Heading to a Disney theme park with your little one? We’ve got the scoop on what you’ll need to pack, where to stop if you need a rest, and the best attractions for your bundle of joy. From preschoolers to babies, Disney Parks are a family-friendly destination for all ages!
Tips for Bringing a Baby to a Disney Theme Park
What should you pack for your trip with a baby at a Disney Park? What should you leave behind? These seem to be the most common questions about heading to Disney with a baby. Highchairs are available at each Disney restaurant, so you can leave any eating seats at home! Also, Pack N Plays are available at each Disney Resort Hotel, just by calling the Disney reservation line and placing a request. Just bring your own sheets if you like them.
Bringing your stroller? You had better pack a rain cover, too! No one likes coming out of Frozen Ever After to find their stroller flushed with a Florida afternoon shower.
Extra clothes and diapers are useful not only for a trip around town but also in your diaper bag for the parks. Laundry machines, which are coin or card-operated) are located at each Disney Resort Hotel, so doing laundry is a snap. A noise machine is handy for sleeping in a new place – either music or a white noise machine placed near the playpen is a helpful way to get baby to ease into sleep while your family is resting.
Best Attractions for Parents with a Baby
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Jungle Cruise
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Swiss Family Treehouse
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Mad Tea Party
- Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Tom Sawyer Island
- Hall of Presidents
- Haunted Mansion
- Astro Orbiter
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Monsters Inc., Laugh Floor
- Tomorrowland Speedway
- People Mover
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- Animal Exhibits and walkthroughs
- Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Wildlife Express Train
- Maharajah Jungle Trek
- TriceraTop Spin
- Discovery Island Trails
- Tree of Life
- Na’vi River Journey
- Conservation Station
At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, experience the glitz and glamour of being in the movies with the following attractions suitable for all ages and heights:
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Walt Disney Presents
- Muppet Vision 3D
- Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
- Toy Story Mania
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
- Indiana Jones Adventure Stunt Show
- Voyage of The Little Mermaid
- Spaceship Earth
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment
- Frozen Ever After
- American Adventure
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Livin’ with the Land
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Beauty and the Beast Sing Along
- Gran Fiesta
- Various Internation Festivals held year-round
Tips for Visiting the Disney Theme Parks with a Baby
Take a kid-sized stay. A week-long vacation may tire both you and baby out. Three to four nights of sleep is what we call a bite-sized vacation, and it’s perfect for those with little kids. Experience the trip with your little one through their eyes and target must-dos for their age group. You’ll be happy you did!
Try to avoid crowds with these tips from Inside the Magic. You’ll be able to navigate the Parks easier with your kiddo, making the trip less stressful and more fun!
Like a Scout, the trick is to be prepared! Think about what you routinely need at home to care for your child. Baby wipes, snacks, formula or drinks, small toys, or a special lovvie. Bring these things in your backpack diaper bag for easy access. Anything that you may have forgotten is actually available for purchase at the Baby Care Center, (located in each theme park).
These spotless and sanitized areas at the Disney Parks are spaces for families to take care of their kiddos. After riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant with their parents, babies can cool off, chow down and get down to changing business. Yes, there are changing tables in just about every (if not all) bathroom at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts, but these specialized Baby Care Centers at Disney are designed for the care of kids. If you don’t need a pit stop, you can always relax in the air conditioning and spend some time watching a Mickey Mouse cartoon.
Keep your schedule! If your baby is an early riser, arriving at the parks as soon as they open (commonly called Rope Drop) is perfect for you! Take a trip back to your hotel room or take in a show in an air-conditioned space during nap time. Lastly, if your baby is early to bed, try to see an earlier nighttime spectacular like EPCOT’s firework shows. Hot top? Visiting in the winter when dark falls earlier means that fireworks happen earlier. It’s a great chance to share a show with your preschooler and still get to bed on time. Oftentimes, Jingle Bell Jingle Bam will have a 6:30 pm showtime.
Where to find baby strollers to rent at Disney theme parks
Ready to wheel around town? Using a stroller is highly recommended for those ages five and under. Tiny babies will need that napping recline available in personal strollers brought from home. Airlines will often gate-check a stroller for free, so getting through the airport and down the hall to MEARS transportation is a breeze.
Once at your Disney Resort, you’ll have to store your stroller in your Disney Resort Hotel room and fold it upon boarding transportation. Many strollers offer a tray upfront, which is handy for toys, drinks, or feeding your baby when on the go.
If you are able to travel to the Parks without a stroller, you’ll be able to rent a stroller at Disney when you need it, right from the front of each major theme park. These strollers are highly sanitized and offer a sunshade and a seatbelt. Available in a single or double model, you can rent a stroller for a day or length of stay, depending on your needs. Simply pick it up upon arrival and drop it back with a Cast Member when your family is done for the day.
At the time of this article, a single stroller (recommended for children 50lbs or less) is $15 a day or $13 for a length of stay (2 or more days). The double stroller option (holds 100 lbs or less) is $31 a day or for a multi-day rental, $27 a day.
Magic Kingdom’s stroller rental location can be found in the “tunnel” before you step onto Main Street, U.S.A., while EPCOT’s stroller rental location can be reached to the left of Spaceship Earth before you pass it. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park offers stroller rentals to the right inside the entrance, where you can also pick up maps for the sprawling, wild-life themed Park. Disney’s Hollywood Studios welcomes you to old Hollywood, and you can find both a stroller or scooter at the “gas station” to the right when you enter Hollywood Boulevard. At Disney Springs, the “Sundries” shop located near the bus loop offers stroller rentals but be prepared to leave a $100 Credit Card deposit while you shop.
Taking advantage of the Rider Switch Services
Rider Switch is a valuable service to anyone with a non-rider! When little ones don’t measure up to the height requirement or perhaps are timid of the Hollywood Tower of Terror, families can utilize the free service by approaching any Cast Member at the front of an attraction.
With Rider Switch, (also called child swap) one adult or supervising Guest (14 years or older) can wait with non-riders while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. Then, they simply switch roles to allow the supervising Guest to experience an attraction without waiting in the regular queue again. That means parents or siblings can go on thrill rides while the baby stays with another family member. If you’re traveling by yourself with a toddler, Cast Members are not allowed to stay with your child while you ride.
The planDisney Panel (formerly the Disney Parks Moms Panel) has great insight into this free service:
When you’re planning your Disney vacation, make the most of your theme park experience with younger kids or your older child. Follow these tips for visiting theme parks with a baby and make your experience magical! If you need help choosing the right Disney Resort for your family, contact the Disney authorized travel agents at Academy Travel. They have the knowledge to help your family create memories! Call them at 609-978-0740 for free planning assistance.
What’s your best tip for bringing a baby to Disney? Leave us a comment below!