If you’re planning a Disney trip with an infant, I highly (highly, highly, highly) recommend staying on property. There are so many convenience factors that make this a no brainer for our family. Disney really makes it easy to vacation with a baby!
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Your Resort Stay
Choosing the Right Resort
After staying at so many Disney resorts, I can assure you that there’s no “best” resort. They’re all the best at what they do. The question is rather – which resort is right for you? I have a whole post outlining how to make this choice here.
It’s my suggestion that you consider transportation convenience first and foremost when planning a Disney trip with a baby! There is no match for monorail resort convenience at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian, or Contemporary.
That being said, that convenience comes at a price and it’s not a realistic one for many families. If that’s the case for you, my next suggestion would be the Cabins at Fort Wilderness or Wilderness Lodge moderate resorts, which still make Magic Kingdom accessible by boat.
If a value resort is more in your price range, I’d highly recommend Art of Animation! We’ve stayed in their family suites and Little Mermaid rooms and have great reviews on both. Their Big Blue Pool area is ideal for little ones with the splash pad area!
Regardless of your choice, rest assured that Disney will provide an easy and enjoyable vacation!
Making Your Reservations
Although babies don’t need park tickets, dining plans, or FastPasses, they do need to be included in your room reservation. They don’t count towards room occupancy costs or totals, but Disney still needs to know of their presence, in case of an emergency! Many people consider leaving the baby off their reservation, thinking it will save them money, but it doesn’t influence that at all. Safety first!
Getting Set Up in the Room
I’m a big advocate for safe sleep environments, so it thrills me that Disney provides a travel crib or pack and play at no additional cost to families. Just make sure to note it on your reservation and mention it again at check-in! If you’ll be staying in a Villa at one of the deluxe resorts, a pack and play will likely already be in your room.
Depending on your room size, this extra piece of furniture can make for cramped quarters. Plan on folding it up if you’ll be spending a lot of time in your room. But also, make sure that anyone who will be alone with baby knows how to get it opened back up too! We have found that they fit perfectly between the two beds in value rooms (and the Port Orleans Riverside Royal Room).
When we visit, we like to bring our own sheets for the pack and play too. Our youngest has eczema and generally sensitive skin, so I like to bring sheets that have been washed at home. It also assures that we have a back-up if she springs a leak in the middle of the night!
Feeding & Food Storage
Almost every room at Disney has a mini-fridge (with full-sized refrigerators in the Cabins and Villas), so you’ll have a place to keep baby’s feeding items (breast milk, formula, opened baby food, etc) refrigerated. If your room doesn’t have one, you can always put in a request with housekeeping and have one delivered at no additional cost, pending availability.
Most rooms do not have their own microwave, but you’ll have access to one in your Resort’s quick service restaurant, typically open 24/7.
When the baby was little, we would bring a fold-up bath sling for our bathtub. The tubs in most standard rooms are a bit cramped to comfortably get in the tub with baby, so the sling was a big help!
Making it Feel Like Home
My girls are used to sleeping with certain creature comforts, so we make sure to pack those items when we travel. If your little one is attached to a certain blanket or stuffed friend, make sure to bring it!
We also like to bring the girls’ iPad to use for white noise. While we haven’t had any noise problems in our many stays, it does help to tune out any hallway or bathroom noise and cover up any noise you may make while still awake!
Organizing Your Room
If you find yourself feeling a bit like sardines in a can, you’re not alone! Babies need so many things that it can feel like they’re taking over the entire room. Here are some tips for keeping your room feeling more organized.
- Keep your stroller and pack and play folded up when not in use.
- Store your bathroom related items (like baby’s bath seat) in the bathroom. We often keep all of our toiletries stored in a bag, so they’re not spread out everywhere.
- Bring a bottle drying rack and small basket to keep baby bottles, pacifiers, and other little pieces organized next to the sink.
- Keep all of your other food and drink related items on or in the dresser, where the mini fridge is located. We liked to use the dresser top as a mini snack bar, of sorts.
- Remember that a mini fridge is, well, mini. You won’t be able to store large items there. If your baby is transitioning to milk, buy half gallon jugs, as the gallons won’t fit!
- Utilize the closet and dresser storage to get things off the floor (and out of baby’s reach). We were always amazed by how many things our youngest got into when we were in a confined space!
- Consider bringing a collapsible laundry basket (or even a trash bag!) to store laundry in.
Transportation & Amenities
getting to and from the parks
Disney transportation is one of our primary reasons for staying on property! Depending on your resort, you may have bus, boat, or monorail access to various parks.
Each Disney Resort will have its own bus or boat, while the monorail runs a loop to all of the accessible resorts. You don’t need to worry about having a car seat for any Disney transportation, as it’s not necessary. The only exception is the Minnie Van service that runs for an additional fee at the deluxe resorts, but they will have car seats available for your child!
You can read more about bringing your stroller on all of the various forms of transportation in our stroller post!
Your baby can enjoy most of the resort amenities, with the exception of adult lounges found at some Disney Resorts.
If you plan to bring them to the pool, know that Disney requires un-potty trained children to wear swim diapers. If you’re not sure whether or not you’ll use the pool, you can always buy swim diapers at the Resort shopping location. Don’t stress about packing them, unless you already have them and know you’ll use them!