If you only have one day at Disneyland and you’ve got toddlers to boot, here’s a list to help you knockout bucket list items and make your visit a breeze! Honestly, Disney thinks of everything!
My first tip, would be to pack a backpack with items that you may need with toddlers: hand sanitizer, baby wipes, first aid kit, sunblock, water bottles, snacks, toys to hold their attention (think busy toys that they can hold in their hand!). I also highly recommend bringing your own stroller as renting one cost quite a bit of dough!
Packing our own snacks came in handy when we stood in line for rides or when we were taking a break. Little bags of chews are nice because they don’t make a mess! I also took juice boxes to help save a little money during our lunch break. Also, if your kiddo gets a boo boo during your time there and you forgot a first aid kit, just ask a Disney employee for help.
When you first arrive to the park, take a minute to have your picture taken by Disney staff. This is seriously the best tip because you start the day off with a cute family picture and you don’t have to worry about capturing it later on (especially when you get hot and sweaty! Ha!). They will take a professional picture that is downloaded to a card that you can later upload and pick out which one you like. They will also take pictures for you with your own phone (read: save money! They do a great job with iphone pics).
Once your picture has been taken, and you walk through the entrance tunnel, there are generally characters ready for meet and greet. Goofy was on duty the morning we visited and it was fun to see a character right away!
If you are hungry, can I recommend the hot dogs at Refreshment Corner? It’s an adorable eccentric soda fountain complete with rag time music. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. The hot dog was smothered with cheese…and wow, I’m hungry just typing that. Also, you can’t miss the cafe across the street to get that once in a lifetime Disney Starbucks cup! The lines can get long, but it moves quickly! There is also an outside seating area for the kiddos if you need to take five to recoup or rest!
Another perfect memory making opportunity for the kids is to head to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle first thing in the morning. The Disneyland Band has a fantastic performance and parade. Your kids will get to see tons of characters in one fell swoop and the music is so fun! Plus, I mean, you get THE CASTLE as a backdrop! You can check the schedule to see what times the performances will take place.
For attractions that youngsters will enjoy: The Carousel, Dumbo, and Walk Through of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle were total winners for my little ones. Best part is they are all located in the same area, so it’s easy to knock these out right away. And don’t miss the Christmas ornament shop located across from the carousel!
At this point, your kids may need a rest. You can head to the Tikki Torch Hut for Dole Whips and a place to sit down and rest. Or you can head back to Main Street U.S.A. to visit the theater. Inside the little theater is a place to sit and watch old Mickey Mouse Cartoons! The kids can also get up and stretch to get a few wiggles out!
Onward to meet Mickey Mouse! This was the only thing that my girls requested to do. They could not wait to meet Micky Mouse! His house is located in Toon Town. The line to meet Mickey actually wraps throughout his house, so there is a lot to see and do while you wait. They also have cartoons playing at the very end of the line before you get to see him. Be sure to have your phone ready for pictures as once you go through the doors for a meet and greet, it goes fast!
Another fun thing to do that I felt was highly underrated was riding the Disneyland Railroad train! It’s such a fun way to see more of Disneyland and yet you get to sit down and rest! You can hop on and off at any time. We actually road it all the way around before getting off just to see more of the park and the kids were thrilled….because, train.
We also took time to visit Star Wars land….just walking through it was magical. There is so much to see and do!
Don’t forget to stop off and pick out a souvenir too, and keep your eye on the exit for more characters for photo ops!