Steve and I took Mila on an Orlando vacation in early September. We went with two other families, and between all of us, we had 6 kids under 6 years old. As you can imagine, we were quite the spectacle wherever we went, but it was SO MUCH FUN.
We were a little nervous about taking such a little person on such a big trip. I prepared as best as I could, reading blogs and asking other moms, and a lot of it was SO helpful, but here are my top 8 tips for taking an infant to Disney World.
- Baby Carrier
We bought this carrier for the trip. Since Mila can’t hold her head up yet, most of the day she was in her car seat clipped into the stroller. When it’s 80 degrees with 100% humidity she got uncomfortable very quickly, so we got in a rhythm of switching her in and out of the stroller and carrier every few hours. Along with time to get out to nurse and just be held, she enjoyed it!
2. Battery-powered fan
This was something we learned about the hard way. Just get this fan before you go and do yourself a favor, okay? The clip at the bottom makes it easy to connect it to your stroller or car seat! You could even buy two and earn extra “Super prepared parents” points! 🙂
3. Parent swap and Fast Passes
Disney gets families. They just get it!
On most rides, you can get a “Parent Swap” pass. You push your stroller up to the entrance of the ride and say that you need a parent pass. One parent stands in line with the pass (or the Fast Pass line if you plan ahead! More in that in a second.) while the other one stays outside with the baby! As the parent with the pass gets to the front, a cast member exchanges the pass for a Fast Pass good to get 3 PEOPLE in through the Fast Pass line!
Now, to get the most out of this experience, let me explain…
You can do all Fast Passes ahead of time through the My Disney Experience app and they’re connected with your park ticket! But you can only have 3 Fast Passes per ticket at a time, and the times can’t overlap. HERE’S THE SECRET: If you’re using the parent pass, you only need to get 1 Fast Pass for 3 people! So, if you have Dad get a Fast Pass for a certain ride, he can use his Fast Pass AND request a Parent Pass while he’s waiting in that line. When he’s getting on the ride, they switch out his parent pass for the Fast Pass for 3 people, which he can give to the Mom waiting with the kids and 2 other people (adults or kids) can ride!
This makes it so you can spread out your Fast Passes between everyone and get more out of your time in each park. You’re welcome!
4. Nursing on rides
We like to get everything in when we do Disney, so I was excited to use all our time wisely. I nursed on a few different rides, and found it was easy! Think Pirates of the Carribean, where it’s cool, dark and slow-moving was perfect! It saved us 15 minutes to have to find a place to stop and nurse. We also asked to be in the very back, which helped it be a little more private. I also nursed on Haunted Mansion and would do it again!
I did use the Baby Care Center once while we were waiting to be seated for dinner. It was a little out-dated, but air-conditioned and had a private nursing room! There were 6 padded recliners and dim lighting. It was perfect for a time when we couldn’t be running around anyway.
5. Booking seats with a lap infant
Honestly, this should probably be my #1 tip. I was skeptical at first, but it worked on BOTH of our flights.
I read that they sometimes leave a seat open to people who have a “lap infant”. I also read that middle seats are the last seats to be booked. So, we tried our luck and booked our tickets as the aisle and window seat with Mila listed as a lap infant with me. When we left SLC we asked the gate attendant when we arrived if there were extra seats for us to bring our lap infant in a car seat…and luckily there was! The seat in between us wasn’t taken! So Mila got to sleep in the car seat the whole redeye flight!
We knew the odds weren’t in our favor on our way home. When we were leaving Orlando we asked the gate attendant if there were any extra seats so we could bring our lap infant on in her car seat and guess where the ONLY empty seat on the whole plane was? You guessed it, the seat in between us!
So, when flying with a lap infant book the aisle and window seat. You might just get lucky! 🙂
6. Disney dining reservations
You can make reservations up to 6 months in advance and in all 4 parks through the My Disney Experience App. It’s the perfect way to go somewhere air-conditioned and organized and for more of a meal than the stands that are delicious in their own right.
My favorite place was the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater. Each family eats dinner in their own car while watching black and white films on the big screen. Delicious food and a fun, relaxing atmosphere!
7. Flexible feeding schedule
I knew Mila’s nap schedule would disintegrate from being out at the parks all day, but I learned that being out and about and hot and sweaty, she needed to feed 2 or 3 more times a day than usual. This kept her hydrated and happy.
She was exclusively breastfed at the time, but we also took a bottle with water in it to keep her hydrated as well.
8. Travel with other families
This was our first big trip traveling with friends and yes, I’m making it my very last tip! Sharing this experience with other people made it so fun. Our kids were all on similar schedules so we would change diapers, nurse and go to quiet places at the same times for the babies. Breastfeeding is usually a pretty lonely affair, so this was a very welcome change of pace!
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Tawni is a former special education teacher, now stay-at-home momma. She spends her days reading, cooking with lots of cheese, listening to professional choral music, and tickling her baby boy, Cy. She lives with her husband and son in Utah.