I know Disneyland isn’t in San Diego county at all, but it’s definitely close enough for people vacationing here to spend some time there.
We go to Disneyland a lot. Probably too much. In fact, The Girl told me yesterday that we need to move into the hotel by Disneyland so we can go there even more often. I asked her what we would do about school and dance and Daddy’s work. She assured me that we could find another school, another dance studio, and Daddy could find another job. And the house? She doesn’t like it anyway. It’s scary. The Grand Californian Hotel would be a much nicer place to live, according to her. Okay, who am I kidding? She’s right. That place is amazing. And I’m sure we’ll never stay there again, but that’s beside the point. My intention today is to give you (who are planning trips to Disneyland with kids) a couple of tips. These are a few little tricks that I have learned.
Stroller Switches: These are really a life saver with little ones. You and whatever other adult you are with can still hit up the big rides and not have to stand in line twice. The way it works is, part of your party waits in line for the ride. When they get near the front, there will be a worker from whom they can ask for a stroller switch. On some rides (like Space Mountain) it’s at the beginning of the line. While they’re waiting in line, you can keep the kids occupied with other things. Then when you meet up again, take the stroller switch to the front of the line and you’re on! The stroller switch is only good for 2 people. Also, they only work on rides that kids can’t go on. For example, since you can take a baby on Buzz Lightyear, you can’t use a stroller switch.
Fast Passes: Some rides have fast pass distribution. They are usually the ones that have long lines. You swipe your ticket and a ticket is printed for you, telling you when you can come back to get right on the ride. Sometimes you still have to wait in a bit of a line, but it’s nothing compared to the line that you would have to wait in normally. I think you can only get 1 or 2 fast passes at a time.
Make Small World your last ride: The last time we went to Disneyland (a couple of weeks ago) the kids were getting cranky and ready to go home. Usually, though, when it’s time to leave, they don’t want to get back into the stroller and actually leave the park. This time was different. It just so happened that the last ride we rode was Small World. They were both completely mesmerized and were so calm by the end of it, that getting into the stroller was easy and we left the park with no fits. I don’t think that’s ever happened before.
Baby Center: Both Disneyland and California Adventure have a baby center. You can find it on the map. This place is a must use for anybody with small children. There are nice changing tables, small toilets, rocking chairs to nurse or pump, high chairs, purified water, and a number of other helps that a mother can use. Of course for normal diaper changes I just use the closest restroom, but it’s nice to go into the baby center to cool off and relax for a minute. It’s quiet and calm there. I’ve pumped and/or nursed there many times.
Disneyland with disabilities: We recently went to Disneyland with a friend who has a disabled child. Check out her blog for tips on taking your wheelchair bound (or highly functioning special child) to Disneyland.
I’m sure I’ll think of more things as time passes (or the next time I haul my kids to Disneyland) and as I do, I’ll add to the list.
Pack a lunch: Disneyland allows you to bring food into the park. Sure, it’s always fun to buy park food, but it can be quite expensive. I very rarely buy food while I’m there. I pack sandwiches and a number of snacks to keep the kids happy and full while we stand in lines and wait for parades. And don’t forget the waters! Then we stop somewhere for dinner on the way home.