Should You Bring Your Baby to Disney? Moms Describe Their Experience
From holding your own newborn baby in your arms to watching them wobble through their first steps, there are so many moments to look forward to as your children grow, learn and become people. One of those experiences that most parents dream about showing to their children? The wonders of Disney World, of course. But how soon – is too soon?
If your little one is still under 18 months and not quite mobile, you might wonder a trip to the parks will be one for the storybooks – or a nightmare, as you battle crowds, heat and schedules. Though every family has their own preference, if you’re considering taking your little one to Disney World, consider reading these tips from real moms who have taken on the challenge before speaking with your specialized Disney Travel Agent.
Would They Recommend It?
Mom of two, Emily Dunn, who brought her 3-month-old, Levi to Disney would vouch for the Disney experience with an infant – with a caveat. As you’ve likely already learned as a parent, life has a different pace when you’re lugging around a baby or two, so going into the vacation with the right expectations is essential. Your baby probably won’t remember this trek, so it’s more important that you savor the memories to share with them later. And as Dunn says, to look at the bright side of holding a sleeping baby, instead of wrestling an active older kid. “Taking Levi to Disney was really easy for us because he was so little! Going before babies want to move around a lot was easier than considering taking a toddler. I would highly recommend going with baby as long as you go knowing there are times you’ll have to slow down and potentially sit something out,” she says.
Hannah Shelton Arrowood, a mom of two (with another on the way!) says one of the most persuading reasons to travel to Disney with young children is how friendly it is on your wallet. If your kiddo is under three, they get into the park for free!
Here, Hannah and Emily share their best tips for making the most out of your adventure to Disney World:
Stay at a Disney Resort
You might consider staying away from the onsite Disney properties in an effort to save a pretty penny, but between gas money to drive into the grounds, daily parking fees and more, Hannah says it’s better just to stay at one of the many highly-recommended Disney Resorts. “Instead of driving to and from, when you stay at the Disney Resort, the shuttle drops you off and picks you back up, so it makes it really easy getting around with a stroller and your gear,” she explains.
Not sure which resort to choose? No worries. Your travel agent can give you their best insight, depending on the needs of your family and your hopes for your vacation.
Opt For the Fast Pass
When you book your Disney vacation, your travel agent will be quick to give you the scoop on the FastPass. This Disney perk is free, and you can start reserving the time you want to visit rides up to 30 days in advance. Though you can only hold three reservations at one time, there are many FastPass booths throughout the parks so you can book on the go. Hannah gives this service an A+, since once your infant becomes a bit older – say around a year to a year-and-a-half- they can come with you on the rides. “The second time we visited Disney with your little ones, we went during Thanksgiving. Then, my girls were 3 years old and 18 months old, and they were able to ride more rides. We really loved Dumbo, the 3D attractions and other small ones. The FastPass was worth the effort, so we didn’t have to wait in long lines with two small children,” she said.
Every parent knows there’s no easy way to get out of the house (or ahem, the hotel room) without over-packing for your baby. Emily says this is especially true when you are going to the Disney Parks. “Bring bottles or know you’ll have to find a stop to breastfeed. Always have sunscreen and a hat because it’ll be hot! Have a carrier and a stroller, even if that seems excessive,” she says. “Our 3-month-old was able to lie down in our stroller to nap, so I didn’t have to wear him the whole time.”
Hannah adds another essential: A mini, clip-on fan. “That was a lifesaver because even in the off-season, it’s going to be humid and hot,” she says.
Be Strategic and Plan Ahead
While you and your partner used to just pick a point on the map, pack your bags and go, with children, being specific about your itinerary is a must. Emily says opting into your type A side is recommended: “Prioritize what you want to do most and always have a plan. This helps with certain rides and attractions and doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing anything,” she says. “We did our research and took turns doing rides or attractions with our older son.”