The Feasibility Of Touring Disneyland Paris While Pregnant
I never thought we would be the type of people that brought their 2-year-old child to Disneyland, let alone go to Disneyland Paris while pregnant. Everything was booked and paid for, and we weren’t interested in rescheduling for some distant future date. There are a handful of Disneyland pregnancy restrictions that one needs to be aware of before heading into the Park. That isn’t to say you won’t have a great time, it just means you won’t have the same experience as the non-pregnant members of your party.
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Disneyland Paris Pregnancy Restrictions
There are a handful of rides that expectant moms are not allowed. I noticed that most restrictions were due to the type of restraint used. Peter Pan’s Flight and Snow White’s Scary Adventures had a bar across the lap but they didn’t go down very far; frankly, my son could have slipped out considering the bar was just under his chin.
Since I knew it wasn’t bouncy and my baby bump was fairly small, I went. Dumbo the Flying Elephant also didn’t have an issue because they used a seat belt restraint, but Aladdin’s flying carpet was the same as Dumbo but with a bar. I could see this bar went much closer to one’s lap and I didn’t want to get hit if the carpet jerked to a stop.
Using The Easy Access Cards
Dubbed the Disneyland Paris Pregnancy Pass, if I was to use the Easy Access card, which I know many mothers that have – further along in their pregnancy – it is pretty easy to obtain. Simply present supporting documents (usually just a doctors note stating you are pregnant and can’t stand in line for long periods of time) to City Hall and away you go. The accessibility map, found here, outlines which queue expectant mothers are allowed to “skip the line”.
Easy Access Card: for guests with a temporary illness and for expectant mothers. Medical certificate (original copy): in either French or English, issued less than three months previously and signed and stamped by the doctor, certifying that the person has a temporary illness (e.g. is wearing a cast, has recently undergone an operation) or is pregnant.
Once obtained, take your card to the attraction entrance of an Easy Access Card accessible ride and the cast member will assign a return time, much like a fast pass without using the Fastpass kiosks. Like the Fastpass system, only one will be issued at a time, in order to gain a second return time, the first one must be invalidated (used or cancelled).
Cardholders are allowed to bring up to 4 helpers with them; some attractions limit this to one or two helpers due to popularity. There are two columns in the map; Greenpass holders stating how many helpers, and expectant mothers. Once you know you can ride, check how many can come with you. The pass holder must go on the ride in order for the group to skip the line.
Are the Restrictions Reasonable, Why?
Those that have studied the restricted list may be wondering why expectant mothers have more restrictions than toddlers? Surely if a 2-year-old can ride Pirates of the Caribbean, so can I. Not so fast, love.
It is agreed that a toddlers neck and spine are more fragile than a grown adult, this is not about the mother’s body. Disneyland Paris, and the Disney Company, in general, are more concerned about the unborn child that mom is carrying. Should the ride jolt, spin, drop or rock too quickly or too roughly, this could cause unknown damage to the baby. While there are no studies documenting a problem with these types of rides while you are pregnant, there are no studies documenting that they are safe either.
This rigorous activity creates additional jarring forces within the uterus that may lead to premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus, which is called placental abruption.
Although there are women, including myself, who have been pregnant and ridden various Disney restricted rides without complication, it is a risk that should be avoided.
Furthermore, there is a greater risk of harm during emergency evacuations should something happen on the ride. Attractions that require guests to climb down ladders or walk through narrow passageways are also restricted from many visitors with disabilities or special needs.
More to Consider Then Just the Ride
Being pregnant at Disneyland Paris has a whole other set of suggestions regarding breaks and meal times. It is important to have breaks, especially during the summer months, to keep the strain off your feet and back. Plan for a few rides that you can’t get on, in between the rides you can. When this isn’t possible, or you feel that a nap is warranted, try clumping all of the inaccessible rides together and make a plan to rejoin the family for dinner. Having a nap in the quiet, cool, hotel room is always better than 20 minutes breaks on a park bench twiddling your thumbs. Let’s be honest, it’s never 20 minutes and you will end up in a souvenir shop.
While eating at Casey’s Corner twice a day can mean the difference between breaking the bank and having another full day of park time, it isn’t the healthiest meal option in the park. Aim for at least one good meal, with Air Conditioning and plenty of time to eat slowly. We all know that food doesn’t go down as quickly as it used to, especially the further along you are, so having 1-1.5 hours to finish a full meal is ideal.
What’s that, any excuse to have a full Character dinner? Sure, why not. You need to eat, everyone wants to see characters. Why not do it at the same time and save yourself a line in the heat – your Easy Access Card doesn’t get you in immediately, they still make you wait a few minutes between each Easy Access Guest to be fair to the rest of the guests.
Don’t forget to wear awesome maternity shirts like these.
Ride Options at Disneyland Paris while Pregnant?
Dragon under the Castle
Le Pays des Contes de Fees
It’s a Small World
Legends of the Wild West
Pocahontas Indian Village
Buzzlightyear Laser Blast
Les Mystères du Nautilus
La Cabane des Robinson
Le Passage Enchante d’Aladdin
Walt Disney Studios Park
Art of Disney Animation
Mickey and the Magician
So while it is safe to say that any expectant mother will have to dramatically change their touring plans, it is not a fair assumption that she will have nothing to do. There are still plenty of attractions that mum can ride, and just taking in the sites. Disney has always been more than just the rides; it is about the experience, the ambiance, the food and shopping and parades. There is so much to do at Disneyland Paris, that you won’t even realize you’re missing out.
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