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in the Park
Tips and ideas for the traveling family
|Adrienne Krock, editor|
|The Baby Care Centers at Walt Disney World|
Article by Adrienne Krock, Photographs by Brian Bennett
Planning a trip to WDW with your young children? In a previous column I described the baby care center at Disneyland in Anaheim. You will be pleased to know that the same kind of amenities that Anaheim's Disneyland Resort provides are also available at Disney's Florida- based parks.
The Baby Care Centers (BCCs) at Walt Disney World's four major theme parks all offer the same basic conveniences: changing areas, nursing and bottle-feeding "quiet" areas, waiting areas for older children, and high chairs for spoon-feeding babies.
The changing tables at Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and MGM Studios, like those at Disneyland, are very nice, with babies able to recline on cushioned vinyl-covered tables.
These large tables at WDW easily accommodate older, taller children, while still providing room for diaper bags and changing supplies. Cast members (CMs) place large sheets of paper on these tables to provide guests with a fresh, clean surface for changing infants, and also spray and wipe them down throughout the day.
Unfortunately, Disney, in it's most recently constructed BCC has cut costs in furnishing it. Animal Kingdom's BCC uses off-the-shelf changing tables like those sold at baby furniture stores. They're smaller than the tables at the other parks and don't have the "elbow room" that those larger tables allow you to enjoy. Having the BCC available is better than having to change my child in a public restroom, but the changing tables in the Animal Kingdom BCC are nowhere near as nice as the ones in the in the other parks.
Guests with potty-training toddlers may wish to bring their children to the BCC to use the toilets there since the BCC restrooms are larger than a typical stall in a public restroom and are, of course, more private. At the Magic Kingdom, a family restroom houses two toilets, one adult-size and one child-size.
Each BCC provides kitchen areas with facilities to warm bottles and baby food jars, as well as clean up supplies. All of the centers have quiet areas for mothers to nurse or bottle feed infants, and fathers can accompany mothers into them if they are not occupied. At the Animal Kingdom, the nursing rooms are private. As a nursing mom, I usually feel isolated in the nursing area alone. Fortunately, I don't have any reservations about nursing in public.
Public feeding areas in BCCs have highchairs for babies. Both the public and quiet feeding areas are great for infants who need a place to eat without a lot of distractions.
Supplies you can buy at the BCCs include diapers, diaper wipes, rash ointments, bottles, pacifiers, infant Tylenol, and sunscreen. Formula and baby food are also available, as are feeding supplies such as bibs and spoons. No need to worry about unexpected diaper blowouts, either. All of the BCCs at WDW maintain a small selection of infant and small toddler clothes.
Older children can relax in the waiting areas, and Disney provides videos and toys for them to enjoy while their younger siblings are changed and fed.
I hope these Baby Care Center tips help you enjoy your time in Orlando! Special thanks to Brian Bennett's photos and Walt Disney World experiences.
Brian Bennett's WDW Trip Planning Guide, right here on MousePlanet, has some great information on visiting Disney's Florida Resort with kids. There's one page that tells a bit more about the baby care centers, and where they are actually located in each park.
Adrienne gathered experience taking kids to amusement parks when she worked as a day camp counselor and director. She was an elementary school teacher before she started her favorite job, being Matthew's Mom.
Adrienne and Matthew visit Disneyland several times a month, usually with Daddy, too.
Besides Matthew, Adrienne and her husband Kevin created and maintain The Happiest Potties on Earth website.
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