The short answer is yes.
The long answer is also yes but with more words.
Before we go any further, let me say: the mileage on this one is going to vary. My family loves to do Disney with babies and I’ll tell you all the reasons why. But like with all things Disney vacation planning, go with what works best for your family.
Taking babies to Disney World is always a hot topic because Disney is pricey and babies aren’t exactly known for appreciating the value of things. This questions pops up constantly in the SavEars and I’ve had many friends ask me in my real, off the computer life: should I take my baby under one to Disney World?
Of my three girls, two have visited Disney World before their first birthdays. The Glass Slipper was eight months on her first trip and the Frying Pan was ten months on hers. In fact, one of the only real bummers about moving our 2020 trip to 2021 is that the Teacup will be almost three years old. She’ll never have seen Disney as a baby. And more importantly, we’ll never have seen her see Disney as a baby. Part of the joy of Disney is watching your loved one experience it and that still applies if your loved one is teething and not quite forming words.
There are, of course, two sides to every pressed penny, so let’s take a gander at why someone might be nervous to visit the House of Mouse with a baby under the age of one and why I think it can work.
It’s so Expensive! All that Money Wasted on a Baby!
Children under the age of three can visit the Disney World parks without a ticket and can stay in Disney resorts for free (with complimentary pack-n-plays). You’re not spending any money for your under one baby to visit Disney with the rest of your family. You will spend money on food, but that’s the case no matter where you are.
My Baby Can’t Walk! We’ll Have to Carry Them All Day!
Nope. You stroller that baby. All over the Disney parks, you’ll find convenient stroller parking. You can choose from a variety of stroller options: bring your own from home, rent one from Disney, or rent one from a local stroller rental. We’ve done single and double strollers at Disney and they’ve been life savers every time. Are they a slight pain on the buses? Sure. Are they worth not having over tired, blistered, miserable littles? 100%.
We bring our own stroller because it’s a place we know our baby will sleep. If your littlest little will nap in their stroller, then you can keep enjoying your Disney day, with parents switching off with older kids to do rides, or all of you can take in a parade or snack. My Frying Pan once napped through a rainstorm. We just covered the stroller with a poncho and we were in business.
I’m Breastfeeding! There Will Be Nowhere For Me To Feed My Child!
I’ve breast fed and bottled at Disney World, and I have to say, a more welcoming environment you could not ask for. If your little is feeling snacky, simply visit one of the Baby Care Centers. Baby Care Centers are located in all four parks. They’re the perfect place to warm a bottle, change a diaper, or nurse. There is a private nursing room with rocking chairs, feeding area with high chairs, a kitchen with a microwave and sink, even an on-site shop where you can grab some baby food, juice, diapers, formula, whatever you could need for your babe.
These peaceful little spots are located in the Magic Kingdom (behind the Crystal Palace, off Main street), Epcot (right before you hit the Mexico Pavilion), Hollywood Studios (the west side of Hollywood Boulevard directly after you enter the park), and Animal Kingdom (directly behind Creature Comforts).
My Baby is Bottle Fed! There Will Be Nowhere For Me to Feed My Child!
Mama, you got this. Anywhere you can drink water is a fine place to feed your child. A list of places I have bottled fed one of my various and sundry children:
- The dining room at Columbia Harbor House
- The benches near the Tangled Restrooms
- In line for “it’s a Small World”
- A Baby Care Center
- Watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade from Frontierland
- During Country Bear Jamboree
Need some water? Just ask. Any Disney restaurant, quick service, or snack stand that has a soda machine can give you a complimentary water. You can bring outside food and drink into the park, so your formula, breast milk, regular milk bottles are all cool. You can bring in some handy baby food pouches or even your own homemade baby food, as long as it is in a plastic container.
I Can’t Take My Baby on Rollercoasters!
No, you cannot. But you can take your baby on a variety of slow moving rides, family friend rides, and experiences. Want a full list of baby friendly rides at Disney? Check out our comprehensive guides to heigh requirements at the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
My Baby Will Be Bored!
No, your baby will not. Your baby will enjoy the atmosphere, rides, and experiences just like everyone else. Only on a baby level. Babies are rarely bored. There is too much for their little brains to fully take in during any given moment.
My Baby Will Be Over Stimulated!
This is possible. But, like, my husband in his thirties can be over stimulated at Disney. There is a lot of stimuli around: sounds, sights, heat, crowds. All brains are processing a lot: baby, child, and adult. It would be a shame to not take a baby to Disney for a few hard moments in the day that, truthfully, are just as likely to happen to an older child. (Y’all remember when the Glass Slipper hid on the bottom of the Dumbo photo spot for reasons I still don’t fully understand? She was 5.)
If your baby is a little overwhelmed, you have a few options: hit the Baby Care Center, grab a snack and take a beat, go hang out on the grass in the Hub, visit a ride or attraction that is calming or in an air conditioned place. When my Glass Slipper was eight months old, we spent a memorable afternoon going from the Carousel of Progress to the Hall of Presidents back to the Carousel of Progress to help her through her fuss. After her second viewing of COP, she was back to her old self and it was a great big beautiful rest of the day.
People Will Be Annoyed I Brought My Baby!
Listen, if you have not accidentally been clipped by a stroller at Disney, then you haven’t really been to Disney. I have been both the clipper and the clippee, and I can attest that 99.9% of the folks at Disney get it. They know that the walkways can be wonky and your baby wiggly and the crowds crazy. Most of the people at Disney know that your baby should get to have a magical time, too, and they are gracious, kind, and friendly.
Cast members, including those who play characters, undergo extensive education on engaging with all kinds of kids. They know babies will be present and they will go out of their way to accommodate your and your baby’s needs.
So yes, Disney is still magic with babies under one. Even with the feeding, and the diaper changes, and the strollers. Because it’s DISNEY. You get to be at Disney and you get to be there with the newest, teeniest member of your family! And really, Disney is BUILT for families and families have babies. Disney knows this. That’s why there are strollar parking areas and baby care centers, and family friendly rides. It’s why cast members are trained in how to interact with even the smallest guest. All are welcome and all will experience great things at this happy place.
What’s the youngest age you’ve taken your kids to Disney? What’s your best tip for Disney goers with a baby under one? Share your best experiences and learning moments in the comments!
Kristen B. is wife to the best Prince around, mama to the spunkiest little princesses, and lover of all things Disney. She started her savings journey five years ago and is now dedicated to making her family’s wishes come true one coupon at a time. She is so excited to take her love of saving to the next level and share her journey with you! Click here to catch up on Kristen’s Savings and join in on your own savings adventure!