After a fun, but exhausting week from Disney, I wanted to share all my tips for traveling to Disney World with an infant with all of you, to hopefully make it just a little smoother and enjoyable.
I’ve always wondered why people took young kiddos to Disney World/Disneyland; after flying cross country to visit Disney World with my husband’s family and our 17 month old, I understand. Disney is pure magic – and watching the magic through your child’s eyes is an indescribable feeling that I hope you get to experience at least once in your life.
Flying to Florida is never an easy task – than you add on a baby and all the extra stuff they require. Here are my top flying tips:
Buy your baby a seat
If you are able to afford the extra seat for your kiddo – do it. It was the best money we spent on our trip. Babies do not require a seat until they are 2 years old.
Car Seat For Flight
Put your baby in a travel car seat on the plane. This was a lifesaver – it gave our son a place of his own to be comfortable and safe in and much more comfortable than trying to wrangle an almost two year old to stay on one of our laps.
Direct Flight If You Can
We chose a direct flight to help deal with less stress, especially flying on a holiday weekend.
Greatest thing ever – babywear your kiddo throughout the airport, through security and onto the plane. Especially, if you are not bringing your stroller with you.
Check your bags
You’ll want and need all your hands while going through the airport and waiting to board.
Board during family boarding. Head towards the back of the plane, or select seats when purchasing your tickets – that way you’re out of the way and will allow you to take your time getting situated for the flight and allows you time to gather all the things when you land.
Purchase new toys and save them for the flight. We had window suction spinners, a disappearing color board, and new pop-its. They were all a huge hit since he had never played with them.
Bring snacks, milk/formula/breast milk, with you in baby’s diaper bag. You are allowed to bring on liquids for your child.
Packing has always been a strong suit, but you add in a baby and all that they need and it becomes a whole new game to figure out.
Organize By Days
Lay out your child’s clothes that you want to bring and group them into the specific days you are going to the park(s).
Have at least two outfits per day for the park – you never know what could spill, or what Florida weather can bring.
Pack outfits into Ziploc bags and label with the specific day your child will wear them – saves tons of time and stress in the mornings when you are trying to get to rope drops.
Pack all your nighttime necessities for baby in one spot, that way upon your arrival to your hotel, or what not you are able to pull it all out and easily get your child down.
Purchase and bring a travel bottle brush cleaning system, the little things you know you need, but will forget.
Instacart big items like diapers, wipes, morning foods, milk/formula, etc upon arrival at your hotel. Saves tons of space and weight.
Baby has lots of added things – pack n play, stroller, car seat, bath tub, swim floats, etc. Decide what you want of yours and then rent your other gear that you’ll need.
I know sounds crazy, but after doing just that I’ll always suggest this route to anyone with kiddos under the age of 3 that need all the extra gear.
BabyQuip is a rental company that connects you with local moms who rent out their own gear like strollers, pack n plays, highchairs, etc.
We utilized this company to rent a stroller, since our main stroller for home isn’t truly designed for air travel and we didn’t feel like dragging all the extra weight and wore him throughout the airport anyways.
Utilize your hotel’s crib/pack n play. Bring your own sheets for those types of things, but don’t bother dragging them with you across the country.
Also if you are staying at one of the Disney Parks – you can always request baby items and they will bring them to your room for you like a highchair, etc. Just check with them before you book.
More tips for traveling to Disney World with an infant and a big one is an airtag! If you don’t have these yet – the best and easiest Apple purchase I’ve ever made. We stuck them inside our luggage to ensure their arrival with us. And once we were in the park we put them into our stroller and our in-law’s stroller to help us locate the strollers after rides. Especially since everyone’s strollers look alike.
Lights, ribbons, flag – you’ll want to purchase something that can be attached to your stroller to help you find it during the day/night. We had those simply fairy lights from the dollar spot at Target and put them onto our stroller.
You already know traveling and going to Disney is expensive. Avoid some of the higher costs on items like the bubble wands, ears, stuffed animals, etc. and purchase and bring with you.
Also remember, all Disney stores will ship items home if you know you’re running out of luggage space/weight to ensure all the goodies arrive safely. Witnessed lots of guests doing this with their purchases.
buy bubble wands from Amazon – save it away and bring out the day/night you want to use them.
only bring out one of the gifts per day/night. Utilize the “Disney Fairy,” who makes deliveries at night to your room and writes a quick message and leaves the gifts.
My sister-in-law did this for the kiddos, all she did was set up the toys/outfits/gifts on the kitchen table while we were out, wrote a quick message on one of the kiddos’ boards and they thought it was awesome how the “Disney Fairy” was leaving such amazing gifts! (Our kiddos were 5, 3, and 17 months).
Disney Park Tips
If it’s been a while since you’ve been, or if you haven’t been since new things were introduced like the Magic Bands make sure you download the app and read up on everything.
Map Out Your Day
Disney World is huge so mapping out your day and having an idea on what rides you would like to hit is super helpful.
Make a “reservation” to meet Mickey in a different park, rather than trying to get in during Magic Kingdom. We met Mickey and Minnie in Animal Kingdom and had the best time.
Ensure you do rider swap for specific adult rides that your little one might not be tall enough for. Allows you to get into the LighteningLane line once your other adult comes off the ride.
Use the mobile ordering app for some of the restaurants – that way you can avoid any meal time meltdowns.
Pack Water & Snacks
You can bring a cooler into Disney! Bring lots of water and snacks- for both you and your little.
Ask questions and get recommendations from your hotel concierge. They are so helpful and resourceful and they are happy to help you get reservations for dinner, experiences, etc. They are probably the most underrated tool that Disney offers.
I hope you found these tips for traveling to Disney World with an infant helpful with planning your trip! I will say after traveling cross country with our little guy – it was entirely worth it. The special moments you get to witness as a parent watching your child experience everything around them is amazing.
Don’t wait – take the trip and remember to enjoy being in the moment. Yes, you’ll want to capture some of those special moments, but don’t forget to get into the photo too Mama.
Nicole is a full-time mom and a former teacher of ten years. She has taught first and fourth grades at the elementary level and seventh grade middle school math. She is also a hobby photographer and is looking forward to getting back behind the camera. Creative, energetic, intelligent and loyal are words you can often hear Nicole being described as. As she has quickly discovered, being a mommy is a whole new journey and she's happy to share and find new things to help others through this opportunity. Nicole and her husband are looking forward to all the adventures life has to offer on this new journey of parenthood.