If you’re planning on travelling to Walt Disney World or Disneyland with a baby or toddler, one of the most challenging aspects of the trip may be finding a comfortable place to breastfeed. I use the phrase “comfortable place” because the truth is you can breastfeed anywhere on Disney property. The Cast Members (Disney employees) aren’t going to stop you from breastfeeding in public, not only because trying to stop you would be illegal in both Florida or California, but because Disney is obviously a very family-friendly environment. Nevertheless, Disney parks are expansive, are high-stimulation environments, and can be very very hot during the summer.
Before I get into the unique details of each Disney park, I want to mention the Baby Care Centers. Each park has a Baby Care Center, a place where parents can tend to the special needs of babies and toddlers in a safe and comfortable environment. Each Baby Care Center has private or semi-private, quiet, and dimly lit breastfeeding rooms. Depending on your needs, this may be your best option for breastfeeding, but seeing as how Disney parks are large and there’s only one Baby Care Center per park, it may not always be practical. You can learn more about the Baby Care Centers, including their specific locations, in this article here.
So whether you’re looking for a cool and quiet spot to rest, prefer silence and darkness, or if your kiddo has his or her own environmental preferences during feedings, I’ve got you covered.
Walt Disney World
Magic Kingdom is the most popular park at the Walt Disney World Resort and therefore tends to be the most crowded. You may be hard pressed to find a private spot to breastfeed (aside from the Baby Care Center) if that’s something important to you. However, there are plenty of benches, quick service restaurants, and quiet spots that could work for you.
My favourite quiet and shady spot is the seating next to Sleepy Hallow (a.k.a. the waffle sandwich place) in Liberty Square.
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe is a quick-service restaurant in Frontierland with ample indoor seating (and just a reminder: you don’t have to order food at a quick-serve restaurant to use their tables and chairs).
There are also shows such as Country Bear Jamboree or Carousel of Progress; they provide comfy seats, a dark (albeit loud) environment, and air conditioning.
Attractions such as the Walt Disney Railroad, Tiki Room, the People Mover, or Pirates of the Caribbean can possibly provide a comfortable environment for feeding.
Epcot essentially is split up into two sections—World Showcase and Future World—and is very spread out.
For Future World, The Seas with Nemo and Friends is a popular indoor area for kids and breastfeeding mums alike.
In World Showcase, there are quiet spots in the United Kingdom Pavilion and France Pavilion, as well as dark theatres (short films) in Mexico and France.
The American Adventure show provides a dark and cool environment.
In my opinion, this is the “hottest” park of the four, and finding shady benches can be tricky on the hottest of summer days.
It’s a little loud, but the MuppetVision 3D show provides a cool and dark spot; same with the Voyage of the Little Mermaid live show.
As far as quick-service restaurants, Starring Rolls Cafe has ample outdoor seating (with umbrellas), and Backlot Express has air-conditioned indoor tables.
Animal Kingdom is basically like going to a zoo, and finding a calm, indoor spot may be trickiest here. However, I noticed a lot of quiet corners with tables and chairs and plenty of shade from trees and plants.
If you take the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you’ll be rewarded with a large, indoor, air conditioned area and interactive educational displays for the older kids.
Restaurantosaurus in DinoLand USA has plentiful indoor and outdoor seating.
Also in DinoLand USA, the Cretaceous Trail offers benches in the shade.
There are also a couple live shows: Finding Nemo the Musical and Festival of the Lion King—that provide an opportunity to sit in the dark for a long time.
The Disneyland Resort
Disneyland in Anaheim, California is smaller than all of the Walt Disney World parks, and going back and forth to the Baby Care Center is one option.
There are also dark attractions such as the Tiki Room, It’s a Small World, Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln, the Mark Twain steamboat, and the Disneyland Railroad.
ToonTown has a small “park” area to the left after you walk in, which offers lots of shady seating.
Tomorrowland Terrace and Hungry Bear are quick service restaurants with ample outdoor seating.
In Fantasyland, the Mickey and the Magical Map show offers a shady spot to sit for a while (and the show is pretty cute for all ages, too).
Disney California Adventure
Unlike the other Disney parks, the Baby Care Center here is located pretty much in the center of the park in the Pacific Wharf area, making it easily accessible from any area. Bonus for mom: It’s right next to the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop. But seriously, it has private nursing areas (chairs and tables separated behind curtains) and also has outlets for pumping.
If you can’t get to the Baby Care Center:
Try the shady outdoor seating at Flo’s V8 Cafe or Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta
The Paradise Pier area has lots and lots of benches but is very busy and colourful, if baby is easily distracted.
The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is a shady spot where the older kids can run around.
If you’re looking for air conditioning, try the Frozen Sing-a-Long theatre (if the music won’t drive you insane) or the It’s Tough to Be a Bug show (which is very loud and a bit frightening for younger children).
You can also leave the park and head next door to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and enjoy their spacious lobby, with very comfortable oversized armchairs.
image: Getty/Geraldine Wilkins
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