Last week me, Hippo and my family took on the adventure of Disneyland! I have to say that seeing this place through the eyes of a child versus how you remember it from being a child is so different! It’s waaay better! I’ve never seen my son’s eyes sparkle more in one day than I did at Disneyland as he looked around at this magical place. And for the first time as an adult I realized just how magical it really is with its bigger than life characters, timed snow fall, large castles, sweets galore, rides and brilliant lights and colors! That Walt Disney was a freakin’ GENIUS! However, the park has expanded juuuust a tad since it’s opened it’s doors next to an Orange Grove in1955!!
The highlights for Jax were of course seeing Mickey Mouse in person starting right off the bat, then he rode the Buzz Lightyear ride, observed Jedi Training live, saw Captain EO, found Nemo underneath the Great Barrier Reef, learned that it is a small world after all, saw Captain Jack Sparrow take over the Caribbean, the border of Toon Town (he had taken a nap halfway through Toon Town), waved at Santa & Buzz in the parade and ate the yummiest Churro a kid could have!! Which was a lot for a 12 hour day in the park with a 2 hour nap in the middle of that…but I have a feeling if I had a better game plan, he would have been able to do a lot more.
Tip#2: Get a two park pass. We had them, but we planned on using them in a single day. Not a good look! Take advantage of their SoCal two park special and stay at a hotel near by so you can do two days and go to both parks. I think it’s a two park two-day special. If you are gonna stay at a hotel, pack food, that way you don’t have to spend money at the surrounding restaurants or even at the park.
Tip#3: Pack snacks for fuel. I packed some great snacks for Hippo and myself. Ensure, Smart Water, Pretzels and yogurt covered raisins for Mommy. Smart Water, Horizon’s single milk packs, rice cakes, gold-fish or Annie’s cheesy bunnies, raisins, & dry chex cereal for Jax! I did break down and pay $6 for a coffee & hot chocolate & $8 for 2 churros! Hey they smelled way too delicious to pass up!
Tip#4: Bring or dress in layers. I packed one heavy blanket, two Aden & Anais wrap blankets (my favorite for any season), a change of clothes, a fleece, hat and undershirt for Jax. I brought an extra long sleeve shirt to layer on at night with a denim jacket to put over my sweatshirt once it got cold. And my most comfortable sneakers.
Tip #5: Bring your stroller. Even if your kid walks for most of the day. It’s a great place to put diaper bags and purses. And then when your little hippo is ready for a nap and it’s time for adult rides, Grandma has a place to lay him down and cover him up while you get a nice little break and relive your youth through Space Mountain! My back is still out from The Matterhorn, but I’d do it all over again! HA!
Tip #6: Do all the kid stuff before your kid naps. I thought Jax would nap around his normal time, but between the lines and the over stimulation, he didn’t fall out until 4pm and then woke up at 6pm. If I had to do it all over again I would hit ToonTown first! Then it’s a Small World right outside Toon Town. Then FantasyLand so they can do Peter Pan, Alice & Wonderland, tea cups, Mr. Toads wild ride, Dumbo, etc. Then Tomorrowland for Buzz Lightyear, Jedi Training, Finding Nemo, & Captain EO. Now by the time you do all this your kid will be tired out and it’s ADULT TIME!! WOOO! Within that time you can catch parades, etc. Now if your mom or dad is super cool, they might even take your kid to the hotel to put them down for the night and you can either stay at the Disneyland park or head over to Downtown Disney to eat & drink or California Adventure for even more fun.
We never got next door to California Adventure. I definitely would have gotten up early to tackle that the following day for the light show & It’s A Bug Land!! But next time for sure!! I think the Disneyland game plan is, two days, two parks and all the kid’s stuff first!!! Lesson Learned!