Thursday, March 22, 2012

Disneyland with BABIES

We had planned on going to Disneyland after my husband returned for good. But he changed his mind and expressed he wanted to go while on his R&R. At first I wanted to argue that we should stick to our plan. But then something a friend of mind said about going while on R&R and making memories during that time so that the children will remember that more than daddy being gone, made me feel that we needed to go.
We never took the picture just inside the park as a group. I had the people in front of us in line to get in snap this one and I'm glad we did.
To start our three days in Disneyland we did Minnie's Character Breakfast at the Plaza. I am so glad we decided to do this. Our son was just in AWE. Although at first he was startled by how big the characters were, but I put the autograph book in his hand and he was loving every minute after. Character breakfasts are not doing Disneyland on the cheap. So if that is what you're doing then it may not be for your family. 
Things to consider:
1-character dinning is a quick way to meet characters
2- saves you time while in the park
3- Your family gets personal time with each character
4- Makes a HUGE and fast impact on your child
5- the food is excellent
In retro-spect, we are really glad that we decided to do it to start because we spend most of the day trying to ride rides and do things the adults wanted to do.
 If not for the awesome morning we started with I would have worried he had a horrible time. We learned a lot about bringing a child and making sure they are having a great time. It took us till our third day to figure it out. The biggest challenge in going with a mixed age group is finding a balance between doing the kiddie stuff and doing the things adults and teens want to do.
Our twins were the cutest babies in the park.
My MIL and I love pin trading. This time we bought a set of pins on ebay then we had some pins to trade. In the set I purchased about 1/3 were fake, 1/3 I'm convinced they were fake but can't prove it by any means, and the last sure I could find no reason to suspect that they were fakes other than my thoughts on the others.
My next project is to find a way to display my pins.
 We had a great trip.
Tips for taking babies and children:
  • Remember to take your time. There is no reason to feel like you're in a rush. When I was a young adult it was all about running through the park trying to see how many times we could ride all the rides in the shortest amount of time. This isn't needed with children. Young children don't have that sort of expectation. Just take it easy.
  • Use the Baby Care Centers- in Disneyland the Baby Care Center is located next to the Photoshop and  First Aid. I love the Baby Care Centers. There are nursing areas there (although you are welcome to nurse anywhere in the park), high chairs, toddler potty's, padded changing tables, they have a drinking fountain, and facets that come from filtered water (after feeding my girls I fill up our water bottles for me to drink between feedings).  They also have baby supplies if you find you're missing something (baby food, diapers...) The ladies there are so nice and helpful. I practically lived there our last two trips. This is also a nice place to stop to do those things when its cold or hot outside to thaw/cool off while taking care of your baby. A couple times I went there to nurse in the evening just to be warm while feeding them.
  • Don't just sit around and wait when using baby passes for the other group to go. Take the other children on near by rides or activities. In nothing else walk around, see if you can find a character. Take advantage of baby passes and if fast passes are offered remember you only need as many fast passes for as many are going in the first group (less two adults to stay with the children- per baby pass)
  • Ware your baby. Bring a front or wrap, for babies while going on rides or in places you can't take your stroller.
  • Bring or rent a stroller. Mark your stroller well. Tags, balloons. We used carabiners hooks to organize our many bags. We didn't leave anything of value in our bags. Its just with three under three we have a lot of stuff and we tend to go during a time of year of rain and cold. We have to be prepared because I hate buying stuff I already own. Also remember your walking age children will still get tired and not want to walk. They may even start fighting with their younger siblings for their seat in the stroller. Bringing a stroller for 5 and 6 yr olds may still be needed.
  • Make a check off list of things you need to bring into the park with you: snacks, fever reliever, allergy meds, jackets, ponchos, hats, sunscreen, water bottles (There are no restrictions on bringing food or drinks into the park, only no glass bottles). 

  • Bring or buy and autograph book. It gives your child something to hold and can help them be more comfortable and get more excited about meeting their favorite characters.
  • Get your first time, birthday, celebrating pins from City Hall.
  • Find ways to multi- task your time. Such as nursing/feeding babies while part of your group uses fast passes or baby passes. Get dinner/lunch and wait for the parade while eating. Send one person with all the tickets to go get the fast passes. 

  • See the shows. In California Adventures there are all sorts of shows in the Hollywood section. Kids love that stuff. Don't forget inside the animation studios there is Talking to Crush, character greets, and film clips.
  • Do the playground stuff- Pirate Island/Tom Sawyer's Island, Wilderness play area (Cal adv), character homes in Toon Town. Growing up my dad never let us go on Tom Sawyer's Island. He said its just like anything you can do at home. But the fact is that it isn't. And they get to run, play, ware themselves out, and have more fun then then would on a normal playground.

  • If you have a potty trainer or newbie know where your bathrooms are in each area of the park. Whenever you pass or before you get into a long line, encourage potty usage. Likewise check diapers before you get in line. Also we had a small purse that was a mini diaper bag that we took on rides with us. It had a couple diapers, a few wipes, a couple snacks for waiting, a toy or two, and a nursing cover (make great sun shades for little ones). We never had to change a diaper while in line, but we did utilize the nursing cover and the snacks.
  • Fast passes and baby passes don't have to be used right away or at the specified time on the fast pass. A fast pass is good any time after the start time on the fast pass. Don't feel like you have to rush back or that you can't do ride or activity because your fast pass is going to come due or because the other half of your group is on the ride while you're waiting to use your baby pass. Or go grab lunch before using the baby pass. As long as you still have it in your possession it is still good.

  •  Ride all the rides they want to go on. But also take them on the rides that will amaze them. But don't force them or try to do too much at once. Remind yourself, there can always, and will always be a next time. Even if they aren't as small there can always be a next time.

  • one last thing while preparing- we watched lots of Disney movies and Mickey Mouse cartoons (there are many avb online through My son loves Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. He calls Pluto "frodo". Even if it is going to be a surprise you can sneek some building up in there too. We also acquired a dvd of Disneyland's history. My son loved watching it, even in b&w, little to no special effects, he was glued to it.
We had a great time. I hope these tips make your trip go smoother.

1 comment:

Orlando Stroller Rental said...

Wow soo adorable twins on a stroller! I can see you did enjoy Disney! We can't wait to bring our kids next month =)