If there is anything that fills me with more awe than the skill with which generations of Disney animation masters used to create memorable and lovable characters that will live with us forever, it is the eternal ability of mothers to run the day-to-day operation of their own “little characters” no matter what the circumstance.
Case in point: despite the numerous challenges one might associate with taking a one-year-old to Walt Disney World®, my wife was able to plan almost exactly to the minute where and when our baby son would eat, sleep, and be diaper-changed each day we visited the four Disney World theme parks during our last trip.
“How?” you ask if you’re a perplexed father like me.
Well, aside from instinctual maternal prowess, Disney provides the answer in three short words: “Baby Care Centers®.” Yes, strategically placed in the four major theme parks, these centers provide a quiet place for families to freshen, refuel, and otherwise regroup when travelling with the wee ones. According to the Walt Disney World website, these centers provide:
•Private nursing room with rocking chairs
•Changing room with tables and a unisex bathroom
•Feeding area with highchairs
•Kitchen with microwave, oven and sink
•Main room with television, table, chairs and sofa
•On-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and clothing for purchase
And we found the above-mentioned representation accurate and the amenities convenient; yes, the products for sale were most-definitely sold at premium prices, but they were nonetheless available in a pinch, and the facilities were offered free of charge.
Now, my instinct in these posts is to wax poetic about my own experiences, but I’m going to keep this post relatively short. Instead of my usual wordy contributions, I’d like to ask our readers: what experiences have you had with Walt Disney World Baby Care Centers? We definitely had our favorite locations as a family, so I look forward to your preferences and observations; I’ll respond with my own thoughts per your posts as a whole, but this entry will be about all of you first.
I look forward to your thoughts!
P.S. The following is a quick reference guide to the locations of these baby care centers in the four major theme parks; if you know of any others, please, do not hesitate to share!
1. Magic Kingdom® Park: between Casey’s Corner® and the Crystal Palace®, just off of the Central Hub®
2. Epcot®: between the Odyssey Center® and the Mexico pavilion
3. Disney’s Hollywood Studios®: just outside of the main entrance and the Crossroads of the World®; next to the old Sid Cahuenga’s truck
4. Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park: next to the Creature Comforts® shop on Disney’s Discovery Island®
(Photos from the author’s personal collection. Baby image ©Disney.)
Richie McNanna is an 8th grade teacher from Westfield, NJ. He has been a self-proclaimed Disney nut since the age of seven when his parents convinced him that real ghosts lived in the Haunted Mansion, and his goal in life is to retire one day and become one of the Dapper Dans. Richie’s wife, Helene, is the most understanding woman on the planet for putting up with his Disney obsession and owed a great deal of emotional payback. His son is one year old and already owns several sets of Mickey ears.