In Mommyhood, Tips on
July 15, 2013

20 Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World with a Baby

Disney provided me with press passes to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own.

Tips for Traveling to Walt Disney World with a Baby

From everything I’d heard, I was advised against doing Disney with a baby. “She won’t remember it.” “July is too hot.” “What can you even do there with a baby?” But against all “advice,” we booked our trip to Orlando the week of July 4th and marked Walt Disney World on the calendar.

But I was curious. What rides can an 11-month-old infant go on? What if I forget something? What do I do with my stroller at the park? Is it going to be easy or hard to park-hop with a baby? Do I need a car seat for Disney transportation?

So on my recent trip to the Magic Kingdom® and Epcot, I made note of all the things I pondered before packing. Here’s a list of 20 tips for traveling to Walt Disney World with a baby.

1. Accept that not everyone in your party will be awake during photo ops. I imagined that perfect family photo in front of Cinderella’s Castle. But my daughter was sleeping, or so we thought, and we didn’t want to disturb her nap. Be prepared for imperfect photos and shots at inopportune times. Not everything can go as planned.

Imperfect Photo

2. Bring your own stroller that lays flat for nap time. I felt better bringing my Britax B-Agile with us rather than an umbrella stroller or renting one from the park. My daughter is comfortable in her “everyday” stroller. Plus, it lays flat for nap time, something the rental options don’t do. A rental will run you $15 for a single and $31 for a double.

Stroller Rent

3. Get a [AD] stroller cover (and clip-on fan). I was at a garage sale a few weeks back, which I’d found our about through my mommy Facebook group, when I saw this over-sized black piece of fabric. I asked the lady what it was and she said, “a lifesaver!” She said she’d used it to get her kids to nap at amusement parts and the zoo. For $3 secondhand, I gave it a shot. It was the best. thing. ever. My daughter napped twice during her normal nap times thanks to this invention. IMPORTANT: We added a stroller fan when using this to keep her cool in the shade and to keep air circulating. We also checked on her often and opened the mesh window at the top of the stroller for additional air flow.

stroller shade

4. Don’t beat yourself up if you forget diapers. But you may want to try really, really hard to remember them. Otherwise, they’ll cost you $3.95 for 2 diapers, wipes, and ointment or $8.95 for a pack of 12 in the Baby Care Center.

Baby Care Center

5. Yes, babies can go on most rides. In fact, there is no height restriction for rides at the Magic Kingdom EXCEPT Splash Mountain®, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad®, The Brainstormer®, Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain®, and Stitch’s Great Escape!™ My daughter absolutely loved Dumbo the Flying Elephant® and “it’s a small world”® because of the lights and music.

On Dumbo

6. Hopping parks isn’t as easy as it sounds. Although don’t have to worry about where you parked (I’ve spent too many times hitting my car alarm in search of my vehicle), to “hop” from the Magic Kingdom to Epcot, you have to take two monorails (or a ferry and a monorail). Strollers are welcome on the monorail and they don’t need to be folded. To get to Hollywood Studios or Animal Kingdom from the Magic Kingdom, you have to take the monorail or ferry and a bus, which isn’t very stroller friendly. If you take the bus with a stroller, you will most likely need to fold the stroller before boarding, which can be rather inconvenient if its nap time.

ParkHopping7. Bring a trash bag or poncho. Ever heard of stroller parking? I hadn’t either. But strollers aren’t allowed in the lines for rides and if it rains while you’re in line, your stroller WILL get wet. Plus, employees rearrange the strollers within the parking “lot.” Bring something to keep your stroller dry while in line and, of course, don’t leave valuables in your stroller. I was hesitant at first to leave my stroller unattended, but after every ride, everything was still there.

Stroller Parking

8. Don’t forget about yourself. I was so consumed with preparing my daughter and remembering her essentials that I forgot about myself. Before my daughter, I would get a pedicure before every trip – I clearly didn’t do that before this one! In fact, I didn’t even have shoes for the trip the night before our flight was due to depart. I bought new sandals the morning of since I’d forgotten I had no walking-friendly shoes since my feet grew after pregnancy. Also, don’t forget to put suntan lotion on YOURSELF. I lathered it on my daughter multiple times, but forgot to put it on ME. Bring a hair tie, sunglasses and Band-Aids too (although Band-Aids are available for free in the First Aid Center – thank God).

DontForgetMom

9. Limit character meets. As a baby, there wasn’t anyone she just had to meet. If the line is short enough, grab a photo and an autograph. Additional tip: Try to locate your autograph book from when you were a kid. It’s budget-friendly and a nice tradition to pass down.

CharacterMeet10. There’s a place called Disney’s Character Warehouse. Go there.  It’s an outlet store at Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland Avenue and Orlando Premium Outlets – International Dr. Odds are your child will find something at the park stores that they want. Why not check out the outlet where a good deal of the items are 50% off AND legit Disney Park brand items? I picked up an infant tee shirt that says Walt Disney World for $3.99 and a Christmas ornament for $1.99. {Minnie and games pictured below were at a Magic Kingdom store.}

Disney Outlet11. You can’t go to Disney for the first time and not get Mickey ears. Both my husband and I got our ears during our first trip, so we had to get our daughter a pair. At $13.95 + $3 for embroidery, it really wasn’t that bad!

MickeyEars

12. Take advantage of the Fast Pass. Less wait time? No cranky baby in line? Free? I’ll take it! With each ticket, you can by pass the line and enter a separate entrance specially for Fast Pass holders. The only catch is you can only have one Fast Pass issued at a time (so you can’t go around to all the rides in the morning and get multiple Fast Passes for the whole day). I’d advise you to go the one ride you absolutely can’t miss and get that Fast Pass first. Rides offering Fast Passes are noted with an “FP” on your park map.

FASTPASS

13. Nursing? Find the hidden nooks. With only one Baby Care Center in each park, it’s hard to get to the designated nursing room for each feed. Don’t get me wrong, I am super appreciative that there IS a nursing room because I don’t feel comfortable enough to nurse openly. But I did find some private nooks at both Magic Kingdom and Epcot to nurse without eyeballs. They do exist.

NursingNook14. Buy glow sticks at the dollar store before your visit. Odds are when you are at the Main Street Electrical Parade, your child, or spouse, will want one of those glow sticks street vendors are selling. I don’t know the prices, but I image they’re high if a balloon at the park costs $10. We picked up a pack of 2 for $1 to save some cash.

glowsticks15. Bring a cooler or insulated sleeve for snacks. My daughter was at that stage during our visit where she’s just learning to eat solids, but breastmilk is still her primary source of nutrition. To keep her food cold, I brought a thermal pouch I bought at one of those thirty-one home parties (update: that pouch has since been discontinued, but here is a similar version). It was perfect for the diaper bag and kept her goodies cold with the addition of an ice pack. Additional tip: Unless you want bottled water, you can go to any restaurant with a soda fountain and ask for a cup of water for free.

cooler16. Make mommy happy. Traveling with a baby gets a little stressful. For the well-being of my family, I needed to treat myself to a double CHOCOLATE funnel cake (found in the American Experience World Showcase at Epcot).

MakemommyHappy17. Don’t spend a fortune on a vacation outfit for your baby. I picked up a cute Minnie Mouse outfit for my daughter at Kohl’s before our trip (I couldn’t remember that I needed shoes, but her outfit was all set to go) for a couple bucks thanks to Kohl’s Cash I had. I am glad I didn’t spend a fortune because she was in the top and just a diaper the majority of the day since it was so hot. Opt for light, breathable fabrics if you can, especially in the summer months.

Clothes18. Shop and eat during nap times. Since no strollers are allowed in lines, what’s left to do with a stroller is shop and eat. We headed to Epcot during her first nap and walked around the World Showcase, which is stroller friendly.

whiesleeping19. Capture the candid moments. Duh! It’s Disney! How many times do you get to experience this magic of Walt Disney World in your lifetime, let alone with your child?! Just don’t forget your phone or camera charger and clean out the memory before you arrive so you have sufficient photo and video space.

candidmoments

20. You can also ask the Disney Parks Moms Panel if you have specific questions before your trip. This group of people share their personal vacation planning advice and their Disney Parks experiences to make your vacation planning a breeze.

Or you can ask me in the comments section below if I missed anything! I had a wonderful time spending the day hopping between the Magic Kingdom and Epcot and am so happy I listened to my gut and vacationed to Disney with a baby.

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Ashley traded Prada for pacis in 2012 when she became a member of the elite club of motherhood. She is married to her high school sweetheart of nearly 15 years and together they have two toddlers – “Bear” and “Little Man.” She spends her days as a marketing professional and nights writing this blog. In her [not so] spare time, she enjoys reading trashy tabloids, large glasses of buttery chardonnay, and shopping clearance racks.
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42 Comments

  • Reply Trista

    I LOVE the name of your blog and this post is VERY informative thank you for sharing!

    July 15, 2013 at 7:54 am
  • Reply Jamie Knupp

    We brought our two year old and two month old to Dollywood’s Splash Country last month… I wish I had read this post beforehand. Man was that a stressful adventure! Sun-shades are definitely the best advice, and making sure you have enough formula/snacks for the little ones

    July 15, 2013 at 8:08 am
  • Reply Suzi Satterfield @ Cloth Diaper Addicts

    You’re seriously brave to do Disney in July. When I lived in Florida, the only thing we wanted to do in July and August was hide in the air condition!

    July 15, 2013 at 8:16 am
  • Reply Regan

    These are some great tips. Thanks for sharing. And I agree, you are brave for doing Disney in July 🙂

    July 15, 2013 at 10:43 am
  • Reply Dara

    great post, I agree with just about everything here! i did not know band aids are free in the first aid center – good to know! I took my middle one when he was 6 months old and he’s been back a few times since. 🙂 I wish I knew how you got your free tickets!!

    July 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply Amy

    Nice Job !! as always! Your Daughter will have this blog to help her remember too=)

    July 15, 2013 at 2:53 pm
  • Reply Jillian

    I LOVE THIS!! Seriously, great advice and I’m definitely going to keep things like the glow sticks in mind when we head to Disney this fall

    July 15, 2013 at 3:45 pm
  • Reply A Mama Report Feature: Bring the Magic of the Magic Kingdom® Home | The Mama Report

    […] recital after-party. It was childhood. And childhood is reason enough to celebrate. Ten days ago, we took Bear to Walt Disney World. Before I even became a mom, I’d dreamt about traveling to Disney with my child and his or her […]

    August 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm
  • Reply The Magic Kingdom at Home from Spit Up Is The New Black - As The Bunny Hops

    […] recital after-party. It was childhood. And childhood is reason enough to celebrate. Ten days ago, we took Bear to Walt Disney World. Before I even became a mom, I’d dreamt about traveling to Disney with my child and his or her […]

    August 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm
  • Reply dedezoomsalot

    This is such great advice!! Congrats on being brave enough to visit the World while your baby was still a baby. We waited until my daughter was 6 years old. My son was 14 months. He loved it SO much and I felt bad that we waited so long to take her. Now we go every year! Your tips are spot on and surely helpful to a new mom trying to hit the parks.

    December 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm
  • Reply Amanda

    What do you recommed covering the stroller with? I am going in 8 days with almost 5mo old (she’ll turn 5mo while we are there)

    May 16, 2014 at 11:36 am
  • Reply Lindsay

    Do you have a recommended brand for the stroller shade? I have a Britax B Safe and all I can find are the clear plastic weather covers.
    This post was SO helpful, out LO will be 11 months exactly on our trip! 🙂

    August 28, 2014 at 10:57 pm
    • Reply Ashley

      Glad to hear it helped, Lindsay! It’s from Summer Infant and attaches to any stroller, I believe. It attaches by Velcro.

      August 29, 2014 at 7:32 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    At the time travelling the stroller will be the great advantage for the parents it will became more comfortable.

    November 3, 2014 at 4:35 am
  • Reply Sigal Mark

    I loved your comments thanks for taking the time to write it!!!!

    January 1, 2015 at 11:58 pm
  • Reply Kim

    hi!! How are you? Your “20 TIps for DIsney with a baby” was a lifesaver. Thanks so much for helping us prepare for our first trip with our 5 month old! I saw that you had a black stroller cover and stroller fan. Do you know the brands of each? I cannot seem to find a stroller cover that completely darkens the inside of the stroller like yours appeared to. My infant doesnt and didn’t nap anywhere but the infant Carrier on our trip and I can’t bear to have her sleep on me all summer in a hot carrier. Also, is the fabric breathable? Thanks so so much!

    May 20, 2015 at 3:35 pm
  • Reply Sarah Pisowicz

    I loved your tips and plan on using them on are trip this July. I was wondering if you thing wearing my baby in addition to the stroller would be a good idea or maybe be to hot for her?

    May 21, 2015 at 12:26 pm
    • Reply Ashley

      Hi Sarah, thanks for stopping by! I’m glad that you found some of these tips helpful. I personally found it to be too hot in July (for both of us) to wear my daughter while we were at the park. If you do plan to baby wear, I would definitely recommending bringing a stroller as well. We’ve gone to other parks and I’ve brought both (the stroller is key for naps and keeping cooler). Have so much fun!!!!

      May 21, 2015 at 3:33 pm
  • Reply Mamta

    Hi
    My baby is 21 months old and we don’t have time to go to all the theme parks. So plz suggest us 2 theme parks where we and our baby both can enjoy. Can we finish full magic kingdom in one day with baby??

    May 26, 2015 at 12:41 am
    • Reply Ashley

      Mamta, when we went to Disney in 2013, we only spent 1 day there. We started at the Magic Kingdom, headed to Epcot in the afternoon so my daughter could sleep in the stroller during nap time while we walked from country to country, then went back to the Magic Kingdom that evening for a few more rides, the parade, and fireworks. It was an exhausting day, but we had a great time at both parks! Have a great trip!

      May 26, 2015 at 12:43 pm
  • Reply Jillian T

    Brilliant blog, just what someone needed a guide line to the important details of small things. Awesome job.

    August 4, 2015 at 10:47 am
  • Reply michele

    this was wonderful to read and made me feel comfortable to book a trip with my 9 month year old

    love blogs! thanks

    just hoping with teething he naps there!

    August 4, 2015 at 10:55 am
  • Reply Amanda

    Thank you for posting this! I am taking my 8 month old with my 2 older children in a week. I’m nervous about having my little Oregonian in the Florida heat/humidity!

    September 12, 2015 at 5:07 pm
  • Reply semestra i asien

    My never images are never as good 🙁

    November 11, 2015 at 6:04 pm
  • Reply Monica

    Great Blog! we are planning to go with 5 and 1 yr old in december for 6 days.. where do we stay? very confused between disney resorts and resorts near by.. any sugesstion?

    November 13, 2015 at 3:14 pm
    • Reply Ashley

      That sounds fun, Monica! To save money, we stayed offsite at a property that had shuttle service. However, I’ve heard the Disney properties are wonderful.

      November 13, 2015 at 9:49 pm
    • Reply Lindsay

      We found there were a lot of great incentives to stay on Disney property. We stayed in the new art of animation resort which was reasonably priced at the time. We could have spent less and stayed off Disney but staying at Disney resort means you don’t have to pay the toll on the road into the park and don’t have to pay to park at any Disney property, park, hotel, etc.
      These savings really added up because we had dinner and breakfast reservations all over the place. Also it includes the transportation to and from all of the parks and resorts. Which can be multiple legs depending where you are and where you’re going which is why having the car was so convenient. We probably broke even paying what we would have paid in an effort to save money by staying off site. And the pool was AWESOME!! Def look into it! We stayed at the little mermaid resort. 🙂

      November 13, 2015 at 10:03 pm
  • Reply Jameshia

    Wow, thanks for sharing! This was informative!

    November 13, 2015 at 10:17 pm
  • Reply Mikey

    I have an 11 month old and we go to Disney Worldvin 2 weeks. So can we take her on most of the child friendly rides in the parks?

    Thanks

    December 26, 2015 at 7:19 pm
    • Reply Ashley

      Mikey, have so much fun at Disney in a few weeks! Yes, we took our 11 month old on most of the kid-friendly rides and sat her in our laps.

      December 27, 2015 at 8:48 pm
  • Reply Nicole DiDonato

    Hi! What month was this? We are looking to take our daughter in August when she’ll be 9 months but I’m a little nervous about the heat.

    March 18, 2016 at 8:15 am
    • Reply Ashley

      Nicole, we visited in humid July. The stroller fan really helped cool down my daughter and we dressed her in light clothing. Have a great time in August and let me know if you have any more questions!

      March 18, 2016 at 10:25 pm
  • Reply Christian

    Did you bring your own car seat ??? And how was checking In the stroller in the plane .. Was it safe ??

    April 22, 2016 at 11:21 pm
    • Reply Ashley

      Christian, we brought our own car seat on the trip. We checked the stroller at the gate before boarding the plane. I bought a stroller bag, which seemed to keep the stroller from getting damaged while in transit.

      April 24, 2016 at 11:02 pm
  • Reply Dellece

    Hi thanks so much for the tips. I’m bringing my baby to Disney this August. She’ll be 12mos old. Did you have to check the car seat with the stroller when boarding plane? when you used shuttle service did you bring the car seat with you to the parks?

    June 7, 2016 at 9:53 am
    • Reply Ashley

      Dellece, I’m glad these Disney tips helped! We checked the car seat when we checked in for our flight. When we used the shuttle, I placed her on my lap. We rented a car, which is why we brought the car seat. On the monorail, we just kept her in her stroller. Here are some tips for flying with a baby: http://www.spitupisthenewblack.com/2013/01/30/10-tips-for-traveling-with-an-infant/ Hope they help and I hope you have an AMAZING time at Disney!

      June 8, 2016 at 12:50 am
  • Reply Disney World with an infant – a new experience | Disney Blog at Magical Kingdoms

    […] resource for visiting Disney World resort with and infant, baby or toddler is here! Additionally, this page offers 20 tips for Disney with a baby and my favorite was the advice to buy a stroller cover-up and […]

    July 7, 2016 at 3:01 pm
  • Reply Heather

    Do you think as a single mother taking my 2 year old with just us is a bad idea?

    February 21, 2017 at 11:35 pm
    • Reply Ashley

      Heather, no, I don’t think it’s a bad idea! I bet you will have a great time. I would recommend staying on property if you plan on spending more than 1 day at the park so you can stop back for naps.

      February 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm

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