TIPS FOR GOING TO DISNEYLAND WITH A BABY
Disneyland is always a fun and magical place. I grew up going there for family vacations. Now that I have my son, it meant I have to do Disneyland a little different from pre-motherhood time. I have put together some tips for taking a baby to Disneyland:
- Whether you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding and need a quiet place, the baby centers located in both Disneyland (located by the corn dog cart) and California Adventure (located by Ghirardelli) are a must. I have gone in there to nurse and change his diaper. It’s quiet and cool. It gives your baby a break from all that stimulation from the park. They have areas to pump and nurse that are more private than just finding a spot in the park. They have plenty of changing tables and you can also buy supplies you may need such as diapers or baby food. I haven’t bought any so I cannot speak for the cost. It’s also a good place to take little ones to a child size potty if they are no longer in diapers. I found this place to be very helpful, especially if my little one needed a break before nap time.
2. Remember, there is a lot going on at Disneyland. People walking, talking, wearing silly hats, rides moving, characters, you name it. This can over stimulate your child so be mindful and know your child’s signs for when they are tired and have had enough. We only took a picture with Mickey Mouse and that was it. Little man didn’t know what to think of Mickey so I wasn’t going to push him. We made sure to leave the park to walk back to the hotel to make sure he had time away from all that hustle and bustle.
3. Come prepared with lots of snacks and water. We made sure to always have water at all times. Little man loves drinking out of a straw or water bottle so that was easy. Snacks we would bring included whole grain goldfish (he just tried these and loves them), yogurt melts, applesauce squeezers, baby mum mums, string cheese and apple slices. Of course, he has his favorites and some of the other things he didn’t want at all. Lots of options help keep their tummies happy.
4. It’s Southern California which means lots of sunshine. I always had sunscreen on him and brought a sun hat and his babiators. His stroller has a good sun shade too. He usually had the sun hat on when he was in the carrier.
5. Strollers are a must especially if your little one isn’t walking. This guy loves crawling, but is not walking quite yet. As much as I hate having to maneuver a stroller in Disneyland, it was worth it. He loves being able to people watch and when he was sleepy, I’d recline the stroller seat and he could begin to wind down on the way back to the hotel to nap. Disneyland does offer stroller rentals, again I haven’t done that yet so I can’t talk about costs. The stroller worked for us, but may not work for everyone. When he wasn’t in the stroller, I used the Ergo Baby 360 carrier. He loves facing outward to watch the people or to do the side carry, similar to me holding him in my arms. At times he didn’t want to be in the stroller and just wanted me to hold him, but he is too heavy to hold the entire time without the help of the Ergo.
6. Whether you are pushing a stroller, wearing a carrier or chasing your little one, comfy shoes are a must! It’s a lot of walking with or without a little one. I wore my Allbirds pretty much the entire time we were there. So comfortable! No blisters or rubbing and my feet weren’t sore or tired.
7. It’s up to you if you want to do rides with your little one. Babies and toddlers can go on rides that don’t have a height limit. This includes Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean, basically any of the dark rides. You know your child best and know what they will or will not enjoy. We did Winnie the Pooh and he was amazed. I didn’t want to over do it with rides because again it’s a lot for a little one to take in.
8. You may think that because you have a baby that you can’t go on the bigger rides, but if you have a few people in your party you can use the baby swap pass. You simply go to the cast member who stands where the line begins and checks for fast passes and ask for a baby swap. They need to see the child (you can’t pretend you have a baby) and ask which member of your party will stay with the child. Once you have determined who stays the cast member will either hand you or a person in your party a pass (looks similar to a fast pass). The first of your party waits in line for the ride while you stay with your baby. Once they have gone on the ride and exit, you swap. For example, my mom and sister would go on first and then my mom and I would swap. She would stay with my son while I ride the ride with my sister (she gets the best deal and rides them twice!). The second time around, you don’t wait in line. You either go through the exit with your pass or through the fast pass line with your pass that will be collected before you go on the ride. Typically the passes are dated so you must use it that same day. It doesn’t have to be used right away that day. Sometimes we saved it for later in the afternoon. This way everyone can still enjoy the thrill rides such as Hyperspace Mountain, Thunder Mountain Railroad and Indiana Jones to name a few.
Anyways, these are tips that I have tried and use every time we go to Disneyland (this was baby boy’s third time and he did so well).