Disneyland with Toddlers: Here’s What to Know Before You Go

We recently completed our first trip to Disneyland with the kids – and though it was a trip I thought was going to be more for the kids than for us – I think it’s safe to say that we had just as much as they did in the park. Not only experiencing it ourselves for the first time, but being able to experience it through our children’s eyes: at eight, five and one year old.

Here are a few things to know before you take your toddler to Disneyland

Bring the Stroller
Don’t skip the stroller – even if you’re travelling with older children. There is a great way to get around the park, even for older kids because there is a lot of walking and sometimes, being pushed around a stroller can help to avoid a meltdown.

Know Where to Grab Non-Sugar Snacks
There’s enough of a sensory overload experience when you visit Disneyland, you don’t need to add in an excessive amount of sugary snacks into the mix. Find bagels and other easy breakfast items that aren’t going to break the bank at Starbucks and take advantage of the fruit stands around the park for a healthier option, like a chunk of pineapple, generous portion of watermelon or fresh fruit.

In fact, Buy the Snacks Before You Hit the Park
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Orange County – conveniently enough, located right across the street from Target. We stocked up on snacks the first day we arrived, to bring with us to the park, as well as reusable water bottles, since we had forgotten ours in the foyer at home.

Make Your Plan
We wasted the entire first day because we didn’t have a plan in place. Have a plan in place for one to two major attractions and rides that you want to experience, and a few extras.

Use Your Magic Morning
Getting up early for Magic morning was well worth the early alarm clock – we were able to cross off two rides from our ‘must experience’ list without waiting in the usually-long line-ups. However, do this earlier in your vacation than later, because we attempted it on the last day, and it was a disaster.

Download the Disneyland App
The Disneyland App is something that we referred to over and over. From meeting characters to knowing where and when those short appearances were going to happen (like a five minute appearance from Moana) to checking the wait times for the rides that were on our must-ride list.

Find Toddler Friendly Rides 
Knowing which rides are toddler and babe in arms friendly, and which rides offer for parents to switch off without waiting in line again not only give the kids the option to ride twice, but also provide the way for both parents to experience the ride, with the older kids. Keep in mind that even though some of the rides are baby and toddler friendly (like Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters) – it can be quite loud and scary for the youngest visitors!

What are some of the things you learned from traveling to Disneyland with Toddlers?

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