Becoming a Disney Mom: 3 Tips for Navigating the Transition from Childless Adult to Disney Parent

by | Oct 4, 2021 | WDW Blog

On Sale Now- The Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction Special from WDW Magazine!

While introducing a little one to the Most Magical Place on Earth is a spectacular moment, becoming a Disney mom is also a momentous change that requires a drastic shift in your Disney philosophy.

So how can you plan to transition from childless strolls to family adventures? Here’s my tips on navigating this major (and majorly magical) life change to Disney mom (or dad!).

1. Pack … And Pack Some More

mad-tea-cups_becoming-a-disney-mom_moritz-long

Dani and Sagan in a teacup on the Mad Tea Party — a ride Sagan stomachs a bit better than her mom does. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

Before my daughter was born, “packing” to visit the parks was easy. MagicBand, ID, credit card, mouse ears? Ready to go.  

Now, with a toddler in tow, prepping for a visit to Walt Disney World is like living in a whole new world

I traded the no-bag line (which has recently been removed) for a real-life Mary Poppins bag—equipped with everything from snacks and extra clothes to toys and blankets, and everything in between.

And while it might seem a tad excessive to stuff an entire nursery into a diaper bag, it is necessary. You never know what your child might need, and you don’t want to come up empty handed—especially when having that favorite blankie means avoiding a full-fledged meltdown in the Tiki Room. (Yes; I’ve been there, and I highly recommend avoiding the meltdown. It distracts the birds.)

2. Plan to Rest

main-street-usa-with-sagan_becoming-a-disney-mom_moritz-long

After a long morning in the park, an afternoon nap may be in order. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

Much of my adult Disney years featured a mad rush to do as much as humanly possible, but this kind of go-go-go mentality just isn’t appropriate with young kids.

Florida is hot, and Walt Disney World is exhilarating and, sometimes, overstimulating for young minds soaking up every inch of wonder.

Fortunately, there’s an easy fix. Accept the need for rest and plan for it. 

Avoid the mid-afternoon heat and head back to your resort (or home) for a bit of R&R. If that isn’t an option, consider taking advantage of one of Disney’s Baby Care Centers (available in all four theme parks) or head into an indoor show (like Mickey’s PhilharMagic) to enjoy some entertaining reprieve.

But bottom line? Forcing your kids to spend an entire day in the parks without rest isn’t likely to culminate in the happy ending you’re after.

Looking for more Disney parent tips? Our monthly magazine has an entire “With Kids” column designed for our Disney mom and dad readers. We cover everything from hosting birthday parties to getting haircuts to surviving Toy Story Land. Subscribe today for just $8/month to have Disney magic delivered to your door.

3. Embrace Itinerary Changes

minnie-and-sagan_becoming-a-disney-mom_moritz-long

Things may not go as planned, but seeing Sagan with Minnie Mouse makes all the sudden changes worth it. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

I’m a bit of a type-A personality, so planning is in my nature. Following plans is not, however, in my daughter’s.

It took some time, but I’ve finally learned to accept that plans change, and that’s OK. In fact, now I embrace it. 

My kid’s aversion to plans taught me to enjoy the little things like finding hidden Mickeys in attractions I’ve ridden 800 times (my toddler could ride “it’s a small world” all day) or experiencing an attraction I’d previously overlooked—such as the aptly named Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, which just might be one of the most picture-perfect attractions on property.

prince-charming-regal-carrousel_becoming-a-disney-mom_moritz-long

Sagan riding a long-time favorite, Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

So, does bringing your prince or princess to Walt Disney World change things? Absolutely. But, with a little planning and flexibility, becoming a Disney mom can change the experience for the better.

There’s nothing quite like seeing Disney through my daughter’s eyes—hearing her cry out as the castle comes into view, watching her jaw drop at something as simple as a Mickey-shaped balloon, or witnessing sheer, unbridled joy at the sight of Mickey Mouse himself riding down Main Street USA. 

Truly, there’s truly nothing like it.

How to Find Remy: Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak Scavenger Hunt

What Does Disney World Look Like? A Photo Journey

New Disney Kids Styles From Janie and Jack

Written by Dani Moritz

epcot-clothing_creations-shop_chiu
Dani has been visiting Disney Parks since she was two years old. She’s part of a DVC member family, a WDW annual passholder and former Cast Member, and the kind of Disney fan who still cries when she watches the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Since having her daughter, though, her favorite Disney title is Disney mom, and she’s loving sharing her love of the mouse with her toddler—who almost loves Walt Disney World as much as she does.
Dani Moritz

Written by Dani Moritz

Dani has been visiting Disney Parks since she was two years old. She’s part of a DVC member family, a WDW annual passholder and former Cast Member, and the kind of Disney fan who still cries when she watches the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Since having her daughter, though, her favorite Disney title is Disney mom, and she’s loving sharing her love of the mouse with her toddler—who almost loves Walt Disney World as much as she does.