The Secret to Doing Disneyland with a Baby (and a 6-year-old)!
Thinking back to our trip I realized that there is just so much I want to share with you because we really had THE best time ever. But I also want to give you the info you need, so that your next trip to Disneyland can be just as amazing. Many of you had messaged me asking how I did it with a small baby. I have to be honest, I was nervous at first about bringing baby Noa on this trip, but I was pleasantly surprised at how it all turned out! And despite the age difference, both girls had an incredible time! Believe it or not, there was a lot to do and see for babies too.
Read on for the lowdown on doing Disneyland with a baby … and a 6- going on 16-year old! Psst … bare with me as this will be a longer post, but I promise it’s well worth the read if you’re planning a trip to Disneyland soon!
But First … Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself.
We all know this, but I always have to put it out there: preparation is key! Check that you have all your essentials before leaving your hotel room. Diapers? Check. Wipes? Check. As a reminder, here’s my quick hit list for what to bring for the baby (and kiddies):
Change of clothes
Wipes (for baby bottoms and children’s hands)
Bottle/Formula if needed
Convenient baby food like pouches and crackers
Stroller + any stroller accessories (i.e. Shade or rain cover)
Sling or carrier
But guess what? You actually don’t have to stress if you happen to forget some of these things because Disneyland is quite equipped for moms with small babies. I was so impressed!
Disneyland IS 100% Baby Friendly
Mamas, I repeat … Disneyland is 100% baby friendly. From the Baby Centre to stroller rentals and parking, you are in good hands. I stopped at the Baby Centre to nurse Noa and I was shocked at just what you can get there if you needed it. There was baby food, medicine, diapers and even pacifiers. The place was stocked!
What about rides and activities for babies?
Of course, Harper had a blast going on so many rides, which I will get to shortly, but there are in fact rides and attractions that babies, like Noa, can enjoy too. Harper really loved that she was able to do a lot with her sister at Disneyland and it made me happy that we were able to create these memories together.
Here are my top 10 rides and attractions for babies:
Mickey’s Soundsational Parade – the colourful floats and dancers blew both girls away!
Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey! – this is a must-do because you can’t leave Disneyland without a pic with Mickey.
Mickey and the Magical Map – take a break and sit to watch a live show!
“it’s a small world" – definitely a fave for all ages!
Tarzan’s Tree House – we put Noa in the baby carrier and took her through the tree house. It was so much fun and Harper got in a little workout trying to climb the ropes.
Mark Twain Riverboat – babies love a relaxing ride on the water! #NapTime
Disneyland Railroad – this is a nice way to get around the park and change up the view for little ones.
Disney California Adventure Park
The Little Mermaid (Ariel’s Undersea Adventure) – this was great for Noa as it was slow and visually appealing!
Pixar Pal-A-Round – Non-Swinging – a perfect time to nurse while enjoying the view!
Meet Pixar Pals at Pixar Pier - We met and snapped a pic with Elastigirl - amazing!
Breaks, Bubbles and Napping Babies!
Disneyland is all kinds of magic! There are three things to keep in mind that helped to keep this magic going and to make this a happy and successful trip overall.
1. Take breaks.
Stop and eat lunch. Sit and have a coffee. We even took an afternoon to head back to our hotel, so that Harper could go for a quick dip in the pool. Taking a little breather helps everyone in the family reset and come back to the park ready for more!
I made sure to encourage Noa to nap in the stroller and carrier around the same time she would sleep at home. An overtired baby is no fun, so come prepared with your baby’s napping essentials (pacifiers, blankies and stroller covers).
3. When in doubt, get the bubbles!
There is just something about them that makes kids of all ages happy. It could prevent a meltdown or distract a crying baby. Honestly, bubbles never fail.
Disneyland Resort Must-Dos
The baby’s napping in the stroller, so now what? For those of you who have older children like Harper, I wanted to make sure I share everything she loved and that I would absolutely recommend for your next visit.
Meet Disney Princesses at Royal Hall: Don’t leave Disneyland without doing this. Seeing Harper’s expression while meeting some of the Disney princesses was priceless. Totally a “happily every after” in my books!
Hop on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: This was a ride that Harper couldn’t stop talking about! If your mini meets the height requirement, do it! You will be happy you did!
3, 2, 1 Blast Off: Space Mountain is a classic. It’s a fast one and all kinds of fun!
Check out Star Tours – The Adventure Continues: Harper is a big Star Wars fan, so she loved this! Highly recommended.
Disney California Adventure Park
Ride The Guardians of the Galaxy: This is not for the faint of heart, but it is definitely worth every stomach turn. Hands down, this ride was Harper’s favourite memory from the trip. FYI: it almost had me crying!
Start Your Engines: Radiator Springs Racers should not be missed! Go for a spin and zoom through the desert landscape of Cars Land, inspired by the Disney Pixar movie Cars.
Tip: Take time to familiarize yourself with Disneyland maps and get a game plan in place. If you’re organized you can strategically set up your day. The time you invest in advance doing this will make all the difference. I would also suggest a FASTPASS – it’s a game changer!
Eat. Ride. Repeat.
The wonderful thing about Disneyland was that there were food options for everyone and for every taste bud. I was also able to find healthy options at most places, as well as food for baby Noa! I found it really helpful to eat a solid, healthy breakfast that would kick-start our energy for the morning ahead.
Here are my restaurant recommendations for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I’ve also shared my top pick from each menu:
1. Storytellers Café – from the character parade to the made-to-order omelets at the buffet table, this is a must-do breakfast stop for the kiddies!
My pick from the menu: Mickey-shaped waffles – yummy and picture-worthy for the ‘gram!
2. Café Orleans – escape to New Orleans and stop here for lunch. From sweet to savory, Café Orleans has got everyone covered!
My pick from the menu: Three-Cheese Monte Cristo is everything cheese dreams are made of. Enjoy every bite with no regrets!
3. Napa Rose – it was definitely the best restaurant we experienced during our stay. If you’re up for an upscale dinner, this is the place. Food, ambience and service were an easy 10/10 across the board. Yes, it’s also family friendly!
My pick from the menu: the Sautéed Diver Scallops. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
As mentioned, all these restaurants had good options for Harper and baby Noa. If you’d rather not stop to eat, I would make sure you utilize the mobile ordering option on the app. You can easily order in advance, skip the line and just go grab your meals at the window once it’s ready. Done and done! This will save you time and if you have a little baby attached to your hip, you will be so grateful that mobile ordering is available. Use it!
If you really want to up your eating experience at Disneyland, check out this year’s “Get Your Ears On” Food Guide. You can discover where to find all the fun and best of Mickey and Minnie Eats and Treats at Disneyland.
Here are three of my fave Mickey/Minnie Treats that you have to try:
1. Mickey Mouse Celebration Churro – find them at Small World Promenade
2. Hand-Dipped Mickey or Minnie Ice Cream Bar – you can get them at Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream.
3. Mickey Jumbo Pretzel – head to River Belle Terrace in Frontierland
Where To Stay
While preparing for our first time to Disneyland, everyone told me different things. Some people said stay on the resort, while others insisted not to. I am so happy that we had stayed on the resort at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. With a small baby in tow, it made life so much easier to be just steps away to wherever we needed to go. We didn’t have to worry about parking or stress over having to head back to the room for something. Entry and re-entry to the parks were hassle-free and we were also moments away from Downtown Disney.
Disneyland State of Mind
I always thought I would wait until Noa was older to go to Disneyland, but I am so glad we didn’t. She enjoyed this vacation just as much as we all did. Most importantly, we created memories as a family, which should never be put on hold. I know there are probably a lot of you who are also thinking about going, but unsure about timing … well take this post as a sign to reconsider and book your trip! In fact, right now there is a special offer for Canadians. I’ve been telling all my friends about it because I know now just how much there is to do at Disneyland and with this offer you can make the most of each day at a great price. Click hereto read more about this Special Ticket Offer.
It has been a few weeks now that we have been back from Disneyland and Harper hasn’t stopped asking when we are going back. If Noa could talk, I’m certain she would be asking the same thing. It really is just as magical as everyone says it is and completely doable with a baby. We will definitely visit again, so see you soon Mickey, Minnie and friends … we’ll be here in Toronto with our ears on daydreaming about Disneyland and all the fun times we had at the happiest on earth!