I nursed both my children, the first for almost two years back in 1999 and the second for a little over two years in 2010. It’s amazing the difference a decade made in the public acceptance of breastfeeding, but I still never really felt comfortable nursing in public. Of course, that didn’t stop me from taking both boys to Walt Disney World while they were babies, so I learned how accommodating Disney is to breastfeeding families.
The most important thing to know is that each of the four theme parks has a Baby Care Center which is equipped to help out with diaper changes (I always preferred to change diapers there because it seemed much cleaner than the restrooms!) and quiet, dimly lit rooms with rocking chairs for nursing. The Baby Care Centers are located next door to the First Aid Centers, so locate them on the maps when you arrive and you’ll be prepared!
They are also able to provide an area for moms to pump with an electric outlet, although they cannot store pumped milk. If that’s your situation, a soft sided cooler with ice packs can be stashed under your stroller, or you can rent a locker at the front of the park to store your cooler.
Although I always chose to nurse in the Baby Care Centers (dark, quiet and cool!), I really admire those moms who are perfectly comfortable nursing in more public areas. And there are so many places that are conducive to a little peace and quiet. Some Disney friends shared the following places that they found to be perfect for feeding their little ones:
- Spaceship Earth
- Ellen’s Energy Adventure (wow that ride almost put me to sleep last time!)
- The Tea Gardens in England
- A bench in Innoventions is usually pretty quiet and climate controlled
- The jumping water by Journey into Imagination with Figment is peaceful and not very crowded.
- The Hall of Presidents
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
- The playground inside Dumbo (climate controlled!)
- The Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
- Tom Sawyer Island has a lot of relaxing rocking chairs and places to relax stashed around the island
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- The Great Movie Ride
- Muppet Vision 3D gives you 25 minutes sitting down in the AC!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- The Boneyard play area (several picnic tables and benches with shade)
- Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek both have benches tucked away along the path
Some other tips for nursing moms visiting Walt Disney World Resort:
- Especially in the warmer months (March through October!), make sure to stay hydrated! Quick service restaurants will give free cups of ice water that taste 100x better than the water from the water fountains.
- Accept that your little ones will be more distracted than normal and may need to nurse more frequently for shorter than normal sessions (also extra important if it’s hot out!).
- Dress for convenience with a nursing tank if possible.
- I always found it extra beneficial for everyone’s happiness to stay on site and to go back to the room in the middle of the day for a long nap. Honestly, even when Eli gives up napping we’ll probably continue that pattern because it lets us relax and recharge during the hours that the parks are hottest and most crowded.
- You may want to note the smoking areas on the maps so you don’t settle down to nurse in a quiet area to realize it’s right next door to a bunch of smokers puffing away!
And most of these tips are just as useful for parents who bottle feed as well. All babies like to eat in a quiet, dim and comfortable place!
Big thanks to my fellow Disney enthusiasts who gave me their tips to share and special thanks for the photos to Kate Melody who you can follow on Twitter @dizkrazkate!
What was your experience nursing at Walt Disney World Resort? Did I miss any great locations for a quiet nursing spot?