Our family has been having some fun at Disney World this past week, which reminds of me of our last trip to a Disney park. It was last year in June and we headed to Disneyland for the Grand Opening of Cars Land! It was an amazing experience, but one that was a little extra challenging as I was 34 weeks pregnant! We spent 3.5 days at the Disneyland Resort, plus a 6 hour car ride each way. There were times were I was uncomfortable (and even in true pain a few times) and definitely exhausted. But, it was still so fun! So, if you’ve been wondering about taking a family Disney trip while you’re pregnant it can indeed be done and still be fun! Having experienced the parks in my uber pregnant state for multiple days, I thought I’d share my tips for enjoying a Disney trip while pregnant:
- Talk to your Dr. When I got the invitation to go on the trip, the first thing I did was figure out how far along I’d be and if we’d be able to swing it. Then, of course, I talked to my Dr. about it. She thought it was no big deal at all and told me to go. This wouldn’t be the case for everyone though. So, definitely, make sure you consult your Dr. regarding your particular pregnancy, trip timing, and concerns.
- Stay on-site. If you can swing it, I highly recommend staying on-site. Aside from all the other amenities the Disney Resort Hotels offer, their proximity to the parks makes them extra desirable when pregnant. If you’re headed to Disneyland, The Grand Californian is closest to the parks, so that certainly would be best in terms of walking comfort. But, the Disneyland Hotel isn’t too far a walk form the monorail stop either. Their proximity makes it a little easier to get back to for naps or a little rest period during the day– maybe a time to put up those tired, swollen feet!
- Water, water, water! Drinking plenty of water is always important during pregnancy, but especially so when you’re traveling. Remember, staying well-hydrated can help with the swelling too. So, drinking lots of water can help keep you feeling a bit more comfortable (though of course there is the downside of needing more frequent potty breaks!).
- Wear good shoes. A comfortable shoe with good support is for sure a MUST. This is not the trip for cute shoes! Even just unsupportive shoes can really have a negative impact. For the Cars Land Red Carpet Premiere event, I made the mistake of wearing something “cute”. They were just flats–no heels, nothing crazy. But, they were terribly unsupportive. After standing for about 3 hours, by the end of the night, I seriously could barely walk. My hips and feet hurt so bad! From then on out, tennis shoes it was!
- Wear a pregnancy belt. This really only applies for those already sporting a good size baby bump (like I most definitely was at 34+ weeks). But, wearing a maternity belt can really help for support. The one I had was comfortable, easy to put on & off, and really helped my lower back on the trip! At less than $20, it’s definitely worth considering!
- Pack healthy snacks. There are definitely healthy snacks that you can buy at the parks, but in reality, not every cart vendor in the park is selling apples & bananas! 😉 You are allowed to take food into the park (check the Disney Parks website for complete rules), so go ahead and throw some fruit, nuts, granola bars, etc. into your park bag for some healthy options throughout the day. Oh–and if chewing gum helps keep the pregnancy nausea at bay, make sure to pack some of that too as it’s not sold at any of the Disney Resort properties.
- Take breaks! Stop & take a little rest whenever you need it (or even before you do)! Take opportunities to sit down on benches, take in a show, head back to the hotel for a rest, seek out some slow-paced long rides– just breaks to get off of your feet!
- Familiarize yourself with the park map. Every pregnant lady will inevitably need bathrooms and food! So, it’s nice to know the nearest stops for those. Plus, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the rides. Rides that are marked with an exclamation point surrounded by a red triangle will indicate to you that “expectant mothers should not ride.” Some of those rides are the obvious thrill rides (like Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Matterhorn, Space Mountain, Star Tours, California Screamin’, etc.), but some that are fine even for some of the youngest visitors (like Luigi’s Flying Tires, Radiator Springs Racers, Autopia, etc.) still carry that warning. Note though, that the warning is merely that–a warning. It’s still your decision on whether or not you’d like to ride–the cast members won’t kick you off (use your judgement & see tip #1). Here are some of my favorites for pregnant mamas: It’s A Small World, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Haunted Mansion, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. These are by NO means all of the “ok” rides. I just happen to think these are among the best as some of them are among the longest ride times in the park–perfect for a nice rest!
- Plan ahead & give yourself extra time. Needless to say, you might not be quite as quick on your feet as usual. In fact, if you’re like me, you might be doing the pregnancy waddle everywhere. So, just know that you might not be able to do quite as much as usual or at the same pace. Planning for that is helpful!
- Take a picture! Be sure to snag a Disney baby bump shot. Your kids will love seeing a shot of you pregnant with them on your trip!
Have any of you been to a Disney park while pregnant? Any tips I’ve missed?T