When we said we were taking our then seven month old son to Disney World, we got more than our fair share of raised eyebrows and piercing questions. “What is there for an infant to do at Disney?” “They are too small to ride anything.” “It’s a waste of money.” “He’s not going to remember anything.” Those are just an example of questions and comments we heard from family and friends. However, it turns out that there are a ton of things for an infant to do at the Walt Disney World Resort! Here are some of the top reasons why you can still have a great vacation with an infant in tote!
Baby Care Centers
At each Disney theme park, there is a dedicated Baby Care Center for children and their families in a more private setting than the typical restroom. They offer multiple changing tables, high chairs, a private nursing area, restrooms, and a room with a television playing Disney movies, all for free. Microwaves and cold filtered water is also available to make bottles or provide refreshment.
For purchase are a variety of baby essentials in case you forgot to bring them, including Huggies diapers, wipes, diaper rash ointment, formula, juice, and some baby snacks. There may also be some souvenirs to purchase for your baby too. Each Baby Care Center is kept very clean too; the changing tables, for example, are sprayed down constantly after use. Additional photos of the EPCOT Baby Care Center can be found at the bottom of the article.
Care Center Locations
- Magic Kingdom Baby Care Center: located to the left of Main Street, between Casey’s Corner and the Crystal Palace
- EPCOT Baby Care Center: located in Future World, just before entering Mexico in the World Showcase, next to the Odyssey Pavilion
- Hollywood Studios Baby Care Center: located directly to the left of the park entrance by Movieland Memorbillia
- Animal Kingdom Baby Care Center: located on Discovery Island, on the way to Africa, just past Starbucks, on the left
A main staple of Disney since the beginning, character interactions are a plenty at Walt Disney World. This is one item that could be hit or miss. Our son LOVED meeting the characters, especially the fully costumed ones like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and more. He was more bashful with the princesses like Cinderella, Tiana, and Elena, but enjoyed meeting Snow White and Pocahontas.
Some children may be spooked by some of the characters at first too. If they do, don’t fret; the characters themselves and staff will do what they can to help you, even if it is leaving the attraction. Note that many of the character interactions at the parks are attractions with their own dedicated lines. The good news is that most offer FastPass+ and characters are available almost all day. So when you are making your selections, keep them in mind to avoid waiting 20+ minutes.
Disney World has an incredibly favorable height requirement system: most rides have no height requirement! So what does that mean? Any ride WITHOUT a height requirement can be ridden by a guest of any age. This means that your baby can enjoy most rides at each of the parks, including Dumbo, Pirates of the Caribbean, it’s a small world, Peter Pan’s Flight, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Jungle Cruise, Frozen Ever After, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Haunted Mansion, Toy Story Mania, Space Ranger Spin, etc.
If it is a roller coaster of any kind, they will not be able to ride. This includes the Barnstormer at the Magic Kingdom. Other rides they cannot ride include Dinosaur, Kali River Rapids, Test Track, Soarin’, and Mission: SPACE, Splash Mountain, and Star Tours, among others. We would always remind you to exercise caution if you think a ride may be too much for your child even if they are allowed to ride. Ease them into rides and figure out what they like. We also recommend taking your baby on rides that will entertain them; if they are too young, they are not likely to enjoy shows that last a half hour. If they enjoy a particular ride, try to experience it several times too.
Tip: The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a great ride to stimulate your child. After the ride however, there may be an even better experience. Be sure to check out the Seas, a series of aquariums and aquatic exhibits. You can get up close to many different types of fish, dolphins, and sharks! Our son loved watching the different fish, especially the colorful ones, zip by.
If you are staying onsite at Disney World, be sure to take advantage of the pools at your resort. They offer a nice way to entertain and cool off your child (and might offer some opportunity for you to relax too!). The pools at Disney do not allow floats EXCEPT small floats for young children. A lifeguard told us that any floats should have leg holes and only a small cover. For slightly older children, each pool offers a variety of sizes of life vests to keep them safe.
Once again, if you are staying onsite, the hotels offer a nice perk of providing either a full size crib or a Pack n’ Play. Unlike some hotels we have stayed at, they also provide you a crib sheet (actually, they will provide you a couple in case of accidents). So do not worry about trying to travel with a crib. Simply request a crib/Pack n’ Play with your reservation or request one upon arrival. If your child needs a crib bumper, be sure to bring one though as one is not provided. A Pack n’ Play should not require a bumper if that is a better option for you. The full size crib comes with a real mattress.
Stimulation & Social Interaction
Disney World is full of people/children, color, moving objects, parades, lights, waterfalls, and more. It provides an incredible amount of stimulation for your child to help with their development. Our son loved babbling to other children he saw and observing what they did. He even picked up how to wave on our first trip! If you are worried that a trip is going to leave your baby bored, don’t worry; they (and maybe you too) will be enthralled with just people watching most of the time. You never know what you will find throughout the parks for stimulation and some experiences change constantly with the seasons. For example, during the Garden Festival at EPCOT, there was a butterfly garden that captivated our son.
Bringing your infant to Disney World will cost you a whopping zero dollars in entry fees. Children are free at Disney World until they turn 3 years old. Once they come of age, they will require their own admission. While children do receive a discount, it is not significantly cheaper than adults. Currently, the price differential is only $12 between child and adult per single day ticket. So take advantage of your children being free while you can! It is also important to note that all Disney resorts are priced for two adults, two children capacity. Only once you go above that capacity does the price increase for additional guests.
If you are on the fence about going to Disney World with your infant, we totally recommend it! Between being able to ride most attractions, the stimulation of color and people, meeting Disney characters, the convenience of baby centers and provided cribs, Disney World makes it a magical experience for your infant and the rest of your family. If people think you are crazy, just wait until you visit and see all the other families that must have been crazy too for bringing an infant to Disney! You will definitely not be alone!