Many people plan their Disney vacations months in advance, sometimes before they even know they are pregnant. With a growing baby bump, a limited number of rides you can safely go on, and the worry of restrictions that your doctor may put on you, is going to Disney really a good idea when you are expecting? Yes. Disney can be enjoyed in any season of life. Here are ways to enjoy the parks even if you are expecting a bundle of joy.
Some pregnant women have trouble walking around for hours upon hours at the parks. There are ways to accommodate you. Disney offers wheelchairs and motorized vehicles to rent, plenty of shady areas to sit and take a break, and even free water at any quick service food location. There are some activities in every park that involve sitting in an air-conditioned room while you watch or listen to different entertainment. The Animation Studio in California Adventures, the Hall of Presidents in Disneyland and Magic Kingdom, most of the different countries in EPCOT’s World Showcase have a presentation to sit and listen to, and there are several shows in the Hollywood Studios that are inside as well. These are great things to do if you are in need of a break from the heat and walking.
If you have a medical condition that requires certain accommodations, you can bring your doctor’s note or documentation of your condition to City Hall at the front of any Disney park to see how they can accommodate you during your stay.
Things to do instead of rides
Why do most of the fast-paced rides at Disneyland or Walt Disney World recommend that if you are expecting you should not ride? Besides the obvious motion sickness that might occur, it is because if you are jerked around or hitting your belly on the ride car in any way it may cause complications or injury to your baby. Of course, there is also the possibility of preterm labor due to stress, fear or anxiety that the ride may cause. Disney wants you to be safe, and that is why they recommend not riding if you are pregnant. Of course, they will not stop you if you do decide to ride, but the liability is on you and no longer on them.
I will admit early on in my pregnancy (before I knew I was pregnant) I rode most of the rides in the park. I had no problems, and my babies did not have any complications or issues. But the further along I got the less of a desire I had to ride on the rides. I was more interested in the other things the parks had to offer. Parades, firework shows, character meet ‘n’ greets, and Fantasyland rides with my kids were more appealing to me. Disney knows that not everyone is looking for rides when they come to the parks, so they have a full schedule of activities for those not seeking thrills. Some lesser known things include the lowering of the flag on Main Street, which is performed every day around 5 pm. The Thunder Ranch Jamboree in Disneyland where they have a petting zoo, live entertainment and characters dressed according to the time of year available for pictures with you and your little ones. For a full list of activities check out the Disney website for information.
Disney is known for having a wide variety of food that can accommodate any craving. From ice cream to salads and everything in between, you are sure to find something you want at the parks. They also have healthy options for those with a restricted diet. It is recommended you make dining reservations for any sit down restaurant in advance, so you do not risk them getting overbooked, but most of the quick service restaurants offer similar food to what you can find at the sit down places. For example the Monte Cristo sandwich found at the Blue Bayou, a restaurant that almost always requires a reservation, can also be found at Café Orleans, a place that only needs a reservation on Disney’s busiest days.
Taking care of yourself
Once you do decide to go, keep in mind that this trip may be different from those you’ve taken in the past. You may need to take things at a slower pace, drink lots of water, and make sure you eat when you need to. If something does come up, Disney is known for having excellent training in emergency situations and they have a first-aid center in every park.
Another little-known fact about Disney is that every park has a baby center, and they are wonderful. For those that already have kids, it is a great place to go to change a diaper without waiting in line for the one diaper changing station in the regular restrooms. They also have rooms to change clothes, little toilets for those who are potty-training and rooms for nursing. For pregnant moms, it is a great place to escape with the little ones to get refreshed and put your feet up for a while. They have movies playing, books to read and a nice atmosphere to take a breather.
The bottom line is, even if you are sporting a baby bump, Disney can still be fun. Don’t deny yourself the experience of going to Disney just because you will not be able to ride some of the rides. There is a lot to do, and you will be able to experience the parks from a different perspective.