WDW with a 10 month old - Sanity Check

Hi All, I have a tentative trip planned for the last week of September when my son will be a little over 10 months old. I have heard all of the nay-sayers on babies at Disney World but still want to go! My husband and I are pretty seasoned Disney fans and have been a number of times pre-baby and know we will be back many more times with (or maybe even without!) the baby. We understand that the trip would be mostly for us, but I know that he could have a good time too!

I have read lots of “babies at Disney World” articles and blog posts, so while any advice is appreciated, I’m looking to see if people can provide some honest experience with infants/toddlers in the parks in terms of expectations and if they would really recommend it. He will definitely be crawling by September but probably not walking yet. I do have some concerns about the heat since he is a winter baby from New England but I think we can mitigate that with a stroller fan and some washcloths.

We are also always rental car people and will probably bring our own stroller down. I am currently booked at POFQ on a PIN but we can also rent points to stay at Saratoga Springs for almost the exact same price. I am leaning towards doing that if we actually book plane tickets. We also have a cousin who is coming with us so there will be 3 adults most of the time.

For general plans I was thinking of planning to catch a lot of shows, parades, etc. We love the Main Street orchestra! Also, taking the baby on Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh and the like. As long as Mom gets one ride on Splash Mountain I will be fine skipping the big-kid rides. It will also be F&W so we were thinking that it might be nice to wander around World Showcase with the stroller and let the baby explore a little.

Please feel free to pop my bubble if you think I’m crazy! Worst case scenario we wait a year and go then! Thanks in advance for any words of advice.

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You won’t see me popping your bubble! I’ll go to WDW any way I can. My DH and I never took the boys until they were at least 3.5 years old, but that was because we had my parents to leave them with back home. We were just too lazy to deal with packing diapers and baby food. You will have a great time!

I don’t think you’re crazy. I took my youngest to Disney for the first time at about 15 months (which is a bit older than your baby, I realize). The hardest part for us was dealing with nap time. She (still) does not do well without her nap. Fortunately, she is a good napper and will sleep nearly anywhere — in her stroller, on a bench in the Mexico pavilion, in the Hall of Presidents, you name it. So that’s the thing I think you should consider. Food is pretty easy to carry in with you, but if your kid doesn’t do well with a lot of stimulation or you will have a hard time arranging adequate rest, then maybe hold off another year. There are plenty of fun things for baby and baby and parents to do at Disney World, and even if she won’t remember, you certainly will. I have some really precious memories of things my children saw/reacted to/participated in that they don’t remember at all (as most of us do). You seem aware of the nature of taking a kid to DW, so I say go for it.

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My youngest was not quite 2, when we first took her. I realize that’s a little older than yours, but some of this should pertain. We definitely needed a mid-day break every day, and honestly, it was almost as much for the parents as it was for her to nap.

My second piece of advice, may be just a preference, so take it with a grain of salt. We brought both a stroller and a backpack-type carrier (think Ergo, but as a backpack) and we loved the carrier so much, we never used the stroller. It was SO much more convenient trying to get through throngs of people without having to push a stroller. I never had to worry about her running off, unless I let her down and knew it was OK.
In fact, I even had someone behind me, on an escalator, thank me for not bringing a stroller! And, as she said it, the people in front of us, with a stroller, got STUCK getting off. It was almost a huge pileup. We went in October, so it WAS warm, carrying her all the time… but at least it wasn’t July! I think the cool wash-cloth idea is great.

It was so fun to see her exploring and enjoying the world. We rode all the kiddie rides, and did a bit of rider-swap, which worked out fantastically for my older son.

Two Septembers ago I traveled with my sister, her husband, and their nine-month old son and everyone had a great time. The biggest adjustment from our previous trips together was slowing down and returning to the resort earlier. I stayed out later some nights, but my sister tried to keep the same (lack of) sleep schedule as at home. That worked reasonably well, except were were staying at BLT and the fireworks were a little loud for my nephew’s liking on that first trip.

Your plans sounds good. We all went on the kid-friendly rides and child-swap worked great when we needed it. My sister took a few breaks during the day at the childcare centers (get to know where they are in advance) and we took afternoon breaks during naptime each day. The heat in September wasn’t any worse than what we experienced at home during the summer, but my sister did make sure to keep her son out of it as best she could (and, with the stroller, there was always a shady spot).

As for Food & Wine, we did that last fall, with my nephew being a year older (still in the stroller often, but also toddling around at times). Daytime is a lot easier to deal with, because it’s not as crowded and a lot easier to find a spot to sit. I don’t mind eating on top of a trashcan if it’s just me or other adults, but with the little guy (who spent a good deal of time napping in the stroller) we often found a shady spot, then one or two adults would run off to different kiosks and bring back food and beverages for the group.

Oh, you also mentioned a rental car. We had a car both times I traveled with my sister and her child and had no problems. Strollers on the monorail are easy to deal with, since you just roll on, but less so with buses and some boats (the larger launches and ferries are roll on, but the smaller launches require removing the child and folding up the stroller). By the end of the trip everyone was pretty quick at getting my nephew situated and I even learned how to fold up the stroller!

We took our kids there around that age. A few pieces of advise
1 - Be flexible
2 - Be flexible
3 - Be flexible
We had a lot of fun with our kids when they were that age - but touring WDW was completely different. A stroller is a must (brought our own). And we realized that our fun and his fun were much different. I wanted to go on Space Moutain - he wanted to watch the duckies - so what did we do - we watched duckies while a little piece of me died inside. So once I got on board that we needed to change how we did things - we were cool. We did baby swap and all that. We sometimes stayed out late - sometimes went back early. Sometimes I went out by myself - sometimes my wife did. It all worked out and we had a lot of fun. But you just need to go with the flow and any bit of planning goes out the window.


no worries at all…you’ll be fine. We took our barely 1 year old twins there had had a ton of fun. Just a little up front planning (strollers and such)… other than that all you need to do is get ready to have fun ! Your kid will let you know when its time to leave the park…but actually we just let them nap in their strollers right in the park while we did some shopping, had a snack…so thats another option that worked for us.

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I took my littlest at 12 months. He was much easier at that age than at 2.5! He was content in the stroller for naps and enjoyed things like Peter Pan and Small World. We never even took mid-day breaks - he just napped in the stroller. He was my second so I was a little more relaxed.

The only trouble we had was that he was terrified of fireworks.

It will be fun! You might go a little slower than as two adults, but it is worth it. It is easier to plan when you take the E-ticket rides off the table. However, with fast pass and child swap those are easy to do as well.

I actually think my upcoming trip with DS7 and DS3 will be harder than when they were younger. Take advantage of not paying for a ticket while you can.

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I think my biggest concern would be the germs lol. I get sick EVERY single time we go because it’s a cesspool of germs because of all the people there. I mean I don’t get the plague or anything but without fail by the time we get home I’ve got a sore throat and a host of other symptoms.

I found my kids were easier to take places as babies than they were as toddlers. Can your baby nap anywhere or are they fussy sleepers. If the later then make sure your plans are very flexible.

HA - the American public is rather disgusting

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our kids slept in the stroller. Also anytime we would just SIT they would konk out!! A ride on the TTC usually took care of them.

I know a lot of people that cringe at the thought of taking a small child there. We were lucky our kids were “go with the flow” kind of kids - but I think part of that was that we exposed them to things like this. They have flown countless times, have been all over the place and they are really flexible. My wife is great as she can pick up on “early melt down” symptoms. So they are tired - we take a break, they are hungry - we get something. They want to just watch the water - we just watch the water for a bit. If you play off their cues so they stay happier - everything is good.

Friends of mine took their 4 month old with them and their older children and it was fine as long as they allowed for some breaks. I think you have a good plan of an easygoing approach, and as long as you’re ok skipping some of the bigger rides, I’m sure you’ll have a great time!

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I think you’ll have a great time with your baby and get tons of amazing pictures of his first Disney trip. I went with a 14 month old and it was great. It’s just a slower pace. Some things will be easier than you expect and some will be harder. He’ll keep surprising you :slight_smile:

Disney is easier than a lot of places with a baby because there is so much the baby can actually go on with you. We used our bjorn for a lot of rides and felt a lot safer that way. I also breastfed on a ton of longer rides and shows. You can totally make FP and baby swap work for you and go on the bigger rides while the other person walks the baby around in the stroller. This should work especially well at naptime. and only one of you needs the FP because the other can use the baby swap, so you can get FPs for twice as much!

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When our son was 10 months, DH & I went to Orlando for USO but did decided to do 1 day at MK instead of a 4th day in USO. For us it was much easier to say we were leaving him because the trip was for USO, but I remember very well feeling guilty we didn’t have him with us at Disney and seeing every single little baby.

On the whole most of them that I noticed were crying (but that could totally have been my subconscious trying to rationalize how miserable he might have been had we brought him).

It ended up being a perfect trip for DH & I to get away and be together just before getting pregnant with baby number 2 and I have no regrets on it whatsoever.

Fast forward to another kid and a 13 mo. later. My husband’s family was taking all their kids (ages 4-13) to DLR and we were going to be sitting out at home because we had a 23 mo. old and 3 mo. old. Last minute, we decided to throw caution to the wind and go even though the kids were small. This decision was in part motivated by the fact that they had also gone when I was 38 weeks pregnant with baby #1 so I had already spent one trip at home while they all had fun at one of my favorite places in the world.

After that trip, which was a completely different way than I had ever seen or done Disney and was better than what I had ever imagined it would be, I was converted. Take the baby.

Everyone’s advice has been great to help make it wonderful for you too so I ditto all the above especially about midday breaks and utilizing the baby care center.

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Pop your bubble :slight_smile: NO WAY :slight_smile: We have gone with kids of all ages :slight_smile: At one time we had a 3 month old and a 1 year old :slight_smile: Comfy clothes is key! Stroller a must :slight_smile: Parent Swap is AWESOME :slight_smile: Mid afternoon naps are nice but not always gotten so when we couldn’t do that we headed for cool places like the Hall of Presidents where we could sit and cool off :slight_smile: My one year old was a little frightened of the characters but we still got some really cute pics :slight_smile: My kids are now 14, 11, and 8 (she wasn’t even thought of at the time) :slight_smile: The 3 month old was my sister in laws son and he is now 10 :slight_smile: We all survived and you will too :slight_smile: Just remember to slow down and enjoy it :slight_smile: Do what you can and leave the rest for another time :slight_smile:

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I finally got a chance to read through all of these replies and I just wanted to say thank you! I will admit that these are the types of experiences that I was really hoping to hear about. I appreciate everyone inflating my bubble! :slight_smile: The Disney bubble is amazing.

I will most definitely plan to be flexible. We’ve been 5-6 times now and haven’t seen everything so I’m sure we won’t be doing everything this time. The baby is a pretty good stroller napper so I think that naps in the carriage and calling it an early night will work out for us. I will probably try and get a reservation at Saratoga Springs so that we can have a balcony to enjoy the early nights on. I appreciate the advice on the baby care centers and the carriers. We have an Ergo that gets a lot of use so I might just try and do as much as we can with just that.

I took my 9-month old daughter when my other two kids were 4 and 7. I really thought the trip would be more about my older two older kids… was I wrong. My 9-month old loved the characters, we did several character meals and she loved it.

Two tips:

  1. Stroller that reclines, that way you can keep moving during naps.
  2. With three adults, don’t be so quick to give up the “big kids” ride. Use rider switch, that way one person can ride twice with little wait! :slight_smile: The rider switch was perfect for our family, the older kids got to ride a few of the attractions twice while my wife and I switched out.

we were the same way (only 2 kids). We changed the pace a bit - and sometimes we just “hung” and watched - but we still did all the big kid rides etc - we just had the stroller recline and it was cool