Any Disney trip is a good trip, however traveling to Disney while pregnant can present its own challenges and its own unique opportunities.
When my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary in Disney, we decided to also take advantage of the 30% off discount (the bounce back discount) being offered if we booked our next trip while at the resort. We planned for 6 months out - which would be in October. That also meant that I could visit Disney twice in the same year, and both at my favorite times of year. (More about that later!)
Little did we know that 6 months from then I would also be 6 months pregnant. When we found out that we were pregnant, we didn't even give a second thought to not canceling our trip. We both were really looking forward to it.
I do need to preface details of our trip to say that I had an extremely easy pregnancy. The worst symptom I had, aside from being enormous, was heartburn for a few days. Overall, it was a very easy pregnancy, so we assumed that I would have no problems in Disney.
The first day, we were proven wrong. The heat in Florida got the best of me making me exhausted and cranky, and making my ankles and feet swell so much I had trouble getting my sneakers off. So, be prepared for the heat, no matter when you go. So, aside from the obvious - be careful with the heat! - below are my tips and experiences with being in Disney pregnant.
Tip #1: Pack comfortable clothes and shoes.
I think that this is applicable even if you aren't pregnant, but particularly when you are. I wanted all of our photos to turn out like some Disney commercial, except with a whale size pregnant lady in them. I thought, "At least I can be cute, right?" You can, but for me there was a decision to be made. I made sure to pack "cute but not necessarily comfortable" clothes and straight up "I am pregnant and will wear whatever I want clothes." I did the same with shoes. And I ended up wearing only the comfortable clothes and shoes. It was well worth having the comfortable option with me.
Tip #2: Bring a filtered water bottle.
We always do the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan, which generally includes 3 meals and 2 snacks per day per person. (This is with the Deluxe Dining Plan. Other Dining Plans have other options.) Even with this option, I didn't want to waste all my snack credits on water, nor did I want to drink straight out of the fountains. Water is free at the restaurants at Disney. You can always stop in any restaurant (quick service or table service) and grab a "to go" cup of water. I didn't want this option either, mostly because I didn't want to stop what we were doing to have to grab water from somewhere, and I didn't want to waste all of those cups. So, I used my trusty Brita filter water bottle, which can also be found in this review post. This saved me from having to stop constantly, needing to use all my snack credits and from getting dehydrated.
Tip #3: Plan ahead, but be ready for plans to change.
I was generally starving the whole time I was pregnant. No matter how much I ate, 20 minutes later I wanted / craved / absolutely had to have food. Generally when I go to Disney, one of my favorite parts is pre-planning all the dining. My husband took over the planning for this trip though, and since we knew we were having a boy, he indulged my inner princess and scheduled every Princess Meal (character dining) he could get us in to. Unfortunately, sometimes I couldn’t make it that long until dinner, or I would eat half my food and not be able to finish another bite. We didn't mind - again, thanks to the Dining Plan - but being an overly scheduled person, this drove me a little nuts. I guess that was just foreshadowing of how little control you have as a mother sometimes. (I recently did a post on this which can be found on this page.)
This also pertains to the weather. One evening, Mike had planned for us to eat at Cinderella's Royal Table in the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom. It was magical. Ariel was so in character and wonderful, it was an experience I will never forget. I distinctly remember her being surprised that there was a whole baby / person in my tummy, and not a fish! She couldn't believe it.
Immediately after dinner though, as we were slowly making our way down all those stairs (there is an elevator option, but we chose not to take it), it started pouring. During any other trip, I would just run for cover somewhere, but running wasn't much of an option for me. It was nice that we were ready for the change in weather though with our handy dandy Disney rain ponchos - pre-purchased of course. Those things sell out fast when it starts raining!
Tip #4: Take a moment and make the trip special for you (and baby!)
For us, this meant having dinner at our favorite location, Victoria and Albert's Chef's Table, and getting a few souvenirs for our soon-to-be little bundle of joy. We had quite a few nice photos ops at our resort (Coronado Springs) and in the restaurant, which we both still cherish. We also got our baby his first Disney Mickey Mouse that had a rattle inside, and several other toys that had sentimental meaning to us. I can't stress this one enough. Enjoy your trip. Enjoy the extra magic Disney will sprinkle all around you. Enjoy this moment in time when it is just the two of you (or more if you already have children) and take lots of photos.
Each trip Mike and I have taken to Disney together has been special, and each for a different reason - our wedding, our honeymoon, Mike's first Food and Wine Festival, our anniversary, pregnant, and our baby's first birthday. We are looking forward to many more. I hope this helps anyone planning a trip! Below are also some great links for anyone planning a trip to Disney while pregnant. The next Disney post will be on celebrating an anniversary in Disney.
Here is where I will rant about my daily mommy life, give some insight into a brain tumor survivor's musings, and hopefully offer up some fun as well.