My sweet birthday girl – Clodagh Davis 🙂 She is now 4 years old.
How adorable are Clodagh’s black boots?
Paul unexpectedly enjoyed Disneyland more than any of us. How crazy is that?
Disneyland lines suck big time! Make sure to download the Disney App for wait times info.
We finally made it to Disneyland! Disneyland traumatized me few years ago. Scarlett was 18 months old when I took her there and it was awful. I had to chase her everywhere, she can’t wait in line and threw tantrums every 2 minutes. What’s worse was she doesn’t even remember going there at all. So, I promised myself that I will not go to Disneyland unless my kids are old enough to have the patience to wait in lines, done with tantrums, and old enough to remember the experience.
Today is Clodagh’s 4th birthday and she’s been wanting to go to Disneyland for a long time. This time we come prepared! Her outfit is so adorable — she has been wearing them for days! How about her black boots? She truly looks like a “badass” Minnie Mouse today.
I certainly learned some lessons from the past on how to survive Disneyland with kids. Here are my tips and tricks to make your trip to the happiest place on Earth truly joyful and easy.
wait till your kids turn 3 years old and up
I know having a kid is so exciting and wonderful. All you want is to make your kid happy. One thing that comes to mind as a new parent is, “I have got to take my kid to Disneyland.” Trust me, I’ve been there.
The age of your kid will matter how much you will enjoy the theme park or not. Yes, this place is mainly for children to play, but it is also for parents and kids to enjoy their time together. Scarlett was 2 years old when I first took her to Disney. It was the peak of her tantrum days. She did not like waiting in lines and sure enough, she can’t stay put in one place. The result was crazy tantrums, which was not an enjoyable experience for me. Although Scarlett was not an easy kid, there were some kids her age patient enough to wait in lines. If you have that type of kid, then age wouldn’t be a problem for you.
Now that Scarlett is 6 years old and Clodagh is 4 years old our experience in Disneyland was a lot different. They were so easy-going to wait in lines and didn’t throw tantrums at all. It was wonderful!
book a hotel
Our original plan was to drive from home (Los Angeles) to Disneyland early in the morning. I’m glad we didn’t because it’s much more relaxing to wake up and get ready to go to Disneyland and not to worry about commute time, traffic and packing everybody in the car. Less commute means more time in Disneyland. We booked two nights at the Marriott Hotel nearby Disneyland. We woke up in the morning, had a wonderful breakfast then took a shuttle to Disneyland. How easy breezy was that?
download the Disney app
The Disney app is amazing; it tracks your location, shows all the rides close to you, and tells you the exact wait times. It’s so convenient to know how long the wait time for example is, “Winnie the Pooh” ride compare to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride. By which you can plan your day accordingly. Let’s face it, you only have how many hours in a day. You don’t want to waste them in lines, right?
My daughters were so excited to see Ariel of Little Mermaid, but she said she has to move to a different location before we were able to take a picture with her. This happened with Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse and even Donald Duck. You can imagine the frustration of my children when they can’t even come close to their favorite characters. You can avoid this dilemma by using the Disney app. It lets you know the exact time and place where the characters of Disney will be. You can be first in line, if you want.
stroller is a must
The amount of walking and standing you will do throughout the day is worst, if you have a kid who complains about being tired and wanting to be carried every two seconds. Stroller big enough to fit 2 kids is advisable. I use Britax B-agile with lots of storage room for toys and food. Also make sure to bring a stroller easy enough to fold for easy access to shuttles or buses on your way in and out of Disneyland.
pack snacks, water bottles and lunch bags
Yes, snacks, water bottles and lunch bags would be useful once you find out the prices of food in Disney are absolutely ridiculous. A bundle of lollipop cost $8 and a tiny bag of chips cost $5? I mean, really? The ticket is already sky-rocket high, the place is insanely crowded, and the food is also 10 times more expensive? So, buy everything before stepping in the world of Disney to avoid over spending.
bring a camera with a strap
There are more obvious advises I can give you, but this one is about a camera with a strap is a must! Capturing a precious moment using your phone or camera is already challenging enough. It takes few seconds to grab your camera from your purse or pocket. By the time your camera is ready to take the shot, the moment is already gone. Be sure your camera has a strap to hang on your neck. So you can shoot as easy as turning on your camera and snapping the photo.
Overall our Disneyland experience was unexpectedly easy and enjoyable this time around due to well planning. The nice Spring weather, wearing backpacks and going there on a weekday also helped a lot. It was unfortunate that everything happened so fast. My sweet Clodagh had a blast though on her birthday. She said it was her best birthday ever!