Going to Walt Disney World can be stressful. The magical difference of WDW is that the parks were created for EVERYONE to enjoy TOGETHER. When we took our first daughter to Disney at seven months old, it was truly a magical experience, and with proper planning, you too can get over the fear of bringing a baby to the parks!
Before I describe my top 5 tips for traveling with a baby at WDW, I would like to preface it with some vital information. First, we live in Chicago, so our experience may differ from those who live locally. We also took our first trip with our daughter in the summer of 2021, while there were some COVID restrictions. Finally, this is not meant to be an end-all-be-all list. I wanted to share my thoughts and experiences to inspire someone else to take that first step to start planning a Disney trip.
- Take advantage of the Rider Switch service
- This service is pretty easy to use. There are certain attraction restrictions on use, so it is best to check the list before you go. I also found it helpful to ask the cast member directing at the front of the line how the Rider Switch works for their specific attraction.
- Book those Character Dining reservations
- We enjoyed our character dining at Tusker House and Topolino’s Terrace. Both had significant character interactions, and the food was delicious. Our daughter loved both of these restaurants.
- Try all the rides that have “any height” requirement
- Our daughter went on every “any height” ride at all four parks. She seemed to enjoy every single one. We had no incidents where we needed to leave the line due to her crying or fussing. The rides she seemed most aware of and engaged in were; Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Na’vi River Journey, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and Journey Into Imagination With Figment.
- Use the Baby Care Centers in the parks
- These centers were a lifesaver. Each park has one. It was a nice place to go inside and relax. There are a ton of last-minute or emergency items for purchase while inside as well. It was also a convenient place to quickly warm up a bottle or change a diaper with a little more privacy.
- Book a ‘Capture Your Moment ‘photoshoot
- We had our photoshoot at Animal Kingdom originally. It was stormy, so we had to cancel. Our ‘Capture Your Moment‘ photoshoot at Magic Kingdom was a success. The Cast Member was very helpful as he escorted us around the park’s central hub/castle area. He had signs that read “First Visit” and other props.
This quick list had a few of my experiences when we traveled for the first time with our daughter. As we continue to travel with her and our newest addition to our family, I am 100% positive the list will change and grow!
Here are some quick honorable mentions that may or may not be obvious; pack stroller accessories like fans/covers, take breaks inside as often as your baby needs, and try to stay on schedule with naps (my daughter was a trooper and took her naps in the stroller), bring a travel stroller to navigate the parks quickly, and don’t forget to pick up their first visit button!
Louie Ingratta is a father of 2, married to a fellow Disney nerd, and a STEAM Teacher from Chicago. He visits Disney annually. Talking everything Disney is a passion and he is his close group go to person for Disney info.