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In May, we traveled to Los Angeles to visit Disneyland. It was an amazing trip that my son enjoyed a lot, but it was also overwhelming for all of us! One of the reasons why our experience was more exhausting than we thought was the fact that I haven’t prepared our visit in advance. If you plan a visit there, here are some helpful tips for visiting Disneyland with young kids. I wish I knew all this before our trip and I hope that they will make your visit easier to handle and a lot more fun!
My first advice would be to be prepared for crowds and lines! They are part of the Disneyland experience and you cannot avoid them! It’s also important to explain to the kids that waiting is inevitable in order to prevent meltdowns during your visit. Having small books and games at hand is a great help during the long lines!
Preparing for the visit
1. To avoid the long lines at the entrance, it’s better to buy the tickets online.
You can do this on the Disneyland website. You cannot purchase tickets for the same day, so make sure you book them in advance.
2. Buy toys and costumes in advance.
All the Disney stores are full of amazing toys and costumes. But they are also very expensive! You can avoid spending a lot of money if you purchase them in advance from other Disney stores or from online stores. The kids will be happy to see the gifts and your budget will not be so affected! 🙂
3. Make a reservation at a Disney character dining experience.
I wish I knew this before our visit because it’s such an incredible experience! If you book the dining experience in advance, the children will enjoy some wonderful moments with their favorite characters.
What to pack
Here are the items that I would totally recommend you to bring to the park:
– stroller or baby carrier
– refillable water bottle or sippy cup
– extra set of clothes for the kids
– a lot of snacks (they are great for keeping kids busy while they wait on line)
– small games or toys that can keep kids entertained during the long lines
– toys and costumes that you bought in advance (see point 2 from above)
– hand sanitizer
Arriving at the park
4. Plan to arrive in the parking lot 30 minutes before park opening.
I cannot emphasize enough how useful this is! You will avoid the traffic jam and the lines at the entrance. Also, you will have the best chances to get to your favorite attraction before the park becomes overcrowded!
5. The park is really crowded, so it’s good to be prepared in case the child gets lost.
Here are some useful tips:
– Point out to the child how the staff members look like (with uniforms and badges). In case they need help, tell them to approach one of the staff members.
– If your children are a little bit older, you can also set a meeting point in case they get lost.
– For young kids, the best tip is to write your name and telephone number on a plastic bracelet and put it on the child’s wrist. You can also use a marker and write the phone number directly on the child’s arm.
During the visit
6. Use the Fastpass to avoid long lines.
It has no extra cost and it allows you to skip the lines at some of the attractions. You just need to insert the ticket into the Fastpass machine and you will receive a ticket with the hour when you can return to the attraction for your ride. It’s simple and great when kids are tired of waiting in lines!
7. If you have a baby or a young toddler, visit the Baby Care Center for some quiet moments.
They have a special place for feeding the baby, a store to buy baby supplies, and even an area for pumping. You can discover all the facilities of the Baby Care Center here.
8. Use the Disneyland App.
You can download it on your phone and it will make your visit easier! It tells you the daily events, the waiting times, the Fastpass rides and it also provides a map of the attractions. It also informs you where the characters are to make it easier for you to meet them.
Additional tips for visiting Disneyland with young kids
Here are some additional articles that are very useful to read before your visit:
The Preschool Parents’ Guide created by Disney.
I hope that these tips will make your trip to Disneyland less overwhelming and more fun! If you have any additional tips, please share them here. I wish to also visit Disneyland Florida someday, so I could use any new advice!
photo credit Pinterest image: Oleg Mikhaylov / Shutterstock.com