Yesterday we celebrated Mother’s Day and Rylie’s 5th birthday at the Happiest Place on Earth (aka Disneyland). We’ve been annual pass holders for four years now and I have loved every minute of it. We took the girls for the very first time when Brooklynn was 3 1/2 and Rylie was 1 1/2. Before then, my husband and I weren’t really the biggest Disney fans. There is something about watching the magic of Disneyland through your children’s eyes that makes it so much more special.
Last week when shopping for presents for Rylie I stumbled across a new line of Disney products. Luckily my husband was with me or may have bought the entire store. Here are some of my favorites from the collection:
I also wanted to share my top 8 tips for visiting Disneyland with kids:
1. Always choose the path of least resistance
My kids hate lines, as do most people. Grab your fast passes first if necessary and do a visual scan and see which areas look the least crowded. You can also download apps like MouseWait to get an estimate of ride wait times. The key is to keep them occupied as much as possible.
2. Ride the rides that typically have the longest lines first
Since you can only have one fast pass at a time, we like to use them strategically. We typically start out on a ride like Cars, Guardians of the Galaxy or Soarin’ Over the World (if at California Adventure) before the parks start to get crowded. That way, we can get a fast pass right away for one of the other more popular rides and fill in our time with rides that don’t attract as much of a crowd.
3. Ride water rides in the morning
Some of you may disagree but in the mornings when it’s cool is the best time to get these out of the way. First, there is hardly ever a wait while it’s still early and cool and second this gives your clothes more time to dry.
4. Free samples
At California Adventure, Boudin and Ghirardelli both give free samples. Everyone knows that snacks are the key to a happy kid so don’t pass these up.
5. Bring your own healthy snacks
Disneyland is one of the very few theme parks that allows you to bring in your own snacks. Take full advantage. As tempting as churros and ice cream may be, you don’t want cranky kids coming off of a sugar rush mid day. Pack healthy options to keep their blood sugar and moods stabilized. We love packing cut fruits and veggies, fruit leather, turkey meat, cheeses, pretzels, protein bars and things like that.
6. Buy water at the grocery store and bring reusable water bottles
It doesn’t really matter what the temperature in Anaheim is, it always feels warm at Disneyland. The combination of being in the sun and all of the walking can also really dehydrate you. Dehydration makes you feel awful, tired and cranky. Don’t waste a ton of money on water in the park, bring your own. There are also drinking fountains available.
7. Don’t say “let’s go on _____ next” unless you know 1000% it’s open
Rides break down or are under construction all the time. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve gotten my kids excited to go on a particular ride and then have it not happen and them have a meltdown. Don’t make my mistake and use apps like MouseWait to check for closures and avoid meltdowns.
8. When you see a cast member standing at the end of a character meet & greet line, do not enter
This means they are wrapping up with the guests currently in line and the character is getting ready for a break. Again, another mom fail on my behalf but I’ve had several instances where we’ve gotten the girls excited to meet a character and then were unable to. If you see a cast member standing at the end of the line just tell your child to wave to the character instead.
If your child(ren) doesn’t meet the minimum height requirement for a ride, ask for a rider switch pass so that you don’t have to skip the ride. It works just like a fast pass. If you have a child that is tall enough, they can ride once with mom and then again with dad while the younger child sits out.