10 Tips and tricks to taking your preschooler to Disneyland
We are so fortunate to live in sunny California. We also get to have Disneyland right around the corner. I have always loved visiting Disney and since having the girls, I visit almost once a month, sometimes more! I feel like this makes me an official expert on how to tackle Disneyland with a Preschooler! (or toddler or baby- email me if you want that info on the blog too!)
1.) If you live in Southern California, invest in the annual pass. We have the California Select Annual pass. You can not go on the weekends or during the summer months, but honestly, with a toddler, you don’t want to go then anyways. When you have the pass you don’t feel like you have to do everything in one day. You can pick and choose what you want to go on that day and save the rest for another day. If you plan on going to Disney more than once a year it is worth it. It also gives you a discount in the parks on toys and food (which you will use!)
2.) Check your date! I always avoid the weekends and use isitpacked.com to check the expected crowds for that day. I always try to go when they say it is a Ghost Town. Toddlers/Preschoolers and patience are not words that go together. Avoid the lines and the meltdowns and go on a random tuesday in the off season.
3.)Pack the night before– grab everything that will stress you out if asked for there. Bring their favorite princess dress or star wars costume, their favorite Disney stuffed animal and an extra pair of shoes. You most likely have all of these at home and if you don’t bring them they will most likely have a meltdown missing the item. Pack snacks. Pack healthy snacks. There are lots of delicious sugary treats in Disney. Pack their favorite fruit/veggie pouch and a good protein to give them during their day. Healthy foods will avoid the sugar meltdowns. Bring a sippy cup and attach it to the stroller with some kind of string. (otherwise you will 100% lose it)
4.) Go early, to avoid traffic. We all know your little one is up early so hit the road. You already packed everything you will need the night before so you are ready to go. FYI there are 2 (yes 2) Starbucks in downtown Disney so don’t worry!
5.) Goofy’s Kitchen- I highly suggest spending the money to enjoy breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen the Disneyland Hotel. The kids can meet all the characters and get their pictures with them. This helps so much if you have to go on a busy day and want to avoid waiting in line to meet the characters. The food is fun and photo ready too!
6.) Plan a theme for the day. I like to pick which part of the park we are focusing on (i.e.- Star Wars, Princesses, Toon Town, Frontierland…) I then plan the rides. Don’t try to do too many. Remember these little tikes are still babes and too much stimulation can lead to a quick meltdown.
7.) Rides!- Mia is terrified of the dark and anything that has a strong element of surprise. We still have to avoid any dark rides for her. When she was 2 we took her on Pirates of the Caribbean. She still has nightmares about pirates and bones. Penna is different and not afraid of anything. Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Manson are her favorite rides.
If your child is afraid of the dark theses are my favorite rides for 2-4 year olds.
- Tea Cups
- It’s a Small World
- Toon Town Roller Coaster
- Dumbo Ride
8.) Take lots of pictures! Have someone take some pictures of you with your babe! We all know you are always behind the camera. Ask a stranger. They will happily do it. They grow up so so fast and by the time they are 5 they are going to start telling you “No Pictures!” Trust me, I have a 5 year old!
9.) Sit down and let them rest. Find a picnic spot or a bench, let them color or just stop and watch for a little while. This helps so much. There is so much happening and everything is so fast. Sometimes just a few moments to slow down, cuddle and watch the balloon man walk by on main street.
10.) Watch a show! We love the theater in the FairyTale Land. The comedians are amazing and the kids really get into it!
I hope some of these tips help you on your next adventure to Disneyland Resort!
I’m teaming up with a fun group of Disney loving bloggers to give one of YOU a $500 Disney Dollars gift card. This can be used at any of the parks OR any Disney Store. Be sure to check out each of their blogs for more Disney magic!