Happy Friday everyone, hope you all enjoyed Easter weekend! We just returned from our mountain getaway to Lake Arrowhead and the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California. We also just got back from yet another (we are obsessed, I know) Disneyland day trip, and I am happy to finally share with you a list of tips and essentials for visiting the parks with infants or toddlers! Don’t worry, a detailed guide to our adventures in Lake Arrowhead will be the article posted at the beginning of next week!
What to Bring to Disneyland with Young Children
Diapers and wipes:
Disney is incredibly accommodating when it comes to visiting the parks with the youngest members of the family, but an area they really shine in is their Baby Care Centers located in both Disneyland Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park. They have clean areas to change your baby’s diapers, staff that can help you with whatever needed, supplies for sale, and quiet areas for breastfeeding. With that being said, you’ll still want to make sure you have your own essentials when it comes to diapers and wipes, especially if your child has sensitive skin like our little guy. Usually the only option they have is Huggies brand.
A lightweight blanket that can be easily folded up can be so versatile. Not only is it good to bundle up with once the sun goes down, but it’s also helpful to have to place over a sleeping kiddo to block the sun or light from going into their eyes. Some of the best naps our son has taken have been reclined in his stroller at Disney with a blanket.
Extra outfit + jacket:
You never know when one of those too familiar blowouts will happen with your infant… Or anticipate when your mischievous toddler will decide to dump a cold liquid onto themselves. An extra outfit or two is never a bad idea, even for you. One of our first trips with our son, our son inevitably had a smelly diaper leak occur. I had him covered with extra clothing, but my husband who was holding him… Not so much! Lesson learned. Also, remember no matter how warm it is during the day, it still can get chilly during the evening and into the night. You want to make sure you have a jacket for each member of the family. Which is why…
A stroller is beyond helpful to bring in to the parks, if only for a way to lug your belongings along if your children are on you or walking. As of May 1st, 2019 there are new guidelines that can be found here. A tip of ours is to take advantage of the stroller parking areas—though remember to only use the designated areas! On days when our tot is wanting to walk around more, or we are going on various attractions, we park our stroller in the land nearest us and explore the region before moving on to the next land. To make it easier to get on and off, we have also left our stroller at a parking area and rode the Disneyland Railroad around the entire park until we got back to it—it is great way to cool off, and a great location for your young one to nap or eat on you!
Food inside the parks can begin to add up in cost rapidly, and I think people underestimate how many calories they burn when walking across Disneyland all day. Disney allows snacks and a reasonable amount of food to be brought into the parks as long as there are no glass containers or hard sided coolers involved, and if your child or yourself has special dietary needs (ie food allergies) they allow you to bring in what is necessary. Their full policy can be found on their website, and at the very least I suggest having something your child loves that they can munch on while waiting in lines.
Reusable water bottle and/or sippy cups:
You can refill your water bottles at any location with a soda fountain, free of charge! Inside Red Rose Taverne, there is even a specific refill station! Something for the baby/toddler to drink out of is easy to overlook, but needed nonetheless.
Themed and fun toys:
When you get into the parks, there will be so. Many. Toys. And souvenirs. And balloons. And lights. Basically, all sorts of temptations that will burn a hole through your wallet if you are not prepared. A good tip if you are trying to save money is to buy some souvenirs before you go to the parks to give to your kids while you are there. A simple idea for toys: BUBBLES. Glow sticks also aren’t a bad idea.
Those UV rays are always shining down in California, and being sunburnt is a sure way to put a damper on any family vacation. To be extra precautious (and also extra adorable if I say so myself!) a hat is a good idea as well!
You guys, it shouldn’t be anything surprising that Disney parks are full to the brim of germs. There are so many people that come and go in just a single day! The last thing I want on a fun family trip is to get sick, so this is always in our diaper bag to use after each ride, and before we eat.
This is more pertinent if you or your child has any special needs, but also includes basics like just having a few Band-Aids and antibacterial wipes on hand. We carry a PracMedic Case (affiliate link) we found on Amazon to hold our son’s epinephrine auto injectors, and for us we always try to have a few ibuprofen or Tylenol pills alongside some TUMS or a motion sickness medication. Just in case, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Portable phone charger:
As much as I don’t really like it, technology rules a lot these days. For instance, if you want to take advantage of Disney’s MAXPass (which we highly suggest!) you will need to have access to your mobile device. Don’t let your phone die in-between pulling up your next reservation or FastPass, or in the middle of capturing your little one’s first encounter with Mickey Mouse.
Autograph book + pen:
This can be a fun gift to your kids before the park or once inside and is also an opportunity to get creative! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or official, but just some sort of journal or photo album where characters can sign their autograph at meet and greets. Don’t forget a fun pen or marker!
Visiting the Disneyland Resort with a baby or toddler can be overwhelming, but as long as you are prepared it can be such a fun and rewarding experience! So far, we have found 18 months – 2 years to really be a sweet age to visit as everything is so magical in their eyes. Would you add anything to this list? If you have any questions or want more specific tips, please reach out to us! We like Disney to an extreme degree and would love to help 😉
Ta ta for now!