I have been a Disneyland fanatic as long as I can remember. My family has been going every year since I was three years old and have made many memories there together. But sometimes people don’t think they can do Disneyland because they have little kids and there is no way that it would work.
Thankfully, since we just went there I have some helpful tips to share with you that worked out great for our family. Some of these things you’ve probably heard of, but I am going to give you real details on what to do, where everything is located and some secrets we found out that were fantastic for our family.
- Stroller Pass – You have probably heard/used the fast pass option at Disneyland and Disney World, but have you ever done a stroller pass? You go to the front of the line and tell the cast members that you have someone staying with the baby in the stroller and need a stroller pass. They will then give you either a pass right then to use after you get off that lets the person that had to wait and usually two others (three people total) get to go in the fast pass line and get on the ride quicker. We would do this at every ride and here’s what we found out:
- When you get a necklace pass like the one we got at Tower of Terror you are going to trade that with the cast member when getting on the ride to get your stroller pass.
- Soarin’ Over California stroller pass gets up to six people on each pass. These are great for those larger family groups because sometimes half the group stays behind so the ride is more fun. Or you can have it where people will be able to get on the ride again quicker.
- You can get stroller passes when you have a fast pass. You do the same thing asking for the stroller pass because people had to stay behind or you all would be in the fast pass line together.
- Space Mountain is the one ride where you will run into trouble unless you do exactly what I am about to tell you. When getting a stroller pass for Space Mountain you HAVE to show the child in the stroller to the cast members at the ride exit. They will NOT give you a pass unless you show them the strollered child. Sometime they will let you do it at the entrance of the ride, but just make it easier for yourself and the cast members and take the child in the stroller to the ride exit. You will be thankful that you listened to me on this one.
- Mothers Lounge/First Aid Station – Are you needing a place to breast feed your child? Have to change your child and what them to be comfortable? Maybe you are bottle feeding and need a place to heat up a bottle or even ran out of formula. They even have little potty’s for small children. The mothers lounge is a hidden gem at the end of Main Street between the camera store and Plaza Inn. If you walk back by the corn dog truck you will see the lounge on your right where you can do all these things.
Do you have a child that is throwing up all over the park? Take them to the first aid station and they will have everything you need to ale your nauseated child. I know this one because I witnessed this exact thing happening. A child, about eight or nine, was with her dad throwing up everywhere. They were able to get the child into the first aid and have them lay down and comfort them until they felt better.
- Character Meals – Your kids are going to see all the characters all over the park and they are going to want to wait in lines to meet all these characters. Let me make your life a little easier and completely more bearable. I did the character breakfast at Plaza Inn years ago with my niece and nephew and loved it. When we went with the little kids this time, we knew that we had to include this in our trip. You will want to make reservations to make sure that you get in and when you do your reservations you need to make it for every body that will be in there. We thought we only needed to make a reservation for those that would be eating that we would need to pay for, and that wasn’t the case. Thankfully they do take walk-ins, but just take the stress off of both you and the restaurant and make the reservation for everyone. What I really love about the character meals, especially at Plaza Inn, it’s buffet style and there is no stopping you on how much you can get there. And more good news, they have self serve Diet Coke any time of day. We did the breakfast and believe me, we had our fair share of Diet Coke for breakfast. Now, the real reason you want to do the character meals is because the characters come to you. You stay at your table and they will make their way over to you: Captain Hook, Pooh, Fairy Godmother, Minnie, etc. You are going to get plenty of characters coming to your during your meal and they actually spend quality time interacting with your children rather than rushing through the line. This will at least help you avoid standing in a few character lines.
- Baby Jogger City Select Stroller – This really is the stroller of Disneyland. You are going to see more of these strollers around the park than any other, and there is good reason; it’s perfect! Whether you have one, two or three kids needing a stroller, the City Select is the perfect choice. The seats recline back making nap time a billion times easier, great shade cover for keeping the sun off your little ones and it’s easy to break down and get on and off the trams. We stayed in a hotel away from the parks and took a shuttle bus. I was a little nervous because I knew that I would have to break the stroller down each time I got on there. It was so much easier than I thought it would be. We had two seats on there and they were light to carry separate from the stroller and the stroller folded down easy enough to be able to grab a middle bar to carry.
Like I said, everyone has this stroller in Disneyland, so make sure that you have something that distinguishes it from all the others: Mickey balloon tied on, accessory pack with cups you’d recognize, different colored seats that everyone else doesn’t have. We have the all black, and I had no clue there were so many people out there that have the exact same set up we do. Distinguishing your stroller will make finding it so much easier when getting off rides and trying to find it in the ocean of strollers that are all over the park.
- Pack the Snacks – When you go to Disneyland with my family, we get snacks after every single ride we go on. Unfortunately, this isn’t how Disneyland is for everyone and you need to be prepared with the little ones. It’s important to pack snacks that are easy to access and keep them satisfied between meals. We loved the Plum Organic fruit pouches that we could just give our toddler son, or easily feed our eight months old little girl. Of course you’ll pack the regular things: fruit snacks, granola bars and gold fish crackers. You will want to have plenty of options because if your kids are anything like mine, they don’t want the same thing every time you reach into the snack bag.
- Big Group? Remember the Little People – Are you going to be with a large group when you go to Disneyland? Make sure you are paying attention to the little ones in the group and making sure they are remembered too. There are tons of rides that all ages can ride on, but when you’re older and have gone to Disneyland without little ones you tend to forget that the little ones need to have some time on rides too. Not only that, remember that most of these little ones are the reason you are getting the stroller pass so be sure to go on rides with them too.
- Carry On – Little little ones in your group? You will want to take a carrier with you to keep them close and making it easier not having to constantly lock them in and out of the stroller. We have a Solly Baby Wrap that was perfect because it’s a light weight material and doesn’t make the wearer feel super hot from wearing excess fabric. My sister-in-law on the other hand had an Ergo carrier which was great because their little guy wants to be facing out the entire time. He likes seeing what is going on and being involved even though he is only eight months old. Really, take what works for you and your child and know that it will be a great item to have packed with you. I mean even our 16 pound baby got heavy after an hour wait for the Peter Pan ride.
- Secret Family Treat – If you have ever been to The Golden Horse Shoe, maybe you’ve heard of the hidden menu items they have there. One of our very favorites is the ice cream nachos. Does that sound disgusting? Well, get ready to hear how amazing it really is. They take waffle bowls and break them up (like chips), cover that with hot fudge, a scoop of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream and top with whipped cream and a cherry. Still think it sounds disgusting? This is a great dessert to share with the family. You can all sit around the table and enjoy this refreshing treat together.
Disneyland doesn’t have to be an awful experience for the parents because they have little ones with them. I feel like Disneyland was a billion times better because we had little ones with us. Being able to see the magic through their eyes and getting excited was good enough for me, but these trips and tricks can make it even better.