If you're taking a baby to disney soon, here are some great tips for you! I've made dozens of Disney trips with my babies and have lots of advice, based on our experiences (good and bad). Here's how to make the most of a Disney trip, with a baby in tow.
Disney Baby Tip #1: Use a Baby Carrier. This is very important. It not only saves you from having to carry your baby around in your arms, it can save you from having to disturb a nap. Most rides allow you to ride with the baby in the carrier. This means that if baby falls asleep, you can keep going about your Disney day without someone having to wait by the stroller. On some rides, if you are holding a sleeping baby in your arms, they will ask you to turn the baby forward facing with his legs under the bar. However, if they are in a carrier, they can be rear facing.
Disney Baby Tip #2: The Baby Care Centers. Each park has a Baby Care Center. Here you can nurse, pump, bottle-feed, or feed your baby solids in a comfortable, quiet environment. They also have baby supplies available for purchase. And, if it's hot, take advantage of the cold drinking water and air conditioning.
My favorite aspect of the baby center is the comfy changing tables. They have disposable paper sheets covering the tables, which makes it cleaner than using the ones available in the restrooms. The high-sides make it harder for a baby to escape, and there's a clean place to put your diaper bag. There are also toddler-sized potties.
Disney Baby Tip #3: The Characters Love Babies! Think your baby is too young to care about the characters? Think again! We have had some fabulous character experiences with our babies. Our first baby made great friends with Mary Poppins and the Mad Hatter, both of whom went out of their way to see her. My third child's first visit with mickey mouse was memorable. We took a family picture, then Mickey got out of his chair, knelt down and spent several minutes playing peek-a-boo and smiling at her. She was only about 5 weeks old and probably didn't even notice. But it meant a lot to us as parents, and I think Mickey enjoyed it, too!
Our three month old was recently threatened by a Sith Lord. He tried for several minutes to tempt her to the Dark Side. She stared him down until he retreated, trying very hard not to laugh.
Disney Baby Tip #4: Parent Pass. Also known as the Rider Switch Pass, this pass is available for any ride with a height requirement and is a life-saver. Wait in line once, and each of you can ride the ride separately! View more details about the Rider Switch Pass.
Disney Baby Tip #5: Feed Your Baby. Time flies when you're having fun at Disney! Be sure to pay attention to your baby's cues as you may not realize how long it's been since she has eaten. In addition to the BabyCareCenter, there are plenty of shady spots outside where you can sit and feed your baby. If I'm the only adult, there are many places I can feed my baby that my older children will also enjoy. Some of my favorites at the Disneyland Resort include:
- Goofy's Playhouse in Toontown at Disneyland
- The Disneyland Railroad
- The AnimationBuilding in HollywoodLand at Disney California Adventure
- The Peter Pan room in the House of Tomorrow at Innoventions in Disneyland
And, if you're comfortable, don't be afraid to feed your baby in line or on the rides. No need for anyone to miss out on the fun. I've nursed my babies on many rides. Though some (Teacups?) I wouldn't recommend, others like Pirates of the Caribbean and “it's a small world” work great. Sadly, my baby is becoming too distractible to feed in line.
Disney Baby Tip #6: Help them not be overwhelmed. Even very young babies can appreciate the sounds, colors and excitement at Disney. However, it can also be overwhelming. Be aware that even if you are sitting down, out of the way, with your baby covered, there is probably a lot of unfamiliar noise and music around. As adults, we can tune out the sounds, but that is harder for an infant. If your baby is easily over stimulated, this is where the Baby Care Centers come in handy.
Disney Baby Tip #7: They are never too young! It may surprise you to learn that babies can go on nearly all Disney rides. Other than the roller coasters, most rides don't have height requirements. There are a handful of rides, such as Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, that require riders to sit in their own seat (no lap sitting). My first two children made their first Disney trips at about 3 months. My third was only 4 weeks. The favorite ride for all three of them was “it's a small world.”
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