You’ve been thinking about your trip to Walt Disney World for months. Perhaps you have even meticulously planned it, every detail has been researched and mapped out when, surprise - you're pregnant! Congratulations!
Now, you might be asking yourself, "How can I go to Disney pregnant? Is it even possible to still have a good time? Will I be able to ride anything?" The questions might be endless. But, good news! I have traveled to Walt Disney World pregnant... Twice! I've gathered the experiences of other moms-to-be, and have lots of insight to offer you! So, sit back, give your baby bump a rub, and know that we’ve got this under control.
Here are some tips, tricks, and words of advice to help make your Disney vacation as mommy-to-be as magical as ever!
Before You Go The less “fun” but equally important stuff!
Have a check-up right before you go - You’ll feel better about your trip if your doctor has given you 2 thumbs up for your stay in the Happiest Place on Earth. Pack your doctor’s contact information and their 24-hour call-in line, just in case. There is always medical support available at WDW and in the surrounding areas (I know first-hand!), but it’s good to have your own personal doctor’s information readily available in the unlikely instance that you’ll need it.
Emergency Info - Make sure you have on hand where the nearest hospital that is covered under your insurance plan is located, and bring your insurance cards as well. When you’re traveling, it’s always best to be prepared for the “what ifs”.
Trip Insurance – I highly recommend purchasing trip insurance. While most pregnancies progress without complications, trip insurance would cover the cost of any last-minute cancellations should your impending bundle of joy decide bed rest is how they’d rather you spend your days leading up to their arrival.
Pack Comfort Items – You'll thank me for this later! Bring Sleep aids (like a wedge pillow to support your growing belly – you can certainly ask Mousekeeping for extra pillows, but sometimes a regular pillow just won’t cut it!). Also, back support or a maternity belt. You will be on your feet/walking around more than your typical day at home (a typical week in Disney for my family averages us about 40 miles of walking) and your back and belly will thank you for the extra support from a belt or band!
Ship Snacks – Did you know that was a “thing”? You can ship packages ahead of time to your Walt Disney World resort. You can ship from home, or from a website, like Amazon.com, diapers.com, etc. The addresses for all Disney resorts can be found online, the package would be addressed as shown here:
Disney's Pop Century Resort (or wherever you’re staying) 1050 Century Drive Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 Please hold for Guest (your name here) Guest Arriving on (arrival date here) Make sure you send it in enough time to arrive before you do. When you check-in, mention that you should have a package - they usually have it waiting at Check-In for you. If not, they will deliver it to your room shortly. Some resorts may charge a small package fee for holding your item. You and baby are going to need to munch more frequently than the rest of your travel party, and with possible food aversions, you might even have preferences for what you plan to munch so frequently. If you don’t think it’s necessary to ship things ahead of time, you can always stick a couple boxes of granola bars in your suitcase…something easy to stick in your bag as you head to the parks each morning in case of a hunger emergency ;-)
Make sure to check your airlines flight restrictions concerning pregnancy, as some airlines require a doctor’s note if you intend to fly within 30 days of your due date.
While flying, snag yourself an aisle seat – you’ll get the most room to stretch your legs. Also, be sure to get up and walk (you’ll likely need a bathroom break anyhow, right?) every hour or so since there is an increased chance of getting blood clots while flying when pregnant. Staying hydrated helps combat this risk as well, so keep the water coming!
Get a button that says you’re celebrating – write in “a new baby!” These “I’m Celebrating!” buttons are available at the guest relations offices at each park. Additionally, they often have a supply at the hotel check-in desks and at general ticket sales windows. This button doesn’t bring you any special privileges, but it does let cast members and other guests know that you’re having a special day. You’ll likely get lots of extra smiles, and maybe a cupcake ;-)
Drink lots of water (not only is it hot, but park food is a lot more salty in general and that salt is not going to do your ankles any favors – tap water and a cup of ice is free from counter service restaurants, or ship bottled water ahead of time and keep them in your hotel room fridge/freezer).
Map the Bathrooms – On your My Disney Experience app, head to the map section and click the "Restroom" filter! They will show you the bathrooms nearest to you at all times! Odds are, you’ll probably use most of them over the course of the day ☺
Fiber intake – It’s not something most people want to talk about, but it’s a common pregnancy problem. Don’t let vacation add to pregnancy constipation. While pumping those fluids, be sure to keep up with your fiber intake, too.
Plan Breaks/Rest Periods – Previous visits to Disney may have been sprints from one attraction to the next, checking off as many attractions before lunch as possible. It will be different this time around. Take your time. Plan for snack breaks and rest periods, and take some unplanned ones too – Walt Disney designed it so there are benches and seating areas all over the park (and a trash barrel not more than 30 steps away from you at any given moment, did you know that?), make use of them. Put your feet up when you can. They will thank you at the end of the day!
Naps – Naps are good. And sometimes a pregnant lady just needs a little shut-eye! Staying nearby will make midday naps easier/more feasible. But, if you don’t want to leave the park, I’ve done some hands-on research (i.e. I fell asleep accidentally) and can suggest some good in-park attractions to get some shut-eye with the air-conditioning pumping. In the Magic Kingdom: Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents, the Country Bear Jamboree, Tomorrowland Transit Authority (not all inside, but a nice breeze when outdoors), Mickey’s Philharmagic, and the Enchanted Tiki Room. Epcot: Spaceship Earth, and American Adventure. Hollywood Studios: Muppet’s 3D, the movie at One Man’s Dream, and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Animal Kingdom: Animal Kingdom is short on peaceful air conditioned attractions. This park is about walking around and seeing animals in their natural habitat. Take in the Finding Nemo musical, or better yet, skip right ahead to my next point!
Pamper yourself! Schedule a prenatal massage – you’ll feel amazing, and the rest of your party won’t feel so guilty running around having fun while you sit out the thrill rides. The masseuse at Senses in the Grand Floridian will make you forget all about your cankles…I mean ankles.
Speaking of thrill rides, you knew this was coming…there are, of course, some rides that you are discouraged from riding. Please talk to your doctor before your trip if you have any questions about specific attractions that you think might be questionable based on the status of your pregnancy. Attractions with pregnancy warnings include:
Animal Kingdom: Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids, Kilimanjaro Safari, Primeval Whirl, Flight of Passage
Epcot: Mission Space, Test Track
Magic Kingdom: Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Tomorrow Land Speedway, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Hollywood Studios: Rockin’ Roller Coaster, Star Tours, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Smugglers Run, Rise of the Resistance, Slinky Dog Dash
Go for a swim - Even if you’re not a swimmer, taking a dip in your resort’s pool is a great way to cool off, and the weightlessness effect of the water can take a lot of pressure off your joints. And let’s face it, you don’t get many opportunities to feel light during pregnancy…soak it up!
Ask and You Shall Receive - Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you simply can’t tolerate standing in another line, ask if there is a handicap area you can sit and wait. You won’t know if you don’t ask, and the Cast Members are there to help, so let them!
Look Silly to Stay Cool - Don’t be afraid to join the kids in Casey Jr.’s Splash and Soak Station since you’re not allowed to cool off on Splash Mountain!
Smile and Nod – If you are noticeably pregnant, you will undoubtedly get lots of comments from people about the just HOW pregnant you are, if you’re sure you are ONLY carrying 1/2/3 babies, how you could POSSIBLY be standing on your feet with that big belly…smile and nod. You’re in the Happiest Place on Earth, and when you go home, those people won’t be going with you!
SHOP! Baby is going to need a Baby’s 1st Christmas ornament and Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe in Liberty Square is the perfect place to pick that up if you know the gender/name already. You can pick up Baby’s first Mickey ears, or a My First Mickey Shirt - there are plenty of other baby items to have you oohing and ahhing over in nice air-conditioned shops, so enjoy some Mommy/Baby bonding time.
Get in the Picture – You’ll likely take lots of pictures. Moms always do. But make sure you are IN lots of pictures too. Its Baby’s first trip to Walt Disney World after all! ;-)
So, those are my tips, tricks and words of advice on how to have a magical Disney vacation as mommy-to-be! I hope you found it helpful and will come back here after your trip to tell me all about your lovely naps, the amazing prenatal massage you got, the weightless swims you took, and to show me pictures of all the cute little baby things you bought for your little one!
Chrissy Spakoski is a featured writer for this blog and Travel Agent with Fairy Tale Concierge. To learn more about her and read more of her articles, click here!