Hey there, fellow Disney enthusiasts! Gather ’round, because today we’re going to spill the beans on the ultimate Disneyland adventure. Imagine the magic: sunny California, spending quality time with your little ones, and watching your son experience the magic of Disneyland for the very first time. And guess what? We’ve got some exclusive tips up our sleeves that will make your trip even more extraordinary. So grab a cup of coffee, get cozy, and let’s chat about our recent journey to the West Coast!
Let’s Go to Disneyland!!
A few weeks ago, our family embarked on a fantastic trip to California to visit our relatives. The sun kissed our skin but the temps were FRIGID compared to what we are used to as natives. It didn’t stop the palpable excitement as we made our way to the iconic Disneyland Resort. Having been an Annual Passholder at Disneyland for over 15 years growing up, I thought I knew all the secrets. Little did I know that this trip would be filled with surprises and new discoveries since having my not so little anymore, dude
Our family opted for a two-day adventure in the parks, with a stay at the charming Paradise Pier hotel. Let me tell you, waking up to the view of the Downtown Disney was a dream come true. The anticipation was building as we planned our days, knowing that we had a whole world of enchantment at our fingertips.
Day one began with a trek to the park. We almost “rope dropped” but we aren’t morning people. We snagged our Genie+ and started planning our day.
The rain decided to join us later that day, but it didn’t dampen our spirits one bit. We grabbed our ponchos and strolled through Downtown Disney, jumping in puddles and relishing in the joy of being together. Those rain-soaked memories are the ones that will last a lifetime.
But the real magic awaited us as we stepped foot into the Disneyland Park. The sight of Sleeping Beauty Castle, was lackluster after experiencing Cinderella’s castle at Disney World for the last 2 years. But that didn’t hinder the magic, the nostalgia, and the radiant energy filled the air. As a seasoned Disneyland-goer, it was a homecoming of sorts, and I couldn’t wait to share this enchantment with my little one.
If you’re planning a magical trip to Disneyland in sunny California with your little ones, you’re in for an incredible adventure. As seasoned Disney enthusiasts, we’ve got your back with some hidden gems and insider tips that will make your experience even more unforgettable. So grab a cup of coffee, let’s chat, and share these secrets that will take your Disneyland trip to the next level!
Plan Ahead to Maximize Fun:
Disneyland is a dream destination, and proper planning is key to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience. Start by checking the park’s website and familiarizing yourself with park maps, attractions, and show schedules. Creating a flexible itinerary will help you make the most of your time.
Embrace Magic Mornings at Disneyland:
Did you know that Disneyland Resort offers Magic Mornings, which grant you access to the park before it officially opens? This precious extra hour gives you a head start on popular rides and attractions while the crowds are still small. Take advantage of this perk by arriving early and enjoying the magic!
It’s no secret that a day at Disneyland requires packing like a pro. Apart from the essentials like sunscreen, hats, and comfortable shoes, consider bringing a stroller for your little ones. Even if they’re usually walking, the parks can be tiring, and having a stroller for nap time or simply resting tired feet can be a game-changer.
The Power of Snacks:
While Disneyland offers an array of delicious treats, having some snacks on hand can save you both time and money. Pack some convenient, mess-free snacks like granola bars, fruit pouches, or crackers. These will keep your little ones satisfied between meals, allowing you to explore the park longer without stopping at every food cart you pass.
Expect all types of weather:
California can get pretty toasty, so be prepared to beat the heat. Even though when we visited, they were experiencing record low temps, we still remembered the best tips from WDW: Stay hydrated by bringing refillable water bottles and take advantage of the complimentary cups of ice water available at quick-service restaurants. Don’t forget to pack hats, sunglasses, and lightweight, breathable clothing to keep everyone cool and comfortable. Thankfully, we packed heavy jackets and ponchos to keep us warm and dry but remembering the essentials for ALL climates is absolutely necessary.
Take Advantage of Rider Switch:
If you have little ones who don’t meet the height requirements for certain rides, don’t worry! Disneyland offers a fantastic service called Rider Switch. This allows one adult to wait with the non-riding child while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. Afterward, the waiting adult can then enjoy the ride without waiting in line again. It’s a win-win for the whole family!
Please keep in mind that ride height requirements at Disneyland are subject to change, so it’s essential to check the official Disneyland website or consult with a Cast Member for the most up-to-date information. Here’s a general overview of the height requirements for popular rides at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park:
- Alice in Wonderland: No height requirement.
- Astro Orbitor: Must be 32 inches (81 cm) or taller to ride alone. Guests between 32-54 inches (81-137 cm) must be accompanied by a responsible person.
- Autopia: Must be 32 inches (81 cm) or taller to ride as a passenger. Guests must be 54 inches (137 cm) or taller to drive.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: Must be 40 inches (102 cm) or taller.
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: No height requirement.
- Casey Jr. Circus Train: No height requirement.
- Disneyland Railroad: No height requirement.
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant: No height requirement.
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: No height requirement.
- Haunted Mansion: No height requirement.
- Indiana Jones Adventure: Must be 46 inches (117 cm) or taller.
- It’s a Small World: No height requirement.
- King Arthur Carrousel: No height requirement.
- Mad Tea Party: No height requirement.
- Matterhorn Bobsleds: Must be 42 inches (107 cm) or taller.
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: No height requirement.
- Peter Pan’s Flight: No height requirement.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: No height requirement.
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin: No height requirement.
- Snow White’s Scary Adventures: No height requirement.
Disney California Adventure Park:
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!: Must be 40 inches (102 cm) or taller.
- Incredicoaster: Must be 48 inches (122 cm) or taller.
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters: No height requirement.
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree: No height requirement.
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic: No height requirement.
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!: No height requirement.
- Pixar Pal-A-Round: No height requirement, but children under 7 years old must be accompanied by a responsible person.
- Radiator Springs Racers: Must be 40 inches (102 cm) or taller.
- Silly Symphony Swings: Must be 40 inches (102 cm) or taller.
- Soarin’ Around the World: Must be 40 inches (102 cm) or taller.
- The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure: No height requirement.
- Toy Story Midway Mania!: No height requirement.
- Turtle Talk with Crush: No height requirement.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (opening in 2023): Height requirements to be announced.
Remember that some attractions may have additional safety restrictions, such as being able to sit upright or transfer from a wheelchair. It’s always a good idea to consult the attraction’s guidelines before boarding.
Character Dining Delights at Disneyland:
When it comes to character dining at Disneyland, you’re in for a treat! These magical dining experiences allow you and your little ones to enjoy a delicious meal while interacting with some beloved Disney characters. It’s an opportunity to create unforgettable memories and capture incredible photos with your favorite princesses, classic characters, and more.
Let’s dive into the enchanting world of character dining at Disneyland!
- Plaza Inn: Located on Main Street, U.S.A., Plaza Inn offers a delightful character breakfast called “Minnie & Friends – Breakfast in the Park.” Start your day with a scrumptious buffet featuring Mickey-shaped waffles, made-to-order omelets, fresh fruit, pastries, and more. And the best part? Minnie Mouse and her friends, including classic Disney characters, will make their way to your table, creating magical moments and photo opportunities.
- Storytellers Café: Situated in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Storytellers Café offers two character dining experiences: “Chip ‘n’ Dale Critter Breakfast” and “Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast Buffet.” Enjoy a bountiful breakfast buffet with dishes like Mickey-shaped pancakes, French toast, and made-to-order omelets. During your meal, Chip, Dale, and other Disney friends will visit your table, spreading cheer and laughter.
- Goofy’s Kitchen: Located at the Disneyland Hotel, Goofy’s Kitchen is a lively character dining experience suitable for breakfast or dinner. Indulge in an all-you-can-eat buffet featuring an array of delicious dishes like Mickey-shaped waffles, pizza, pasta, and a build-your-own sundae bar. Goofy and his pals, including Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Donald, will make their way around the restaurant, entertaining guests and posing for photos.
- Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures: For an enchanting experience fit for royalty, consider the Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures at Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. This luxurious dining experience includes a three-course breakfast featuring seasonal ingredients, delectable pastries, and your choice of entrée. Disney princesses like Ariel, Belle, Tiana, and more will visit each table, creating magical moments for princess-loving little ones.
- Surf’s Up! Breakfast with Mickey and Friends: Head to Disney’s PCH Grill at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel for a beach-themed character dining experience. Indulge in a breakfast buffet with Mickey waffles, made-to-order omelets, pastries, and more. Mickey and his friends, all dressed in their beach attire, will join you for a lively celebration filled with music and dance.
Please note that character dining experiences are subject to change, so it’s always a good idea to check the official Disneyland website or contact Disney Dining for the most up-to-date information and availability. Advanced dining reservations are highly recommended as these experiences tend to be popular among visitors.
Character dining at Disneyland offers a unique opportunity to meet your favorite Disney characters up close, enjoy delicious food, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So don’t miss out on these enchanting experiences during your Disneyland adventure!
Explore Beyond Rides:
Disneyland isn’t just about rides; it’s a treasure trove of enchantment. Take breaks from the attractions and explore hidden gems like character meet-and-greets, live entertainment, parades, and fireworks. These experiences create lasting memories for your kids and ensure there’s never a dull moment.
Disneyland can be overwhelming, especially for little ones. Pace yourself and allow for downtime. Find a shady spot for a picnic, take breaks in the air-conditioned attractions, or enjoy a leisurely ride on the Disneyland Railroad. Balancing excitement with relaxation will help everyone stay energized and happy throughout the day.
Wearing my OnCloud’s were the best decision I have ever made when going to Disney. They support your back which is definitely what I needed:
Capture the Disneyland Magic:
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to capture the magic! Take plenty of photos and videos to preserve the memories of your Disneyland adventure. Consider purchasing Disney’s PhotoPass to ensure you get professional photos with characters and iconic park landmarks. Plus, Disney photographers can capture those spontaneous, magical moments you might otherwise miss.
My favorite way to capture these moments is using a tripod hooked to our stroller for easy snaps and videos while on the move: