Is it worth it to go on a Disney vacation while pregnant? Can you really enjoy it? Will you be able to ride any rides? Expectant mothers often ask me for advice when planning for Disney. Most of their questions and concerns are about what to expect. So, whether you are planning a family vacation or a babymoon; here are some tips if you are an expectant mother (or traveling with one) on a Disney vacation.
Get the OK from your Doctor first and then try to plan your trip for the “cooler” months and preferably the second trimester when your energy and “morning” sickness have typically both improved. Sure, you can’t ride Space Mountain. But, there are plenty of things to do at Disney, I promise you will still have fun and make some wonderful memories.
Whether you have been to Disney before or not, this could be hard. But do plan to take it slow. Even walk slowly (which you may be doing anyway). Since there will be quite a few rides you can’t do, focus on the rides you may have overlooked on previous trips. Plan some dining reservations, sip coffee (decaf, perhaps!) while walking down Main St at the Magic Kingdom. Sit in a quiet spot and people watch. Take in the shows that you may have skipped if you were trying to ride every ride. But whatever you do, do not rush and wear yourself out. The Baby Care Centers in each park are also there for expectant mothers. So, go on in, sit down, enjoy the air conditioning and take a break.
Besides taking it slow in the parks, be sure to fit in some naps. You will need it. Even if others in your party want to stay in the parks, go back to your resort and fit in a nap (or 2). Once when I was 12 weeks pregnant, I took 3 naps in one day so I could make it to Late Extra Magic Hours at Magic Kingdom until 2am! WHAT FUN! I slept at the resort in between meals while hubby swam, caught up on some reading, and maybe even napped a bit too. Taking naps will force you to spend more time at your resort, so enjoy it! Eat at a resort restaurant, stroll around and enjoy the theming and landscaping; it might force others in your party to take it slow and enjoy new things as well. Don’t look at it as wasting vacation time by napping. Instead, look at it as catching up on sleep before the baby arrives! And, recharging so you can enjoy more of your vacation.
If you take my advice and nap each day you will be spending more time at your resort which means you may want to upgrade from your usual accommodations. If you would typically save money on the hotel by choosing a value resort “because you won’t spend much time in the room anyway” consider an upgrade to a moderate resort where you will have bigger beds, more room, and more dining options. Or, if you typically go for a middle of the road Moderate Resort option, upgrade to a Deluxe room with much less walking to your room, better amenities, and maybe even spring for Club level with concierge service, turndown service, and club level lounges with quiet places to unwind and enjoy some down time (and food)!
Many of the rides will be off limits for expectant mothers. But, there will be a lot that you find that you can ride. So, take the time to enjoy those rides. Plus, if you take your little one back to Disney someday, you will be riding those rides again with them! I enjoyed imagining Peter Pan, Pirates, and Finding Nemo through my daughter’s eyes before she even arrived. We all know pregnancy makes your emotions run wild…so, it’s OK to cry as you imagine your future child on It’s a Small World (or, maybe the song itself will drive you to tears). Either way, no one will judge! So, bring tissues and ride (if there is no advisory against it). Usually if there is no height requirement, it’s safe. But do double check before getting in line.
You will be walking a lot and your body is already working hard to grow and nurture your baby. So, be sure to eat often. Plan at least 1 sit down meal each day to give you time off your feet. Bring snacks into the park (this is perfectly acceptable). And enjoy some Disney treats like Dole Whip, Mickey Bars, and all the wonderful options around the world at EPCOT. If your appetite is off, there are plenty of options to satisfy whatever sounds good at the time. Cast Members at restaurants are very accommodating so don’t be afraid to let them know of any modifications you need.
Water, that is. Most people don’t drink as much water on vacation as they do at home or work. It’s so important to drink water at this time especially. All counter service restaurants will give you free tap water if you walk up and ask. No purchase necessary. So, when others are riding a ride that you can’t ride, go get a water. When you are taking a break, go get water. Try to do it often throughout the day. Some people don’t like the taste of the Florida tap water so consider bringing a powder or liquid flavor to add if that helps. It’s perfectly fine to bring your own big water bottle/mug into the park as well.
You may not feel your prettiest when pregnant, but pose for lots of pictures anyway. You and your child will enjoy seeing you at the iconic Disney locations. You can also use this time to create a picture for a pregnancy or birth announcement. When I was pregnant with our daughter, my husband rode Space Mountain while I shopped. I ended up taking pictures of Mickey Hats and turned it into a pregnancy announcement for us. So, bring the camera and don’t forget to be IN the pictures too.
Most doctors will tell you to move and exercise while pregnant as much as possible and up to the amount you were doing before pregnant. ALWAYS talk to your doctor about this before changing an exercise routine, especially while pregnant. With that in mind, there is a lot of walking at Disney so you may need to condition yourself before your trip. Walk around your neighborhood or at a local track in the weeks leading up to your trip. If you are unable to do a lot of walking, have no fear; you can rent ECV’s in the parks or even for your entire stay through a third-party provider. Your travel agent can help you with more info about ECV rental options.
As mentioned previously, consult with your Doctor before your trip. They may recommend no travel past a certain point in the pregnancy. They may want you to limit walking, eating certain foods, traveling on airplanes, etc. Also, if you are traveling to Florida and are concerned about the ZIKA virus, discuss this with your doctor before your trip. Disney provides bug spray in each room and bug repellant all over the parks and Disney Springs for free.
I had a blast at Disney while expecting my daughter. It forced me to take it slow and enjoy a whole new side of Disney. It also got me excited to share future Disney experiences with my daughter, something we have been able to enjoy this past year. I’ll always look back at that trip with such happy memories. It was like a babymoon for us and I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it anywhere else.
So, whether you are planning a babymoon, or another family vacation while expecting, I hope these tips will help you navigate your plans and encourage you to go!
Aleshia Sokoloski, Travel Planner affiliated with Travel with the Magic
Specializing in Universal and Disney Vacations including Universal Orlando, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Adventures by Disney, and Disney Cruise Line.