Part 1 of our obsession with the Mouse. We frequent the cruises, all of them actually, and the parks. Lola had been to the parks twice by 13 months. It’s safe to say that we have the ‘Disney with a baby’ thing somewhat figured out. Here are some of my words of wisdom that I’ve figured out…
Parks at 9 months (March):
- Mistake #1 bulky stroller. I’m dramatic and wanted to bring our big Britax stroller so my LO could be in the most comfort as possible while cruising through the parks…. However, I wised up and brought our Summer umbrella stroller the next go around and it was completely fine (see next category for details). My Britax was perfect for storage (allowed LOTS of space for our bags and bottle supplies!) but with the crowds that were around for Spring Break – holy cow, it was extremely difficult to get through the masses with the larger stroller. I’m glad that she was able to be super comfortable in a larger stroller, but for ease of transport, we’re sticking to the smaller umbrella.
- Gentle reminder… you have to disassemble and collapse your stroller to get on the Disney park buses. My ‘comfy ride’ Britax was an act of congress to take apart and required help for at LEAST 2 people because two pieces of the stroller needed to be held, someone to hold the bags that were underneath/in said stroller and then someone to hold the baby. Seriously – you HAVE to think about how to get on and off of the buses.
- If you are like me and you love little accessories, do yourself a favor and make a tutu (or add SOMETHING) for your stroller so you can find it easier in the stroller parking lot. The attendants at Disney are amazing and make my stuff feel so much safer, but bless their hearts they move around the strollers to help with space and if your stroller gets lost, lord help you! My hot pink tutu stood out every time! This is the best picture I could find, but you get the point.
- I brought around the baby carrier. She was still young so she liked to be held and with the shear number of people in the parks for Spring Break, I’m so glad I did. At Magic Kingdom we actually decided to park the stroller for a few hours and I just wore her in the baby carrier. It was SO much easier to maneuver through the parks and get around without being at the mercy of the huge stroller.
- Use the baby centers at Disney – they are a Godsend! I was transitioning from nursing to foods to sippy cup – all the awkward things right in the middle of the trip. Awesome, challenge accepted. Baby Care Centers were amazing to nurse, warm bottles, change diaper (in A/C and outside of the typically ew bathroom setup), let her crawl around for a second without getting stepped on or needing a tetanus shot, etc. etc. you get the picture.
- Baby Care Centers at Disney Parks can be found here
- Magic Kingdom – my top favorite! plush recliners, YES PULEASE!
- Hollywood Studios – the worst location in my opinion, but this isn’t a baby focused park so you have to weigh that
- Pack pouch foods – it will make your life SO much easier because you don’t know when (or how easily accessible) baby food options will be. We love the applesauce pouches. Trader Joe’s fruit crusher baby pouches are great too and lots of variety. I also packed a few of the Plum Organic pouches each day. I guess I followed a 4 pack/day rule of thumb.
- Disposable place mats, silverware and bibs. Click images below.
- Sippy cup with water at all times and I would SUPER recommend a cup leash. This was amazing and saved me so many times of having to clean off a dropped sip cup!
- Bring a change of clothes AND p.j.s if you’re staying in the parks late. I had no issue with letting her fall asleep in either the stroller or in the carrier and then riding rides and/or walking around. Before her typical bedtime, I would get her a fresh diaper and then change her out of her outfit of the day and put her in her pj’s. That way she was comfortable when she fell asleep and I didn’t have to worry about completely waking her up to change her jammies when we got back to the hotel.
Parks at 13 months (June):
- Ya’ll, it was hotter than a mother at the end of June. Here are the perks of walking on the face of the sun all day:
- The stores offer amazing A/C relief when you need a second to
- You don’t have to wear makeup because it will melt off my 9am.
- No crowds. Seriously. I guess you weigh the pros and cons of it being hot but less crowds or mild weather with so many crowds you’re touching shoulders. Honestly, I can do either, knowing that I get to pop on and off A/C rides (well… that and a bellini from Epcot) and I’m good to go!
- Stroller – Umbrella all the way. This go around I traded in my big and bulky Britax for my Summer reversible stroller and it was perfect. We would zip it around MUCH easier than we could the bigger Britax (I’m a far of bobbing and weaving around slow folks). This stroller allows me to switch which direction she faces so I can feel better about her napping peacefully and if it rains, it offers more protection.
- Because the parks weren’t so busy this trip (and it was so dang hot!) we didn’t use the carrier as much and she stuck to the umbrella stroller.
- Stroller fan for the little one. This was helpful when it was getting really hot at the prime of the day. She passed out at nap time with this bad boy. I got the battery operated fan and just kept a set of extra batteries in a ziplock in my bag for back up (we never had to switch them out though).
- Even though she was 13 months this trip, I still kept a few pouch applesauces, packets of ritz crackers and other small non-perishable foods in my bag just in case. I never wanted to be in a position where she didn’t have a healthy snack. Disney is great with food options but it’s typically a matter of convenience and availability. When the LO is being a diva because she’s hungry, we’re not going to stand in line for an hour – we need instant food – but the ‘instant food’ isn’t always the healthiest for a 13 month old. I just don’t love the idea of giving her different renditions of fried food for all her meals, but that’s just me.
I’m SO excited for your trip and hope these little tidbits of advice help make for a smoother trip!
XO – the WCW