Disneyland is one of my favorite places on earth. I never tire of going. Even as adults me and my husband would take yearly trips to enjoy a little Disney magic. Since having kids we have waited until they were able to enjoy it to take them. With an almost 4 year-old, a two year-old, and a baby on the way we figured we better take advantage and take them before the new baby got here.
I received admission to Disneyland for this post, all opinions and ideas are my own.
Our kids were great ages to enjoy the park. So many people told us, “They are not going to remember going this young.” And they are right, my two-year-old will not remember going, but I will. I will remember seeing her sweet little face light up when she met Minnie Mouse, her absolute favorite, for the first time. Or how she couldn’t stop telling Cinderella that she was, “just so pretty.” I will never forget the look on my sons face when he came off of Radiator Springs Racers and declared, “That was AWESOME!!” Then when I asked if he wanted to go again, his response was, “No thanks, I don’t think the fast ones are for me.” I don’t regret a single thing about our trip. My kids could not ride all the bigger rides but they were the perfect ages to really soak in the powerful magic Disney has to offer. Now packing toddlers through the park for the day was very different than just heading in as adults, here are the tips I learned that might help out another family.
- Pack food – If you have toddlers you know they can be picky eaters and love their familiar foods. Food in the parks can be expensive and there is nothing worse than throwing away a plate of food because it wash;t what your toddler expected. My son is a huge PB fan so we packed him some sandwiches for each day along with some other snacks. It was the perfect way to keep my kids ruled for the day and not spend a ton of money on food. That way we could save our food money for special Disney treats like churros, Dole Whips, and Red’s Apple Freezes in Cars Land.
- Make A Flexible Plan – Me and husband decided this trip was about our kids. We made a general plan of things we knew they would love like certain rides and events like the parades, but then we let them call the shots. If they wanted to do something twice, we just rolled with it. In fact when the boys were on Soaring Over California, we rode the Little Mermaid ride 5 times back to back, because my little girl could just not get over how much she loved it. When your kids are happy and relaxed your day will go much more smoothly.
- Know Where The Bathrooms Are – When you have young kids it is important to plan ahead for things like potty emergencies. Take kids before getting into a long line and avoid that horrible dash and risk loosing your spot. Our 2-year-old is newly potty trained in the last two months. She is pretty good at knowing when she needs to go but when she is distracted she usually forgets until it is an emergency. We actually let her wear Pull-Ups while we were in the parks, just in case. She stayed dry and we didn’t really need them, but it was a load off my mind and let me relax from “potty police” duty. I was terrified she would declare she needed to go after already being on It’s A Small World and we would have no way off the ride for 25 minutes!
- Bring/Rent a Stroller – The park has awesome strollers for rent or you can always bring your own. Either way, having somewhere to dump all of our stuff not to mention not tire out those little feet with all the walking we did was one of the best decisions we made. It also allowed our kids to take naps when they were tired. It was huge help and cut back on the tantrums big time.
- Bring Each Kid Their Own Water Bottle/Drink Cup – Did you know you can get free cold water all over the park? Stop at any restaurant or cart and ask for a cup of water and they will give you free of charge. Having a cup for your kids makes it easy to split these up or make them a little more kid friendly!
- Let Them Meet All Their Favorite Characters- I like to think of Disney kids in two groups, there is the age of the big roller coasters and the age of the character friends. There will come a day when my kids would rather binge ride space mountain and skip the dumbo ride, but at this young age they loved meeting their favorite movie friends, help them get the most out of this experience by making them an easy DIY Autograph Book.
Easy Disney Autograph Book DIY
For this Autograph Book you will need these things:
- A 6×8 Photo Album
- Page protectors that are divided into two 3×4 sections
- An Assortment of 3×4 cards
- A Mini Clipbaord
- A New Black Marker
Before you hit the park prepare your clipboards. I used all Becky Higgins Project Life products for mine, I had them on hand already and they are cute, easy, and affordable. You can use what ever type of paper you would like, just make sure that your papers are 3×4.
Clip a stack of cute cards onto a clipboard for each of your kids. You could decorate your clipboards if you wanted to, I left mine plain to keep my project simple.
When You meet a character have them sign their own 3×4 card and take a picture with them, then rotate that card to the back of the stack. I loved that these were easy for my toddlers to hold, and they didn’t have to bother with turning pages etc.
Your kids now have a priceless keepsake to remind them of their fabulous trip to the park!