I'm writing a series of Disneyland Resort blog posts for parents with toddlers at my blog, DaddyDan.net. Today's post covered the hidden gems (for toddlers) at the resort. My top five are below, but I was wondering what you would put on a hidden gems list.
1. Disneyland Baby Care Center
At the end of Main Street, on the right hand side behind the photo supply store, is a place we visit several times on every Disneyland trip. It’s the Disneyland Baby Care Center. I think of it as the VIP Lounge for babies and toddlers.
The center has everything a parent of a baby or toddler would ever need. There are plush changing tables. These tables are spacious, padded, and clean. The changing room also features toddler-sized toilets for the newly potty-trained.
The center also offers bottle and baby food warming, nice high chairs to feed your baby. A private room with rocking chairs for breastfeeding Mommies, and a small store to purchase items you may have forgotten or run out of, including diapers, baby food, formula, pacifiers, eipies, etc.
The Baby Care Center is a nice, clean place to take care of all your baby or toddler’s needs.
With the number of strollers you see at Disneyland, you’d think the Baby Care Center would be packed, but it NEVER is. I don’t think too many people know about this great feature of Disneyland.
There’s also a baby care center in California Adventure back near the Mission Tortilla Factory.
2. Animation Building (at California Adventure)
The Animation Building in the Hollywood Backlot area of California Adventure is another great place to take your toddler, especially on hot summer days, since the building is nicely air-conditioned. We often take the Babito in here to get him to take a nap.
The main room is filled with giant screens showing scenes from various classic Disney animated movies. It’s very nicely put together. There’s nice cushioned benches strewn throughout the room for you to relax while your baby or toddler takes a nap.
The Animation Building also features several toddler-friendly interactive activities, including Turtle Talk with Crush, where an animated Crush (from Finding Nemo) interacts with the audience. There’s also an area where you can add your voice to Disney cartoons and an area where you can learn to draw your favorite Disney character.
3. Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Looking to get some of the pent-up energy out of your toddler. There’s no better place at the Disneyland Resort than the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at California Adventure.
Redwood Creek features trails, bridges, slides, caves, and various other fun things for your toddler to explore. It’s a nice shady area to get away from the crowds for a while too. For older children, Redwood Creek features a rock wall to climb and rope swings.
While visiting Redwood Creek, be sure to catch the Brother Bear show, which usually runs every hour. It features two bear characters that are available after the show for pictures.
4. Water Play Areas
California Adventure also features some great water play areas for small children. It’s a great way for your kids (and you) to cool off on a hot summer day.
The first area is in Bugs Land. The entire land is themed to make you feel like you’re as small as a bug. The water play area features a giant water hose and nozzle that squirts water at unexpected times. The kids love it. I’d recommend bringing a change of clothes and a swim diaper. There’s a family changing room nearby for your convenience.
The second area is in the Bountiful Valley Farm area. This area features various farm-related water features.
5. Disneyland Hotel
Lastly, wandering the grounds of the Disneyland Hotel is a great way to get away from the crowds. The Disneyland Hotel has many fun things for toddlers to look at including an area featuring a wall of waterfalls that you can walk around and under. Also, the grounds feature several bushes trimmed to look like Disney characters. Lastly, there’s a pond where your small child can pilot a remote-controlled Jungle Cruise boat.
Of course, if you’re staying at one of the Disney hotels, each features a great pool area for registered guests only.
So, what hidden gems would you recommend to parents with toddlers???