Touring Disneyland While Pregnant

Becky Breiland, of the podcast, brings us this guest blog on her Disneyland touring experiences.

I am a firm believer that visiting the Disney Parks is appropriate at any stage of life. People who find out how often I visit Disneyland tell me things like “We’ll go when my kids are old enough to remember,” or “My kids are too old for that place,” or “I don’t have kids, why would I go to Disneyland?” While not everyone needs to understand the appeal of the Disney experience, there are great things about visiting the parks regardless of where you are in life.

Growing up in Michigan, we had several trips to Walt Disney World in my childhood. Once I entered college, I found a friend who also saw the appeal of the Disney universe, and we would take commando trips, driving down and back, and attending the parks in a four-day span. When I moved to California, my husband and I began visiting Disneyland on a regular basis. The six hour drive, compared to twenty hours from Michigan to Florida, was nothing. So why not go?

As a single person and then as a family of two, the parks have been a place where it’s been easy to remember all the benefits of not having children. There was no one to argue with, we worked on the adults’ schedule, and nap time meant that I could sit next to the pool and maybe even enjoy a cocktail. It has been a rare time that I’ve wandered Disneyland without a FASTPASS to Indiana Jones, Space Mountain or California Screamin’ in my pocket.

Until now. My husband and I are thrilled to be welcoming another life into the world who we get to teach about the glories of Mickey Mouse. In the meantime, visiting Disneyland pregnant has been just as much fun as my non-pregnancy journeys down to Anaheim. Since discovering that we have a little blessing on the way, I’ve been to Disneyland twice, with plans to go two more times before the actual arrival.

The biggest change in our touring at Disneyland has actually been food. Since I’ve been pregnant, when I’m hungry, it’s time to eat … now. Especially during my first trimester, if I didn’t start eating soon after I realized that I was hungry, a massive headache would arrive along with a bit of queasiness to boot. We knew this going into the trip and so I packed fresh fruit – mainly apples and oranges as they were less likely to bruise while I carried them around the park – as well as granola bars and trail mix, and of course some saltine crackers. Gladware has been a lifesaver. It’s lightweight and keeps my crackers from turning into a crumby mess, and my grapes from become grape juice. My husband has gotten into the action by making sure our eating times have been consistent, and also making some priority seating reservations for the times we normally eat dinner at home. Along with my snacks, I have been making sure to always have a supply of water with me. Staying hydrated not only is important from a health aspect, it also helped me to feel good.

Pregnancy has also allowed the total transformation of thought about why we visit Disneyland. It isn’t about getting on a bunch of rides, it’s about an experience. There is plenty of art to look at, shows to see, food to eat, and just time to walk around looking at the details that make Disneyland, well, Disneyland. In many ways my Disneyland trips have become more of a vacation then ever before. We’ve become even more content to wander around the parks, checking out the various performers that we happen upon, making it a point to visit the shows such as Aladdin or the Golden Horseshoe Review, and visiting the more minor attractions. When the parks have been packed, it hasn’t mattered. We are there to enjoy being together, and to experience the Disney magic.

In Disneyland, I did skip over all the Mountains (Space, Big Thunder, Matterhorn, Splash) as well as Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Caribbean. We spent a large amount of time enjoying the Fantasyland attractions, the Haunted Mansion, Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise, appreciating the artwork and storytelling (and sometimes the lack of it – cough, cough, Snow White). The competition of Buzz Lightyear AstroBlasters has always been an enjoyable part of our trip, and is a great attraction for expectant mothers. Two of the Disneyland highlights, Fantasmic! and the fireworks are also great activities, especially if you’ve enjoyed an afternoon nap.

In Disney California Adventure, I did have to pass by California Screamin’, as well as Grizzly River Run, Mulholland Madness, the Mailboomer and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. However, other than California Screamin’, I generally pass by the others for one reason or another on most trips, so it hasn’t seemed like much of a sacrifice. Toy Story Midway Mania is one of my favorite attractions, and while a bit more dizzy than normal after all the spinning, it has been another great part of our pregnancy trips. The Animation Building is an often overlooked, but wonderful place to spend time. It’s air-conditioned, full of wonderful things to look at, and great activities to participate in.

Finally, we also have used our slower pace as a chance to enjoy what the resorts have to offer. We’ve sat and listened to the piano in the lobby of the Grand Californian, enjoyed sitting on balconies over looking pools, Downtown Disney and the Parks, and enjoyed the peacefulness of the hotel rooms. Staying close to the parks has always been important to me, but even more so now. It allows for a bit of down time without feeling like I’m missing out on the parks.

While our Disney trips in the recent past have been a bit different, they have been just as enjoyable. Relatively speaking, there is little that expectant mothers cannot do in the parks. Pregnancy should not keep people from enjoying the Disneyland Resort, but it many give you a slightly different appreciation for all it has to offer. We are excited to see the parks from an even different angle when we welcome our little Mouseketeer into the world. He or she probably won’t remember their first trip, but that won’t be why we go. We’ll go because it’s a way to spend time together as a family, something that encourages laughter and imagination, and because mom and dad think it’s fun.

About the author: Becky Breiland has been traveling to Walt Disney World and Disneyland since she was three. One of her fondest memories is getting Mickey Waffles for breakfast on those early Disney trips. Becky, her husband, and two friends comprise the podcasting team. Mousetalgia is a show dedicated to the exploration of Disney’s past, present and future, emphasizing the theme park culture and the people who have imagined Walt’s happy place into existence. Go “Carpe Kingdom!”

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Laura Gilbreath is a native of San Diego, CA. She has been making the trek up Interstate 5 to Disneyland since she was a small child and terrified of talking tikis and hitchhiking ghosts. She and her husband Lee enjoy trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as sailings on the Disney Cruise Line.

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13 Replies to “Touring Disneyland While Pregnant”

  1. I was very happy to see your blog. I went to Disneyland when I was 6 mo along and had a wonderful time. My ankles did start swelling at the end of the day, but like you, I spent most of time taking in the atmosphere of being in the park. We also have been taking my now 2 yr old daughter since she was 9 months old. We are pass holders and go every month. She loves Disneyland and although she may not remember the first time, she will remember going with her Mommy & Daddy and what good times we had.
    Congrats on your baby!

  2. Thank you so much for this article. My husbands family has been talking about possibly taking a family vacation to WDW next year but my husband and I are ready to start a family. When we go, just the two of us, we really try to take in a lot of shows and such but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go and be restricted and feel like I was missing out. You helped me to remember why Disney is really there and it doesn’t matter what we do as long as we have fun together.

  3. I went to WDW for 6 days when I was 7 months pregnant. It really was the best week of my pregnancy (and an amazing vacation!) I knew what I could ride (and with a four year old we all could ride everything together!) We went back and relaxed in the pool when we got hot. And I had an excuse why I couldn’t carry the stroller, son, bags! It was great!! Even preggies need some fun, sun, exercise and relaxation.

  4. Wow, after reading that not only was I nostalgic for going to visit Disneyland, I got that warm squishy inside hearing you describe what you two get out of your frequent trips there. Reading it made me want to go back just so I could appreciate all the little nooks and crannies it has to offer!

  5. I went to Disney World when i was 7 months pregnant..
    it was definitely a bit different of a vacation but i was never a real thrill ride seeker or had to go crazy and get a lot done in a day while at Disney.

    I enjoyed a nice week in the parks and everywhere else on Disney property, now i can’t wait to take my daughter one day!! ºoº

  6. Congratulations on the happy news! And thank you for writing a great article for mommies (and possible future mommies-to-be). Your advice is worth noting whether you are pregnant or not. Taking it slow through the parks gives you a new appreciation for the level of detail all around.

  7. I went to WDW when I was 5 1/2 months pregnant. The first ride we went to was Tower of Terror–my dad turned and looked at me and said that it said pregnant women shouldn’t ride–I told him that I didn’t go that far to not get on on anything. I rode anything that didn’t have a belt to strap across my midsection (back then, ToT had a safety bar, not the belts). In retrospect, I probably should have stayed off of some of the rides, but I still had a lot of fun! And my son, now 14, loves those thrill rides–he just got an early start!

    By the way–you’re right: You’re never too old or too young to enjoy DL or WDW!

  8. Is Disneyland tower of terror the same as Hollywood studios at wdw? If so- u really went oh that preggers?

  9. As a Labor & Delivery/High Risk OB RN, I’d like to also recommend that you talk to your doctor about warning signs of pre-term labor before you go, and keep those in mind! Pre-term labor can easily kick in when you are active for extended periods of time, or dehydrated from being in the heat. Staying hydrated is vital!…8 oz of water (not caffeine or alcohol) each hour. And then you have to pay attention to your body. Low backache, any abdominal aching/cramping, and low pressure, or any change in “discharge” (not to be too personal) can be a sign that pre-term labor is trying to start. You must immediately sit and rest, and really hydrate. If it doesn’t pass within 15-30 min, then you need to head to first-aid to be able to at least lay down on your left side, and also to have medical personnel present.

    If you are tired, rest. Your body is talking to you. Also…elevate your feet whenever you are able…the swelling won’t be as bad.

  10. Enjoyed your posting very much. BTW… a lot of these comments are also VERY important for those of us who aren’t pregnant also (i.e. take it slow… enjoy some of the non-“e-ticket” activities… use somebody else’s AC when it’s hot). Best wishes on your upcoming baby, a new adventure is about to begin. 😉 Dave

  11. It’s so nice to see an article for pregnant mommies! I actually spent my 2nd trimester on a 2 week vacation at the Disneyland & DCA; and once you get past the ‘I can’t go on any ‘fun’ rides’ stigma you appreciate loads of things!

    Parades and Restaurants take on a slower more relaxed pace and everything you made excuses not to see b/c of time get a chance to take center stage. A perfect example is the Animation building. You can sit in there during the middle of the day and watch the walls (It’s become such a staple, we still do it) or anything of the other activities in the building. (turtle talk, sorcerer’s workshop, beast’s library!)You can also take the ferris wheel, soarin’ (beware of motion sickness), or just leisurely stroll the park.

    My advice for pregnant mommies heading to Disneyland/DCA, treat your trip like you would if your baby was already born. Take it easy and enjoy the scenery!

  12. Becky, you’re pregnant? Congratulations! You haven’t announced that on the show yet, have you?

    Great info!