The first time my son stayed at a Disney Resort or any hotel for that matter, he was two months old and I thought I had it all figured out. What I quickly realized is that Disney with a baby, especially your first, is completely different from any other Disney stay. If you’re planning your baby’s first Disney Resort stay, here’s some of what I’ve learned!
Which Disney Resort to Choose
Ultimately, pick which resort works best for your budget and preferences! My family now spends more time in the room to accommodate naps and an earlier bedtime so the resort is more important than ever. I would likely recommend a Disney Vacation Club Studio or Villa because you’re likely to have extra space and the kitchen (or kitchenette) area is great for bottle washing, storing milk, etc. Having a balcony or a one-bedroom villa/ suite can also help parents to have a separate space.
All that being said, my son has always had a “fear of missing out” at Disney so setting up the crib/ Pack ’n Play in another room has never worked for us. But hey, something to consider! If your baby does better in their own space – there are plenty of ways and baby gear to accommodate a shared hotel room. For example, the SlumberPod is essentially a breathable tent that covers a pack ’n play – providing babies their own dark and cozy space with built-in pockets for a sound machine and fan. Many of my parent friends rave about their SlumberPod and I wish I had tried it when my son was smaller! I have even seen parents Amazon order a room divider creating a separate space for their little one to sleep.
Speaking of baby gear – there are many rental companies in the area that will drop off rentals to your resort. This could include strollers, cribs like the SNOO, baby baths, walker toys, and pretty much anything you can think of.
One more very important resort consideration is transportation to the parks. The Skyliner and Monorail are no doubt easier than folding up your stroller for bus transportation but more on that later.
Packing like You’ve Never Packed Before
I am now a proud over packer and I’ve never regretted it. There are ways to avoid this, though! First, plan on the strong likelihood of doing laundry. Babies spit up and they have messy diapers – the likelihood of being able to pack enough is low. All Disney resorts offer a laundry room with washers and dryers, laundry detergent, etc. for a small fee (payable by card). While the detergent is not my favorite, it is free of dyes and perfumes if you’re worried about sensitive skin. Second, Disney offers many essentials in its resorts. This does come at a premium price tag, but if you need it, it’s there. Third, order what you can and have it shipped to your resort. This could include purified water, diapers, wipes, baby wash, formula, snacks, and other baby items that take up a lot of luggage space.
Say Hello to Grocery Delivery
Instacart, Walmart+, DoorDash, Amazon, etc. deserve a Nobel Peace Prize for the relief they provide to families. Kidding! But I do have baby items delivered to the resort almost every Disney trip. Even if you just order diapers, this will save you a lot of space when traveling. Keep in mind, these delivery services drop off at bell services and not your actual room but they do deliver to Disney Resorts! Also, you will want to have some flexibility with ordering. If your baby only eats one particular puree pouch or brand of formula, you might not want to risk the local store not having it in stock.
If you have a car and would rather shop in person, I would personally recommend the Target at Flamingo Crossings or the new Publix at Celebration Pointe. Why? Because it is the closest to Disney and feels less like you’ve left the Disney bubble.
Thoughts on Strollers
Strollers are such a hot topic with parents – there are a million options and there’s not one right answer! Folding up my stroller for a Disney bus made me realize how heavy and big it is. There’s no tired like end of the night at Disney trying to get your stroller on a Disney bus. The flip side is, smaller strollers often don’t have the same coveted storage space great for diaper bags, toys, blankets… or mama’s snacks and Starbucks. I would consider your resort’s transportation first and then how much “stuff” you bring to the parks. If you’re flying to Disney, you can also find travel strollers that fit in the overhead storage bin so you don’t have to worry about the potential of your stroller breaking during the gate check process. If you’re going to rent a stroller, I would recommend going with an outside company before renting from Disney. Outside companies will deliver and pick up directly from your resort and offer brands and strollers you’re likely familiar with.
What Disney Resorts Offer for Babies
All Disney Resorts offer Pack ’n Plays and cribs available upon request. While you can request this on your Disney resort reservation, I usually still have to call housekeeping once I arrive at my room. However, housekeeping always brings the Pack ‘n Play directly to the room right away. You are more likely to be offered a Pack ’n Play than a crib at Disney, but they do all come with very cute Disney crib sheets.
Also, in the resort gift shop, you can find some baby items for purchase: diapers, wipes, over-the-counter medicine, baby food like puffs and purees, and dish liquid to wash bottles.