Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disneyland > Disneyland (California)
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-09-2012, 12:47 AM   #1
PrinceOfPeace
Mouseketeer
 
PrinceOfPeace's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 125

DLH Questions...visiting/planning with 3 kids 4 and under!

Hello!

My prayers came true when a couple of days ago...I booked a stay at the DLH for 2 nights! I NEVER thought I would ever have the luxury in staying there. My desire is to make the most out of our stay! We have 3 kids under 4 (4, 2, 4mo). Our goal is to relax, some park time, relax again...obviously we need it with so many little ones! Oh, and Fantasyland, Carsland, and Soarin are on our top priorities. (not in that order).

I'm normally so good about planning and figuring things out....but with the busyness of being a mommy...I'm so brain fried! ...that I can't (for the life of me) come up with a plan...so I'm calling on all you compassionate Dis'ers.

Staying @ Disneyland Hotel from 09/10-09/12, celebrating anniversary/birthday/first family vacation with new baby

My questions are these:
1. How do we get to DCA from DLH? And take advantage of EMH?
2. It's so hard getting the kiddos rounded up in the morning....however we will if necessary, how would we tackle Carsland during EMH....without having to stress out in rushing to the turnstiles? (fyi- I do not want to be a stroller nazi.)
3. If you were in my situation (or have been) what would/did you do to be sane? LOL
4. What do you suggest for anniversary celebration dinner?

Uhhh I think that's it for now....I probably asked too much!

xxoo
__________________
"Someday my Prince of Peace will come, Some day we'll meet again, And away to His castle we'll go, To be happy forever I know..."
[hubby and I] + [5yr ds] + [3yr dd] + [1yr ds] =
PrinceOfPeace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 08:57 AM   #2
Congo Queen
DLand Devotee Since 1966
 
Congo Queen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 347

Wow you will have your hands full with two toddlers and an infant! But you have the basic right attitude: go with the flow, enjoy the little things, pace yourself and the kids. This is not going to be one of those commando visits when you are able to get 25 rides done before 10am (which you well know), but you can still have such a great trip even with the visit set on slo-mo. My kids enjoyed the simple things at Dland when they were little: BTR petting zoo, DRR, Storybook, PP, Tom Sawyer's Island (not the scary dark caves but the rest of it); Pooh ride; SW; Toontown of course and visits w/ characters all around the park;any parade. You should have two early entries, and if you can get the kids up and to the gates close to 7am, I would use one for DCA to focus on Carsland and one for Dland to focus on Fantasyland and then to head over to Toontown when it opens.

I am sure other Disboarders who currently have tots will chime in w/ lots of good advice but here is my two cents on your questions:
1) Best way to access DCA for EMH is through the main esplanade (not GCH entrance) as there are more turnstiles at main entrance. You will walk through DD to get there;
2) You do not have stress out about the EMH nor injure innocent ankles w/ aggressive stroller maneuvers to enjoy benefits of EMH. Get there as close to 7am as you reasonably can and stroll in like the cool and collected Mom of three adorable children that you are. That magic early hour is a wonderful bonus if you can do it as you will be able to see Carsland with relatively small crowd, ride Luigi's, MJJ and Soarin (maybe even a couple of times) and still get in line by 7:45am to get an RSR fastpass for later;
3) If you cannot make EMH b/c kids can't get up early, again relax and go with the flow. Nothing worse than trying to force your sleepy kid to do something. Enjoy sleeping later (in the DLH!) and then get to the parks when you can with everyone rested and ready. Look at things from your toddler's perspective. If they are having a great time groovin on the lovely flowers at the hub or lingering at the SW wishing well or watching the ducks at ROA, then go with it. You will be able to use babyswap to catch up on rides for you and DH;
4) For me best anniversary dinner would be Napa Rose. You'll need to hire an in-room sitter for the kids but it is a great grown up restaurant. The food is fantastic, atmosphere is lovely, service absolutely top notch. They will take care of you and you can have a memorable glass (or bottle!) of wine and remind yourself that you are on vacation and married to a wonderful person.

Have a lovely lovely trip and don't ever worry about asking too many questions on Disboards. That is what it's for.
__________________


Hatters Gonna Hat
Congo Queen is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 08-09-2012, 11:38 AM   #3
PrinceOfPeace
Mouseketeer
 
PrinceOfPeace's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 125

Quote:
Originally Posted by Congo Queen View Post
Wow you will have your hands full with two toddlers and an infant! But you have the basic right attitude: go with the flow, enjoy the little things, pace yourself and the kids. This is not going to be one of those commando visits when you are able to get 25 rides done before 10am (which you well know), but you can still have such a great trip even with the visit set on slo-mo. My kids enjoyed the simple things at Dland when they were little: BTR petting zoo, DRR, Storybook, PP, Tom Sawyer's Island (not the scary dark caves but the rest of it); Pooh ride; SW; Toontown of course and visits w/ characters all around the park;any parade. You should have two early entries, and if you can get the kids up and to the gates close to 7am, I would use one for DCA to focus on Carsland and one for Dland to focus on Fantasyland and then to head over to Toontown when it opens.

I am sure other Disboarders who currently have tots will chime in w/ lots of good advice but here is my two cents on your questions:
1) Best way to access DCA for EMH is through the main esplanade (not GCH entrance) as there are more turnstiles at main entrance. You will walk through DD to get there;
2) You do not have stress out about the EMH nor injure innocent ankles w/ aggressive stroller maneuvers to enjoy benefits of EMH. Get there as close to 7am as you reasonably can and stroll in like the cool and collected Mom of three adorable children that you are. That magic early hour is a wonderful bonus if you can do it as you will be able to see Carsland with relatively small crowd, ride Luigi's, MJJ and Soarin (maybe even a couple of times) and still get in line by 7:45am to get an RSR fastpass for later;
3) If you cannot make EMH b/c kids can't get up early, again relax and go with the flow. Nothing worse than trying to force your sleepy kid to do something. Enjoy sleeping later (in the DLH!) and then get to the parks when you can with everyone rested and ready. Look at things from your toddler's perspective. If they are having a great time groovin on the lovely flowers at the hub or lingering at the SW wishing well or watching the ducks at ROA, then go with it. You will be able to use babyswap to catch up on rides for you and DH;
4) For me best anniversary dinner would be Napa Rose. You'll need to hire an in-room sitter for the kids but it is a great grown up restaurant. The food is fantastic, atmosphere is lovely, service absolutely top notch. They will take care of you and you can have a memorable glass (or bottle!) of wine and remind yourself that you are on vacation and married to a wonderful person.

Have a lovely lovely trip and don't ever worry about asking too many questions on Disboards. That is what it's for.
Wow! Such great advice, thank you!

I would still be open to any more advice from anyone....especially some mommy's out there.

I also have another question....If check-in is at 3pm...can I check-in before that time...like 7am to take advantage of Early entry??? Not sure if I'm making sense.
__________________
"Someday my Prince of Peace will come, Some day we'll meet again, And away to His castle we'll go, To be happy forever I know..."
[hubby and I] + [5yr ds] + [3yr dd] + [1yr ds] =
PrinceOfPeace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 11:51 AM   #4
Steamboat Philly
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Disneyland Resort!
Posts: 61

CongoQueen got this pretty spot on! Fortunately the walk from DLH to the DCA entrance isn't a far one, so you should be fine on that. And awesome recommendation on Napa Rose, one of the best there. Plus it's in Downtown Disney, so it's close to your hotel. And if finding a sitter proves to be an impossibility, then the whole family can go to the Rainforest Cafe and you MIGHT get a few minutes of alone time while the 2 older kids are busy with the animals.
Steamboat Philly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 11:52 AM   #5
ValpoCory
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,495

Quote:
Originally Posted by Congo Queen View Post
3) If you cannot make EMH b/c kids can't get up early, again relax and go with the flow. Nothing worse than trying to force your sleepy kid to do something. Enjoy sleeping later (in the DLH!) and then get to the parks when you can with everyone rested and ready.
Great advice, with one caveat. If possible, make your kids go to bed early on your arrival night. The morning hours, especially EMH, are the least crowded and should not be missed, IMO. As parents, we can try to plan the hours our kids sleep. Keeping them up 2 hours past their normal bedtime means that you may miss EMH. But keeping their bedtime while at Disney might mean missing fireworks, so you have to decide which end of the candle you want to burn. For us, we start out by going to bed early on our arrival day, and the bedtimes get later and later as our trip progresses, and we get up later and later too.


Also, you probably already have it with kids that age, but be sure to have a double stroller (or maybe even a triple?). Save those legs.
__________________
Disney Trips:
Disneyland: Jan '13 (VGC -- Trip Report), Aug '10 (Beach house), May '04 (Good Neighbor hotel), Sept '00 (Good Neighbor hotel), about a dozen times from 1985-89
WDW: Jan '11 (BWV), Oct '08 (CBR), Sept '07 (POFQ), May '99 (CSR), Mar '92 (CBR), June '82 (Offsite)
ValpoCory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 11:58 AM   #6
PrinceOfPeace
Mouseketeer
 
PrinceOfPeace's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 125

Excellent! Thank you....do any of you know if I can check-in early enough on the day of arrival....to take advantage of Early Entry?

Thanks!
__________________
"Someday my Prince of Peace will come, Some day we'll meet again, And away to His castle we'll go, To be happy forever I know..."
[hubby and I] + [5yr ds] + [3yr dd] + [1yr ds] =
PrinceOfPeace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 12:00 PM   #7
ValpoCory
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,495

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrinceOfPeace View Post
Excellent! Thank you....do any of you know if I can check-in early enough on the day of arrival....to take advantage of Early Entry?

Thanks!
Yes, you can do EMH on your arrival day, even with your room not being ready. They'll give you your unactivated room key I believe, and you can show that to the EMH Cast Member.
__________________
Disney Trips:
Disneyland: Jan '13 (VGC -- Trip Report), Aug '10 (Beach house), May '04 (Good Neighbor hotel), Sept '00 (Good Neighbor hotel), about a dozen times from 1985-89
WDW: Jan '11 (BWV), Oct '08 (CBR), Sept '07 (POFQ), May '99 (CSR), Mar '92 (CBR), June '82 (Offsite)
ValpoCory is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 12:13 PM   #8
PrinceOfPeace
Mouseketeer
 
PrinceOfPeace's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 125

Quote:
Originally Posted by ValpoCory View Post
Yes, you can do EMH on your arrival day, even with your room not being ready. They'll give you your unactivated room key I believe, and you can show that to the EMH Cast Member.
Yay! So excited Thank you!
__________________
"Someday my Prince of Peace will come, Some day we'll meet again, And away to His castle we'll go, To be happy forever I know..."
[hubby and I] + [5yr ds] + [3yr dd] + [1yr ds] =
PrinceOfPeace is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 12:32 PM   #9
rtfelt
Disneyland AP
 
rtfelt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 20 minutes from Disneyland
Posts: 473

The first time we went to DL (before DCA and AP holders--18 yrs ago) as a family with children, I had your same child configuration. My huge mistake was going on Mr Toads Wild Ride first. My 2 yr old was totally freaked and refused to go on ANY ride that was inside. Actually she wouldn't even go in stores because they were dark So just make sure to start with Dumbo, Carrousel... Then start "indoor" rides with PP. The great thing about DLR is the number of rides you can go on with an infant. I think I've gone on every ride in FL with a 2 month old in a baby sling.

I agree with the others to set your ride expectation low, enjoy the "experience" of being somewhere magical, take it at the children's pace (if they want to stop to see something go with it), take breaks, let them play in the water in Bugs Land, at Redwood Creek, and Tom Sawyer island. This was one of my kids favorite thing to do at the parks when they were young. These places also allow you to let the 2 yr old nap for a bit while the 4 yr old plays--and you can sit with the baby and watch.

I assume you already know to take an afternoon break for naps and use child swap, but just don't set youself up for frustration by thinking you'll be able to go on a bunch of E ticket rides. The focus should be of enjoying these parks through the eyes of a child. I actually miss this now that my youngest is 11, so I volunteer to meet my nephew's family at the park and go with their young children on some attractions while their parents go on the "big" rides--just so I can see it through their eyes. Keep it slow and enjoy the wonder I can't tell you the number of times I've seen a family at 9pm with the kids crying and the parents screaming. All I can think is, "this is the happiest place on earth, but it sure isn't to them." Remain flexible and low key and it will be the happiest place for you too.
__________________


Rose
rtfelt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-09-2012, 12:32 PM   #10
Malcon10t
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,362

My suggestion - Use your EE in Fantasyland where your little ones are able to take advantage of it. Cars Land will be a little more difficult as you will be needing to do rider swap on all the rides. The one ride EE would be helpful for in your situation in DCA is Toy Story.

Disney can recommend some good "Fairy Godmothers" to babysit. We used one from Fullerton CHild Care, and were very please!
Malcon10t is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2012, 01:13 AM   #11
MCBWHITE
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 90

Thank you for asking this!

We're going in Oct. with our 4, 3 and 1 1/2 YO daughters and my husband's parents. This is the kids' first time on an airplane and their first trip to DL! I'm kicking myself big time because I let myself be into a hotel that's not close (Staybridge) so that we all could stay in a suite. I'm concerned about the time we're going to lose traveling between the hotel and the parks....I've been to DL enough - I know better! I wasn't thinking I would take our big, two-kid stroller, but after reading these tips....I think it would be a good idea (plus the umbrella stroller for the little one). Thanks to all who are posting tips! Keep 'em coming!
MCBWHITE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2012, 01:23 AM   #12
KateDrake
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada
Posts: 552

I noticed you have Soarin' and Cars Land both listed, and wanted to make sure you know that those rides have height requirements. Your 4YO will probably be able to do all of them - the limit is 40 inches for RSR and Soarin' - but your little ones will probably not. So it would be good to plan to use Fastpass and child swap while trying to ride these.

It can be heartbreaking for little ones when they aren't old enough to go on stuff the older kids can, so you may want to find something else for them to do during that time. Maybe the little ones can go on a different ride with one parent, instead of just waiting around outside while big sibling gets to have all the fun.

I can't emphasize enough how important it is to take a stroller! Even if your kid doesn't use one at home. We are commandos, so DD3 just crashes in her stroller whenever she's tired and we keep right on touring, using child swap. For us, it's a great way to get attractions done, but I know some kids can't nap outside a bed. So see what works for your family. We've also popped her in the stroller asleep in the morning as we walk over to rope drop, and then we wake her up still in jammies when we're ready for the first ride! Just take a change of clothes and some snacks.

Hope you have a great trip! The older ones will probably be old enough to remember it!
KateDrake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2012, 09:08 AM   #13
Brady's Mom
"Get off the roof, get off the roof, get off the roof!"
The snowball has hit my family and hit it hard
 
Brady's Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Orem, UT
Posts: 1,539

We first went to DLR as a family when our youngest was 2 and his brother was 4.

We spent a LOT of time in Bugs Land riding Flik's Flyers and Heimlich and the Carousel. These were very comfortable for them because they could get a feel for the rides and see everything. Once they got the hang of the rides we added more - Peter Pan, Alice, Small World, Monsters, Pooh.

We spent a lot of time doing child swap and using fast passes. You can get a FP for your 4 yr old (since he'll have a ticket) and use it for you or your DH, along with child swap and single rider. This will make it much easier for you to ride some of the things you want to ride. Also, if he's tall enough, you can use the FP for your son and an adult and then use the child swap for your son and the other adult to ride again. This strategy worked really well for us.

We took our double jogging stroller and were very happy we did. DS 2 (at the time) slept for 4 hours one afternoon. The stroller reclines all the way so he was quite comfy. We didn't know about staying within walking distance and taking a break during the day then.

The thing that saved us on our first trip with little kids was knowing that we were going for them and enjoying their trip at their speed. It helped us keep our expectations balanced and we had a great trip.
__________________
Me (Shannon) , DH , DS , DDIL , DS 16 , DS 10 , DS 7


October 2006 - Family trip September 2007 - 40th B-day trip March 2008 - 12 people trip December 7-12, 2008 - Christmas trip May 25-28, 2009 - Surprise Family Trip
July 16-19, 2009 - DH's 50th B-Day trip! Nov. 1-6, 2009 - Family Trip April 3-10, 2010 - Family Trip October 7-13, 2012 - Family Trip with Best Friends
Brady's Mom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.