Disneyland With a Baby: Part One

We love all thing Disney and we absolutely love being Disneyland Annual Pass Holders. Before we had Oliver, we would do long, epic days, arriving at the park early, and departing when it closed. With a one-year-old, the trips are a bit different, but even more special. Especially because Disneyland is free to babies under three, and we go frequently when our family visits us, it is definitely worth it for us to get a Season Pass.

We get asked a lot if Oliver actually enjoys Disneyland, and the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES! He took his first Disneyland trip at age 6 months and he was 18 months on our most recent trip. As he grows, he definitely enjoys it in a more interactive way and he was over 33″ on our last trip and so could ride many of the rides. We’ve got a lot of tips, since we go often, so we’ll be doing these posts as a series!

Here are our best tips for Disneyland with a baby.

WHAT TO BRING:

  • Diaper Bag (include your regular items: diapers, wipes, change of clothes, snacks, hand sanitizer, etc. We like to bring a backpack style diaper bag.)
  • Sunscreen (It can be very sunny, and a lot of the park is very open, make sure to continually apply sunscreen to you and your kiddo)
  • Water Bottle (you can fill up your water bottle for free in the Parks)
  • A Foldable, Silicone Bib (protect that cute Disney outfit. We like these because they roll up easily and clean)
  • Sweatshirt/Jacket (It might be 80 degrees in the middle of the day and drop into the 50s at night, California is a desert)
  • Blanket (it’s perfect for the shows and the parade where the best seat is often right on the curb. It can also add an extra layer of sun protection or extra warmth.)
  • Snacks (there are a lot of healthy snack options at the parks now, but since we go a lot, we typically bring small baby-friendly snacks like puffs, yogurt drops, cuties, and squeeze pouches with us to save time in lines and save money for fun meals)
  • Cooling items (if we go in the summer, we usually attach a clip on fan to Oliver’s stroller, as well insert a cooling seat mat for him. Otherwise, he is just a hot, uncomfortable little sweat ball all day. We also often bring a cooling towel.)

PRO TIP: Theft can be a problem at Disneyland. We usually bring two backpacks with us and use a packing cube system in them to make things easily accessible or easily left in the stroller, so you don’t have to carry too many heavy things in line. We typically pack things that are less attractive to thieves, like snacks, sunscreen, diapers, wipes etc. into packing cubes. These we can easily leave in the basket of the stroller and put back into the backpack. Or we can leave them in the basket and use our second backpack as a way to keep pricey souvenirs with us in line. If our cubes are stolen, we can easily replace the items at the baby care center, but since it’s generally unattractive to thieves and they can see right through the mesh, we’ve been okay so far. In the backpack that we take in line with us, we usually pack our expensive and not easily replaced items tickets, camera, wallet, phone, etc.

STROLLER CHOICE AND SAFETY:

There are two types of people at Disneyland. Those who like to bring a tiny stroller or just a carrier and those who need a big basket on their stroller. We’re definitely in big basket camp. We find it makes it much easier to store things and have a lot less to carry if we use our big stroller, which can fit two backpacks and also lies flat so that Oliver can nap in with a full sunshade to cover him.

Yes, we do worry about theft. Take one look at a Facebook group board like LA Mommies and you’ll see that expensive strollers are an item that is stolen at Disneyland and that security doesn’t do a lot about. You cannot lock up your stroller at the Park, because staff needs to be able to move them at all times, however there are a few things that we do to keep our stroller safe and be able to prove it is ours (and ensure that security returns the stroller to us), should someone try to steal it.

PRO TIP: There is usually a big parking area full of strollers for each ride. We always park our stroller in the center of the pack next to the most expensive stroller we can find. That way, it’s not on the edge of the pack for someone to walk off with, and it’s not an eye catcher. We also have our name engraved on the bottom and a Tile tracker sewn onto the bottom of the basket.

USE THE BABY CARE CENTERS:

There is a baby care center at each park. At Disneyland, it is right at the end of Main Street. Typical of Disney, they’ve thought of everything. The Baby Care Center is a good place to relax privately while you nurse or pump for your baby in their comfy rocking chairs. They also have a clean easy changing room for diaper changes and little bitty potty chairs for potty training toddlers. They even have an area with high chairs for feeding you baby, if the hustle and bustle and heat of the outdoor dining areas is too much. And there is a waiting room for the rest of the family to cool off in while you tend to the baby. If you’ve fogotten anything for your baby, this is the place to go. They have (for a cash fee) everything you might need available including: diapers, wipes, pacis, baby food, baby snacks, baby medicine, and formula.

TIMING:

If you can swing it, go in the middle of the week. The crowds are much better. Since we are flexible, we typically go in the fall or later winter/early spring and aim for a Wednesday. We love using this website to see what the historic park traffic is like so that we can purposefully go on a day that is not crowded.

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