You planned a Disney vacation and then found out you’re pregnant? Before you cancel the entire trip, be assured that Disney is a place for everyone, from babies, grandparents and yes, even expectant mothers. Our DayTrips TravelingMom recently visited Disneyland in her 35th week of pregnancy. Yes, for sure this was a much different visit for her than it has been in the past, but no less enjoyable because she heeded some important advice about what to do if you’re pregnant at Disney. Read on for these top tips on having a magical day even while pregnant at Disney.
Pregnant at Disney? Find the Best Time For Your Visit
I’ve been to Disney in all three trimesters of pregnancy and each have offered their own unique challenges.
- First trimester can be hard because you’re already tired and nauseated. Toss in 12+ hours of sidewalk-stomping and greasy snacks in the parks and you may be feeling queasy. First trimester is usually ideal though, because you aren’t carrying the extra weight you’ll have later in the pregnancy.
- Second trimester may be the best time to visit because (hopefully) nausea has passed and you aren’t yet in the too-large-and-uncomfortable stage yet.
- As long as your doctor gives the okay to travel, visiting early in the third trimester can be a fun time to visit. You might know the gender and can take a sweet photo as a memento or gender reveal for family. Just know that during a third trimester trip, you’ll likely be taking it very easy and adding in lots of rest time to feel your best.
Your vacation is no excuse to “let it go”. Be sure to pack all of your prenatal vitamins, frequently apply sunscreen and when not able to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer. Check out this Disney packing list of additional essentials that all pregnant women should bring with them into the Parks.
Even at Disney, you can find plenty of healthy dining locations that will support your pregnancy diet. I suggest avoiding heavy or greasy meals and supplement with fruit and veggies snacks that you bring in yourself.
A water bottle is a must (you can refill at the fountains or request ice water from any counter service restaurant). Snacking and keeping well-hydrated throughout the day will help you feel your best and keep up your energy.
Comfort is Key
When you’re already carrying extra pregnancy weight, making sure you’re comfortable is going to be key towards your vacation happiness. Wear comfy clothes and shoes that are already broken in. I always bring in an extra pair of shoes to change into mid-day when my feet swell.
Minimize standing by purchasing tickets ahead of your trip (TravelingMom recommends ParkSavers). Make sure you order your Disney Vacation Planning DVD and study the maps online to lessen unnecessary zig-zagging across the Parks.
Know What Rides are Safe
There are posted ride restrictions and warnings for expectant moms (search “expectant mother’s advisory” on the Disneyland website). But don’t worry that you’ll be bench-sitting for the entire trip because there are few rides that offer these restrictions. They are mostly intense thrill rides or rides that may be rough on the body. Don’t ignore the warnings however, even if you are still in your first trimester. The sharp stops and G-force pressure of certain rides aren’t worth the risk.
In some cases pregnant women are able to ride but the ride vehicles might be challenging or awkward to get in and out of. I was completely safe riding the Astro Orbitor with my son on our last visit but getting in and out of the narrow, sharply-angled rocket by myself was extremely difficult! Ask for help if you need it because it’s better to have assistance than to hurt yourself or fall.
Take a Break
Pregnancy can be very trying on your body. If you have a trip scheduled, be sure to prep your body in advance for all the extra walking and activity. Take long walks in the weeks leading up to your vacation, stretch regularly and bank plenty of sleep.
Once at the Parks, sit down as often as you can to prevent swelling in your feet and help with back pain. Take advantage of shady benches where you can rest and maybe put up your feet. Seek out air conditioned shows and attractions that allow extended sitting (like it’s a small world or The Enchanted Tiki Room). Retreat back to the hotel for a nap, a relaxing dip in the pool (but not the hot tub) or even just to take a refreshing shower in your room. We stayed at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa on our visit and it was so easy to hop back and forth from our room to the Parks mid-day so I could rest.
Cast Members Are There to Help
On our last visit my husband inquired about parade locations that could accommodate my special needs (namely some place where I didn’t have to stand for long periods of time). The Cast Members directed us to a reserved location that had a wall where I could sit and watch the show unobstructed. We never would have known that this option was available if we hadn’t asked!
If you aren’t feeling well or something just isn’t quite right, be sure to visit one of the Disney First Aid locations. They’ll be able to check you out and even give you a place to lie down.