Have you ever suggested visiting Walt Disney World with a baby, only to have people look at you like you’re crazy? It’s happened to me over and over, and it’s always the same response: why waste so much money on a trip when the baby won’t remember anything? Well you know what, they’re right; baby won’t remember anything about a trip to Walt Disney World. But you know who will remember the trip? You. You will get to show your baby Cinderella’s Castle, and introduce them to your favorite character, and experience an old ride in a completely new way – visiting Walt Disney World with a baby will make you see the park in a completely new way! You will take a million photos and your baby will look back on them one day when he or she is older, seeing how much fun they had – because they will have fun, and sometimes it’s OK to have fun in the here and now, and not worry about making memories. If I’ve convinced you that visiting Walt Disney World with a baby will be amazing (or if you already knew that!) then take a look at my ultimate guide to visiting Walt Disney World with a baby for all of the tips and tricks you will need to have a great time.
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Walt Disney World with a Baby; the Ultimate Guide
The best time to visit Walt Disney World with a baby
One of the best things about visiting Walt Disney World with a baby, especially if it’s your first child, is not having to travel during school vacations. This means you can avoid the heavy crowds – and steeper prices – of spring break, Easter, summer, and the holiday season. Slower times at Walt Disney World are generally any time that most kids are at school, so traveling during those times should make the parks a lot less crowded. January, May, and September are typically some of the quieter months to visit.
You might also want to think about the weather. From late April to early November, temperatures in Central Florida can be in the 90s with high humidity and even though there are ways to deal with the heat at Disney World, it makes touring the parks absolutely miserable. Add to that the frequent afternoon thunderstorms and during the summer months, and visiting during those times becomes a whole lot harder with a little one in tow. Getting dehydrated and overheated is a real concern for a baby, and I know for me, I find it hard to relax if I’m constantly wondering if my little one is in the shade or getting enough liquids. If you are able to visit during the winter months, or even early spring, spending a day at the parks will be so much more pleasant. Temperatures in the winter in Florida are typically somewhere in the 60s or 70s with very little rain, and this is so perfect for being outdoors all day. Having said that, there will be days when it gets really cold at Disney World, so take a look at the weather forecast before you come in case you need to pack an extra blanket, or some cold weather clothes for you and for your baby.
Which is the best Disney resort to stay at with a baby?
There are so many Walt Disney World resorts to choose from that it can sometimes be hard to figure out which one is best for your family. There are good thing about staying onsite or offsite at Disney World with a baby, but I would recommend staying onsite for convenience.
When I’m traveling with a baby, I’m looking for space and convenience in a hotel room. With this in mind, I would recommend staying at one of three Disney resorts; Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, or Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a value resort, meaning prices are going to be on the lower end of the spectrum for a Disney resort (so still not cheap, but not as eye-wateringly expensive as the deluxe resorts!) The resort is incredibly well-themed, with lots of bright colors and oversized characters to catch a little one’s attention, and a food court just off the lobby makes it easy and convenient to go and grab something to eat in a hurry. The resort also features family suites, which are larger guest rooms with a little more space, essential when traveling with a baby who will probably have more luggage than you!
Disney’s Beach Club Resort is located on Crescent Lake, and is a short walk from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Not having to get on a bus to go to two of the four theme parks is a huge plus when you have a diaper bag and a stroller and all manner of baby paraphernalia, and is ideal for if baby has fallen asleep and you don’t want to have to take them out of the stroller. There are four other resorts located around Crescent Lake, and this means that there are a huge number of restaurants and quick service locations to choose from. I would recommend looking into the Villas at the Beach Club; one, two, and three bedroom accommodations complete with a kitchen and separate living areas. This provides both extra space, and the convenience of a full kitchen away from home.
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is the most expensive of all of the Disney resorts, so the price can certainly be a bit steep. Having said that, if you can splurge on a stay there, it’s a wonderful property. It is on the monorail line, so it takes just a few minutes to get from your hotel room to the front of the Magic Kingdom, and you can change at the Ticket and Transportation Center to get on another monorail to Epcot. Being so close to the Magic Kingdom means there are plenty of places around the resort – including some of the hotel rooms – where you can watch the fireworks; this is perfect for if your little one goes to bed early, but you still want to see the show. The Grand Floridian also has the same villas as the Beach Club, offering more space and more convenience for you and your little one.
Whichever resort you choose, you can request a pack and play and a high chair to be in your room upon check in. Each resort will also sell diapers, wipes and other basic baby supplies in their gift shop if you need them.
Your number one resource for visiting Walt Disney World with a baby!
If you don’t read anything else, then read this!
When taking a baby to Walt Disney World, your number on resource will be the Baby Care Centers. Each of the four parks has a Baby Care Center, and they are absolutely amazing!
Each center is air-conditioned, and located next to the First Aid at each park. They are all slightly different, but they each house a nursing area, a changing room, baby supplies, and a TV room. They provide a quiet, cool place for you to feed your baby or pump a bottle, as well as a clean and comfortable place to change them. The baby supplies include things like formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, bibs, and onesies – although bear in mind, these will be Disney prices, so for emergencies only! There are bottle warmers, microwaves, high chairs, and small tables for little ones to eat at. The TV room is usually showing a Disney movie or TV show, and some of the centers even have books to read.
I cannot speak highly enough of the Baby Care Centers! I can’t recall a time when I’ve visited a Disney park with one of my little ones and not been into the centers at one time or another, and I’ll be a little sad when my kids are too old to use them! I have a very easily distracted baby, and finding a place to nurse where he wasn’t constantly trying to look around was so difficult; sitting in a comfortable rocking chair in a peaceful, air conditioned room was heavenly! They’ve also saved me on a day when I forgot to pack baby wipes, and my little guy had one of those diapers! If you are visiting Walt Disney World with a baby, definitely go and check these places out!
Which are the best rides for baby?
You can take your baby on any ride that doesn’t have a height restriction, however some of the rides might not be suitable for a very small baby. Any ride that posts warnings for people with neck or back problems, or those who have trouble with motion sickness might be ones that you want to avoid if your baby doesn’t have good head control yet; an example would be Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom, which can be incredibly bumpy, and might be a bit much for a baby of less than a few months. You can wear your baby in a baby carrier on the rides, making both you and them feel more secure.
The majority of the baby friendly rides will be at Magic Kingdom, but don’t discount the other parks for things to see and do for your little one. Pretty much any smooth ride, especially ones with music and lights, will probably be a hit. I have a list of all of the best Walt Disney World rides for toddlers that would be helpful for visiting Walt Disney World with a baby.
How to tackle character greetings with a baby?
Chances are that on your list of must-do things on your baby’s first trip to Walt Disney World, meeting Mickey Mouse is pretty high up there! The good news is that a baby under the age of one is much less likely to be afraid of the characters than a toddler or preschooler, who might question a 5-foot tall mouse! If you have a particular character you know you would like your little one to meet, consider introducing the character before the trip. Read a book with the character in, or watch them on TV, or buy a plush for them to cuddle; this way the character will be familiar before they meet the life-sized version!
For this post for more tips on character greetings with a baby or toddler.
The great thing about traveling with a baby is that they can often fall asleep absolutely anywhere! If your baby falls into this category, then the easiest thing to do is let them nap in the stroller while you take a break or take turns riding some bigger rides. Each of the parks has a few areas that will be a little bit quieter if you walk around and have a look, and these would be perfect places to park the stroller while your little one sleeps. Babies can also find some of the rides perfect for nap time; my little one has fallen asleep several times on Spaceship Earth! The shows might also be a good place for your baby to take a nap – they often serve as a good place for adults to nap too!
If your baby won’t sleep in the parks, or if you’d just rather they took a proper nap in the room, then take an afternoon break and spend some time back at the resort.
What to pack
Don’t forget to pack plenty of diapers, wipes, and baby food. If you’re going to be using your hotel pool, remember to bring swim diapers as well! Check out this list of the best baby travel products here as well.
Remembering baby’s first trip to Walt Disney World
There are so many great ways to remember baby’s first trip!
Baby’s first haircut is a service offered at the Harmony Barber’s Shop at Magic Kingdom. As well as cutting your baby’s locks for the very first time, you will receive a certificate, a pair of commemorative Mickey ears with ‘first haircut’ embroidered on the back, and a lock of your baby’s hair to keep. The Cast Members are used to working with kids of all ages, and do a great job keeping little ones entertained and distracted with bubbles, stickers, and toys. An appointment is definitely recommended as the barber shop is very popular, so be sure to call ahead of your trip.
If you want to take something home to remember the trip, there are a few different options. Embroidered Mickey ears, onesies, bibs, and t-shirts with ‘my first trip’ are all available, as well as ‘baby’s first Christmas’ ornaments. Just be sure to leave some room in your suitcase for all the adorable things you’ll be taking home!