Article written by: Rusty30
Tips For Visiting WDW Whilst Pregnant
The first thing to you will want to ascertain, is how many weeks you will be when you travel as both the airlines and insurance companies have different rules pertaining to pregnant ladies.
Most airlines will carry you up to the 34th week of pregnancy, but it is common for them to want a doctors “fit to fly” letter after 28 weeks.
Insurance companies often will cover you as part of your “standard” insurance package up to 28 weeks. After this, again you will need a fitness to fly letter from your doctor or midwife, and you may have to pay a small premium on the policy if travelling after 28 weeks.
It is best to call both your airline and insurance company well in advance to check what is required.
Most pregnant ladies find that the most comfortable weeks to travel are after week 12 (when the risk of miscarriage reduces considerably and the dreaded morning sickness tends to fade) but before weeks 28/30 when you can be too big to walk comfortably for any distance.
The second Trimester often finds you at that “blooming” stage where you can still walk around fairly easily and partake in some of the joys of Disney World!
Travelling long distances at anytime during your pregnancy should you mean you are aware of the increased risks of DVT and take measures that prevent this. Drink plenty of water on the flight – its well worth letting the cabin crew know you are pregnant, as they tend to keep you topped up with iced water and extra cushions etc! Also, you can get “flight socks” on prescription for free if you are pregnant, and they are a must on a long flight.
Get up and walk around the cabin as often as you can and perform some simple leg and foot exercises whilst sitting in your seat. It’s worth requesting an aisle seat so you can get up often (and is easier to reach the toilet quickly – very important for any pregnant lady! ).
Before you go, it maybe worth having a close look at your accommodation options. There is no doubt you will become tired much more quickly than usual, so it’s a good idea to choose a hotel that is closer to the parks, so you can grab an afternoon nap easily. The Disney Hotels are of course, perfect, but do not fit everyone’s budget, however cheaper alternatives can still be found close to the parks if you look. Try the Down Town Disney area and Lake Buena Vista, as both are very close to Disney and make ideal choices to return to quickly.
Of course, if your budget allows, this could be the time to splash out on a Disney Hotel so that you are only a short bus / boat or monorail ride to and from the parks!
Don’t forget, all hotels will provide extra pillows / blankets so you can get comfortable!
If you arrive at the parks by car, tell the parking attendant you are pregnant and they will often let you park a little closer. This does depend on the park and how busy they are, but if you feel you will struggle with a long walk at the end of the day, it’s worth pressing the point.
TIP: Bring your Maternity notes with you on holiday, and keep them close at hand. No need to cart them round the parks, but keep them in the car or visible in your hotel room, just in the unlikely case they are needed.
One of the hardest things to contend with whilst tackling the parks is the heat and humidity. It can sometimes be tough to cope with when you are perfectly fit and healthy; coping whilst being pregnant means you need to take extra care to keep yourself comfortable.
The most important tip of all is to drink plenty of water. It’s worth bringing at least a bottle or two with you (freeze one and it will stay cool for many hours…also leave a frozen bottle in the car – it will still be drinkable on your return!). Water is expensive in the parks, whereas it’s very cheap to buy in the supermarkets offsite, so invest in a bulk pack and chill it at your hotel. Even if your room doesn’t have a fridge, all hotels have ice makers and buckets where you can chill a few bottles ready for the next day.
Drinking more water obviously means more trips to the ladies loo’s, so make sure you pick up a park map when you enter and you will be able to find the nearest restrooms quickly when you need them!
A great asset to have is one of the “misting spray” devices. These are available to buy very cheaply in the supermarkets for around $5 (though they are also sold in the parks for much more than this!) and they consist of a canister which you fill with water and a battery operated fan attached to the top. You pull a trigger and you are wafted by a cooling mist of water which is heaven on a hot day! It’s also great for hot, tired feet as well.
You could also bring from home, a can of “Magi-cool” cooling spray, as this is great for cooling your car when you return and for giving you a quick burst of cool when needed. At nearly £5 a can, the misting sprays that use water are a better deal, but the Magi-cool is also quite soothing on hot skin, so maybe worth taking one can with you.
Take plenty of breaks and remember that every shop, restaurant and restroom will be air conditioned, so it is never to hard to find some respite from the sun. Whilst others in your party partake a ride that is “unsuitable for pregnant women”, find yourself a bench in the shade and relax with an ice cream or cool drink.
You can buy chilled fruit, “Dole Whips” (a delicious fat free ice cream), slushy drinks and cool fruit smoothies from several vendors throughout all the parks. All of these will help cool you down and beat the heat.
Even though a lot of the “big rides” obviously have limits for pregnant ladies, there is still an awful lot you can do. Magic kingdom especially has a lot more gentle attractions and you should be able to quite a bit here. Each ride will have its “restrictions” clearly marked at the entrance and the park maps have symbols which represent their suitability.
It is common for pregnant ladies to query some of the rides that they are advised not ride, as some seem to be fairly gentle attractions. Disney obviously has your safety as a top concern, so think VERY carefully about riding anything that advises you not to. The warnings are there for a reason. Remember, your insurance (and the park insurance) will not cover you if you choose to ride an attraction that stipulates it is not suitable for your condition.
Here is a list of attractions that Disney World advise expectant mothers not to ride:
Mad Tea Party
Tower of terror
Rock N roller Coaster
Kali River Rapids
NO water park slides
You may find it hard to put in a full day at the parks. Ideally, return to your hotel in the hot afternoons and enjoy a cool swim and take a nap. The parks are easier to do in the evenings, and many have late night openings (depending on season) so you can take advantage of the cooler nights.
If you are in the later stages of your pregnancy, it maybe worth considering wearing a “Maternity Support Belt” as your back can suffer when you are on your feet for long periods of time. This is just a stretchy piece of adjustable elastic that fits under your bump and round your back but gives quite a bit of support. They are around £10 and are available from most suppliers of maternity wear.
All the parks have excellent First Aid facilities. In the unlikely event you need one, simply ask any Cast Member in the park and you will be given directions.
Remember, to get the most out of your holiday, don’t try to push yourself too hard. Have a flexible plan and factor in plenty of rest stops and time outs. If you intend to have a busy park day, then make the following day gentler, by planning a shopping trip, or just staying at your hotel and chilling by the pool. Water parks can be a nice option after a busy park day, but remember, expectant mothers are advised not to ride any slides or tubes.
Some other “gentle” attractions you can enjoy are Mini golf (several courses at Disney World itself and many offsite), boat trips (hire craft from several resorts or Down Town Disney), Carriage rides (from Fort Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge), Surrey Bikes (various rental locations around WDW), Fireworks Cruises to see Wishes or Illuminations (need to be booked at 90 days out by calling 001-407-939-7529) plus of course all the parades and shows in the parks themselves.
With a little planning, plenty of rest time and flexibility throughout your holiday, you will have a fantastic time at Walt Disney World! Make the most of some of the fine dining available, as if it’s your first, maybe next time you will be visiting with your baby along too!
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