December 19, 2011

Disney World with Infants/Small Children Part 2

As always, if you're planning your first trip to Disney World and are bit overwhelmed, check out our post for Starting to Plan your Disney World Vacation...we break down everything for you!

Also, check out Disney World with Infants/Small Children Part 1 for information about Disney World's Baby Care Centers, Disney's Rider Swap option for rides that are too big for the little ones, all your stroller options and helpful information explaining the Single Rider Lines.

In this post we're going to cover...

Infant Car Seat Carriers
Stroller Bassinets
Wraps/Baby Carriers
Restaurant Tips
Weather Concerns
Harmony Barber Shop

Most people would agree that strollers are a MUST at Disney World for the littlest guests but strollers are really just one part of the equation. Many of the attractions will allow your little matter how little so the question becomes...wake the sleeping baby from the stroller or find another solution. If you still are able to use an infant car seat carrier, it's a great option...especially if you have a travel system stroller and it just snaps into the stroller frame or toddler seat. An even better option is if your stroller has a bassinet that attaches and detaches from the stroller. Both are great options especially at restaurants BUT, you should know that there are some attractions which will allow the baby but not in an infant carrier or bassinet. They will, however, allow you to "wear" your baby onto the attraction in either a wrap or snugli style baby carrier (not to be confused with the infant car seat carrier).
(wrap style)

(snugli style)

Many moms prefer the sling style carrier (often used for newborns) but unfortunately, there are less attractions which will allow a sling-only style carrier because several require that you either hold the baby or the baby be upright and facing out. The reasons for the various touring options are as many as the attractions themselves...some for instance, require you to sit with a bar down (Peter Pan) which would make it all but impossible to have the baby in any other way but upright and facing out. Other factors like the size of the seating in attractions like Dumbo make it impossible to bring an infant car seat carrier onto the ride.

At the bottom of this post, you'll find a list all of the rides which will allow you to take baby on and in what manner Disney will allow it.

Another big concern for parents can be restaurants. If you're going to a sit down table service meal, be sure to mention the baby when you call to make your reservation and whether or not the baby will be in a high chair. If you're planning on using an infant car seat carrier, a few of the restaurants have the slings which are designed to hold infant car seats but if they don't, the high chairs they have are designed to be flipped upside down and have straps to attach the car seat to the high chair frame. If your baby isn't in an infant carrier but falls asleep in the stroller before your meal, just mention it to the hostess and they'll usually make an exception to allow you to bring your stroller in and place it next to the table if at all possible. Almost all of the counter service restaurants (check out the Disney Dining Plan to read more about the differences between counter service and table service restaurants at Disney World) will allow you to bring your stroller into the restaurant.

One of the biggest issues you'll face with an infant or small child is the weather. will give you a good idea of what to expect...both a 10 day forecast and an annual average so that you can tentatively plan ahead. One must-have in the summertime is a stroller fan. They can attach to just about any stroller, car seat or bassinet and can keep baby much cooler. Of course, if you forget your stroller fan, Disney sells a Mickey Mouse version that offers pretty decent air flow although the battery life could be better. If you go in the hottest part of summer, however, even the best fan won't do much more than blow hot air so a misting fan may be a better option. 

Just fyi: we tried the cooling pads you can buy at Walgreens and don't recommend them.

(photo: ...we have the same exact fan but it's December so ours is packed away in a summer box in the back of my son's closet)

Most people assume sun is an issue when you go to Florida (sun shades for strollers are a great option if your stroller doesn't have much of one already) but rain is often overlooked especially if you bring your own stroller. Bring a rain cover unless you're going to rent a stroller from an outside company which will allow you to also rent a rain cover. If you forget, Disney DOES NOT sell or rent stroller covers. They do, however, sell ponchos and you can always buy an adult poncho and make it work with your stroller.

Also, if you have a little one who's not quite a baby anymore but not yet a big kid, Disney has a kiddie coaster in Magic Kingdom called the Great Goofini. It has a height requirement of only 35 inches and many children can ride it as young as two. Speaking of can be a disappointing age...sure, it's free to take them at two but they are too young for the full experience at Pirate's League or Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique. They can, however, still have a magical experience. Bring costumes from home. Give them their own Princess or Pirate makeover while older siblings get the Disney experience. 

Or, take them to the Harmony Barber Shop (advance reservations recommended!!!) and let them get their first hair cut or just colored hair gel and confetti (no age limit and a fairly inexpensive extra you could easily add).


Below is a list of the Disney attractions which will allow babies and/or small chrildren:

Magic Kingdom:

In any form outside of the stroller...held in arms, car seat carrier, bassinet, wrap or snugli carrier:
Enchanted Tiki Room
Carousel of Progress
Monster's Inc Laugh Floor

Wrap, snugli carrier or held in arms:
Jungle Cruise
Hall of Presidents
Mickey's PhilharMagic
Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Pirates of the Caribbean
Haunted Mansion (wrap/carrier-upright and facing out or held)
It's A Small World
Mad Tea Party (although I wouldn't recommend it for the smallest of babies)
Snow White's Scary Adventure
Peter Pan's Flight (wrap/carrier-upright and facing out or held)
Prince Charming Carousel
Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (wrap/carrier-upright and facing out or held)

Unknown (sorry, I don't know all the attraction regulations):
Walt Disney World Railroad (strollers are not allowed)
Swiss Family Tree House (strollers are not allowed)
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Astro Orbiter (although it's very similar to Dumbo so I would assume the same rules apply)
Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
Country Bear Jamboree

Keep in mind that strollers are welcome inside Innoventions East and West as well as all of the various country pavilion shops of World Showcase. Italy, Germany, Japan and the UK pavilions don't have specific attractions which wouldn't allow a stroller. 

In any form outside of the stroller...held in arms, car seat carrier, bassinet, wrap or snugli carrier:
Turtle Talk with Crush
China, America, Morocco, France, and Canada pavilions have movie presentations which give you a brief but fascinating look into each country's history as well as what modern life there is like.

Wrap, snugli carrier or held in arms:
Journey in Imagination with Figment
Spaceship Earth
Finding Nemo Ride (upright and facing out...brings you into The Seas Pavilion)
Living with the Land
The Circle of Life
Universe of Energy (just a warning, the show lasts 45 minutes)
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros-Mexican Pavilion attraction-boat ride
Maelstorm-Norway Pavilion attraction-boat ride

Captain EO

Hollywood Studios:

In any form outside of the stroller...held in arms, car seat carrier, bassinet, wrap or snugli carrier:
Beauty and the Beast
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
Lights Motors Action Extreme Stunt Show

Wrap, snugli carrier or held in arms:
The Great Movie Ride
Backlot Tour
Muppet Vision 3D
Toy Story Midway Mania

American Idol Experience (although I would assume you could bring the baby inside in any form)
Sounds Dangerous
Voyage of the Little Mermaid

Animal Kingdom:
Keep in mind that the Pagini Forest Exploration Trail and the Maharajah Jungle Trek allow you to take your stroller with you.

In any form outside of the stroller...held in arms, car seat carrier, bassinet, wrap or snugli carrier:
Festival of the Lion King
Flights of Wonder
Finding Nemo The Musical

Wrap, snugli carrier or held in arms:
It's Tough to Be a Bug
Kilimanjaro Safari (wrap/carrier-upright and facing out or held)

As always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask. I may not know the answer but I usually know how to find out.


Baby Carrier said...

Baby carrier is only for those mother who are busy in out side work and they have no time to properly care the baby.Or the mother for whom those have no any habit of holding baby. It is not that this baby carrier is only for this special mother group. But when regularly you want to move some where with your baby then it is good for the mother that they should use this baby carrierBaby Slings

Izza said...

Baby carrier is convenient to moms like a stroller does. I am using this during my vacation in Disney but I just get it from Disney World stroller rentals instead of bringing one.

megan said...

This is a whole lot of brilliant tips! We are traveling to Disneyland next month and your tips is just very helpful.

anne said...

With baby strollers, our Disney Activities would be easy and we will definitely enjoy our Disney time more.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Judgemental much?

Anonymous said...

Love the list or what rides allow what! And FYI my carrier allows my daughter to experience everything at home and away. It is an amazing way to bond with your child as opposed to putting her in a play pen or exosaucer.

Anonymous said...

I think they're just trying to sell a baby carrier. But with very bad grammar and wording.