As you certainly have either discovered directly or found out from others, traveling with littles isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world! The sheer amount of logistics that goes into planning and executing is daunting in and of itself, and that’s before you leave! Everything from what to pack, how to factor in meals, alternate schedules, new environments, weather, lines, transportation, etc… it’s all part of the fun! It’s often why I say that vacation with kids under 5 is really just parenting in another city- but without control over any of the normal aspects of your life! You may call it a “trip!” 🙂
Enter reason #21235235 that I think Walt Disney World makes the perfect travel location for families with young children- Baby Care Centers. Also high up on my list is 1) free under 3, 2) transportation without having to deal with car seats or luggage, and 3) the sprinkle of Disney magic in just about everything you do. Anyways, back to Baby Care Centers.
How many times has your family been out and about and had to utilize a changing table in a public bathroom, only to discover there is no changing table in the bathroom or there is a changing table but it’s so filthy you wouldn’t consider using it? Surely that has happened to every parent! When you’re in Florida, you also have to consider the elements- high heat and some amount of precipitation the majority of the days of the year. You may also have to deal with warming up a bottle, nursing a baby, or even running out of supplies (planning logistics is HARD and totally a guessing game!) The Baby Care Center is Disney’s response to all of these problems!
What are Baby Care Centers?
Baby Care Centers are located in each Disney theme park and provide almost everything you could possibly need for young children. Each facility is open during park hours and provides a variety of amenities including:
Private nursing room- with rocking chairs and outlets for breast pumps!
Feeding area- equipped with high chairs
Marketplace- diapers, formula, sunscreen, clothing, baby food, juice, OTC medicines, wipes, pacifiers and more
Relaxation room- table/chairs, couch, TV and play area for slightly older children
Kitchen- with microwave and sink!
Changing room- with several insanely clean and constantly fresh changing tables for babies and toddlers
What Happens at Baby Care Centers?
In addition to providing all the amenities and products you could possibly need when traveling with young children, it also is a place to briefly escape the weather. The centers are air conditioned and go a long way in cooling down young ones after a long day in the sun!
Baby Care Centers are also the meeting point for lost children. If your child happens to be separated from you while at the Walt Disney World Resort, they will be escorted to the Baby Care Center by a Cast member until the parent returns to claim the child.
Whether you need to mix a bottle of formula or breastmilk, heat up a bottle, prepare baby food, or use a microwave to heat up a meal, the kitchen in the Baby Care Center makes it so that you don’t have to stop your fun mid-day to head back to the resort. Water and ice are provided in this area, free of charge. Plastic silverware is also available.
How Much Does it Cost?
There is no fee to use the Baby Care Center (although regular prices are charged if any products are needed).
Each Baby Care Center at the Walt Disney World Resort (I’ve been to all except Hollywood Studios) is equipped with at multiple changing tables that can accommodate multiple families. They are soft and padded, providing maximum comfort for your child. They also have bumpers on all four sides, preventing your child from rolling off the table and onto the floor. Each table has a disposable liner and is exquisitely cleaned by a Cast Member after each use. There’s also trash cans, a sink, and paper towels within reach for any cleanups that you wish to do on your own. The walls are decorated with elegant Disney artwork that captivates all of the kiddos during changes!
Toddler Friendly Restrooms
Most of the Baby Care Centers also include child-size toilets, one of my personal favorites! There is nothing like taking a recently potty trained toddler out in public only to have the constant sound of automatic flushing literally scaring the poop out of them! It makes what has turned into a normal event- using the toilet- into a big dramatic show because it is actually quite scary sounding! Particularly if you are in one of the larger park restrooms! Not only does the Baby Care Center provide a much smaller and private bathroom (usually 2-3 stalls), but there are toddler size toilets as well, allowing for maximum independence and a lot less scare!
Private Nursing Rooms
Nursing children publicly is now legal in all 50 states, and Walt Disney World has long been breastfeeding friendly. Nursing mothers are free to feed their children anywhere they wish throughout the parks. However, if desired, the Baby Care Centers offer private space for mothers looking for a relaxing location to nurse or pump. The nursing room in EPCOT has grand wooden rocking chairs and is dimly lit providing perfect aesthetics. For obvious reasons, I did not take a picture of this room. The adjoined First Aid Center will also hold your breast pump for you while you are out and about in the parks if you are looking to not haul it around all day- a super perk if you ask me!
As is the case with all of the Baby Care Centers throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, strollers are not allowed into the Baby Care Center so you will need to park it in the designated area outside.
The only thing missing from this little slice of heaven are cribs for littles to sleep in (similar to how they have in the nursery on the cruise ships!). Just kidding, kind of.
You can find EPCOT’s Baby Care Center between Test Track and Mexico Pavilion in the Odyssey Building.