In the past, Believe Vacations has written articles giving you suggestions for what different ages may enjoy.  We’ve also zeroed in on what it’s like to travel when expecting and also visiting with small children.  But what about visiting with a baby less than 12 months old?  Glad you asked and glad we have a Believe Vacations agent who has done this recently.  

Welcome to Believe Vacations’ Weekly Post where today, we’ll tell you How to Do Disney with a Baby.  Meet Christie Pownall.

Image may contain: Christie Pownall, standing and outdoor

Since joining us over a year ago, Christie brings a ton of love and passion for kids, mainly getting it from her teaching career and being a cheerleader coach.  She recently shared her stories of traveling with a baby and was nice enough to share those thoughts with us:

So we have to start with the obvious: What age was your baby when you visited?

Christie: We did a 3 day weekend with my 6 month old in Walt Disney World in October.

Isn’t that too young?

Christie: I was a bit nervous considering we just got our little one on a strict daily schedule, but we were very open minded about following our little ones lead. 

But did you fly or drive? 

Christie: Flew. Not that we even considered driving, but our doctor has suggested not having baby in the car seat for longer than 2-3 hours at a time. We have also flown with her twice before.

Makes sense but what about strollers?

Christie: We brought our own stroller/car seat. It was very easy to travel with and I felt better using a stroller I was already comfortable with. Having our own car seat was also nice when we used Lyft transportation. 

When packing, besides the obvious clothes and diapers, etc., what would you advise mothers to pack that they may not be thinking about?

Christie: Here are my top 3:

  1. DEFINITELY bring a portable, rechargeable fan! We hooked this on the stroller and the carrier and it was a lifesaver in that Florida heat!
  2. A good carrier is also a must. You have to park your stroller at every ride/show, so it was better for us to have a sleeping baby in the carrier–that way we didn’t have to wake her up to get her out of the stroller every time we wanted to do something.
  3. Lastly, HEADPHONES!! Good headphones can allow your baby to sleep through ANYTHING: rides, shows, parades, fireworks, etc! I can guarantee that if we didn’t bring these with us, we would never have been able to stay for the Halloween party. She would not have been able to sleep through all the noise and excitement. I cannot stress how wonderful having these were!  

Now for my most uncomfortable question, did you bring your own formula/nutrients or did you order them locally?  

Christie: My little one was still exclusively nursing. For this reason I brought my Minnie Mouse Milk Snob cover (HA!) and utilized the private nursing rooms in the Baby Care Centers which are AMAZING!!

I keep wanting to get to the actual parks but you are bringing up awesome info that I’m sure eases the minds of Moms wanting to bring their babies.  Tell us more about the nursing stations around the parks and what were your impressions?

Christie: I only used the nursing room at MK. It was very nice. The room was cool, the lights were dim, and it was quiet. Overall a very peaceful environment perfect for nursing or taking a quick snooze!  Outside of the nursing rooms are areas where daddies are welcome too! There is a large baby changing room, a store with anything you could possibly need for you or your baby, a kitchen, and a main room where you can just relax.  I also knew about the Baby Care Centers before traveling, so I was confident I could provide my little one with everything she may need while we were at the park.

Okay, you’ve got us ready to go and let’s just jump right into the money question: Was there a certain part of the trip you know your young one loved?

Christie: I know she loved interacting with all the characters and riding the slow, colorful rides like Journey of the Little Mermaid. She loved looking around at all the animatronics and listening to the familiar music. One morning, we ate at O’Hana for breakfast, which was great because we didn’t have to wait in a line to meet the characters. They came to us (in the comfort of the air condition!) and took time to play games like peekaboo with my little princess. I think she really enjoyed that.

Speaking of characters, was your baby frightened with these gigantic costumed critters all in their faces?

Christie: She absolutely LOVED them! She didn’t even think about being scared. She smiled at them, pet them, and even gave Daisy a kiss on the beak! It was the sweetest thing!

I mean, I’m man-crying right now reading this but what did it mean for you, the mom, to have your young one experience a place you love?

Christie: Oh my goodness. My heart was EXPLODING the entire trip watching my sweet girl take in the place that I hold so near and dear to my heart. I could not stop smiling and just staring at her. She may be young, but she understands what she is seeing and what makes her smile. I will never ever forget those moments. I am also so glad that I purchased the Memory Maker so I didn’t have to worry about having my camera out to capture the moments. I could just experience meeting the characters with her. Disney’s PhotoPass is amazing at capturing those sweet, candid memories.

Tell us a little specifically about having a little one during the Halloween activities.

It was a lot of fun to get dressed up as a family and trick or treat around the park! HOWEVER, after an afternoon nap, we got there around 5 pm. That meant that we only had about two hours before the little princess was out for the night. This is where the headphones came in handy! We stood right in front of the castle for the nighttime show and the parade! She didn’t wake up once! We had the best of both worlds; we got to enjoy some time with our baby AND got to enjoy some mommy and daddy time without worrying if it would be too loud for our little one.

Any final stories and advice?

If you ever feel like you need to go back for a nap, do it! However, we only had to do this once-the afternoon before going back to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Because she was still so young, she had absolutely NO issue sleeping in the stroller or carrier.  So do not think you HAVE to go back because the baby is tired.  There are plenty of ways for the baby to sleep and you to still enjoy and maximize your time in the park.  

Man, that was a ton of fun and thank you for showing us all how to be an awesome Disney mom!

What did you think of Christie’s advice?  Did she convince you to take a trip with your little one?  Thanks for reading and remember there’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow!

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick

Brian Pavlick is a husband and father residing in Maylene, AL. His love of Disney goes back to his early memories of watching the New Disney Channel on cable, occasional vacations to Orlando Florida and attending Disney Institute Management Training classes. He keeps up with Disney news and updates by reading numerous websites, experiencing attractions by watching YouTube videos and introducing his family to classic and timeless Disney movies, attractions and songs.