People thought I was crazy to go to Disney World while I was still breastfeeding my baby. Honestly, it sounded like a logistical nightmare, but I’m here to tell you that it is possible to still have a magical day in the parks with a bulky breast pump in tow! Below I will share my personal experience with pumping in the parks which will include essential items, discrete pumping locations, and breast milk storage options.
Essential Items for Pumping at Disney World
Recently Disney’s prices have taken flight like Epcot’s Soarin’ Around the World. Therefore your time is more valuable than ever when visiting the parks. Here are some products that allowed me to best utilize my time and made my pumping sessions easier.
Manual Breast Pump
Although a pumping session can be longer with a manual pump, it can be used anywhere. I was able to pump in unconventional places like in Uber rides to and from the airport which saved me prized time by using this type of pump. I always kept my manual pump on me in case I needed to quickly and conveniently express milk. Make sure to bring the tops to the milk collection bottles for pumping on the go in case you are not able to dump the milk into a storage bag right away.
Product Suggestion: Lansinoh Manual Pump
Electric Breast Pump
Albeit cumbersome, I absolutely did not regret bringing my electric pump with me to Disney! I stored it in a locker as soon as I arrived at each park, saving me from toting it around all day. When it fit into my schedule I simply gathered my electric pump before heading to a Baby Care Center for a quick and sufficient pumping session.
I was also able to accomplish other tasks when doing this, which I will elaborate on in the hands-free pumping bra section. It’s worth noting that you will more than likely be stopped at the security checkpoint to have your bag searched when bringing an electric pump into Disney’s parks. I was stopped every time I had mine with me, but rest assured that the bag search only took a few minutes.
One security officer informed me that the glasses case in my bag could have actually been the culprit though. Also, if you fly to Orlando and have an electric breast pump with you it will need to be taken out of your luggage when going through security at the airport.
Product Suggestion: Spectra S2 Plus Electric Breast Pump
As I mentioned earlier, a manual pump is an opportune device for pumping. Since breastfeeding laws in Florida are unspecific about pumping and I consider myself pretty modest, a nursing cover was an essential item for me. Using my manual pump and nursing cover in combination, I was able to fit pumping sessions while on Uber rides and waiting to be seated at a Table Service Restaurant at Disney.
Product Suggestion: WeeSprout Nursing Cover for Breastfeeding
Hands-Free Pumping Bra
Looking for ways to make your pumping break less stressful? A hands-free pumping bra could be an exceptional solution for you! Not only does this bra design allow you to sit back and relax while pumping, you’re also able to capitalize on what could be considered lost time. I was able to secure Lightning Lanes (which you can learn more about here) and submit mobile food orders all while pumping!
Product Suggestion: Kindred Bravely Sublime Hands Free Pumping Bra
Worried about unexpected leakage from stretching the window between pumping sessions? Then wearing nursing pads in your bra is key. I wore some while I was visiting the parks mainly for assurance but never seemed to actually need them.
Product Suggestion: Lansinoh Stay Dry Disposable Nursing Pads for Breastfeeding
Sling Bag and/or Backpack
I kept a manual breast pump in a sling bag that was on me at all times and an electric pump in a backpack that was kept in a large locker (the cost for a large locker is $12 and does not transfer to another park when park hopping.)
In addition to storing my mammoth electric pump, I was also able to keep cold water bottles that stayed moderately cool in the locker. As all of you breastfeeding mamas know, it is important to stay hydrated in order to maintain milk supply, and expressing milk, in general, can make you incredibly thirsty! Combine that with the Florida heat to bring significant worth to renting a locker.
Breast Pump Cleaning Wipes
Disney’s Baby Care Centers have sinks available for cleaning parts of your pump. However, for those times when one is not so readily available, breast pump cleaning wipes are super handy. To use this product simply deconstruct the pump and wipe down all the surfaces after each use (just make sure to give the parts adequate time to air dry before using the device again.)
Product Suggestion: Medela Quick Clean Wipes
It is vital to keep pumping parts sterile, that is why I recommend using an additional bag exclusively for these pieces. Before I stored my pump parts, I preassembled them arranging the flange, the valve, backflow protector, and milk bottle all to the connector. Having my pump ready to go made my pumping sessions a lot faster! It’s also nice to have an extra receptacle for milk storage bags to catch unwelcomed spills.
Product Suggestion: Gallon Size Zip Bags
Small Cooler and Ice Pack(s)
Temperature control is a cardinal rule when it comes to safely handling expressed milk. Therefore if you plan on having your baby drink your pumped milk later, a cooler and ice pack are ideal. I expand on milk storage further in the Breast Milk Storage Options section of this article.
Product Suggestion: Spectra Cooler Bag Storage Kit for Breast Milk
Milk Storage Bags
Depending on the length of your trip and how much milk you collect, storage bags specifically for milk will allow you to consolidate this accumulation. They are designed to lay flat and usually have a place for a timestamp. Plus, if you are flying home, putting filled milk storage bags into another bag like a Ziploc, will make it more easily accessible when going through security at the airport.
Product Suggestion: Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags
Discrete Pumping Locations at Disney World
Florida law allows women to breastfeed their babies in public, however, the language is not specific to pumping. If you are worried about being charged with public indecency, then using a nursing cover while pumping in public could offer some protection.
Fortunately, Walt Disney World has Baby Care Centers with designated spaces where you can privately and comfortably pump! Although this is the ideal place to get a pumping session in, sometimes creativity is needed in finding a discreet place to pump so that you can maximize your day.
It can feel like more than breastmilk is being drained from you when stepping away from the fun and excitement while at Walt Disney World. Knowing when and where to pump ahead of time can help put your mind at ease and keep FOMO at bay. Here is what two days of pumping at Walt Disney World looked like for me:
|1:00 PM||10||Electric||Baby Care Center|
|11:30 PM||10||Electric||Hotel room|
|6:30 AM||10||Electric||Hotel room|
|10:30 AM||10||Electric||Baby Care Center|
|1:30 PM||10||Manual||Sanaa lobby|
|10:00 PM||10||Electric||Mamava Pod|
Baby Care Center
As mentioned previously, each park has a designated private space for nursing/breastfeeding mothers found in the Baby Care Centers. I personally used this facility in Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Both exceeded my expectations and were more than accommodating! There was a rocking chair to sit in, conveniently located outlets for an electric pump, a workspace for equipment and bags, and a sink to wash breast pump parts. The major difference between the two was that the Hollywood Studios location had curtains for the private nursing/pumping rooms and the Animal Kingdom location had closed-off rooms with proper doors. To locate the Baby Care Centers in each park, use the filters on this map. Bonus points go to the Baby Care Center at Hollywood Studios for being across from the location of the lockers!
As you can see in the chart above, I only pumped in a restroom once. The restrooms at Disney are not the most conducive for pumping. From my experience, the restrooms I used did not have any benches in them and were almost always crowded; not exactly the place where one would like to spend 10- 20 minutes of their time. When I did pump in a restroom, I did so in a stall with a manual breast pump and kept the session shorter to just 5 minutes on each side.
If dining at a table service restaurant is on your must do list when going to Disney World, then combining this stop with a pumping session can be a great option. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has a restaurant where you can view safari animals while you dine called Sanaa. When I ate there, I pumped in a little nook in front of the hostess stand with a partition that also had outlets as well as stools. One of the hostesses actually recommended that I pump there when I explained my circumstances. She assured me and told me that I was welcome to pump anywhere that I felt most comfortable and even brought over a sign to deter people from gravitating in my direction so that I could have a little more privacy. I only had one person walk up on me and they were only parking a stroller and it was not an awkward exchange at all.
I was very anxious about pumping in my Uber rides but I knew it was the perfect opportunity to do so. Honestly, with the nursing cover and manual pump, I don’t think the drivers even noticed. I had a male driver for one of the rides and I made sure to ask before I pumped because I did not want to make him uncomfortable.
Although technically not at Disney World, I would be remiss to mention this surprising location to pump at the Orlando International Airport (MCO): Mamava Pods. What is a Mamava Pod? Well MCO has four of them and they are windowless standalone rooms located in the airport terminals that have bench seating, hand sanitizer, paper towels, coat hanger hooks, counter space, and outlets.
Basically, a Mamava Pod is a Godsend for mothers looking to breastfeed or pump privately with ease! My flight home was delayed so it felt so luxurious to have this personal space to pump and also charge my phone! There are actually nine appointed locations for lactation needs at MCO in total including these pods as well as traditional rooms. You can locate these on this map labeled “Nursing Room/Pod.”
Pumping Friendly Disney Attractions
When I pumped at Disney I did not feel the need to do so while experiencing any attractions. In hindsight, there are a few that I would use in the future. Here they are broken down by park:
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Enchanted Tiki room
- Haunted Mansion
- The Hall of Presidents
- Mickey’s Philharmagic 3D Movie (indoor film)
- Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
- People Mover
- it’s a small world
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- It’s Tough to be a Bug!
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo the Musical
- Na’vi River Journey
- Train ride to the Conservation Station
- UP! A Great Bird Adventure
- Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
- Disney Jr. Live on Stage
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- Muppet Vision 3D
- Mickey Shorts Theater
- Voyage of the Little Mermaid
- Walt Disney Presents
- Awesome Planet (indoor film)
- Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along (indoor film)
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival (indoor film)
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
- Harmonious Nighttime Spectacular
- Impressions de France (indoor film)
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Spaceship Earth
- The American Adventure (indoor film)
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Breast Milk Storage Options at Disney World
I did not save my milk when I pumped at Disney for numerous reasons. However, I have experience storing it for other occasions and have come across some helpful information in my research. Below I will discuss options for saving expressed breast milk so that your baby can safely consume it when you are reunited.
How to Store Milk Safely in the Parks at Disney World
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), freshly expressed breast milk is safe to consume for up to four hours without cooling it. So if you are pumping on the go in the parks, that gives you some leeway to get back to a locker to store your milk properly in a cooler without having to carry it with you. However, this rule is only relevant at room temperature, so on those hot Florida park days you might want to do what you can to keep it cool. I recommend sticking a little ice pack in whatever bag you are carrying or dumping some ice into a Ziploc bag and then placing your milk storage bags/containers inside it (you can get a cup of ice for free at any quick-service food location or first aid station at Disney World.) Last I heard is that loose ice in coolers is not allowed in the parks, so if you need to use ice to keep breast milk cool just make sure to bag it.
How to Store Milk Safely at Disney World Resorts
Most rooms in the resorts at Walt Disney World have a small fridge that can keep breast milk cool. If your trip is longer than four days, then freezing becomes a necessity in order to be in compliance with safety standards. Know that even if your room does not have a freezer that there are ways to get your milk frozen or back to your baby in time. For example, the general consensus seems to be that Bell Services will happily freeze labeled breast milk for guests. Also, there is a unique company called Milk Stork (not affiliated with Disney) that has an array of products and services that make it easier to pump and get milk to your baby safely. There are travel coolers as well as a service that allows you to overnight your expressed milk in a temperature-controlled package. What’s even better about this company is that some employers include their services in their employee benefits packages!
Disney Resorts that Have Freezers
In general, the one-bedroom or larger at Disney Deluxe Villa Resorts should have a full kitchen that includes a refrigerator with a freezer. As far as moderate resorts, the Cabins at Fort Wilderness actually have freezers too! However, I strongly recommend double-checking with whatever resort you choose to stay at to confirm that there is indeed a freezer. It is a little more unpredictable right now what to expect in Disney resort rooms since they are doing a lot of renovating.
Here is a list of Disney Hotels in the Deluxe Villas Resort Category:
- Disney’s Polynesian Villas and Bungalows
- Disney’s Rivera Resort
- Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Jambo House
- Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa
- Disney’s Old Key West Resort
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
- Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
More thorough information on safe breast milk handling on the CDC’s website can be found here.
Breast Milk and Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Wondering if you can bring more than 3.4 ounces of breast milk onto an airplane? The answer is yes! However, the TSA website does say that the quantity should be within reason. When going through security at the airport make sure to remove breast milk from your bag when putting your personal belongings in the bins as you go through the checkpoint. You can find more in-depth information on this topic here.
I was really on the fence about going to Disney while still breastfeeding my baby. Although it was daunting, I’m so glad I did! Thankfully society as a whole is moving in a direction that is more accommodating for lactation and Disney World did an excellent job in making me feel supported during my breastfeeding journey. Hopefully, this article will give you breastfeeding mamas out there some encouragement for any trips you have coming up that require you to pump!
Kelly is a coastal gal from Savannah who has planted roots in the big city of Atlanta. Like many south easterners, she grew up vacationing in Orlando, and Walt Disney World is the setting for some of her most cherished childhood memories. As she recently became a mother, Kelly is thrilled to continue the tradition and share the magic with her son! She has a passion for helping others and previously had a career as an educator as well as a social services worker. Kelly hopes to use her expertise to create empowering content that will allow our readers to gain confidence for their next visit to Disney!