Sunday, December 29, 2013

Disneyland Part 2: Tips for Taking a Baby to Disneyland

Nursing on the Disneyland train.
LOVE love love Disneyland at Christmas.
Santa requested a picture alone with the cute baby.
"What's in this basket here?"
"Wait. Who the heck are you??!?"
He got his dad's half smile.

It's almost 2014! So I figured I'd better finish up any blog posts pertaining to 2013 so I can start the new year with a clean blogging slate. As promised, here's the rest of our Disneyland pictures (see Part 1 here) and a few tips I learned about taking a baby to Disneyland.

Pre-kids, I thought it was crazy to take a baby to Disneyland. It's expensive, they won't remember it, and they probably won't enjoy it anymore than watching cartoons in the living room at home. That said, one of my favorite things about Disneyland is that people travel from all over to visit the happiest place on Earth, which means I get a chance to visit with my out-of-town friends and family. So when Gangy and Grampa made their yearly b-day visit to Disneyland (Grampa's bday), and they gifted Joe and I with some Disneyland tickets, of course we were going to go and hang out. Before we went I did tons of Googling on tips for taking a baby to Disneyland, what kind of supplies I should bring with me, and what rides I would be able to take Ezzy on. Honestly, I didn't find a ton of helpful stuff on Google, so here's what I found out through my own trial and error from three days at Disneyland with a six month old.
  1. Travel with at least two other adults, but three is better. That way there's always someone to watch the baby while the other two ride the big kid rides. And it's better with four because you can pair off and nobody gets left alone for too long. Also, four pairs of arms are helpful if you have a baby that's not too thrilled about the whole stroller thing.
  2. Bring a stroller. At first I was hesitant about bringing a stroller for a few reasons: 1 - I usually carry Ezzy around in the Bjorn carrier, and he's never ridden in the stroller without having a meltdown, and 2 - it seemed like a hassle to push a stroller through the crazy crowds. However, nap time would have been impossible without the stroller, and a napless baby is a bad thing for everyone involved. Also, when we were carrying Ezzy, the stroller was a handy way to cart around all the extra baby goods that are involved in our lives now. Which brings me to #3.
  3. Pack like you're moving to Disneyland, and store all the extras in a locker. I brought two backpacks, one for carting around with me and one for the locker. In the one I carried with me, I had two packs of baby food, about five diapers, half a package of wipes, a changing table liner, a hoodie (for Ezzy), a cardigan (for me), a blanket, a scarf (for me), toys, my wallet, and mittens for both of us. The other backpack had: more diapers, two extra outfits (including hoodie and socks), more food, and another blanket. The first backpack was plenty, and other than my coat which was stored in the locker, I didn't really need anything else. However, if I hadn't brought it with me, I'm sure Ezzy would have had a diaper blowout and needed a change of clothes, or some other minor catastrophe would have happened, so I'm glad I brought everything I did.
  4. Rides: I really thought I'd be able to bring Ezzy on some of the rides and he'd be fine. I was wrong. In case you're wondering, babies can go on any of the rides without a height requirement. So that's most of the ones in Fantasyland, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Winnie the Pooh, It's a Small World, the train, Little Mermaid, several of the ones in Bugs Land, plus a few others that I know I'm forgetting. The problem is that, with the exception of It's a Small World and the caterpillar train in Bugs world, all of these rides are loud, dark, and scary for a baby/small child. Ezzy screamed on Winnie the Pooh and Little Mermaid, and he slept on the train (though I think the dinosaur part would have scared him). So yeah, it turns out Disneyland is more dark and scary than the happiest place on Earth if you're under 3. Which brings me to #5.
  5. Lower your expectations regarding what you'll get to do in a day at Disneyland if you're bringing a baby. Ezzy and I spent three days at Disneyland, so I thought I'd get to ride a decent amount of rides. At first I had grand plans of wanting to go on: Pirates, Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, Toy Story, and Buzz Lightyear. And I thought those were lowered expectations compared to how many rides I'd usually knock out in a three day period. Wrong. I rode six rides while I was there (aka - an average of two per day). So, my advice would be to pick two favorites per day, and anything on top of that is icing on the cake.
  6. Broaden your horizons. Of all the times I've gone to Disneyland, I may have watched a parade from start to finish once or twice. It's not normally my thing to stake out a prime spot 90 minutes before the parade starts, but when we had a sleeping baby and time to kill, that's exactly what we did. Ezzy woke up just as the parade was about to begin, and he LOVED it. His face lit up while watching the dancers and hearing the music and seeing the giant floats drive by us. I'm sure he would have loved watching the World of Color too, if that wasn't past his bedtime. Also, I almost never ride the train at Disneyland, but it turned out to be a great place to nurse Ezzy and bypass the crowds.
So, while this was a different Disneyland experience than what I'm used to, I loved it all the same. We got some great pictures with Santa, we got some quality time with Gangy and Grampa, Joe and I had a mini-date on the Haunted Mansion where we spent a whole 45 minutes without Ezzy (a first for us!), and we got to enjoy all the Christmas decor, because nobody does it up for Christmas like Disneyland. Thank you Gangy and Grampa! I'm already looking forward to our next Disneyland adventure.


  1. Alex had his first trip when he was nine months old, and he enjoyed the rides. We got to go on most rides, minus the ones with height requirements unless we did a trade off. Just goes to show that all babies are indeed different.

    1. Alex is a brave little boy! I went to Disneyland a few years ago with my friend and her daughter, who was three at the time, and she HATED all the fantasyland rides, so I knew that they could be scary to kids, but I thought Ezzy was too young to really get "scared." Boy was I wrong!