Coming to the Happiest Place on Earth while pregnant? After spending lots of time walking the parks through three pregnancies, here are my best tips for getting the most out of your Disneyland vacation!
1. Water, Water!
“You gotta drink WAY more water than you think.” Take Doc McStuffin’s advice and STAY hydrated. Bottled water in Disneyland is expensive, and if you drink as much as I do, it will cost you a small fortune. Plan ahead and bring lots of large water bottles with you.
Consider freezing a bottle or two the night before for cold water to last you through the day. And if you stay at Suite Escapes, there is a full kitchen with a freezer! Be sure to take note on all the restrooms in the park too, you will need them!
2. Happy Feet = Happy Mom
Wearing good shoes is the key to a great day. But I also want my shoes to be somewhat fashionable…sigh. Not to mention that if it’s hot out, the LAST thing I want to wear when I’m pregnant is a pair of socks and shoes that will heat me up even more. I typically wear a really good sandal with a supportive sole on a warm or hot day, and a pair of comfortable flats or tennis shoes on a colder day. Whether you wear your best tennis shoes or a comfortable alternative, bring a comfortable pair of flip flops or sandals along too, it will be a relief to switch shoes part way through the day and let your feet cool off a bit. Whatever you choose to wear, always bring a back up, just in case!
3. Stay Cool
With all of the asphalt and crowds of people in one location, it always feels at least 10 degrees warmer than the weather forecast, and pregnancy can make it feel even worse. Dress in layers and take advantage of all the indoor attractions for a break to cool off. If you have a baby’s diaper to change, use the air-conditioned Baby Center.
My favorite spots to cool off: (Disneyland) Tiki Room with a Dole Whip, Pirates of the Carribean, Buzz Light Year Astro Blasters, Haunted Mansion, “it’s a small world”, The Golden Saloon – for an ice cream or corn dog and a Western Comedy, and the Tomorrow Land Expo (formerly Innoventions Center), reopening on November 16, 2015 featuring Star Wars Launch Bay and Marvels Headquarters; (DCA) The Little Mermaid, Monster’s, Inc., Soarin’ Over California (using a Fast Pass), Turtle Talk with Crush
4. Dress for Comfort
Staying comfortable will make all the difference in getting the most out of your day. Avoid fabrics that don’t breathe or tight clothing that may begin to rub or cause discomfort around your waist after a few hours. Unless it is a cold day, I find that a casual dress or a skirt is most comfortable for a long day in the park. Just remember to bring along a sweater for cooler evening weather.
5. Shows and Character Greetings
When you can’t enjoy your favorite rides, it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of all the shows, character greetings, parades and fireworks! Since many of the shows are indoors with air conditioning, it’s a win win! It’s also a great time to let someone else entertain your kids while you relax for hours (literally) and save that “perfect” bench for Paint the Night!
Some of my favorites are: (Disneyland) Mickey’s Magical Map, The Fairytales at Fantasy Faire, Paint the Night, and Disneyland Forever Fireworks; (DCA) Disney’s Aladdin (closing for good January 2016), For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Disney Junior – Live on Stage!, and World of Color
6. Master the Fast Pass AND the Rider Switch Pass
Cut down on wait times with a Fast Pass and use the Rider Switch Pass when someone has to stay back with younger kids who can’t ride. Best of all, you can take advantage of BOTH at the same time! Be sure to pick up a rider switch pass even when you use a Fast Pass.
7. Sweet Dreams
Be sure to have comfortable accommodations with a great bed to crash in after a LONG day of walking. Suite Escapes is fully stocked with all of the essentials for your vacation including the BEST mattresses, Simmons Beautysleep, that you will sink into and sleep like a baby!
8. Be Safe
Take caution on rides and follow the Disneyland guidelines on which to avoid. Even if some of the rides on the list to avoid seem safe enough, a sudden Emergency stop could put you and the baby at risk. Also, if you’re feeling unwell or are too uncomfortable to walk anymore, you can always rent a wheelchair for around $12.
Disneyland recommends avoiding the following attractions when pregnant: (Disneyland) Indiana Jones Adventure, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, Gadget’s Go Coaster, Autopia; (DCA) Grizzly River Run, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, California Screamin’, Goofy’s Sky School, Radiator Springs Racers (tear), Tuck and Roll’s Drive Em’ Buggies
9. Make Reservations
Avoid crowds and long lines and take advantage of making advanced reservations online at one of the many restaurants. You can also get reserved seating at World of Color and Fantasmic with special dining options!
My favorite restaurants to make a reservation: (Disneyland) Carnation Cafe, Cafe Orleans, Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue (closing for good in January 2016), Blue Bayou; (DCA) Ariel’s Grotto (breakfast or lunch), World of Color Dining Package
10. Relax and Take A LOT of Pictures
With everything that Disneyland and California Adventure have to offer, it takes days to do and see it all. Although its not impossible, pregnancy is probably not the best time to try to do and see everything in both parks. Plan and know ahead of time that you aren’t going to see it all and to make a point to FULLY enjoy all of the shows, attractions and food that you do end up experiencing. If you miss something, add it to your list for your next visit. My BEST advice is to take and BE IN LOTS of pictures! Looking back, I don’t have any pictures of me at Disneyland in my first or second pregnancy, and I really wish I did. Even if you don’t feel your very best, you will want those pictures in the future!