Skip to the end if you are looking for tips to Doing Disney with Toddlers!
Disneyland holds a special place in my heart. When I was a kid I was very lucky or spoiled…probably both… and got to go to Disneyland with my family almost every summer for a span of about 10 years. I have so many memories of the tea cups with my dad, the Dumbo ride with my mom, the light parade, my sister and brother running around in Toon Town, and Minnie & Mickey ears with all our names embroidered on the back. So naturally I couldn’t wait to take Piper and Kenzie!
I had to do some major convincing to get Pat on board with the idea. Let’s be honest, it’s not a cheap trip. After months of talking about it I somehow, magically, convinced him it was the perfect gift for Piper’s 4th birthday and won the battle. I’m so glad I did because the trip was nothing short of amazing! We ALL had an amazing time.
The four of us packed into the car for a road trip to DISNEYLAND to make our little one’s dreams come true!
The first time at Disneyland is always the best time, and getting to experience the first time for my girls through their eyes was like going for the first time again myself. They were both in aw–between the characters, rides, castles, firework show, and candy, there wasn’t a dull moment.
To my surprise most of the rides are family friendly and Kenzie, who was 19 months at the time, may have liked them more then Piper.
Characters kept Piper on the look out. She was searching for Princesses ever step she took.
Tarzan’s tree house was a fun place for the girls to run around and take a break from waiting in lines. I remember it as the Smith Family Robinson’s tree house! Things have changed a bit.
Disneyland at Night is even more magical, the lights are amazing! It is definitely worth keeping the kids up past bedtime to see the firework show and all the lights. Piper talks about going back to Disneyland every-single-day. It was the perfect gift!
You made it! Here are all the tips I found to be really helpful traveling to Disneyland with 2 toddlers. Hopefully you find them helpful too!
- They are expensive! Children under 3 are free, take advantage of that! Kenzie was 19 months when we went and she absolutely LOVED all the rides! They have quite a few family rides that don’t have hight restrictions.
- Park Savers has some great deals on tickets if you buy them ahead of time.
- The Park Hopper tickets aren’t worth it! If you are going for more then a day I recommend doing the one park per day pass. You won’t want to run from park to park, there is plenty to see in one, in fact we spent a full day at Disneyland and didn’t see everything! California Adventure is a little smaller but still has a packed full days worth of adventures inside.
- Bring it with you! You can bring snacks and water into the park which was news to me and thank goodness! Lines get long and kids get antsy. Snacks in lines habitually seem to help my littles who are always hungry. Restaurants inside Disneyland and just outside are all over priced you just have to expect it.
- Bring one! You may end up ditching it in stroller parking for most of the day like we did but you can store all your extra snacks, diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes or sweaters underneath. For storage alone its worth it. Just remember to bring anything valuable with you. Its nice to have a stroller at the end of the day to walk back to the hotel or parking lot, your kids will be tired! We brought our Maclaren single Umbrella stroller and the girls took turns riding in it. It worked out perfectly for our family.
- Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth but it also might be the most crowded place on earth! Do yourself a huge favor and download the Disneyland App its free and it shows you how long the lines are, we purposely stayed out of any lines that were longer then 10 minutes.
Lines with Babies:
- Your whole party can all wait in line together as a family. If you have a little one who doesn’t meet a hight restriction or doesn’t want to ride an attraction just ask a cast member about the Ride Swap option when getting into line. They will give you a pass so one member of the group can stay back with the none rider, then when the rest of your group returns you don’t have to wait in the regular line again.
Parades, Fireworks & Characters:
- Get your spot early for parades and fireworks. It fills up! It is the busiest place on earth after all. It’s worth it to see the wonder behind your little ones eye. Characters have lines too…I don’t remember lines to see Mickey when I was little but they were probably there. The Disneyland App will tell you when and where your favorite characters are. Use it!
- Do you always wonder how people on Instagram have photos with no one in the background at Disneyland? If you stay in a Disney Hotel you get a major perk with Magic Hour. An hour before the park opens to the public you can get in. Next time we’re doing this!
- If you don’t want to stay in a Disneyland Hotel there are plenty with free shuttles near by. We stayed at The Annabelle Hotel and walked to the park daily and back and forth for naps. Its not far at all and they have all the amenities, including 3 room kid suites so each of us had our own room! And a pool which is a necessity with Kids, and, yes, in California you can swim in November!
- Once in the park you can head to the City Hall building to the left of the park as soon as you get through the main entrance to receive a free 1st Timer, Celebration or Birthday Button. It’s a fun little keepsake.
- Water is always free at any restaurant.
- If your balloon pops they will replace it if you bring the popped one to get it replaced. It’s something… Disneyland isn’t cheap so every bit counts!
- California Adventure sells alcohol, Disneyland does not.
- Even the happiest place on Earth can cause temper tantrums. 😛
- You may want more then 1 day to explore Disneyland, it is huge and with toddlers you’ll probably need to take a break in the middle of the day to rest up.
And this 4 year old is all tuckered out at the end of a perfect first time at Disneyland!
Did I forget anything? What are your Disneyland with toddler(s) tips?
Read about our trip to Disney’s California Adventure HERE!