Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Blue. Today we are discussing traveling to the Disney Parks with toddlers.
As one member of “that Disney family”, you may not find it at all surprising that we are often asked advice for taking the first family trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland. Our advice has a lineup of the usual suspects: stay on property, take naps, plan a little but be flexible, etc.
In my opinion, though, the best kept secret on Disney property isn’t the Disney Vacation Club. (You know I love our DVC membership, it’s just hardly a secret anymore ;)). No, it’s actually the Baby Care Centers.
Located in every park on both coasts, you’re never terribly far from everything you may need with little ones. The Centers have full-size changing stations (like sturdy tables with a padded top – not those flimsy plastic things). This is nice for anyone with a kid in diapers, but I anticipate it’s life-changing for (and yet still unknown by) parents of bigger kids with special needs that still necessitate diapering or assistance changing. You’ll also find toddler-sized toilets for those kids that are potty training.
Additionally, each location has nursing rooms. I never spent much time in them, but I do know they offer privacy and comfort you won’t find tucked away on a bench somewhere.
There are kitchens (microwaves and sinks included) and high chairs for all your feeding needs.
In each center is also a little “shop” for baby needs you may have forgotten (or lost). You won’t find souvenirs or even many Disney-themed items, but when you are in need of baby food, diapers, a pacifier… you NEED them. My littlest lost his pacifier in Disneyland a couple of years ago and we headed to the Baby Care Center at California Adventure, anticipating spending a nauseating amount on a necessary replacement. Instead, we paid something like $4 for a 2-pack of name brand pacis. It was honestly no more than Target prices! I love that, in this area where Disney could totally gouge parents knowing they’re in a position they may pay any amount, they simply provide a service in these Baby Care Centers.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of these centers though, is what actually is our “secret weapon”. The experience varies a bit from center to center, but each of them offers a play area. Fun Disney toys and books, cartoons, and air-conditioning await even those kids that don’t need any care. We have spent many hours in these playrooms over the years and can count on one hand the number of other people we have run into. This is truly what breathed life back into our days when the kids were overstimulated and/or needed a change of scenery. I imagine that many people won’t take advantage of these because it perhaps seems like a waste of time. To us though, taking a 10-20 minute break and leaving with a refreshed family is priceless – especially when the alternative is the 3pm (or 8pm) family meltdown.
Baby Care Center Hours and Locations:
WALT DISNEY WORLD
Magic Kingdom – between Casey’s Corner and Crystal Palace on Main Street USA (near the Adventure land bridge)
Epcot – adjacent to the Odyssey building, between Test Track and World Showcase Plaza
Hollywood Studios – inside guest relations on Hollywood Blvd, near the main entrance of the park
Animal Kingdom – left of the Tree of Life before crossing the bridge to Africa
Disneyland Park – at the end of Main Street, USA near the corn dog stand
California Adventure – adjacent to the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain
So, inquiring minds want to know…. did you know these existed? Have you ever recuperated in one? 🙂
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Traveling to Disney with Toddlers Loop:
- 1st Stop – The Delightful Life | YOU ARE HERE 🙂
- 2nd Stop – Mommy To All Girls | Toddlers & Disney: Pack a Little Patience
- 3rd Stop – Home is Where the Mouse Is | Preparing for a Toddler’s First Trip to Walt Disney World
- 4th Stop – Disney Mamas | Yes, it’s OKAY to Take Your Toddler to Disney!
- 5th Stop – Disney with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers | Tips for Traveling with Toddlers to Disney