When Jordan and I booked our vacation to Disney World, the two responses I received the most were, “Will you be able to ride anything?,” and, “I’m surprised that you’re going there!” Truthfully, I was a little apprehensive about booking the trip myself, so much so that we purchased the travel insurance, just in case anything were to happen. Thankfully, we never had to use it.
It is possible to go to Disney World while pregnant and have a great time. This is one of my favorite vacations that Jordan and I have taken together, and I’m so glad that we decided to do it! Prior to booking everything, I called Disney World and made sure that I’d be able to go on the majority of the rides, and I made sure that everything checked out okay at my doctor’s appointment. Since it did, I was good to go! Here’s my advice for a fun Disney World babymoon:
1. Go early, and during an off-season.
By this I mean — plan to go early enough in your pregnancy when you think you’ll still feel comfortable. We went when I was 21 weeks pregnant. I was just starting to show and feeling great, for the most part. My doctor told me that traveling anytime between five and six months would be best, so that’s what we did! It also worked out that my fifth month of pregnancy fell right during a Disney off-season — after spring break, but before summer vacation. It was unseasonably hot for mid-April, in the 90s everyday, but it wasn’t so crowded that we were waiting outside in the heat for hours. In fact, we probably only waited 15 – 20 minutes, on average!
2. Research the rides beforehand.
To answer the question I mentioned above — yes, I could still ride the rides, just not all of them. Since it’d been a while since I’d been to Disney World, I turned to Google before our trip and found a list of rides to avoid*. Roller coasters and anything with large drops or quick, jarring movements were off limits, as were the water parks (water slides are a no-no due to the force they put on the baby). At the end of the day, this really only ended up eliminating a handful of rides, and I was still able to enjoy the parks just as much as a non-pregnant person! When in doubt, I asked my sister for her opinion (she’d just visited in October), or I asked a cast member standing at the start of the ride.
*I would add Pirates of the Caribbean and the Winnie the Pooh ride to the list of rides to avoid at Magic Kingdom. The first one, because it has an unexpected 14 foot drop (which I learned of while on the ride… and was worried about the baby for the next several hours), and the second one because it has a lot of jarring movements, according to my sister.
3. Carry in your own snacks and water. This is probably common sense for any pregnant person, but even more so when you’re walking around a park that charges $4 for a bottle of water. I usually carried a Luna bar in my purse, as well as a big bottle of water that Jordan and I shared and refilled throughout the day. Fair warning, the drinking fountain water isn’t great — next time I’d bring a water bottle with a built-in filter!
4. Get into a walking routine (before you get there). I like walking, but we averaged 10 miles a day. Had I not been in the habit of walking a lot throughout the first half of my pregnancy, I’m not sure I would’ve done as well. Although my feet and lower back were always sore by the end of the day, I never felt like I couldn’t get up and do it again the next day. If you know you’re going to to be walking all over Disney, condition yourself before you get there!
5. Consider buying a dining plan.
Jordan and I stayed right in the park, which made our stay really enjoyable. We were close to everything and didn’t have to worry about renting a car. Per my sister’s advice, we ended up adding a dining plan to our package. It included two meals and one snack per day (per person), as well as a refillable cup to use while at the resort. I’m so glad that we did this. For one, all of our meals were paid for before we arrived, basically making it an all-inclusive vacation, and two, we never went hungry — you get so much food with each meal! When you’re pregnant and walking 10 miles a day, food is pretty important. Even better — they had a lot of healthy options available, and everything was really good!
6. Take advantage of fast passes. Jordan and I each had three fast passes to use per day, meaning, we could get in the “fast” line for three different rides, cutting in front of everyone else. Instead of using these passes for rides we’d go on together, Jordan used them for the rides he wanted to go on that I couldn’t. This worked out perfectly. He wasn’t waiting by himself for a long time, I wasn’t waiting by myself for a long time, and he still got to enjoy his roller coasters. He also took advantage of the single rider line when there was one, which worked out just as well!
7. Rest while you’re waiting. When Jordan went on a ride by himself, I was able to get some rest. Sometimes, I’d find a bench and elevate my feet a little bit, and other times I’d walk around an air conditioned shop. I didn’t find the downtime annoying or boring — if anything, it was much needed! I made a point to squeeze in bathroom breaks during this time too. The nice thing about Disney World is that, with so many little kids around, there are bathrooms located everywhere!
8. Plan to go during the week.
Crowds are smaller and lines are shorter. Of the days that we were in Disney, Wednesday and Thursday were the most enjoyable because we barely had to wait in line, and there was more room to move around the parks in general. It started to get more crowded on Friday, and by Saturday, the wait times were close to an hour, sometimes longer. Thankfully, by that time we’d done almost everything that we wanted to do, so we decided to spend a couple of hours at our resort for some pool time and naps.
9. Don’t overdo it. I’ll admit, I didn’t take this advice myself. We usually visited multiple parks per day, starting our days before 7 am and ending them after 11 pm. Adrenaline got me through them, that’s for sure! But if you’re further along in your pregnancy or finding that you’re feeling funny, take time to rest! On our first day in Magic Kingdom, I started feeling pretty crampy after walking around all morning. I was worried at first, but then I realized that my body needed to adjust 90 degree heat. Once I sat down for a while and drank a lot of water, the cramps went away — it was just my body’s way of telling me to slow down!
10. Enjoy every minute of it.
I love that I’ll get to tell my daughter, “We went to Disney World when you were in mommy’s tummy.” It gave us the chance to have fun and act like kids, before we have our own. It’s definitely a trip that I’ll never forget!
Do you have any tips for traveling to Disney World, or traveling while pregnant?