Saturday, October 18, 2014

Traveling Disney Parks with Babies and Children

Traveling Disney Parks with Babies and Children

Traveling to a Disney Park with an infant or young child can be daunting. There are many concerns. What supplies do you need? What accommodations are available inside the parks and at the Disney hotels? Is it worth the stress? Should you wait until they are old enough to remember the trip?

First off if your child is very young (under 2 or 3) they may not be able to remember this special trip, so why take them? Because YOU will remember it! You will have precious memories of your child at Disney. You will have pictures of your little prince or princess with the Disney characters that soon will become part of their lives through cartoons and movies. These will become part of their memories by you telling the stories and showing them the pictures.

There are lots of ways to make taking a baby or young child to Disney easier. Bring or rent a stroller for a young child. Bringing your own stroller can be a chore if you are flying. Checking it in and picking it up and the risk of loss or damage make it a risk as well as a hassle to bring your own strollers. The Disney Strollers are good enough for a single day but if you are staying multiple days you may want to consider renting from an outside rental company that will allow you to take the stroller back to your hotel either on property or off. Do you really want to carry your child back to the hotel from the park? How about the hassle of having to check in the stroller at one park when going to another in the same day? Here are two companies recommended by the Disney Experts at the Disney’s Mom’s Panel.

Disneyland and the California area:
Walt Disney World and the Orlando, Florida area:

Both of these companies deliver to your hotel and provide the extras needed upon request. You can order cribs and other needs as well. You can take your strollers out of the resort and to different resorts and areas if you wish.

Restrooms around the parks have changing stations so you can care for your little one. But when you need a quiet place to nurse, feed or just let your little one calm down check out the Baby Care Centers in each and every Disney Park. At the Baby Care Centers you can warm bottles, change diapers and clothing, nurse in privet and just find a quiet place rest.

While traveling around the parks you will find many rides your little bundle of joy can’t go on. You have a choice. You can skip the attractions all together or do child swap. One parent stays with the child while the other rides. This works really well if you have an extra family member or two come along. One parent can wait with the child, the other rides the attraction. When they return the parent that wait hands the child over to another family member and the parents can go ride the attraction together.

While at the parks look for quiet places to let your little one relax for a few. You can find these spots in restaurants and little off the path areas. Just keep your eyes open for an open bench in the shade. If they fall asleep in the stroller so much the better!

When taking a toddler be aware they may be afraid of characters. Please don’t force little ones to get their picture with Mickey if a tall Mouse panics them. Hold them, tell them what will happen before you go up to the character. Let them watch others be close to Mickey and see they are safe. I know you want the cute picture of your tot hugging Mickey and Minnie all smiles but it is not worth making them afraid of the characters for the rest of their lives.

Give your child a chance to rest! Be aware of their physical limitations. Your time will be much more enjoyable if you return to the hotel for a nap and maybe a swim. Be aware of the weather as well. Is it so hot it will tire your kiddo out faster? Are they so cold they are grumpy? Get them comfortable and let them rest. Do not push them further than their little bodies can take. Be aware that their little ears are more sensitive than yours. Is the music and sound effects too loud for them? Bring cotton to put in their ears or some other type of ear protection. Make sure they have shade in their stroller to protect them from the sun and bring sunscreen for them. Make sure you have plenty of the food and drinks they enjoy.

Adults and other kids think of all of Disney Parks as giant playground. Smaller children get bored easy. Make sure you give them time to play and run around. Little ones that are learning how to crawl or walk need the time and space to practice. Let them out and about some. Bring some toys, books, blankie or other comfort item. This is especially true if the child is ADHD or has other special needs. There are places at the parks and hotels to let a child be a child. Tom Sawyers Island and Challenge Trail are just two of the spots at the Disneyland Resort. Every park has several areas for kids to let of pent up energy. It is up to you to make sure it happens.

The most important this is ENJOY!! You are there to walk in Walt Disney’s Dream of having a place where families can “play” together! Just do what is natural and right for your family and if that means only spending a few hours a day in the park and heading back to the hotel then it is worth it.

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