Thinking of traveling to Disney World with a baby? Unsurprisingly, Disney theme parks are very baby friendly. In this week’s episode of Disney Deciphered, Leslie and Joe take a look at what makes Disney parks baby friendly and features such as baby centers, rider switch, and more that will help you minimize stress when visiting Disney with a baby. We also include tips and strategies for dealing with naps, strollers, and much more!
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Should you visit Disney World with a baby?
It can be intimidating to take your baby to Walt Disney World, but here at Disney Deciphered, we say just do it! Any child under the age of 3 enters the parks for free and we personally don’t love the idea of waiting three years to visit the parks.
If you plan to travel with your baby at all, we think the Disney World is as good a place to go as any. In fact, Disney makes its parks so baby friendly that it might be better!
How Walt Disney World makes its parks baby friendly
Disney Parks cater to babies very well. From baby centers to stroller parking, Disney has designed its theme parks with families in mind. Rides are very baby friendly, you can bring almost any baby onto rides without height requirements – and even leave them in the carrier!
Disney also built its parks with very wide walkways, perfect for strollers or little scampering feet.
Did we mention Disney parks feature characters your kids know and love? There’s so much to see and do for babies and toddlers. Disney World is just built for little ones to have fun. Sure, you might miss out on a thrill ride or two, but we’ll help you with strategies for that down below. Here are five things you need to know about going to Disney World with a baby.
1. Know your Disney Baby Center locations
Every restroom in Disney World is equipped with a changing table and there are plenty of quiet, cool places to nurse your child. (DD tip: Shows like Carousel of Progress are great for this!)
Still, Disney’s Baby Care centers are great if you need an extended break or need to buy some supplies. There are a bunch of changing tables, rocking chairs and rooms for feeding, and some powerful air conditioning to cool you down. Make sure you know the location of the Baby Center location in each park.
Magic Kingdom: Left walking down Main Street past Casey’s Corner Hot Dogs
Epcot: The Odyssey building, towards the Mexico pavilion (near the ponds to the left as you’re walking into World Showcase)
Animal Kingdom: Next to Pizzafari (bear left around the Tree of life)
Hollywood Studios: Right past the main entrance towards the left
So basically, go left in any park and you should find the Baby Care center!
2. Craft a good stroller strategy by utilizing stroller parking
For any young child you’ll definitely want a stroller at Disney World – it’s just way too much walking. Still, despite wide walkways, it can be difficult to navigate your stroller between EVERY single ride.
A good stroller strategy is parking your stroller in a convenient, central location and visiting attractions in and around that location. Then, when you’re done, come back and grab your stroller. This saves you a bunch of time while still keeping the flexibility of having a stroller for those long walks between lands or to the parking lot.
We like to have both a stroller and a baby carrier so we can adjust to the baby’s needs on the fly.
DD Tip: Make sure you bring something to cover your stroller during rain storms.
3. Enjoy baby friendly rides
Disney World will pretty much let babies ride any attraction that doesn’t have a height limit. Most of these rides will even allow you to keep the baby in her carrier – very useful if the baby is asleep.
Both of us have found that taking babies on attractions gives them a lot of positive stimulation and fun things to look at. We highly recommend it and these are our favorite rides for babies at each park. Feel free to share yours in the comments!
Magic Kingdom: Dumbo and It’s a Small World
Epcot: Frozen Ever After and Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros
Animal Kingdom: Kilimanjaro Safaris (AVOID Tough to be a Bug!)
Hollywood Studios: Disney Jr. Live and Toy Story Mania!
4. Utilize rider switch to experience thrill rides
Don’t worry about missing all the thrill rides at Disney World like Flight of Passage in Pandora. You can utilize rider switch to get the chance to ride attractions your baby is too short for.
Basically, when you get to an attraction, ask the cast member for a “rider switch”. At that point, one adult can go ride the ride while the second will receive a “rider switch” on their magic band. This essentially works like a Fastpass+ reservation.
5. Take a break
Everyone should take a break during the day at Disney World, but this goes double for families traveling with babies. It’s very important to find someplace cool to rest so the baby (and parents) can be re-energized.
We actually like to take half days and spend the second half of the day at our resort. Or, if you have a park hopper, you can go to your hotel for a rest and then visit a second park at night.
Regardless of how you decide to schedule your break, be sure to schedule one! Your baby (and your sanity) will thank you.
Thinking about taking a baby or toddler to Walt Disney World? Leslie and Joe have you covered with reasons to take your infant, strategies to minimize stress in the parks, and thoughts on best rides for babies and toddlers. Plus, we share how Disney World makes things super baby friendly.
If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with others you think might enjoy it. Also, we’d appreciate if you subscribed on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, PlayerFM, or Google Play (please leave a positive review if you’re enjoying the show), liked our Facebook page, or followed us on Twitter!
You can also e-mail us at disneydeciphered AT gmail DOT com. Connect with Leslie @TripswithTykes on social media and Joe @asthejoeflies.
0:00 – Defining a “baby” at Walt Disney World
2:10 – Should you take a baby or toddler to Disney World?
4:00 – How Disney makes its theme parks baby friendly
5:11 – Baby Care Centers
8:30 – Strategies for strollers
10:44 – Best rides for young children
15:23 – Using rider switch with kids who don’t meet height requirements (including updates on how the new system seems to be working in practice)
19:28 – Strategies for breaks in the day
20:54 – Disney dos and don’ts