For most parents, traveling with young children can be daunting. Many look for travel “hacks” and tips, especially when going to the most “Magical Place on Earth.”
One of the most common advice parents will hear when traveling with babies or toddlers is to take advantage of the Disney Baby Care Centers throughout Walt Disney World Resort. Although these little havens provide traveling parents or guardians with invaluable resources such as padded changing tables, highchairs for feeding, private nursing rooms, and baby supplies you can buy in a pinch, not all centers are created equal. So what are the best and worst between Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom? Let’s see…
Coming in last is the Baby Care Center located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. First off, it doesn’t have its own entrance. You can only access it through an inconspicuous door in the Guest Relation building. In addition to looking like you’re budding the line every time you enter, you may be approached by cast members blocking your way and asking what you need assistance with.
It’s also, without a doubt, the smallest Disney Baby Care Center. In addition to having the least amount of changing tables (two), no family restrooms, and it can barely contain more than two strollers. It’s also the only Baby Care Center without a dedicated cast member. So if you need help, you must find a cast member at guest relations or purchase baby supplies through a vending machine. Basically, it comes off more like a cast member break room that was retro-fitted into a Baby Care Center…
The Second Worst
Second to last is the one located at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT. Aside from being positioned off the beaten path in the Odyssey pavilion next to first aid, it’s a very cold and sterile environment. It comes across as a dentist’s office that has not been updated since the 80s.
However, it does much more space than the one at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, has bathrooms for parents to use, and has a dedicated cast member for assistance.
Coming in as a runner-up is Magic Kingdom Park’s Baby Care Center. Arguably one of the most attractive Baby Care Centers with an adorable Alice in Wonderland theme, it is relatively small, allowing for almost no strollers inside.
On the plus side, though, it has a convenient location between Main Street U.S.A. and Adventureland near the Crystal Palace. Since it’s near the middle of Magic Kingdom Park, it is relatively easy to get to regardless of your location.
However, it operates like a standard Walt Disney World Resort attraction in that they are trying to get you in, rush you out, and turn over the space as quickly as possible. While the center at Disney’s Hollywood Studios had no cast members when we visited, this one always had at least three every time we stopped by. But the extra cast members acted less like helpful daycare employees and more like security guards or the crowd traffic conductors.
That just leaves one park left, Disney’s Animal Kingdom! This is, hands down, the Best Baby Center on Walt Disney World property. Its square footage equals the size of many quick-service dining locations within Walt Disney World. It is also subdivided into many rooms, including a companion bathroom, a nursing area, the most oversized changing room of any Baby Care Center, and a large lounge/play area where children can crawl around, watch a Disney movie, or relax.
The spaciousness of the center allowed multiple families to be in at a time, bring in their strollers, and even take an hour-long break out of the sun between attractions. It was also “close” to the center of the Disney Park between Pandora and Discovery Island and located close to a Starbucks…
Each Baby Care Center can provide a nice spot to change a diaper and recharge with your little one when visiting Disney World. But depending on the time you spend in each park and where you’re staying, you may be better off returning to your Disney resort hotel room. We did.