View Full Version : DL with Young Toddlers??

05-20-2008, 04:37 PM
It sounds like there are a lot of experienced veterans here, so please tell me if I'm crazy for attempting this!!

DH will be going to DL on a business trip, staying in the GCH. Our 2 year old twins and I are invited to come along :yay:

I've been to DL and DW prior to having kids, so I have no idea what rides/activites are available for young toddlers (they will be 2yrs 2mos old when we go) Is there any must-see or must-dos that you can recommend for the little ones?

I know we'll be coming back to the room for naps, and I won't feel pressured to get every penny's worth of $ out of the day since we aren't paying for the trip. However, this could make for a REALLY long week if things don't go well LOL!

Would love to hear your advice/experiences. Thanks!

05-20-2008, 04:44 PM
We love "bug's land" in DCA, absolutely love it. See my pictures in my September '07 trip report for the fun a daring child (with a parent who brought a second set of clothes, LOL) can have in their water play areas. :)

Though we have NOT done "it's tough to be a bug", b/c I think DS would be freaked out by it (POTC movies are fine for the boy, but 3D bugs I think he'd flip, he's a weird kid!).

He loves the carousels both at DCA and DL. Loves Dumbo and Astro Orbiter. Buzz is a great ride for a kid who doesn't mind loud noises and bright colors. The monorail is always a nice, but short, "ride".

If they are 35" tall and you feel they are ready (I didn't at 2 but many are fine with it) they CAN go on Matterhorn. But if it's just you I'm not sure you can take 2 at once, so nevermind unless your hubby can spend some time playing with you guys and they are tall enough.

Most people with kids think of Fantasyland, but we actually like bug's land better. The boy does love Teacups (and the spinny ride at bug's land) and once he's ON Peter Pan he likes it (but the line seems to make him think he hates the ride).

Oh, Jungle Cruise is a big favorite of my guy's!

Well, in my sig I have one extended report of one-day trips when he was 1 and 2, then a long trip when he was 3, and then another from later that year. If you read them, I hope they help!

05-20-2008, 06:04 PM
Totally doable!

I took dd who was 2 at the time with my DH and I was 8 months pregnant. I know different situation, but I imagine I was as tired as you will be.

Just try to remember your patience and follow their lead. Do not over tire them, that would probably be a huge downfall for you!

05-20-2008, 06:25 PM
We went on our first family trip to DL in February. DS was 19 months and DD was 3. They loved everything about DL. I agree with Bumbershoot list of rides for toddlers. Bugs Land was a real hit with my kids. My kids also enjoyed Winnie the Pooh, Pirates, the Railroad and Monsters Inc. They also LOVED the Alladdin show- especially my DS. I thought 45 minutes might be too long for him to sit still, but he loved every minute.
My DS also loved the characters after we ate breakfast at Goofy's. Before that he didn't want much to do with them.
DD was all about the rides and the characters. DS was more into exploring the sights and sounds.

Have a wonderful trip. I am sure your kids will love it. :goodvibes

05-20-2008, 06:29 PM
Everyone's given you great advice on the rides. I just want to caution you about characters. Chances are you will pass some on your way around the parks. My oldest two hated characters and would scream and cry when they saw them. My last two loved them, but I started them off with face characters who could speak to them, and looked normal size compared to a giant mouse or bear. I let them see them from a distance at first, and then we would get a little closer. No screaming, we would go see them up close. Kind of like seeing Santa Claus for the first time. Now they make pictures to take to the characters, which makes it very fun for them.

05-20-2008, 06:31 PM
Just try to remember your patience and follow their lead. Do not over tire them, that would probably be a huge downfall for you!

I think this right here is the key...know your kids and don't push their limits. Both with what types of rides they can handle as well as how much food/drink/rest they need.

If you take it at their pace you all should have a blast.

05-20-2008, 06:31 PM
I started taking my two, who are 20 months apart, when they were 2 :earsboy: and 3 :earsgirl: . They loved it and I had a great time. We lived out there then and I was able to take them on weekdays in the Fall and it was a lot less crowded too, so that was good for us all. popcorn:: I would get there when it opened and stay until the early afternoon. Mine loved Alice in Wonderland :ccat: and Casey Jr. train, :dumbo: oh, they loved to be in the cage! And they loved the regular train too and Mr. Toad. :drive: Back in those days it was the old submarines and they always got a kick out of that too. I find Pinocchio a bit dark and on the scarey side. :scared1: Winnie the Pooh is cute. pooh: Be brave, you will have a great time! ::yes::

05-20-2008, 06:32 PM
We just returned from a stay at the DLH. I had planned to do early entry, return to hotel in afternoon for rest and swim, then return to parks for dinner and evening fun, including fireworks, Fantasmic! and evening parades.
What I didn't plan for was enough sleep. I quickly realize how important that is, especially for a 5yo. We had to make a decision between early entry (7am when we went) and evening fireworks, etc.

Early entry won out, and we had lights out at 7:45pm on the nights before! I knew we had enough days to enjoy evenings a little later when we didn't get up at the crack of dawn. (We got up at 5am, dd up at 5:15. She would say, "it's still night!"). She had to get a minimum of 9 hours sleep for everyone's sanity.

So we would return to the parks after a rest for dinner and some fun, but fireworks (viewed from inside the park), Fantasmic and late parades will have to wait. We did see the 5:15 Pixar Play Parade although. I did see the fireworks from out hotel room once so all was not lost.

Have fun!

05-20-2008, 06:59 PM
Everyone's given you great advice on the rides. I just want to caution you about characters. Chances are you will pass some on your way around the parks. My oldest two hated characters and would scream and cry when they saw them. My last two loved them, but I started them off with face characters who could speak to them, and looked normal size compared to a giant mouse or bear. I let them see them from a distance at first, and then we would get a little closer. No screaming, we would go see them up close. Kind of like seeing Santa Claus for the first time. Now they make pictures to take to the characters, which makes it very fun for them.

Good point. Although my guy loved them from the first moment he saw them (though actually his first characters were seen at the zoo a few weeks before, when they had a program along with our library...a dry run so to speak), I HATED characters as a kid. Hated them!

All of you who have managed to practice moderation are better than I am. My trip reports are lessons for everyone of what can happen when you overtire children and husbands. :upsidedow

Something we did at the very end of our December trip, however, was to send one adult "home" with DS while the other played. That one night we were able to do it, first I stayed at the parks, then when I got back we swapped. I think on this trip if we do that, hubby will go and play as long as he wants one night, and I'll go another. Of course, we're going JUST after Indy comes out, so instead of playing at the parks we might each go to the movies! Or maybe not. :upsidedow

Forgot about Pooh, silly me! I look forward to Casey's this trip, as DS has never been on it. I went on it during my solo trip, and before we had avoided it b/c we only saw the 'cage' cars, and DH was worried about fitting. But now I know there are regular bench seats up front, so he doesn't have to be worried anymore.

Also forgot about Monster's...that's a favorite with all 3 of us.

05-20-2008, 07:14 PM
Everybody has really great recommendations. My youngest 2 boys are 23 months apart, well, 23.5 actually. My youngest has gone at 3 months, 11 months, 20 months, and 2 years 2 months.

My boys fav rides are as follows:
Bugs Land, such a hit. We love it!!
Monsters Inc.
Redwood Trails. Great place to just let them run around.

Autopia, we let them take turns driving
Jungle Cruise
DLRR, Casey Jr., Monorail (they all love the train rides, it relqaxes them somehow)
Dumbo the flying elephant
Mr. Toad (my 4yo loves this one)
Its a small world
Storybookland Canal (I think best ridden at dusk for a couple of reasons: 1) you can see the houses lit up, without it being to dark, 2) You are out in the open with the sun blazing directly down on you during daylight.

And dont forget some relaxation time by the pools!!

05-20-2008, 07:25 PM
I think you will be seeing a lot of Toontown, Bug's Life and Fantasyland.

05-20-2008, 08:12 PM
Great advice from everyone here! I think the main thing to remember is to be flexible and go with the flow.

Start the kids out on the gentler, simpler rides (Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country is great, not sure if that was mentioned yet) and if those go over well, then go for something slightly more adventurous; don't head straight into a dark, noisy ride, or you may not be able to get them on anything after that. :)

My DS2 loved the characters, it was DS6 who was a bit nervous on our first trip to DL. Having the task of asking for an autograph helped him relax and enjoy the moment. If one likes characters and the other just won't approach them, don't push it, let the one have his moment and photo op.

Oh, and don't forget to see the Playhouse Disney show! We saw it on the first trip (2006), and again last month (it's been revamped), and while DS7 wasn't all that interested this time, DS4 was entranced. :goodvibes

Bring snacks and drinks into the park to have on hand, kids can get hungry/thirsty in a hurry when they're so busy!

And when you need some peace and quiet without leaving the park, there are a few little hideaways. We love the Court des anges in New Orleans Square; it's a quiet, shady little alcove, perfect for a napping toddler; we just parked the stroller and sat on a bench enjoying the pretty scenery.

05-20-2008, 09:49 PM
I really appreciate all of the thoughtful and detailed responses. I'll have to print this off before we go so I'll remember all the ride suggestions!

I am really excited after seeing some of the pictures of the young kids - looks like a blast!

I'm going to try and go in w/ very loose expectations and go with the flow. Can't wait!! :)

Thanks again!

05-21-2008, 11:42 AM
We've done 4 trips with my girls, who are 19 months apart and are currently 4 & 2.5. Like most people have said, characters are hit & miss. Sometimes my girls LOVE them, other times they want nothing to do with them. The princesses, if you have the patience for the PFF, have always been a big hit.

Here is a list of rides that my daughters have really enjoyed:
Dumbo (favorite by far)
Alice in Wonderland
Buzz Lightyear
Winnie the Pooh
Casey Jr. Train
Storybook Canals

CA Adventure:
All of Bug's Land, including water playground
Monsters, Inc.
Playhouse Disney
Turtle Talk with Crush

They love all the parades, but are not big fans of the fireworks (the noise seems to freak out my older one). They'll go on the dark rides (Snow White, Peter Pan, Pinnochio) but don't love them.

My biggest piece of advice that I can offer is to make sure to take an afternoon break back to the hotel for swimming and a nap. Our girls do so much better with some down time and sleep, which allows us to open and close the parks without meltdowns.

Have fun!!

05-28-2008, 04:32 PM
Just wanted to bump and see if anyone had any more words of wisdom for me ;)

I am planning to print this puppy out before we go!

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to reply!

05-28-2008, 09:25 PM
i probaly have the most experience in this department:lmao: well i have twins and when they where near 2 we went and had a great time. we did fantasyland and toontown and pooh bear. our only problem. and in dca bugslife and the shows alladin, playhouse disney. all was great our only problem was our oldest was 8 so we had to wait for either mom or me to ride with her and they didn't understand and got impatient.

05-28-2008, 09:43 PM
All of the above and don't forget the Tiki Room!
My dd LOVES it and is still talking about it, imitating tikis playing drums & singing the song a month later. Great place to rest and cool off to.

We watched some of the rides on youtube the week before leaving too, to get her used to the idea, sights and sounds, characters, etc. Worked great.

05-28-2008, 11:56 PM

I'm curious about the logistics w/ your 2 yr olds. Did you take your own stroller? We'll be taking a lightweight side by side (Peg Perego Aria Twin). I feel like we'll be constantly strapping them in and out, but there is no way I would go w/out one (they'll walk holding our hands for about 5 minutes.)

I never really paid attention in my pre-baby life to what people do at DL w/ their strollers - is there an area to park them? I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing :confused3

I'm so excited, but each time there is some type of temper tantrum, etc (typical toddler drama) I'm thinking - OMG what are we thinking to take them on a weeks vacation?!? :eek:

Any other twin-specific tips you have for me would be forever appreciated!!

05-29-2008, 12:09 AM
as for stroller we used a double strooler that sits one in front of the other. seen folks trying to use the double wide and its hard in a crowd. another great thing with the front to rear(atleast ours) is the back lays flat so the rear child could lay down and sleep. and the front reclined so the front child could also sleep. as for parking their everywhere in the park. just park out of the walk way if a cm needs to move it they will. another mom here sugested "land" parking. which is a great idea. say you go to fantasyland, instead of riding dumbo and then pushing the stoller to toad and then peter pan and the here and there she suggested to just find a spot in the land you are in, ride all the rides you want then get the stroller and move to the next land.

take double of what ever you think you'll need from diapers to clothes with you into the park. snacks are especially handy since food is expensive.

i have found tide makes laundry detergent in bar form and each bar is individually wrapped iirc 1 bar equals 1 load. we always stay in a hotel with a laundry mat. yeah nobody wants to do laundry on vacation but it helps to keep the bags light

don't over plan the trip. plan lots of time for the kids to be kids. we took ours to tom sawyer island and let them run for like an hour. or when they just wanna sit and have a snack.

like stated mid day naps/swim are a blessing. if you choose to do early entry i'd suggest an earlier bed time. we don't do the park hopping like most. we do an alternating scheldule. so we will close dl say at midnight on monday then tuesday we open dca at 10 am rather than trying for dl at 8.

now with just the kids and you husband you can partake in some of the bigger rides also as long as they don't have height restrictions, if they do utilize the baby switch line or fastpass them.

and lastly have fun. it's amazing how great the park is when you have kids. you just travel alot slowly and in my opion see alot more.

and if you have anymore questions shoot me a pm i'm more than glad to help.

Sleepless Knight
05-29-2008, 12:18 AM
Beginning with their first trip in '78 and continuing until sometime in the early 90s my parents had at least one if not more young children, so it is definitely doable. The only thing I can think of that hasn't been covered is the baby switch. If you and your dh want to ride roller coasters, ask for the baby switch option. That will enable him to ride alone while you watch the kids and vice versa.

nancy drew
05-29-2008, 12:44 AM
my 2.5yo just loved disneyland. our favorites:

monsters inc (We love the movie)
the redwood creek challenge area (they LOVED this)
brother bear totem ceremony in the redwood area
sitting on the pier eating ice cream from "catch a wave" watching "California screamin" riders launch. seriously, both my kids loved this.
the parade!!!!!!!!

winnie the pooh
buzz lightyear
mr toad
dumbo (dont go if the line is extending out of the normal area)
alice in wonderland
storybook canals
haunted mansion*
pirates lair on tom sawyer island
enchanted tiki room**
tarzan treehouse
they loved the parade!!!!! we found some nice people who let my kids sit on the bench wit hthem. they talked to them and interacted with my kids and were awesome. and i am not one to let my kids play with strangers.

we had a peg perego p3 stroller which has a seat and a standing board. my younger child usually sat and my older one rode on back. if they fought i switched them around. there is stroller parking everywhere. you will be fine!!!

*we have the "disneyland fun" dvd which features the haunted mansion at DLR and my kids have boon obsessed for 2 years. we watched the youtube.com ridethrough and this was a dream come true for them. when anyone asks him his favorite part of disneyland he says "i like de spooky haunted mansion n de statues sing 'gimginningghos comeout soshaliiiiiize'" which i have to translate as "he liked the haunted mansion, where the statues sing "grim grinning ghosts come out to socialize."

**my son somehow fell in love with the masks on the youtube ridethroughs. he STILL asks to see the masks every night.

do a few youtube ridethroughs and talk about the rides. you can get a feel for what will be ok and what will not. my daughter had a bad experience on peter pan, i guess, so we cannot ride it. i did a youtube ridethrough of snow white and she refused to ride that as well. i had to use some major jedi mind trick to get her on mr toad, but afterward she yelled "i LOVED that ride!!!!!!!!" so i guess it was ok.

05-29-2008, 09:51 PM
Thanks so much - you all are so kind and helpful!!! :thanks: