Our First Trip to Disneyland With A Toddler

It’s been over a month since our first trip to Disneyland with Eloise and to say we had the time of our lives is an understatement! Disneyland has always been fun, but to experience it with your child is the best thing EVER.

First and foremost, Eloise was about 19 months when we went and the biggest question we got was “Do you think it was worth it to take her at that age?”. I totally get it, Disneyland is expensive but to us, she loved every minute and so did we. She won’t remember it, but we sure will and to us, that was worth it!

OUR TIPS:

– STAY NEAR THE PARK: Staying walking distance from the park makes it easy to walk back for nap time or melt down time. We were very lucky and Eloise was able to sleep in her stroller for nap time through the park so that we didn’t have to go back but it’s nice to know you are close. I have a whole blog post on the stroller we used during the trip HERE. We stayed at the Hyatt House near Disneyland (about a 10-15 minute walk to the park) and we absolutely loved it. They have rooms with kitchettes and living room space and that was key for us!
– GO BRIGHT AND EARLY WHEN THE PARK OPENS: This was one of the best things we did! We got there right at 8am when the park opened (check times before you go as this changes weekly), and headed straight to Fantasyland (aka kid’s land). Fantasyland can get super crowded and the wait times for the rides can be outrageous. Both days we did this, we were able to ride most of the rides in Fantasyland within 2 hours. It was awesome!
– GET THE DISNEYLAND APP: This was one of our favorite things we used while we were there! It’s free to download and it gives you access to pre-order food, snacks, drinks (yes, beer and wine) from most of the spots throughout the park without waiting in line. You can also spend $15 more dollars per day and get the MAXPASS which gets you access to fast passes without having to be at the actual ride. You can also get your pictures taken by any of the photographers in the park and they will download straight to that app – which you can then download directly to your camera roll.  Our opinion, worth the money.  If you aren’t going on a bunch of rides or don’t want the fast pass, add one $15 Maxpass to one of your tickets and just use it for photos and food ordering.  It’s what we did day 2.
– BRING SNACKS: As delicious as the food is in the park, with toddlers, having snacks at all times is necessary! They allow you to bring snacks into the park, just no glass products!

OTHER IMPORTANT THINGS YOU MIGHT NEED TO KNOW:
– You can’t take your stroller into any of the restaurants on Disney Way or in Disneyland unless your baby is sleeping. You also can’t take the stroller into any of the ride lines. There is stroller parking everywhere, so just make sure you look for those signs when you go to park your stroller around the park.

– We packed a lot of stuff for the trip since we were on the road for 6 hours to get there and then lived our best hotel life for 4 days. I’m linking everything that we used during our Disney adventure below and if you missed the trip, I saved it to Instagram highlights under “Disney”.

– If you want to watch any of the parades, you need to get there and get your seat early. We wanted to watch the electrical light parade at the end of the night one night and made the mistake of not camping out seats before. About 10 minutes before the show started, we tried multiple spots to sit and watch and they were super strict about seating locations so we ended up missing the show.

– If you have a toddler, go to the Disney Jr Dance Show in California Adventure land. We randomly stumbled upon it, walked in for a showtime, sat down and Eloise LOVED IT. It’s very relaxed and kid oriented and a short quick 30 minute show (but a great break for the parents!)

– When Eloise fell asleep at the park, we each took turns riding rides in the “single” line. Not every ride has it, but most do and you can easily beat the crowd by riding alone! It’s really a great way to ride the attractions you want but can’t when you have your baby.

– While we were there, I also asked for recommendations on your favorite Disney food and snacks while in the park! You all (per usual) came through with some awesome ideas so I thought I would share the top 7 recs on here for everyone to have & reference. If you are headed to Disneyland at some point soon, make sure to save this blog post so that you can come back to this epic food list during your trip!

Tiger Tail (found over by the Winnie the Pool ride – very sweet marshmallow goodness!)
Churro Toffee – my newest obsession! If you like toffee, don’t miss this!
Dole Whip (over by Indiana Jones)

Carmel apples (found everywhere throughout the park)
Corn dogs (found to the right hand side in a red cart after you walk into the park and downtown)
Bignets (found over in the French Quarter pasted Pirates of the Caribbean)
Churros (all throughout the park – so good!)

 


 

I really hopes this post helps some of you all as your plan out your family Disney trips! If anything, try to get here when your kids are little and can really enjoy it. Experience it with them, make the memories and enjoy every minute.

It really is magical!

Big thanks to Disneyland for hosting us this trip. We loved every minute and have so many amazing memories because of it! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *