If you ever plan a Disney trip during a pregnancy, you might think there will be a lot of things you'll have to sit out. But luckily, that doesn't have to be the case! You can still have a great trip, even with a baby on board, by keeping the following things in mind. (And remember to keep your doctor in the loop — these hints are not a substitute for the advice of a medical professional):
1. Know your options and plan ahead.
Disney trips can be hard on anyone's legs and feet, but they can be especially rough when you're expecting. Take advantage of FastPass+ to drastically reduce your wait times, and don't be afraid to rent a wheelchair or Electronic Conveyance Vehicle (ECV) if you need one. You can rent one at any park, but if you plan to park-hop, you'll need to return the wheelchair or ECV to the park, get your deposit back, then obtain a new one at the next park. Some rides will let you remain in your wheelchair or ECV and others require a transfer to a ride vehicle. Some of the rides also have narrow queues, and a Cast Member can help you and your party access auxiliary entrances.
It will also be helpful to plan your park routes in advance so you avoid backtracking and you can make the most of your time. For example, when you enter the Magic Kingdom at opening time, you can usually avoid a lot of crowds by heading left through Adventureland instead of going right to Tomorrowland or straight to Fantasyland. Then you can see the park in a clockwise motion while many other guests will be going counter-clockwise, and this should save you some time in lines.
There are other things to consider that you might not have had to when you weren't pregnant. For example, you might want to stay in a resort on the monorail route so you can cut some walking time and get to the parks in minutes. And the sun can be uncomfortable — especially in the Magic Kingdom, where there's a serious lack of shade — so you might want to bring an umbrella to shield yourself from the hot rays.
Packing snacks is also a must, and you'll also probably want to spend some serious time at Epcot, where there's the largest variety of food available (about 40 places) to satisfy cravings and aversions.
2. Know your ride options
There are lots of rides at Walt Disney World that are easy enough for you and your baby. In fact, the list of rides that should be OK for most expectant moms is a lot longer than the list of ride restrictions. Less than 30 of the more than 100 attractions have warnings — and many of those are waterslides at Disney's Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon water parks. The relaxing Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a favorite, and it's a great way to get off your feet for 10 minutes! (Just remember that you will need to be able to make it up the moving-sidewalk-type ramp without a wheelchair or ECV to get to your ride vehicle.) And maybe you could make this trip one where you experience all those rides and shows you might normally pass up when you're not pregnant, like all of the beautiful Circle-Vision 360 films at World Showcase. A complete list of rides that have an advisory for expectant mothers is listed here.
Just keep in mind that some rides may not be suitable for all expectant moms. For example, Pirates of the Caribbean is on the "safe" list, but it does feature a small drop and acceleration. On the other hand, Kilimanjaro Safaris bears a warning, but some moms say they've had no problems with it, especially when they sat near the front of the ride vehicle and avoided most of the ride's bumps. And rides that you may have been completely fine with before your pregnancy might produce a different reaction now. Some expectant moms are fine riding Soarin', but the "flying" sensation could make others feel nauseated. (And other rides, like Ellen's Energy Adventure, may seem tame, since you're just in a slow-moving vehicle, but the attraction features items flying through the air, and that could also trigger nausea.) If you're unsure about whether or not a ride is OK for you, ask someone else in your party to experience it first. They can report back about any potential problems. And if you change your mind about a ride while you're in line, find a Cast Member and they can help steer you toward the exit.
3. Take advantage of Disney's many amenities.
Many expectant moms might not know that the Baby Care Centers available at the parks will cater to them too! The centers are fully staffed and offer a quiet place to relax and get out of the sun and into some air conditioning for a while. The spaces are completely free to use and include TVs and plenty of places to sit, and when you later bring your baby to the parks, you can use the centers' private nursing rooms with rocking chairs, changing room and feeding area with highchairs. At the Magic Kingdom, the baby center is next to the Crystal Palace; at Epcot, it's inside Future World's Odyssey Center; it's next to Guest Relations at Disney's Hollywood Studios; and at Disney's Animal Kingdom, it's behind Discovery Island's Creature Comforts store.
And as a treat after braving the parks all day, you could indulge in the services of Senses - A Disney Spa at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort. For $145, you can have a 50-minute Pregnancy Massage that features techniques that will enhance circulation after the first trimester. And while you're there, you could get a variety of facials and nail services as well.