Visiting the Disneyland Resort with your kids is truly a magical experience! Seeing Sleeping Beauty Castle the first time yourself is one thing, but watching your children see it for the first time is truly amazing. Viewing the parks through your children’s eyes is one of the best ways to experience them. As a parent, we all know things don’t always go as planned and good days can become terrible days real quick. Here are my tips for having the best Disneyland Resort visit with your kids:
Purchase Tickets on Your Mobile Device
If you don’t pre-purchase your park tickets, or get them in a hotel/ticket package, don’t waste time standing in the ticket line! Get the Disneyland app on your mobile device and purchase your tickets there. It’s easy and fast and all you’ll have to do is show the barcodes on your mobile device at the turnstiles. The cast member there will then print off paper tickets for you to use for the rest of your trip.
Purchase Princess Dresses and Pirate Costumes Before your Trip
These items are expensive inside the parks but you can find more affordable ones at big box stores like Target or Walmart. This can save you money especially if your daughter has a reservation at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Hide the items in your bag and present them to your children once inside the parks so they’re just as exciting as the ones at the shops.
Make Character Dining Reservations
If there is a specific character that your child loves, check to see if they are at any of the character dining options. The restaurants can be pricey, but it’s worth it to give your child more time with the characters without having to wait in long lines. Our favorite character dining experience is breakfast with Minnie and Friends at the Plaza Inn on Main Street.
Mark Your Stroller
Put something distinctive on your stroller so you’ll be able to spot it easily among all of the others. We’ve tied our balloons to our stroller or colorful ribbon. Recently we’ve started putting a string of battery powered lights on our stroller so we can easily find it at night. Cast members sometimes have to move the strollers to make room, so if you can’t find it, be sure to ask for help.
Wait until the last day to buy souvenirs. If your kids see something they like as you’re exploring the parks, take a picture of it. Then let them choose from the photos. This way they won’t have buyer’s remorse. Also, pressed pennies are great souvenirs and only cost $0.51! The machines can be found throughout both parks.
Entertainment in Line
You’ll be spending a lot of time waiting in line while at the Disneyland Resort. Bring small games, books, or other toys that will keep your kids busy while in line. Snacks are good too!
Visiting with a Baby
One of the best ways to get around the parks with a baby is to use a carrier. It takes up less space and it’s easier to move around the parks than with a stroller. Most rides let you wear your baby while riding too. Also, if you’d like a quiet, comfortable place to nurse, be sure to check out the Baby Care Center. They also have tiny potties for little kids, spacious changing tables, an area for pumping, high chairs for feeding your baby, and even a store to buy baby supplies.
If you have a child that doesn’t meet the height requirement for a ride, take advantage of the rider switch pass. One parent rides the attraction and receives a rider switch pass, then the other parent can take that pass through the fastpass line. Just ask the cast member at the entrance of the ride for the pass when the first parent gets in line. Make sure the whole party is together when the first parent gets in line as the cast members will usually ask to see who will be waiting off the ride.
Download the Disneyland App to your smart phone. It allows you to check attraction wait times, make dining reservations, and see what/where characters are out in the parks.
Know your child’s height before you get to the resort. This will help you avoid a potential meltdown if your child isn’t tall enough for a certain ride. You can find the height requirements for each ride on the Disneyland website.
PhotoPass photographers will take your picture with your camera as well as theirs. Just have your camera ready to go when it’s your turn. That being said, be sure to get a PhotoPass card as well. They’re free and it’s a great way to have back-ups in case something happens to your camera. It also gives you the option to purchase photos taken by the Disney photographers if you end up liking those better than the ones on your camera. MaxPass is also a great new option. For $10 per person/per day you can get all of your PhotoPass photos and ride photos, as well as reserve FastPasses from the Disneyland app!
If you’re staying at a Disneyland Resort hotel, you can have your purchased items delivered to your room. That way you won’t have to carry around extra bags all day. You can also check your bags of items in at the news stands at the park entrances. Just don’t forget to pick them up at the end of the day!
Be sure to make reservations for the more popular table service restaurants you want to eat at. These include: Blue Bayou, Plaza Inn and Carnation Café at Disneyland, Carthay Circle Restaurant and Wine Country Trattoria at California Adventure, Napa Rose and Storyteller’s Cafe at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Goofy’s Kitchen and Steakhouse 55 at the Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.
What are your best tips for visiting the Disneyland Resort with your kids?
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