Disney World + pregnancy may sound like a rare form of torture, but it can be a joy-filled experience if you know how to work the system.
Pregnancy can easily be filled with doubts, and a heavy tone of seriousness. We wonder if we'll be good parents... If our romantic relationship will change... If our vagina will survive delivery... It's intense. So as you navigate this monumental journey to parenthood, you deserve to have some fun, awaken your childlike wonder, and indulge in a giant cookie with a side of churro. Luckily, you can get this all in one place: Walt Disney World.
You may not have clearance to free fall in the Tower of Terror, but you can still get your kicks on Safari (with real animals!), watch Broadway-level performers flip around while belting out a Disney ditty, or quell your pregnancy hot flashes in cool capsules that transport you through the Haunted Mansion.
Disney World during pregnancy is really the best, as you have a primo excuse to skip the thrill rides and post up on a bench with some soft serve yumminess and people watch (an underrated attraction.)
To ensure your trip to the happiest place on earth is actually happy, utilize the following suggestions.
1. Create your itinerary at My Disney Experience
All the advice below can be researched and reserved at My Disney Experience, which is also available as a phone app. This site/app allows you to preplan the attractions and eateries you want to experience at each park, and organize your itinerary, ensuring you minimize walking and waiting times, and maximize the magic.
Another perk of the My Disney Experience app is the GPS-enabled map for each park that instantly tells you how to get to the nearest bathroom. ‘Nuff said. It also offers constantly updated wait times for each attraction.
2. Take advantage of FastPass+
The My Disney Experience site allows you to reserve three FastPasses, per person, per day (for each day you’ll be at a Disney park), 30 days in advance. Reserve them for earlier in the day, as you can acquire newbies (after you use up your initial set) by going to FastPass kiosks in the park. Spaceship Earth in Epcot and Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom are good, morning FastPass selections, as the lines are often sunny and hot later in the day.
3. Book a character meal
If your inner child wants a photo with the strangely endearing, giant, mute Disney characters, but would rather skip the lines, take advantage of the opportunity to have a relaxing, carb-rich meal while your favorite characters come to you. As you eat, the old-school (and some new-school) Disney characters will make their rounds to each table, providing classic photo ops.
4. Splurge on good food
While you don't want to go overboard, pregnancy is a great excuse to occasionally indulge in sumptuous meals and treats, which Disney delivers. Our top choice, The Boat House, is located at Disney Springs and is a fine dining (seafood and steak-laden goodness) restaurant jutting out over water filled with boat taxis connecting Disney Springs to the Saratoga Resort. The food is top-notch and the dessert will change your life.
And you can't enter the world of Disney without relishing a Dole’s Pineapple Whip. This highly sought after, Disney-exclusive treat, can be found at the Magic Kingdom or Polynesian Village Resort.
5. Buy the Memory Maker Package
You know what's BS about motherhood? Us mamas are left out of all the freakin' family photos. But Disney does us a solid with their Memory Maker package. While it's not cheap, this package provides the luxury of having unlimited family photos taken by professional photographers at all the photo stops throughout the parks (and there's a lot of them), character dining experiences, and the attractions with hidden cameras. You can then download all of the photos through your My Disney Experience account. And many of the photos have surprise guests...
6. Give yourself a day off
While Disney is lovely, it's best not to overdo it. Pull your Pregnancy Card on at least one day of your vacay and make a date with your hotel bed, remote, and room service. If your accommodations has a spa, go ahead and say yes to a massage or facial. This day off will leave you refreshed and better equipped to enjoy the rest of your Disney endeavors.
7. Know what you can and can't ride
Keep it safe, mama. Pay attention to the signs posted at the entrance of rides listing any exclusions or limitations for physical considerations, and skip the rides cautioning pregnant women. Here's a list of our favorite pregnant-lady-approved attractions at each Disney World park. There is also a First Aid Center at each park — don’t be shy about dropping in if you start to feel off in any way.
Final pointers …
Set yourself up for maximum comfort by wearing loose and light clothing (layers if it’s cold), supportive walking shoes, and packing your own healthy, protein-rich, snacks and large bottle of water.
And don’t forget to have Mickey rub your belly for good luck.