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Photo of Mom Breastfeeding Her Baby on Disney Ride Goes Viral

Meredith Barnyak sparked quite the conversation around breastfeeding after a photo of her feeding her daughter aboard Disney's Frozen Ever After theme park ride went viral.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published November 22, 2023
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Image: Octavio Jones | Getty Images

Breastfeeding can be a wild ride, but one mom is taking it to the next level!

Meredith Barnyak recently sparked conversation around breastfeeding after a photo of her breastfeeding her daughter aboard Disney World’s Frozen Ever After theme park ride went viral. “As soon as I saw the flash, I was like, ‘Oh no, I think all these people have a picture of (me) breastfeeding my baby on this ride,’” Barnyak laughingly told TODAY.com.

Barnyak explained that she had traveled from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Orlando, Florida last week to introduce her kids—Graham, 3, and Poppy, 1—to the magic of Disney World. Despite all the fun to be had, Barnyak noted that little Poppy often got a little squirmy on the slower rides she and her family would go on.

“She would just pull on my shirt and I thought, ‘OK, it’s dark out. We’re all humans. We’re all honestly going to enjoy the ride a lot better and you’ll be happier being fed,’” Barnyak said. A “pretty big proponent of any way you can feed your baby you should be able to do it — in any place," Barnyak was used to breastfeeding Poppy wherever she was and whenever she needed it.

Barnyak’s cousin, Jo Goddard, posted the photo on her company’s Instagram account along with the caption: “My cousin @meredithbarnyak being an absolute MOM on this Disney ride. 💪💪💪🏆🏆🏆❤️❤️❤️”

“I thought it was a great picture and our family was laughing about it. And so I was more than happy for Joanna to post it.” Barnyak added. The mom of two didn’t expect the post to start as much conversation as it did. Amid supportive comments like, “YESSS MAMA!!!🔥🔥 feed that baby anywhere anytime!” and “That genius! All about motherhood in one picture!” other jumped in with negative reactions or concerns.

“Not to be a stick in the mud but this seems…kinda dangerous?? Am I overestimating the thrill level on this ride? The rest of the adults seem to be clinging on pretty tight!” one woman wrote. Another added, “Sorry @cupofjo — big fan of you but this is stupid, dangerous and irresponsible. @disney allowed this? Lifetime Orlando resident and year after year people get hurt or killed on theme park rides — usually for being dumb. I have no words.”

Barnyak was surprised by these comments. And as she points out, her son Graham is calmly sitting on her husband’s lap on the other side of the bench. The two children are equally as secure. “I guess if you look at this picture, it might look like it’s an intense ride. But it’s a boat ride,” she explains. “There’s no seatbelts. It’s a very nice relaxing ride except that the there is a drop that you don’t see coming because it’s dark. And that’s what that photo was taken.”

The Disney website says the Frozen Ever After ride is appropriate for all ages and any height, noting that it is a slow ride with small drops. “If anything, I felt like it was actually more secure because she was in one place versus me having to juggle her moving around. I wouldn’t have breastfed my child if it was a roller coaster,” she concludes.

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