Going to Walt Disney World can be an amazing experience, but when you're expecting a new baby going on a Disney vacation can become an overwhelming process. I was lucky enough to take three trips to Walt Disney World during two pregnancies (four if you count my trip the week before I discovered I was pregnant with my daughter Kat!) These trips have some of my favorite memories, but they were definitely learning experiences. These are the tricks I learned to make a pregnant Disney trip as much fun as possible.
Tip #1: Consult Your Doctor First!
The most important tip is to talk to your doctor before heading to the parks. Every pregnancy is different, and it's always best to consult your your Doctor or Midwife before heading to a Disney park, especially if you have to travel. Talking with your doctor can also help you decide what you may need to avoid, or if there's any items you need to bring. Personally, I had to bring my support belt once I was in my third trimester with Kat, but when I was pregnant with my son it was almost no help and I had to do specific stretches multiple times a day.
Tip #2: Know Where the Restrooms Are
Trust me, just get a map, and circle all of the restrooms. It doesn't matter how many times you've gone to Disney, you will want this special map. I made it a point to always stop when I was close to the restrooms. The one time I didn't, we were running to the next one and then I had to stand in a line that felt longer than the line for Flight of Passage in Pandora. So please, learn from my mistake, and cherish the bathroom map!
Tip #3: Drink Plenty of Fluids
When visiting the Disney parks, it's always important to stay hydrated. But this is even more important for expecting mothers. There are many ways to accomplish this, but I've found the easiest way was to periodically stop at a quick service location and ask for a cup of ice water. It's free, and it helped me track of my water intake. Another way to stay hydrated is to bring a refillable water bottle, but just remember that this will be another item that you have to carry with you.
Tip #4: Take Advantage of all the Snacks!
Pregnancy cravings can be crazy, but one advantage to being at Disney is all of the snack options! With all of the walking, you'll burn through more calories during your park days. it is important to eat frequently, and to make sure you have healthy snacks (the grilled corn in Animal Kingdom is amazing!) However, a funnel cake or candy apple is perfectly acceptable while on vacation. When I was pregnant with Scott, I may or may not have visited Sprinkles in Disney Springs every day of our 9 day trip!
Tip #5: Take a Break, and Stay Comfortable
Visiting a Disney park can be very tiring, and it will be very important to take lots of breaks. You can even combine these break with snack time! A personal favorite of mine is the Tomorrowland People Mover in Magic Kingdom. It's a 10 minute ride through Tomorrowland, and it gives some amazing views. It's also important to try and stay comfortable as possible while you enjoy your vacation. Good shoes and weather appropriate clothing is a must. Hot flashes during the summer months can be brutal, so be sure to dress lightly if vacationing during the warmer months. Cooling towels are also great to have around.
Tip #6: Stay on Property
Staying on property has many incentives, but while you're pregnant it can be a necessary convenience. By staying at a Disney resort, you will be in close proximity to the parks, giving you less travel time at the end of a long day. You will also be able to easily return to your hotel during the day if you need to lie down and rest. Some of the resorts have large soaking tubs, which can be especially nice on aching muscles.
Tip #7: Take advantage of Fastpasses
The great thing about the Disney parks is that most of the rides are safe for expecting mothers. You can use fastpasses to help keep your wait times down, which will help keep you off your feet for extended periods of time. With favorites like Peter Pan's Flight, The Haunted Mansion, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Frozen Ever after, and Toy Story Midway Mania, there are so many rides to choose from.
Tip #8: Listen to Your Body
One of the most important tips I can give you is to listen to your body. It can be very easy to get caught up in the Disney magic, and not pay attention to the little signs. But it's very important to watch for over-exertion, dehydration, hunger, and even swelling. Watching for these cues can help with the previous tips as well.
Tip #9: Expect Raging Hormones
Let's be honest; the emotions are going crazy right now. And they won't stop just because you're at the most magical place on Earth. True story- while pregnant with my daughter I had a full on meltdown at Hollywood Studios...because they closed my favorite store. I ended up ugly crying in what I thought was an enclosed doorway. Turns out it was three windows looking directly into the check-out area of a gift shop, and I had an audience while I cried on my husband's shoulder. So prepare yourself, and maybe bring some tissues. There will be plenty of laughs, but there is always a chance for tears.
Tip #10 Stop and Smell the Roses
My final piece of advice is not to rush. Disney is full of magic, and between the food, the rides, and the world class shows, it's easy to rush from one activity to the next. But if you take your time, you can find many hidden delights. There's even a hidden Mickey scavenger hunt you can do! With so many little details, you can spend hours discovering little treasures around the parks.
And that ends my tips and tricks for visiting Walt Disney World while expecting. While going to Disney when you're pregnant requires a little extra planning, it can quickly become a favorite memory. Have fun, and enjoy your Baby-moon!