Editor’s Note: Lou’s email inbox is often full to overflowing with questions from listeners. As such, he has enlisted the WDW Radio Blog writers to assist him in answering some of your questions.
This is a question from a WDW Radio listener, who is going on their family’s first trip to Walt Disney World with a baby:
“Long time listener. Love the show. My wife and I for years now have been able to visit the parks 3-4 times a year, but last year my wife and I found out weeks after our last Disney trip that we were going to have a new addition to the family. Needless to say, we haven’t made it back to the parks since last April and now our bundle of joy, Belle, is with us ,and we are going to be taking a trip back to WDW later this year. Do you have any tips for new parents in the parks? She will be turning 8 months while we are there. We are going with some friends, and their parents will be there to provide temporary relief ago that we can hit up our favorite, Narcoossee’s and a later night in MK. Thanks Lou for all that you do. I listen to you on the way to work and it gives me a nice experience into the kingdom without actually being there.”
Hello fellow WDW Radio listener, my name is Alyssa Wiseman, and I am part of the WDW Radio Blog Team. I am also the author of the “Momma at Disney World” series and “Baby Goes to Disney World” series, so I have written lots about traveling to Walt Disney World with a baby or toddler. I want to start off this reply by saying, “congratulations,” on your addition to your family!! The name Belle is adorable and my absolute favorite princess. I hope you are so excited about your upcoming trip, but completely understand if you are a little nervous as well. We have taken my son at 5, 7, 9, and 15 months so far, and each stage has had challenges and benefits. Here are some tips that I often provide to fellow young parents:
- Bring your own stroller or rent from an off-site company (It will save you money and time)
- Bring a baby carrier to use while in lines (those babies are heavy after standing in lines)
- Give your baby (and yourself) small breaks and let them play
- You can try rides like Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean because your baby will have no idea that it is scary
- Bring some of the putty-like ear plugs for your infant. You can use them for fireworks or even during the loud parts of attractions
- Have your camera or phone ready at ALL TIMES!! They do the cutest things when you aren’t prepared
- Try and keep a schedule, but maybe do morning nap in a carrier or in the stroller, then longer nap in the afternoon
- Give your daughter her first Mickey Bar!!! Come on…the pictures will be the best and adorable
- Make use of Fastpass + and Rider Swap together! That is right, get one FP for an attraction, then tell the cast member for the other parent, and you will have double the FP!
- Make use of the Baby Care Centers in each of the parks! Especially if she is still nursing or needs to cool off.
- Bring a spare outfit to the park each day. You will need it.
- Make sure to book some time to visit Mickey Mouse because the characters love little ones
- Have fun and take it slow. It isn’t about getting everything done, it is about watching her face when she sees the balloons (yep, it’s finally time to shell out $12 for a balloon), seeing her reach towards her favorite Disney plush, and for you to be those excited parents who will get more from this trip than your daughter will!
Make sure that you don’t worry about what people think! Your daughter will probably have a few times where she will start fussing, and it might be all you can do to strap her in the stroller and move quickly towards the park exit while she is screaming. That is absolutely fine and other parents will completely understand.
Again, have fun with your family and take time to do the little things. This will be a trip where you do some strolling around the parks and people watch. We really loved riding the Walt Disney World Railroad around the park while our baby was napping and we even took a couple laps around the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover, (Just signal the Cast Member, and they should be happy to help with an extra trip around.) With friends and family there to help, you should have a wonderful and memorable trip!
Alyssa Wiseman, her husband Brandon, and toddler son, Walt, reside in central Indiana (too far from Disney). Alyssa and Brandon enjoy traveling to Disney several times a year to see what is new and enjoy classic Disney. While traveling, and at home, Alyssa is frequently shopping for Disney products and making a list of items to buy while in the parks. Please follow Alyssa on twitter @ajwiseman09.