Disneyland has always been my first love and nothing describes how magical it was taking my babies there and seeing it through their eyes for the first time. Absolute magic!
Although we haven't been to Disneyland in awhile, it's never too far from my heart. Last time we went was two years ago during their Halloween festivities. Since that time of year is coming up, I thought some of my tips could help someone else's dream vacation be a good one.
Disneyland with a Baby
Tip #1: Planning your Stay
Depending on your needs, there are many blog posts, articles and suggestions of places to stay during your visit to the Disney parks. Our group consisted of Gavin and I, Paisley, Monroe (ages 2 and 10 weeks) Grandparents and Aunties traveling from Utah to Anaheim during the month of October. With six adults and two really little babies, we wanted to stay somewhere close to the park, but needed more space than a hotel had to offer. We also wanted a kitchen so we could make meals and hopefully save a little bit of money. Who doesn't, right? Pretty sure those turkey legs literally cost an arm and a... wait for it... leg. _
We found a bunch of darling themed condo's here
and was really impressed with the selection. We found one in our budget and within walking distance. We were able to go grocery shopping and stock up the kitchen with anything we could possibly need. The kitchen came fully equipped so we didn't have to buy anything either.
Tip #2 Packing
I was a little bit obsessed with having all our outfits somewhat match everyday. It's quite a bit of work, but I swear it's worth it when you get pictures back! I wanted the girls to be comfortable, but also feel like they are getting the whole experience without costing me more than necessary. (Sensing a theme here? I'm ALL about keeping this affordable or else we would never be able to make it.) Since this trip was mainly for Paisley, I first found her outfits and planned everyone else's around it. I got her a dress from Little Adventures
dress shop and a few other outfits, then I found something similar but more comfortable for Rosie. Then Gavin and I just color coordinated. Now pay attention because this is a real lifesaver... Put EVERYONE'S clothes for each specific day in a ziplock bag. Or garbage bag, whatever. This made it so easy to get ready in the morning.
Do it. It's worth it.
Tip #3 Travel Activities
This time we flew to California since we were coming from Iowa. Obviously Monroe was easiest to entertain on a flight since she was only 10 weeks old. She slept and nursed. Paisley on the other hand, was right at that glorious age where if she's not entertained every minute, she turned into a little turkey. So I packed puzzles, books, the iPad, pipe cleaners, coloring books, etc Surprisingly she was most entertained by stickers (she would put them on our faces) and dum dum suckers. Who knew right?!
Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party
If you haven't had a chance to go to Disneyland during Halloween, I am so sorry! Really guys, it's my favorite time of the year to go. This was our first time attending and I can't wait to make it back there again. Basically what it entails is a separate night just for ticket holders, they kick everyone else out and have exclusive activities for guests. We loved the parade lead by the Headless Horseman, the obscure characters that arent there all the time (VILLAINS!!!) a fantastic firework show they do JUST for the party and trick or treating all around the park. The lines aren't as long and the best part is that everyone gets to dress up! Um... HOLLA!
However, if you dont score tickets to the Not So Scary Halloween Party, just visiting the park during October is magical. Be sure to check out their DARLING vintage faire. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so flipping cute I couldnt stand it. I seriously could have stayed there the entire time. They have magic shows, Mickey and friends, fortune tellers and villains galore. (Why are they so fun to meet?) They also have a little petting zoo that Paisley went crazy for.
Just a Few More Tips:
Make your own autograph book. The ones you buy there arent even cute and are expensive so I bought a cute little notebook from Michaels that worked perfectly. Every character we met commented on it. Well the ones that could talk anyway. ;)
Take it slow. We've been going to Disneyland fairly often but this was the first trip with kids so it was a totally different experience and it was awesome! There's something about experiencing it through their eyes that makes it 100 times more magical. You may not get to every ride, but that's totally fine.
Find Quiet Locations. Yes! They totally exist. If you're traveling with babies or little kids you know that nap time and feeding can be rough and over stimulating. Although they DO have baby rooms that are lovely, sometimes you just don't want to have to trek across the park to get to one. Some of my favorite location is at Magic Kingdom is just behind Aladdin's Oasis. There are tables and it's covered by trees so it has nice shade and if you're lucky, you'll get to meet Aladdin and Jasmine before everyone else. My favorite location at California Adventure Park is the Animation Academy. It's inside, quiet and is seriously SERIOUSLY beautiful.
Disneyland will always hold a special place in my heart and when I'm not there I am dreaming about the next time I get to go. I hope you found this helpful! Happy Thought's are born here!