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Walt Disney World’s not just for kids! Today I’m sharing my top tips for how to plan an epic Walt Disney World Babymoon!
If you’ve been around here for a little while, you know how much the hubs and I love Disney! Last month we spent a week vacationing in Walt Disney World on a babymoon before our little girl comes this fall! This pregnancy has been quite exciting (and a little scary too), and we’ve had so much fun planning out every detail of our little one’s birth and beyond. While all of this was definitely needed, and we bonded over it too, we felt like we needed to do a babymoon and relax for a bit!Any pregnant couple can plan a babymoon if they are looking for some relaxation away from their mundane life. But, are you rejoicing at the thought of babymoon having only taken a few strip tests? Let me then remind you – these tests cannot always be reliable. You can, however, undergo an ultrasound at Bloomsburg, PA ultrasound services (or the one available in your vicinity) that could give you the most assured result as an ultrasound tends to be one of the most viable options for confirming pregnancy. Once you have the confirmation, you are all set to plan the babymoon! We, on our babymoon, had the best time, despite the insanely hot weather, and today I’m sharing with you all my tips for how to plan a Walt Disney World babymoon!
1. Clear it with your doc!
This is the first and most important step! Go straight to your physician for advice on whether or not a babymoon is the right choice for you, during which weeks they would recommend travel, and any other medical advice. I know from having some complications in our pregnancy that every pregnancy is different and it is so vital that you speak with your doctor before booking any plans so that you and your partner make the right and safe choice for you! (We even cancelled a Caribbean cruise we had planned prior to becoming pregnant because we decided against traveling out the country while pregnant and against traveling somewhere with risk for Zika. And somehow still got a full refund without traveler’s insurance. . . see #3 below though: trust me always get traveler’s insurance!).
Another important tip to discuss with your doctor is how far the nearest hospital with OB/GYN services and a labor and delivery unit (and in some cases a special care unit or NICU) needs to be. Mine recommended 20-30 minutes, but your situation may be different, so do be sure to ask your doctor about this before booking so you can scope out the hospitals in the area!
2. Pick the right time.
For general guidelines, the American College of Obstetricians and recommends that the best time to travel is between weeks 14-28 (i.e. the second trimester). Once again, however, this is a conversation to have with your doctor about which weeks in your pregnancy are safe and best for travel as every pregnancy is different.
3. Book a hotel.
If you’re cleared by your doctor and ready to book, hotel reservations are up first! We love staying on property at Walt Disney World because it just adds so much to the magic of the vacation. There are three options for “levels” of hotels on property at Walt Disney World, which vary in price:
- Value resorts are the most affordable option, and they are geared really towards families with children – especially those who love characters and lots of brightly colored theming! The quality of the rooms and amenities is the lowest of the tiers but you will save money by staying in this resort category.
- Moderate resorts are sort of in the middle between Value and Deluxe. They have some nicer theming than Value resorts and are not quite as pricey as Deluxe resorts, but the quality of the rooms is closer to Value resorts than the Deluxe resorts overall. Some of them can have table service dining options too.
- Deluxe resorts, on the other hand, are the top tier of the resorts, and they are definitely pricier! They have more elegant “adult” theming, nicer amenities, table service dining options, and an option to stay on the Club level.
Outside of those, there are also a few other options you have for lodging:
- Rent DVC points! The Disney Vacation Club (DVC) is like a timeshare for Walt Disney World properties, mainly the deluxe resorts (i.e., pricey!) on property. But I think one of the best-kept secrets is that you can rent points from timeshare owners for a fraction of what it would cost you to rent these rooms directly from Disney. But, there are some caveats (for example, DVC room rentals only receive cleaning every 4th day, except for emptying the trash, etc.), so it’s important to research if you consider this route. I suggest The DVC Rental Store if you are interested in more information!
- Book via VRBO or AirBNB. Although this won’t be quite as magical, you can save on hotel costs by staying off property. Keep in mind you will have to take into account how you will get to and from the parks and various amenities (i.e. car rental vs. Uber/Lyft/cab?), while staying on property at a Disney resort gives you direct access to the bus system, boat system, and monorail..
Lastly: get the travel insurance! You want to make sure that as much as possible you book refundable reservations (primarily for your hotel and flight), in case there are any last-minute complications or reasons your pregnancy may cause you to miss your trip. Better safe than sorry, and also better safe with a refundable trip than safe without one!
4. Book your flight!
Self explanatory… don’t forget to make it refundable!
5. Make your dining reservations!
Ahh. . . my favorite part! There is an exhaustive list of restaurants to try, but I recommend if going for your babymoon, take the time to relax and eat at table service restaurants at least some of the time! This relaxation is vital and especially if you’re going to be at Disney World during a hot time of the year. (Okay. . . really potentially any time of the year.)
The Disney Food Blog has tons of great information on restaurant reviews and more, so I won’t go into extensive detail here. But some of our favorite must-do restaurants at each park are listed here:
- Be Our Guest
- Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen (get the shumai dumplings and the “It Tastes Like Chicken Because it is Chicken”!)
- Liberty Tree Tavern
- Chefs de France (we find the lunch menu to be way better than dinner, fyi!)
- Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie (do not miss. seriously! we love breakfast here in the mornings, and it opens at the same time as Epcot does, unlike the rest of the World Showcase which opens at 11am.)
- Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room (get the scotch egg and the fish and chips!)
- Teppan Edo (for dinner and a show!)
- Via Napoli (seriously the best pizza!)
- Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery (quick service where we grab breakfast every morning at Animal Kingdom. Do not miss the cinnamon roll at this shop – it is the best one on property!)
- Sanaa (not technically at Animal Kingdom park, but it is at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village, which is just a short bus ride away. It’s nice to take a breather from the hot and crowded park for a delicious lunch. Get the bread service!)
- Satu’li Canteen (a quick service restaurant, and you can even easily order your meal from the Disney app and pick up in restaurant. So good!)
- Tiffins (this one is on the pricier side but it’s nice to splurge every once in a while – after all, that’s what vacation is for, right?)
- Hollywood Brown Derby (another somewhat splurge-y meal, but their burger is dynamite and the ambience in this place can’t be beat.)
- Sci-Fi Dine-In (my husband’s favorite place, but reservations are hard to get so grab them early! Great sandwiches, even better milkshakes, and old movies to watch from your very own drive-in movie theater!)
- Beaches and Cream (this is not at Hollywood Studios – it is located in the Beach Club hotel across from the Boardwalk. But it is a quick walk or boat ride from the park, and has delicious milkshakes as well!
- Homecomin’ by Chef Art Smith (this is always a must-do for us! Get something with fried chicken and the deviled eggs! We love this one for lunch especially.)
- Jaleo (a new restaurant with Spanish tapas-style food, table-side carved Iberico ham, and great margaritas – according to the hubs!)
- Morimoto Asia (if you love Asian food, this is the place for you! Get the Peking duck to share if you have a larger group!)
- The Boathouse (great seafood, great steaks, and some of the best bread rolls ever served complimentary at a restaurant. Pro tip: if the weather is nice, sit outside on the dock for great views of the water!)
- The Polite Pig (another lunch favorite; this is semi-quick service. You order your food and they bring it to your table. Great side dishes!)
One last insider tip is to pick up a Tables in Wonderland card to save money on your meals, especially if you plan to visit Walt Disney World more than one time within a year! This gets you 20% off food and alcohol at (a lot of!) select Disney restaurants and is totally worth it!
6. Choose your FastPasses.
The one downside to Walt Disney World as a babymoon is that some rides will be off limits to you. But there are still so many fun things to do at each park! Here is a comprehensive list of all the rides that are Disney-approved for pregnancy (of course if you have any specific restrictions or complications with your pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor about which rides are okay before you leave for your trip). This list may change as rides are revamped or new rides open, so be sure to check the recommendations at the beginning of each ride before riding. You can also ask a cast-member at the front of the ride!
Here are some of my favorite Disney-approved-as-pregnancy-safe rides:
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
- Haunted Mansion
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- Frozen Ever After
- Illuminations Fireworks (to be replaced in the fall of 2019, however, with a new show)
- Living with the Land
- Spaceship Earth
- Conservation Station (plus the new Animation Experience there!)
- Festival of the Lion King
- Maharajah Jungle Trek
- Na’vi River Journey
- Pangani Forest Exploration Trail
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Muppet Vision 3D
- Toy Story Midway Mania
7. Stay cool and hydrated in the heat!
It goes without saying, but Florida is hot, especially if your babymoon happens to fall in the summer like ours did! You also have to be careful to stay extra hydrated and rest often during pregnancy in general. And when you’re on vacation here in this magical place, you’ll want to do and see everything, but you have to make sure to listen to your body (and your doctor!) during your trip. Here are some tips we used to keep our trip extra relaxing for mommy-to-be:
- Take frequent breaks. We love to eat at the table service restaurants, and because they are all inside (with some outside seating available depending on the restaurant), this allows for a cool air-conditioned respite from the Florida summer heat. It also allows moms-to-be a chance to get off their feet for an hour or so before heading back out in the afternoon. This was key for us on our trip, especially because this is around the time my feet decided they wanted to start swelling! (Literally had to buy new shoes on the trip. . . womp womp.)
- Use cooling devices! Before we left for the trip I told my husband “there is no way I’m wearing a fan around my neck.” Then I was 27 weeks pregnant in 95 degree sunny weather and I thought otherwise! These neck fans and cooling towels are lifesavers during the summer in Florida!
- Stay out of the heat in the afternoon. This is the hottest time of the day, and also tends to be the busiest at the parks. So we like to head back to the hotel around 1-2pm after lunch and hit the pool, or we’ll head to Disney Springs or the nearby Vineland Outlet Mall (requires a cab/Uber/Lyft drive) for some air-conditioned shopping.
- Plan a relaxation day! We decided to plan one morning where we could just sleep in, relax, hit up the pool and not do anything much. Then we headed over to the parks for a lunch and a couple of rides. You could even take a whole “resort day” if you want and hit up the resort restaurant(s) for dinner! I like to plan this day about halfway through the trip. Another alternative is a spa day!
- Bring your own water bottle and refill often. Disney unfortunately doesn’t make it super easy to refill your water bottle in my opinion. The Florida water in this area needs filtration to taste good enough to drink, so we do find ourselves buying water bottles every now and then. But if you plan in advance it is possible to bring your own water bottle and refill it. I recommend avoiding the drinking fountains as they tend to be warm and not very filtered, and opt for filling up at the quick service stations. They will either have a “fill-your-own-cup” station or you can ask at the counter for a cup of ice water.
Have fun! All your hard work planning this trip is about to pay off, and then on your next trip you’ll have a little one in tow too to show all the magic and wonders of Walt Disney World to! Share with me below what your favorite tips are, or if you had your babymoon at Disney World, what was your favorite thing about the trip?
Note: While I have a medical background, I am not trained in the OBGYN speciality and therefore nothing on this post is to be taken as direct medical advice, as stated on my Disclaimer page. You should speak directly with your OBGYN regarding their recommendations for planning a babymoon, as stated above.