With our Disneyland trip just around the corner, I thought it might be useful to share some Disneyland tips for infants and toddlers. Disneyland can be pretty overwhelming but there are so many wonderful resources all around the park. Here are some tips from Disney mom, Joanne, who has a toddler and an infant.
Disneyland Tips for Infants and Toddlers
1. Use the Baby Centers. There is one located in Disneyland. It’s on the right side of Main St when walking toward castle. There’s a little side street next to Plaza Inn and Red Corndog Wagon. There is another one located in California Adventure, on Pacific Wharf near Ghirardelli.
The Baby centers offer a quiet and private place to nurse your baby. I visit at least twise a day with my little one. There are clean diaper changing stations and toddler toilets. Baby necessities like diapers, formula, baby food, diaper cream and other necessities are available for sale in the event you may have run out of or forgotten. Workers man the baby center and are very friendly and helpful! When my son caught a stomach bug, he threw up inside the baby center all over the floor and me. The workers were so quick to clean him up and also helped us both stay calm.
There’s also a bottle warmer and microwave to warm food, as well as high chairs to feed your baby.
Lost children also brought here, but it also serves as a great retreat if kids need cool-down or need escape from the park. Kids can read a book or watch a video. My son likes to read books at the center in California Adventure while I nurse or change his sister.
2. Bring or rent a stroller. It’s a long day. Strollers not only help the kiddies (and you) get around the park quickly, but also provide a place for them to nap during the day. It’s also a great money saver since it serves as a portable locker. Score! The cargo area of most strollers are perfect to store blankets, snacks and jackets during your excursion in the parks. It works like a shopping cart too.
3. If you have an infant or young toddler, bring a comfy baby carrier. The kids don’t always want to stay put in the stroller so we just strap them on and go. It’s also a good way to hold on to them during rides and while standing in ride and food lines. Anything to keep your hands free is always helpful. Important Note: Some rides may not allow them to stay in the carrier. The one that comes to mind is Roger Rabbit in Toontown. The carriers are also handy to get on a ride while they’re napping. Sasha actually stayed asleep in her carrier while we rode Pirates of the Caribbean.
4. Bring snacks. This is not only a money-saving tip, but also a good tip to prevent kids (and parents) from getting “hangry”. Mum-mums and puffs are always easy for infants. I also bring in fruit pouches for both of them especially since they may not be getting veggies while at the park. Their faves are pouches from Plum Organics or Happy Tots (Happy Baby). One of my son’s favorite snacks are pb&j rollups. They’re peanut butter and jelly rolled into a whole wheat tortilla and wrapped in saran wrap. It’s just like an unfried pb&j taquito! We also bring in our own fruit. 1 banana at Disneyland= $2!
5. Bring a reusable/refillable water bottle. This is another money saver. Each of us have our own bottle such as a hydroflask or contigo filled with water. We refill it at the restaurants as needed. Fight dehydration and overpriced water!
6. Bring layers. During this time of year and even sometimes during summer, it’s really hot during the day, but cools down a lot at night. Bring a change of clothes (pants or long sleeves) or jacket for the evening. We always bring blankets, especially while they’re napping in the strollers at night.
7. Hot and sunny during the day usually, so don’t forget:
d. Stroller shade. We use a thin muslin blanket and tie it onto the stroller.
e. Stroller fan (only really needed it in July/August during 90+ degree weather)
8. Hotel and Parking. It’s most convenient to stay at a hotel that’s walking distance to the park. We like the Fairfield Residence Inn as it is right across the street. It’s close enough that we can take the kids back to the hotel for an afternoon nap before the evening festivities.
If we do have to park there, Daddy usually drops us off and he parks on his own. Easier and faster to not have to deal with loading the kids, stroller and gear on and off the parking tram. Also, I go through security right away since it takes more time for security to look through baby bag and stroller. Daddy can go through quicker since he’s solo with no bags. The timing usually works out that we either meet at ticket turnstiles or right inside the entrance of the park.
9. Check out the Disney Menus. If you have picky eaters, look at the menus of the park restaurants ahead of time so that you know where to get food that the kids will eat. My son will only eat chicken strips and fries, so I know that the quickest place I can get that in Disneyland is at Golden Horseshoe and at Smokejumpers Grill at California Adventure. I’ve found out the hard way that not all of the restaurants carry that. Check out the menus ahead of time at https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/ to save yourself the hassle of searching through a crowded park for your kids’ favorite meals. Also, if there’s a specific treat you want for the kids (or yourself!), this website will also help you locate exactly where to get em. My favorites include the funnel cake at Hungry Bear and the Dole Whip at the Tiki Juice Bar.
10. Buy Disney souvenirs outside of the park. You can also buy them before your trip. This is probably the biggest money saver and the kids don’t know the difference! I buy most (95%) of the kids’ Disney gear online at the fraction of the cost that you would get them at the parks. I’ve found great stuff at Target, Kohl’s (I have Disney shirts from there that I got for $4.99!), Zulily and Amazon. They’re always decked out in Disney every day of our trip, but not at Disneyland park prices.
Little Boy always asks for toys from the stores in the park, so I also buy him toys elsewhere. I don’t give it to him until we’re in the park. He still thinks it’s a toy from Disneyland! Also check your local Disney store or disneystore.com. During their last Friends and Family sale, I scored Mickey ears (60th anniversary, Halloween, Made with Magic light up) that are only sold in the parks for 40% off. That’s much more than the 20% annual passholder discount that you get in the park.
11. The Parent Swap. If you have kids with you that are too small to ride the faster rides like Space Mountain, Matterhorn, etc, take advantage of the parent swap passes. This allows 1 parent to get in line while the other stays with the kid(s) and they can get a parent pass which allows the other parent to jump in a faster line after they get off the ride and swap watching the kids. Usually the parent swap pass will go through the Fast Pass line, but it’s even faster when used on Space Mountain because you go in through the exit. 1 parent swap pass allows 3 riders.
NOTE: Space Mountain now requires that you show them the kids as soon as the first parent rider gets off the ride in order to do the swap. Guess too many people were taking advantage of it and they didn’t really have any kids with them.
Those are some of Jo’s tips for traveling with infants and toddlers to Disneyland. Check back in this week for General Disney Tips and Mickey’s Halloween Bash Tips.
Have tips to stay happy in the happiest place on earth? Share in our comments!