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  1. #16

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    Re: Taking a toddler to Disneyland

    I don't know the logistics part but I can say this, enjoy it while it lasts, your kid will be 19 before you know it. Whenever my parents and I are in Disneyland they start to tell my sister and I how much they miss when we were toddlers. If they had a time machine I feel the would leave me and go back to those toddler Disney trips!

    Also I was able to handle Space Mountain and such when I was four. Don't underestimate what your child can and cannot do. I think my family was dragging my sister on the Haunted Mansion when she was two!

  2. #17

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    Re: Taking a toddler to Disneyland

    What an excellent thread! Micechat at its best!
    Most of my tips have been mentioned.

    Maybe I'd add to let the toddler pick his or her pace. Be ready to stop and let him take in the kid-friendly musical groups.

    Maybe bring some bread to feed the ducks under the Hungry Bear.

    I'd avoid the long, slower-than-listed wait for Gadget's Go Coaster on a hot, crowded day.

    When we met characters I said, "No pictures or autographs, she just wants to meet you." The characters almost alway loved this and played with her for longer than they spent on the boring autograph/photo drill. (Boring for the characters, I'd imagine.)

    And I want to reiterate how great the child care centers are on the southeast side of the castle/Main Street hub next to the first aid center, and the DCA one next to Ghiradelli free chocolate center. The staff if very nice and the tiny toilets are real! (With a little privacy too.) And the changing tables at the Main Street branch are pretty posh.
    Last edited by jcruise86; 06-20-2013 at 08:04 AM.

  3. #18

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    Re: Taking a toddler to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by xboxtravis7992 View Post
    . . . Don't underestimate what your child can and cannot do. I think my family was dragging my sister on the Haunted Mansion when she was two!
    I like that you added "cannot," Xboxtravis! My daughter was fearless till she hit four, then she was scared of many things for over a year. There have been a few treads with heated debates about taking scared kids on attractions (I'm firmly in the respect their fears camp.) A toddler we went with on Tuesday was scared of Dumbo, but did well on Pirates with a little comforting cuddling from his mom.

  4. #19

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    Re: Taking a toddler to Disneyland

    get an umbrella stroller... about $15 new at a local Walmart or Target...
    They're small, compact, and easy to maneuver even in crowds.

    My wife and I have taken all 5 of ours to Disneyland. Our youngest is almost 3 now... and his "first trip" was earlier this year. They get tired easily. They like to nap in the stroller. Nap time is usually a good time for the adults to go do "their thing" and for the one who has the toddler to do something like Tiki Room.

    I'm partial to Jungle Cruise for 2 reasons. First, at that age it's like a trip to the zoo. 2nd, at night the sounds alone make it a different experience.

    More than anything have fun as a family. Enjoy the park
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


    "Creating magical memories and making Managers cry since 1955!"


  5. #20

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    Re: Taking a toddler to Disneyland

    Cheap babysitting FTW!!

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    Seriously though - stroller, snacks and cheapie toys make for a good day. Just go buy some cheapie toys from the 99 cent store, or where ever. They're cheap enough that when they get lost, dropped or thrown, it doesn't matter; but they're new toys so they can captivate the child for some time..
    "Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money" - Walt Disney

  6. #21

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    Re: Taking a toddler to Disneyland

    For the kid's menu, if he loves Mickey Mouse, then he might want the Mickey Macaroni and Cheese I know I would

    For rides: I recommend these if he is tall enough for them

    Main Street:
    Please say "hi" to me, I'm in front of Main Street Cinema. My friend Esmeralda at the Penny Arcade would love to give you a fortune. Lincoln would be boring for the little guy. He might like the horse-drawn carriage or the double decker bus. I like Gibson Girl's ice cream a lot too.

    Fantasyland:
    he might like Peter Pan, but it is a long wait and Pinocchio. Snow White is for girls, but he might enjoy it. I do not recommend Mr. Toad only because at the end you go through hell. Dumbo is a fun flying ride for him. "it's a small world" is a classic for kids. Maybe the Fantasy Faire, it's more for girls, but it takes you to a magical place, at least watch Figaro and the bird which are on a window ledge. The Matterhorn is fast, but the yeti can scare him a little. Storybookland might be boring for him. He should go on the teacups (before lunchtime). I like the Village Haus, if you want to eat there.

    Adventureland:
    If he likes pineapple, get dole whips and then wait for the Tiki Room. The Jungle Cruise would be adventureous. Indiana Jones would be very intense, but if he wants to go for it! Tarzan's Treehouse would be fun for the little explorer, perfect jungle gym for him.

    New Orleans Square:
    Pirates of the Caribbean would be fun, he could be a pirate all day! Haunted Mansion is a classic, but for my 10th birthday, my friend who was also 10 cried all the way through. But that is just my friend, he can turn out to love it. All of their restaurants are good, I'm sure they would have something for him at all of them.

    Frontierland:
    It is closed off, but the Mark Twain and the Columbia would be cool, yet they have the same route just pick one. Tom Sawyer's Island is another jungle gym for him. I wish he could go on Thunder Mountain, but it is closed until October. Maybe the Shooting Exposition, if he can, maybe dad can help him out there.

    Critter Country:
    Splash Mountain is the perfect way to cool off and get a song in your head. If he likes Winnie the Pooh, then ride that. Hungry Bear Restaurant would be a good place to eat.

    Tomorrowland:
    Space Mountain is the kind of ride where you get a fastpass for it at night, that way it is your last ride, a good finish to a great day. The Astro Orbitor is just like Dumbo, but it is also another ride to go on. Innoventions is a place where you can lose him possibly, also not really the 2-year old attraction. Autopia would be fun, he can drive and mom or dad step on the pedal. Star Tours can be fun, if he likes Star Wars. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters definitely! Get a churro on the way over there. Go to the Nemo Subs during the day, so that you can see everything. Tomorrowland Terrace is a good place to eat, when there is a show going on (especially the jedi academy, let him be a part of that).

    Toontown:
    If he wants to see Mickey, that is the best. If he wants to do the teacups again, just go on Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, but get a fastpass for that. The rollercoaster is a small thrill for him. Maybe Donald's boat and Chip n Dale's treehouse too, they are other places to explore.

    Other:
    If you go on Space Mountain as your last ride, take the train from Tomorrowland station to Main Street station so that he can see the dinosaurs! Throw pennies in fountains to make some wishes. Find out which characters are going to be in the park that day, so that you can see who he can meet. Get a souvenier at the end of the day, so you do not have to carry it around all day. Get some classic Mickey ears for him, but they might be too big I don't know.

    I get excited to see children come to Disneyland and they are amazed by all of it. They have so much fun that I see most of them sleeping when they are leaving the park.

    P.S. make sure he has a magical day!

    I hope I helped you in any way.
    -> -> http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/181693-after-hours.html <- <-
    Stories of Disneyland from an animatronic's point of view

  7. #22

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    Re: Taking a toddler to Disneyland

    Quote Originally Posted by xboxtravis7992 View Post
    I don't know the logistics part but I can say this, enjoy it while it lasts, your kid will be 19 before you know it. Whenever my parents and I are in Disneyland they start to tell my sister and I how much they miss when we were toddlers. If they had a time machine I feel the would leave me and go back to those toddler Disney trips!
    This is so true! My oldest just turned 19 2wks ago. I miss when they were little and everything was real. I'm glad we have a caboose to keep that magic going .

  8. #23

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    Re: Taking a toddler to Disneyland

    We took our daughter at 11 months, 12 months, and then just recently at 18 months. Don't worry, it will be a great trip!

    People have already listed most of the rides, so I won't rehash those. We had no issues finding enough to do with her. In fact, in all three of our trips, we've never taken her into Bug's Land! Since you will be visiting with family, make sure that you utilize the Rider Swap. (In case you're not familiar with that- show your son to the CM at the entrance to the ride, and they'll give you a rider swap ticket. A few members of your party will wait in line and then ride the ride, while you and your husband wait with your son. Then, when they finish, they can take your son while you and your husband ride. You'll get to skip most of the line with the Rider Swap pass). This way, you guys won't miss out on some of the bigger rides. If your family is anything like mine, they'll fight over who gets to take him on his first ride on Dumbo!

    I definitely will re-emphasize the baby care center. It's amazing!! We utilized the microwaves quite a bit. Our daughter loves oatmeal, so we brought a few packets, and some small bowls (Take & Toss brand- highly recommend) and would add water and microwave in the baby care center. Try to bring food and snacks that he is used to. The toddler meals that they sell in the parks are awesome, but not available everywhere. The changing tables in the baby center are great if you're nearby. Be sure to bring a fold-up changing pad in the diaper bag for when you need to use the bathroom changing tables though.

    The lobby of the Grand Californian is a great place to get away and have some quiet time if he needs it. There are rocking chairs by the fireplace, and sometimes they have a pianist playing live. It's a great place to unwind and maybe even nap. The Animation Academy in DCA is also a great place to do that as well. Oh, and the railroad too. You can ride that in circles for as long as necessary!

    I would actually recommend taking whatever stroller your child is used to and most comfortable in. For us, that's her travel system stroller. Sure, it's a bit more bulky than her umbrella stroller, but since it's so comfortable, she takes awesome naps in it. We recline it, throw her teddy bear and a white noise app on our phone in there, and put a lightweight blanket over top. That wouldn't have been possible in our umbrella stroller.

    Don't miss Playhouse Disney Live on Stage if your son likes Mickey Mouse. Our daughter also LOVES the parades. We get there early to get a good seat on the ground right on the parade route. The characters and dancers stop and play with her all the time, which makes it that much more enjoyable for her and us. For her first two trips, she was a little nervous about the characters if they got too close. We showed her a bunch of youtube videos of kids meeting the characters, and when we went last time, she had no issues at all. She ran right to them and gave them kisses. Part of that could have been because she was just a bit older. If you think he'll be nervous about anything though, show him videos before you go so he can start to familiarize himself with them.

    Prepare strategically and set your expectations accordingly, and you'll have an awesome trip!

  9. #24

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    Re: Taking a toddler to Disneyland

    We took our two year old at the start of December when he was about 22-23 months. He had an absolute blast. We spent more time in DCA than DL for reasons that will become obvious in a moment... We made sure to find the baby care centres quickly (beside the Corndog cart outside Plaza Inn in DL, behind Ghirardelli with a sneaky shortcut out of Cars Land near Flo's in DCA). We also took his favourite meals with us and heated them in the hotel/baby care then kept them in a flask and fed him at his normal mealtimes (we didn't have a flask so got a cool Pirates thermal coffee cup for the storage, it kept them hot for a few hours).

    We tended to be mostly in DCA because he LOVED the Little Mermaid ride, especially the Under the Sea part, and wanted to ride it over and over again. Generally we would ride it, come off, he'd see the King Triton Carousel across the lake and shout "CAROUSEL" and we'd go round' ride it once or twice, then he'd spot the Little Mermaid building and shout "UNDER THE SEA" and we spent a few hours ping ponging back and forth.

    He was too small for Radiator Springs Racers, but loved the ambience of Cars Land and meeting Lightning McQueen, Mater and Red. Red was playing Jingle Bells on his fire alarms which scared him, so the photographer "shushed" Red, which lead to a much happier set of photos. In Cars Land the Mater Junkyard Jamboree was a huge hit with all three of us.

    He enjoyed Monsters Inc., but didn't love it.

    We ate in Ariel's Grotto one day, which he loved. When he realised Princesses came to the table he shouted "Princess!" as they approached. They were all very good with little boys as well, which was nice a he's not their core audience.

    As for DL itself. He liked the Jungle Cruise. But LOVED Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion (it was the Holiday version) and Winnie The Pooh. In DL we got "I want Pirates", "I want Spooky House" or "I want Winnie the Pooh".

    We were there for a week, and spent his first half day on "kiddie" rides, like Heimlich's Chew Chew Train. He enjoyed it and it got him used to rides, but by the end he was able to ride things we had feared would scare him.

    We all had a blast and bought Annual Passes in spite of being from the UK! We're going back for a week in the fall (the passes worked out cheaper than 2 weeks of tickets and get us discounts) and he is so excited! He says "I want to go to Disneyland again, you have to go on a plane, it is very very far away" and spends a lot of time watching rides on YouTube or making us pretend our swivel chairs are ride vehicles and telling us what ride we're on. He definitely remembers the holiday and had a wonderful time!

    i would suggest getting PhotoPass Plus. We preordered online which got it cheap, and got 150 lovely photos, many of all three of us, which will give us happy mmemories for years to come.

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