This past weekend we went to Disneyland in California for the first time. Here is your guide for 8 things to do with a toddler for your family vacation at Disneyland and California Adventure. Maybe you will get some ideas to try with your little one next time you make a trip to Disney in California.
It can be challenging to take a baby and young toddler to Disney, but with a little prep and having fun no matter what happens can go a long way with having an amazing experience. You can plan but also be flexible because plans might not always go as planned. For our trip we did no planning. Just went with the flow and it all worked out. One thing I did prep was having food with me to make sure Madison always had something to eat (and drink!).
What to do at Disneyland and California Adventure with a toddler
I am not a Disneyland expert but here are some suggestions based off our family trip.
8 things we did and some other ideas to do with your young child while at Disney.
The Little Mermaid – probably Madison’s favorite ride. We did it twice.
Disney Junior: Live on Stage – Madison did a great job with sitting and watching this show. By the end she was more relaxed and got into the music more. This show lasted about 30 minutes and very entertaining for the kids, plus a nice break from the sun.
Triton’s Carousel of the Sea – Madison really enjoyed this ride once it got started. She was anxious and very antsy until it started moving.
Flik’s Flyers – another great ride. But just like the Carousel Madison had a hard time with being patient with it to start. Once it started moving she loved it.
Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train – short ride but nice and slow moving.
It’s A Small World – a classic ride and a must.
Mickey’s Toontown – great spot for the young ones to run around and to meet Mickey Mouse and friends. We did have to wait a good 45 minutes to meet him but well worth it.
Meeting characters. This might be a hit or miss depending on the child.
Madison loved this part! Meeting Flynn Rider and Rapunzel at Disneyland was a special moment for Madison… well should I say meeting FLYNN. Madison didn’t care so much about Rapunzel she went right for Flynn and didn’t leave his side.
Meeting Minnie Mouse was another great moment for Madison.
Other things to do for entertainment:
Mickey’s Fun Wheel we didn’t get to do but think it would be a great ride.
Playing with crayons at restaurants to pass the time.
Getting a fun sippy cup for them to drink from at the parks. Madison loves drinking out of a straw so this cup that we got from Starbucks was great for her to drink her water and entertain her.
Shopping at the toy stores at downtown Disney is great to get a break from the heat. Madison enjoyed “seeing” Olaf at one of the stores at the downtown Disney.
Rides to maybe hold off on:
Mr. Toad – another one that can be scary for the kids. We skipped it.
Snow White – we did this one and Madison got scared on it. She didn’t cry but just wasn’t smiling and kept her head down a lot.
Other things to remember:
Protecting your child from the sun. California can have cool mornings but as the day goes on it can get hot and sunny with temperatures returning to being chilly in the evenings. So…dress your child with layers. I had Madison in tanks with a sweater and pants. Plus brought a hat and sunscreen.
Bring snacks for them to enjoy while waiting in lines to help pass the time.
Prepare for lots of crying and tantrums but smile and take deep breaths. It wouldn’t be a successful trip to Disney without some tears (that’s what I kept telling myself).
Disneyland can be a very magical place for the whole family.
We had a great time and Madison loved it. She was in awe most of the trip especially when meeting the characters.
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