June 28, 2013

Disney Transportation with a Baby in Tow- By Jorie Fontana

If you are like many people out there, you have a baby and think that a Disney vacation would be too much of a hassle.  I traveled to Disney with my 10 month old and had little to no problems throughout all our experiences.  For this article, I will focus on the transportation aspect of a Walt Disney World complete package vacation.  There will be future articles that talk about resort accommodations, the park experience with a baby as well as how to get your entire family (parents included) an action packed vacation with baby in tow.  Often times, a baby means that families will need to modify vacation plans.  With a Disney vacation package, you don’t have to worry about much except packing the diapers and wipes.  Actually, they have that too!

If flying in to Orlando and staying at a Disney World resort, you have the ability to schedule the Disney’s Magical Express shuttle bus to pick you up from the airport and transport you and your family to your resort.  The magic begins at the moment you walk on the star carpet to your appropriate shuttle. As long as your flight arrives prior to 10:00pm, you can even skip baggage claim and head straight for the bus.  Your luggage will “magically” appear in your resort room later in the day.  However, if you prefer to grab your own bags, the Magical Express will help you load all baggage and baby essentials, such as strollers, carriers, etc. Each bus may or may not have seatbelts available.  Our 2 year old and 4 year old were completely fine sitting and observing the Disney landscape and signs to worry about not being restrained.  The infant sat in my lap.  I never felt worried nor unsafe to having her without a carseat.  Other mothers talked about having even smaller infants in body carriers attached to them during this part of the trip.

When visiting any of the parks, we used the Disney bus system for the most part and monorail or ferry boats to reach each park or reservation.  Each time our baby sat on one of our laps due to the fact that some buses would have seatbelts and some didn’t.  The monorail and ferry boat did not offer any restraints for children either but we were very comfortable with each trip.  When times were busy, usually after late night shows or fireworks, we were always offered a seat.  During very busy times, there were a lot of people standing yet people always kept their distance to not fall on the baby nor make her scared by the crowd.  Everyone interacted with her and entertained her from each destination which made each trip fly by and virtually effortless for us.

Some extra notes; make sure to have a stroller that is easily folded and carried.  Often times when viewing a late night show or fireworks, we would be pushing our kids to the end.  By the time we started the stroll to the bus corral, they would have started dozing.  As we waited for the bus to arrive, no more than 10-20 minutes during peak times, the children would be resting in the stroller.  As the bus approached, we needed to scoop up the kids, board and stash the stroller without holding up the whole fleet.  Everyone appreciated and commented on our ability to move from waiting to riding with almost no issues. 

Finally, if you have any objections with the inconsistency of seatbelts in the Disney bus system, you always have the option to rent a car or take a taxi.  These options would cost more.  Renting a car would require you to bring your own carrier, drive to the parks each day, and deal with the parking/walking experience.  Calling a taxi from the airport, one would need to request a taxi with a baby carrier.  Even then, it may be hard to verify that the carseat meets current safety standards.  After calling a taxi to get to your hotel, you would need to decide if you would take a taxi everyday to a park or ride the Disney transportation (bus/monorail/boat) then. 
Jorie her husband are blessed with three beautiful children.  She has been to a Disney destination in every stage of her life and is convinced that Disney is for everyone.  Her children are all young and recent trips have helped them figure out how to travel to Disney, get the most out of every park, and still cater to the needs of our young ones .  While Jorie specializes in planning both holiday vacations and helping families with small children, she can help you have a wonderful experience no matter the age or make up of your group. ¡También, puedo hablar español!  ¿Cómo puedo ayudarle a tu familia?
Contact Jorie at Jorie@OnceUponaVacation.com


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