It’s no secret that I love to visit the Walt Disney World Resort.
As much as I love visiting the parks, I was always one of those people who said that I would never take my children before they were old enough to remember cause, you know, they aren’t going to remember.
But, towards the end of my pregnancy, my best friend Lisa text me and asked if I wanted to join her at the Wine and Dine Half Marathon that year and, of course, my answer was “yes, yes, YES!” because I love me some RunDisney events. And Lisa. One of those slightly more than the other.
So, I found myself eating my words and planning a trip to Walt Disney World just 6 months post-partum. I couldn’t believe I was going to be that person bringing an infant to Walt Disney World! Alex had to stay home (darn that work thing) so my mom agreed to come with to watch girl during my run – not like it took a whole lot of convincing 😉
We had an awesome time on our trip.Bringing a baby was A LOT easier than I could have ever imagined and I credit it to being well prepared.
So, if you find yourself planning a trip to Walt Disney World (or Disneyland) with a baby-in-tow, here are my 6 tips for visiting Walt Disney World with a 6-month-old:
1. Baby Care Centers // Seriously, these are the coolest things ever. One of my favorite things about any of the Disney theme parks is the attention to detail – they have really thought of it all.
Located inside each of the theme parks, the Baby Care Center is the perfect place to change, feed or simply take a break with baby. There is a private room for nursing that is full of adorable rocking chairs which is so awesome for the mamas who may not be comfortable nursing in public. If your baby is already onto solid foods, there is another room stocked with high chairs ready for you to use free of charge. The changing rooms were so great – the changing tables were much sturdier than those you find in the public restrooms and it just felt more sanitary. When you are just looking for a break, or if the rest of your party wants to wait in the AC while you feed your little one, there is a nice room with lots of comfortable seating and some TVs.
Run out of diapers earlier than you thought? Forget the sunscreen? No problem, mama! The Baby Care Centers also have little shops inside where you can purchase diapers, wipes, sunscreen, baby food, formula, etc. So great, yea?!
2. Wear your baby // We love our carrier and use it all the time at home. It was so helpful at the parks because at six months, Lyla wasn’t totally into a hip carry yet and definitely not walking.
We used our carrier while we were waiting in line, sitting down to watch a show, riding attractions and whenever we thought girl would want a break from the stroller.
3. Bring your own stroller // Yes, Disney has strollers available to rent. And yes, traveling with your stroller- especially all the way from Hawaii – can be a bit humbug. But I am so glad that I brought ours with.
We were able to lay her completely flat which made keeping her on her napping schedule a breeze. It was also pretty easy to find our stroller each time we used stroller parking.
4. Stay at a Walt Disney World Resort // I love staying on property. The convenience factor alone makes it worth it – the cleanliness, theming and 24/7 loop of Stacey’s “Must Do” list are just icing on the cake.
No matter which resort you choose, you have access to transportation to all of the theme parks, water parks, and Downtown Disney. It is super easy to catch a bus back to your resort during the day if you need a break. Also, not having to remember which row of the parking lot you left your car in at the end of a long day is a major plus.
5. Make a plan // I am a crazy vacation planner. I love doing a bunch of research and making itineraries. And not just for Disney trips, although with all of the ADRs (advance dining reservations) and the new Fast Pass + options, Disney is just fueling my fire.
Going into this trip, I knew that we weren’t going to be able to see and do as much as we usually do. Spending some time before the trip to look up park hours and highlighting the attractions that were “must-dos” for us was super helpful. I booked all of our dining reservations ahead of time too which helped keep us on track and eliminated any wasted time while we weighed our options.
6. Be OK throwing away the plan // Yes, I just told you to make a plan. And yes, I still think it’s a crucial part to bringing an infant to Walt Disney World. But, as any parent knows, not everything is going to go according to plan – no matter how much time you spent preparing.
Staying on track with dining reservations and show times should be pretty simple. But be flexible with some of the other details. My daughter slept during her first trip down Main Street U.S.A. (and her second for that matter) so I didn’t get to capture that moment exactly how I had envisioned. We didn’t hit nearly as many attractions as I had originally planned, but instead absorbed our surroundings and enjoyed each other’s company at our own leisurely pace. And it was all OK.
Since becoming a mom, learning to let go of plans and expectations has been the biggest game changer for me. Once I realized that my super-planning qualities don’t translate well into infant life, I was able to relax and enjoy myself so much more.
If you are planning at trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, I hope these tips help. Have fun!