When I shared that we were bringing our 13 month old daughter to Disney World, we got the reaction, “She won’t remember it!” or “You can’t do any rides with her at the parks!” And while she may not remember her first Disney vacation, I know I will. Being prepared for our trip, and for the parks each day, is what helped us make the most of our experience at Walt Disney World. The parks and resorts are so family friendly that it made a lot of things, that would be difficult traveling to other places, fairly easy.
The Baby Care Centers (BCC) at each of the four WDW theme parks were a lifesaver. Who doesn’t want a clean, quiet, air-conditioned place to change a diaper, have a snack, or take a break from the heat of the day? Each BCC has a place for little ones to play or watch a movie, private rooms for nursing mothers, and items for sale if you’re low on kid essentials. We made a point to visit each of the centers and none of them disappointed. If you plan to have a full park day or need a break from the crowds, I highly recommend visiting a BCC at each of the parks.
BCC at Magic Kingdom is located between Casey’s Corner and Crystal Palace.
BCC at Epcot is located before the Mexico Pavilion.
BCC at Hollywood Studios is located through Guest Service right at the entrance to the park.
BCC at Animal Kingdom is on your left before you cross the bridge from Discovery Island to Africa.
Items for sale, sink, bottle warmer and hot and cold water at the BCC at Animal Kingdom:
Another tool that helped us tremendously was mobile-ordering. Through the My Disney Experience app, you could select the restaurant you wanted to order from and go through the menu. Once you have arrived at the restaurant you click “I’m here, prepare my order” and the kitchen would start preparing your meal. When the food was ready your phone would alert you to go to the mobile pickup spot. We used mobile ordering for meals and snacks and saved time waiting in line. It was so nice to be able to find a table, get my daughter in a high chair, and wait for our food together rather than someone ordering and waiting in line alone. A list of restaurants that participate in mobile ordering can be found here.
We avoided meltdowns by sticking to my daughter’s sleep and eating schedule as best as we could. If your child takes a 2pm nap every day like clockwork, don’t skip this on vacation. Build your touring plans and meal times around it. We ate lunch on the earlier side every day (which helps avoid some of the lunch crowds) and left the parks in the mid afternoon for a pool and nap break. It helped keep her on her schedule and we all enjoyed the break from the parks . We did not take her to any of the evening entertainment, but I know for the future if we want her to be out later, we’ll make sure a nap, a late start, and some down time is built into our schedule.
She loved the splash pad at our resort, Coronado Springs Resort:
Macaroni and Cheese dinner at Pepper Market:
This trip was the first time we purchased the Memory Maker, and it was worth every single penny. With the Memory Maker, you get unlimited downloads from rides and pictures taken by the Disney PhotoPass photographers. Knowing someone else was in charge of taking the cute pictures was a weight off my shoulders. We stopped at as many photo spots as we could, and the PhotoPass photographers took some great shots. The cast members went above and beyond when my daughter met Minnie Mouse and we have great pictures of us as a family with Minnie. Not worrying about getting my phone out or having pictures of all of us together was a relief. I’m a Memory Maker believer and will 100% be buying this for all our future trips.
One of my favorite pictures from meeting Minnie at Magic Kingdom:
PhotoPass spot at the Italy Pavilion at Epcot:
I have many more tips to share, so let me know if you have any questions about making magic and memories with your kids at Walt Disney World!