Congratulations!! You just found out you’re pregnant, what are you going to do now? I’m going to Disney World! Yup, I was one of those “brave souls” you saw walking around The Tree of Life with a noticeable baby bump. I happened to be going with my parents, sister, her boyfriend (now fiance), my aunt and cousin on this trip. My husband would be staying home for work reasons, so I knew I was going to be having a lot of down time while other people were riding the rides as this was an all adult trip.
We planned to go in mid-May when the crowds were not as bad and the weather was warm, but not unnecessarily hot. Coincidentally we were there for Mother’s Day, which was nice to spend my first one at my home away from home. After I announced to the family that I was pregnant they assumed I was not going on the trip, which made them panic since I am usually the planner, coordinator, historian, fact checker and tour guide on these trips. It never crossed my mind not to go as I knew I was with my family and I was early enough in my pregnancy (just starting my second trimester) that my doctor had zero concerns about me flying or walking so much.
As a first time mom, I wanted to make sure I was keeping myself and my baby safe while vacationing. So, here are my recommendations for all you pregnant ladies out there going to Walt Disney World®!
Get The A-OK from the Doc
Depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, your doctor may want to put some restrictions on you. Usually near the end of your pregnancy they don’t like you to fly or travel too far. And in all honesty, you do not want to travel during these times. I was so big and uncomfortable before I gave birth it was hard for me to walk from the kitchen to the couch let alone around the entire World Showcase! Also it is good to let your doctor know where you are in case of an emergency on your part. On the same note, keep your insurance card on you and be aware of all hospitals in the area in case of emergency.
Packing For Two
Being pregnant is like having a personal body warmer attached to you 24/7, so try your best to dress cool and comfortably. I had a nice pair of worn-in sneakers to walk around all day, I wore loose fitting tops to stay cool and allow my growing belly to breathe, I had shorts with elastic waists to make room for everyone, and I made sure to have my prenatal vitamins for every day. I also have long, thick dark hair that is very hot on your neck and shoulders, so, I would also put my hair up in a ponytail or sock bun (as seen on Pinterest) to keep it off my face and neck.
I fly out out of Logan Airport in Boston, and they were using the metal detectors. I questioned the safety of the device for pregnant woman with the TSA agent who informed me it was perfectly safe, but he said if I did not feel comfortable I could have a manual search performed. I opted for the manual search, and from what you hear on the news it is not that bad. I was paired with a nice TSA woman agent who told me everything she was going to check and do before she did it. It takes a little longer to go this route, but I felt more at ease about the safety of my baby and me.
Unfortunately, I get motion sick even when I am not pregnant. During any of my flights I would normally take two Bonine (works better than Dramamine and does not make you drowsy) and settle in for a nausea free flight. This time I had to find other alternatives since this method is a big no-no for mommies-to-be. So I invested in ginger crisps cookies, flat ginger ale, acupuncture wrist bands and hopes for the best. The plane ride from Boston to Orlando is 3 hours, and I can say that I did not get sick once on this flight with this combination! The wristbands worked so well I kept them with me while in the parks in case I started to not feel well. Additionally, I would try to request a seat near the front of the plane if it is an option since it tends to be less bumpy and smelly away from the bathrooms.
Don’t be a hero, use transportation
Since we stayed on property we used the Disney Magical Express® for transportation from the airport to hotel and used buses, ferry or monorail to make our way around Walt Disney World®. People on crowded transportation services are very good about giving up their seats to the elderly and for those who are pregnant or with young children. I had a small belly and was more than capable to stand for a few moments, but if anyone did offer their seat to me I took it. There is no need in being a hero with a baby on board. Enjoy a nice relaxing ride to your destination instead of hoofing it everywhere. Save the walking for the parks.
My family is an all-day, all-rides family while we are at the parks. We do stay at deluxe resorts that have easy transportations back and forth from the parks, but rarely do we leave in the middle of the day. The only times we do is if it is very hot, we only planned a half day park or if we have early dinner reservations we want to change and get ready for. If your family is like mine you know what to expect so plan ahead. While others are looking at the map deciding on where to go next, find a seat or go to the bathroom. Make sure you sit down and eat at least two meals a day, preferably in a cool area, always have something to drink on you and speak up when you need to rest.
On Disney’s MyDisneyExperience app you can select a filter that will show which rides have an expectant mother advisory; This will show you the rides you may want to avoid. Most of them are obvious: all the mountains are out along with Test Track® Presented by Chevrolet®
The Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorTM Attraction, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster® Starring Aerosmith, and the Primeval Whirl® Attraction. Some have advisory’s, such as Kilimanjaro Safaris® Expedition, due to the bumpy nature of the ride, but other expectant mothers (this one included) felt it was just fine to ride. If you are uncomfortable or concerned, ask a cast member to be seated near the front of the car.
Of course, if you do not feel comfortable riding a ride or if you are second guessing yourself don’t go. No two minutes of fun is worth worrying about the health of you or your baby.
One of the nice things my family did was try and rotate rides I could go on and not go on. If they just rode Space Mountain® we then hopped over to Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin® so I could have something to do. They also kept track of the wait times and only went on rides with less than a 30 minute wait so I was not alone for long periods of time.
If you are planning on heading to Universal StudiosTM or Islands of AdventureTM for the day note that there are many many many rides there you cannot go on. I only went on Shrek 4D (standard seating), walked through a few interesting queues, and hung out with Bruce the Shark a little too long. You might want to consider Universal StudiosTM a day of rest for you at the hotel while the rest of your party enjoys this park.
While others were on the rides I found myself sitting alone, a lot. For the most part I was roaming the parks waiting for others and trying to keep busy for a few minutes. Here are a few tips I found worked for me and my family:
- If a ride has an interesting queue hop in line with them until it is time to get on and ask a cast member for the nearest exit.
- You can also shop while others are on the ride. Most rides spit you out into the attractions gift shopping area. So, while I kept my eyes out for my family I picked up a few things for myself and the little one. While my family was on Star Tours® The Adventures Continue I picked up Duffy the Bear from the gift shop for my little guy, which is now his favorite toy and cannot sleep without it
- You can also sit in the shade and par rouse the map, check your phone apps for wait times on other rides and shows, get a snack and just people watch.
- Take pictures of things your fast moving family may make you miss. Or be the designated picture taker in the group. I got some nice pics of my family coming down the mountain in Expedition Everest or wiping off water after Splash Mountain® .
- Download an easy game to your phone to pass the time. I downloaded Candy Crush since it was easy to start and stop whenever I needed.
We all know the food at Walt Disney World® Resort is good and as a person eating for two it is really good! While the rest of my group took part in “Drinking Around The World” in EPCOT® I decided to Dessert Around The World! At each country I would try their dessert or snack item; this is also a good way to entertain the kids in your group while the adults grab a pint (or two!) This hobby of mine could have been why I went from 110 to 158 pounds while carrying my son.
One of my favorite things to do while at the Walt Disney World® Resort was to imagine coming back with my little ones in a few years. It was worth the wait to see my son’s light up seeing Buzz and Woody in real life, having a ball spinning around on the teacups, or trying their first Mickey ice cream. Disney is made for all children great and small and provides precious memories at every age.
Please Note: I am not a doctor, just a former pregnant Disney lover. All of this advice is from first hand experience and consulting with my physician. Always talk to your doctor about the best course of action for you and your baby and whether a traveling trip is best for you.
Rachel is a travel planner with Key to the World Travel. Contact her today using the links below to plan your next vacation!