Planning Your Day at Disneyland with Kids

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the thought of planning a day at Disneyland with your kids? You’re not alone. With so many rides, shows, and attractions, it can be difficult to know where to start. But fear not, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll provide you with valuable tips and tricks to ensure your family has a magical and stress-free experience at the Happiest Place on Earth.

What to Know Before You Go

Before embarking on a magical day at Disneyland with your little ones, it’s important to know some key information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. In this section, we will cover everything you need to know before you go, including age and height restrictions for rides and attractions, how to utilize the FastPass system to your advantage, where to rent strollers for tired little legs, and the child swap options available for parents with multiple children. By being prepared and informed, you can make the most out of your day at the happiest place on earth!

1. Age and Height Restrictions

  • Make sure to check the age and height requirements for rides before planning your visit.
  • Measure your child’s height to ensure they meet the criteria for the rides.
  • Consult the park map or website for a list of attractions with specific age and height restrictions.
  • Be prepared with alternative activities in case your child does not meet the requirements for certain rides.

Pro-tip: It is helpful to familiarize yourself with the age and height restrictions in advance to avoid disappointment and effectively plan your day at the park.

2. FastPass System

  1. Understand the FastPass System: Learn about the rides and attractions that offer FastPass access for reducing wait times.
  2. Plan Your FastPass Selections: Use the Disneyland app to reserve FastPasses for popular rides early in the day.
  3. Utilize FastPass Wisely: Make the most of the FastPass system by understanding the return time windows and utilizing single rider lines when appropriate.

3. Stroller Rentals

  • Make your trip to Disneyland easier with the convenient stroller rental location near the main entrance or Fantasyland.
  • Choose from a variety of stroller options, including single, double, or special needs strollers, to suit your child’s specific needs.
  • Simply pay a deposit and rental fee, and don’t forget to keep your receipt in case you need to replace or re-enter the stroller during your visit.
  • Enjoy the convenience of using the stroller throughout Disneyland’s boundaries for the day, returning it before you leave.

4. Child Swap Options

  • Make sure that both parents have valid park tickets or admission passes.
  • At the entrance, approach the Cast Member and ask for a Rider Switch Pass.
  • One parent can enjoy the ride while the other stays with the child who is unable to ride.
  • Afterwards, the parents can switch without having to wait in the regular line, by using the Rider Switch Pass.

Must-See Attractions for Kids

Disneyland is a magical place for kids, filled with thrilling rides, beloved characters, and endless entertainment. With so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to plan a day at the park with your little ones. To help you make the most of your trip, we will highlight the must-see attractions for kids in each land of Disneyland. From the enchanting world of Fantasyland to the adventurous rides in Adventureland, and the whimsical Toontown, we’ll cover all the can’t-miss experiences that will keep your kids entertained and happy all day long.

1. Fantasyland

  • Step into the magical world of Fantasyland, where classic Disney tales come to life through enchanting attractions like Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, and the Mad Tea Party.
  • Meet beloved Disney characters, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty, creating unforgettable memories for your kids.
  • Experience the charm of charming architecture, whimsical décor, and vibrant landscapes, immersing your family in a fairytale setting.
  • Indulge in delightful themed dining experiences and whimsical souvenir shopping, adding to the enchantment of your visit.

2. Adventureland

  • Explore classic attractions like the Jungle Cruise and Tarzan’s Treehouse in Adventureland.
  • Immerse in the world of pirates at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.
  • Discover the enchanting world of Aladdin at the Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland.
  • Embark on a thrilling journey with the Indiana Jones Adventure ride in Adventureland.

3. Critter Country

  • Experience the magic of Critter Country with kid-friendly attractions like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and the thrilling Splash Mountain log flume ride.
  • Take a break and refuel at the Hungry Bear Restaurant or the Harbour Galley, both offering family-friendly dining experiences.
  • Browse the shops for unique souvenirs and gifts, including Critter Country-themed merchandise.
  • Don’t forget to meet and greet your favorite Disney characters around Critter Country for a memorable experience.

4. Toontown

  1. Experience classic attractions like Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and Gadget’s Go Coaster in the whimsical town of Toontown.
  2. Interact with favorite characters such as Mickey and Minnie at their houses in Toontown.
  3. Enjoy playful surroundings and fun-filled adventures in the vibrant, cartoon-like environment of Toontown.
  4. Delight in the colorful, cartoon world of Toontown designed for kids and the young at heart.

Did you know? Toontown was originally designed to replicate a living, three-dimensional cartoon world for visitors to explore.

Tips for Managing Lines and Wait Times

When planning a trip to Disneyland with kids, one of the biggest challenges can be managing the long lines and wait times for popular attractions. But fear not, as there are plenty of tips and tricks to help you navigate this aspect of your visit. In this section, we will cover various strategies for minimizing wait times, including utilizing the Disneyland app, taking advantage of single rider lines, timing your visits to popular attractions during parades or shows, and making the most out of FastPasses. With these tips in hand, you and your family can make the most out of your time at Disneyland!

1. Use the Disneyland App

To fully enjoy your trip to Disneyland, make sure to utilize the Disneyland app by following these steps:

  1. Download the app before your visit.
  2. Create an account and link your tickets.
  3. Check wait times and show schedules.
  4. Take advantage of mobile food ordering for quick meals.

During my Disneyland trip, I found the app to be extremely helpful in navigating the park efficiently. It saved me time by allowing me to make FastPass reservations and easily locate attractions for my kids.

2. Take Advantage of Single Rider Lines

  • Understand the concept: Single rider lines are specifically designed for individual guests who are willing to separate from their party in order to fill in available spaces on rides.
  • Check for eligibility: Before utilizing the single rider line, make sure that children meet the height and age requirements for each attraction.
  • Prepare for separation: Have a conversation with children about the process and establish a designated meeting point after the ride.
  • Utilize strategically: To minimize wait times, consider taking advantage of single rider lines at popular attractions.

3. Visit Popular Attractions During Parades or Shows

  • Plan your day to coincide with the schedules of parades or shows.
  • During these events, take the opportunity to visit popular attractions with shorter lines.
  • Utilize the time when most visitors are occupied with parades or shows to explore other attractions.
  • Consider visiting attractions near the parade route for more efficient navigation.

4. Utilize FastPasses Wisely

  • Check ride availability: Determine which rides offer FastPasses to make strategic selections.
  • Strategize ride sequence: Optimize the use of FastPasses by planning the sequence of attractions and FastPass appointments.
  • Monitor return times: Keep track of return times to ensure efficient use of allocated time slots.
  • Maximize additional FastPasses: Utilize the availability of additional FastPasses after using initial selections.

Best Places to Eat with Kids

When it comes to a day at Disneyland with kids, one of the key elements to consider is where to eat. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide. That’s why we’re here to help! In this section, we’ll take a look at the best places to eat with kids at Disneyland. From character dining experiences to quick service restaurants and snack stands, we’ll cover all the bases so you can plan a delicious and hassle-free day at the park.

1. Character Dining Experiences

  • Make reservations in advance to secure a preferred dining time for your Character Dining Experience.
  • Prepare your kids by discussing which characters they might meet during the dining experience.
  • Ensure your camera or smartphone is ready to capture the magical moments with your favorite characters.
  • Engage with the characters to create memorable interactions and make the most of your Character Dining Experience.

Character Dining Experiences at Disneyland have been a beloved tradition since the park’s early years, offering families the chance to enjoy delicious meals while meeting iconic Disney characters in a whimsical setting.

2. Quick Service Restaurants

  • Convenient Dining: Quick service restaurants at Disneyland offer fast, tasty meals like the Galactic Grill, serving Star Wars-themed dishes.
  • Varied Menus: Enjoy diverse options, from healthy salads at Harbour Galley to classic burgers and fries at Hungry Bear Restaurant.
  • Mobile Ordering: Use the Disneyland app to pre-order and save time waiting in lines at quick service eateries.
  • Kid-Friendly Choices: Find child-friendly meals and smaller portion sizes at most quick service locations.

3. Snack Stands

  • Find strategically placed snack stands throughout the park for convenient access.
  • Choose from a variety of snacks, including fresh fruits, pretzels, churros, and ice cream, to keep kids energized.
  • Stay hydrated by purchasing water or other beverages available at the snack stands.
  • Take into consideration any dietary restrictions and look for snack stands offering suitable options for all family members.

What to Bring for a Day at Disneyland with Kids

Are you planning a day at Disneyland with your little ones? One of the key factors to a successful trip is being prepared with the right essentials. In this section, we’ll discuss what you should bring with you to ensure a fun and stress-free day at the park. From snacks and sunscreen to entertainment for waiting in lines, we’ll cover everything you need to know to keep your family happy and comfortable throughout the day.

1. Snacks and Water Bottles

  • Snacks: Don’t forget to pack a variety of healthy and non-perishable snacks, such as granola bars, nuts, and dried fruits, to keep kids energized throughout the day.
  • Water Bottles: Remember to bring refillable water bottles to keep everyone hydrated and save money on buying expensive drinks inside the park.

2. Sunscreen and Hats

  • Before heading out into the sun, make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher at least 15 minutes beforehand.
  • Remember to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours, or immediately after swimming or sweating, to ensure maximum protection.
  • For added protection, opt for wide-brimmed hats that can provide shade for the face, ears, and neck.
  • Don’t forget to shield your eyes from harmful sun rays by wearing sunglasses with UV protection.

3. Comfortable Shoes and Clothing

  • Choose comfortable footwear with cushioning for long walks and standing in lines.
  • Opt for lightweight and breathable clothing to stay comfortable in all types of weather.
  • Consider wearing layers to adjust to temperature changes throughout the day.
  • Select moisture-wicking fabrics to manage sweat and keep dry.

4. Entertainment for Waiting in Lines

  • Keep your kids entertained while waiting in lines by engaging in interactive games or quizzes with them.
  • Bring along small, quiet toys or books to distract and entertain your children during the wait.
  • Make use of the Disneyland app, which offers games and activities specifically designed to entertain kids while waiting in line.
  • Encourage your children to tell stories or sing songs to pass the time and keep them engaged.

Tips for Navigating the Park with Kids

Navigating Disneyland with kids can be a challenging task, but with a little planning and preparation, it can be a fun and memorable experience for the whole family. In this section, we will discuss some key tips for making the most out of your day at the park with kids. From sticking to a schedule to taking breaks and having a meeting point in case of separation, these tips will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit. Additionally, we will also cover the benefits and convenience of utilizing the Baby Care Centers at Disneyland.

1. Stick to a Schedule

  • Plan your day around key attractions and shows to optimize your time.
  • Allocate specific time slots for meals, breaks, and rest periods.
  • Utilize the Disneyland app to check wait times and make necessary adjustments to your schedule.
  • Be flexible but aim to stick to the planned schedule to make the most of your day.

2. Take Breaks and Rest Often

  • Plan breaks strategically, considering meal times and popular show schedules.
  • Rest in designated relaxation zones or shaded areas to recharge energy.
  • Stay hydrated during breaks, utilizing water fountains or bringing refillable water bottles.
  • Engage in low-energy activities like people-watching or enjoying live entertainment to unwind.

3. Have a Meeting Point in Case of Separation

  1. Choose a central and easily identifiable meeting point, such as a prominent landmark or a specific ride exit.
  2. Ensure children are familiar with the designated meeting point and can locate it independently if needed.
  3. Clearly communicate the importance of the meeting point to the kids, emphasizing the need to stay there if they become separated.
  4. Teach children to seek out Disneyland staff or security personnel if they are unable to find the designated meeting point.

It is crucial to establish a designated meeting point in case of separation to ensure a stress-free experience at Disneyland with kids. Consider creating a fun family tradition around the meeting point to make it memorable and easier for children to remember.

4. Use the Baby Care Centers

  • Make use of the strategically placed baby care centers throughout the park.
  • Take advantage of amenities such as nursing rooms, changing stations, and feeding areas.
  • Purchase necessary baby supplies, including diapers, baby food, and formula.
  • Utilize the air-conditioned spaces and private areas provided for feeding or soothing your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best tips for planning my day at Disneyland with kids?

Some tips for planning your day at Disneyland with kids include creating a flexible schedule, prioritizing must-see attractions, and taking breaks throughout the day.

What are some must-do attractions for families with young children at Disneyland?

The must-do attractions for families with young children at Disneyland include “it’s a small world,” Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and Peter Pan’s Flight.

How can I make the most of my time at Disneyland with kids?

To make the most of your time at Disneyland with kids, plan to arrive early, use the FastPass system, and take advantage of rider switch options for certain attractions.

What should I pack for a day at Disneyland with kids?

Some essential items to pack for a day at Disneyland with kids include comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, snacks, and a stroller or carrier for younger children.

Are there any special events or shows specifically for kids at Disneyland?

Yes, Disneyland offers a variety of special events and shows specifically geared towards kids, such as the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple and Disney Junior Dance Party.

What should I do in case of an emergency or lost child at Disneyland?

In case of an emergency or lost child at Disneyland, locate the nearest cast member for assistance. It is also helpful to have a designated meeting spot and a recent photo of your child in case they do get lost.


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  5. Our Next Adventure – Planning a Trip to Disneyland with Kids Under 5
  6. Disneyland Daily – How to Start Your Day at Disneyland
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  8. Mom Rewritten – Expert Tips for Spending One Day at Disneyland with a Toddler
  9. Undercover Tourist – Our Park Plan and Tips for Doing Disneyland With Toddlers
  10. Alpha Mom – Things to Do (and Skip) with Kids at Disneyland
  11. Marcie in Mommyland – Disneyland with Toddlers: Tips & Itinerary

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