Top 5 Tips for Taking Small Children to Disneyland

Feb 11, 2012

As you may or may not have seen, we took Nora and Elsie to Disneyland back in December as our Christmas gift to them. You can read more about our trip in our post-Disney highlight post.

Now some of you "I-remember-everything-type people" probably recall that in that post I mentioned that I'd be writing a Top 5 Tips for Taking Small Children to Disneyland post. Well I'm proud (and ashamed all at the same time) to say that I'm FINALLY getting around to posting my tips.

Better late than never, right?! ;)

So let's get to it.
Steph's Top 5 Tips for Taking {Small} Children to Disneyland ::

1) Be Flexible. The ability to be flexible in life is HUGE - especially when you have children in tote.

In preparation for our trip I read a number of Disneyland blog posts (I even read most of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland - thanks mom and dad) and spoke with all of my friends and family who have been to Disneyland in the past. I had a plan in place and everyone was going to Typical Type A, first born kind of stuff.

Well - as I'm sure many of you who are snickering behind your computer screens have guessed - trips like these NEVER go as planned.

When planning your trip to Disneyland (with small children that is) be sure to keep in mind that flexibility is going to be your best friend. Not only that but it is going to make your trip 10x more enjoyable.

Just to give you a taste of what flexibility at Disneyland are just a few things to consider...
  • Your kids may or may not take a nap. So what!
  • One of your kiddo's may or may not have a meltdown in the Toy Story Mania ride line while 100's of people watch it all unfold (yes - 100s).
  • You may end up riding the Tea Cups and the Carousel 10+ times when you (personally) would rather try something new.
  • You may need to cave and let your kids eat more junk food than normal. Lollipops will come in extremely handy when waiting in a long line with a tired toddler.
2) Pack lots (and lots) of food. Unless you're able to drop a couple hundred dollars for food at the park you'll want to pack lots of food and drink options.

Although park officials do check your bags and purses before entering the park, we never once had any problems with the food and beverages we brought in. Stick to non glass items and you should be good to go.

3) If possible, reserve a hotel suite. Upon booking our hotel room at the Embassy Suites, we had no idea how brilliant of an idea it was to book a suite until we were actually staying there.

Now I'm sure a regular hotel room would have been just fine, but because we were in a suite, we were able to use the living room area during the times when the girls were sleeping to read, watch TV and/or chat with one another. It was a great blessing.

Not only did we love the actual room but specifically the Embassy Suites offers a hot made-to-order breakfast every morning. Thankfully this saved us a decent amount of money as we all had a large yummy breakfast each morning before heading out to the park.

4) Take full advantage of the Baby Swap and Fast Pass options.
Rather than describe these to you in this post, I'll give you a few links that will help explain these two services that will be a great treat for you as you navigate Disneyland with little ones.

5) Label your Children. Upon reading this suggestion on a number of other websites I was at first skeptical but after thinking about it more, I realized how genius of an idea it was.

Essentially it's suggested that you write your child's name along with your name and cell phone number on a piece of tape that you attach to the inside of your child's shirt. That way if your child does get lost, a Disney Cast Member is able to quickly get in touch with the child's caregiver.

Brilliant, right?! At the very least it helped give this mommy a piece of mind.

**Bonus Tip** ::
Bring a few adult beverages for drinking during nap-time and after bed-time. You're going to need them! :)

Is there anything I'm forgetting? Comment below with any additional tips you might have that will help any readers who are planning their own Disneyland trips.


Alison said...

Here is what I learned from my recent trip to Disneyland for Sofia's 1st Birthday...

Watch the parade at night! Sofia loved the parade with the lights on the floats.

We watched the fireworks from New Orleans Square because we were eating dinner right there (make reservations ahead of time for Disney resort resturants if you can), but it was not as crowded as main street and not nearly as loud...perfect for little ones!

Beware that not all kids like the characters! Sofia liked them from afar, but SCREAMED once they came near...just be prepared to possibly not get those cute photo's.

If you can, bring your own stroller, makes for more comfortable napping for baby!

Hope that helps :)

alan and steph said...

Those are great tips Alison! I agree - the parade was a huge hit with Nora! And Nora too was pretty scared of all of the characters :)

Thanks for sharing!

Anne said...

Thanks for the tips!I'm actually going to be there in 2 months to explore Orlando Parks with my twins and I know that it won't be easy for me! Thanks, I could definitely USE the advice!

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