My Disney Planning aggregates data from quality resources to bring you the best answers to popular Disney vacation questions. Learn More.
You’ve spent the last hour cleaning out the car, rounding up toys, packing snacks, diapers, etc…all for a big day at the park. Of course, by “park” we’re talking about the neighborhood park a few miles from your house. With all the effort it takes to do even the most routine of outings, I’m sure the thought has crossed your mind – “How are we going to survive our next trip to Disney World with a baby in the mix?”
Know the Must Knows
It’s not only possible to survive, but actually….pause….enjoy Disney World with a baby. In fact, you could make the argument that no destination better caters to families with babies. That’s not to say you couldn’t use a few tips along the way. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of Top Must Knows –the most mentioned Must Knows in the twenty expert articles sourced for this post.
One note – when we say baby, we’re really talking about a 1-3 year old. We’re not big on taking a child less than 1 year old, with no immune system to speak of, to a heavy-crowd place like Disney World.
Top Must Knows
1. You’re getting quite a bargain on your baby’s park ticket.
With a 5-day park hopper child ticket costing around $550, this is a pretty big deal. Speaking from experience, take advantage of the free ticket while you can.
2. In-park Baby Care Centers are a must use.
Thumbs up for the Baby Care Centers. They are a clean, welcome respite for both you and your baby from the typical Florida theme park heat and crowds.
3. Your best stroller option is your own.
Bring the best stroller you can get your hands on. I promise it’s not something you want to cheap out on.
4. Staying at a Disney Resort is worth the convenience alone.
Use the money you’re saving from your baby’s free ticket to invest in a Disney resort stay for your family. If you’ve ever needed a extra reason to stay on-site, you have a particularly good one for this trip.
5. Rider switch is a huge plus for attractions with height requirements.
Rider switch means you can get a little creative with your Fastpass selections. WDW Prep School explains.
6. Planning a low-key schedule + planned nap times is a necessity.
I know you’re spending a lot on tickets to be in the parks, but less really is more with a baby. If you don’t want to leave the parks, there are plenty of pleasant places for you and your baby to land for a break – including the aforementioned Baby Care Centers. Take it slow. Go with the flow. You’ll be glad you did by days end.
7. Disney World has plenty of attractions you and your baby can enjoy together.
More so than any other theme parks in existence (we know, we’ve looked), the Disney parks are simply eaten up with attractions to enjoy with your baby. Check out Touring Plan’s solid breakdown of the best attractions for babies.
8. Meet-n-Greets can be a dicey proposition – proceed with caution.
Hit the meet-n-greets that offer Fastpasses (prioritizing Mickey of course). Standing in a slow-moving line for your baby to meet a character that are most likely not familiar with, or worse yet, terrified of, is not our definition of fun.
9. You need to get the day started early.
You don’t need to have a baby with you for this Must Know to apply. Get out of bed and get to the parks. It’s why you traveled to this destination. Get in…then get out around the time the heat and the crowds start picking up.
10. Don’t stress out about photos.
Have you ever returned home from a vacation and said “boy, we just took too many pictures?” I didn’t think so. While you don’t want to stress out on the getting the pics, you also want to capture this special time with your baby. We say plan on going candid most of time and worry less about getting the boilerplate family pics.
11. Take the time to explore your Disney resort.
We tend to get so caught up in the parks that we arrive at the end of vacation and regret not spending more time at our resort. Don’t let that happen to you. You might pick a night where you come back a little early and explore the resort with your little one. Riverside is a particularly happening and beautiful resort at night.
12. Pack ‘n Play’s are available on request at your Disney resort.
We always borrow a pack n’ play from the resort to use. There’s really no reason not to unless your worried about it getting a little tight in one of the value resort rooms…which it will. In this case, Pop Century is your best bet with the hide-away bed freeing up some additional room space.
13. Bring your baby carrier along for the trip.
We haven’t really bothered with the baby carriers in the past. Of course none of our kids really liked to be confined in one. Plus, the heat and all. They may be nice to have in attraction lines, but you’ll most likely have to pull the baby out and store the carrier once you get to the ride vehicle…so 6 of 1 half dozen of another as they say.
14. Seek out the various play areas for little ones in the parks.
Just keeping it real, I don’t think this is the best advice in the world. We’re just not that crazy about letting the kiddos rub all over play surfaces that thousands of other kids have touched…especially when on vacation. If you’re good with this sort of thing, you may want to see Must Know #20.
15. Take advantage of the bring-your-own-snacks policy.
Don’t load up a pull-behind cooler, but also don’t be shy about taking an insulated back-pack into the parks with you. It’s a must with a baby in tow.
16. Consider not park hopping.
17. Avoid the hotter months.
Here’s where the Central Florida heat gets you…opening the car door of your rental car that’s been sitting on a black asphalt all morning long. Good times. Really though….heat + baby is a lousy combo. Plan your first baby trip for fall or spring if at all possible.
18. Go delivery for groceries and supplies.
Check out WDW Prep School’s breakdown of Disney resort grocery delivery options. We typically use Amazon’s Prime Now and have been pretty happy with the results so far.
19. Scope out some breastfeeding location options ahead of time.
Indoor shows are your best bet here with the Baby Care Centers a next best option if near one.
20. Scope out Urgent Care locations pre-trip.
If the situation arises, you don’t want to end up at some dumpy Urgent Care with your baby. Do the research ahead and time and make sure you know where you’re going and what you can expect. You might start your search by checking out WDW Radio’s recommendation – Night Lite Pediatrics.
Leftover Must Knows
These Must Knows didn’t make the cut for Top Must Knows, but we think are worth mentioning regardless…
Do you think traveling to Disney world with a baby is worth it? Let us know in the poll below. Also, tell us about a favorite experience you’ve had with your baby at Disney World in the comments section.