When we visited Disney World for the first time as a family, it was beyond overwhelming. I didn’t even know where to begin when starting to plan. Luckily for us, our first trip was piggy backed on my husbands’ work trip, so we didn’t have to figure out where to stay. Fast forward 3 years later, and we just got back from our 2nd Disney World trip. I will say, for me, part of the fun in going to Disney is the planning. I LOVE IT! This was a big trip for us, and if you’re following my Trip Recap posts you’ll see in all the photos how much we actually packed into our 1 week trip. I have quite a few friends who are in the middle of planning their first Disney vacations with their families so I though I’d offer some unsolicited advice from a mom who’s done it twice with little kids and both times having a 1 yr. old in tow. For a lot of parents who often wonder if they should take their babies along on a Disney trip, I will say, this one is a personal choice. While we wouldn’t have it any other way than to bring the baby, some folks may not so much. Yes, babies are on their own schedules, and if not planned accordingly can surmount to a magnificent meltdown. Yes, babies travel with lots of stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. If you’re on the fence about bringing the baby along, here are a few of my personal reasons of why you should consider it too…
- Babies are pretty much free for everything. Flight (if they’re sitting on your lap and don’t have their own seat), Food, entry to the parks, etc. Kids are free into the Disney Parks until the age of 3 so why not?
- Family photo in front of Cinderella’s Castle + Baby= Happy happy memories, and family photos with everyone IN them. We don’t get a family photo with all of us in it too often. I didn’t want to look back at all the photos and always feel like we were missing one of us. Once again, that was our choice. Some people feel leaving the baby at home gives them more flexibility and freedom with their day.
- Babies can go on almost every ride at Magic Kingdom. Yup, almost every one. This of course with the exception of Big Thunder Railroad, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Barnstormer, Stiches great escape, Tomorrowland Speedway, and the soon to be Dwarfs Mine Train. There are a couple dark rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion that may spook little ones, but both of our 1 year olds did fine on them. You as the parent know your baby well enough to make the judgment call about which rides may scare your little one. Oh, and I’m sorry, but who doesn’t love a good baby on the carrousel photo?
- First haircut at Magic Kingdom. Baby boys (and girls) can get their first haircut at the Harmony Barbershop on Main Street. What a sweet memory that would be.
- Kisses from the Princesses. If we didn’t bring our sweet little boy, how would he have ever gotten a kiss from Snow White??
- 1st Mickey Ears! Every baby needs a set of Mickey ears, right?? Ok, ok. If you choose to leave your young one at home, you could always buy a pair and bring it back with you. It’s not like he/she will remember it anyway (wink).
Like I said, bringing a baby to WDW can mean a little more packing, a little more planning, a little more patience. But it can also make for some unforgettable family time and very special moments that you will likely treasure forever.