Planning a trip to Disneyland? You’re likely overwhelmed with the amount of information to sift through for the best Disneyland tips. I’m blogging this shortly after my family of 8 (kids ages 10 to 2 months old) traveled to Disneyland. I wanted to share the Disneyland tips you really need for traveling with young kids.
A few of these things are ideas for what made my trip easier or what I wish I would’ve known sooner. Let’s dive into the tips, because you have traveling with young kids to do!
The first Disneyland Tip is to purchase Genie Plus right away.
Before our trip I researched and read mixed reviews about Genie Plus. We even went when the park is slower in general and Genie Plus saved us a ton of time.
Is it a major bummer to shell out extra money to ride rides? Of course? However, you’re already going. Spending time in lines, especially with young kids, isn’t worth it.
We used Genie Plus to ride those rides included, and while we would wait for our scheduled time we could grab food, ride a smaller ride, visit characters or check out the shops.
Another tip for traveling to Disneyland is to make a list of must do rides before entering the park.
Using Genie Plus will save you time, yet not all rides are included. Plus, you may run out of time in a day to do everything. We kept thinking, we would get to that later for a few rides where the line was long or there wasn’t a soon enough time frame for Genie Plus. We ended up missing out this time.
Of course we did plenty, our days were full of great rides. Yet, having a few of those must do rides prioritized and then ensuring we do those first helps prevent the missed out on favorites.
My next tip embraces the photographer in me! Avoid taking your “Castle photo” first thing.
Usually, I am a get things done so that you do not forget type of person. However, when you’re first entering the park excitement is high. The last thing your kids are going to want to do is take a photo. Usually the crowds are bigger as you enter at opening. Plus, the sun rises right on that castle, meaning squinting eyes and harsh shadows.
Days to fly by in the park, so I suggest setting an alarm for near sunset (or maybe around dinner time). Let the kids know you’d love to take a quick photo in front of the castle later but that you’ll go do some fun stuff first. This not only lets them know what is to come, it shows them that you’re letting them have fun first.
There is a risk you miss out. Honestly, my family was too far from the castle for a photo. Yet we were in Star Wars land! We found a great spot to snap our photo as we waited for our turn on the Rise of the Resistance. Quick and easy and still a special Disney photo.
Moms, this next Disneyland tip is just for you. Leggings with side pockets are gold.
Leggings with side pockets are the only pants with pockets large enough to hold my phone. Sitting on rides I did not have to worry about leaving my phone behind in the ride safety pocket. Plus I still had my phone for a quick photo or video or to text my husband waiting with the baby.
I wore leggings the entire trip and found them helpful for keeping my license and boarding pass handy for the airport, too.
We did travel in January and it was warm. During summer months, consider shorts with side pockets instead of back pockets. You will thank me later.
Consider ordering groceries to bring in food.
You will buy plenty of food while in Disney. However, I highly recommend stopping at the store (or even better have Amazon Fresh deliver to your hotel or airbnb) for a few things.
We brought in a jar of peanut butter and bagels, snack bars, oranges, and applesauce pouches. This gave us snacks to get the kids through one more ride before a meal.
When traveling with young kids to Disney, bring your regular stroller.
I see this question asked often if it is worth it to bring the stroller. The answer is one hundred percent yes. Bring that stroller.
We used the stroller to move through the airport with littles on it, bags attached to it, and drinks carried in the cup holders. You can roll that baby right up to the door of the plane, they will check it below and then bring it right back out for you once you’re at your destination.
Then in Disneyland that stroller will hold EVERYTHING. It held the snacks, water bottles, purchases, sweatshirts, diaper bag, camera, and more. It also was the perfect place for littles to sit and relax if others in your group are riding a “big” ride. If you’re lucky, your littles will even fall asleep in the stroller.
One thing to note. Double strollers have to be a certain size, yet my regular, side-by-side double stroller was exactly 31″ which is allowed. They do not allow wagons, and they aren’t joking. They have people waiting outside the gates ready to stop you.
While there are strollers for rent, they are large and hard plastic. Not as comfortable for those little ones.
Another tip is to take advantage of rider swap.
Rider swap is the best thing ever for families traveling with young kids. It allows the adult who stays with the kids who can’t ride a particular ride (or don’t want to) to then ride the ride right after the rest of your group without waiting in line again.
Bonus is that you get to go with two others. So I could wait with my infant while the others went and did a ride and then take two kids with me to ride the ride again.
To take advantage, just tell one of the people helping on the ride and they will scan your ticket.
The last of my Disneyland tips (for today at least) is to pack plenty extra diapers and wipes.
You usually use 4 diapers a day? Pack 8. You usually go through one pack of wipes in a week? Pack two packs. Trust me. If you don’t use them, fine. If you do, you will be glad you have them.
And if your kids get sick on the flight home, you will be glad you have that extra pack of wipes.
Even just writing this blog post has me all excited to take my kids again to Disneyland. It is a lot of work when traveling with young kids, but so worth it.
Looking for more tips and favorite thing ideas? Head to the link below!