Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Pregnant at Disney World

This past weekend my wife and I announced that we're having our first baby this winter (due right around New Years). Just a week before the announcement we were in Magic Kingdom, finishing up a week at Walt Disney World with my family. Being at Disney in the middle of her morning sickness made things really interesting for my wife. After all that, I asked her to be my consult for this post. Hopefully it'll help someone else with their experience being pregnant at Disney.

Plan Second Trimester
If you can help it, plan the Disney trip during your second trimester. At first when planning our trip to Disney, we just knew we couldn't fly during the third trimester. It hadn't occurred to me that traveling during the first tremester would risk a huge overlap with morning sickness and since this is our first baby, I had no idea how intense morning sickness really was. So if at all possible, plan your trip for after the morning sickness is over (even though it's not exactly predictable).

Bring Extra Snacks
Even when I went to Disneyland a few years ago with a buddy, we stocked up on snacks for the park so that we could save money, instead of buying overpriced in-park snacks every time. However, with my pregnant wife we over planned our snacks. With her morning sickness being somewhat unpredictable, we never knew which snacks would sit well and what wouldn't. Sometimes she needed something pretty plain or salty (like goldfish crackers) but sometimes she needed something naturally sweet (like an apple). As a result, we had to plan for all possibilities so that we could play trial and error for which snacks would help her feel less nauseous.

Drink Twice as Much
This is a tip I'd give anyone, especially for Disney World. When I've been to Disneyland, it was warm, but I never felt like it was nasty humid the same way that Florida is. As a result, especially coming from desert Utah, we had to drink extra water. We had Gatorade and frozen waters in my backpack each morning and we filled my blender bottle every time we saw a water fountain. Sure it'll mean many more bathroom breaks, but it's better than being dehydrated. And especially with my wife's pregnancy, sometimes the trial and error that I mentioned ended up being that she needed more water. Again, sometimes it's a snack, but sometimes it's water.

Aim for Kid Friendly Parks
To be fair, my wife and I aren't very adventurous. She's not one for roller coasters and I'm not one for falls. So Rockin Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, Splash Mountain, and several others were off our list immediately. In addition to our hesitations, I was surprised by how many rides said that expectant women shouldn't ride (like Star Tours and the Jungle Safari). So as a result there were plenty of rides that my wife couldn't ride anyway. So if you're going to Disney World (I see this as less of a problem for Disneyland), I'd recommend focusing on Magic Kingdom. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom had a lot more adult rides, in my opinion. But Magic Kingdom had lots of kid rides that were slow and easy, so that my wife wouldn't get sick.

Take Things Slow
Making a baby is exhausting! Going full speed with my siblings, my wife was worn out early on our first day. We just couldn't keep up with them. By our fifth day, rests were non-negotiable. Sometimes this meant going on an easy ride just to sit, like The Little Mermaid. Sometimes it meant finding a spot to sit down for five-ten minutes to regain some energy. Personally, I don't think it's realistic to expect yourself to jump from ride to ride as quick as you would before pregnancy.

Keep Realistic Expections
If you're going to Disney and you are (or might soon be) pregnant, make sure you have accurate expectations. You might not ride lots of rides. You might not move very fast. You might take more breaks. However, one of the things I love about Disneyland and Disney World is that you don't have to do anything to enjoy the atomosphere of Disney. Being in Disney is often enough for me. There's always fun music playing. There's always a snack stand you can enjoy. There's always something. So even if you can't ride the roller coasters or keep up with the rest of the family, there's still a lot of fun to be had.

Women who have been pregnant at Disney: What have I missed? Anything you'd recommend for someone in your situation?

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