Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Surviving Disneyland With Two Toddlers

Waaaay back in September, Daddy Warbox AKA my Dad took our whole family to Disneyland and Laguna Beach for a mini-vacay. It would be our first whole, "my side of the family" vacation with the babies, (Aiden and his cousin Emma). We loaded up the 4-Runner with countless Disney CD's for cheesy road singing, tons of snacks, a toddler "entertainment road box" and Mickey Mouse of course! We knew that taking a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth would take a bit more work with a couple of toddlers so before we went I researched some helpful tips from other mom blogs ect. to help our trip run more smoothly. Here is a little list I complied, some tips from others and some straight from our own experiences. Some even from Aiden himself who LOVED riding the teacups with his Daddy and decided that the best napping spot was in the Disney Animation building in the California Adventure park.

  1. Bring YOUR parents. Do NOT attempt this alone. You'll never get a break or a chance to enjoy the adult rides with your hubby, sis and bro-in-law. You'll also never get to RUN AT FULL speed like an annoying teenager laughing until you almost pee yourself through the park near closing time trying to make it to the Tower of Terror in sopping wet, slippery flip-flops TRYING to keep up with your little sister who by the way is 4 years younger and runs marathons for a hobby. WHEW! (Thanks seester!)
  2. There are at least two baby centers that I know of. One is on Main Street USA and the other is in CA Adventure across from the fancy-schmancy Napa Valley Restaurant. Baby Centers are your secret weapon, well along with your boobs if you happen to be a breastfeeding mama which I am. Baby Centers have rocking chairs, private nursing rooms, hot water, diapers, changing tables and did I mention it has air conditioning? And no this is NOT a daycare where you can drop off pipsqueek while you go off and sneak one more ride on CA Screaming. 
  3. There are changing tables in both women's and MEN's restrooms. Now mama won't get stuck with all the diaper changes!
  4. Label your toddler. Stick a bracelet on him with your name and phone number JUST in case he wanders off. You never know. This even happens to Supermoms, I've seen it. 
  5. Go to the Disney Store prior to the trip and get some "souvenirs" on clearance. Keep them on hand as you enter the shops. You can even go as far as pretending to take them off the shelves and give them to your little consumer. Just make sure the store employees know what your up to or you may end up in Disney Jail. 
  6. Best rides for toddlers- Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, Bug's Life, Teacups, Peter Pan, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, (a little spooky but our little tough guy liked it), Dumbo, Monorail, Railroad, Jungle Cruise, 
  7. Save your cashola for your date night with hubby, (because you were smart and brought your parents AKA babysitters along) and bring your own lunch and snacks. Make them seem more appealing by wrapping them in Mickey Mouse clear plastic bags from the Dollar Store. See a theme here? Trickery will get you everywhere with these 2.5 ft little munchkins. 
  8. Toon Town, Tom Sawyer's Island, Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, Bug's Land Water Play area and Playhouse Disney Live are all good places to let the kids run free when they are tired of being in their strollers or on rides. 
  9. Adults with kids don't have to stand in line! 
  10. If you have the new Iphone, you can download the Disneyland wait times app. It will save your life. Check it out!  
  11. Bring water in a reusable water bottle so you can refill throughout the day. This seems like a no-brainer to me but your would not believe how many parents I saw buying $5 sodas...SODAS loaded with sugar, sugar and MORE SUGAR and letting their already Disney-cracked-out kids GUZZLE it down! CRAZY!!!!
  12. Save the wrinkles for your 70's and sunscreen up! Even if it's cloudy thanks to those powerful UV rays! 
  13. What are some of YOUR tips for surviving theme parks with young little rascals? Leave your comments below! 


    1. Great tips! My parents can't wait to take Maggie to Disneyland (they do live only a few miles from the park). Growing up we used to bring our own lunches and drinks into the park, and would go to a park or grassy area for a long lunch (usually early, so that we were back in the park on the rides during the "real" lunch time when the wait times were a wee bit shorter!) but, it was fun to get away from the crazyness for a while.

    2. Renting strollers in Disney is more convenient when visiting Disney. I have proven it so many times. Thanks for sharing your ideas, will be back in Disney this Christmas. Orlando Theme Parks really has the best parks for me.