While in Disneyland for Charlie’s 5th Birthday a few weeks ago, I was getting a lot of questions from you guys on tips and tricks I may have to help survive all the fun! And indeed, you need all the tricks to battle the melt downs, sore feet and the overall crankiness that comes with visiting the happiest place on earth.
So right then and there, while we were walking through the park to our next ride, I decided to start taking real time notes. Everything we did right and things I wish we had planned for, while it was all happening. Here is my list!
Bring a stroller! No matter what age your kiddos are, this is my biggest piece of advice. You don’t realize how much stuff you’ll have to carry around and how quickly your kids get tired from all the walking. Not to mention all the stuff you inevitably end up buying. You can also rent strollers there if you don’t want to deal with bringing one onto a plane.
Pack a change of clothes….for everyone. I’m not talking cute clothes for taking photos! Remember, you’re going to be at the park for 12 hours or longer. When you first roll up, it is early and chilly, and by noon you’re sweating. And then by 9pm you’re spending $80 on a sweatshirt you’ll never wear again!
Blankets for kiddos when it gets cold or overwhelming. Our girls always get to a point where they just want to zonk out and little cozy blankets for some reason make it all better. Also, very useful for early morning while you’re waiting in that line and late night, when you’re waiting for the fireworks to start!
HAT! I’ve without fail forgotten to bring a hat multiple years in a row and then spent the whole day trying to hide from the sun. Same rule here, when it’s early and foggy you’re not thinking about it, so put it on your list!
All the littles: wet wipes (for sticky churro hands!), sunscreen, hair brush, big water bottle, snacks. A tip for packing snacks, try to find some veggies and all the healthy things you can to bring with you, since you know you’ll be buying churros and ice cream. We actually found a great healthy spot for lunch inside Disneyland, Bengal Barbecue, with lots of veggie options, so they are definitely getting better with the healthy food options.
Photo tips: Pick your photo times and places wisely and ahead of time! For kids: aim for right after lunch. They will be the least cranky and you can bribe them by saying they’ll get dessert right after they take good pics! If you have your heart set on a certain spot, get the Sun Surveyer app and check ahead of time what time that spot will be in the shade. (never shoot in direct sunlight) You just need the street address. For inside the park, just google an address of a close by restaurant or ice cream shop on the same side of the street. Those always pop up on google with an address. This app has been a life saver for me when planning travel photos!
Go with the flow: the biggest thing I’ve learned from our 5+ trips over the years. Something won’t go according to plan, someone will get mad about something, just roll with it. This trip always flies by so fast, don’t waste time on petty stressors. Just know that at the end of the day this is a trip your kiddos will cherish.
Hope these tips are helpful to ya’ll! The ‘go with the flow’ is something I am constantly working on, on any trip. Kiddos are unpredictable and we can’t expect them to just go go go without melt downs or complaints. We always say Disneyland is a ‘trip’ not a ‘vacation’, so if you go into it knowing it’s not going to be a ‘margaritas on the beach’ type of vaca you’ll be better off in the end. And maybe plan a little date night for you and the hubby after, to celebrate surviving Disneyland!