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Surviving Disney While Expecting

by Meghann on March 14, 2016

This is Part I of a new series I’m starting with my tips and tricks of Walt Disney World with a baby. I’m actually starting with my experience at Walt Disney World while pregnant since I had some request for it back in the day, but never got around to writing. 

I was a regular at Walt Disney World throughout my entire pregnancy. From about a week or so after the stick turned pink, right up until the week before I gave birth – I was there through all trimesters, the heat of summer, solo trips, family vacations, swollen ankles, braxton hicks, and everything in between. Throughout it all I remained a Disney fanatic and even renewed my annual pass at 38 weeks. Would I do it all again? In a heartbeat.

Here’s what I learned through my experience:

pregnant at disney

1.Yes, you can still ride {some} rides while pregnant. 

As always, it’s smart to consult with your doctor before trying anything new during pregnancy (especially if you’re high risk!), but the general rule is as long as there are no height requirement for the ride, then it’s safe to ride while pregnant. If you’re not sure, look for the signage posted at each attraction (or their App)—which includes height requirements, health and safety advisories, and accessibility guidelines. That’s where you’ll find the warning for rides that expectant moms should not go on.

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There are actually quite a few rides/attractions at all four parks without any height restrictions. I’ve broken them down by park below. (On another note, these rides are also considered safe for babies as young as newborn to ride/be a part of)

Magic Kingdom 

  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • The Hall of Presidents
  • Haunted Mansion
  • It’s a Small World
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Main Street Vehicles
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Swiss Family Treehouse
  • Tomorrowland Transit People Mover
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Under the Sea – Journey of Little Mermaid
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Walt Disney World Railroad

Epcot

  • O Canada!
  • The American Adventure
  • Reflections of China
  • Gran Fiesta Tour {Mexico}
  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure
  • Journey into the Imagination
  • Living with the Land
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

Hollywood Studios

  • The Great Movie Ride
  • Muppet Vision 3D
  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Beauty and the Beast

Animal Kingdom

  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Kilimanjaro Safari
  • TriceraTop Spin
  • Wildlife Express Train
  • Finding Nemo

2. Remember to bring your own snacks and water bottle (or in my case, Gatorade)

I’ve had this question before, so I just wanted to put this out there, you ARE allowed to bring your own snacks and drinks into Walt Disney World. Pregnancy does weird things to our tummies, and I always did better if I was constantly shoving food in my face. Bringing my own snacks helped curb the nausea in the beginning and prevented me from being hangry towards the end. My bag was filled with cereal, granola bars, and dried fruit.

I was pretty obsessed with Gatorade during pregnancy (and still drink a lot of it after). I wanted to make sure I stayed hydrated at the parks, especially during the crazy heat, so I usually brought 2x 24oz bottles with me and drank them during the day. Yep, that’s a lot of sugar, but I realized early on that a lot of our own rules go out the window during pregnancy.

3.  Don’t be a hero, know your limits and stick to them

I was good up until my final visit at 38 weeks, when I was determined to get at least one visit to Food & Wine Festival before I gave birth. It was opening day, super crowded, and the combination of heat and humidity was terrible. It took everything I had in me to make it one loop around the world showcase and that included an extended break in the wonderful air conditioning at the Chase lounge in America.

epcot38weeks

I only lasted a couple of hours and it took me at least 20 minutes to make it from the tram to my car due to horrible Braxton Hicks contractions. I kept telling everyone that I was fine, but clearly I wasn’t. I should have accepted my parents’ offer to help get me to my car, I should have taken more breaks,  and I should have known when it’s okay to bow out.

My advice is to stay hydrated, keep cool, and take plenty of breaks. Don’t arrive assuming you’re going to “do it all.”  Relax, work in some shows that include sitting in the AC, and don’t be afraid to leave if you need to.

4.  Wear comfortable clothes

I was never a fan of full panel maternity shorts or pants during pregnancy, especially in the Florida heat. They were hot, itchy, and so not me. I pretty much gave up on the full panel maternity gear during all of my Disney trips and wore comfortable running shorts and loose skirts instead.

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5. Have fun with it

Grab a “1st Visit” button and put it on your belly. Buy a set of ears with your expected little one’s name embroidered on the back and pose for pictures. Have an ice cream cookie sandwich all to yourself. Turn to the side for every photo and smile.

Every time I go to Walt Disney World I see dozens upon dozens of expecting moms that run the gamut. You won’t be alone and no one will bat an eye. Have fun and enjoy this special time!

Have anything to add? Leave your tips in the comments below!

 

 

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melissa March 14, 2016 at 9:58 pm

What great timing for this! We’re going to Disney with our 4yo and 29w bump in a few weeks. We haven’t been in 8 years. We’re excited for our daughter to experience it and we’ll enjoy what we can and not stress about doing it all. My daughter doesn’t like crazy rides anyway so we won’t miss much!

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2 Ashley March 14, 2016 at 11:40 pm

Did you stick to the non-height restricted/preform-safe rides right away, or did you wait to cut back until you were further along?

Also, I’ve noticed Derek doesn’t come with you to Disney-how come?

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3 Meghann March 15, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Pretty much. I cut back right around 6-8 wks. From what I read, the danger with jolting rides is from the placenta detaching, which isn’t an issue until the end of the first trimester. However, ask any doctor and they’ll recommend stopping as soon as you know.

Derek is not as big of a Disney fan as I am. While he’ll come on the rare occasion (I was able to get him to go in January and June last year), he’d prefer to stay at home.

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4 Ashley March 14, 2016 at 11:40 pm

That should have said “preggo”- not preform! Stupid autocorrect!

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5 goldie March 15, 2016 at 7:04 am

I’m in the uk so Disney available to me but I did love all your pregnancy updates involving disney world. Your little one will love the pictures when she’s a bit older 🙂
goldie recently posted..Sleep… or more appropriately the lack of it.

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6 Ashley March 15, 2016 at 9:48 am

I’m surprised people were asking about this. Your tips are just common sense for pregnant and nom-pregnant people. Stay hydrated, wear comfy clothes, etc. Do people forget these thins when they get pregnant? This could just be titled “Surviving Disney World” lol!

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7 [email protected] March 15, 2016 at 12:02 pm

I was 30+ weeks during my last Magic Kingdom visit. My only other suggestion to add is an extended break (preferably with a nap) during the middle of the day and returning when its a bit cooler. I actually didn’t have easy access to my hotel so we took an extended break by having lunch at the Grand Floridian and catching some much needed rest on those comfy lobby couches (obviously I didn’t nap there hahahaha but it was still restful mid day). I was actually able to get my feet up for a bit an it made the evening MUCH more enjoyable. 🙂
[email protected] recently posted..Lets Talk Goals

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8 Second Star Sisters March 15, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Love all your posts that involve Walt Disney World!

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9 Meghan March 15, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Good tips! I’m looking forward to the baby at Disney ones.
Meghan recently posted..Baby Girl Easter Basket Ideas

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10 Kristie March 15, 2016 at 7:47 pm

I’d add to your snack tips that they don’t allow glass jars (like mason jars) in. I had packed trail mix in a couple small mason jars and had to throw the jars out. It probably never used to be an issue but now that people are trying to cut back on plastic use it’s good to note since glass containers aren’t usually cheap :).

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11 Haley March 16, 2016 at 3:18 pm

I think Air Conditioning is the best feature an attraction can offer when you’re pregnant in Florida. We went to a lot of the parks when I was preggo and that was my life saver.
Haley recently posted..Favorite Fitness Apps

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12 Valerie @ Geaux Momma March 17, 2016 at 7:40 am

Still don’t know how you did it! This is a good post for soon-to-be mommies. I’m excited to read the next one.
Valerie @ Geaux Momma recently posted..Little Potty Mouths

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13 Christina March 17, 2016 at 8:30 pm

Hi. I came across this article on Flipboard while researching Disney World. Curious about your suggestions to wear comfortable clothes. … I see you in flip flops on your maternity photos at Disney? All suggestions I see say to wear good sneakers. Did you find flip flops have you enough support while on your feet walking most of the day? We went in May 2015 with my 2.5 yr old DD. My feet were spool tired (in sneakers). We plan to go back October 2016 when I’ll be 35 weeks preggo. I usually like flip flops but worried about all the walking we’ll do.

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14 Meghann March 18, 2016 at 11:50 am

My feet were incredibly swollen at the end of pregnancy, so the only thing that fit were flip flops! I remained pretty active during the pregnancy and was doing 1-2 mile walks every morning in flip flops, so my body was pretty used to it. I see do what’s comfortable for you.

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15 Liz March 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm

I hardly ever comment on blog posts, but seriously. Thank you for writing this and including the link to the book. I’m pregnant with my first right now (almost 13 weeks) and am already worrying about how pumping works at work. I’m lucky that at my job we actually have a “mothers’ lounge” for women to pump, but I still wondered about timing, what to do when I have meetings, etc. So thank you, thank you, thank you.

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16 Liz March 29, 2016 at 12:53 pm

I also meant to add this to your post on pumping at work :)whoops.

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