So you're planning baby's first visit to Disney World and wondering where to start. I remember visiting Disney World when Tad and Lily were younger. It was exciting but a little nerve-racking making sure we had everything we needed and hoping that everyone in our party was still going to have a great trip. (Spoiler alert: Everyone had an absolutely fantastic time!) It is toadally possible to have a wonderful time with a little planning, flexibility and pixie dust! Going to Disney World with a baby can add an extra layer of planning, but we froggies have some helpful hints on how to make it the most magical trip possible, for you and little one.
How to Pack and Prepare for Baby's First Trip to Disney World
key to taking a baby to Disney World is planning and preparation. You may have experienced traveling to Disney World and traveling with a baby separately, but how do you combine both so your visit is as stress-free as possible (for everyone involved)?
What to Bring:
- Protection from the sun – The Florida sun can be brutal on frogs of all ages, especially sensitive tadpole skin, so it is best to plan ahead for ample protection. We recommend hats, sunscreen, extra outfits, a blanket for shade or comfort and a stroller fan. We recommend only bringing products you have used in the past and are familiar with to alleviate any mishaps with discomfort or an allergy to a particular ingredient. You may even consider bringing a portable white noise machine to give baby an extra quiet space to rest.
- Stroller – You can rent or bring your own stroller. Strollers must be able to fold for buses and trams. We'll get into more details about strollers later!
- Food – Formula, bottles, baby food and snacks, baby spoon (and a few extras, just in case)
- Diapers and wipes (right now, sanitizing wipes are especially hopful to pop in the diaper bag)
- Lovies, pacifiers, or toys from home
- (Optional) Carrier – It's especially helpful on transportation and rides where you have to fold up the stroller.
- (Optional) Balloons and bubbles – The easiest entertainment you can provide!
We highly recommend bringing your own stroller if you can. It's more familiar to both you and your baby. But we understand it's not always possible to transport it with you. That's where rentals may come in handy!
If you decide not to bring your own stroller, there are stroller rentals at Disney World. The stroller rental locations are at the front of each of the four theme parks and Disney Springs, offering singles ($15 daily or $13 for multi-day) or doubles ($31 daily or $27 for multi-day). However, the Disney strollers are made out of hard plastic and do not recline, so they are better suited for toddlers and up. These strollers do not leave the parks, so you will get a new one each day and they will not return to the hotel with you.
More than likely, if you're considering renting a stroller, you'll need to look into rental companies that offer strollers better suited for babies. Each company has its own policy, but you'll need to coordinate pick-up and drop-off times. As of 2019, strollers cannot be dropped off and left in advance at Bell Services at any of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
Be sure to park your stroller at the appropriate locations, or you may return to find your stroller is not where you left it (cast members will sometimes move strollers to make more room or place them in an appropriate spot). There are many labeled Stroller Parking spots throughout the theme parks. We recommend distinguishing your stroller somehow to find it more easily and to take any valuables with you.
We've just gone over the basics, but we also have many more tips on using a stroller at Disney World!
Baby Care Centers
Disney knows lots of families visit with tadpoles, so there is a Baby Care Center at each of the theme parks to help out. The Baby Care Centers offer a lot of amenities for those with infants and toddlers, such as private nursing rooms, changing rooms with tables, a feeding area with high chairs, a kitchen with a microwave and sink, and a main room with a TV and seating. All of these offerings are free of charge. There is also a shop that sells helpful items, including formula, baby food, diapers, wipes, clothing and more. We cannot recommend the centers enough! You can find Baby Care Centers in the following locations at each park:
- Magic Kingdom: Between Crystal Palace and Casey's Corner
- EPCOT: Outside of the EPCOT Experience, next to the restrooms
- Animal Kingdom: On Discovery Island, near the entrance to Africa
- Hollywood Studios: To the left of the park entrance by Guest Relations
Attractions and Entertainment
Rides and Rider Switch
span style="font-weight: 400;">Magic Kingdom is the best park for baby-friendly rides because it has the least amount of height requirements, which means baby can safely ride in your lap for many attractions. We recommend Dumbo, not only for a classic gentle ride but also for its kid-friendly queue. There is a playground in the big top so kids can play and parents can relax for a bit. Other rides for young ones at Magic Kingdom would be "it's a small world," Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid, Peter Pan's Flight, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and the Walt Disney World Railroad just to name a few!
For the rides where your tadpole isn't tall enough, don't worry! Everyone else can still enjoy the ride with Rider Switch. With this process, one adult stays with the baby while everyone else rides; then, the adult swaps and goes on the ride without having to wait in a long line. Learn more by checking out our Height Requirements and Rider Switch Guide!
What’s a trip to Disney World without a photo of your baby with a Disney character! We swoon just thinking about it! We are hoppy to report that traditional character meet & greets are hoppening at Disney World again! Indoor characters have returned to their themed locations, such as the Disney Princesses and Mickey Mouse at Magic Kingdom. In addition, there are multiple character cavalcades, which are mini parades that happen throughout the day. The Festival of Fantasy Parade has also returned to the Magic Kingdom. The gorgeous floats, joyous music, and, of course, getting to wave to all of your favorite characters is perfect for little ones!
You can find all the character locations and appearance times in the My Disney Experience app, under Characters. Likewise, the cavalcade and parade times can be found under the Entertainment tab. Disney characters LOVE meeting babies, and their interactions with them are just precious! Just keep in mind that the characters are not permitted to hold your baby.
Shows & Entertainment
There are some frogtacular shows at Disney World perfect for the little ones (and for you to rest your feet!). Some of our favorite shows for babies are all at Hollywood Studios. For all ages, we recommend For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration! Enjoy all of the classic songs from "Frozen" and enjoy some jokes even the parents will laugh at.
Get your dance on at the Disney Junior Dance Party, or learn what it takes to be a champion racer at Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy. All of these shows happen multiple times throughout the day, though we'd suggest an afternoon showing to get a break in the air conditioning when the day reaches peak temperatures!
Here’s a list of our other frog favorite shows at Disney World:
Magic Kingdom - Country Bear Jamboree, The Hall of Presidents, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
EPCOT - Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, Canada Far and Wide, Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival, Reflections of China
Animal Kingdom - Feathered Friends in Flight, Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!, Festival of the Lion King.
Sometimes all you need is a play area to allow your baby some downtime from the hustle and bustle of the parks. The theme parks have some limited areas for toddler-friendly playing. At Magic Kingdom, there is a play area under Splash Mountain in addition to the Dumbo queue. At EPCOT, there is a small area inside The Seas as well as Mission: SPACE. Seasonally, EPCOT may have a play area open near the entrance to the World Showcase, depending on which festival is running. In Dinoland U.S.A. at Animal Kingdom, young ones can enjoy a large play area at the Boneyard. These are all great spots to get the wiggles out!
General Tips and Tricks for Taking a Baby to Disney World
Before you head to Disney World with your baby in tow, here are a few more tips that we find extremely helpful.
- Schedule mini-breaks throughout the day, and consider taking a longer break in the afternoon for a nap (and we all know naps know no age limits!). We always recommend getting some rides in the morning and then returning to the hotel when it’s hottest for some nap time or pool time.
- If you're staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can request a complimentary crib, either when you make your reservation or during check-in upon arrival (though quantities are limited).
- If baby or toddler has a favorite toy or stuffy, consider leaving it in the hotel room, just to be safe. No one wants a lost friend in the parks!
- For babies, some dark rides, no matter how hoppy, can be a little scary! You may need to adjust your itinerary accordingly, but don't worry — there are plenty of bright or outdoor attractions in each park to enjoy together.
- Be flexible! Whatever works for your frog family is what's best for you.
- Take things at your own pace.
- Take lots of photos and cherish those memories!
Have you traveled to Disney World with a baby or toddler? Share your tips in the comments below!