We took our kids on their first Disneyland back in July, and we all had such a great time! There were a few things I was really glad we did or took with us, so I thought I'd share them with you. This is by no means a complete list of tips and tricks for Disney. The internet has lots of lists like this one, but add my suggestions to others you find online and you're sure to have a great trip too!
1--Buy tickets online. This will keep you out of an extra line at the park. You can pay for your parking online too. Just be sure to not lose your pages you print out for the parking and for each ticket!
2--Decide on a few things that are most important, try to get those all done, and don't stress about the rest. We didn't wait in line to see any princesses, we didn't try to get any autographs, but we did see several characters in the parades. Our kids actually loved doing the rides, and the 6-year-old was the most fearless of all! If you do want to meet lots of the celebrities, don't worry if you don't do as many rides. And especially with this being our first family trip to Disneyland, everything was a new experience and the kids didn't "miss" anything they were missing!
3--Take snacks! We bought some food in the park, but we also took several snacks--things that didn't have to stay cold like crackers, pretzels, and candy. The kids loved the cotton candy I brought, and Smarties were a life saver when little people's temperments or feet started to feel a little grumpy :)
4--Sweatshirt or long-sleeve shirt. Even though it was July, after the sun went down and a little breeze started up, I was glad we'd stuffed a little something for each person into the stroller. I get cold really easily, and it definitely stopped the potential complaining of a couple of kids.
5--Personalize your stroller. Our youngest is 3 1/2 so we don't use the stroller much these days, but it sure was handy and the park to let him ride--and to stash our extra belongings (snacks, etc) I wrapped the sides and handle with Duck brand duct tape in the blue and white flower pattern and we were able to easily spot our stroller in the crowd when we got off a ride (even if it had been moved!)
6--If you are taking a stroller on the buses from the parking lots to the park, know that you have to fold the stroller up to get in on the bus. Have a large bag (reusable shopping bag maybe) to carry all the things that you've stuffed into the bottom part of the stroller. Otherwise there's a lot of hands-full juggling on the bus.
7--Restock the bag you're taking into the park each day. Need more water? More snacks? More diapers? Otherwise you'll spend more quarters than you intended because one of the diaper dispenser machines didn't work, and then the diaper you do finally get is too small for the child who you kind of wish was potty trained already anyway :)
8--Speaking of diapers, (if this applies to you) and your child is old enough to stand, practice changing diapers while the kid is standing. Then in the park you don't have to worry if the restroom you're near has a changing table in it or not.
9--Take sunscreen of course, and if it's going to get pretty hot, bring a squirt bottle filled with water. You'll be able to spritz hot arms and faces and cool everyone down.
10--Remember, it's supposed to be the happiest place on earth, right? As parents, do your best to be patient and have a positive attitude so that your kids will have good memories of the day. I'm not saying you should buy everything your child says they want, and you may have to deal with some kind of hungry-tired-hot-meltdown at some point during your visit. Just stay happy!
So, if you've got a Disney trip in your future, I hope you found some of these suggestions helpful--have fun! And be sure to check out my great collection of Disney craft ideas.
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