21 Tips for Traveling & Visiting Disney World with your Baby
Does the thought of traveling to Disney World with a baby make your palms sweat? Read on and you will hopefully feel differently.
This spring we visited Disney World with our 10.5 month old baby boy. Honestly, we wouldn’t have taken him this young, but my husband went there for work and we made a family vacation out of it. It ended up being a blast!
Tips for the Road Trip-
We drove from Ohio, which I still have mixed feelings about. The driving was the worst part. Elliot was getting more active at this point and did not want to be in the car seat that long. We split the drive into two days each way, but there was still a lot of crying.
Here are some tricks we used that worked, some of the time, ha!
- Dress your baby in light comfy clothing, especially in summer months.
- Set aside some of your baby’s favorite toys a couple weeks before, so they haven’t seen them in a while and feel new during the drive.
- Buy a new toy, maybe one that makes sound or music. I bought a book that plays music and he loved it.
- If your baby loves music like mine does, come up with a special playlist. We have been adding to songs Elliot likes since he was a newborn. When we’re in the car, he will cry until we play it lol
- When all else failed I’d sit in the back with him and I actually put a thin blanket over his car seat to block the sun and any distractions when I was trying to get him to nap. He would usually go to sleep pretty quickly when I did this. Once he was asleep I would remove the blanket to give him air circulation. Your baby will get too hot if you leave it on for a long time.
I’ll be honest, some of the time these things didn’t help and we had to deal with the crying. We just had to weigh making another stop or powering through and driving a little longer. If we wouldn’t have had to bring so much stuff, we would have flown, but it wasn’t a good option with all the things we were bringing for our 2 week vacation.
Tips on Where to Stay-
We stayed at 2 hotels and one vacation home during our 2 week trip. The first hotel was where we stayed close to my husband’s work conference and it was a family suite with a bedroom, kitchen/living room and a bathroom. Then we had to move hotels, because they were booked up and we wanted to stay in Orlando another day to visit Disney. Then we traveled to Anna Maria Island for a week and stayed in a vacation home/condo.
Here’s what I learned…
- The first hotel was amazing with it’s extra living space. I strongly recommend this! We will find a suite the next time we are staying in a hotel. This gave Elliot a place to sleep in another room in his pack-n-play, while we could stay up and watch tv. Brant also had to get up early for work, so this helped him not to wake Elliot.
- Bring a sound machine!!! What was I thinking not bringing his sound machine?! In a pinch I used the ‘White Noise Baby’ app that I also use for newborn sessions. I plugged my phone in the charger and left the app on all night. We also turned on the microwave fan when he stayed in the living/kitchen at the first hotel.
- Bring a nightlight! Again, another simple thing that we forgot that would have helped a lot. When he got up in the night this would have been so helpful to see what we were doing. Hotel rooms are very dark. At home we use the Hatch Baby Rest and it’s a sound machine and night light that you can control from your phone. We love it!
- Stay somewhere with Disney Transportation. We ended up staying in a hotel that was on Disney property because of the transportation to Disney. I highly recommend doing this. Art of Animation is a great and one of the more reasonable Disney resorts to stay in, but you can stay in non-Disney resorts that are just hotels on Disney property with the same benefit.
- Bring your monitor, this was so nice to step right outside the room to sit outside. The home we stayed in had a pool right outside, so it was perfect to take the monitor out there with us.
Tips for Visiting Disney-
Disney can be the happiest place on earth or it can be the most stressful. Here are some tips for going to the Disney theme parks with a babe…
- First and foremost make sure you just try to relax and be patient!
If you go into this thinking you’re going to see and do everything, you’re wrong! Just have the attitude of “we are going and whatever happens, happens.” You will enjoy your day so much more with this way of thinking.
- Don’t over schedule! Use your Fast Passes and make restaurant reservations, but schedule them with reasonable time in between each of them. Also, consider nap time when scheduling. Though naps may be thrown off a bit. You do have a full hour to use you Fast Pass from the time it’s scheduled.
- Install the Disney Map App. This helps you schedule your Fast Passes and reservations. You can also see wait times for rides and it’s just a great way to see all around the park. All the Parks have one.
- Bring snacks & water. Yes you’ll be eating all the awesome food Disney has to offer, but it’s nice to always have something on had and ready. We even took a bag of puffs on the ride in case he had a total meltdown while riding. We used them a couple times.
- Bring a poncho or end up paying for an expensive Disney one. Apparently it rains in Orlando pretty often, and summer is their rainy season. We went in April and ended up buying Disney poncho. Then it stopped raining not long after. Ha! So buy a cheap one before you come, just in case.
Best Disney Things To Do With Baby-
We debated which Disney World park to visit, Brant was leaning towards Animal Kingdom, but I insisted on Magic Kingdom. Brant ended up being glad we went to Magic Kingdom, because it is the classic Disney park. There are actually lots of rides and things for a baby to do. Here are my top picks for things to do with a baby…
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh- We loved this ride and I think it ended up being Elliot’s favorite. Also, waiting in line is not bad at all. It goes pretty quick and has lots of fun interactive stuff for kids. I just smiled during the entire ride!
- Peter Pan’s Flight Disney– Now this ride’s line is typically crazy long, but it’s the best line to wait in by far! We ended up doing a Fast Pass for this ride this time not knowing we wouldn’t be going through regular line at all. When you have a pass you just hop in without going inside the building to wait in line. I was a bit disappointed, but it was probably best, because the wait would have not been fun with a 10 month old.
- The Haunted Mansion– This is one of my all time favorite rides and I was a bit hesitant to take Elliot on it, but figured he was too young to be scared of any of it and I was right… for the most part. He liked it until they turned all the lights out at one point haha, but the trusty Puff snacks came to the rescue.
- Classic Disney Souvenir: The Cut Paper Silhouette- I knew before we went that I wanted to make time to do one of these silhouettes. My sister had one growing up and I wanted to get some for gifts as well. They make wonderful gifts! Watching them actually make the Silhouettes cut outs was really interesting. Make sure before they start to tell them how many you want. We got double charged, because I said I needed more, so they had to do it twice, a little irritating since they didn’t ask how many we wanted.
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic– I think this one is amazing and very underrated. It’s not a ride, but a 3D show and it’s seriously awesome! A favorite for sure. I don’t want to give too much away, so just go!
- This is a funny one- So we ended up taking a break at a fake grassy spot and this was probably Elliot’s favorite part of the day. He was so happy to get to crawl freely and we hung out here for quite some time because he loved it! Plus we had a good view of the castle.
Well I hope this helped you all out! I know these would have helped me out had I read them before our vacation. I hope you have a truly magical time!
Did I forget something?! Please leave any of your tips in the comments below.