Disneyland Tips & Tricks

Josh and I booked a trip to Maui this winter and we're taking the boys along with us! We really have been wanting to take a vacation just the two of us for so long, but it's pretty hard to think about leaving behind our babies! So we booked 4 flights and 10 days in paradise. Anyway, we booked our flight for LA on a Monday morning. Our flight from LA to Maui doesn't leave until Wednesday afternoon, so of course, I felt like that day in between flights would be the perfect day to squeeze in some Disney. Churros and a Main Street corn dog have been calling my name! 

Josh still isn't 100% on board with my whole Disneyland talk. Although the fact that Copeland is now tall enough to ride the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride is pretty convincing for him. I'm a HUGE wuss, so no roller coasters for me, but now that Josh has his own little daredevil, he's pretty excited!

I ended up going through my hard drive the other night and of course had to click on the Disneyland folder. Josh and I put the photos on the TV and we all looked through the pictures from our past Disneyland adventures together. SO many memories. I don't ever want to forget these sweet times with our babes. It's all going by too quickly but I'm so happy I have these photos to look back on. 

If we end up going back this year I think I'm going to make the boys matching Mickey leggings, like the ones pictured down below from one of Copeland's first visits to the park. One of my favorite things about Disneyland is being able to show off your Disney pride. It's so fun wearing your Mickey ears or dressing in some Mickey get-up. It just adds so much to the magic of Disneyland, in my opinion :)

To celebrate possibly going to Disneyland this winter I wanted to share some of my Disneyland tips and tricks for taking toddlers and babies to Disneyland. So here it goes. 

1. Bring a full size stroller!! Bonus if it lays flat
Okay so Josh and I argued about this before our last trip with both boys. He wanted to bring an umbrella stroller and I said no way! His complaint was packing the double full size stroller through the airport and to the hotel. I finally convinced him it needed to come along and we are both glad we had it! Not only did it do the obvious, but it held all of the stuff you need to bring into the park with you. Yes you can get lockers for your things, but when you have a toddler and baby, it's so nice to have everything in the basket under the stroller. Diapers, snacks, blankets, sweatshirts, souvenirs, change of clothes, etc, etc, etc. Also before when Josh wanted to bring only one umbrella stroller, he was thinking Copeland would just want to walk and if not walk, Josh was planning on toting him around. Holy smokes was he glad we had a double stroller. Copeland sat in the stroller more times then not. He took naps in the stroller during the day as well! Trust me you'll want the full size double stroller :) Josh and I got a tandem opposed to a side by side and it was great! I think a side by side would have been way too wide, especially with the crowds. 

2. Don't forget the extra change of clothes and sweatshirts.
Copeland does so well with being potty trained, but when in Disneyland and all the excitement it's hard to remember when you got to go until it's too late. This happened to us and I'm so happy we had a couple extra outfits, undies included!You should have seen Josh swoop up Copeland and take off to the nearest restroom as soon as he mentioned he had to go. Poor guy didn't make it. Also sweatshirts for everyone for when it gets chilly at night. Somehow I forgot to bring Finn his sweatshirt and it was FREEZING. We ended up spending nearly $40 on a Disney hoodie for him when if I had just planned better, we would have had him covered. Blankets are a must for us as well. Who doesn't love cuddling a blanket while being pushed around in a stroller? ;) Lucky kids! 

3. Bring lots of healthy snacks! 
If you're anything like me, I love my high calorie and fatty snacks from Disneyland. It's one of the things I look forward to most when going there. Copeland definitely shares my sweet tooth so with all the unhealthy things we're buying at the park it's good to have healthy and filling snacks on hand. We packed grapes, string cheese, nuts, peanut butter and celery, and wheat thins, along with frozen water bottles instead of using ice packs to save on space. Just make sure everything you pack is in a soft cooler so you can bring it in the park with you.

4. Baby Carrier.
This was a must for us. Unlike Copeland, Finley isn't a huge fan of the stroller when he starts to get tired. He becomes very needy and extra whiny. Having a baby carriers was great! We were able to get him to sleep on us, while waiting in line and being hands free was a plus.

5. Pack Two Bags.
I may have mentioned this before on my blog. But something I like doing is packing two bags for Disneyland. One bag is just a tote style bag, I love these reusable ones from Amazon

I put in blankets, change of clothes, sweatshirts, diapers, and anything else I don't need on my person at all times into this tote bag. The second bag (I brought my Fawn Design diaper backpack) is filled with things I would take on every ride. This included my phone, camera, a couple snacks for the boys and toys (for keeping them busy while in line), etc. 

Having two bags made it easy to just grab my diaper bag without having to lug around a huge and heavy bag filled with everything we brought to the park. Next time however I think I'm going to get a backpack like this one instead of bringing my Fawn. I LOVE my Fawn, but it was a little too big for bringing on all the rides. 

6. Set a Souvenir Limit and Stick to it.
It can be so fun and easy to get caught up in the Disney magic and just want to buy all the things. Trust me, even I at one point was asking Josh for just one more pair of mickey ears. When he told me that as soon as we got back to Utah, the $25 pair of ears were just going to be sitting in a box for a years on end I snapped out of my Disneyland trance and realized he was right. It's easy to spend money at Disney. Set a limit for the kids (and yourself haha!). We let Copeland pick out one item (within a reasonable budget) per night. He ended up coming home with a lightsaber, a toy story gun and bubble wand. We talked to him before hand about this and made it clear going in. He did so well too! He didn't throw a fit when he saw something and we told no. He understood and was grateful for what he got. It was a pretty proud moment for Josh and I. 

7. Take Breaks!
The Disneyland hustle and bustle is fun! But remember to take breaks. One of my most favorite things about Disneyland is sitting under a tree or parking by a bench, grabbing a box of popcorn or an ice cream cone and just enjoying the atmosphere that is Disneyland. It's honestly so magical! Let the little ones run around for a bit and take a break from waiting in line. The entrance to Toon Town is a great place to do this. We also love to sit in New Orleans Square across from The Haunted Mansion. 

8. Rider Swap or Friends Swap ;)
We love traveling with friends. It always makes trips a little more fun, doesn't it? We love going with our best friends Chase and his wife Brette and their two girls. We've been a few times with them now and it's always the best time! We all get along so well and the kids have a lot of fun together also. Anyway, we did rider swap with them which was really nice. I'd watch their girls so they were able to go on a ride together and then we'd switch so Josh and I were able to go together. Almost all the big rides have rider swap, all you have to do is ask for a rider swap ticket and they'll give you one. It's great and such a time saver!

9. The new MaxPass.
If Josh and I go this winter, this is a must! It's costs extra per ticket (about $10) but WORTH IT! It's basically like a mobile fastpass. You can grab a fastpass for your favorite ride over in DCA while say, you're enjoying the view from flying on Dumbo. It's really great and to us, totally worth the $10 since we'll only be there one day and want to take Copeland on as many rides as we can. 

Okay I think that's it, for now! If I think of anything else, I add it to the list. In the meantime, enjoy these photos from our past trip to Disneyland. Finn was only 9 months old! Yes I'm one of those who doesn't think it's completely pointless to bring babies to Disneyland haha :) It's definitely hard but so worth it!

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