Even mentioning the word brings up feelings of magic, wonder, and happiness. Unless you are planning on dragging around kids under 6. Then all you hear when you think of Disneyland is: chaos, crying kids, and cash flying out your wallet. But we can help! Our family has been multiple times with young kids and have learned a lot. See our top 5 things you need when you’re taking your kids to Disneyland.
5 Things You NEED to Know:
- A stroller is your friend. Leave the bulky wagon at home. Yes it looks like it holds everything but a stroller can hold a lot and it is way easier to maneuver through crowds. The Disney strollers you can rent are awesome and reasonable (click here for pricing). We suggest renting if your kids are older and you don’t need one all the time but their little legs still need a break at the park. My 8 year old even rode a bit last year to get a break and they are sturdy enough for that.
- Stop at Target and stock up on souvenirs and snacks. Target is very close to the resort (plus who doesn’t need a Target fix when you go to the States!) and is a cheap way to get the t-shirts and stuffies your kids will be begging for. Buy a couple of glowsticks while you are there too so you don’t have to buy the expensive light up toys at the night parades.
- Cheap out on the hotel. You won’t be there lots anyways and everyone will be so tired when you get back. Go for location rather than amenities. If you can walk to the park everyday you will save time waiting in yet another line for shuttles.
- Look in quiet corners for Characters. Sometimes they are tucked away with no crowds. We ran into Mary Poppins and Burt by the baby change station with no line ups. Soon after Chip and Dale came out too. Download the app (details here) and check often if there is someone you really want to see. If your kids want to see characters but don’t necessarily want photos watch the parade or go to one of the shows so you can see everyone at once without waiting in lines. The Character Breakfasts are also a good way to see everyone without lines.
- Know when to stop. Meltdowns are bound to happen. It is busy and overstimulating for kids so take a break in a quiet area (we love the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail on the California Adventure side because it is never too busy and it is a great calm place to let the kids move around a bit). As adults we want to see everything and have the best experience for our kids but if everyone is tired, hungry and grumpy you won’t enjoy it.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to get a rider switch pass when going on rides! This allows one person (14 years or older) to wait with the kids while the other adult rides. After they are done they can watch the kids while the other adult skips the line and can go on to.
Still trying to decide on which Disney resort to visit? Check out our guide!
Photo Credit: Kira Paran – Northern Style