17 Dec Disney Tips: Bringing Babies to Disneyland
Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Blue Loop. Today we are sharing some tips to help you plan your Disneyland vacation.
Walt said it himself: “Disneyland is YOUR land.” Guess what? He didn’t just mean adults. That goes for babies, too! Bringing a baby to Disneyland is a magical experience…when you’re prepared. I’ve got a few tips to make baby’s trip to the parks one for the books, or should I say, the baby book.
1) The Baby Care Center. Look at a map of Disneyland, find the shortest path from anywhere in the parks to here, and plan your day around diaper changing visits here. While the bathrooms around the park have changing tables, none compare to the Baby Care Center. There are cushioned changing tables, tiny potties for potty training kids, a tv for some quiet time, and feeding “cubbies” where you can comfortably sit and feed your baby in peace. Of course, there is also a room fully stocked with all of your baby care needs! Formula, diapers, wipes…you name it, they have it! You can find one of these amazing facilities in each of the Disneyland Resort Parks. The one in Disneyland is at the end of Main Street USA by Little Red Wagon Corn Dogs! In Disney California Adventure, you’ll find this baby haven right next to the Ghirardelli store.
2) “Be prepared!” I hope you sang that with me…no? Alrighty then, moving on. Packing for the parks is pretty standard to the way you pack for any outing. You know, the usual: diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, etc. However, you should definitely pack the Mickey ears for baby as well! If you don’t have any, they really are a must have for baby’s first visit to Disneyland! I have a whole post full of diaper bag packing suggestions, but I’ll give you a few quick tips here.
Bring not one, but two extra sets of clothes for baby. You’ll want to “be prepared” (bet you sang it this time) for diaper explosions, spit up and messy meal times! If you’re like me, all three of those things will happen during your outing, so you’ll be happy to have the extra clothes! Of course, if you don’t pack extra clothes, Disneyland is full of magical clothing options. Just don’t forget the wise words of Rumple: “all magic comes with a price, dearie.”
For all of you formula feeders out there, I like to bring my own water for the bottles rather than use the water from the fountains at Disneyland. I just toss a few bottles of water on the bottom of my stroller so that I don’t have to carry waters around in the diaper bag. (My shoulder can’t take that kind of weight during a long day at the parks!) If you don’t want to carry waters around with you all day, you can of course get a cup of cold water for free from the quick service restaurants or you could realize that…
3) Lockers are your Friends. The lockers at the Disneyland Resort are wonderful things. You can store sweaters for those chilly Southern California evenings, PB&J’s for lunch or waters for baby bottle mixing! You can find a great map pointing out your different locker options throughout the resort at the Disneyland Resort website.
4) Rider Switch Passes. Hear those words, memorize them, and repeat them to the Cast Member standing in front of your favorite “big kid” attractions. As you may have guessed, babies cannot ride the Matterhorn. They also can’t hang out alone in their stroller while you and the hubby go wave at the abominable snowman from your bobsled. The Rider Switch Pass is your answer here. Tell the cast member, BEFORE you get in line that you would like a Rider Switch Pass for the ride. They will give you a paper pass (aka the magic ticket) to carry with you while you wait in line for the ride. After you are done with the ride, you will meet your hubby and baby (usually at the exit of the ride,) exchange the pass for the baby, and send your hubby off for his turn to ride the roller coaster. All he has to do is hand the ticket to the right person (usually the Cast Member standing nearest the exit of the ride,) and then he is good to go! The real benefit to asking for the pass is that only one of you has to stand in line. The second person who rides using the Rider Switch Pass will get to basically walk on the ride without waiting. Not only that, but if you have older kids, they can stand in line with you for a ride like Indiana Jones, ride the ride, then they can go again with your husband as the Rider Switch Pass allows you to bring 2 guests with you. It is a great program for people with babies and/or kids who aren’t quite tall enough for those big kid rides. Use it. Love it. Thank the smart person who came up with it. (Image below is courtesy of Love Our Crazy Life.)
4) Character Meet and Greets. Oh the magical picture of baby and their favorite character (or your favorite for that matter!) Sometimes you get amazingly magical and sweet pictures of baby… but other times you get baby screaming their head off because Pluto’s whisker poked them in the face. Moral of the story here is that visiting a ton of characters is a great idea with babies! Your baby will probably have some adorable, hysterical, and memorable interactions with them. Just beware that your baby may decide that visiting the characters, particularly the costume characters, is not for them. If so, try a princess or Peter Pan. My babies were often happier seeing an actual face rather than a gigantic mouse face that could swallow them whole. When put like that, you can’t really blame them!
5) Rides baby can go on. Many people start and end in Fantasyland with baby, however, you can also go on plenty of rides that the whole family can enjoy with your tiny person in tow! Don’t forget to stroll over to the other lands as well as there is something for the whole family in each land! (Yes, even in Tomorrowland kids can watch the Jedi Training and meet Chewbacca in the Star Wars Launch Bay.) My favorite rides to go on with babies are in Adventureland and New Orleans Square since they’re fun for adults in a way that going around and around on King Arthur Carrousel just isn’t. Just make sure you hold onto baby when riding on the Pirates of the Caribbean! *Note that many of the Frontierland attractions will be closing in January 2016 for Star Wars Land construction.
6) Feeding time. If you’re traveling just with one baby, I always recommend feeding baby in the awesome place that is the Baby Care Center. However, maybe your older kids don’t want to stop all of the fun for an hour while you feed baby brother. My solution for this is simple: don’t! You don’t have to stop going on rides to feed the baby, you just have to save certain rides until the feeding time. The Disneyland Railroad and the Monorail are great rides to just sit on and go around and around until baby is all full. My favorite solution however is to go see a show! Mickey and the Magical Map is great for this because the show itself is 23 minutes long, and getting there a little early to get great seats means that you have a long stretch of time to just sit and feed baby. If you prefer somewhere a bit darker with a comfier seat, The Disneyland Story presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and the Main Street Cinema are great options as well.
7) Stroller vs. Carrier. This is an endless debate for another time, but I can give you a few things to consider before determining which might work best for you. Babies in carriers in the summer can make the person carrying them quite hot and sweaty. Also, trying to eat with a baby attached to your chest can make for a very messy situation! However, having babies in carriers makes getting through long lines a lot easier. I don’t know about you, but my arms always feel like I’ve been carrying cinder blocks (and not a baby) by the time I get to the front of the Dumbo line!
Strollers can be very hard to guide through crowds and through some shops (especially those in New Orleans Square and on the south side of Main Street U.S.A.) You also will have to fold up strollers to get on and off the tram from the parking lot, the train, and the monorail, which can be a struggle for those (like me) with strollers packed to the brim. Stollers also serve as great high chairs when sitting down for a meal and it is also nice to have a place to put a sleeping baby down while still traveling around the park.
My solution: bring both! You can easily store the carrier in the bottom of the stroller should you decide not to use it, or park the stroller in one of the stroller parking areas if you don’t want to push it around. If you do use the stroller, don’t forget to take the baby out of the stroller for some pictures! Otherwise, you too will be the proud owner of many sad pictures like this: a baby in a Mickey ear hat, with nothing in the background but the stroller.
All that being said, now you’re ready for a great day at Disneyland with your baby! I wish you the most magical and memorable of trips. Keep traveling along the Magical Blogorail loop today for some other great “Disneyland 101” tips! Thanks for stopping by. I hope we’ll SEE YA REAL SOON!
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | Disneyland 101 Loop:
- 1st Stop – Trips with Tykes | Tips for Flying to Disneyland
- 2nd Stop – What’s the Point? | Official Disneyland Hotels
- 3rd Stop – Saving Up for Disney | Adventurer’s Guide to the Disneyland Resort
- 4th Stop – Mousekatools | Tips for Bringing Babies to Disneyland
- 5th Stop – Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze | Tips For Traveling To Disneyland With 20 Somethings