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  1. #1

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    Question Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    I am so confused about the trip we are planning for July, I am ready to just not go!

    It will be me, my older daughter who is 20 and my younger daughter who will be 20 months. I have been to DL twice, never with young children and both times because my husband was in CA on business so hotel was already decided for us.

    We are going the week of July 4th which I am worried about in itself. I have to be in Nevada at the end of June so we are flying to California afterwards since we'll already be on the west coast. My husband won't be with us because of work.

    I can't figure out where to stay. I want to stay in a nice hotel within walking distance. From what I read Disney hotels are nice but still quite a walk and I have gotten conflicting info on the monorail. From what I read the hotels across the street are closer but not as nice. I don't need a fancy hotel but clean and comfortable with cable tv (Disney channel) and some food options since we will probably spend more time in the room than we normally would because of the baby. The last time my husband was there on business we stayed (I think) at the Marriott and we used a shuttle but is that doable with a stroller?

    Will there be enough to do in the parks with a baby? I know it will be busy because of the holiday, any tips to help with that? If we fastpass something the baby can ride, does she need a fastpass too? She won't have a ticket so I am assuming no but I am just not sure. If we decide to use single rider lines for rides that the baby can't ride, how long are those lines usually? And if we take the baby to a show like Aladdin, is it easy to leave if need be?

    Sorry for all the questions...I am just super stressed and think maybe we should just wait til the baby is older but my older daughter is so excited and I hate to punish her if that makes sense. We haven't gone on vacation since before the baby was born.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    First, welcome to Micechat.

    Next, if you remember to bring a little patience and flexibility, you should have NO TROUBLE traveling with your toddler. The place was MADE for families. Also, your older daughter should be a HUGE help.
    I've soloed at Disneyland with each of my 3 kids while they were pre-walking age. It can be done.
    I'd be sure to get into the parks early, and head straight for DUmbo. This ends up having a long line, and you want to get it out of the way since your little one will want to go on. Then hit Peter Pan's FLight, since this will have long lines all day, but you should get there after dumbo before the lines get too bad. Then hit the rest of Fantasyland. YOu should be able to do the whole land in 20 minutes.

    Most likely, your baby will need a rest or 4 during the day. Let her. FOllow her lead and don't push her too much. There is a baby center on Main Street which is great for diaper changes. They also have high chairs for a quiet place to feed the little ones. IT's also a great place to go for some quiet. If your daughter is toilet training, they even have child-size flushing toilets.

    I've stayed at several of the hotels on Harbor Blvd. I've been able to walk from most (once with my sleeping daughter on my shoulders the whole way. And I'm not a large person.) They're all pretty decent. There's plenty of food all up and down Harbor. My favorite hotel there is the Camelot Inn, but like I said, they're all mostly good. I'm sure others here will have stronger feelings about where to stay.

    Yes, 4th of July weekend/week will be crowded. As I said, pack your patience and just be ready for crowds.

    Also,ask about child swap, since you'll have another adult who can possible switch off with you if there's something you want to do/see that isn't appropriate for your daughter.

    Have fun and take lots of photos.

  3. #3

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessica312 View Post
    Will there be enough to do in the parks with a baby? I know it will be busy because of the holiday, any tips to help with that? If we fastpass something the baby can ride, does she need a fastpass too? She won't have a ticket so I am assuming no but I am just not sure. If we decide to use single rider lines for rides that the baby can't ride, how long are those lines usually? And if we take the baby to a show like Aladdin, is it easy to leave if need be?
    I was surprised at how much there is to do with a baby! I've taken my daughter (now 2.5 years) several times, and we've had full and fun days. Even when she was barely 1, we took her on pretty much anything that didn't have a height restriction. That included Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear, etc. We took her to Mickey's Halloween Party last October when she was just barely 2, and she easily stayed awake until midnight. I was with a friend who had an infant with her, and she kept asking, are you sure we can take my baby on that? But unless there is a height restriction, there shouldn't be a limitation on taking baby (unless I'm forgetting something). Baby will not need a fast pass for anything.

    July 4th will be crazy busy, so expect difficulty pushing the stroller through crowds, lines for diaper changes and finding places to park the stroller.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    FastPass.
    Parent Switch was a great suggestion as an alternative and can be used with FP, essentially each adult waits in the FP twice and only one FP is used.. Young children can not ride FP attractions because of the height limits except for Autopia which has a minimum for driving the car. In any case it doesn't matter as children under 3 do not require park admission, FP, or to pay at buffet style meals.

    FP attractions.
    Rides & Attractions | Disneyland Resort

    Single Rider.
    This is an option and the weight can greatly very depending on demand. Anywhere from a couple minutes to fifteen is common. On Radiator Springs Racers the wait is crazy often around 30 minutes.

    Single Rider attractions.
    Rides & Attractions | Disneyland Resort

    Rider Switch.
    Although you won't see it on this list, don't be afraid to ask at other attractions. Even though young ones can ride Pirate of the Caribbean the darkness can be scary as an example of and attraction you may want to ride but the child does not.
    Ask the CM at the ride entrance for a Rider Switch(Parent Swap, Parent Switch) card.
    Rides & Attractions | Disneyland Resort


    While that may seem to limit what your child can do, there are about 100 other things left off those lists. Take your time and appreciate the parks. Let her out of the stoller to play in the play areas, to walk in some uncrowded areas, to watch the ducks.

    Many attractions that sit two will probably fit all three of you.


    Hotels.
    Basically anything on Harbor across from the parks is within a 10 minute walk. Most offer a breakfast, usually cold items only, so you may want to grab extra cereal or fruit for the child to snack on later. There is a restuarant between or in front of about every other hotel, so you are under a minute from something.

    The Disney Hotels are about 5 and 15 minutes way. The Grand Californian is very close, the Paradise Pier is closer than the Disneyland Hotel by walking through the Grand Californian. The monorail does go in and out of Disneyland Park, but has some operational limits and is not always a good option to take to DL.

    Crowds on the 4th and that week.
    It's very busy. Get there early for opening, 30 minutes early. Make good use of the morning. Take breaks in the afternoon when it's most crowded and hot. Try to stay into the night when crowds settle down.

    The 4th specifically is when Disney gets busier and buiser as the day goes on. Tons of people waiting in the Hub extra early to get spots for the fireworks.
    Be Cool Stay in School!
    Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

  5. #5

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    One thing I'd also add, based on what I saw this past weekend...if your baby is afraid of meeting the characters, I wouldn't push it. We were at the Cozy Cone and we saw quite a few little kids who were absolutely terrified of Mater - and their parents pushed them to stand there anyway and just ended up with a photo of a crying child. The princesses and face characters might be a little easier for some kids than the characters with masks/big character heads.

    At Aladdin, et al, you can ask for a seat on the aisle so that you can easily leave if Baby fusses. Most theaters will be totally receptive to that and will be happy to accommodate that request.

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    OOOps, double post!

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    Best to not go if you have any doubt. The trip will be costly. You will feel disappointed since your enjoyment depends on how your toddler behaves. Sometimes, your toddler won't cooperate. Usually, they will just last a few hours before sleeping that afternoon nap.

    I highly recommend staying at Disneyland Hotel. The walk might seem long, but it is much closer than you think. It is much more affordable than the Grand Californian. Other hotels off Harbor is a possibility.

    There are lots to see, but the toddler is not necessarily at the age where they will retain much. You might have a better result when they turn 3 or 4.

  8. #8

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    True, the toddler may not remember the trip, but she will gain from the experience. It will be very much an "in-the-moment"thing for your daughter, but this experience will help her become a better traveler in the future, as well. As has been said, let your toddler set the pace.

    I'll also agree with what Malina had to say about fear of characters. One of my daughters was terribly afraid of the characters, but loved meeting the princesses. Now, she's "too old" to have anything to do with them, so you'll want to enjoy this phase as long as possible.
    Of course, my other two kids had no trouble with the characters, so each child is different.
    I do agree, don't force them to meet the characters if they don't want to. It just makes an unpleasant situation for your family, and those around you.

  9. #9

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    Thank you for the advice...and the welcome.

    I live on the east coast and have been to Disney World many many times. But my older daughter was 5 the first time we went so I really have no experience taking a baby/toddler to Disney. I have taken the little one to Sesame Place a handful of times, the zoo, Hershey Park, etc...but Disneyland seems like a whole different game lol.

    We always take mid day breaks while at Disney so that definitely won't be an issue. I don't mind going slow and I am excited to see Disney through my baby's eyes. I think I am worried about her not enjoying it. About her getting restless in lines or shows, etc. I think that is why part of me wants to stay on site despite the cost...I have a feeling we'll be spending more time at the hotel than usual and I really want somewhere that is comfortable and enjoyable.

    So I have a few more questions.

    Since I think I am almost positive I am going to stay on property, I was stuck between Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier. It sounds like Paradise Pier is closer to the parks. They don't mind the resort guests walking through the GCH? Are we allowed to use the entrance into CA? What is the toddler pool like at Paradise Pier? Any particular room that I should request? Maybe I should make another post on the hotel board lol.

    Do you think it would be a bad plan to just skip going to the parks on the 4th? I realize the other days will be busy too but I feel like the 4th will be the worst of it. We plan to get there on the 1st but I may change that to the 30th. Is there anything around to entertain the girls besides Disneyland?

    What about restaurants? Any restaurants within walking distance of Paradise Pier that are not Disney. We are def going to do a few character meals but wondering if we feel like eating outside the parks. Does anyone deliver?

    Sorry for all the questions! You would think I have never been lol! Thanks again!

  10. #10

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessica312 View Post
    So I have a few more questions.

    Since I think I am almost positive I am going to stay on property, I was stuck between Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier. It sounds like Paradise Pier is closer to the parks. They don't mind the resort guests walking through the GCH? Are we allowed to use the entrance into CA? What is the toddler pool like at Paradise Pier? Any particular room that I should request? Maybe I should make another post on the hotel board lol.

    Do you think it would be a bad plan to just skip going to the parks on the 4th? I realize the other days will be busy too but I feel like the 4th will be the worst of it. We plan to get there on the 1st but I may change that to the 30th. Is there anything around to entertain the girls besides Disneyland?

    What about restaurants? Any restaurants within walking distance of Paradise Pier that are not Disney. We are def going to do a few character meals but wondering if we feel like eating outside the parks. Does anyone deliver?

    Sorry for all the questions! You would think I have never been lol! Thanks again!
    1. You can freely walk into any of the Disney Hotels, it's no problem walking through the Grand Californian.

    2. All of the resort hotels guest can use the entrance into DCA through the GCH with no problems. Later in the morning the general public can use those gates too.

    3. There is no "toddler" pool at the Paradise Pier Hotel. At the Disneyland hotel there is a splash area, and mini slides. This would be a much better pool area for you.

    4. At the Paradise Pier Hotel half the rooms face Disney California Adventure. The other half of the rooms face the pool area and city beyond. You pay for the different view, it isn't something you can requests unless the hotel is at low capacity, which it won't be.


    5. There is no harm in skipping the 4th, the days around it will have much of the same extras. There will probably be more crowds on Sunday the 30th.

    6. Shopping, in Downtown Disney and Garden Walk. There are neighborhoods all around with city parks that you could drive to. Some big malls in the area. Beaches you could drive to. SeaWorld and Legoland to take day trips to. It's a little tricky with the 19 year gap between kids.

    7. In Downtown Disney there are several non Disney dining locations. If you take a bus or ART(the tourist bus system, south on Harbor you can find a wide selection of chain restaurants. You can walk between the parks over to Harbor and find a bunch of restaraunts right across the way.

    There is a lot of delivery but when you stay at a Disney hotel that has room service, it's more restrictive.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    In the months of May June and sometimes even July we have a marine layer of cloud cover that sticks around 'till 11:00 am. Well, you can still get a pretty bad sunburn even if the sky isn't clear blue. Nothing spoils a vacation like a sunburn on your first day. So don't forget the sunscreen. :-)
    Have fun!

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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by sbk1234 View Post
    FOllow her lead and don't push her too much.
    Perhaps the best advice ever given on MC!
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    Re: Taking a young toddler to Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by jessica312 View Post
    Thank you for the advice...and the welcome.

    I live on the east coast and have been to Disney World many many times. But my older daughter was 5 the first time we went so I really have no experience taking a baby/toddler to Disney. I have taken the little one to Sesame Place a handful of times, the zoo, Hershey Park, etc...but Disneyland seems like a whole different game lol.

    We always take mid day breaks while at Disney so that definitely won't be an issue. I don't mind going slow and I am excited to see Disney through my baby's eyes. I think I am worried about her not enjoying it. About her getting restless in lines or shows, etc. I think that is why part of me wants to stay on site despite the cost...I have a feeling we'll be spending more time at the hotel than usual and I really want somewhere that is comfortable and enjoyable.

    So I have a few more questions.

    Since I think I am almost positive I am going to stay on property, I was stuck between Disneyland Hotel and Paradise Pier. It sounds like Paradise Pier is closer to the parks. They don't mind the resort guests walking through the GCH? Are we allowed to use the entrance into CA? What is the toddler pool like at Paradise Pier? Any particular room that I should request? Maybe I should make another post on the hotel board lol.

    Do you think it would be a bad plan to just skip going to the parks on the 4th? I realize the other days will be busy too but I feel like the 4th will be the worst of it. We plan to get there on the 1st but I may change that to the 30th. Is there anything around to entertain the girls besides Disneyland?

    What about restaurants? Any restaurants within walking distance of Paradise Pier that are not Disney. We are def going to do a few character meals but wondering if we feel like eating outside the parks. Does anyone deliver?

    Sorry for all the questions! You would think I have never been lol! Thanks again!
    I love Hershey Park! I'm an original Southern PA resident, so I've been there many times.
    One word of advice, ignore the dirty looks you will get from some (me included a lot of times) guests. Strollers. A necessity of Disney and small ones, but I hate them. Strong word, but true. Just ignore us.

    Enjoy your time there with your family. Maybe we'll see you.
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