If you've got a baby and you're thinking of going to Disneyland, this is the post for you! We recently took our four month old to Disneyland for four days and I admit, I was a little worried that a baby in tow would slow us down. It totally didn't. She was great! Here's what I learned:
1. If you are a nursing mother, there are lots of opportunities for you to feed your baby that don't cut into fun time. There are several rides that are great for nursing, the best being Pirates of the Caribbean in Disneyland and the Ferris Wheel in California Adventure. It was also perfect to feed her during the show rides--- Captain EO, It's Tough Being A Bug, and The Muppets 3D. I also fed her on the submarines (because she started screaming), but it is very tight seating there, so it would probably only work if you have your own family on either side of you. You don't want hungry baby kicking the stranger sitting next to you. And come to think of it, this doesn't just apply to nursing mothers. You could feed bottles to babies in all the same places. Why sit still for 10+ minutes when you can multitask?!
2. Take advantage of the rider switch passes. If you have a child that doesn't meet the height requirements, you can get a rider switch pass. Ask a cast member for one at the start of the line. Send everyone who is tall enough on the ride, with one parent and the small children staying behind. After they ride, the rider switch pass allows the parent who sat out and one or two more to skip to the front of the line to ride. Totally awesome! And we used the time we were waiting for the other riders to eat snacks, go to the bathroom, nurse the baby and change diapers.
3. Let your baby ride the rides with you. As long as there is no height requirement, you can bring baby along! Mine loved the storybook-type rides where you drive through and look at characters. Gentle motion, bright colors and being held by mom---what more could a baby ask for?!
4. Bring something to help you hold the baby while you are waiting in line. You have to leave your stroller in the stroller parking areas and then stand in line, sometimes for a very long time. I didn't bring any sort of sling or wrap, so my arms were dead after holding the baby for so long. I would recommend bringing a baby carrier of some sort, preferably one that is easy on, easy off... because you can't "wear" your baby on the actual rides. They have to sit facing forward on your lap, which means getting baby in and out often.
Since I didn't have a carrier, I used an Aden and Anais muslin swaddling blanket folded into a triangle and tied around me like a sling. It supported the baby just enough to make her feel lighter but was easy to get her in and out of when we got onto the rides. And the fabric is so lightweight that the blanket hardly took up any space in our bags and didn't make me hot. It saved my arms!
5. Pack well. Here's the checklist I used:
- Diaper changing pad
- Hand sanitizer
- Pacifier/baby toys
- Grocery sacks and a change of clothes in case of diaper blow outs
- A full-coverage nursing cover (this one was a dream)
- Formula/bottles/baby food
- Baby carrier and a good stroller
- Muslin blanket for cool mornings and evenings and for holding baby in line
6. Use the baby care centers. Here's what Disneyland's website has to say about them:
"Take care of your little ones at our comfortable facilities for diaper changing, nursing and feeding. Offering more than just privacy, Baby Care Centers are fully staffed and feature a host of helpful amenities for parents with infants and toddlers. Open during regular park hours, each full-service facility is complimentary to use and includes:
- Nursing room with chairs
- Changing room with tables
- Feeding area with highchairs
- Kitchen with microwave and sink
- Main room with television, table and chairs
- On-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and pacifiers for purchase." (link)
Seriously. Disneyland thinks of everything! The Baby Care Centers are located at the end of Main Street on the Tomorrowland side of the street in Disneyland and near the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop and the Boudin Bakery Tour in Pacific Wharf in California Adventure. They are easy to find using a park map.
So if you've been wondering if it's a good idea to take a baby to Disneyland, have no fear. It is totally doable. I say go for it!
We purchased our Disneyland tickets and hotel through Get Away Today and it saved us $150. At the time I was not affiliated with the company at all... they were just the best deal I could find after scouring the internet like a bargain hunting crazy lady. Three years later and I've joined their affiliate program because I love them so much! If you click on the Get Away Today link above and enter the promo code "CraftPatch" you can save an addition $10!
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