Last Wednesday my family and I took the day off to go to the happiest place on earth, Disneyland and California Adventure. My two older kids (7 & 3) are at the perfect age for exploring and rides and loving characters so taking them was a no brainer. Then there’s the baby. At 5 months and still on the boob, and needing three naps a day, how do I pull this off? And will it spoil everyone’s fun? I’ve learned from experience to have very low expectations and come to terms with the fact that you may need to leave at noon (this has never happened). A necessary preconditioning so I am pleasantly surprised by how well-behaved and how much fun we’re having.
I did some research about bringing baby to Disneyland and there wasn’t much out there. Just some info about the fabulous Baby Care Centers on Main Street and near the Wharf in California Adventure where changing tables, high chairs for feeding and private breastfeeding area are provided. I wanted to know the nitty gritty, like can I take the baby on any rides. I finally called Disneyland and they were extremely helpful. The operator suggested not using a baby carrier on the rides because some have a lap bar and to hold the baby on my lap. She also pointed out that a baby can only go on rides with no height restrictions. That was just the info I was looking for. We packed up and headed out (we accidentally forgot the baby carrier but we brought a stroller, which was the MVP of the day. More on that later.)
Disneyland With 2 Kids & A Baby 1 of 14
Cars Land Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree 2 of 14
Loving all the license plates in the line waiting for our first ride of the day.
Flix Flyers 3 of 14
Hands up to make it feel like you are really flying. I just held the baby on my lap for this ride.
Story Book Land Canal Boats 4 of 14
The whale watcher seats are up front on the boat, make sure to ask and there's only 2 kids max.
Casey Jr. Railroad 5 of 14
Atticus' first roller coaster. I'm holding him on my lap.
Mr. Toads Wild Ride 6 of 14
Or just a quick pit stop for a photo op.
Tarzan’s Treehouse 7 of 14
Atticus enjoying the lush surroundings and where he had a nice feeding and nap.
Fun for All 8 of 14
I think we were here for an hour. My kids love all the hand-on toys like these pots and pans drums.
‘Toon Town 9 of 14
It's firefighter Lincoln with the laid back chief Sylvie.
Should we leave them? 10 of 14
'Let us out!'
Fantasy Fair 11 of 14
Atticus loved the reenactment of Beauty and the Beast. So did I!
Parade 12 of 14
We got front row seat just before the parade started and right at the gates.
Fun for all ages 13 of 14
The kids loved the parade, all three. It was nice to be up front too.
Splash Mountain 14 of 14
How could I resist sneaking in this picture of my husband on his single ride of Splash Mountain. That's him in the back filming the drop for the kids!
We arrived with park hopper tickets in hand and headed over to California Adventure to check out the new Cars Land. It exceeded our expectations by making us feel as though Radiator Springs was a real place. Both kids, my seven year old girl and three and half year old boy were in awe. We hit the first ride we saw, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. There’s a height requirement, my three year old was tall enough, but the baby was not (obviously). As is turns out babies can’t even wait in line on rides with a height requirement. So the hubs waited while I rode with the two older kids. The line wasn’t too long and my boy got a kick out of all the license plates hung on every post and my girl and I played the license plate game. Disney always manages to make what would be the dullest of moments magical.
When it came to riding the biggest attraction in town, the Radiator Spring Racers, both kids chickened out so the hubs and I took turns in the singles line. One person gets a ticket to head to the front of the line to take a single seat while the other waits with the kids, then you trade. The singles line is your secret weapon. Most of the time there is zero wait. Here is a list of all rides that have single lines. The Radiator Springs Racers were so much fun and definitely lived up to the hype, in other words, this ride is a must.
We continued exploring Cars Land in all it awesomeness when my oldest wanted to check out Bugs Land. As we entered Bugs Land I immediately lost my three year old to the splash pad. It was tons of fun for all. Just remember your kids must wear a shirt and shoes. Our kid had stripped down to his undies, along with most of the others and an employee came over and very kindly asked that we put on shirts and shoes for safety reasons. I sat in the shade and it was just in time to feed the baby. I used my nursing cover-up and fed the baby and right next to the splash pad and right next to us was a bathroom where I popped over to change him. All this splashing made the kids hungry for a snack and we easily found some fresh fruit for sale with a giant churro for a treat.
We went on a few rides with 5 to 15 minute wait times I just carried the baby and put him on my lap with no problems at all.
This day was turning out to be dreamy and I was thankful to have the stroller for the baby to sleep in whenever he was ready.
It was time to head over to Disneyland. The kids immediately requested rides in Fantasy Land, so we headed off to Storybook Land Canal Boats. We just held the baby and the kids rode in the whale watcher seats make sure to request this when you get on the boat. After the boat ride we headed over to Casey Jr Circus Train for the baby’s first roller coaster. He loved it and this got the adults feeling the need for some excitement so we headed over to Indiana Jones for some single ride action. We got tickets and I took the kids over to the play section of Tarzan’s Treehouse. The kids played and played and I fed the baby and put him to sleep. The Hubs came and we traded. After my single ride we were all hungry so we bought some grub and headed over for a quiet time picnic on Tom Sawyer’s Island. This is the perfect place to let your kinds unwind and relax in nature. There are picnic tables with bathrooms, just keep in mind that strollers are not allowed.
After lunch it was time for Toon Town. The kids preferred seeing all the different houses and visiting the jail over going on any rides. There’s also a nice playground with plenty of shade, which was a perfect place to feed the baby and I changed him in his stroller.
Next we headed to the new Fantasy Fair, it’s an extension of Fantasyland just outside the castle toward Main Street. This is a special area dedicated to all things Disney Princess. There are scaled down replicas from Disney movies, Rapunzel’s tower being in the center, along with a special food vendor serving up pastries and boysen’ apple treats. There are at least three princesses for your princess lover to meet and take a photo with and a new vaudeville type show. We were able to watch a reenactment of Beauty and the Beast. The kids got to sit on a rug right up front while I held the baby – he watched the entire show. It was so much fun for the kids and there was great humor in there to make it fun for the adults as well.
As the show finished the kids were itching for a ride, so was the hubs. I offered to take all three kids on It’s A Small World (their request) while hubs got his adventure on at Splash Mountain. Why would I offer to take all three kids alone? That’s how lovely and picture perfect our day was. We parted, I got the kids a Mickey Pretzel and just as we pulled up to Small World the baby got fussy and my arms got tired. After some quick thinking I tied the Aden & Anais swaddle blankets around me and formed a make-shift baby sling. It was awesome! He was still fussy-tired, but my arms got a break. The line was short and fast and we hopped on the ride, just as I busted out my nursing cover-up and fed the baby in the cool dark boat of It’s A Small World. The kids enjoyed the song and sites while the baby was fed and fast asleep. It was a long ride of perfection. Did you know that this ride is over 20 minutes?! It was so long that the hubs was able to go on Splash Mountain and Matterhorn. He met us back at the entrance to Small World where the baby was sleeping and the kids had taken a front row seat for the parade. We only had to wait 10 minutes for the parade to begin. Insider tip: the area around It’s A Small World was empty because the area is blocked off for stroller parking, but just before the parade all the strollers are moved and the area open for parade viewing. We watched the parade and headed off to the Baby Care Center near Main Street. We were all hungry and guess what was right in front of the baby care center? Disneyland’s famous corn dog stand. I changed the baby and fed him again and we all had corn dogs before heading home. Then my three year old passed out so we put him in the stroller, his shoes hanging out the front. Thank goodness for the stroller!
It was one of the best family days I can remember; no pressure, no fighting or temper tantrums, the baby was a champ and enjoyed all the colorful sights. I was able to feed him at just the right moments in our day. I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful and magical day with my family at Disneyland and California Adventure.