Guys... This is a big one. One of our most frequently asked questions has to be whether we would suggest taking babies to Disneyland. Without hesitation, our answer is always, "Oh my gosh, YES!" We've taken all of our babies to Disneyland and while they don't remember those trips, WE DO and those memories are some of our sweetest! We should also mention that kids under the age of 3 get into the parks for FREE. Seriously!
We have tons of Magic Making Tips for traveling with your baby and thought that we'd share a few of our top tips, to get you started.
1) BRING A STROLLER: It is 100% worth it to bring your own stroller. It makes the airport more manageable (you can gate check the stroller) and you can use it for extra storage throughout the trip. While you can easily rent a stroller in front of Disneyland before entering the park, we prefer our cupholders, deeper baskets for storage and ease of steering. If you have a double stroller, even better! (Make sure to bring a baby carrier too, if you have one that still fits.)
2) ADJUST EXPECTATIONS: Take things slow. Accept that your baby may throw up all over you or have the kind of diarrhea that shuts down the hotel pool. (We "may" know that one from experience.) Your baby WILL have a temper tantrum in the middle of the park. Just accept it and expect it and know that it will be ok. It's a rite of passage! All the cool babies do it!
3) ARRIVE EARLY AND HAVE A PLAN: The parks are the most empty right when they open and it is worth it to arrive early and get in line at the main gates. Before you arrive, talk through what rides you'd most like to get on and then grab a Fast Pass (or schedule it using the Max Pass on the Disneyland App). Grab a coffee from one of the two Starbucks in Downtown Disney or from the Main Street Starbucks of either park and get moving.
4) RIDER SWITCH PASS: Disneyland wants to make sure that BOTH parents have a chance to get on a ride, even if their baby cannot, so they created the Rider Switch Pass and made things OH SO MAGICAL! As the first parent enters the beginning of the ride's line, ask a Cast Member for the Rider Switch Pass. After the first parent goes on the ride, send the other parent back to the Fast Pass line with the Rider Switch Pass and they will get to go too! So. Good.
5) BABY CARE CENTERS: Did you know that Disney has a Baby Care Center in each park? They do! Disneyland's is located at the end of Main Street, next to the First Aid Station and California Adventure's is next to the Ghiradelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop. Stop by for a private place to nurse, access to a high chair and changing tables, and emergency diapers, wipes, baby food, and pacifiers (for purchase).
6) BRING A CHANGE OF CLOTHING: Minimize drama by bringing a change (or two) of clothing for your baby and pack an extra shirt for you. Our babies were notorious for needing a midday change and having it with you makes life simple and much cheaper.
7) KEEP YOUR DIAPER BAG WELL-STOCKED: Make sure to pack the essentials... lots of diapers, wipes, bibs, an extra pacifier, burp rags, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bottles, formula, and baby food/snacks. Clean out your diaper bag when you get back to your room in the evening and have it repacked and ready to go each night. Then you can grab it and be ready to go in the morning!
Seriously. Don't be afraid to DO life with your baby. Yes, there will be challenges. Yes, your baby will definitely have a blow out while you are traveling... for sure. But more importantly, you will make some of the sweetest memories your littles. As we watch all of our kids get older (we are the mother's to teenagers now - gasp!), we promise you that you will be so glad that you did it.
Good luck and have fun!
Marisa & Sweina