Taking a baby to Disneyland can be an overwhelming endeavor. Is there anyone who hasn’t seen a child have a full-blown meltdown at the park? I truly think it’s just a staple of Disneyland. It can be extremely stimulating, exciting, and congested, which is just asking for trouble with a baby. However, if you come to Disneyland prepared, it can be an extremely happy trip, and lead to amazing memories. Curious what a successful/realistic day in Disneyland looks like? Here is ours.
My daughter’s first trip to Disneyland was at six-months-old. I was super unprepared, but still had an amazing time. Her second trip was at nine-months-old, and I learned from my mistakes from our first trip, so our visit went seamlessly. In order to help others have this good of a time, I wanted to provide you with information on how we accomplished a successful day in the parks with a baby.
Things to Consider to have a Successful Day
Maxpass is the greatest invention. Okay, I know how unpopular that opinion may be, but as a mom to a baby, I truly believe it’s perfection. If you have the extra $10 per person to spend each day, then I definitely recommend you use it on MaxPass. The FastPass system it provides you with is every parent’s dream. All you do is reserve your FastPass through the Disneyland app. That’s it. No more pushing the stroller from one land to another just to get a FastPass. Not only that, but free downloads of all pictures you take in the parks with a Disneyland PhotoPass photographer. You want as many memories as possible when you have a small baby. With MaxPass you can take as many photos as you want, and post it to your social media platforms and send it to friends for free. SO worth it. For more information on MaxPass, click here.
If you have an early-riser (basically every baby ever) then rope dropping is for you. You get to stroll into the parks with a very small crowd, high-five some Mickey gloves, possibly say “hi” to a character or two, and get very short lines on popular rides. With a baby in the crew, this can be an extremely fun start to your day. If you’re starting in Disneyland, I recommend going straight to Peter Pan’s Flight. Obviously after you grab a cup of coffee on Main Street...trust me, you’ll need it. Peter Pan is a fun ride for babies, but can have terribly long lines as the day goes on. Rope drop provides you with a shorter crowd, so take advantage! When we did rope drop at Disneyland, we went on Peter Pan, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, and Astro Blasters before the park filled up. It was stress-free and fun.
Our Successful Day
On this specific successful day, we did rope drop at California Adventure, and our morning went seamlessly. We grabbed a FastPass for Incredicoaster on our phones using MaxPass while eating breakfast at Flo’s Diner. We then walked on the pier while it was virtually empty, and rode Incredicoaster. Since it was summer, it was already hot enough to grab a soft-serve at Adorable Snowman, so we sat and ate our treats while the baby took a nap in her stroller. While she was still asleep, we went to Downtown Disney and checked out some of the stores. It was a very relaxed, low-maintenance morning.
Well, as Murphy’s Law would have it, my daughter had a blowout this day. But it didn’t throw us off because I packed expecting the worst. We went to the baby care center and changed her at their baby changing station. I packed a Ziploc baggie so we were able to save her very cute outfit without having it stink up my whole diaper bag. Bring an extra change of clothes within a Ziploc bag. This ensures that you will always have a dry set of clothes, and have a bag to put dirty ones into.
We then rode The Little Mermaid- Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and went to the Animation Academy. I recommend visiting the Animation Academy when it’s hot or when the park gets too crowded. There’s a ton to do, and babies love the music and colors. I took my daughter to Turtle Talk and she had fun the entire time. After that we grabbed lunch at Carthay Circle. Be prepared, Carthay doesn’t allow strollers inside unless the baby is already sleeping inside of it. Luckily my daughter was, but many little ones had to sit on laps and in high chairs.
My daughter on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train
After that, we went to Bugs Land to get some more fun in before it’s demolished (sigh). We went on Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train and Francis’ Ladybug Boogie. Note: Babies have to sit by themselves on Francis’ Ladybug Boogie. I tried it with her and it was difficult so I would suggest only putting bigger ones on this ride...while it’s still here.
We then went back to the hotel. We were staying at Grand Legacy (not a favorite) so I took my daughter to Creamistry which is just out front. Take your baby if you’re staying nearby! Mine loved the puff of cold air that erupted when our ice cream was made, and she obviously enjoyed sharing it with me. It was a nice break from the parks to just sit in our hotel room and eat ice cream yet again.
We then headed back and did the Paint The Night dining package at The Wine Country Trattoria. Do a dining package for the parades, Fantasmic, or World of Color if you can afford it. My daughter just slept through the whole dinner, and then we were able to have reserved seating for the parade. She loved having all that space to ourselves (seriously, A TON), and we put some shoes on her so that I could help her walk around and get her energy out. She loved the parade. If you have a little one who likes lights and music, you need to watch the parade. Once the parade was done, the fireworks started. At this point I put noise-cancelling earmuffs on her which was good because we found out that she hates fireworks. Definitely bring noise-cancelling earmuffs because the park can be extremely loud at times, and you might discover that your baby doesn’t enjoy loud sounds.
I then put her in my wrap, kept her headphones on, and we rode on Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Snow White while she was asleep. We then walked back to the hotel, and put her down for bed. Seamlessly.
WE DID IT! We accomplished a successful day at Disneyland. No stress, no fuss, just fun. Follow these steps and hopefully you, too, can have an amazing time with your baby. Remember: follow your baby’s schedule. I freaked out because she was fighting one of her naps. But in the end it led to her staying up long enough to watch Paint The Night, and it worked out perfectly. Make sure your baby gets plenty of food, hydration, and movement. Put some shoes on them if you have an assisted/unassisted walker so that they can get some energy out. Pack for every disaster imaginable. And be prepared for a good time. See you in the parks!