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View Full Version : First time going to Disneyland with a child!!


ReidsMomma
05-13-2012, 10:47 PM
Ok all you experienced Disneyland mommas! (And daddy's too!) We live in Southern California so we have done Disney a million times. However, this is our first trip as parents! We are going about 3 weeks after our son's 1st birthday. So, I guess I'm just wondering what tips and tricks you all have for doing the park with a 1 year old.

Some facts to help!
*We are arriving in Anaheim Saturday, July 7th.
*Doing the park Sunday 8th, Monday 9th, and Tuesday 10th.
*I believe we get 1 day of MM entry (never done that before, don't know what to expect there either)
*We are staying offsite, not walking distance, but ART stop.
*Our son is walking, so we will have a backpack leash, but also bringing his stroller
*My mom, Uncle, Brother, grandparents, and 2 sister-in-laws, will be with us for most of the trip (brother and sister-in-laws will probably only be there for a day, they all live down south and work, so most likely will only come Sunday).
*My mom and grandpa will most likely either both be in wheelchairs, or share 1 taking turns.

Ok, so, I've been lurking for a while, and I know you are all PROS! What do we need to bring? How should we plan to spend our days? What to expect with his behavior in the park for 3 days (overstimulation??)? How does it work doing the park with someone in a wheelchair? And anything else you can share!!

Thank you all in advance for taking the time to help us out!! I'm so excited for this trip, I think it will be like doing Disney for the very first time!

Girimama33
05-14-2012, 12:00 AM
My only suggestions are to ride the "outside" rides with your son; dumbo, carosel, tea cups, etc.
If you can return to the hotel for breaks, do it. I found that you can't always count on them napping at the park.
Bring snacks, wipes, change of clothes, something for cooler nights...
Have fun!

skiingfast
05-14-2012, 12:12 AM
*Doing the park Sunday 8th, Monday 9th, and Tuesday 10th.
*I believe we get 1 day of MM entry (never done that before, don't know what to expect there either)
*We are staying offsite, not walking distance, but ART stop.
*Our son is walking, so we will have a backpack leash, but also bringing his stroller

*My mom and grandpa will most likely either both be in wheelchairs, or share 1 taking turns.


With 3 days you will get one MM.

As suggested a mid day break for napping is nice, but a 1yo may want multiple naps, while a 3yo can usually handle just one in the midday. Since you are staying an ART ride away, could you family take the child back? Maybe Grand Parents at night so you can have a date night.

I would only bring the stroller, he may do most of his walking in the queues not around the park, so no need for a leash. Park the stroller in an area like say in front of Splash, then walk to Pooh Bear, or HM before getting back to the stroller.

A lot of people suggest and ECV, these you can rent there or from outside vendors to take back to the hotel. This way people aren't getting tired pushing the others around.

At suggested by the PP try the outdoor rides first, before a dark ride to know how the child reacts. At 1yo he may dislike or not mind things like speed, darkness or loud sounds.

Also bring a blanket to shade him in the stroller. He may do a lot of sleeping in there.

mexican-mouseketeers
05-14-2012, 12:28 AM
Definetlly bring a lightwieght blanket, it can help cover the sun, and dry your little one of if you let him get wet in one of the splash pads.

We were there 10 days ago with our 14 months old baby and the Ergo was great. It is an Ergo carrier and it is awesome for carrying toddlers, my 3.5 yo still fits in it :goodvibes Though I would still bring the stroller too, it works great for all the stuff, lol.

Our baby loved the characters, but her sister was scared of them when we took her at that same age, and she would cry any time we would sit in a ride, though she would be happy in them, she even cried the moment we sat in IASW for the second time in a row after she had danced all thorugh the ride the first time :rotfl2:

The Baby Care Center ROCKS, the absolute best place for some down time for baby if needed, and the best changing station in all disney.

DLfamilyU5
05-14-2012, 12:30 AM
The main things I would say is that your pace is definately slower with kids than without. It's not just go to the next ride or attraction; have to figure in diaper changes, naps or just hanging out. Depending on your child it is possible to have him nap in the stroller. Mine are used to taking naps n the stroller. So for us when it is nap time that's when we decide to do a long walk to the other park or downtown Disney etc or just grab lunch and eat it peacefully.

Other things quickly-

-baby centers are great
- snacks and sippys are my must haves for cranky toddler
-we did most no height req rides so not just fantasy land but pirates and haunted mansion too
-when it's hot or when kid is tired of crowds or we want a place to change baby or feed etc we like the animation building at DCA or innoventions building at DL
-with that many adults in your party it will not be a problem to get fast passes and do some baby swaps on big rides.

HTH !

mouseymommy
05-14-2012, 12:37 AM
I would just count on your LO using the stroller most of the time. I have taken 2 of mine around that age, and they liked all the rides we took them on. And they went on everything without a height restriction. Also, take advantage of the Baby care center located at the end of Main Street. They have nice changing stations, little potties, private areas to nurse, and you can warm baby bottles or baby food in there. I found it to be a quiet calm place in DL. Have fun on your first trip to DL with you baby!

ReidsMomma
05-14-2012, 02:05 AM
Thank you everyone! Great info so far! I'm hoping my DS will be able to do some napping in his stroller, normally he fights it. At home he's only doing 1 nap per day, but he sleeps late, and at Disney we will be starting our days quite early.

Ok, so something I just thought of...someone mentioned parking the stroller and walking to a couple rides. Are there rules about where strollers can and can't go? I know I see lots of stroller parking areas all over the place, I was always curious if you have to ditch the stroller to get on the train since I never see people with them. I really don't want to leave our stroller and carry him around more than necessary.

What about the ECV or wheelchairs...rules for those? I always see people going in the exits since obviously a lot of the line queues aren't really wheelchair friendly. Does your whole party get to go together (on our biggest day our group will be 9 adults plus the baby)? Does the person in the wheelchair have to actually ride the ride you are going on? Example: Spacemountain, we go to the exit so my grandpa doesn't have to stand in the line and hurt his back, but he can't go on and holds the baby....do we still go to the exit? I have no idea how this works!

skiingfast
05-14-2012, 03:08 AM
Some places to let a child sleep are on the Train, during shows, he may even fall asleep on rides like Small World.

There are designated stroller parking areas, if you park it somewhere else it may be moved into one of these areas. On the train you can take it but kids have to come out and it must be folded up. A pain when the child is sleeping or you have tons of stuff in a stroller.

To use the HCA queue, the person needing the WC or ECV must be with you. Also you can only take 6 people in those lines with the person who needs the WC or ECV, so not your whole group. In DL there is parking near these entrances for the WC or ECV on some attractions and you need to walk in, on a few attractions you take them in. In DCA you take the WC or ECV into the queues since it is all built to be ADA complient, DL predates those rules in many cases. You can just ask a CM where to go, pickup a guide at guest services that explain where to go at each attraction. Also on disneyland.com you can plan a bit with this list. http://disneyland.disney.go.com/plan/guest-services/mobility-disabilities/ You will find the same symbols on the park maps.

nannyz
05-14-2012, 08:25 AM
Everyone has given great advice and thoughts.
If you can do the ECV, I definitely would. I have pushed a wheelchair around DL and believe me it is not easy. You will need a strong person to do the pushing.
I have also been to DL with babies just starting to walk and toddlers. We found that in the general areas it is not a good idea to just let them walk because they will get stepped on and pushed around by adults who don't realize they are there, especially in big crowds.
Don't forget your sunscreen for the little one.
As far as being scared of rides I have found that babies as young as yours really haven't learned to be afraid yet. If you don't gasp or show fear on a ride, then he won't either. He will just enjoy the visual and audio stimulation.

mexican-mouseketeers
05-14-2012, 09:39 AM
Ok, so something I just thought of...someone mentioned parking the stroller and walking to a couple rides. Are there rules about where strollers can and can't go? I know I see lots of stroller parking areas all over the place, I was always curious if you have to ditch the stroller to get on the train since I never see people with them. I really don't want to leave our stroller and carry him around more than necessary.


This where the Ergo was our lifesaver.

Mainstreet train station has no ramp for the strollers, and you have to empty the stroller, fold it and carry, which is a pain, so we would leave our stroller there and hop in the train if we wanted to do a few rides near the stations.

It is a pain to carry my daughter for more than a couple minutes, but with the Ergo I can carry her comfortably for a couple of hours.

estherhead
05-14-2012, 10:41 AM
This where the Ergo was our lifesaver.

Mainstreet train station has no ramp for the strollers, and you have to empty the stroller, fold it and carry, which is a pain, so we would leave our stroller there and hop in the train if we wanted to do a few rides near the stations.

It is a pain to carry my daughter for more than a couple minutes, but with the Ergo I can carry her comfortably for a couple of hours.

Yes! ERGO!

I've not done DL with a baby but I've done WDW LOTS with babies.

My advice is, especially since you've been a million times, to totally get ride of your expectations. Things I love doing at Disney with a baby:

1) watching them play with all the stuffed animals in stores. I just sit down with them and surround ourselves with animals. I'll even put on a little play with the animals. Then you truly know which one they are attached to and can buy it. Plus it's a very photogenic moment.
2) Dumbo. Dumbo is so great with a baby.
3) buying them silly ears. Then wearing them face out in the Ergo with their goofy (or Dumbo or Mickey) ears on and they LOVE everyone walking past them talking to them and smiling at them. Seriously a way to make a 1 year old's day.
4) sitting on a park bench in the shade chitchatting with whoever else is on the bench while the one year crawls around (or nurses or falls asleep or takes a bottle.)
5) Peoplemover.

Things that aren't as fun with a 1 year old are loud noises. Fireworks, cannons in Pirates, etc. You don't even realize how many loud noises there are till you have a 1 year old. Even Winnie the Pooh has thunder. Rainforest Cafe is out.

So just change the concept of DL and you'll have a great time. It's so fun to be at the happiest place on earth with your snuggly little one, even if you don't ride anything. Enjoy that moment. Because before you can blink, they are leaving you to have a quiet dinner alone while they ride Star Tours 10 times in a row to see how many combos they can see.

Relax, you've done it a million times, don't try to accomplish anything.

coaches24
05-14-2012, 12:06 PM
Thank you everyone! Great info so far! I'm hoping my DS will be able to do some napping in his stroller, normally he fights it. At home he's only doing 1 nap per day, but he sleeps late, and at Disney we will be starting our days quite early.

Ok, so something I just thought of...someone mentioned parking the stroller and walking to a couple rides. Are there rules about where strollers can and can't go? I know I see lots of stroller parking areas all over the place, I was always curious if you have to ditch the stroller to get on the train since I never see people with them. I really don't want to leave our stroller and carry him around more than necessary.

What about the ECV or wheelchairs...rules for those? I always see people going in the exits since obviously a lot of the line queues aren't really wheelchair friendly. Does your whole party get to go together (on our biggest day our group will be 9 adults plus the baby)? Does the person in the wheelchair have to actually ride the ride you are going on? Example: Spacemountain, we go to the exit so my grandpa doesn't have to stand in the line and hurt his back, but he can't go on and holds the baby....do we still go to the exit? I have no idea how this works!

I dont know the rules for how many can go with with the wheel chair but I do believe that the person in the wheel chair has to be riding if you plan to use that line for your party. You can always have one person set up your granpa in the shaded area near the exit of SM while everyone else is in line. But I dont believe you would be able to go throught the wheel chair entrance if he isnt riding. Im not 100% sure on that though.