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Disney with a Baby: Magical Memories Await at Every Turn!

Mastering Walt Disney World with littles under one-year old

sleeping baby

Welcoming a new member to the family is an incredible journey filled with love, joy, and plenty of precious moments. As parents, we naturally want to create unforgettable memories with our little ones, yet we often ponder the value of destinations like Walt Disney World. While the idea of visiting Disney with a baby under one year old may seem daunting at first, fear not! With careful planning and the right tips, you can make your Disney adventure a memorable and enjoyable experience for the whole family. An added plus, any child under 3 years of age will get into the park for free and are not required to pay for character dining experiences. While your child may not remember this experience, these are memories that you are going to cherish as they grow up. If you are debating whether the trip is worth it at such a young age… DO IT! I promise you will not regret it. 


Planning your magical vacation: 

Like any other vacation, timing is everything for visiting Walt Disney World, especially with a baby. Consider planning your travels during off-peak seasons to avoid large crowds and wait times. We have found some of the best times to visit Walt Disney World are January, May and September. These times tend to have lower crowds and for the most part milder weather. Be sure to avoid all major holidays, as many people will take the time, they are already off of work to plan a family trip to see the mouse himself. 


baby at magic kingdom

Pre-Trip Packing: 

Your packing needs will depend on the time of year you are visiting Walt Disney World. During cooler months, you may find you want an extra jacket for morning park entry or late-night stays to watch fireworks, while during summer months you will definitely want to make sure you have a stroller fan (or multiple), cooling towel, water bottles for each family member, and plenty of baby friendly snacks!  If you are breastfeeding, you will want to plan breastfeeding friendly clothing for ease of feeding while navigating the parks. No matter what time of year you are traveling, shoes are crucial, make sure you have comfortable shoes for both you and your infant/toddler (if they are walking). When packing for your trip, it's essential to bring along all the essentials for your baby's comfort and safety. Be sure to include items such as diapers, wipes, bottles, formula or breast milk, snacks, hats, sunscreen or a jacket/blanket depending on the weather and any necessary medications.


If you are planning on using Disney transportation, you do not need to worry about bringing a car seat. Our son loved riding in our laps on the bus, the boat and even the Skyliner during our stay at the Disney Resorts. Our first trip, he was 5 months old, and we were lucky enough to score a crib at our resort. The cribs are set at a standard height and do not open for ease of placing younger infants onto the mattress. Disney also offers pack-n-plays so that you do not have to travel with your own. 


Similar to the sleeping arrangements, Disney offers stroller rentals if you are looking to save some room when packing. However, the strollers are not the best fit for younger infants. We brought our own stroller in the park, in preparation for multiple naps throughout the day. Whether you bring your own or decide to rent from the parks, be sure to bring something to mark your stroller to ensure it is easy to find. In addition to bringing something that 'marks' your stroller so it's easy to find in stroller parking areas, you can leave an air tag in it to easily locate, have a luggage tag on it in case it is missing, etc. Making sure to note that the strollers get moved around to assist with crowding and parking as strollers come and go.


Park Bag Essentials 

Your park bag is important–you’ll want to keep your baby as comfortable and satisfied as possible. Every baby is different, especially depending on age and milestones, but some must essentials from my park bag are: 

family with donald
  • Snacks

  • Water Bottle/Sippy Cups

  • Stroller Fan/Neck Fan and Cooling Towel 

  • Blanket - for cooler months

  • Diapers & Wipes

  • Extra Clothes

  • Shoes - if your baby will be getting down to walk/crawl to the characters, they will most likely be asked to have shoes on 

  • TushBaby/Baby Wearer - you will need to have a plan for standing in line with your baby for both rides and interacting with characters. You will have to park your stroller at the nearest stroller parking and return to it after your ride/character experience. I found that during our first trip, it was easier to baby wear throughout the park and on rides, the next time we went our son was 11 months old and wanted to walk, therefore the TushBaby was the perfect solution. 

  • Baby Headphones - During our first trip we stayed in the parks to watch the fireworks. We made sure to bring noise canceling headphones for our infant to ensure he was not frightened by the blast or loud music during the show. 

  • Portable Chargers

What to Look Forward To

If you are anything like our family, your park experience will shift when it comes to traveling to the parks with littles. What used to be a fast paced, get all the rides kind of trip, has now turned into a slower experience-based trip. While your infant may not remember these memories, you will remember each of them. While your baby may be too young to ride most of the attractions, there are still plenty of experiences that you can enjoy together as a family. Keep in mind that you are able to bring your infant on any rides without a height requirement. They can ride either in the baby wearer or seated on your lap. There is also a variety of entertainment options from the Dapper Dans to live shows and parades. 

Disney Parks tries to provide resources for those traveling with all ages. A few resources that parents with young children are offered include: 


  • Rider Swap: Opportunity for parents to ride those rides that have a height requirement without standing in the rider queue twice

  • Baby Care Centers: Although you can feed your baby (bottle or breastfeed) anywhere in the park, if you are seeking privacy and more comforting options for families with young kids. Located in each park, Baby Care Centers offer private nursing rooms, sinks, changing tables, and feeding areas for your little one's comfort. Disney provides bottle warmers, chairs, or rooms for feeding and even purchases items you may have run out of or forgotten. These locations are in each park and can typically be found near the first aid center.

  • Kids Night Out: Babysitters that can stay with your kids for a night in the park alone, or ones that serve as an extra hand in the park. 


Important! All babies will react differently to the ride experience. Some darker or louder rides may be scary to an infant. 

Magic Kingdom

As many would suspect, Magic Kingdom offers many rides and entertainment that are suitable for even the smallest of travelers. With many of the other parks, character meet and greets may feel like your life, but with Magic Kingdom, there is very little your infant/toddler can’t do. Some of our favorites in Magic Kingdom: 

  • It’s a Small World

  • Meeting Mickey Mouse

  • Disney Pals as Circus Stars at Pete’s Silly Sideshow


Don't miss activities suitable for infants/toddlers:

Rides and Attractions

  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover

  • Astro Orbiter

  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant

  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel

  • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • Mad Tea Party

  • Peter Pan’s Flight

  • It’s a Small World

  • Haunted Mansion

  • Liberty Square Riverboat

  • Pirates of the Caribbean

  • Jungle Cruise

  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

  • Walt Disney World Railroad

Entertainment

EPCOT

EPCOT is full of adventure and immersive cultural experiences with rides, entertainment, and so many character experiences along World Showcase and other areas of the park.  Surprisingly this park offers a great variety of things to do even with an infant or toddler and plenty of great nap destinations! Some of our favorites in EPCOT: 

  • Journey into Imagination with Figment: our son loved the upbeat tunes and everything to look at on this ride.

  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends: we loved watching our son's reaction to the aquarium after the rides. He enjoyed watching all of the fish swim around in their own habitats.

  • Character Meet-and-Greets: Minnie and Donald ended up being our favorite by the time the trip was over. 


Activities suitable for an infant/toddler:

Rides

  • Frozen Ever After

  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros

  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

  • Journey into Imagination with Figment

  • Living with the Land

  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends - followed by an aquarium

  • Spaceship Earth

Entertainment

Hollywood Studios:

Hollywood Studios offers tons of entertainment and a few rides suitable for infants and toddlers. Some of our favorites in Hollywood Studios included: 

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad - such a cute ride for all ages our son loved it so much we “ride” it at home.

  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy

  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration - air conditioning, music, some jokes for adults, and who could forget the bubbles at the end of the show!


Don't miss activities suitable for infants/toddlers:

Rides and Attractions:

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railroad

  • Toy Story Midway Mania

Entertainment

  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

  • Disney Jr. Play and Dance!

  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration

  • Green Army Drum Corps

  • Muppet Vision 3D

  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy

  • Fantasmic!

  • Character Meet-and-Greets

  • Meet Ariel at Walt Disney Presents

  • Meet Disney Jr Pals in Animation Courtyard

  • Meet Disney Stars at Red Carpet Dreams

  • Meet Edna Mode at the Edna Mode Experience

  • Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight

  • Meet Pixar Pals at Pixar Plaza 

  • Meet the Toys in Toy Story Land

  • Wonderful World of Animation - Fireworks/Nighttime Entertainment 

Animal Kingdom: 

Animal Kingdom has a ton of entertainment suitable for your littles! Our son loved all of the animal experiences that this park had to offer from the Safari to animals placed throughout the park.  Some of our favorites in Animal Kingdom: 

  • Kilimanjaro Safari

  • Flight of Passage - well worth the rider swap or even lightening lane

  • Lemurs next to the Kali River Rapids - always super active and fun to watch


Don't miss activities suitable for infants/toddlers:

Rides and Attractions: 

  • Kilimanjaro Safari

  • Na’vi River Journey

  • Train Ride to the Conservation Station

  • Wildlife Express Train

  • TriceraTop Spin 

Entertainment:


character meal

Survival Tips: 

  1. Visiting Walt Disney World can be overwhelming for anyone, especially for a baby experiencing it all for the first time. Be sure to schedule regular breaks throughout the day to rest, relax, and recharge. Consider returning to your resort for naptime or taking a break in the shade to escape the midday heat. Pacing yourself can be the key to ensuring a pleasant experience for both you and your baby and allowing yourself to focus on making core memories along the way. 

  2. Don't forget to capture all the precious moments of your baby's first Disney trip. Bring along a camera or smartphone to snap photos and videos of your little one experiencing the magic of Disney for the first time. You'll cherish these memories for years to come and can share them with your child as they grow older.



Visiting Walt Disney World with a baby under one year old may require some extra planning and preparation, but the memories you'll create together as a family will be truly priceless. By choosing the right time to visit, packing wisely, planning baby-friendly activities, taking breaks, and capturing the memories, you can ensure a magical and enjoyable experience for the whole family. There is truly nothing like experiencing Disney through the eyes of your littles.  So, pack your bags, gather your little one, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure at the most magical place on earth!


Nicole Mangum, Digital Marketing Manager

 

Ready to create core memories with your littles? Connect with our travel advisors today to begin your magical stay!



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