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Last month we took our annual family vacation to Disneyland and California Adventure. It was the first time we got to see the new Cars Land and boy, was that an amazing experience. In fact, it was so amazing that I will be writing a whole separate post on it! After being a part of a few mommy groups on Facebook, I have seen a lot of parents ask about visiting Disneyland with children who are younger than 3 years old.
“Can my infant or toddler ride any rides?”
“I’m a breastfeeding mom and don’t feel comfortable nursing, how will I feed my child?”
“I am so bummed my oldest can’t enjoy the rides with both of us, any advice?”
Have these thoughts and questions come across your mind? Well guess what? I am here to answer those questions! I am by no means a Disneyland expert, but I have taken my youngest when he was a month old and again when he was two years old, so I understand the concerns a parent can get when traveling to an amusement park as busy and as big as Disneyland. I have done a lot of research on this and have experienced it firsthand. Disneyland is a magical place for both children and parents alike, so I hope to answer the questions you have and give you a peace of mind.
1) “Can my infant or toddler ride any rides?”
Answer: YES! Any ride that doesn’t have a height restriction you can take your infant or toddler on! We took my youngest to Disneyland when he was a month old and he rode It’s A Small World, Buzz Blasters, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Pirates of the Caribbean and so much more!
2) “I’m a breastfeeding mom and don’t feel comfortable nursing, how will I feed my child?”
Answer: Disneyland REALLY has parents in mind throughout their theme parks! Both parks have a Baby Center and there you can buy diapers for $1, they have changing tables, high chairs, microwaves for warming up food and bottles, private rooms with a rocking chair for nursing and awesome staff available to help you out. All free except the basic supplies like diapers and formula. They even have small toilets for those newly trained toddlers! In Disneyland, the Baby Center is next to the First Aid Station at the end of Main Street across from the Central Plaza. At California Adventure, the Baby Center is next to Ghirardelli Factory.
3) “I am so bummed my oldest can’t enjoy the rides with both of us, any advice?”
Answer: Never fear, Disneyland has this awesome pass called the Rider Switch Pass! This magical pass allows parents to take turns riding a ride that has a height restriction. Basically a parent can either wait in line by themselves or with an older sibling, ride the ride and then the other parent waiting and watching the younger child can go do that ride by themselves or with that same older sibling without having to wait in line! Just head to the line and ask the cast member working it for the Rider Switch Pass!
4) “I hear the new Radiator Springs has the longest line and there aren’t any Fastpasses Available, how are we ever going to ride it?”
Answer: First and foremost, if you do any ride in California Adventure, please let it be this one! Second of all, here is a little tip. RIGHT when the park opens, head like you are going to Cars Land, when you get to the Bugs Life area, you will see a line forming, GET IN THAT LINE! That is THE Fastpass line for Radiator Springs and they WILL run out in about an hour so it is so important that you make that your number one spot before you do anything else! If you pass the entrance to Bug’s Life, you have gone too far!
5) “My child is in the Individualized Education Program (IEP), does Disneyland cater to that in any way?”
Answer: Disneyland really gets high points from the moms here at Simply Real Moms. If you bring your child with special needs up to the Guest Relations office you will get a special assistance pass (SAP), allowing six persons in your party to use a shorter line for the rides.
- Don’t have a panic attack if you can’t find your stroller where you left it. Cast members often rearrange the strollers that are parked outside of attractions in an effort to keep the area neat and safe. If you still can’t find it after a few minutes ask the nearest cast member.
- Find a hotel that is close by or has a free shuttle. There are plenty of hotels right across from the main entrance that are very reasonably priced. One of our favorites is the Carousel Inn! They are right across from the main entrance and have free continental breakfast, can’t beat that!
- If you are going to do World of Color with your children, I would recommend not being in the very front. That is the “splash zone” and chances are it will be chilly come night time, so bundle up those kids and stand in the third row or further.
- If you are trying to avoid the crowds, try not to go during the summertime or when schools are on a break. Our favorite time to go is Oct through December. Not as crowded, weather is beautiful and it is decorated for the holidays!
- FastPasses are a great way to avoid the long lines! So get your Fastpasses early and enjoy the park on your time!
If you would like any information about planning your next Disney vacation, a good fiend of mine is a certified Disney and Universal Studios vacation planner and can help make your trip as magical as it should be. You can find her on her Facebook page, Destinations to Explore with Gretchen.