There is nothing cuter than infants and toddlers in mouse ears. So if you’re planning a trip to Disneyland make sure to pocket these tips to ensure those smiles keep coming.
1. Baby Care Centers
There is one Baby Care Center in each park and they are completely furnished with parents and babies in mind. The center in Disneyland is at the end of Main Street next to the First Aid Center and the one in Disney’s California Adventure is next to the Ghirardelli Soda Shop on the Pacific Wharf. These locations are fully staffed and open during regular park hours. They are free of charge and house nursing rooms, changing tables and feeding areas with high chairs. They also have lounge rooms with TV’s, tables and chairs, as well as kitchens with microwaves and sinks. If you are missing any of your basic supplies you can purchase them here. They carry sunscreen, pacifiers, baby food, formula, juice, wipes, etc. In the instance that you can’t make it to a Baby Care Center in time, there are changing stations in most of the restrooms at the resort.
2. Pack Lightly
By all means, bring everything that you could possibly need during your stay but have a small bag handy for the essentials. Lockers and Strollers can be used for back up storage space but you’ll want to have the important things available. Examples of what to pack for the park: extra outfits, sunscreen, snacks, blankets for shade or warmth, an extra phone battery, wipes, water, bubbles and comfort items for entertainment, and of course…your stroller.
**Bonus Tip** Strollers are for rent in the park but if you bring your own, we would suggest walking it from the parking lot to the park entrance instead of taking the tram during busy seasons. The trams can only fit a couple of strollers each trip so if you don’t mind a 10-15 minute walk, you’d save time getting to the gates by walking.
3. Know the Park
There are certain areas of the parks that are better suited for younger kids. The Red Queen Co. has developed a park guide for smaller kids that includes a full itinerary for a day at Disney, tips for each attraction, games and information to use throughout your trip. The “lands” that young children enjoy the most are Fantasyland & Mickey’s Toon Town in Disneyland and The Hollywood Backlot & It’s a Bug’s Land in California Adventure.
4. There’s some scary stuff
Along with knowing the park, be aware that some attractions are surprisingly scary. Some children don’t mind darkness, noises and lights while others are a bit more sensitive. Snow White’s Scary Adventures is called “scary” for a reason even though it’s in Fantasyland. You can read more about a few unexpectedly frightening attractions here, and hopefully your little one will be a-ok even in the dark.
5. Nap Time will save you
The park is busiest in the early afternoon (12pm-5pm) so this is the perfect time to rest. If you can make it back to your hotel for a break, this would be the perfect time to give the kids a quick bath, an afternoon snack and tuck them in for a comfy nap before the nighttime entertainment begins. If you don’t have a hotel around the area to escape to there are TONS of spots to retreat to for a break. Afternoon shows such as Mickey & The Magical Map and the Fantasyland Theater provide seating for the whole family to rest as well as enjoy a show.
6. Rider Switch Pass, don’t miss out!
This is perfect to take advantage of while the kids are catching Z’s. If there is a Big Kid ride that you’d like to experience that would be too much for the kids or they don’t meet the height requirements, you can still ride by using The Rider Switch pass. On certain attractions (listed below), Cast Members will allow one parent to wait with the kids while the other(s) ride the attraction. Ask for a Rider Switch Pass when you get to the front of the line and after you return the other parent can skip to the front of the line while you watch the kids!
Attractions with Rider Switch:
Disneyland – Autopia, Big Thunder Mountain, Gadget’s Go Coaster, Indiana Jones, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Star Tours.
California Adventure – California Screamin, Goofy’s Sky School, Grizzly River Run, Radiator Spring’s Racers, Silly Symphony Swings, Soarin’ Around the World, Tower of Terror, Tuck & Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies.
7. Character Dining, picture perfect
Who wants to wait in line for pictures with Minnie Mouse when you can have her come to you while you eat breakfast! Character Dining is the perfect way to start off your day and get the little ones acquainted with the toons that run the park. You can take pictures while everyone is still bright eyed and bushy tailed and also save time by knocking out the bulk of your souvenir pictures before the crowds roll in. You can learn more about character dining here before your trip and make reservations which are highly recommended.
Tips provided by Alana Talbert of The Red Queen Co. Read more updates and tips about the Disneyland Resort parks in California and check out their curated park guides at www.TheRedQueenCo.com.