Traveling with kids often means expanding your family travel budget. I know my household’s travel expenses have certainly grown as we’ve added two kids to our traveling family. One thing I love about traveling with a baby or toddler to Disneyland or Walt Disney World, however, is that my little ones don’t cost very much at all. In fact, there are so many free things that little ones and their parents can take advantage of on a trip to one of the Disney Parks!
Here are 7 free things for babies at Disneyland and Walt Disney World to help you plan for your next family vacation.
Love it when your kids eat free? At buffet style restaurants in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, babies and toddlers do just that. These restaurants do not charge a separate fee for children under age 3 to eat off a parent’s plate, so dive right into those Mickey waffles! Best of all, many restaurants that feature buffet style dining are also character meals, like breakfast at the Plaza Inn with Minnie and Friends at Disneyland or Chef Mickey’s at Walt Disney World. You can get the perfect photos of your little one with their favorite character while they enjoy some of Disney’s best food for no extra cost.
Ice Water (Refill Those Sippy Cups!)
Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland have their fair share of hot days. Staying hydrated is important for everyone in the family, even babies who don’t have to do the walking around the park themselves just yet. Luckily, all counter service restaurants will provide Disney guests with cups of ice water totally free. Ask for the largest size so you can fill up your little one’s sippy cup and still have some left over for yourself.
Special Products and Services
Many Disney guests with babies know all about the baby care centers in every park where you can purchase baby supplies in a pinch. But I bet you didn’t know that the first aid stations also have helpful products and services for families with babies, some of which are totally free. The first aid stations have medicines that you might need for your baby or toddler (just make sure of dosage and age-appropriateness, of course). Plus, pumping moms can find free ice at first aid stations to keep expressed milk cold while walking around the parks. Finally, the first aid stations are also happy to store your breast pump equipment totally free — no locker rental needed.
Disney doesn’t like for anyone to be at their theme parks disappointed, most especially the youngest of visitors. That’s why there’s always a little extra Disney magic for broken or lost souvenirs and treats. If your child pops his or her Mickey balloon or drops an ice cream cone, cast members are usually happy to make things all right again with a replacement. When my daughter was a toddler, she once dropped her giant colorful Mickey lollipop on the pavement at Disneyland shattering it into a million pieces. A store employee was standing by with a new one at the ready, quickly turning her tears into smiles.
Pins for Baby’s Stroller
One of Disney’s most famous traditions is giving away free pins to guests who are celebrating a special event. The “My First Visit” pin is one that you should be sure not to miss the first time you take your baby to any Disney park. Celebrating your child’s birthday at Walt Disney World or Disneyland? There’s a pin for that too. Cast members will even make a pin for your baby’s first taste of a Dole Whip — an immediate favorite with both my kids as soon as solid foods were in their diet. Of course, just be careful with the pins. We put them on our baby’s stroller to avoid any poking mishaps.
While not as well known as Disney’s famous souvenir pins, a tradition of cast members handing out stickers to kids has grown quite a bit over the past several years. Cast members who take guest surveys nearly always have them and will give them to your kids if you complete a survey, but many other cast members do as well. Stickers are a great way to keep little fingers busy while waiting in line for an attraction.
These little freebies add up to a lot of savings during a Disney vacation, but the biggest savings of all is the fact that babies and toddlers can visit Disney theme parks for free. Neither Disneyland nor Walt Disney World requires a ticket for children until they reach their third birthdays. So go ahead and make some family memories with your little one without paying a penny for them to enter the Disney gates.
Some of the information in this post may have changed after this writing. Please visit Guest Services online at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, or ask Disney Parks Moms Panel to confirm current policies.