What to Expect When You’re Expecting at Disneyland: 10 Tips for Pregnant Travelers
Disneyland is regarded as a vacation spot for people of all ages. Children, teenagers, young couples and retirees can all find something to enjoy at the Happiest Place on Earth. However, while Disneyland is well suited for all these groups, pregnant travelers may still be uncertain.
Pregnant women face a number of challenges. They are experiencing an enormous amount of change, affecting everything from their physical condition to their emotional status. On top of that, pregnant women now face more criticism, advice and restrictions than ever before. Because of this, some pregnant women may not even consider a trip to Disneyland. However, with a little proper planning, a Disney vacation can be wonderful for the entire family, including pregnant women.
If you are planning a Disney trip while pregnant, consider the following tips.
1. Doctor’s note. All pregnant women should be receiving consistent prenatal care. With regular visits to the doctor to check the progress of the pregnancy, it is completely appropriate to discuss any travel plans in advance no matter how far along the pregnancy may be. This becomes even more important as the pregnancy progresses. While most doctors have no problem with travel during the first and second trimesters, some may advise more caution during the third trimester. The doctor may also have concerns about the method of travel, so it is important to discuss any plans to fly or take a long car trip. The doctor may also have advice about what rides to avoid and how much rest to get. All in all, getting a doctor’s okay on any vacation can help allay any concerns and may bring up issues that would have otherwise gone overlooked. Additionally, always be sure to bring the doctor’s phone number along, just in case any questions come up while away.
2. Dress appropriately. Located in California, Disneyland is popular year-round thanks to its temperate climate. However, when packing the suitcase, pregnant women should pay a little more attention to what is going inside. While some people like to look nice on vacation, being pregnant is no time to put vanity above comfort. Pregnant women are often prone to getting hot faster, so it is a good idea to have plenty of cool clothing, especially in the summer. Opt for layers when possible, which make it easy to manage any hot flashes or chills. Make sure the clothes are big enough to move around easily, and try to find pants that fit comfortably and stay up. Perhaps most importantly, pay attention to footwear. Shoes with good support are essential. Tennis shoes and sneakers may not be the most attractive, but they can dramatically improve one’s comfort level when walking about the park. The shoes should be big enough to accommodate for any swelling. In all, the best way to enjoy a vacation is to feel comfortable, and that starts with the right clothes.
3. Bathroom breaks. No matter what stage of pregnancy a woman may be in, there is one constant that is often more bothersome than the rest. More than nausea or excess sweating, almost every woman reports an increased need to use the bathroom while pregnant. The biological reality is that the growing uterus expands outward into the abdomen, putting pressure on the other organs. This is most noticeable with the bladder, which seems to fill quicker during pregnancy. Many women have an increased need to go early in the first trimester, and the need only increases as the baby continues to develop. Therefore, always make time for bathroom breaks. It may be a good idea to circle bathrooms on a map of the park and to stop by whenever passing one. This will not only keep a pregnant woman more comfortable, but it can reduce the chance of accidents. Also, waiting too long to use the bathroom can lead to urinary problems, which can become more risky during pregnancy. Because of this, always scout out the bathrooms first and make them a frequent stop during the trip.
4. Eating right. Eating on vacation is always a bit tricky. Without the convenience of a fully stocked kitchen, most people are left to eating out and picking up ready-made food from convenience stores. While these options are convenient, they are not always the healthiest route. This is something all travelers should be aware of, but it is especially important for pregnant women. Many women experience unusual digestive symptoms during pregnancy, including heartburn, nausea and constipation. To avoid such uncomfortable symptoms, it is important to eat properly, minimizing the intake of fried and fattening foods. Sometimes it is possible to stay at a hotel with a kitchenette, which allows travelers to do some of their own cooking. Otherwise, look carefully at the restaurants, opting for healthier meals made from fresh ingredients. Be sure to eat fruits and vegetables as much as possible, and find healthy snacks like crackers while out and about. This will reduce side effects and provide the baby with the best nutrition possible.
5. Ride responsibly. When people think about Disneyland, they think about the rides. This is for good reason, of course. Disneyland has some of the most magical rides in the world. While some of the rides are simply off-limits to pregnant guests due to drops and jarring turns, several are perfectly safe. Options like the Haunted Mansion, the Jungle Cruise or It’s a Small World are all perfect for women who are expecting. The only stipulation will be whether or not the woman can exit and enter the ride safely with her growing belly. Mostly, read the ride restrictions in advance and follow all the park safety guidelines while remembering any added stipulations from the doctor. With these guidelines, pregnant women can easily experience some of the magic with the rest of the family.
6. The show goes on. The wonderful thing about Disneyland is that it is so much more than an amusement park. While many people are drawn to the rides, the shows are just as spectacular. Drawing from Disney’s vast repertoire, there are many performances to consider. Popular options include Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular, Enchanted Tiki Room and Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. For nighttime action, be sure to try World of Color. There are shows full of wonders; there are shows designed for laughs. Mostly, there are shows for everyone. The fact is that Disneyland has so many shows that it would be possible to design an entire trip around them without pining for a single ride. These shows are fun even for those who are not expecting.
7. Know all the options. The options at Disneyland do not stop there. In addition to rides and shows, there are plenty of other things to do in the park. There are a number of attractions that can be visited on foot, such as the Sleeping Beauty Castle or Tarzan’s Treehouse. These attractions have the magic and wonder of rides without any of the jarring motions. The only thing to be aware of is that some of these walk-through attractions have stairs, which can be quite tiring even for those who are not pregnant. There is also a Disney Gallery to try. On top of all this, pregnant guests can plan their time around street performances. These scheduled events take place throughout the park at certain times throughout the day, giving guests a chance to see a show up close. If all that is not enough, never forget the power of retail therapy. Disneyland has a whole range of shopping venues with toys, clothing, collectibles and other gifts. In fact, shopping at Disney while pregnant can be a great way to pick out a special first gift for the baby. Even if the baby is not there to enjoy the magic, surely they could use a onesie to commemorate the trip!
8. A hotel with amenities. While many people may meticulously plan their time in the park, a good Disney vacation should be about more than that, especially for pregnant travelers. It is very important to pick a hotel that is fully equipped for a restful experience. When being out and about all day, the value of a comfortable bed and a cool room cannot be overstated. Some pregnant women may appreciate a room with plenty of TV options or a soaker tub. It is probably a good idea to opt for a main floor room or to ensure that the room is close to an elevator. Other conveniences such as a continental breakfast or heated pool can also be especially nice while pregnant. It may also be good to look at the location of the hotel to ensure that it is not too far. With the walking necessary in the park, no one wants to expand their energy on the trip over. Some hotels will have convenient shuttle services that may be of extra value for guests who are expecting. Other perks such as room service or spa treatments can make for an extra special experience for those who are expecting.
9. A good night’s sleep. With so much to do, it is easy to fill the day with fun experiences. From rides to shows, pregnant visitors will never be wanting. However, while planning a full day of events, always be sure to section off enough time for rest. Be sure to build in restful times during the day, and plan on getting a full night’s sleep after every day. While it may be tempting to stay out late, pregnant women are often more tired than other people. To fully enjoy the experience, a good night’s sleep can make all the difference. It is also worth going a little later to the park in the morning to sleep in as necessary, ensuring that every day is as good as it can be. Also, if the hotel is close enough to the park, do not be afraid to step out and take a nap in the afternoon if it is needed. It can be tempting to go, go, go during a Disneyland vacation, but it is important to remember that such a trip is about quality and not quantity, especially for pregnant guests.
10. Listen to your body. Essentially, for pregnant women, there are a million recommendations to take into consideration. Modern medicine has made it possible to better discern what is safe and what is not more than at any other time in history. However, the most important thing is to always listen to your body. Many women find that they become more instinctual during pregnancy, and it is always prudent to trust those instincts. If you feel tired, you should rest. If you feel hungry, you should eat. If a ride makes you nervous, simply avoid riding it. Never push too hard on a vacation, even one in Disneyland. As tempting as all the rides and attractions may be, the most important thing is the well-being of the mother and child. Therefore, come prepared with the things needed to be safe and comfortable, and listen to the signs the body gives. The best vacation is not one where everything gets done. The best vacation is one where guests feel good about themselves and what they experience. For those who feel like they may be missing out by skipping certain things or slowing down, just remember that Disneyland is not going anywhere. There will always be time to go on all the rides during the next Disneyland vacation.
Ultimately, there are few vacations better suited than Disney for pregnant women. While some rides may be off-limits, Disneyland has numerous attractions that offer a restful and invigorating outlet for women who are expecting. With shows, attractions and more, Disneyland is truly a comprehensive vacation getaway. Therefore, when traveling while pregnant, be smart and be aware, and let Disney be the happiest place on earth for you and your little one.
We recommends 2 affordable hotels for your next trip to Disneyland California
- Anaheim Express Inn Maingate www.anainn.com (1 miles, 5 minutes – Walking Distance from Disneyland Directions )
- Crowne Plaza Hotel at Commerce Casino-Commerce, CA www.ihg.com (“The Place to Go” in Southern California)