First time to Disneyland
We decided to take a quick trip to Disneyland over MLK weekend. When my little was three, we went with my husband’s family to Disneyworld, and even though there are similarities, there are some significant differences. Overall, we had a magical time, because that’s what you do in a place like this, right?
Here are five tips that I learned from my experience that may help you if you are planning your own Disneyland adventure.
The two parks (Disneyland/California Adventure) are close!
We were able to walk from our hotel to either park entrance within 10-15 minutes. This was great because we could take a mid-day break, recharge at our room, and then head out for more fun. I think that if you were there for a longer amount of time, you could purchase the park hopper ticket, but we were fine exploring on a single park each day. (Plus, this also saved us some money).
Watch rides and talk about them ahead of time:
YouTube is great because you can show your little one the rides from a point of view camera. This helps show them that the ride isn’t as scary as they may think. Of course, our little one had a hard time with some of the sounds and special effects because she is sensitive to that. However, she was super brave and did the Indiana Jones ride. (Which I could totally tell would be scary for a little kid). However, some rides she thought would be scary weren’t and we then rode them 8 times. The biggest take away is we just let her be her and had a great time riding the rides that she wanted to ride. Star wars galaxy edge was awesome, and she loved the storm troopers.
Fastpass and Maps really help
Make sure you understand the process as well as knowing when you get your next pass. This saved us so much time, and we rode a lot of rides on a very busy weekend. We also did the long rides first in the day and got those fastpass because they do run out eventually. For example, Space Mountain, Radiator Springs, Indiana Jones etc.
Eating at the Park- even with food allergies
Disney has a lot of really fun foods at their parks, and they are also very considerate of those with food allergies. As my husband and daughter lived their best lives (Corndogs, Funnel Cakes, Churro, etc.) I was also able to enjoy one of the most amazing gluten free Monte Cristo sandwiches at Café Orleans. You MUST order this sandwich at least 48 hours prior to going, but you will not be disappointed. Which also leads me to recommend booking a reservation 60 days out, because the fun places to eat do fill up quickly. Plus this allows you schedule in a needed break in a fun atmosphere. You can also bring in your own snacks and food as well, which is such a great option.
My husband and I debated over this for a bit, but boy were we glad that we rented a stroller from our hotel. Even though our little one is 6 by 2:00 in the afternoon she was exhausted. Since our hotel was so close, we all walked (rather quickly) and did lots of rides in the morning, and then went back to grab the stroller. This was so helpful for all of us, because then we just took our time and enjoyed looking at stuff. Plus on average we were walking 10 miles a day, so with little kid strides that is even more (no wonder she was exhausted)
All in all, there are so many more things, but it was a great trip! I loved that you could get to things quickly, opposed to having to rely on shuttles etc. (as it is at Disneyworld). The staff at Disney are amazing and really do transport you into a magical place.