In my last post, August Babymoon in Disney: Part 1, I gave several tips on what helped our family have an awesome vacation in Disney, even while 31 weeks pregnant in the hottest part of the summer. In this post, I'll go a little further in depth and give some examples of what I did to make the most of the trip and really, truly enjoy myself. I'll also share some of our family's favorite things about Disney's Beach Club Resort, our favorite spots in the park, and a few more general tips.
As I mentioned before, I had some doubts and concerns about our trip. I made sure to bring them up to my midwife at my 24 week appointment. My concerns mostly stemmed from having preeclampsia in my first pregnancy and gestational hypertension in my second pregnancy. Swelling was a big issue in both pregnancies and I wondered how much I should take on in this 3rd pregnancy. She assured me that everything looked fine, I was strong and healthy. I had been really watching my diet and was on no medications besides my prenatal vitamins and a few supplements. Much of midwifery care centers around being an active participant in your own health. So, I had been walking about 5 miles daily with the children in parks, the zoo, and botanical gardens. She advised me to keep it up and told me to expect swelling. Mild was okay, severe was not. So, she told me to go, have a great time, and to stop often on the way down there (9-10 hour drive) to walk around and stretch my legs. And to watch what I ate while down there! My advice to you, if you are pregnant and considering a trip, talk it over with your care provider. Go in there with realistic expectations and devise a plan that will work for you. Mine was to listen closely to my body, stay hydrated, stay away from salt, and to go swimming when I could.
One of the great things about staying on Disney property is the convenience. Staying on the property allows you to easily hop a bus, boat, or the monorail back to your resort. We figured that if we got too hot or the kids got too tired or if I needed a break, we would just hop a bus back to the resort and take a dip in the pool- then head back to the park for the evening. I made it all the way til our last park day at Hollywood Studios until I decided I needed a midday break. Now, looking back, it's one of my sweetest memories from our babymoon. I decided to take our youngest at the time (4) back to the room with me around 5:30 pm. He loved the pool at Stormalong Bay at the Beach & Yacht Club. His favorite was the pirate ship slide that had a kiddie area in the back and a small slide-perfect for him. I could literally sit up to my chin in the water and watch him play while I relished in the sweet weightlessness of the pool. We swam for a while, grabbed some dinner at the resort's quick service restaurant (side note: they make this salad in a bag there at the Beach Club marketplace/quick service and it is the bomb diggity), and headed back up to the room where we ate our dinner in bed and watched a movie. It began to rain as we were planning on catching Fantasmic and we were really tired anyways, so we stayed in bed and watched fireworks over Disney from our hotel window. It was absolute perfection and I loved spending the one on one time with him.
*another side note about Disney's Beach Club Resort is that it is a 15 minute walk to the back gate at Epcot. It's really secluded and no lines! Or, we took the boat because it was another "fun" ride for the kids!
One of the things that I also think really helped was taking frequent breaks in the park. I touched a little on this in my last Babymoon blog. Here's how that worked. I didn't need to stop my family from their day to take a break (which is what I was afraid of); instead, when they rode rides that I didn't ride, I would go take a break somewhere. Here's a few specific examples: In Hollywood Studios, I didn't feel comfortable riding the Star Tours ride (one of my favorites!). So, I went on over to the Oasis Canteen for one of their famous funnel cakes (snack credit on the dining plan and big enough for 3 or more to share)! I indulged. Just a little. Ha! Or, when I couldn't ride Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom- I waited in the gift shop/ride exit for my family. They have a seating area to the right of the ride exit with multiple wall outlets. I plugged in my phone and charged my camera battery with my feet up (in the AC!) while I waited. They were out in no time since we had fast passes, but it was a welcomed break. I felt recharged! (see what I did there? ya know, because I was charging things? ha. ha.) Another option is the People Mover- love that ride! In Epcot, we watched street performances. Turtle Talk with Crush was incredibly welcome for this preggo mama and SO cute for the kids. In Magic Kingdom, they wanted to explore the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse and I helped myself to a Dole Whip while I waited for them. So, there's lots of things you can do to catch little breaks that don't involve disrupting everyone's day (but no one would blame you ONE bit if you stopped and said you needed a break right then, I promise. You're growing a human inside of you!!)
If you are worried about what you CAN and CAN'T ride at the park, that would be the least of my worries. Walt Disney and the Imagineers have really and truly got all of their bases covered. This is a well thought out, well designed machine after all. First off, lets just go ahead and throw it out there that even if you couldn't ride a single ride at WDW, there's still ridiculous amounts to do and see. Parades, shows, character meet and greets, photo ops, shops, snacks, and tours galore. This was the least of my worries. The only things I didn't ride that my family did were:
Magic Kingdom- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, The Barnstormer, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain (it was closed while we were there anyways), Tomorrowland Speedway (only because I thought I might get stuck!)
Epcot- Mission Space, Test Track
Hollywood Studios- Star Tours, Tower of Terror, Rock n Roller Coaster
Animal Kingdom- Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, Primeval Whirl, Flight of Passage (side note: some people say not to ride the Kilimanjaro Safari or Kali River Rapids. I did ride them, but you do so at your own discretion. This is in no way, shape, form, or fashion intended for medical advice. Please seek the guidance of your care provider and always have an emergency plan in place in case you need one on any vacation you go on while pregnant, not just to Disney.)
I do not feel at all like I missed out on anything! If you are up for it and your care provider (Dr./midwife) says it's okay, then have fun!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask away and let me know if you are planning on going! I'd love to hear about your trip! Check out my other blog with tips on taking pictures at Disney!
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.