know you would like to do the baby swap. If you want to ride first, your spouse will be given a ticket that looks like a Fastpass. Your spouse will hang out with the baby while you go and enjoy the ride! After you finish, you can meet up with your spouse and baby, take the baby and your spouse can use his Fastpass ticket to go directly on the ride and avoid the line! It’s great! You get the best of both worlds! You get to ride the smaller rides but also you can experience the thrill rides just like you did before you had children (although be careful – motherhood seems to have given me some extra scaredycat-ness that I didn’t have before my son came along!)
Traveling to Disney with an infant is so easy. Taking a few extra steps in preparation makes it a breeze to enjoy every aspect of Disney and even some new ones that you wouldn’t otherwise know without having your baby with you. A great incentive to travel with your infant is the fact that until they are two years old, they can fly for free and until they are three years old their park tickets are free! For that reason, my husband and I have three trips planned already in the next year!
There are so many other tips I could probably rattle off after having taken my infant son to Disney but these seem to be the biggest ones. The most important one, however, is to HAVE FUN and TAKE PICTURES!!!
*My Disney experiences have given me great insight to tips and tricks for getting the very most out of a Disney vacation. I want to share this valuable information with you and help you discover the Disney magic in your own way.
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