Lost Kids at Disney World

Lost Kids at DisneyHonestly, I hate writing this post, but let’s face it: There are thousands of people at Disney on any given day, and kids do get separated from their parents. In the event that you lose your child, immediately notify the nearest Cast Member, they will be able to quickly get in contact with the Disney Security Team. To write this blog post, I interviewed a Disney Security Cast Member for her tips on preventing loosing your child.

Here’s what Disney does in the event of a lost, then found child:

1) A Disney Cast Member will stay with your child in the location that the child is found.

2) The Disney Security Team will be contacted and will meet the Cast Member wherever the child is. The Security Cast Member will look around the area that the child has been found for the parent.

3) If the parent cannot be located, the child will be taken to the Baby Care Center. The Baby Care Center Cast Members will entertain your child until you are located. (In locations where there is no Baby Care Center, lost children will be taken to First Aid.)

Tips to quickly reunite with your child in the event they are lost: 

1) Take a daily photo. Disney World Security Cast Members recommend taking a photo of your child each morning either before you arrive at the parks, or immediately upon entering. Make sure the photo shows your child from head to toe. In the event that you get separated from your child, you will be able to show Disney Cast Members a current photo, and the clothing the child is wearing. (If you change your child’s clothes, don’t forget to retake the photo.)

2) Attach identification to your child. There are several products on the market to help identify children. When choosing a product, remember that Disney Cast Members will not look inside clothing or shoes for identification. Instead, consider single use ID bracelets or shoe ID’s, to help identify your child. Alternatively, you could write their first name and your phone number on their arm in an easy to spot location or order customized safety tattoos.

3) Magic Bands. If you have received Disney’s Magic Bands as part of your trip, and your child will be wearing one all the time, consider use a Sharpie marker to write their first name and your cell phone number on the outside of the band.

4) Dress multiple children alike. If you have to keep track of several children, consider dressing them in similar clothing. It will help you keep track of them in the crowds.

5) While your toddler won’t be able to find their own help, once your child is old enough, talk to them and teach them to find anyone wearing a Disney name tag if they get lost.

What do you do to help identify your child at Disney? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Breastfeeding or Pumping at Disney World

Question: Where can you breastfeed at Disney World?
Answer: Anywhere you want.

Nursing on Your Disney VacationLegally, anywhere that you can bottle feed a baby, you can also breastfeed.

1) Baby Care Centers: Each of the Disney theme parks (not water parks) offer Baby Care Centers free of charge. These are great places to feed an infant or toddler, change diapers, and take a break. Learn more about the location of each center here.

2) Benches: There are no shortage of benches around the theme parks. Take a break and enjoy the people watching!

3) On-the-go: Consider investing in a sling, wrap, or baby carrier. It takes a little practice, but you can discretely feed your infant or toddler hands free.

4) Dark rides and shows. Chances are that most people won’t even notice what you are doing, especially if you use a blanket or nursing cover. Here’s a list of my top picks for each park, along with the length of the attraction. I chose each attraction for the gentleness of the attraction, comfort of the seats, and the popularity of the attraction.

  • Magic Kingdom 
    • Carousel of Progress (20 minutes): Plush theater seats, air conditioned, dark.
    • Hall of Presidents (22 minutes): Plush theater seats, air conditioned, dark.
    • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover (10 minutes): Nice people watching on a gentle tour of Tomorrowland. Outdoors, although the track is raised and others can’t see into the cars.
  • Epcot
    • American Adventure (28 minutes): Plush theater seats, air conditioned, dark.
    • Ellen’s Energy Adventure (45 minutes): Moving ride vehicle, air conditioned, dark.
    • Impressions de France (18 minutes): Plush theater seats, air conditioned, dark.
  • Hollywood Studios
    • Walt Disney – One Man’s Dream (15 minutes): Walk through exhibit with the end being a movie. Plush theater seats, air conditioned, dark.
  • Animal Kingdom: Animal Kingdom has the least amount of non-crowded attractions that make discreet breastfeeding easy. In a pinch, either show below will work, but there are likely to be many other people viewing the show.
    • Festival of the Lion King (30 minutes)
    • Finding Nemo – The Musical (30 minutes)

If you are using a breastpump during your Disney vacation, you don’t have to carry it around the parks all day with you. It is considered medical equipment and the first aid station will store it while you are at the park during the day. The first aid stations are located next to the Baby Care Centers at the theme parks.

Photo above was taken inside a private nursing area in the Baby Care Center at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Baby Care Centers at Disney Parks

Disney Baby Care CentersBaby Care Centers are places to change, feed, or take a break with your infant or toddler. They are located at each of Disney’s theme parks, and are free to use. All Baby Care Centers are staffed with Disney Cast Members, and dads and siblings are welcome inside. If your child is ever lost for an extended period of time, they will be taken to the Baby Care Center, and entertained until you arrive.

Baby Care Center Amenities:

-Kitchen area with oven, microwave, and sink

-Feeding area with highchairs

-Nursing area with rocking chairs

-Sitting area with small chairs, a television, and couches

-Changing area with padded changing tables

-Unisex bathrooms, often with toddler sized potties without automatic flush

-Area to purchase baby supplies such as diapers, wipes, formula, pacifiers (Note: These items are expensive.)

Baby Care Center Locations and notes:

Magic Kingdom: Located near the Crystal Palace Restaurant, a short walk from Main Street, USA. The nursing room is shared between mothers. Strollers must be parked outside.

Epcot: Located between Test Track and Mexico. The nursing room is shared between mothers. Strollers must be parked outside.

Hollywood Studios: Located near the main entrance of the park. There is no area to purchase baby supplies inside, you’ll need to visit the nearby gift shop, which carries baby products. The nursing areas are semi-private with a curtain separating mom from the main room. Strollers are welcome inside, however it is a small space.

Animal Kingdom: Located near Creature Comforts gift shop. The nursing areas are small private rooms. Strollers are welcome inside.

Photo above was taken inside the Baby Care Center at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Disney World’s Shoe Policy for Infants and Toddlers

Disney's Shoe PolicyA few months ago, at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, I was entering the queue to the Haunted Mansion with my husband, mother, and children. My youngest hadn’t quite arrived yet, my two year old was holding her grandma’s hand, and my non-walking 11 month old was being carried by her dad. We were stopped at the entrance of the queue by a Cast Member stating that we had to have shoes for our 11 month old to experience the attraction. I quickly explained we had experienced nearly every attraction at Disney with our non-walking kids not wearing shoes. When she still wouldn’t let us into the queue, I asked to speak with her leader.

A few minutes later, I was able to clarify Disney’s shoe policy: All guests who whose feet will touch the ground need to be wearing shoes at all times. This includes crawling babies who will be exploring play areas. Unfortunately, the Cast Member that stopped us made a mistake, our non-walking child did not need shoes, if they were carried the entire time. The leader quickly apologized and offered our group Fastpasses to the Haunted Mansion.

What’s the moral of this story? It is probably easier to just toss a simple pair of shoes into the bottom of your stroller or diaper bag for all children during your Disney vacation. In the long run, it’s not worth the hassle, and no one wants to waste valuable vacation time trying to straighten out misunderstandings.

Photo credit: Handpainted Disney shoes made to order by Tickled Toes on etsy.

Best Attractions at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for Infants and Toddlers

Animal Kingdom AttractionsIn Part 4 of this four part series, we end our journey at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Be sure to read Part 1, Disney’s Magic Kingdom; Part 2, Disney’s Epcot; and Part 3, Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Below, I’ve listed each attraction, as well as a few helpful hints.

 

 

Highly recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Wildlife Express Train – Strollers must be folded if you bring them on the train.
  • Exhibits and Affection Section at Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail*
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek*
  • Discovery Island Trails*
  • The Boneyard
  • TriceraTop Spin
  • Flights of Wonder
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • Character Meet and Greets
  • Street Performers
  • Parade

*These walking trails are paved and stroller friendly.

Sometimes recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris: An attraction that features a ride through the African savanna in a tram style vehicle. The ride can be quite bumpy, especially if seated in the rear rows. Most infants and toddlers do well, just hold on tight. The tour lasts about 18 minutes, and you will not be able to get off the ride until the end.
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!: This attraction is a 3D show with periods of darkness, bugs, and loud noises. It scares many toddlers, while infants do fine. You can exit the show early easily.

Never recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain: 44″ minimum height requirement
  • Kali River Rapids: 38″ minimum height requirement
  • Dinosaur: 40″ minimum height requirement
  • Primeval Whirl: 48″ minimum height requirement

Don’t forget, if there are attractions listed above that you and other members of your party would like to experience, be sure to view my post on Disney’s Rider Switch Service, in addition to many other posts on enjoying your Disney world vacation with infants and toddlers.

Best Attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for Infants and Toddlers

Hollywood Studios AttractionsIn Part 3 of our recommended attractions for children under age 3, we head to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. If you haven’t already, be sure to read Part 1, Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Part 2, Disney’s Epcot. Below, I’ve listed each attraction, as well as a few helpful hints.

 

 

Highly recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Toy Story Midway Mania
  • Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure
  • Studio Backlot Tour
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Disney Junior – Live on Stage
  • Magic of Disney Animation
  • Character Meet and Greets
  • Street Shows and Parade
  • Fantasmic!

Sometimes recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • The Great Movie Ride:  An 18 minute ride through classic movie scenes. A few scenes have scary props (aliens, the Wicked Witch, gun shots) but these sections only last a few minutes. I recommend just holding your toddler close, your infant is likely to do well. Once you board the ride, you must wait until the end to leave.
  • The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow: A walkthrough presentation with projected images. Your infant or toddler will be fine if they don’t mind pirates.
  • Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream: An attraction presenting historical Disney exhibits. If you don’t mind carrying your child, it is interesting. The attraction ends with a short movie about Walt Disney, that is easily bypassed if your child will not sit still.
  • Muppet Vision 3D: A 3D movie featuring the muppets, with a few loud noises. If you need to leave early, you can do so easily.
  • American Idol Experience: A replica of the television show. Your toddler may not want to stay in their seat. If you do need to leave early, exiting through the rear of the theater is easy.
  • Indiana Jones Stunt Show: A stage show with bleacher seats. If you can get your toddler to stay still, it is a great show with lots of action. Exiting the show early is not difficult if you need to leave. Infants should have no problems with the show.
  • Lights, Motor, Action! Stunt Show: Another stage show with bleacher seats. Again, if your toddler will sit through it, it is action packed. Exiting at the rear of the theater is easy. Infants should have no problems with the show.

Never recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue: 40″ minimum height requirement
  • Rock ‘n Roller Coaster: 48″ minimum height requirement
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: 40″ minimum height requirement

If there are attractions listed above that you and other members of your party would like to experience, be sure to view my post on Disney’s Rider Switch Service. To wrap this series up, continue reading with our last stop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Best Attractions at Disney’s Epcot for Infants and Toddlers

Epcot AttractionsIn Part 2 of our recommended attractions for children under age 3, we journey to Disney’s Epcot. Don’t forget to read Part 1: Best Attractions at Disney’s Magic Kingdom for Kids Under Age 3. Below, I’ve listed each attraction, as well as a few helpful hints.

 

 

 

Highly recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Living with the Land
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  • Character Meet and Greets
  • Street performers in the World Showcase
  • Illuminations

Sometimes recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Ellen’s Energy Adventure: This attraction is a moving show with dark periods and dinosaurs, lasting 45 minutes. Once you board the attraction, you cannot get off until the end of the attraction. It is a great place to get out of the heat or rain.
  • Maelstrom: A boat ride through a mythical Norweigan land. There is a moderate drop in the middle of the attraction, similar to Pirates of the Caribbean, and periods of darkness. Closed.
  • The American Adventure: A stage show featuring animatronic figures depicting parts of America’s history. The show lasts 30 minutes, and is another favorite to escape the heat or rain.
  • Innoventions East and West: Two attractions featuring several interactive exhibits. While the exhibits themselves may not hold the attention of a toddler at all, Innoventions is often not crowded and is a great place to allow young children some time to walk around rather than be confined in a stroller.
  • The Circle of Life, O Canada!, Impressions de France, and Reflections of China: These attractions are all movie presentations. While they may not hold the attention of a toddler long, your infant may appreciate the break from the weather, or constant noise.

Never recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Test Track: 40″ minimum height requirement
  • Soarin’: 40″ minimum height requirement
  • Mission: SPACE: 44″ minimum height requirement
  • Captain EO: There is no height requirement for this attraction, however it is dark and extremely loud. If your young child is weary of noises, I’d recommend skipping this 3D show with an enhanced theater.

If there are attractions listed above that you and other members of your party would like to experience, be sure to view my post on Disney’s Rider Switch Service. Next time, we are heading to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Best Attractions at Disney’s Magic Kingdom for Infants and Toddlers

Magic Kingdom AttractionsAs you are planning your trip to Walt Disney World, you may be surprised to learn that your child under age 3 can experience many of Disney’s famous attractions. In this 4 part series, I’ll cover each park with recommended attractions. Below, I’ve listed each attraction, as well as a few helpful hints. Let’s start our journey at the Magic Kingdom.

Highly recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • It’s a Small World
  • Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Prince Charming Regal Carousel
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Walt Disney World Railroad: Strollers must be emptied and folded on the train.
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Character Meet and Greets
  • Street Parties and Parades
  • Wishes

Sometimes recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Mad Tea Party: This attraction features tea cups that spin quickly. You do have some control over the speed of spinning in your individual cup, although the cups move along on a spinning track. If taking your infant, hold on tight!
  • The Hall of Presidents: A stage style show with animatronic figures presenting presidential history. This attraction may not hold the attention of a toddler long, but it is a great place to get away from the heat or rain. If your child gets unruly, it is easy to leave during the show.
  • Haunted Mansion: A ride through a haunted mansion. Nothing in the actual ride is too scary, however the entrance of the ride features a short presentation with total darkness and loud noises. After boarding the ride, if your child gets spooked, you have to wait until the end of the attraction to exit.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: A boat ride through a land of pirates. Has a few loud parts. If your child gets scared, you have to wait until the end of the attraction to exit.
  • Carousel of Progress: A moving stage show with animatronic figures presenting human progress through the decades. Toddlers may not want to stay in their seats, but it is another great place to get away from the heat or rain. If you need to leave during the show, you can let the cast member know, they can help you exit.
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic: A 3D show that has a few loud parts. If your child gets upset, it is easy to leave during the show.
  • Swiss Family Treehouse: A walking tour of the Robinson’s home. Strollers are not allowed, and you’ll need to climb 116 steps during the attraction.
  • Casey Junior Splash ‘n Soak Station: A great water play area, but be sure to have a change of clothes for your child.
  • Tom Sawyer Island: An island attraction themed after Mark Twain’s writings. This is a non-stroller friendly attraction. If you don’t mind carrying your children, you’ll need to navigate bridges, stairs, and uneven terrain.

Never recommended attractions for children under age 3:

  • Splash Mountain: 40″ minimum height requirement
  • Space Mountain: 44″ minimum height requirement
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 40″ minimum height requirement
  • Stitch’s Great Escape: 40″ minimum height requirement
  • The Barnstormer: 35″ minimum height requirement
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: 38″ minimum height requirement
  • Tomorrowland Speedway: 32″ minimum height requirement

If there are attractions listed above that you and other members of your party would like to experience, be sure to view my post on Disney’s Rider Switch Service. Continue reading as we head to the Best Attractions at Disney’s Epcot for Kids Under Age 3.

Strollers at Disney: Rent or Not?

Renting a stroller at Disney WorldWhen heading to Disney’s theme parks with a child under the age of 3, a stroller is a necessity. The stroller that you use at home will usually work for your vacation as long as it has 1) A sunshade to keep your child covered, 2) Storage to hold your diaper bag and other necessities, and 3) it reclines for easy naps.

If you don’t use a stroller at home, or don’t want to haul it to Florida, consider renting a stroller. Several local companies offer strollers for rent, and will deliver and pick up from most hotels and resorts free of charge. All of the rental companies offer the Baby Jogger City Mini Series strollers in singles or doubles, which seem to be the most popular models in the parks. In the list below, I’ve noted the additional stroller models that these companies offer. Pricing, accessories, and pick up and delivery times vary per company.

Baby Wheels Orlando: Also carries Britax strollers, and BOB Motion strollers

Kingdom Strollers: Also carries Baby Jogger City Elite and Summit strollers, BOB strollers, and special needs strollers

Simple Stroller Rental: Also carries BOB strollers, and Joovy Double and Triple Sit ‘n Stand strollers

Orlando Stroller Rentals: Also carries Baby Jogger City Elite and Summit strollers, and special needs strollers

Apple Stroller and Magic Strollers: No additional strollers offered.

Lastly, you can rent a stroller at any of the Disney theme parks (they are not available at the water parks) or Downtown Disney. Disney rental strollers are basic molded plastic with a sun canopy, and can only be used within the theme parks. They aren’t designed for infants or toddlers and I don’t recommend them for kids under age 3. However, Disney stroller rentals retail for $15 per day for a single stroller and $31 per day for a double stroller. A discount is given if you rent for a number of days at a time and prepay the cost.

Disney Rental Strollers

Be sure to read on for more stroller tips. If you do decide to rent, Simple Stroller Rental has provided Disney Under 3 readers with a 10% discount code: disneyunder3.

Rider Switch Service (Baby Swap) with children under age 3 at Disney

Rider Switch ServiceYou’ve arrived in the theme parks and you get to an attraction that your child cannot ride, because they do not meet the height requirement. Thanks to Disney’s Rider Switch Service, also referred to as Baby Swap, all other members in your party can still experience the attraction. Here’s how it works:

1) Arrive at the attraction and find the Disney Cast Member near the entrance of the queue. Tell them that you would like to participate in a Rider Switch.

2) The Cast Member will then ask who is riding first and give the remaining members a pass, similar to a Fastpass.

3) The first riders get into the line and experience the attraction, while the other party members wait outside. (This is a great time to have a snack, walk around with the stroller, or change diapers!)

4) When the first riders return, the second group of riders waits outside with the child that doesn’t meet the height requirement, while the second set of riders experiences the attraction, with only a short wait in the Fastpass queue.

An example: Dad, Mom, 6 year old, and 2 year old arrive at the Tower of Terror. They obtain a Rider Switch Pass from the Cast Member at the entrance of the queue. Dad takes the 6 year old on the attraction while mom browses the gift shop with the two year old. Dad and the 6 year old return from the attraction. Now, Mom is able to use the Rider Switch Service and enter Tower of Terror’s Fastpass queue. She doesn’t want to ride alone, so she brings the 6 year old, who gets to ride twice! Dad now walks around with the 2 year old.

Rider Switch Service is available at these attractions:

Magic Kingdom

  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Stitch’s Great Escape
  • The Barnstormer
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Hollywood Studios

  • Rock ‘n Rollercoaster
  • Star Tours
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Epcot

  • Mission: Space
  • Soarin’
  • Test Track

Animal Kingdom

  • Dinosaur
  • Expedition Everest
  • Kali River Rapids
  • Primeval Whirl