As a Disneyland annual passholder I have always loved going to Disneyland for the magic and atmosphere as much as for the rides, food, and shows. Visiting Disneyland is my expensive guilty pleasure so naturally I continued going during pregnancy. I visited Disneyland during both of my pregnancies until the third trimester when my husband got worried about me going into labor far from home (and no, giving birth at Disneyland does not guarantee your child tickets for life, sadly). Below are some tips I learned about going while pregnant – there is still a lot to do and a lot to enjoy! My biggest adjustment was having to change my pace – it was a lot more sitting and eating than I normally do, but the experience was still very magical.
Disclaimer: These recommendations are all based on a “normal” Disneyland Resort experience. Please check the Disneyland website for updates on current policies and availability.
There are places to sit and rest throughout the Disneyland Resort (growing a baby is a lot of work!)
No shame in sitting and resting when you need it, mama! There are benches all around the parks to sit at, restaurants to eat at and outdoor seating around them to sit at even if you’re not eating at the restaurants. Outdoor seating that is typically available on a not-too-busy day is in Frontierland at Rancho del Zocalo, Main Street outside of Carnation Cafe, Main Street outside of Plaza Inn, New Orleans around the French Market, in Critter Country under the Hungry Bear Restaurant, in Tomorrowland outside of Tomorrowland Terrace, Toon Town outside of Daisy’s Diner, and in Galaxy’s Edge around Docking Bay 7. There is lots of bench seating in Downtown Disney as well. If you have little ones with you that need movement and a ride, there are also the train and the monorail that are rides and provide real transportation – the train circles the park and has four stops. The monorail takes you from Tomorrowland to Downtown Disney, and back. It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean rides are each about 15 minutes long, and once you’re in a boat, it’s just a slow sitting cruise which is restful. There are shows that you can sit and watch to entertain your littles while you rest too. The parades are also entertaining, but typically you’re standing unless you can snag a curb or bench to sit on. If you are not able to walk much and have someone who will push you, there are wheelchairs that you can rent at the entrance to the parks too.
Places to rest from the heat
– If you start to feel too warm while at the Parks, there are places to sit down, and lots of air conditioned areas. In general, Galaxy’s Edge, Adventureland, and Critter Country all tend to be warmer than other lands due to having less trees so I avoid those in the middle of the day.
Going land by land, you can find air conditioning and shade here:
- Main Street shops are air conditioned and a lot of them flow into each other so you can shop through a bunch of stores without going back outside. There is air conditioning in the Mr. Lincoln show on Main Street as well.
- In Tomorrowland, under/behind Space Mountain is cool and has benches, Innovations is indoor though it doesn’t have much seating, Buzz Lightyear is an inside ride, and Star Tours is an inside ride. The Monorail is also an inside ride, and provides transportation to Downtown Disney close to the Disneyland Hotel. You can get off there or stay on and return to Tomorrowland.
- In Adventureland, the Tiki Room has seating, and Dole Whip! The Jungle Cruise is a shaded boat ride.
- In New Orleans Square, there are shops to walk around and the Pirates of the Caribbean is an inside ride. The Haunted Mansion is also an inside, air-conditioned ride
- In Frontierland, the Golden Horseshoe restaurant has seating, air conditioning, and sometimes entertainment inside.
- In Critter Country, Pooh Bear is an indoor ride and there is a cute store.
- In Galaxy’s Edge, there are a few shops that are air-conditioned, and Docking Bay 7 has indoor seating.
- In Fantasyland, the Fantasyland Theater is shaded and has seating though it is outdoors, and It’s a Small World is a 15-minute, inside, air-conditioned ride. You can also take a walking tour inside Sleeping Beauty’s castle which is dark and cooler than outdoors.
Moving on to California Adventure:
- On Buena Vista Street, there are air-conditioned stores to shop in, and there is an ice cream shop/Starbucks with seating inside.
- In Hollywood Land, there is the Disney Animation building. This is my favorite place in California Adventure because of the music and art that is constantly playing in the main lobby area. It is air-conditioned inside, and has 4 different show/attractions such as Talk with Crush and the Sorcerers Workshop. The Monsters Inc. ride is an inside ride, and the Philharmagic show is seated, air-conditioned, and runs every ten minutes. Frozen is a beautiful show that is seated and air-conditioned, but you do have to wait outside and it only runs a few times a day.
- In Pixar Pier, the Little Mermaid ride is inside, and there’s an ice cream stand in between Lamplight Lounge and the Incredicoaster.
- Grizzly Pass (behind Grizzly River Rapids) is a shaded pathway and not usually crowded.
If you want a change of scenery, the Disneyland hotels are fun to visit and are air conditioned. I especially love the Grand Californian’s lobby; this is also the closest hotel to the parks, with its own entrance to California Adventure.
Rides to rest on
See this official list by Disneyland of rides to avoid when pregnant. Basically if there isn’t height requirement, you and baby (both when pregnant and after birth) can go on them (bonus: a lot of them are inside and air conditioned but you do have to wait in line outside.) It is a lot more rides than you may think. My favorite rides for rest and relaxation are It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Little Mermaid, because they’re about 15-minute long boat rides.
Food to relax with
There are so many places to eat and relax at the Disneyland Resort! All over Disneyland, California Adventure, Downtown Disney, and inside the hotels are sit-down restaurants, quick-service restaurants, and little food carts. The Disneyland app also has a mobile order feature for quick-service restaurants so that you don’t have to wait in long lines anymore; you can place your order through the app and then show up at a designated window to receive your food when it is ready. So if you are walking across the park towards a restaurant, that is a perfect time to place an order – it should be ready by the time you arrive! The app also has their menus online for all of their restaurants if you’re not sure where to eat or what to order. It’s great how many options there are between the parks. When I was pregnant with Lily, I craved corn chowder from Storytime Cafe inside the Grand Californian Hotel, and we had to eat there everytime we went.
Shop while you relax
If shopping relaxes you (even just browsing, which is the majority of what I do), there are so many cute things to look at! Besides the usual merchandise for adults and kids, there is a store on Main Street with just baby clothes. On Buena Vista Street, there is a store with kids and baby clothing as well. (If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option, though, I recommend shopping online at shopdisney.com during one of their sales)
Make peaceful memories and build excitement
I could not wait to bring our baby to Disneyland with me but also enjoyed our last times going as adults. Some things to enjoy pre-baby:
- Take iconic maternity photos, such as in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle, at Snow White’s well next to the castle, at Minnie’s well in Toon Town, and at the gate next to Minnie’s house.
- Eat at a fancy restaurant baby-free, such as Lamplight Lounge, Wine Country Trattoria (sadly no wine for you during this trip though), Carnation Cafe, or Blue Bayou, but make reservations! There are also a lot of sit-down restaurant choices in Downtown Disney (again, reservations might be needed depending on the crowds).
You can dress up – comfortably! (DisneyBound)
Dress up for these memories and pictures! You can “Disneybound” and still be comfortable (since costumes aren’t allowed for adults anyways). Disneybounding is when you wear an outfit that is inspired by a certain character. It can have a similar color palette, similar theming, and be as subtle or obvious as you want. It can often be done with clothes already in your closet. If you need ideas, Pinterest has lots of outfits already curated for you.